Stoney End (1971)

Catalog Number(s):

Stoney End LP cover

back cover of Stoney End album

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Tracks

  1. I Don't Know Where I Stand [3:45] *
    (J. Mitchell)
  2. Hands Off The Man (Flim Flam Man) [2:33] *
    (L. Nyro)
  3. If You Could Read My Mind [3:50]
    (G. Lightfoot)
  4. Just A Little Lovin' (Early In The Mornin') [2:28] *
    (B. Mann / C. Weil)
  5. Let Me Go [2:22]
    (R. Newman)
  6. Stoney End [2:59] *
    (L. Nyro)
  7. No Easy Way Down [3:52] ‡
    (G. Goffin / C. King)
  8. Time And Love [3:39] *
    (L. Nyro)
  9. Maybe [3:09] †
    (H. Nilsson)
  10. Free The People [3:17]
    (B. Keith)
  11. I'll Be Home [2:58] †
    (R. Newman)

* Arranged by Gene Page (also strings on “If You Could Read My Mind” and horns on “Let Me Go” and “Free the People”)

‡ Arranged by Claus Ogerman

† Arranged by Perry Botkin, Jr.

About the Album

Barbra recorded Stoney End during several studio dates in 1970, all sessions produced by Richard Perry.

Streisand and Perry in recording studio

(Above: Streisand and Richard Perry in the recording studio.)

July 29, 1970 — Hollywood

September 23, 1970 — New York

September 26, 1970 — New York

October 1, 1970 — New York

September 30, 1970 — New York

December 12, 1970 — United Recording Studios, Las Vegas

Unreleased — except for “Rain Today,” which was included on Release Me in 2012.

* Recorded again for the 1971 album Barbara Joan Streisand.

** Used for the 1971 album Barbara Joan Streisand.

Barbra and Richard Perry in the studio

More ... About the Album

Producer Richard Perry was responsible for putting together Barbra’s album, Stoney End. “I realized when I heard the What About Today? album that she hadn’t done it yet [editor: contemporize her sound]. But I felt very strongly that I could do it with her,” Perry said. “I told Clive Davis who was the president of Columbia Records at the time that I would very much like to have the opportunity to take a shot with Barbra. So Clive told me to get some material together, which I did. He thought it was great, so he set up the meeting. Barbra had been planning on doing another album at the time called The Singer and Clive asked her to put it aside to consider working with this new, young producer, i.e. moi. In any event, we met and we hit it off immediately. Everybody was saying, ‘Well, how are you going to get along with her?’ I said, ‘Two Jews from Brooklyn, you can’t go far wrong.’ “She loved the material I played for her,” Richard Perry recollected. “I brought her everything from Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, just a real assortment of contemporary songs at its best.”

Randy Newman wrote a song called “Lonely at the Top” for Frank Sinatra in 1970. Its lyrics were: “Listen all you fools out there / Go on and love me – I don’t care / Oh, it’s lonely at the top.” He suggested that Streisand record it for Stoney End. Streisand declined, telling Newman, “People will think that I mean it.”

Richard Perry told an anecdote about the first recording session for Stoney End, which happened to be the longest session in the history of the Los Angeles musicians union. “It started at seven o’clock,” he recounted. “Barbra showed up at eight, and usually when you’re working with string players in a big orchestra, they work from seven to ten—on the rare occasion they’ll do an hour overtime, seven to eleven—and then they’re out the door. Well, the session ended at five thirty in the morning with the full orchestra still there and nobody said boo, no one complained for a minute. We did half of the album in one night. ”

Stoney End ad

“Barbra was a consummate pro,” Perry confessed. “She would come in with the song prepared, no matter how far apart it might be from her normal repertoire. I was tremendously impressed by that. There’s a reason why she’s Barbra Streisand.”

Streisand also said good things about working with Richard Perry: “Richard was always trying to get me to sing on the beat, which I found very hard to do. We had a bet over whether ‘Stoney End’ would be a hit. He said yes, I said no. The bet was settled when we were driving on Sunset Boulevard, and a local DJ announced on the radio that the record had just hit #1 in Los Angeles. What a great way to lose!”

Stoney End single

The single of “Stoney End” was released in September 1970—in advance of the album. In January 1971, when “Stoney End” was a #1 single but the album still wasn’t finished, songwriter and music executive Artie Wayne went to the studio to hear Richard Perry’s final mixes for the album. “Needless to say I was thrilled,” Wayne expressed. “But as I sat in the studio listening to the playback something was bothering me. I couldn’t hear the lyrics loud enough over the track! As I sheepishly told Richard what I thought, his engineer, Bill Schnee, jumped up and said, ‘I told you Richard – You can’t hear the lyrics !!’ Richard, looking a little stunned, smiled, thanked me for coming down, and started re-mixing again.”

Gordon Lightfoot, who wrote “If You Could Read My Mind”, told Metro Spirit in 2009, “I always think about Barbra Streisand doing it, because she did such a perfectly wonderful job on it.”

Stoney End was released to stores in February 1971. The album climbed to number 10 on the Billboard pop charts.

About the Remaster

Stoney End has been released on CD twice by Columbia Records.

On the first, original CD (1990), Barbra's laugh was deleted on Track 9 (“Maybe”). “Maybe” ran 3:00 on the 1990 CD. That's because Barbra's laugh was included—improperly— at the end of “Time and Love,” making that track 3:48 instead of its correct 3:37 length.

The 1994 remastered CD restored the laugh to the beginning of “Maybe,” making it 3:07 in length, and removed the laugh from the end of “Time and Love,” where it never belonged in the first place.

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

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.

Album Cover Outtakes

The cover of Stoney End was shot just outside Las Vegas in the Mojave desert, looking toward Sunrise Mountain. Barbra was performing in Las Vegas at the time of the Stoney End photo shoot.

alternate photograph of Stoney End cover

Below: Here's a current shot of Sunrise Mountain, Nevada. Recognize the scenery?

Sunrise Mountain, Nevada

The album cover design was by Tom Wilkes and Barry Feinstein photographed Streisand in the desert. Wilkes told Shaun Considine: “It was a dirt road in the desert, surrounded by mountains. Someone—probably Barbra—suggested we have antique furniture placed on the truck. So we rented a red velvet couch and some chairs. Jay York, a friend of ours, went out and rounded up the stuff for us. We went out to the desert early in the morning and set everything up. That afternoon Barbra arrived in a limo. I remember it was winter and very cold. She put up with a lot of different shootings—in the cab of the truck, on back of the truck, and on the road. She was a real trouper. She kept jumping up and down, and putting her hands under her arms, because it was cold, real cold. She never complained; there was no star stuff. Afterwards she invited us all back to her house. She had this rented house in Vegas, and we hung out there for two or three hours. She fed us and gave us drinks, and made sure we were comfortable. Later, Barry and I picked the shot for the cover and both Barbra and Richard Perry agreed on it. There were no problems whatsover. It was a great experience.”

Stoney End alternate photo

End.

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Related: “Stoney End” — Quadraphonic Album

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