Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memories 1981

Memories 1981
It was really too soon for Barbra to do another Greatest Hits package, but Columbia was in a corporate fix. They needed a Streisand album for the holiday sales season -- and Barbra had nothing to deliver. Columbia had come to rely on her selling power and in 1981, she was simply too involved with Yentl, her upcoming film and the dream of her lifetime, to create a new album for the label. When Columbia pleaded and cajoled, Barbra -- who was in London doing Yentl pre-production -- agreed to compiling a semi-greatest hits album called Memories (Love Songs in the UK). There'd be her recent hits, but to make it worthwhile for consumers, a few new cuts were included. There was the pop ballad "Comin' In and Out of Your Life" which was an adult contemporary radio hit, and the crown jewel of the LP, "Memory," Andrew Lloyd Webber's intense, haunting song of remembrance from his new musical Cats. Taking time from her Yentl workload, Barbra recorded the latter in London, with Lloyd Webber there and Barbra singing live with an orchestra. It was pure Streisand, in the moment. To say that it was the worth the effort is an understatement. "Memory" is easily one of the best recordings Barbra ever made and her interpretation of the song stands alone. Nobody -- not Elaine Paige, Betty Buckley nor any of the countless other singers who've sung the song -- has equaled her rendition. For that track alone, Memories is an album that a Barbra fan needs to own. As for the other songs, the solo version of "Lost Inside of You" (from A Star Is Born) was a nice addition, as were the choices from her more recent pop albums.

You Don't Bring Me Flowers (with Neil Diamond)
My Heart Belongs to Me
New York State of Mind
No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (with Donna Summer)
Comin' In And Out Of Your Life
Lost Inside of You
The Love Inside
The Way We Were

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