Tony Senatore’s “Mandy Mandate!”



By Tony Senatore

On his official Facebook page on August 27th, legendary bassist Will Lee posted the unknown backstory to Barry Manilow’s hit “Mandy,” which was recorded at NYC’s Media Sound studio and released in 1974. Will conveyed that the track was first recorded with a backbeat in the style of “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” by The Spinners.

After this initial take, Arista Records President Clive Davis walked into the studio, listened to the track, and concluded that the vibe should be more like a ballad, reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water.” Mandy was ultimately nominated for a Grammy for Record of the Year, and featured in films, television shows, as well as being parodied on Family Guy and The Simpsons.
Most importantly, Barry Manilow now had a path to follow thanks to Clive’s input and music business experience and has become synonymous with the piano ballad.