Christmas Memories (2001)

Catalog Number(s):

Front cover

(Below): The CD, as available exclusively at Target stores, contained a bonus CD with “God Bless America” on it.

Target exclusive

Tracks

picture of GOD BLESS AMERICA bonus CD
  1. I'll Be Home For Christmas [4:12]
    (Buck Ram, Walter Kent, Kim Gannan)
  2. A Christmas Love Song [3:57]
    (Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Johnny Mandel)
  3. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve? [3:54]
    (Frank Loesser)
  4. I Remember [4:57]
    (Stephen Sondheim)
  5. Snowbound [2:59]
    (Russell Faith & Clarence Kehner)
  6. It Must Have Been The Mistletoe [3:10]
    (Douglas Konecky & Justin Wilde)
  7. Christmas Lullaby [3:30]
    (Ann Hampton Callaway)
  8. Christmas Mem'ries [4:45]
    (Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Don Costa)
  9. Grown-Up Christmas List [3:30]
    (David Foster & Linda Thompson)
  10. Ave Maria [4:42]
    Op. 52 No. 6 (Franz Schubert)
  11. Closer [3:58]
    (Tom Snow & Dean Pitchford)
  12. One God [3:39]
    (Ervin Drake & Jimmy Shirl)

In 2001, Target stores sold an exclusive version of Christmas Memories which contained an extra CD with the song, “God Bless America,” taken from Barbra's live performance at Voices For Change in 1992. The CD is no longer available for sale.

iTunes now sells a digital download of the album with the bonus track, “God Bless America.”

Individual track credits:

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

1. I'll Be Home For Christmas

Written by: Buck Ram, Walter Kent, Kim Gannan

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: Humberto Gatica, David Reitzas & Felipe Elgueta

DATE RECORDED: July 19, 2001

Barbra's note: “Special Thanks to my good friend David Foster for his time, generosity and musical brilliance (especially the great “harmonica” solo).”

2. A Christmas Love Song

Written by: Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Johnny Mandel

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: Jorge Calandrelli

Engineered by: Al Schmitt & David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 4, 2001

Barbra's Note: “Special Thanks to Johnny Mandel for his creative input.”

3. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Written by: Frank Loesser

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: Humberto Gatica & David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 18, 2001

4. I Remember

From EVENING PRIMROSE

Written by: Stephen Sondheim

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: Humberto Gatica & David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: July 19, 2001

5. Snowbound

Written by: Russell Faith & Clarence Kehner

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Original Arrangement by: Don Costa

This Arrangement by: Eddie Karam

Orchestra Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 25, 2001

 

6. It Must Have Been The Mistletoe

Written by: Douglas Konecky & Justin Wilde

Produced by: Robbie Buchanan & Barbra Streisand

Arranged by: William Ross, Robbie Buchanan & Chris Boardman

Orchestra Conducted by: William Ross

Background Vocalists: Sue Ann Carwell, Wendi Wagner

Engineered by: David Reitzas, Scott Erickson & Nathaniel Kunkel

Mixed by: Bill Schnee

DATE RECORDED: September 7, 2001

 

7. Christmas Lullaby

Written by: Ann Hampton Callaway

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: Jorge Calandrelli

Engineered by: Al Schmitt & David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 4, 2001

8. Christmas Mem'ries

Written by: Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Don Costa

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: Jorge Calandrelli

Engineered by: Al Schmitt & David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 4, 2001

9. Grown-Up Christmas List

Written by: David Foster & Linda Thompson

Produced by: David Foster

Rhythm Arrangement by: David Foster

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: Dave Reitzas & Felipe Elgueta

Mixed by: Felipe Elgueta

DATE RECORDED: September 7, 2001

 

10. Ave Maria

Op. 52 No. 6 (Franz Schubert)

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Harmony Vocal by: Barbra Streisand

Choir Conducted & Vocal Arrangement by: Bob Esty

Engineered by: David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 23, 2001

11. Closer

Written by: Tom Snow & Dean Pitchford

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Engineered by: David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 25, 2001

12. One God

Written by: Ervin Drake & Jimmy Shirl

Produced by: Barbra Streisand & William Ross

Arranged by: Eddie Karam

Choir Conducted by: Bob Esty

Engineered by: David Reitzas

DATE RECORDED: August 23, 2001

About the Album

Barbra's Dedication:

This album is lovingly dedicated to Stephan Weiss*. Last year, when my husband and I spent Christmas with our dear friends Donna [Karan] and Stephan — his warmth, generosity and especially his unique sense of humor were undiminished by his illness. Stephan's courage and love of life were always inspiring. I'm so grateful for the time we were able to spend with this very special human being. Although he's not here with us this holiday season ... he will live on in our hearts ...

photo of Donna Karan, Stephan Weiss, Barbra Streisand

* Stephan Weiss, 62, died of lung cancer in June 2001. Weiss was a sculptor and painter who with his wife, Donna Karan, founded Donna Karan International.

Barbra's Note:

“I had finished recording all the songs for this album when September 11th, 2001 happened. The United States ... indeed, our world ... would never be the same. Thousands of lives were lost ... and millions of lives were changed on that tragic morning.

In the days after, we witnessed many acts of heroism—men and women risking their lives to come to the aid of others. We saw their faces on television ... people of all colors ... all faiths ... all the nationalities that make up America. We listened to their voices ... resilient and proud. (Those New York accents never sounded so beautiful!)

To all who grieve for those who have perished ... may you celebrate their precious lives with gratitude for the time you had together ... knowing they will live in you memory forever.

With hope and love, Barbra.”

Ad for Christmas Memories

The songs ...

“It Must Have Been The Mistletoe” was written by Douglas Konecky and Justin Wilde in 1979. Wilde was known in the biz as “Mr. Christmas” because he was owner of a Christmas and Holiday music publishing company. Wilde was also a relentless promoter of the song.  His hard work was rewarded in 1984 when Barbara Mandrell recorded it on Christmas at Our House. William Ross, Robbie Buchanan and Chris Boardman arranged Streisand's version of “It Must Have Been the Mistletoe.”

The song “Closer” was retailored by lyricist Dean Pitchford to reflect the loss of a loved one at Christmas time.

“Stephan [Weiss] was a dear friend, an incredibly gifted sculptor, a great businessman and a wonderful human being who knew how to laugh,” Streisand recalled. “I'm singing Closer about Stephan, but I was hoping it could relate to anyone who's lost someone.”

When writer Russel Faith heard that Streisand had recorded his song, “Snowbound,” he was surprised. “Somehow she got hold of it,” he said, “I have no idea how. Evidently, she went through a lot of material and picked it. It's been lingering around, and I guess Streisand decided to take a shot at it. So that's an honor.”

Composer Stephen Sondheim wrote a new verse for Streisand to his 1966 song, “I Remember.” The original version of the song was written for a television musical called Evening Primrose which starred Anthony Perkins. The story concerned a poet who escaped the world by hiding in a New York department store.

“I've loved this early Stephen Sondheim song for many years,” Streisand wrote in her liner notes. “Since it wasn’t written as a Christmas song, I asked Stephen if he could somehow add a verse to make it more appropriate for this album.”

Jay Landers explained: “As Sondheim did in the past, with lyric additions to Barbra's remarkable versions of ‘Send In The Clowns’, ‘Putting It Together’ and ‘I'm Still Here’ he now revisits an earlier composition, ‘I Remember’. With a new opening verse, this plaintive soliloquy from his television musical Evening Primrose has been transformed into a subtly haunting remembrance of Christmas' past.”

Sondheim's new introductory verse to the song:

I awake on a chilly Christmas morning,
Watching choirs singing carols on TV.
I gaze out through my window at a dozen other windows,
Then I plug in my artificial tree.
And like a dream I begin to remember every Christmas I used to know.
A thousand miles away, a million years ago ...

Ann Hampton Callaway, who wrote “At the Same Time” from Higher Ground and lyrics to “I Dreamed of You,” contributed “Christmas Lullaby” to Christmas Memories.

Columbia Records
Christmas Memories press release

AN INSPIRATIONAL ALBUM FOR ALL SEASONS, ARTIST'S NEW RECORD IS FIRST STUDIO COLLECTION SINCE 1999'S PLATINUM-SELLING 'A LOVE LIKE OURS'

In Stores Tuesday, October 30

NEW YORK -- Columbia Records will release Christmas Memories, the new album from Barbra Streisand, on Tuesday, October 30. Christmas Memories is the artist's first full-length studio album since 1999's platinum-selling A Love Like Ours and her first new recording since her 1999-2000 New Year's Eve millennium performances captured on Timeless - Live In Concert. Christmas Memories is Streisand's first seasonal collection since A Christmas Album, which has been certified 5x platinum by the RIAA and has re-entered the charts each year since its release in 1967.

An album of inspirational music for all seasons, Christmas Memories is "lovingly dedicated" by Barbra Streisand to Stephan Weiss—the husband of designer Donna Karan and a close friend of Streisand's—who passed away last June. One of the album's most moving new songs, "Closer," is discussed by Streisand in her notes to the album: "Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow had written a new love song for me, about wanting to be 'closer' to that special someone at Christmas. It was a beautiful melody, but I wanted something more personal — about losing someone you love. Dean agreed to revisit his lyric, and what he came up with perfectly captured what I wanted to say."

Christmas Memories includes "I Remember," an early Stephen Sondheim composition originally written for a television musical called Evening Primrose. Though initially a non-holiday composition, Streisand asked Sondheim to "add a verse to make it more appropriate for this album. He brilliantly turned it into a kind of remembrance of Christmas' past."

On Streisand's first holiday record, she performed "Ave Maria," the melody composed by the 19th century French composer Charles Gounod. She revisits "Ave Maria" on Christmas Memories, this time drawing on the melody written by the Austrian composer Franz Schubert in 1825. "Its deeply devotional melody resonates no matter what religion you may be," Streisand has written in the album's notes.

The universality of faith and spirit is again addressed on her powerfully moving performance of "One God," the track closing "Christmas Memories." Streisand first heard the song at the age of 16 on Good Night, Dear Lord, a spiritual album recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1958. "The message is that no matter what God you may pray to -- love and compassion is the basis of all religion," writes Streisand. "Each of us is connected to this family of man. This is something I truly believe in ... unity and oneness. It seemed like an especially meaningful thought during these holidays ... and a good way to end the album."

Christmas Memories was recorded July 19, 2001 - September 7, 2001 and mixed — except for "It Must Have Been The Mistletoe" and "Grown-Up Christmas List" — by David Reitzas at Grandma's House in Malibu. The majority of "Christmas Memories" was recorded live, in the studio, with a 90-piece orchestra. The album was recorded and mixed at: Grandma's House, Malibu; Sony Pictures Studios, Inc., Culver City; Todd-AO Scoring, Studio City; Chartmaker Studios, Malibu; O'Henry Sound Studio, Burbank; Encore Studios, Burbank; The Hop North, No. Vancouver, BC.

The executive producers for Christmas Memories are Barbra Streisand and Jay Landers. In his own liner notes for the album, Landers has written:

"For Barbra, the creative challenge of this collection is, once again, balancing the traditional with the contemporary ... finding something unique to express ... discovering melodies and lyrics in newer songs which can easily rest beside the acknowledged standards ... seeking untapped beauty in the oft-visited evergreens. Being mostly drawn to material which evokes a bittersweet, wistful longing, she's chosen to interpret the work of several of the best practitioners of popular song -- Johnny Mandel, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Don Costa, Frank Loesser, Stephen Sondheim and others ... .

"In this day and age when the true spirit of the holidays is sometimes lost amidst a frenzy of commercialization, it's nice to know that certain gifts will last long beyond the greeting cards and colorful wrapping paper. Some things are of our time ... and some are for all time. This disc is one of those -- music to enjoy not only at Christmas, but throughout the year ... a precious expression from the heart -- by one of creations' greatest gifts ... Barbra Streisand."

Related Links:

Interviews with Barbra about the album from 2001:

Screen caps of Streisand singing Christmas songs

On August 28, 2001, Columbia Records filmed Barbra on video and on 35 mm film performing five songs in a Christmas setting at her home. Streisand, wearing a burgundy top and faux fur coat, lip-synched to the songs surrounded by Christmas lights. Mike Meadows directed the segments, with Rick Walker serving as Director of Photography. Columbia's idea was to use this footage for its TV spots, their Electronic Press Kit (EPK) and as coverage on the entertainment magazine shows like “Entertainment Tonight” and “Access Hollywood.”

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.

Billboard Top Holiday Albums Chart:

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.

Grammy Nomination

Album Cover Outtakes

The ornaments on the cover of Christmas Memories were from a Burbank, Calif. shop called Dr. Christmas Rents. They supply holiday decor for movies, television shows, and photo shoots.

Firooz Zahedi's photograph of Streisand was chosen to appear on the cover of Christmas Memories (Art Direction by Gabrielle Raumberger and Design by Chad Goodson). Below are outtakes from the same sitting.

Zahedi outtake 1 Zahedi outtake 2

End.

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