Release Me 2 Barbra Streisand

Album info

Album-Release:
2021

HRA-Release:
05.08.2021

Label: Columbia/Legacy

Genre: Vocal

Subgenre: Vocal Pop

Artist: Barbra Streisand

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Be Aware03:39
  • 2You Light Up My Life03:38
  • 3I'd Want It To Be You04:02
  • 4Sweet Forgiveness05:12
  • 5Living Without You02:05
  • 6One Day (A Prayer)03:05
  • 7Rainbow Connection03:22
  • 8Right As The Rain03:00
  • 9If Only You Were Mine02:35
  • 10Once You've Been In Love03:06
  • Total Runtime33:44

Info for Release Me 2



Treasures from the vault! The only artist to ever achieve #1 albums in SIX consecutive decades, Barbra Streisand’s Release Me 2 is yet another musical gem in her unparalleled career. The follow-up to her acclaimed 2012 album, Release Me, this new collection contains previously unreleased tracks from Barbra’s vault, including duets with Willie Nelson and Kermit the Frog. With songs by Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Barry Gibb, Paul Williams, Randy Newman, Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Harold Arlen, and Carole King, Barbra describes Release Me 2 as, “A lovely walk down memory lane…a chance to revisit, and in some cases, add a finishing instrumental touch to songs that still resonate for me in meaningful ways.”

The first new Barbra Streisand album title since 2018’s Walls, Release Me 2 is the eagerly-awaited second volume of Barbra Streisand rarities, a timely companion to her highly-successful 2012 Columbia/Legacy album Release Me, which entered the Billboard 200 at #7, making it her 32nd Top 10 and 7th consecutive Top 10 album at the time.

Giving fans their first taste of Release Me 2, “I’d Want It To Be You”–Barbra’s irresistible duet with Willie Nelson–will be released via all digital service providers along with a lyric video for the song on Friday, June 4. A track originally intended for Partners, her 2014 album of duets with superstar male singers, this Barbra Streisand-Willie Nelson vocal collaboration was still a work-in-progress as Partners‘ release date approached. Produced by Walter Afanasieff & Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, “I’d Want It To Be You” was recorded in 2014 and 2020.

Release Me 2 showcases exquisite songs and sublime studio performances recorded over the course of Barbra’s astounding career, but shelved for various reasons. In her notes for the album, Barbra says, “For me, the studio is a combination musical playground and laboratory…a private sanctuary, where the possibility of catching lightning in a bottle always exists. Whenever that kind of magic happens, it’s extremely satisfying. Sometimes though, when the arrangement doesn’t quite gel or the song no longer fits the tone of the album it was meant for, the tapes go into the vault for safekeeping. Working on this 2nd volume of Release Me has been a lovely walk down memory lane…a chance to revisit, and in some cases, add a finishing instrumental touch to songs that still resonate for me in meaningful ways. I’m particularly struck by the ongoing relevance of ‘Be Aware’ and ‘One Day,’ which still speak to our collective sense of humanity.”

Throughout her career, Barbra’s passionate social activism has been a driving force in her art and life. Her performances of “Be Aware” and “One Day (A Prayer)” connect to the core of the human condition. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David as response to the plight of world hunger and homeless children, “Be Aware” was recorded in the studio to establish an arrangement for Barbra’s appearance on the 1971 television special, “Singer Presents Burt Bacharach. Produced by Burt Bacharach & Barbra Streisand, “Be Aware” was recorded in 1971 and 2020.

Featuring a melody by Michel Legrand and lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, “One Day (A Prayer)” is an evocatively hopeful message of peace. Barbra recorded the song on three separate occasions in 1968-69, each with a different arranger. All three versions were archived in the vault until 1990 when a rough mix of the Don Costa arrangement was broadcast on The Earth Day Special (ABC), featuring a video of Barbra performing the song. Release Me 2 presents the Don Costa arrangement of this glorious anthem with the finished mix it’s always deserved. Produced by Barbra Streisand & Wally Gold, “One Day (A Prayer)” was recorded in 1968.

Release Me 2 features songs penned by celebrated writers and tunesmiths including Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Barry Gibb, Randy Newman, Michel Legrand/Alan Bergman/Marilyn Bergman, Harold Arlen and “Yip” Harburg, Carole King, Steve Dorff, Paul Williams/Kenny Ascher, and Walter Afanasieff/John Bettis.

In addition to her duet with Willie Nelson, Release Me 2 features Barbra singing with Muppet superstar Kermit the Frog on the classic composition “Rainbow Connection” (originally intended for Barbra’s Wet album in 1979) and a musical collaboration with Barry Gibb on “If Only You Were Mine,” written by Barry Gibb/Ashley Gibb/Stephen Gibb as a potential bonus track for 2005’s Guilty Pleasures. Produced by Barbra Streisand & Jochem van der Saag, “Rainbow Connection” was recorded in 1979 and 2020. “If Only You Were Mine” was produced by Barry Gibb and John Merchant in 2005.

Other highlights on Release Me 2 include Barbra’s interpretation of Carole King’s “You Light Up My Life,” a song from King’s 1973 Fantasy album which Barbra recorded for potential inclusion on her 1974 Butterfly collection. Produced by Barbra Streisand, with additional production and mix by Jochem van der Saag, “You Light Up My Life” was recorded in 1974 and 2020.

Release Me 2 includes a spellbinding studio performance of the Walter Afanasieff/John Bettis composition, “Sweet Forgiveness,” a soaring emotional ballad produced by Walter Afanasieff & Barbra Streisand, recorded in 1994.

Barbra’s heartrending interpretation of Randy Newman’s “Living Without You” was one of four Newman compositions originally recorded in 1971 for Barbra’s Stoney End album. Fine-tuned and polished for Release Me 2, “Living Without You” was produced & arranged by Walter Afanasieff & Barbra Streisand and recorded in 1971 and 2020; the original vocal was produced by Richard Perry.

The earliest studio recording on Release Me 2 is Barbra’s incandescent performance of “Right As The Rain,” an elegant ballad penned by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg (“Over The Rainbow”) for the 1944 Broadway musical, “Bloomer Girl.” This is one of four songs Barbra recorded in 1962, prior to cutting her debut album the following year. Though she re-recorded the song for The Second Barbra Streisand Album in 1963, this essential early studio performance captures the sound and spirit of a young emerging superstar talent. Produced by Mike Berniker, “Right As The Rain” was recorded in 1962.

Release Me 2 closes with “Once You’ve Been In Love,” a Michel Legrand/Alan Bergman/Marilyn Bergman composition transformed into a stunning once-in-a-lifetime tour de force, a single-take live-in-the-studio performance with Barbra singing directly in front of the orchestra without the benefit of an isolated vocal booth. The effect is remarkable, with Barbra’s voice, the orchestration, the lyrics and the music blending together in a cascading unified complex of sound and emotion.Produced by Barbra Streisand, arranged & conducted by Michel Legrand, mixed by John Arias, “Once You’ve Been In Love” was recorded in 1973.

Barbra Streisand

Digitally remastered


Barbra Streisand
is the only recording artist to have number one albums in five consecutive decades. She has achieved 51 Gold, 30 Platinum and 18 multi-Platinum albums, each of which, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, exceeds all other female singers. Her most recent GRAMMY® nominated album, What Matters Most, and Release Me became her 31st and 32nd to reach the Top Ten in the charts, with which she passed The Beatles to become the third highest achiever in that significant statistic, exceeded only by the Rolling Stones and Frank Sinatra. She is the only female among the top ten album-selling recording artists and also the only one to have done so in the pop music field during decades dominated by rock and country sales dominance. In her sixth decade of providing music magic, Barbra Streisand continues to reach the top of the charts. Her Back To Brooklyn concert DVD was confirmed as No. 1 on the Billboard Top DVD Music Video chart. Achieving that distinction with the Columbia Records release, Streisand now has topped the DVD charts five times. Her success in the DVD field also includes having earned nine Gold DVDs, six Platinum and three multi-Platinum titles.

The Streisand Foundation has given millions of dollars in more than 2100 grants to over 700 non-profit organizations including her substantial underwriting of The Cedars-Sinai Barbra Streisand Women's Cardiovascular Research and Education Program which addresses the leading cause of death among women in the United States. The legendary artist also has raised many millions more for a variety of causes through her performances. Barbra Streisand was recently honored by the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors for her generous support and dedication to the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at Cedars Sinai Hospital.

About Funny Girl:

The musical by librettist Isobel Lennart, composer Jule Styne (Gypsy, Bells Are Ringing) and lyricist Bob Merrill (Carnival, New Girl in Town) depicted the rise to fame of comedienne/Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice (Streisand, in her second Broadway role) and her troubled relationship with husband Nicky Arnstein (Sydney Chaplin, son of Charlie and star of Styne’s Bells Are Ringing and Subways Are For Sleeping). Kay Medford and Danny Meehan also starred as Mrs. Brice and Eddie Ryan, respectively, and future All in the Family “Dingbat” Jean Stapleton was featured as Mrs. Strakosh. Funny Girl, directed by Garson Kanin and produced by Brice’s son-in-law Ray Stark, opened on March 26, 1964 after 17 previews at the Winter Garden Theatre (today, home to the musical Rocky). It then transferred to two more theaters before closing in 1967 after 1,348 performances; Mimi Hines succeeded Streisand as Fanny.

The show earned eight Tony nominations, but won none of them thanks to the unstoppable competition from David Merrick’s production of Hello, Dolly!. Streisand would be awarded for her portrayal of Fanny, however, when she won Golden Globe and Academy Awards for the 1968 film version. It would be her first role in a film. The musical produced a number of standards, including “I’m The Greatest Star,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and, of course, “People,” not to mention one of the most electrifying overtures ever composed.

The original cast album, one of Streisand’s only recordings not on Columbia Records, was recorded over just one session (as was standard practice at the time) at the Manhattan Center studios on April 5, 1964 and was produced by Dick Jones. Longtime Broadway champion Goddard Lieberson, the president of Columbia, reportedly passed on the cast album but made a stipulation that Streisand record a number of songs from the score for Columbia which she did in December of that year. (Two – “Who Are You Now” and “Cornet Man” – still remain locked in the Columbia vaults.) Lieberson might have rethought his passing on the album if he could have foreseen its success. In stores just a scant week after it was recorded, it went on to spend 51 weeks on the Billboard chart. It peaked at No. 2, kept from pole position only by The Beatles’ Second Album (illuminating how much the charts have changed over 50 years!). The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Funny Girl would eventually be certified Gold in September of 1964 and go on to win the Grammy for Best Original Cast Album. It was released on CD in 1987 on Capitol and in 1992 on EMI’s Broadway Angel Label, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

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