Friday, May 25, 2012

A Happening In Central Park 1968

A Happening In Central Park 1968
After a dozen studio albums, Barbra was primed to do a live recording. Interestingly enough, The Barbra Streisand Album was nearly a live album -- it would have been Barbra Live at the Bon Soir. In retrospect, it was probably better that Columbia opted for a studio album for her debut. By 1967, when A Happening In Central Park was staged, a live Streisand set seemed overdue! Happening was, in fact, quite a massive production. It was recorded as an album and filmed as a TV special -- a shrewd and forward-thinking idea for the time. And if there was any question about Barbra's popularity, the 128,000 people who turned out in Central Park for the free concert answered it. Unfortunately, Happening on vinyl turned out to be a mere 11 songs -- Barbra actually sang twice that amount. On the positive side, "Happy Days Are Here Again" is far superior to the version on The Barbra Streisand Album, and there's a nice live energy to "He Touched Me" and "Cry Me A River." Undiscovered gem: There are two -- "A New Love Is Like a Newborn Child," a gentle, lovely ballad, and "Natural Sounds," which seems quite magical in the natural setting.

I Can See It
A New Love Is Like A Newborn Child
Folk Monologue/Value
Cry Me A River
He Touched Me
Marty the Martian
Natural Sounds
Second Hand Rose
Sleep in Heavenly Peace (Silent Night)
Happy Days Are Here Again

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