September 7, 1997

By Marilyn Beck & Stacy Jenel Smith

Barbra Streisand's A Love Like Ours vocal love letter to husband James Brolin is bound to go down as one of her most memorable albums—even if only for personal reasons.

Record-producing great Arif Mardin tells us he worked on two songs for the disc that'll come out Sept. 23. One of them, Melissa Manchester's “Just One Lifetime,” was used as the couple's walking music at their Malibu wedding last year, and Streisand sang it as well.

“Marvin Hamlisch had written a wonderful chamber-music arrangement for the wedding,” notes Mardin. “She sent me a cassette of that, and I incorporated a little bit of Marvin's music at the beginning and at the end of the album version of the song—you can almost imagine the wedding beginning when you hear it,” adds Mardin, who also produced “It Must Be You” for the album that was executive-produced by Streisand and Jay Landers.

Mardin adds, “We worked very fast, contrary to what people keep asking me. Barbra is such a fabulous talent. We were at Sony Studios with a 60-piece orchestra. She sings live, of course. She belongs to the tradition where, for example, if she feels emotional and wants to slow down a beat, the conductor will watch for her cues and slow down the orchestra. It's all organic.”

Meanwhile ... Streisand's “I Dreamed of You” single from the album is already out, and her “If You Ever Leave Me” duet with Vince Gill is being released this week. She also sang the “I Dreamed of You” song at her wedding—but it was truly an 11th-hour addition. She'd heard an instrumental version of the Rolf Lovland-Ann Hampton Callaway tune in Ireland, and asked Callaway to pen words for her. The lyrics arrived just two hours before the wedding—Callaway was in the dark about plans for the ceremony—and Streisand sang the song, lyrics in hand, to a music track that was delivered over the Internet.


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