People (1964)

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People album cover

Back cover, PEOPLE album

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UK People album

(Above: In 1966, Hallmark, a UK label, released Streisand's People album [catalog number: SHM 871] with a completely different cover. Pickwick, which owned Hallmark, was the first company to put in place exclusive licensing deals with the major record companies. For many years it was the official budget outlet for labels such as RCA and CBS — i.e. Columbia.)

Tracks

  1. Absent Minded Me [3:07] *
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  2. When In Rome (I Do As The Romans Do) [2:57] *
    (C. Leigh / C. Coleman)
  3. Fine And Dandy [2:49] **
    (K. Swift / P. James)
  4. Supper Time [2:47] **
    (I. Berlin)
  5. Will He Like Me? [2:34] **
    (S. Harnick / J. Bock)
  6. How Does The Wine Taste? [2:36] *
    (M. Dubey / H. Karr)
  7. I'm All Smiles [2:09] **
    (M. Leonard / H. Martin)
  8. Autumn [1:57] **
    (R. Maltby, Jr. / D. Shire)
  9. My Lord And Master [2:59] *
    (O. Hammerstein II / R. Rodgers)
  10. Love Is A Bore [2:08] *
    (S. Cahn / J. Van Heusen)
  11. Don't Like Goodbyes [3:14] *
    (T. Capote / H. Arlen)
  12. People [3:40] *
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)

* Arranged & Conducted by Peter Matz
** Arranged & Conducted by Ray Ellis

 

About the Album

(Below) Streisand recording the album at Columbia's Studio A, New York. Streisand recording

The song, “People,” was recorded on December 20, 1963 at Columbia's Studio A in New York. Mike Berniker produced the session in which four songs from Barbra's forthcoming Broadway show, Funny Girl, were recorded for release as 7-inch singles: “I Am Woman,” “Who Are You Now,”,“Cornet Man,” and “People.” The arrangements were done by Peter Matz.

Ad for People singles

“People” was readied as the big song from Funny Girl—which still hadn't opened on Broadway. That's Peter Daniels playing the piano solo during the interlude on “People.” Peter Matz was bothered that “there was a wrong note on the ninth bar in the French horn ... the version they released was the one with the wrong note on the French horn. Barbra's vocal on that first take was the best, so they went with it, flaws and all.”

“People” b/w “I Am Woman” was released as a 7-inch single in January 1964 (Columbia #4-42965).

Funny Girl finally opened on March 26, 1964 ... and was a big hit for Streisand.

People ad

She didn't begin recording the People album, however, until July 24, 1964. From that session, Columbia Records cherry-picked two songs for release as another 7-inch single #4-43127: “Absent Minded Me” (a reject from Funny Girl) and “Funny Girl” (an uptempo song by Styne/Merrill that precedes the ballad they wrote for the film). The ad that ran in Billboard touted that the songs were from Barbra's new album, People—Coming Soon! The single was released August 1964.

Meanwhile, Barbra went back into the studio with producer Bob Mersey on August 4 and 11, 1964 and laid down the majority of the tracks that appear on People. (“Quiet Night” and “Where's That Rainbow,” recorded in 1964 for People — but not used — would be utilized one year later on My Name is Barbra, Two).

Also, Barbra recorded “Don't Like Goodbyes,” “Autumn” and “Will He Like Me” twice—with Peter Matz and Ray Ellis arrangements. Ray Ellis recorded all of his arrangements with Barbra in one session on August 21, 1964.

People Recording Sessions:

December 20, 1963 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)
Midnight—3:00am

Produced by: Mike Berniker
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

I'm All Smiles sheet music

July 24, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)
2:30pm—5:30pm

* unreleased

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 4, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)
2:30pm—5:30pm

* released on 1965 album “My Name Is Barbra, Two”
** unreleased; remade in 1965 for “My Name Is Barbra, Two”

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 11, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)
2:30pm—5:30pm

* remade in 1968 for the “What About Today?” album
** unreleased; remade in 1965 for “My Name Is Barbra, Two”

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Peter Matz

August 21, 1964 — Studio A (799 7th Avenue, New York)
2:30pm—5:30pm

** unreleased

Produced by: Robert Mersey
Arranged & Conducted by: Ray Ellis

Recording People album

(Above) Left to right: Robert Mersey, Streisand, and Peter Matz in the studio recording the People album.

“How Does The Wine Taste?” came from a 1962 musical called We Take The Town, which never made it to Broadway. The show, which closed in Philadelphia, starred Robert Preston (as Pancho Villa) and was based on the film Viva Villa! Producer Stuart Ostrow said Streisand auditioned for the role of “an aristocratic Mexican lady.” Robert Preston, however, “wanted a straight actress and turned me down,” Ostrow recalled. Streisand, of course, recorded “How Does The Wine Taste?” from the show's score.

Barbra's Italian spoken section in “When In Rome” goes something like this:

E molto difficile resistere agli uomini di Italia
Per esempio, per esempio i biondi,
I biondi di Firenze, di Venezia
E i bruni di Palermo, di Milano...

Roughly translated, Streisand says she can't resist Italian guys, nor the blonds of Florence or Venice, nor the the brown haired men from Palermo or Milano ... do ya know what I mean?

When People was finally released — September 1964 — Barbra recorded an open-ended interview to publicize the album. The interview LP was sent to radio stations with a script so DJ's could "interact" with Streisand on the air. Click the button to hear it:

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.

Below is a scan of a Oct. 18, 1964 Times review of Barbra's People album (courtesy of Joe Petrollese, from his collection):

Times review of People album

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.

People at #1 on the charts

(Above: People at #1 on the album chart for the week ending Nov. 7, 1964. Scan courtesy Peter Curl.)

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 Awards

People was awarded in 1965 at the Grammy Awards: Peter Matz won in the category Best Accompaniment Arrangement for Vocalist or Instrumentalist; Streisand won for Best Vocal Performance on “People.” People was nominated but did not win for Album of the Year and the song “People” was nominated for Record of the Year.

Streisand posed at the April 13, 1965 Grammy ceremony with Louis Armstrong, who won Best Male Vocalist for his big hit, “Hello, Dolly!”. (Did Streisand and Armstrong ever dream they would appear on screen together four years later in the film version of Dolly??)

Streisand, Armstrong win Grammys

1994 & 2002 Remastering

Barbra's 1964 album, People, has had four incarnations on Compact Disc. In 1994, Streisand's sound engineer, John Arrias, remastered and remixed many of her albums for CD. Arrias' 1994 remastering sounds much nicer than the 2002 version.

People stickers

2002 Remaster: Remastered from the original master tapes by Stephen Marcussen; Digitally edited by Stewart Whitmore for Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, CA.

The 2002 CD is red with a Columbia Records logo imprinted on it.

Comparing the Arrias 1994 remaster to Marcussen's 2002 remaster is interesting. To my ears, the 2002 CD sounds "hot". Ms. Streisand's high notes and the trumpets on this album sound as if they're distorting. (Too much EQ?)

I prefer the 1994 version over the 2002 remastering.

U.S. fans had another problem with the 2002 reissue of People: Sony BMG released the album in Europe with a bonus track that was not on the U.S. version: “I Am Woman [Single Version]”, which has never appeared on a Streisand album or in digital form until 2002 ... in Europe only. (Apparently, the Europeans believe that if you re-release an album that people have already purchased, you should give them some added value. We agree with that!)

CD Packaging Notes

It is interesting to compare the original LP album to the CD package art.

The back of the 1964 LP featured six photos of Streisand as different "people" (below).

LP back cover

The 1994 CD (below) cropped off Streisand's feet on the front cover and reproduced the six photos inside the CD insert.

1994 CD cover

The 2002 CD (below) replicated the LP back cover—with the exception of the bar code, which record companies now use to track CD sales.

2002 CD back cover

Album Cover Outtakes

The cover image of Barbra's album, People, was photographed while Barbra was in Chicago ... at Michigan Avenue Beach near the famous Drake Hotel. The pictures, below, are alternates from the same photo shoot by Don Bronstein. Imagine Barbra and Don Bronstein snapping photos at dawn after her show at Mr. Kelly's .... (Bronstein won a Grammy for Best Album Cover— Robert Cato, who shared the award, was art director for Columbia Records). Streisand posed differently, tied her red-striped shirt around her waist, and also wore a mumu for some shots.

Streisand photographed on Chicago beach People proof sheets

Hank Parker, Columbia's staff photographer, shot Barbra dressed in various outfits for the back cover. Below are some of those outtakes.

Alternative shot of Streisand wearing football helmet

Parker outtakes

End.

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