Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits Volume 2 (1978)

Catalog Number(s):

Volume 2 cover

Album scans by Kevin Schlenker

Greatest Hits 2 back cover

(Below: The original Greatest Hits Volume 2 album had a record sleeve with lyrics to all of the songs on the record.)

Tracks

  1. Love Theme From "A Star Is Born" (Evergreen) [3:04]
    (B. Streisand / P. Williams)
  2. Love Theme From "Eyes Of Laura Mars" (Prisoner) [3:57]
    (K. Lawrence / J. Desautels)
  3. My Heart Belongs To Me [3:21]
    (A. Gordon)
  4. Songbird [3:45]
    (D. Wolfert / S. Nelson)
  5. You Don't Bring Me Flowers (Duet with Neil Diamond) [3:26]
    (M. Bergman / A. Bergman / N. Diamond)
  6. The Way We Were [3:30]
    (M. Bergman / A. Bergman / M. Hamlisch)
  7. Sweet Inspiration/Where You Lead [6:20]
    ("Sweet" - D. Penn / S. Oldham; "Where" - "C. King / T. Stern)
  8. All In Love Is Fair [3:52]
    (S. Wonder)
  9. Superman [2:47]
    (R. Snyder)
  10. Stoney End [2:58]
    (L. Nyro)

About the Album

Diamond and Streisand

Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits: Volume 2 was Barbra's fourth album to reach #1 on the charts. Its sales (and the fact that it came out only six months after Barbra's studio album, Songbird) were driven by Barbra's duet with Neil Diamond — “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.”

Here is the story behind the making of a #1 single and album.

To begin with, both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand had already recorded solo versions of the song on separate albums for Columbia Records.

Then the program director for WAKY Radio, Louisville, Kentucky — Gary Guthrie — enters the story. He edited together Barbra and Neil's versions.

Gary Guthrie told Billboard Chart Beat in 2009:

There's some misinformation about how Barb and Neil came about. For example, most accounts have me listed as a “deejay,” even though I was rarely on the air. The short story is this: Becky, my wife, and I were going through a very amiable divorce. The previous Fall, we had heard Neil's version at a friend's house and I noticed how it made her cry. Fast forward to Spring 1978 and Barbra's new album (another of Becky's favorites) came out and, dayumm, there it was again.

There was just something that clicked in my head and I decided to do it for her. Since we weren't really sleeping in the same bed at that time, my nights were open and I'd hang out at the station and play with the mix, then take it in to whoever (was on the air and) have them play it while I went out to my car and listened to how it sounded.

There was a lot of back and forth with that late at night before I ever unleashed it on the daytime public. Once I did, however, all hell broke loose. Requests, record store calls, you name it.

I had two friends who had an in at Columbia — one who had been their Nashville VP and one who was their local guy in Miami — and I asked both to help me get this up the ladder. They did their job well.

Word spread quickly, and my 15 minutes of fame was in full force. People magazine, the LA Times, Good Morning America, Merv Griffin, Casey Kasem, even the Aussie version of Johnny Carson came calling for the story.

When Guthrie's edit arrived at Columbia Records Bruce Lundvall's desk, he loved the duet and wanted a legitimate, official record made by Streisand and Diamond.

Charles Koppelman of The Entertainment Company got involved. “Jon [Peters], Barbra and myself were listening to the tape at the beach house, when who walks in but Neil Diamond. So together we listened,” Koppelman said. "I don't think this duet could have happened if Neil and Barbra hadn't been good friends.”

Bob Gaudio produced the track. After some brief rehearsals in September 1978, Gaudio explained, “We talked it over and decided that the best way to potentially approach it would be nose to nose, meaning the two of them in front of the microphone singing a love song to each other, with a piano.”

Streisand and Diamond recorded the song quickly at Cherokee Studios, Los Angeles on October 17, 1978. The single was mixed, pressed, and shipped to radio stations immediately.

“You Don't Bring Me Flowers” debuted at No. 48 and went all the way to No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts by November 1978.

Columbia Records capitalized on the success of the song by releasing two new albums by the artists, too. Neil Diamond was already at work on an album, so the single was added and the album was released — appropriately titled Neil Diamond: You Don't Bring Me Flowers.

Columbia compiled Streisand's Greatest Hits Volume 2 with the hit duet .... plus her rock song, “Prisoner,” for the film The Eyes of Laura Mars. “Prisoner” first appeared as a single and also as part of the now out-of-print soundtrack album to The Eyes of Laura Mars.

Diamond and Streisand at microphone

“Prisoner” was written by Karen Lawrence and drummer John Desautels, part of a group called 1994. Lawrence used to be a member of another group called L.A. Jets. The Entertainment Company handled their musical publishing chores. Streisand, of course, worked with the Entertainment Company's Gary Klein on several of her albums. Klein's associate, Charles Koppelman played the song for Streisand and Peters and they liked it as a theme song for the movie. Karen Lawrence met Barbra Streisand during the big outdoor concert in Phoenix, Arizona where A Star is Born was filmed. “I thought Barbra would be able to do a great job on the song—she can sing full blast, flat out, but she's sensitive, too. Now that she's really doing it, it's just a mind blower. They even kept the little piano intro I wrote, which is very flattering.”industry ad for GREATEST HITS 2

 

Grammy Nominations (1979)

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.

Below: For the week ending January 20, 1979, Streisand's Hits album at #1. Scan by Peter Curl.

chart scan

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.

SOURCES:

End.

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