The Barbra Streisand Album (1963)

Catalog Number(s):

This page: Tracks > About the Album > Grammy Awards > Billboard Charts > Remastered CDs > Cover Outtakes

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Tracks

  1. Cry Me A River [3:37]
    (A. Hamilton)
  2. My Honey's Loving Arms [2:14]
    (H. Ruby / J. Meyer)
  3. I'll Tell The Man In The Street [3:09]
    (L. Hart / R. Rodgers)
  4. A Taste Of Honey [2:51]
    (R. Marlow / B. Scott)
  5. Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf [2:34]
    (A. Ronell / F. Churchill)
  6. Soon It's Gonna Rain [3:45]
    (H. Schmidt / T. Jones)
  7. Happy Days Are Here Again [3:04]
    (J. Yellen / M. Ager)
  8. Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now [2:11]
    (A. Razaf / T. Waller)
  9. Much More [3:02]
    (H. Schmidt / T. Jones)
  10. Come To The Supermarket (In Old Peking) [1:56]
    (C. Porter)
  11. A Sleepin' Bee [4:21]
    (T. Capote / H. Arlen)

Individual track credits:

(mouse and click on each song to reveal the credits...)

1. Cry Me A River

Written by: A. Hamilton

Date Recorded: January 25, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

2. My Honey's Lovin' Arms

Written by: H. Ruby / J. Meyer

Date Recorded: January 24, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

3. I'll Tell the Man in the Street

Written by: Lorenz Hart / Richard Rodgers

Date Recorded: January 23, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

4. A Taste of Honey

Written by: R. Marlow / B. Scott

Date Recorded: January 23, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

5. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Written by: A. Ronell / F. Churchill

Date Recorded: January 24, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

6. Soon It's Gonna Rain

Written by: Harvey Schmidt / Tom Jones

Date Recorded: January 23, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

7. Happy Days Are Here Again

Written by: J. Yellen / M. Ager

Date Recorded: January 25, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

8. Keepin' Out of Mischief Now

Written by: A. Razaf / T. Waller

Date Recorded: January 24, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

9. Much More

Written by: Harvey Schmidt / Tom Jones

Date Recorded: January 25, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

10. Come to the Supermarket in Old Peking

Written by: Cole Porter

Date Recorded: January 24, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

11. A Sleepin' Bee

Written by: Truman Capote / Harold Arlen

Date Recorded: January 25, 1963 (Columbia Studio A, New York)

About the Album

Barbra in pearls sings in studio

“When I first auditioned for Goddard Lieberson [Columbia's president]," Streisand related in 1964, “he said I wouldn't sell records, that I was much too special, that I would appeal only to a small clique who would dig me. But the first album went right on the charts, and the second one is on the charts too. Everyone was surprised. But I always knew it would happen this way. People were ready for me.”

After the abandoned Bon Soir live album, Streisand returned to the studio to record her first album for Columbia Records. “When I was looking for someone to arrange and conduct the album, I called Harold Arlen who recommended Peter Matz. This was the beginning of a long and creative relationship,” Barbra wrote in 1991.

Mike Berniker, who produced this and several other early Streisand albums said, “She's directed by intuition. She has a feeling of rightness. And her convictions are motivated by the best possible kind of taste buds. But she is guided intuitively in her choice of material and in her feeling for it.”

For the recording, Peter Matz told biographer James Spada: “We had very small combinations, just four or five instruments. That was because Mike Berniker, the producer of the album, said, ‘Look, we can't spend a lot of money on this, we don't know if this woman is going to sell records.’ And poor Mike, he was walking a tightrope between the upstairs guys, me and Barbra. He would go upstairs and tell them, ‘She's doing ‘Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?’ and they would say ‘What!’ and he would come down to me and say, ‘Do you have to do that?’ And she'd say, ‘Yes, goddammit, it's on the album!’ Mike's job was a hard one, but he was very supportive ... and fought for her to have her way.”

Ad for Barbra Streisand album

Frank Laico, the engineer for the sessions, told author Shaun Considine how he recorded Streisand: “Her sessions were done on three tracks: one for the vocals and two for the band.”

Streisand and Mike Berniker, who produced the album, recorded it in three days: January 23, 24, and 25th, 1963. The only song recorded but not included on this album was “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.” Streisand and Berniker recorded it on two separate dates (including a later session on January 29th). They dropped it from The Barbra Streisand Album, but included it, instead, on The Third Album with a Peter Daniels arrangement.

John Berg designed the cover of Barbra's first album—with input from Barbra. Streisand chose Century Italic typeface for the album. The typeface became her trademark. Streisand used it on 19 other album covers!

Century Italic typeface used on Barbra Streisand album

John Berg also won a Grammy Award for his graphic design of the album cover.

Harold Arlen wrote the liner notes for The Barbra Streisand Album. They appeared on the back cover of the 1963 LP and inside the insert of the CD.

Formats

Jukebox EP label

Columbia also released The Barbra Streisand Album as a “Little LP” (or a “Jukebox EP”) with catalog number Columbia 7-8807.

These were 7-inch “Stereo 33” records for use in jukeboxes across America. Title strips and album jacket replicas accompanied the LPs for display in the jukebox. Local music operators would place their music machines in “the higher-brow cocktail lounge or sophisticated-type tavens,” according to one music industry magazine. These jukebox records were meant to promote the full album, so only a few tracks were included on the 2-sided record.

Side One Side Two
Cry Me A River My Honey's Loving Arms
A Sleepin' Bee Much More
  A Taste of Honey

Jukebox ad

The Barbra Streisand Album was also issued as a cassette tape (CT-8807), sporting a different cover with Columbia's “The Best of Times” series.

Grammy Awards

At the 1964 National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ Grammy Awards (recognizing accomplishments made by musicians in 1963), The Barbra Streisand Album was recognized as follows:

(Photo, below): Streisand, with her Grammy, flanked by Steve and Eydie Gorme; Tony Bennet on right.

Grammy Awards

The Barbra Streisand Album was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 2006. The GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Award was established by The Recording Academy's National Trustees in 1973 to honor recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance that are at least 25 years old.

Billboard Charts

The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine.

Here's the numbers for this Streisand album:

Gold: 500,000 units shipped

Platinum: 1 million units shipped.

Note: The record company must submit an album to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) where it undergoes a certification process to become eligible for an award. The process entails an independent sales audit, which calculates the quantity of singles or albums shipped for sale, net after returns. The audit surveys shipments to the entire music marketplace, including retail, record clubs, television sales, Internet orders and other ancillary markets. Based on the certification of these shipments, a title is awarded Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum or Diamond status. The data here comes directly from official sources, mainly the RIAA online database.

CD Remasters

1987 CD Catalog Numbers:

Columbia released The Barbra Streisand Album and The Second and The Third albums on CD for the first time in 1987. Something went wrong with the sound on those three CDs, however. “There had been mention from Columbia Records that they couldn't find the original tapes but they put out the CDs anyway,” said Victor Bisio, a California-based recording engineer. “They were are the worst sounding CDs I ever heard. They were screechy and distorted. When she hit the high notes, it just shattered your speakers.”

All three albums were restored and remastered (along with new artwork) in October 1993 and part of Columbia Records' 11 Essential Barbra Streisand Releases. The master tapes were prepared for release by John Arrias (who put together the masters for Just For The Record). According to Columbia's publicity:

“The objective with each album was to restore the tapes to the quality of the original master recording. To do this in some cases, 30 years of noise had to be eliminated. John used his proprietary C.A.P. Noise Reduction System to eliminate hiss, distortion and noise. In each case great care was taken to maintain the integrity of the original albums.”

Columbia also recreated the packages using the original art or printing film.

Album Cover Outtakes

Columbia's staff photographer, Hank Parker, captured these shots (and more) of Streisand at the Bon Soir in November 1962. One of the photographs became the cover of Streisand's first album.

Bon Soir photos

Parker and Streisand also did some portrait work together to be possibly used as the cover of her first album. Below—very rare!—is one of the shots from that session.

First album photo outtake

End.

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