Friday, May 25, 2012

My Name Is Barbra, Two 1965

My Name Is Barbra, Two 1965
For me, this is the best album Barbra recorded in the 1960's -- perhaps ever. It's just that good. It's hard to find another album in which Barbra's voice and her choice of material are so perfectly in synch. The connection to My Name Is Barbra, the TV special, is the final medley, a dazzling collection of songs about wealth that was heard as Barbra romped and clowned through Bergdorf-Goodman's fur department. The majority of the album is sheer, unadulterated great performances by Barbra. Perhaps inspired by the quality of the material, she finds the right tone and texture for every song. It begins with "He Touched Me," a rescued song from the failed Broadway musical Drat the Cat. Her interpretation is nothing short of amazing, building to a wondrous finale. There's cool confidence in her reading of "The Shadow of Your Smile" and "Quiet Nights," followed by an explosive "I've Got Plenty of Nothin'" from Porgy and Bess. The heart of the album are four songs about dreams and desire, songs which seem to reveal Barbra's deepest emotions: "How Much of the Dream Comes True," "All That I Want," "Where's That Rainbow?" and "No More Songs for Me." For an undiscovered gem, listen closely to "The Kind of Man A Woman Needs," a great theater song from a not-so-great Broadway musical, The Yearling.

The Kind of Man a Woman Needs
Where's That Rainbow?
Quiet Night
I Got Plenty of Nothin'
How Much of The Dream Comes True
Second Hand Rose
He Touched Me
The Shadow of Your Smile
All That I Want
No More Songs for Me
Medley: Second Hand Rose; Give Me the Simple Life; I Got Plenty Of Nothin'; Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?; Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out; The Best Things In Life Are Free

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