Streisand's Unreleased “Back to Broadway” Recording Sessions

Unreleased Album Sessions

Recorded April 14, 15, 21, 1988

MGM-Lorimar Recording Studios

Culver City, California

Streisand outside recording studio

On Barbra Streisand’s 1991 album, Just for the Record, she tantalized fans in her album notes by writing: “My future recording plans include a trip Back to Broadway, and this lovely ballad [“Warm All Over”] will be part of that collection.”

Back to Broadway, however, was not released until 1993. “Warm All Over” was not included on it, either.

“We attempted to do it [a Broadway Album sequel] years ago,” Marty Erlichman (Barbra's manager) told Billboard Magazine, “but what we did didn't have the excitement of the first album.”

What happened?

The Broadway Album was hugely successful. Released in November 1985, the album won Barbra a Grammy Award. A year later, while working on her film, Nuts, Streisand performed the One Voice concert and subsequently released a live album of the event.

In April 1988 Barbra began working on Back to Broadway. She reunited with Rupert Holmes. Holmes and Streisand created 1975's Lazy Afternoon album together. Holmes also wrote songs for A Star is Born.

Back to Broadway tapes

(Above: Streisand's Ampex 456 reel-to-reel master tapes from the1988 “Back to Broadway” recording sessions.)

Streisand and Holmes recorded eight new Broadway tunes with a 60-piece orchestra at the MGM/Lorimar studios in Culver City. Barbra described it as “a cavernous soundstage at the old MGM Studios.”

Only four have been released: “You'll Never Know,” “Warm All Over” and “You’ll Never Know” — all on 1991’s Just for the Record. And "How Are Things in Gloca Mora/Heather on the Hill"appeared on Release Me (2012).

Some believe the vocals and song selections from this 1988 session are superior to what ended up on Streisand’s 1993 Back to Broadway album. Rupert Holmes, in his 2003 interview with Barbra Archives, offered his ideas as to why Barbra abandoned the songs.

The sessions with Holmes were videotaped because of the enormous size of the MGM studio—Holmes needed to see Streisand, in the recording booth across the stage, while he conducted the orchestra. Rupert Holmes told Barbra Archives:

She was so far away from me, the remedy I came up with was to have a TV camera in the vocal booth ... I had a huge monitor by me so it was better than having her stand right next to me. I could see her face so closely so we were able to cut off [the orchestra] correctly.

Barbra released Till I Loved You instead of Back to Broadway in 1988. The Broadway Album sequel arrived five years later.

Screen shots from the video of Streisand singing at MGM Studio

Below are the songs she recorded in April 1988 at MGM.

* Released officially on Streisand's 2012 album, Release Me.

** Released officially on Streisand's 1991 retrospective, Just For the Record.

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