Somewhere Down The Road

“Somewhere Down The Road”- 1982

Music: Tom Snow

Lyric: Cynthia Weil

Song History: Recorded in 1981 by Barry Manilow. The song was chosen for Barry Manilow by Arista Records‘ then-president, Clive Davis, and recorded by Manilow on his album If I Should Love Again. Released as the follow-up to the top-20 hit “The Old Songs”, “Somewhere Down the Road” did moderately well as a single in early 1982, reaching #21 on the Billboard Hot 100. On February 20, 1982, the record reached #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and stayed there for two weeks [1]. The song was introduced to new audiences when it was prominently featured in an episode of the popular TV show Ally McBeal in 2001. In the episode “Reach Out and Touch” (which guest-starred Manilow as the subject of the title character’s hallucinations), the song was performed by Manilow and singer/series regular Vonda Shepard. In 2007, the song was recorded and released by Filipino pop/R&B singer Nina for the repackaged version of her self-titled album entitled Nina featuring the Hits of Barry Manilow. It was the carrier single of the album, with a music video of her singing in a studio. The single peaked at #2 in her home country.

Author’s Note: Having been asked numerous times how I found inspiration I’ve always answered that I found it the hard way: showing up day in, day out just like any other committed professional. Sometimes however, as a result of all that continuous effort  music and melody arrive fully formed. This one came to me one afternoon, literally flowing through me. I just held on for the ride. I remember an overwhelming emotion (complete with a few tears) as it was writing itself. A truly mystical and magical experience. Cynthia told me later that after I sent her the melody  she needed a few weeks to get over the impact the music had on her. When she finally called and read  the title to me I remember feeling a little let down- it seemed prosaic. But I have always trusted Cynthia and her judgment, once again, proved to be impeccable. For me the hallmark of a great lyricist is using simple language to create strong imagery and emotion, and no one does it better than Cynthia Weil. I’ll add a personal note of thanks here to Barry Manilow, who kindly mentions my and Cynthia’s names whenever he performs what he calls one of his all-time favorite songs. Cheers, Barry!

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8 Responses to “Somewhere Down The Road”
  1. Paketresor says:

    greetings! 🙂 im at the job right now, hence i don’t have much time to write… nonetheless! I really liked reading through this post. It turned out to be a bunch of great stuff. thanks! All the best, Miss Paketresor

  2. Scott says:

    I recently heard Barry Manilow sing this song in concert. He did a different arrangement from the studio version. It was a less commercial version, but had a very strong feel to it.

    • mrneige says:

      I really like his concert version. Very stripped down, not so produced. Barry’s a great guy and a consummate musician. The commercial powers behind him were a large part of the reason his singles sounded so….bombastic…? Quite the opposite of the man.

  3. Tom says:

    Glad you liked. Thanks for taking the time to say so!



  4. Lori says:

    I find this tune just stuck in my head. I find the music just reaches into my soul. Thank you! I have a set of words I sing only to myself. Not nearly as incredible as Ms. Weil’s but the arrangement wouldn’t let go of me.

  5. MichaelG says:

    I had this song on a 45 when I was a kid. 1981ish. And on that 45 he was singing with a female artist. Can anyone else remember this and know who that female artist was? This has been plagueing me for many years.

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