The Dose Girls Epic Battle Continues: Barry Manilow vs Neil Diamond

This weekend we went to a parenting seminar at our kids’ school. As per the usual protocol, Ashley drove while Lisa rode shotgun. As Lisa began deejaying tunes for the 7 minute ride, she hit upon a true classic– “It’s a Miracle” by Barry Manilow. Ashley immediately insisted that Neil Diamond get equal time with a little “Song Sung Blue”. It took us back to this post we ran last year. While The Dose Girls agree on many things, this is one topic on which we just cannot see eye to eye. Maybe you can settle this argument for us once and for all…


There is nothing we look forward to at the end of a long week more than the chance to catch up and relax. Little did we know that *this* conversation was going to lead to an epic battle not seen since the time Krystle Carrington toppled Alexis Carrington-Colby into the pond on Dynasty.

It all started innocently enough as we were headed to Starbucks. Ashley was driving (of course) and as passenger, Lisa was in charge of selecting the tunes. It went something like this:

Lisa: Oh, man. This is my jam. I love me some Barry Manilow. Would you rather hear some Looks Like We Made It or I Write the Songs next? 

Ashley: Gee, no Copacabana today? [She totally said this with a tone. -Lisa] Let’s try to at least attempt to be cool and go for some Love on the Rocks.

Lisa: Barry Manilow didn’t sing Love on the Rocks. What’s wrong with you?

Ashley: I’ve seen Neil Diamond 8 times in concert. I know exactly who sings Love on the Rocks and every other classic from The Jazz Singer.

Lisa: I’ve seen Neil Diamond in concert, too. He’s great. But you can’t seriously be implying that he is cooler than one Mr. Barry Manilow. I haven’t even played Mandy yet.

Ashley: I’ve seen Barry Manilow in concert, too. But let’s be real. You cannot honestly tell me Barry is cooler than Neil. They play Neil Diamond at Fenway Park for God’s sake.

Lisa: Yes. I am honestly saying exactly that. It says so right here on my Fanilow International Fan Club membership card. Take it back.

Ashley: No. I won’t take it back.

Lisa: Listen, Barry played the piano and sang in bath houses with Bette Midler.  It doesn’t get any cooler than that. He is a LEGEND.

Ashley: Two words—Barbra Streisand. I win.

Photo Credit: and

Lisa: I’ll take your Barbra Streisand and raise you a Donna Summer and Dionne Warwick. Oh, and he wrote The Bandstand Boogie for Dick Clark.

Ashley: But did he write AmericaMake our beds and we say our grace. Freedom’s light burning warm…FREEDOM’S LIGHT BURNING WARMMMMMM!!!!

Lisa: If I stipulate that America is a good song will you please stop singing? It soars, okay. It’s better than the Lee Greenwood song they foist upon us every 4th of July. But did it make 8 year-old Lisa beg for piano lessons like the Barry classic Could it Be Magic did? No. It did not.

Ashley: Is that the one that starts out with a symphony and melds into Barry playing the song? Yeah, that’s a good one. But 7 year-old Ashley was far more inspired to turn on my Heartlight like Neil advised.

Lisa: Look, I have plenty of Neil Diamond on my iPod. You know I like him. It’s just Barry…he really gets it…you know? He speaks to me. Did you know that you can even get a Barry Manilow Visa card if you are a fan club member? 

Ashley: I wonder what the rewards are that come with that! Do they fly you to Vegas?

Lisa: OMG…now I *have* to get one.

Ashley: Seem like a *real* Fanilow would have one already. But okay.

Lisa: You know…I think he’s actually touring the US right now. In fact I think he’s going to be near Charlotte right around my birthdayMaybe we should go.

Ashley: Of COURSE we should. We saw Neil Diamond in concert together, we’ve GOT to see Barry together, too.

Lisa: Yes! You know… there’s room enough in this car for more than one dreamy singer/songwriter who appeals to all generations.

Ashley: Agreed. Now hit me with some September Morn.

Lisa: Gladly!

Okay, so it ended a bit more friendly than Krystle and Alexis going head over heels into the water, but it was tense for a minute there.

Photo credits: and

So tell us…are you a Fanilow or a Super Diamond? Do you crank up the radio when you hear “Forever in Blue Jeans” or is it “Can’t Smile Without You” that puts pep in your step?  [I’ve totally got this one in the bag. -Lisa] [Dream on. -Ashley]



The Dose Girls Epic Battle Continues: Barry Manilow vs Neil Diamond — 102 Comments

  1. I feel like a huge nerd attesting that either of these cheesy singer/songwriters are a favorite of mine but, alas, they ARE! As much as I love me some Manilow…I’m a Neil Diamond girl. My mom was a HUGE fan and she even had him sign one of my ballet slippers at a concert! Who the heck knows why she had my ballet shoes in her purse (ok, as a mom now I totally know why!) but that’s what she reached for, and I STILL have them. TODAY! TODAY!!

    • I knew the moment I first read your blog that you were awesome Allie! This totally confirms it! P.S. Signed ballet slippers from Neil Diamond??!! So jealous!-Ashley

      Allie, I totally bet Barry would sign your shoes, too. Sigh.-Lisa

  2. I have heard of Neil Diamond but not Barry so I need to go to youtube to listen because I many know the songs but not the person which is often what happens in my world lol

    • Of course you have heard of Neil Diamond Kita! Because, hello, he is amazing! :)-Ashley

      Kita, you know Barry. Trust me. Go over to YouTube immediately and report back! ;)-Lisa

  3. I have to go with Ashley on this one and cast my vote for Neil Diamond. Dude can sing! And now that it’s November and any day radio stations will start playing Christmas tunes, I can look forward to his amazing pipes singing my favorite yuletide songs!

    • I can hear the beautiful melodies now, too, Nicole! Ah, Neil is the greatest! I knew you would pick correctly! :)-Ashley

      I am so disappointed in you Nicole.-Lisa

  4. I LOVE you both & I feel AWFUL saying this, maybe I need coffee prior…. argh, I’m just gonna say it… I know the names of both these people but can’t for the life of me, figure out songs they sing or anything so I don’t know, now,John Mayer I am TOTALLY there for…LOL. XO loveys & Happy Monday & remember y’all love me, I just havent been awake yet…lol.

    • Coffee always helps me think, too Amber, so I feel your pain! I will mark you down as a Neil vote anyway, though! ;)-Ashley

      Whatever. She is totally a Barry girl. Especially if she loves John Mayer.-Lisa

  5. You too had me cracking up over this debate. I have to admit if I was going to go with one of them, it would be Neil Diamond. Even Kevin is a huge Neil Diamond fan and still one of our favorites by him is Sweet Caroline. But that is us on this, I suppose. But if you put him up against Elvis Presley, which Kevin has, I would pick Elvis anyway and Kevin Neil Diamond, so there would be where the fight may be for us!

    • I knew you had good taste Janine. And of course, nothing is better than Sweet Caroline! Great answer! :)-Ashley

      Oh Janine. It is a sad day for sure. I thought I could count on you. :(-Lisa

  6. This is a great and important debate. Honestly, I’m not sure who I prefer. They are both so awesome. Barry Manilow was my first concert (I was three). And, well, being in Red Sox nation, you can’t deny the power of Neil Diamond. If I had a choice, though, I think I’d go with Neil Diamond.

    • We agree with you totally. It is an important debate. And if we don’t have it, then who will? Glad to see you firmly in the Neil camp Jenn!-Ashley

      Wait a minute. I wouldn’t say firmly in the Neil camp at all. Barry was her first concert. I think she is still on the fence with this one.-Lisa

    • Oh, Vicki, that makes me sad. Have you thought of giving Neil a try, too? He sounds great through headphones! ;)-Ashley

      YES!!! Victory is mine! I KNEW I could count on you Vicki! :)-Lisa

  7. I remember this discussion and while I love Sweet Caroline and America, I have the sweetest memories of listening to Barry Manilow with my mom. I remember the record playing Can’t Smile Without You and she got up from the table and danced with me. Mandy is still one of my favorite songs (I don’t care that it was about his dog, I love that song). I have to go with Lisa and Barry on this one. Love you, Ashley. 🙂

  8. I’m definitely familiar with both but have minimally listed to both. I’m gonna have to go with Barry Manilow only because I like being a Fanilow 🙂 You ladies are serious. And seriously hilarious.

    • Yeah, Neil never captured a fan base nickname, which has totally got to be to his detriment. Perhaps I should come up with one for him!-Ashley

      Because being a Fanilow is the greatest, right, Hope?! I mean, hello, how else would the world know how much you love Barry?!-Lisa

  9. So here’s the truth. When I was 5 I went to a classmate’s birthday party. Neil Diamond was THERE (was dating the girl’s mom). So, I’m a Neil girl. Case closed.

    • Swoon. Crying. Blown away. SO JEALOUS. You are the luckiest ever!!-Ashley

      Fine. Seeing a superstar in real life is *pretty* amazing.-Lisa

    • WHAT??!! This is my jam TOTALLY fits both Neil AND Barry. We need you to re-think your answer on this one.-Ashley AND Lisa

  10. I like them both and can sing with the both of them, but…. I think Neil Diamond songs have a deeper meaning and Barry’s more “pop-y”. If it’s possible to be more pop-y than Neil…

    • You are SO RIGHT Kristen. Neil really digs deep in his music. Good call.-Ashley

      Obviously, you need to take a second listen to “Can’t Smile Without You” Kristen. I think you missed something.-Lisa

    • So, I can mark you down for a Neil vote, then?! ;)-Ashley

      Wait a minute! If he likes sap, then Barry is clearly his choice!-Lisa

    • Oh, Bill, that is not the right attitude to have! 😉 We want you to have a stomachache from how much you love both of them! :)-Ashley and Lisa

  11. Okay, this is only a teeny bit hard. I LOVE Neil Diamond so much. My mom’s first major love and favorite musician, he was always playing in our house and he was even my first concert at 5 years old. Yes, my mom brought her 3 kids, juice boxes in tow (before they banned them from arenas) and we had a blast. I have even heard that his real name is Noah Kominsky. Even though we love us some Barry, Neil takes the cake–so turn on your heartlight, Cherry cherry, kentucky woman, we’re headed for the future! I think I know too much.
    Great comparison post! BUT…Forever in blue jeans…NEIL BABY!!

    • GUESS WHAT??!! He was one of my first concerts, too!! 🙂 I was 7. I have seen him like 8 times, honestly. Because, of course I have!! Your mom raised you right! :)-Ashley

      Oh Karen. All those years of your childhood wasted on Neil. What a shame.-Lisa

    • Of course you are Michelle. There is really only one answer here. Good job picking correctly! :)-Ashley

      Michelle, I get the sense that you are on the fence still. Perhaps you need to go listen to some Barry to really decide.-Lisa

  12. Neil Diamond of course. He runs the gamut from rock (Coming to America, Holly Holy, Kentucky Woman, Solitary Man) and the ballads of which September Morn is my favorite.
    Barry has some good love songs, but can’t hold a candle to Neil

  13. I “think” I’m a Super Diamond, but only because I think I know more of his songs, although I may be wrong. When I hear a Neil Diamond song, it’s in my head for days/weeks. And I still forgive him of that. (it’s starting right now)

    True story. I only have had one real migraine in my entire life. (lucky, huh?) It was in 8th grade after watching a Neil Diamond video during science class. My teacher LOVED him so. I used to blame Neil (we’re on first name basis) for the migraine, but it didn’t get bad until after the video was shut off.

    You know what that means, right? Diamond Deprivation Headache! I was experiencing withdrawal!

    • Obviously Tamara. Thank God you came around and saw the light and realized that Neil was not blame. If anything, you needed MORE Neil. Phew! :)-Ashley

      Um, as a medical professional, I am going to suggest you re-think this Tamara. The Neil video totally triggered the migraine. Hello.-Lisa

  14. I have to say Manilow.. Truth is Neil gets on my nerves. I didn’t like him when I was a kid, my sisters adored him.. drove me NUTS.. I,however do like Barry.. so count me in the Fanilow side. But in reality I am more of a country girl. You know Patsy, Dolly, Loretty…

    • Say it isn’t so!! Neil gets on your nerves? How is that even possible??!!-Ashley

      Of course he does. Barry is the only clear answer here.-Lisa

    • Exactly. Us Red Sox girls have to stick together! Nobody but Neil for us! :)-Ashley

      I bet Barry is totally a Cards fan, like me. So there. ;)-Lisa

  15. Truth? I am not one who listens to music other than around Christmas time. I know; sad. That being said, I will stay out of this friendly argument and just say, “Girls! Girls! You’re both pretty!” 🙂

  16. How can I say this? Um, *neither* one really lights my fire. That said, I lived in Australia for a year and the entire continent LOVED Neil Diamond. It was almost cult-live devotion to him by the Aussies! So I think if you’re keeping score now it’s Ashley + Australia vs. Lisa. (Sorry, Lisa!)

    • I like having Australia on my side…I knew I liked that place for more than just the accents and koalas! ;)-Ashley

      Well, how I am supposed to compete with an entire continent?! This seems unfairly rigged!-Lisa

    • Of course you can’t Cara Lyn! I knew I liked your dad! :)-Ashley

      Well, this is certainly not what I was expecting to hear from you, young lady!-Lisa

  17. I love this post and I love you both. I am sticking with the story that I do not know either performer and have never, ever listened to them! Ever! (I do this under duress since my family is still really mad at me for admitting my love of all Christmas music!)

    • Oh Kathy, I can totally read between the lines here and know you are a Neil fan! ;)-Ashley

      As if. She is a complete Fanilow. It is obvious.-Lisa

    • Of course you are Jamie! Everyone with any sense is Team Neil!-Ashley

      Hmmm, Jamie, you don’t sound 100% sure. I will put you down in the undecided/leaning Barry category!-Lisa

  18. I think I mentioned this before, but I was conceived after a Neil Diamond concert (TMI? Noooo… it’s never TMI) so I have to give Neil the edge here simply because I owe him my existence!

    • We will give you partial credit on this one Jenn, although we expect you to do some watching on You Tube and get back to us later! :)-Ashley and Lisa

  19. Although, I enjoyed reading the banter back and forth on this post between you two ladies (as always), I can’t tell you which one I’d prefer over the other because I haven’t listened to either on in any extent to form an opinion. However, I feel Barry is known more.

    • Oh Crystal. You broke my heart.-Ashley

      I knew you would see it my way Crystal…of course, Barry is known more! ;)-Lisa

    • Um, Forever In Blue Jeans, America, Love On the Rocks, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers. Those are just off the top of head! ;)-Ashley

      The fact that you don’t remember any of his songs probably means you shouldn’t pick him Deirdre!-Lisa

    • Thank you Amy. I have nothing to add to this awesome comment.-Ashley

      So, I can mark you down as still undecided on Barry then, Amy?-Lisa

  20. Yikes. I am having an Olive Oyl moment. Popeye or Brutus? Barry or Neil? Ok. I’m going with … Barry! NO! Neil! NO! Barry! NO! – Sheesh. In the words of Tom in Bridget Jones Diary “It’s too close to call really.”

    • Too close to call or you just don’t want to hurt Lisa’s feelings by picking Neil? I’ll go with that! ;)-Ashley

      You said Barry’s name first. I think we all know who the winner in your heart really is Kelly.-Lisa

    • You can be a fly on the wall anytime Amanda, especially with that winning reply! :)-Ashley

      If you were a fly on the wall right now, all you would hear is my sobbing. Hope you are happy! ;)-Lisa

  21. I have to go with Neil Diamond on this one. HOWEVER- there is nobody more divine than the Divine Miss M, so that actually almost swayed me to team manilow. its a tough call. but yeah i gotta stick with ND. (and i’d like to point out its taken me 12 minutes to write this comment because i keep going back and forth. i put less thought into my vote for president last year)

    • Neil is worth a lot of thought Charlotte, so I get it. And he did a duet with the one and only Barbra, so you know…;)-Ashley

      I feel like you can still be swayed Charlotte. I will call you an undecided.-Lisa

    • Whatever gets you on the Neil train works for me Nellie! :)-Ashley

      Go check out Barry on You Tube. Your answer will change.-Lisa

  22. I’m here to end this argument once and for all. Both Barry and Neil sang with Barbara. Barbara also sang with Barry Gibb. Barry Gibb was one of the Bee Gee’s. The Bee Gee’s wrote songs, not one but two, for Barbara and also one of Barry Manilow (actually they sang it first then he picked it up).

    Neil Diamond wrote his own songs (except a few cover tracks). I declare a tie between The Bee Gee’s and Neil Diamond. And I’m not Jive Talkin’.

    Sorry Barry (Manilow, not Gibb).

  23. Choosing between Neil and Barry is like choosing which child I love more. I just can’t do it. If I HAD to choose, Barry may have the slight edge, if only because I saw him in concert and I loved his sparkly blue blazer.

    • But Neil sparkles, too Dana. Have you seen his concert attire?-Ashley

      No one rocks a sparkly blue blazer like Barry. It is true. Good answer Dana! :)-Lisa

    • Neil is an excellent answer Kim. I applaud you!-Ashley

      Sounds to me like more of a tie. I will consider this a half vote for Barry.-Lisa

    • My hubby agrees with you totally Doug. Can’t top The Last Waltz.-Ashley

      Oh Doug. 🙁 If only they had asked Barry then he would be the winner.-Lisa

  24. I remember this discussion! And I am torn. I get all lovey and nostalgic over both. Maybe that just means I’d get to hang out with both of you at different concerts and that would be pretty cool.

  25. I remember the original discussion, too – love this post! And I am still unsure. I confess I have heard more of Neil’s songs, but I admit that I like Barry’s as well. Put me firmly in the “they both are legendary greats” category. 🙂

    • Because, of course, he is amazing Eva! :)-Ashley

      But Barry has fabulous hair Eva, so shouldn’t you love him more?! ;)-Lisa

  26. This is a tough call. I love them both and saw both of them in concert many, many years ago. I’m glad you could call a truce and things didn’t get nasty like on Dynasty 🙂 Women pulling each others hair is never a good thing.

    • We agree Dawn! Hair pulling is definitely not the way to go…we both value our hair too much for that! ;)-Ashley and Lisa

  27. Neil Diamond hands down! He’s got a great voice and he’s a staple in Vegas!

    Barry – he’s ok..He’s just got one too many corny songs for my taste. I really hate Mandy! It’s one of those songs you can’t stand but you keep on singing it..yeah, that’s Mandy for me!

    • He does win hands down, doesn’t he!? Perfect answer! :)-Ashley

      Say it isn’t so…you don’t like Mandy??!! Oh, I am crushed. :(-Lisa

  28. I am not going to pick sides but I will say that I saw ND in concert. At one point, a table, a rose, and a woman were brought out on stage and he acted out a song (obviously while singing). It was…something. 🙂

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