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Timeless: Live In Concert

Barbra Streisand

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Album Review

Timeless: Live in Concert, recorded at her Las Vegas show on New Year's Eve 1999, takes as its subject the star herself. It opens with a dramatization of her first, amateur recording session, with young Lauren Frost playing a part described in the credits as "Young Girl," though Streisand later refers to her as "mini-me." Frost doesn't get too far before being joined by Streisand herself on a stirring version of "Something's Coming" from West Side Story. The rest of "Act One" traces Streisand's career from her club days to her movie performances. "Act Two" has less of a narrative structure, though it is equally autobiographical, with Streisand displaying and commenting on videos of herself performing with other stars and building up to the stroke of midnight with a combination of old, recent, and new specially written songs. At 57 that night, Streisand remains in good voice, and the old warhorses, among them inevitable hits like "People," "Evergreen," and "The Way We Were," sound, well, like they always do. More interesting are songs that, while previously recorded, have not been heard live before, especially "Alfie," which the singer confesses to having forgotten she ever did. But unless you are a big Streisand fan, you may want to stick to the studio albums on which she just sings. The extensive stage remarks here include comic interludes such as a dialogue with Shirley MacLaine and negative opinions about new technology, but for the most part they center on the singer herself. Timeless was issued a week before what were said to be her final concerts in September 2000.

Biography

Born: 24 April 1942 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Barbra Streisand's status as one of the most successful singers of her generation was remarkable not only because her popularity was achieved in the face of a dominant musical trend — rock & roll — which she did not follow, but also because she used her vocal skills as a mere stepping stone to other careers, as a stage and film actress and as a film director. Born in 1942 and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she struggled briefly as an actress and nightclub singer in New York during...
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