The Barbra Streisand Album

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The Barbra Streisand Album
Studio album by Barbra Streisand
Released February 25, 1963
Recorded 23–25 January 1963
Genre Classic pop
Length 32:52
Label Columbia
Producer Mike Berniker
Barbra Streisand chronology
The Barbra Streisand Album
(1963)
The Second Barbra Streisand Album
(1963)
Singles from The Barbra Streisand Album
  1. "Happy Days Are Here Again"
    Released: November 1962
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]

The Barbra Streisand Album is the debut album by Barbra Streisand, released in 1963 on Columbia Records, catalogue CL 2007 in mono and CS 8807 in stereo. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard pop albums chart, and has been certified a gold album by the RIAA.

Background[edit]

Initially, Columbia label president Goddard Lieberson resisted signing Streisand to a contract, finding her style too close to the cabaret singers he disliked and too far from the understated approach of Jo Stafford or Rosemary Clooney, having recorded for the label in the 1950s.[2] After exposure to a television interview of Streisand by Mike Wallace on PM East/PM West and pressure from associates, Lieberson relented and agreed to sign her. In Just For the Record..., Streisand indicated that

The most important thing about that first contract - actually, the thing we held out for - was a unique clause giving me the right to choose my own material. It was the only thing I really cared about. I still received lots of pressure from the label to include some pop hits on my first album, but I held out for the songs that really meant something to me.[3]

Streisand would spend her entire career to date recording for Columbia.

Streisand had made a name for herself performing at the Bon Soir nightclub in New York City, which attracted primarily a gay clientele.[4] Her producer Mike Berniker brought a crew to the club to record Streisand accompanied only by the Bon Soir house pianist, Peter Daniels.[5] These recordings were scrapped, although the cover shot for the album was taken during a performance at the Bon Soir.[citation needed]. Barbra Streisand chose Century Italic typeface for the album sleeve, which would also be used on 19 other Barbra album covers.[6]

Recording[edit]

Recording sessions took place 23 to 25 January 1963 at Columbia's Studio A in New York City with a budget of $18,000. Material mostly chosen from Broadway standards, many of which were fairly obscure.[7] "I'll Tell the Man in the Street" was originally performed by Dennis King in the 1938 production of I Married An Angel, and "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" was taken from the 1933 Disney cartoon Three Little Pigs. Not one of his well-known numbers, "Come to the Supermarket (in Old Peking)" appeared in a 1958 television special with music by Cole Porter, while "A Sleepin' Bee" came from the 1954 musical House of Flowers.

"Soon It's Gonna Rain" and "Much More" were both introduced in the 1960 off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks, and the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows provided "Happy Days Are Here Again," done in a notable version by Streisand. "Cry Me A River" was of course the signature song of Julie London, while "A Taste of Honey" had coincidentally just been recorded an ocean away by those other icons of the 1960s for their 1963 debut album.

"Happy Days Are Here Again" was released as Columbia single 42631 with "When the Sun Comes Out" on the b-side, but it did not chart.[8] At the 1964 Grammy Awards, The Barbra Streisand Album won awards in the categories of Album of the Year, Best Female Vocal Performance, and Best Album Cover - Other Than Classical, the latter presented to art director John Berg.[9][10] In January 2006, the album was a Grammy Hall of Fame selection.

The only song recorded but not included on this album was “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” Streisand and Mike Berniker recorded it on two separate dates (including a later session on 29 January). It was later included "The Third Album" instead with a Peter Daniels arrangement.[11]

The album made its digital debut on CD in 1987 and was re-released in a remastered CD edition on October 19, 1993.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cry Me A River"   Arthur Hamilton 3:37
2. "My Honey's Lovin' Arms"   Joseph Meyer, Harry Ruby 2:14
3. "I'll Tell the Man in the Street"   Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers 3:09
4. "A Taste of Honey"   Ric Marlow, Bobby Scott 2:51
5. "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"   Frank Churchill, Ann Ronell 2:35
6. "Soon It's Gonna Rain"   Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt 3:44

Side two[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Happy Days Are Here Again"   Milton Ager, Jack Yellen 3:04
2. "Keepin' Out of Mischief Now"   Andy Razaf, Thomas Waller 2:11
3. "Much More"   Tom Jones, Harvey Schmidt 3:02
4. "Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking"   Cole Porter 1:56
5. "A Sleepin' Bee"   Harold Arlen, Truman Capote 4:21

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic Review
  2. ^ Gary Mamorstein. The Label: The Story of Columbia Records. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2007. p. 321.
  3. ^ Barbra Streisand. Just for the Record... Columbia C4K 44111, 1991, liner notes.
  4. ^ Mamorstein, p. 320.
  5. ^ Mamorstein, p. 322.
  6. ^ http://barbra-archives.com/record/albums/barbra_streisand_album.html
  7. ^ Mamorstein, p. 322
  8. ^ Barbra Archives website retrieved 10/02/11 The November release date for the single as stated in most histories conflicts with January recording sessions for the album of two months later, unless this track was recorded for single release earlier, or derived from the rejected club recordings.
  9. ^ Grammy website retrieved 10/02/11
  10. ^ Grammy website retrieved 10/02/11
  11. ^ http://barbra-archives.com/record/albums/barbra_streisand_album.html