The Main Event: Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1979)

Catalog Number(s):

Front cover

Back cover of THE MAIN EVENT album

[Below: The picture sleeve included in The Main Event LP]

Main Event sleeve

(Below: The Main Event CD insert)

Main Event CD Insert


  1. THE MAIN EVENT/FIGHT [11:39] *
    ("Main" - P. Jabara / B. Roberts; "Fight" - P. Jabara / B. Esty)
  2. The Body Shop [5:14]
    (G. Michalski / N. Oosterveen)
  3. THE MAIN EVENT/FIGHT (short version) [4:55] *
    ("Main" - P. Jabara / B. Roberts; "Fight" - P. Jabara / B. Esty)
  4. Copeland Meets The Coasters/Get A Job [0:57]
    ("Copeland" - M. Melvoin; "Get" - The Silhouettes)
  5. Big Girls Don't Cry [2:27]
    (B. Crewe / B. Gaudio)
  6. It's Your Foot Again [3:09]
    (P. Jabara / B. Roberts)
  7. Angry Eyes [2:25]
    (K. Loggins / J. Messina)
  8. I'd Clean A Fish For You [1:03]
    (P. Jabara / B. Roberts)
  9. THE MAIN EVENT (ballad) [4:16] *
    (P. Jabara / B. Roberts)

* Streisand vocals

About the Album

The soundtrack album to Barbra Streisand's boxing comedy film with Ryan O'Neal included different versions of the disco hit “The Main Event/Fight.” Bob Esty, who co-wrote the song, explained how the tune was written: “Paul Jabara is signed to First Artists publishing and when he found out what the movie was to be about, he and Bruce Roberts went ahead and wrote the song hoping they'd consider it. He submitted a demo, but it was rejected and just laid around for two months.

“Barbra had hired Marilyn and Alan Bergman to write a Way We Were type of ballad for the movie,” Esty explained, “but [Producer & Streisand's boyfriend] Jon Peters thought it should be an uptempo tune since the movie's a comedy. So he talked [Streisand] into reconsidering because he wanted her to do a contemporary thing, a dance tune.”

Streisand, Esty stated, “worked real hard to try to make [the song] work. She's very cooperative.”

Streisand did suggest that the word “fight” be worked into the song. Esty and Jabara had already written a tune called “Fight” for another album. “It was perfect,” Esty said. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘have we got a song for you.’”

Soundtrack album producer Gary Le Mel told Orange Coast Magazine why different versions of the disco song were included: “We didn't want to cheat the public. We wanted to give them what they heard on the radio,” he explained. “We had made a 12-inch disco version of the song, but it was only for discos and disco radio. It wasn't available for sale*, so we put them both on the album.”

As for the ballad version of “The Main Event,” Le Mel said, “Barbra liked the song so much she wanted to try it as a ballad. I think that's the nicest version on the album.”

For the ballad version, Bob Esty conducted the strings and Bruce Roberts played the piano.

The Main Event soundtrack was restored, remastered, and released for the first time on CD in October 1993. It was 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.

The Main Event is a slight album with only three tracks (all the same song!) sung by Streisand. However, rarity-wise, it does contain the 11-minute-plus long version of “The Main Event”. And more importantly, it includes the ballad version—an overlooked gem—with fantastic Streisand vocals.

Billboard ad for MAIN EVENT LP

* Columbia Records released a promotional 12-inch single of the 11:42-minute “Main Event/Fight” disco song (#AS 625). Both sides contained the same mix.

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

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.


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Related: “The Main Event / Fight” 7-inch single >>

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