Streisand: “Endorsed Bootlegs” in the EU

European copyright law for recordings differs from the U.S. law. Recently in the EU, unreleased music loses its copyright after 50 years. This has opened up a small industry in the EU of what Barbra Archives would call “endorsed bootlegs” — meaning that any individual with access to tapes can legally press and sell their own recordings, regardless of the artist who recorded the tracks or the record company that originally released them.

Streisand bootlegs sold in Europe

What does this mean to Streisand fans? If you take a quick look at Amazon.co.uk's digital music albums, there are hundreds of Streisand albums being sold for £9.99 or less which use tracks from 1962's I Can Get it For You Wholesale up to 1965's My Name is Barbra albums.

Most of these albums contain previously-released material that many Streisand fans already own on CD. In fact, none of the tracks being sold include anything new or unreleased (with a few exceptions, below) and all of these recordings are readily available officially from Barbra's record company, Columbia Records, as a CD or even digitally at iTunes or Amazon.

Finally, many of these digital albums have very bad artwork, have re-ordered the tracks, and provide no background, history, or context for the tracks they've included.

Barbra Streisand: The Legend Begins

Catalog Number(s):

Legend Begins front and back covers

Tracks

About the Album

The Netherlands label (Remember Records) who produced this CD have taken advantage of European copyright laws and, therefore, several of the audio sources on this CD are either from the original vinyl, or from bootleg YouTube videos that Streisand fans have posted. There's even a track that was taken from this web site (obviously ignoring my terms and conditions! Please don't make a profit from my work!).

That being said, this CD does contain digital versions of Streisand's first three 45rpm singles which have never been officially released by Columbia Records. (Which, frankly, with a little Googling, you could probably find for free, without paying the bootleggers.)

Otherwise: the tracks on this CD are from Pins and Needles and I Can Get It For You Wholesale —which are still commercially available in the U.S. on CD and digitally (i.e. iTunes) from Columbia Records.

Barbra Streisand In The Beginning

Catalog Number(s):

In the Beginning cover

Tracks

UNRELEASED LIVE AT THE BON SOIR

  1. Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now*
  2. A Sleepin' Bee*
  3. Come To The Supermarket (In Old Peking)*
  4. Never Will I Marry*
  5. Bewitched*
  6. My Name Is Barbra/Much More*
  7. I'll Tell The Man In The Street*
  8. Value*
  9. A Taste Of Honey*
  10. Napoleon*
  11. Happy Days Are Here Again*
  12. Soon It's Gonna Rain*
  13. UNRELEASED DEMOS (Vocals w/piano only)

  14. I Stayed Too Long At The Fair
  15. When the Sun Comes Out
  16. A Taste of Honey
  17. At The Codfish Ball (Take 1, incomplete)
  18. At The Codfish Ball (Take 2)
  19. Lover Come Back To Me
  20. Bewitched
  21. I Had Myself A True Love
  22. Soon It's Gonna Rain
  23. A/B SINGLES (Never re-issued)

  24. Happy Days Are Here Again
  25. When the Sun Comes Out
  26. My Coloring Book
  27. Lover Come Back To Me

* Stereo Recordings

About the Album

In the Beginning CD art

I've received several emails from confused Streisand fans about the legitimacy of this CD. Barbra Streisand In the Beginning is a slickly-packaged bootleg CD. None of the source audio comes directly from the vaults of Columbia Records. It is not a part of Streisand's Columbia Records discography, nor was it sanctioned by Barbra or released by Columbia.

That being said, there are many tracks on this CD that Streisand fans may not have heard.

The Bon Soir tracks were recorded by Columbia Records live in 1962 and have never been commercially released. (Streisand and Columbia released only eight tracks from the Bon Soir on the 1991 retrospective, Just For The Record. The tracks on In the Beginning are different, and, I'm certain have been ‘ripped’ from fan-traded audio files.)

The demo songs are from a disc Barbra recorded when she auditioned for RCA Records in 1962. And the singles are all from Columbia 7-inch vinyl, probably ripped, again, from fan-made audio files.

Again, let's talk about quality and legitimacy: Unless “Mint Audio” purchased the original RCA acetate disc at auction, they are probably sourcing these tracks from fan-traded, bootleg audio files. Their claim that the CD has “sterling, exquisite sound quality” is curious, especially since Pro Tools is available to even amateur audiofiles these days.

Finally, In the Beginning's “beautifully packaged” and “fascinating liners” [according to their website] include plagiarized text from Barbra Archives, which is used verbatim on their insert —they didn't even try to rewrite it, which is pretty sloppy and illegal. And the beautiful artwork was appropriated from an artist who was not told his paintings would be appearing on a $16.95 bootleg CD.

End.