Barry Manilow has scored a holiday hit with his version of Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” But if things had gone differently, we would’ve gotten a whole album of Christmas songs from the legendary entertainer.
“I was going to make a Christmas album this year, but this year turned [out] to be the craziest year of my career and I couldn’t finish it,” Barry told ABC Audio. “But I had three songs done and that was one of them.”
Barry said he made Mariah’s song his own by making it “a little simpler,” adding, “I really loved the writing of the song. I thought the melody was strong. I thought the lyric was strong.”
In fact, Mariah’s song is one of the rare modern holiday tracks that is just as popular as classics like “White Christmas” — something Barry says is extremely hard to pull off.
“As you become more and more popular, it always gets to, ‘OK, let’s do a Christmas album.’ And that is a big challenge,” he notes. “Because a lot of us try to write our own Christmas songs … and you can’t compete with the standards.”
Barry’s decision to cover a beloved song, instead of trying write one himself, and then release it as a stand-alone single turned out to be a good one. And it’s paid off in a way he never expected.
“I loved what we had done to that song. And I said, ‘Why don’t you just put it on Spotify during the Christmas month? See what happens,'” he notes. “And holy moly, it’s bulleting up the charts. I never thought I would tell anybody that I’m bulleting up the charts again.”
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