The Way We Were (song)

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"The Way We Were"
Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Way We Were
B-side "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"
Released November 1973
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1973
Genre Pop
Length 3:31
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch[1]
Producer(s) Marty Paich

"The Way We Were" is the title song to the 1973 movie The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.[1] The song was written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and Marvin Hamlisch (music) and performed by Streisand. It won the Academy Award[1] and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and also made AFI's list of Top 100 Songs from Film; it was ranked number eight.

"The Way We Were" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three non-consecutive weeks in February 1974. After its first week at number one it was replaced by "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra;[2] by coincidence, the orchestra, also abbreviated as LUO, did a version of "The Way We Were" on their 1979 album Super Movie Themes: Just a Little Bit Different. It then returned to number one for two more weeks. The song also spent two weeks atop the easy listening chart, Streisand's second single to reach the top of this chart (following 1964's "People"). The track peaked at #31 in the UK Singles Chart in 1974.[1]

The version of the song which was released on 45 RPM single contains a different vocal take than the version which appeared on the original movie soundtrack and subsequent greatest hits compilations. Both versions use the same music track. The difference in the vocals can most easily be heard on the line "Smiles we gave to one another" at approximately 1:15 into the song. The true 45 RPM single version has never appeared on CD. The soundtrack version of the song, a completely different take with alternate music track, appears on Just For the Record, Streisand's 4-CD box set collection released in 1991.

A bootleg of the recording sessions exists featuring Streisand with composer Marvin Hamlisch in a recording studio as they perform various takes of the song. One segment reveals Streisand changing the first word of the song from "Daydreams" to "Memories."

Streisand's version was listed at #90 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.[3]

Chart performance[edit]

The song reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 3 non consecutive weeks at number 1 and became the best selling single of the year in the US.[4] Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1974.[5] The song was certified Gold and 23 years later was certified Platinum by the RIAA

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Bronson, Fred (1997). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits. Billboard Books. pp. 356–357. ISBN 0-8230-7641-5. 
  3. ^[dead link]
  4. ^
  5. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1974
  6. ^ "At The Movies overview". 

External links[edit]