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Just for the Record...

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Album Review

As they evolved in the 1980s, retrospective box sets tended to contain a full complement of an artist's essential recordings, plus enough rarities to suggest the artist's inspirations and ambitions. Not all box sets conformed to this outline, however. Barbra Streisand was unusual, in that she had a large base of devoted fans interested in the minutiae of her career, and in that her entire recorded catalog remained in print. She had also worked with the same record company for her entire career and maintained her status as a frontline artist, so she had complete creative control over this retrospective. The result was a four-disc box devoted almost entirely to rare, previously unreleased material. Here and there, Streisand tossed in one of her most familiar recordings, such as the hit version of "People." But the overwhelming bulk of Just for the Record... was given over to homemade demonstration tapes, live recordings, television appearances, and outtakes from unfinished album projects, not to mention other special material. To Streisand's army of fans, that made it a delight, but practically by definition, that did not make it a great Barbra Streisand album unto itself. Unlike most boxed sets, this was not a one-stop shopping item that gave you the best and the rest of Barbra Streisand. That is not to say that there weren't some fascinating and terrific performances included. Especially notable was a set of eight songs recorded at a nightclub in 1962 and originally intended for Streisand's debut album. A duet with Judy Garland from her TV show and a rendering of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" from a Las Vegas show were equally impressive. Nevertheless, Just for the Record... was an album to buy in addition to her hits collections and landmark albums, not in place of them.

Customer Reviews

The Barbra Summary

A lot of people misunderstood this boxed set, they thought it was to be a best and the rest, but it was, as the opening review states, intended to be an addition to her already impressive catalog. So it comes off a bit self-congratulatory, but how many artists can say the've been around long enough to deserve a four-disc retrospective? This set is filled with then rare tracks, some of her vintage lp's had been re-released after this set, outtakes, television audio clips of her various appearances and specials, and a couple of new recordings. One of the new recordings "You'll Never Know" is Barbra overdubbing her 1988 present self onto the 1955 acetate recording of the same song. "Warm All Over" offers a glimpse of her recording future, stating in print "Warm All Over" will appear on her "Back To Broadway" cd that will see the light of day in 1993, but "Warm All Over" does not appear on that set. This set was finished in 1988 but not released until 1991 which is a good thing, it ensured a much better mastered product. This set was repackaged from a pink cloth bound long box to a plastic standard sized hinged jewel case. For the collectors interested in a streamlined version of this set "Highlights From Just For The Record," a single disc collection, was released shortly after.

Streisand...that says it All

This collection is unique and timeless. There may never be another star like Streisand and some of the moments captured here, Stars Salute with Golda Meir (if anyone knows their history) or duets with Judy Garland, really add to the compilation. My only complaint is that not all credit is given where it is due, duets with Gibb and Kristoferson etc.

Just for the Record

This CD collection is more than a 4 CD box set. It is a One of a Kind musical incite into Barbara Streisand's Soul. It's a once in a Millenium or longer look at the Diva and Person Barbara Streisand. The most prolific Female Vocalist. The Excerpts like the phone call to Golda Meir, the Friar's Club Tribute, the Duet with Judy Garland, & the special version of The Way We Were as a tribute to the Legrands are some of my favorites. If you like Streisand then this is a singular MUST HAVE for any Collector or Music Lover.


Born: April 24, 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 the early '60s...
Full Bio
Just for the Record..., Barbra Streisand
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