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Album Review

After two less successful albums, Barbra Streisand returned to form on her fourth album, People, with a selection of songs that showed some of the imagination of her debut album. Much of the material was new. The album opened and closed with songs by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, first "Absent Minded Me," and then the Top Ten title song that was the hit from Streisand's triumphant Broadway show, Funny Girl. Streisand introduced Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's "When in Rome (I Do as the Romans Do)," a lively song that allowed her to display some of the spirit and humor that had been missing on her last two outings. And when picking from older songs, she again found obscure or atypical tunes from prominent composers or lost gems she could make her own. In the former category were Irving Berlin's "Supper Time," a blues song unlike any the composer had ever done, and "My Lord and Master," from Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I. In the latter was the delightful "Fine and Dandy," from the 1930 show of the same name, with music by Kay Swift. Add in some obvious choices like Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn's "Love Is a Bore" (a companion to the previously recorded "Down with Love") and "Don't Like Goodbyes," another selection from Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's House of Flowers, from which Streisand had earlier picked "A Sleepin' Bee," and you have an album fashioned to play to the singer's strengths and musical tastes instead of trying to fit her into existing ones. That wasn't quite enough to match the quality of her debut album, but it was a definite improvement over the second and third albums. (People won Grammy Awards for Best Vocal Performance and Best Album Cover.)

Customer Reviews

Close to my heart

This album was one of the first I ever owned. I remember flipping over the back and seeing the photos of Barbra in different costumes and characters I was hooked. I played this over and over again. This album is really like a show or a play. It is older yes, but it holds up over time. What a voice. This music is very touching and a lot of fun to listen to.

Funky Fidelity

"People" is a stunning album in terms of repertoire, singing and arrangements, but this iTunes "People" (the iTunes-Plus version notwithstanding) is deficient in fidelity. This is apparent in the first two tracks. Legato strings sour on "Absent Minded Me" and the jazzy obbligato flute on "When In Rome" feeds back. Streisand and arranger Peter Matz get five stars; fidelity gets one. I wonder if there's a digital, techno fix for this. Till then, I'm getting out my LP version, which sounds warm and wonderful.

A Personal Favorite

Not one song on this lp is bad or placed here just as "filler." This release is quality and it was reported that Barbra was demanding and difficult during the recording of this lp. Her demand for perfection shines through each cut, fortunately all we have to do is enjoy the fruits of this labor, and bountiful it is!! Barbra's vocal is strong, youthful, and pitch perfect. Outside of the title track which would become a trademark song and concert staple, standout tracks include the upbeat "Love Is A Bore," the opening stanza of this song sounds like it belongs on a Christmas lp given the string arrangement, then it becomes a rouser. Truman Capote's "Don't Like Goodbyes" is beautiful, he really should have stayed with writing songs, even if he had to collaborate with other composers.


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