A Love Like Ours (1999)

Catalog Number(s):

Love Like Ours cover Back cover of A LOVE LIKE OURS

Below: A Love Like Ours was reissued with different back cover art. The back cover pictured above is the original version, released in 1999, with Streisand and Brolin's portrait. The back cover pictured below, reissued in 2000, featured a silhouette of Streisand and Brolin at sundown.

Different back covers for A Love Like Ours


Love Like Ours CD
  1. I've Dreamed Of You [4:45]
    (R. Lovland / A.H. Callaway)
  2. Isn't It A Pity? [5:21]
    (G. Gershwin / I. Gershwin)
  3. The Island [4:35]
    (I. Lins / V. Martins / A. Bergman / M. Bergman)
  4. Love Like Ours [3:57]
    (D. Grusin / A. Bergman / M. Bergman)
  5. If You Ever Leave Me (Duet with Vince Gill) [4:36]
    (R. Marx)
  6. We Must Be Loving Right [3:37]
    (R. Brown / C. Blaker)
  7. If I Never Met You [3:38]
    (T. Snow / D. Pitchford)
  8. It Must Be You [3:30]
    (S. Dorff / S. Smith)
  9. Just One Lifetime [4:17]
    (M. Manchester / T. Snow)
  10. If I Didn't Love You [4:17]
    (B. Roberts / J. Miles)
  11. Wait [4:08]
    (M. Legrand / A. Bergman / M. Bergman)
  12. The Music That Makes Me Dance [4:32]
    (J. Styne / B. Merrill)

Individual track credits:

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

1.I've Dreamed of You

Written by: Rolf Lovland & Ann Hampton Callaway

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Guitar: Dean Parks

Violin: Bruce Dukov

Recorder: Jon Clarke

Engineered by: Frank Wolf & David Reitzas

Mixed by: David Reitzas

2. Isn't It A Pity?

Written by: George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Drums: Ralph Humphrey

Guitar: Dean Parks

Piano: Mike Lang

Harmonica Solo: Tommy Morgan

Engineered by: Al Schmitt

Mixed by: David Reitzas

3. The Island

Lyrics by: Alan & Marilyn Bergman; Music by: Ivan Lins & Vitor Martins

Produced & Arranged by: Walter Afanasieff

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: Jorge Calandrelli

Keyboards, Drum & Rhythm Programming: Walter Afanasieff

Programming: Greg Bieck

Tenor Saxophone Solo: Kenny G.

Percussion: Paulinho DaCosta

Electric Guitar: Dean Parks

Engineered by: Humberto Gatica, David Reitzas & David Gleeson

Mixed by: Humberto Gatica

4. Love Like Ours

Written by: Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Dave Grusin

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Original Arrangement by: Jorg Keller

Keyboards: Randy Waldman

Engineered by: Frank Wolf & David Reitzas

Mixed by: Al Schmitt

5. If You Ever Leave Me (Duet with Vince Gill)

Written by: Richard Marx

Produced & Arranged by: David Foster & Richard Marx

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Keyboards: Richard Marx, David Foster

Programming: Felipe Elgueta

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Bass: Nathan East

Acoustic Guitars: Vince Gill, Donal Kirkpatrick, Kamil Rustam

Electric Guitars: Donald Kirkpatrick, Vince Gill

Engineered by: Felipe Elgueta & Humberto Gatica

Mixed by: Mick Guzauski

6.We Must Be Loving Right

Written by: Roger Bown & Clay Blaker

Produced by: Tony Brown

Strings Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Drums: Leland Sklar

Acoustic Guitar: Dean Parks

Electric Guitar: John Jorgenson

Piano: Jim Cox

Pedal Steel: Paul Franklin

Fiddle: Stuart Duncan

Engineered & Mixed by: Al Schmitt

7. If I Never Met You

Written by: Tom Snow & Dean Pitchford

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Keyboards: Randy Waldman

Engineered by: Frank Wolf & David Reitzas

Mixed by: Frank Wolf

8. It Must Be You

Written by: Steve Dorff & Stephony Smith

Produced by: Arif Mardin

Arranged & Orchestrated by: Arif Mardin

Additional Orchestration by: Doug Besterman

Conducted by: Doug Besterman

Pre-Production Programming: Steve Skinner

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Bass: Reggie Hamilton

Guitars: Dean Parks & George Doering

Synthesizers: Randy Waldman & Robbie Buchanan

Engineered by: Frank Wolf

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

9. Just One Lifetime

Written by: Melissa Manchester & Tom Snow

Produced by: Arif Mardin

Arranged & Orchestrated by: Arif Mardin

Conducted by: Doug Besterman

Intro & Ending Arranged by: Marvin Hamlisch

Additional Orchestration by: Martin Erskine

Pre-Production Programming: Steve Skinner & Peter Hume

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Bass: Reggie Hamilton

Guitars: Dean Parks & George Doering

Synthesizers: Randy Waldman & Robbie Buchanan

Engineered by: Frank Wolf

Mixed by: Frank Filipetti

10. If I Didn't Love You

Written by: Bruce Roberts & Junior Miles

Produced by: David Foster

Arranged by: David Foster & Bruce Roberts

Orchestra Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Keyboards: David Foster

Programming: Felipe Elgueta

Drums: J.R. Robinson

Bass: Nathan East

Engineered by: Felipe Elgueta & Humberto Gatica

Mixed by: Humberto Gatica

11. Wait

Written by: Alan & Marilyn Bergman and Michel Legrand

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: Jeremy Lubbock

Piano: Randy Waldman

Engineered by: Humberto Gatica & David Reitzas

Mixed by: David Reitzas

12. The Music That Makes Me Dance

Written by: Jule Styne & Bob Merrill

Produced by: Barbra Streisand

Arranged & Conducted by: William Ross

Original Broadway Arrangement by: Ralph Burns

Drums: Ralph Humphrey

Guitar: Dean Parks

Piano: Mike Lang

Saxophone Solo: Kenny G.

Engineered by: Al Schmitt & David Reitzas

Mixed by: David Reitzas

About the Album

I've usually thought of love as a private matter, something experienced in that narrow space between two hearts. Yet once you find love ... whenever it arrives, you somehow want to share that joy. You hope everyone in the world can feel the way you do at some point in their lives ...

“Happiness makes you want to sing. You know all those corny things they say in every love song you've ever heard? Well, they're true! Love is what life is all about. Love is the answer. I hope this album inspires your own loving spirit ... and may you be blessed with something as special as a love like ours.”

— B.

To my husband ... who was the inspiration for this album.

Thanks to David Reitzas for the long hours, his computer savvy ... and sushi tips ...

Thanks to Peter Fletcher who goes way beyond the call of duty.

What I really love to do is sing LIVE with an orchestra. The majority of these songs were recorded just that way. Special thanks to the musicians who've played on this record and so many of my past recordings.

Thanks also to Frank Filipetti, Frank Wolf, Al Schmitt, Felipe Elgueta, Jorge Calandrelli, Jeremy Lubbock, Matthew (DP) Della Polla, Ari Sloane and to Greg, Peter & Pat at Sony Scoring for their hospitality ... and Mark for the best cappuccinos.

... Of course, to Jay ... for living this album with me ...

... And Marty ... for always being there.

On November 2, 1998, Barbra told fans during an online chat at America Online, “I'm starting an album this month called Barbra...In Love.”

Streisand completed principal recording sessions in March 1999 and finished mixing and mastering the album in July 1999.

The album and very deliberate song selection were inspired by Barbra's three-year relationship with husband James Brolin and particularly their July 1, 1998 wedding.

In early April 1999, Streisand's manager, Marty Erlichman, could not contain his excitement, remarking that the album would contain “great love songs, new and old” and that Barbra's bliss with husband James Brolin “comes through in her music.”

Producer Arif Mardin told columnist Marilyn Beck about working with Streisand on this album: “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.”

The People and Love Like Ours covers side by side

“The cover [of the album] depicts Barbra and Jim in silhouette, standing on the beach, against a sunset,” co-executive producer Jay Landers told Ice Magazine. “It's an homage, if you will, to her original cover for People, where she was standing alone.”

New Age group Secret Garden wrote “Heartstrings,” an instrumental song from the duo's first CD, Songs From a Secret Garden. Streisand incorporated the song into her wedding as “I've Dreamed of You,” with lyrics added by singer-songwriter Ann Hampton-Callaway. “The Sunday before Barbra got married, I got inspired to turn it into a wedding song,” Callaway explained. “I knew that sometime this year she and James were planning to tie the knot, so I decided to tell the story from Barbra's perspective. When I faxed the lyric to Barbra's producer that evening, he was very happy with it, and, after a few minor changes, sent it to Barbra. Monday, I learned that Barbra loved the song and that she wanted me to record a demo and send it immediately. Tuesday, I recorded the demo and overnighted it to Barbra's assistant. Apparently, three hours before the wedding, she heard the demo and decided to sing the song along with a song she has already planned to perform by Melissa Manchester and Tom Snow. It was my playing and Irwin Fisch's string arrangement that accompanied Barbra as she sang 'I've Dreamed Of You' to James Brolin. It's a revelation to me how in love Barbra must be to have the courage to be so spontaneous on such a momentous occasion. A friend of mine who spoke to Marvin Hamlisch was told it was an absolutely stunning moment.”

George and Ira Gershwin's classic “Isn't It A Pity?” became Barbra and Jim's favorite song and was used on their wedding day to welcome the newlyweds to their post-wedding celebration under the supervision of Marvin Hamlisch, who announced them as “Mr. and Mrs. Brolin.” Originally included in the Gershwins' 1932 Broadway musical, Pardon My English and previously recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Feinstein, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, and others, the song perfectly described the wedding couple.

pages from the CD insert

“The Island” — Brazilian songwriters Ivan Lins & Vitor Martins wrote "Começar de Novo" (“Once and Again”) in 1979.  Alan and Marilyn Bergman wrote the English lyrics.  They also wrote new lyrics for Streisand's record of the song on A Love Like Ours. Originally, the song ended with the lyrics “keep your arms around me, love, we're almost there.

Streisand explained, “In the original lyric, I felt the lovers didn't quite go far enough ... the couple see the island, but never quite arrive there (I'll leave this to your imagination!). So, I asked Marilyn and Alan if they could write a final verse to complete the moment.”

On our little island, Not a soul can hear us

Silently exchanging fantasies and feelings

Endlessly exploring, learning one another

Till the morning finds us

You were made to love me, and I was made to love you

Keep your arms around me, lose yourself completely

Make it last forever

I can see the island, shining there before us

Now we're getting closer, just keep your arms around me

Come, my love, we're there ...

The album's title song, “Love Like Ours,” was composed back in 1986 by Dave Grusin, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Broadway composer Cy Coleman debuted the current version of the song during a Carnegie Hall concert tribute to the Bergmans in early February 1999.

Love Like Ours sheet music songbook

(Right: The LOVE LIKE OURS piano/vocal/guitar songbook was published by Cherry Lane Music. The 64-page book of sheet music also contains Barbra's comments on each of the songs, plus some of the lovely full-color photos from the album. You can order the book from Amazon by clicking on the thumbnail to the right.)

Nashville's The Tennessean newspaper broke the news that multiple-Grammy winning country music star Vince Gill had just recorded a duet (“If You Ever Leave Me”) with Barbra Streisand for her forthcoming album. L.A. sources said that the two worked with producer David Foster at his Malibu studio on Monday, February 22 from 11 a.m. until 2 the next morning. Reportedly, they took a break to attend a “star-studded dinner party.” Gill told The Hollywood Reporter (2/25/99) with a laugh, “I went and recorded something with her Monday night. She has a new project that she's working on, and where that phone call came from, I have no idea. I don't know if Barbra's ever heard my records, or if David Foster and Richard Marx told her about me or her husband James, I have no clue.”

Next, Gill told Country Weekly magazine that he was “knocked out” by the chance to work with Barbra. “How the phone call to work with her came about, I have no idea,” Vince repeated. “But to be in the studio singing with her was incredible. To be in her presence and hear her voice in real time right there in the room is unbelievable.”

Written by Clay Blaker and Roger Brown, “We Must Be Loving Right” was previously recorded by George Strait and included on his Easy Come Easy Go CD. In fact, Streisand commissioned celebrated producer and MCA Nashville president Tony Brown to produce her version in L.A. virtually exactly as he had done for Strait, complete with steel guitars.

“The story I was told by Streisand's representative,” Clay Blaker explained, “was she heard the song in James Brolin's car, and she loved it and it kind of became their song.”

The song was co-written with Roger Brown. “Roger writes a real jazzy kind of melody. It really fit her,” Blaker said.

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“I heard her version in Nashville in March,” Blaker told the San Antonio Express-News. “It came out of the speakers, and I had tears in my eyes it sounded so good, so incredible. You can't imagine what it felt like.”

“Just One Lifetime,” written by Melissa Manchester and Tom Snow, was sung by Streisand to James Brolin at their wedding. “Marvin Hamlisch had written a wonderful chamber-music arrangement for [Barbra's] wedding,” said producer Arif 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.”

Melissa Manchester wrote and recorded “Just One Lifetime” for her Mathematics album. “When we were newly married, Kevin and I were sitting in bed one morning, and he said to me ‘Just one lifetime won't be enough time to love you,’ and I said, ‘Hold that thought — there's a song there somewhere,’ and I ran to phone Tom Snow with the great idea.”

In 1999, Manchester felt the song would resonate with this time in Barbra's life (i.e. falling in love and a pending marriage), so she sent along a new demo of the song to Streisand. “She loved the chorus,” Melissa explained, “but she couldn't follow the verses, musically or emotionally, so she asked if they could be reworked. Tom Snow and I ended up creating an entirely new song, one that really mirrors Barbra's emotional state now. It is an entirely different song than the one I recorded in 1985. Originally, I got a phone call from Barbra's associate saying she wanted to record the song on her album in November — could I please send lead sheets, etc. — and I was so thunderstruck by this news that I kept asking him to repeat it. By the fifth time, when he reassured me, ‘Yes, she's really going to record it,’ I thanked him and hung up. Luckily nobody was home, because I was screaming ‘Thank you, God!’ at the top of my lungs for 10 minutes, until I finally hyperventilated and had to lie down. A week or two later, there began a flurry of phone calls from the same gentleman, who was being very cryptic about his mission. He kept asking for tapes of the song in different keys, minor lyric changes, one version of the song edited and one without the edit ... Finally, I heard that Barbra made this her wedding anthem — it was beyond belief!”

The song “Wait” was written years ago for an unproduced Streisand album. Alan Bergman (who wrote the lyrics to it with his wife Marilyn) elaborated: “We worked on the ending [of “Wait” with Michel Legrand]. We changed the ending from the original years ago.”

Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow wrote “If I Never Met You.” Pitchford wrote lyrics to the Fame theme song, the songs in Footloose, and other songs with Peter Allen. In 2004, he praised Streisand's rendition of “If I Never Met You”: “It's very heartfelt and it was written about my life partner, whom I've been with going on 13 years.”

Pitchford elaborated to writer Carl Wiser about the recording session of “If I Never Met You.” —“[Barbra] was in the studio working with our friend Jay Landers, and they called Tom and me late one night, and they played us the track as she had recorded it. When they played it for me, there was one lyric I wasn't understanding correctly, and she had also mis-sung a note, and I pointed them out. She was very grateful, and she went back and she corrected both of them.” Pitchford explained that Streisand “was gracious about it. She was just so lovely about it. The thing I've discovered over the years of working with Barbra is that she really wants to be involved in a creative give-and-take. She likes when she's got conversation started.”

Dean Pitchford summed up his excitement by explaining that “not only did we get a recording of the song I wrote for my husband, Michael, but we got a recording from Barbra Streisand, for goodness sakes.”

“If I Didn't Love You” is the third “If” song on A Love Like Ours. Bruce Roberts and Junior Miles wrote it. “Junior Miles” is the songwriting pseudonym for Edgar Bronfman, Jr., part of the family whose fortune came from the Seagram Company. He wrote the lyrics to this song when he was courting his second wife Clarisa.

Stephony Smith and Steve Dorff wrote “It Must Be You”. “The lyrics are very simple, vulnerable,” Barbra wrote in her liner notes.  She also harmonized with herself on the song’s bridge. Steve Dorff actually recorded this song himself on his 2004 album You Set My Dreams To Music.

Streisand reworked “The Music That Makes Me Dance,” which was written by Jule Styne (music) and Bob Merrill (lyrics) and performed a thousand times by Barbra during her pre-Broadway, Broadway, and London runs as Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice in the stage musical Funny Girl. Streisand hasn't performed the song since since the mid-60s when she rearranged it for London and some U.S. concert performances. Streisand's original recording of the song appeared on the 1964 Funny Girl - Original Broadway Cast Recording (it was not included in the movie) and the My Name Is Barbra TV special. For A Love Like Ours, Barbra Streisand recorded a fresh rendition of the show-stopping Act II song, which features Kenny G playing the original tenor sax part and enjoying a brief solo.

Note: Much of the text here in the “About the Album” section was written by Mark Iskowitz for his Barbra Streisand Music Guide website. It is reproduced here with Mark's permission.

Album Packaging & Publicity

When A Love Like Ours was released to stores, Sony included EarthLink’s™ Internet software on the disc as a CD EXTRA title.

Love Like Ours CD insert

(Above: The centerfold of the Love Like Ours booklet changed slightly when Sony reissued the CD in 2000 with different back cover art.)

Streisand publicized the album by participating in various interview segments for television, including Rosie O'Donnell's talk show and the Today Show.

Wonder why Streisand looks the same in the various interviews she did? (see the TV page, the 90s). Columbia and Barbra's handlers rented a Malibu home (near her own) and provided the camera equipment and lighting. American and International crews then conducted their interviews and Streisand's people provided the final tapes to them.

Billboard Charts

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

A Love Like Ours debuted at #6 on the chart dated 10/9/99, based on approximately 145,500 copies sold between 9/20 and 9/26/99.

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.

Vince Gill + Music Videos

Streisand's duet with Vince Gill was filmed as a music video by director Jim Shea and cinematographer Andrzej Bartkowiak. They filmed the video at Sony Pictures Studios in California on 23 August 1999.

[See Music Video page]

Album Cover

Photographer Albert Tolot captured the image for the cover of A Love Like Ours (and an alternate shot was used for the packaging on the single, “I've Dreamed of You”).

Paparrazi captured photos of Streisand and her husband James Brolin on the beach in Malibu while they were waiting for the sunset.

Posing for cover

And here's some other frames from the Streisand and Brolin session:

Streisand and Brolin outtakes

poster for Love Like Ours

Finally, video director Jim Shea took the following publicity photographs of Streisand, probably on the set of “If You Ever Leave Me”.

Jim Shea outtakes


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