40 Songs, 2 Hours 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Full-bodied, sensuous, regal — you can choose among countless superlatives to describe the voice of Barbra Streisand. By age 25, she had earned her iconic status as a Broadway standards chanteuse; then remarkably she was able to change with the times and embrace pop, rock and even disco sounds with sustained success. The Essential Barbra Streisand maps her progress from the early ‘60s onwards, chronicling her willingness to experiment even while remaining true to her basic emotive style. “Second Hand Rose,” “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and similar tracks show her precocious ability to grasp the sophistication of theater and jazz-based pop. With “Stoney End,” “The Way We Were,” and “All in Love is Fair,” she moved into the ‘70s with renewed vigor and confidence. The ‘80s found her turning an unlikely partnership with Barry Gibb into a triumph with “A Woman in Love” and “Guilty” while reasserting her musical stage credentials with glorious renditions of “Memory” and “Somewhere.” You can trace both the evolution of Barbra’s artistry and the shifts in America’s cultural tastes while enjoying the gorgeous contours of her inimitable voice in this collection of her signature songs.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Full-bodied, sensuous, regal — you can choose among countless superlatives to describe the voice of Barbra Streisand. By age 25, she had earned her iconic status as a Broadway standards chanteuse; then remarkably she was able to change with the times and embrace pop, rock and even disco sounds with sustained success. The Essential Barbra Streisand maps her progress from the early ‘60s onwards, chronicling her willingness to experiment even while remaining true to her basic emotive style. “Second Hand Rose,” “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and similar tracks show her precocious ability to grasp the sophistication of theater and jazz-based pop. With “Stoney End,” “The Way We Were,” and “All in Love is Fair,” she moved into the ‘70s with renewed vigor and confidence. The ‘80s found her turning an unlikely partnership with Barry Gibb into a triumph with “A Woman in Love” and “Guilty” while reasserting her musical stage credentials with glorious renditions of “Memory” and “Somewhere.” You can trace both the evolution of Barbra’s artistry and the shifts in America’s cultural tastes while enjoying the gorgeous contours of her inimitable voice in this collection of her signature songs.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
148 Ratings
148 Ratings
Zadeelovesopera

Best Vocal Album of The Our Time!!!

As you all know Barbra Streisand is an astounding actress, singer, and director. And to give her music such harsh reviews and to only let 'Somewhere' get the highest score is TOTALY absurd. Her writing is fantastic and her voice is of an angel. The reviews that have percentages are completely and totally out of tune. The Essentials will give you all the emotions the music can give. Barbra Streisand is a absolute legend with best music around. This album will show true and classy music of our late and early time.

tman8809

Simply The Best

This is the greatest album ever! I suggest that you buy every song. Barbra has the greatest voice of our time.

Bab's2

The Essential Barbra Streisand

This album is nothing short of amazing! It showcases Steisands uncanny ability to sing such beautifully melodic wide ranging tunes throughout her career of over 40 years with the delicate crispness of her early vocals. Her voice is like a finely tuned instrument that never misses a note and plays with its whole heart portraying emotions that are often indescribable with the English language. There is just something about her voice that wraps its self around you and touches you so deeply that you have got to let it in. It is I guess elation that she makes you feel listening to her. If you have never listened to Barbra sing this is a great album to buy because you get a sample of all she can do. I guarantee if you listen to it you will know why she has the reputation of being the greatest female singer in the world today and still holding. I've been hooked on her ever since I was 9 hearing her voice on the school bus radio singing people when she was only about 20 years old. I did not know who she was but I knew her voice was the most beautiful I had ever heard and I have never been affected by anyone’s voice like hers in my life since.

About Barbra Streisand

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 before landing her first part in a Broadway show, I Can Get It for You Wholesale, in 1962. The cast album for that show, as well as a subsequent appearance on a studio revival of Pins and Needles, were her first recordings. Signed to Columbia Records, she released her first album, The Barbra Streisand Album, in 1963. It became a Top Ten, gold-selling record, thus paving the way for Streisand's status as one of the best-selling recording artists of the early '60s.

But despite three successful albums by early 1964, Streisand turned her back on potentially lucrative concert bookings in favor of a starring role in the Broadway show Funny Girl, in which she appeared for more than two years. "People" from that show became her first Top Ten single, and the People album her first chart-topping LP. She turned to television in 1965 with My Name Is Barbra, the first of five network specials. In 1967, Streisand went to Hollywood to film Funny Girl, for which she would win an Academy Award. But by 1970, with her second and third films flops and her recording career flagging in the face of rock, she seemed consigned to Las Vegas before turning 30. Instead, she returned to hitmaking with a Top Ten cover of Laura Nyro's "Stoney End" and a successful non-singing performance in the comedy The Owl and the Pussycat.

In the '70s, Streisand successfully married her musical and film acting interests, first in The Way We Were, a hit film with a theme song that became her first number one single, and then with A Star Is Born, which featured her second number one single, "Evergreen," a song she co-wrote. From that point on, every album she released sold at least a million copies. In the late '70s, she found recording success in collaboration: her duet with Neil Diamond, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," hit number one, as did "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)," a dance record sung with Donna Summer. She had her biggest-selling album in 1980 with Guilty, which was written and produced by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and contained the number one hit "Woman in Love." In 1983, Streisand's first directorial effort, Yentl, became a successful film with a Top Ten soundtrack album. In 1985, The Broadway Album returned her to the top of the charts. The year 1991 saw the release of Just for the Record..., a box set retrospective, and her second film as a director, The Prince of Tides. Streisand returned to the concert stage in 1994, resulting in the Top Ten, million-selling album The Concert. In 1996, she directed her third film, The Mirror Has Two Faces, and in 1999 she released A Love Like Ours.

Timeless: Live in Concert, which was recorded at her Las Vegas show on New Year's Eve 1999, was released on both CD and DVD in 2000. A year later, the new holiday album Christmas Memories arrived, followed in 2003 by a sequel to The Broadway Album entitled The Movie Album. A deluxe CD/DVD reissue of the original Guilty appeared in 2005 and was followed a month later by Guilty Pleasures, a new album that reunited Streisand with Gibb. She returned to the concert stage in 2006, a move that was documented in the 2007 Sony release Live in Concert. For her final release of the decade, Streisand turned her attention to jazz standards, and Love Is the Answer found her singing such songs as "Here's to Life" and "In the Wee Small Hours." Released in 2011, What Matters Most: Barbra Streisand Sings the Lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman, featured ten Bergman tracks that the singer had never tackled, including "The Windmills of Your Mind" and "So Many Stars."

In 2012, a collection of previously unreleased material came to light, featuring tracks collated from hundreds of hours of '60s acetates and 48-track tapes by Streisand and co-producer Jay Landers. Titled Release Me, the compilation includes recordings from 1967-2011 that provide a wonderful representation of her varied career. Streisand toured heavily in support of the release. One of the biggest dates on the tour was her first-ever show on her home turf, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which featured guest appearances from trumpeter Chris Botti and poperatic trio Il Volo. The show was recorded, and released in 2013 as the double live album Back to Brooklyn.

In 2014, Streisand returned with the Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds-produced duets album Partners, featuring such guest artists as Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli, Lionel Richie, and John Mayer. Two years later, she followed up with Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway, which found her duetting on classic Broadway musical numbers alongside Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, and others. Both releases topped the Billboard 200. Streisand launched a concert tour in support of the Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway release, with the star performing 16 shows in 14 cities between August 2016 and May 2017. Streisand's December 5, 2016 performance in Miami was documented on both audio and video; an album, The Music... The Mem'ries... The Magic!, was released in December 2017, while an accompanying concert video debuted on Netflix on November 22, 2017. ~ William Ruhlmann

HOMETOWN
New York, NY [Brooklyn]
GENRE
Vocal
BORN
April 24, 1942

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