“The Singer” [unfinished album]

Streisand photo by Steve Schapiro

Recorded 1970

Clive Davis became president of Columbia/CBS Records starting in 1967. Davis was responsible for signing younger, more contemporary artists to the label like Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel. Columbia Records' transition to rock music was underway.

Barbra Streisand was recording an album called The Singer, “which I started in 1970 and never finished,” she confessed in her Just For The Record liner notes. “After I had recorded eight songs — six of which were used later on another album — Clive Davis, the president of Columbia Records at the time, asked me if I would consider putting the project aside to work with a new producer, Richard Perry, on what Clive called ‘a more contemporary album.’”

Richard Perry recalled: “I told Clive Davis [...] 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.”

The album that Perry produced —instead of The Singer — was Stoney End (1971).

The Singer Recording Sessions

September 24, 1969

Produced by Wally Gold
Arranged & Conducted by Peter Matz

* Included on The Way We Were (Studio) (1974) album

March 10, 1970

Produced by Wally Gold
Arranged & Conducted by Peter Matz

* Included on Just For The Record (1991)

** Included on The Way We Were (Studio) (1974) album

April 30, 1970

Produced by Wally Gold
Arranged & Conducted by Peter Matz

** Included on The Way We Were (Studio) (1974) album

† Included on Release Me (2012) album

End.

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