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The Essential Barbra Streisand

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

A Mostly Great Collection

The other reviews are so over-the-top that I thought I needed to weigh in. This is yet another collection of Streisand songs: She has had so many greatest hits albums and such ( "Memories", "A Collection...And More", "Just For the Record") that the devoted fan has reason to be weary. There is nothing here most fans don't already own, but for someone that wants a great primer on Streisand, this is a pretty good start. The compilation is in chronological order, and the older stuff is just amazing. The passion, the range, the acting in each song is just mind-blowing. The seventies and early eighties songs are when Streisand was at her commercial peak, and you probably know the big hits. The last worthwhile songs here ("Putting It Together" through "Somewhere") are from The Broadway Album, a semi-masterpiece that hasn't aged quite as well as expected. Somehow it sounds dated now, though the vocals are superb. But the best song from that album, "If I Loved You", is sadly missing. The nineties were not good years for Streisand, her voice, or her fans, and the rest of the compilation reflects that. My suggestion would be to purchase 1 -32 as a great collection from a most remarkable vocalist.

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.


This album is an excellent one because the quality is great and you can really hear barbra on every song. she's not drowned out by the music like some of the other recordings. I got to this album intending to buy The Way We Were and Don't Rain on My Parade and ended up buying the whole thing. an excellent addition to any fan's library--even if you've got some of the songs already, this album is a must because of the great quality and track balance.


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
The Essential Barbra Streisand, Barbra Streisand
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