Entertainment Barbra Streisand: ‘I don't understand a lot of today's music'

10:10  29 july  2021
10:10  29 july  2021 Source:   smh.com.au

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Don ' t tell me not to fly-- Ive simply got to. If someone takes a spill, Its me and not you. Who told you you're allowed To rain on my parade! Ill march my band out, Ill beat my drum, And if Im fanned out, Your turn at bat, sir. At least I didn't fake it. Get ready for me , love, Cause Im a comer, I simply gotta march, My hearts a drummer. Don ' t bring around a cloud To rain on my parade! Im gonna live and live now, Get what I want-- i know how, One roll for the whole shebang, One throw, that bell will go clang, Eye on the target--and wham-- One shot, one gun shot, and bam-- Hey, mister arnstein, here I am!

Barbra Streisand - Barbra Streisand - Happy Days Are Here Again. It was later revealed that it was Judy who put this duet- more an interpolated piece-together! My memorable moment began with Judy singing a subdued melody line of Get Happy. This gave Barbra a lot of room to express her song.There was no orchestra, no microphones just a piano and the two ladies filled the Rehearsal Hall with such vocals and emotion it was staggering and brought on waves of chills.

There's no singing in Barbra Streisand's house. "I never sing at home. I certainly don't sing in the shower. I just don't do that," she says in that blunt Brooklyn cadence that invites no discussion. Factor in a stay-at-home pandemic and it's kind of shocking to realise one of the most extraordinary assets in showbiz has been laying utterly silent for the best part of three years.

It's not for want of trying. Some time during 2020 quarantine, she received a demo from Desmond Child, one of the many diamond-rated American tunesmiths who doubtless loves composing with her immense dramatic range in mind. For her 2018 album, Walls, he wrote Lady Liberty: "I see you rise above the crashing waves/ Bearing witness to our darkest days…"

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Director: Matt Amato Executive Producer: Jack Richardson Editor: Matt Amato Cinematographer: Matt Amato Visual Effects: Norris Houk III 1st AC/AD: Grant Leuchtner Art Director: Natalie Erdelt Studio Engineer: Michael Harris Musician: Alex Casnoff Still Photos: Ed Thrasher Music Video Rep: Danielle Hinde Production Company: THE MASSES. These cookies allow us to count visits, identify traffic sources, and understand how our services are being used so we can measure and improve performance.

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"He sent me a new track, in three different keys," Streisand says. "But I never had the time or interest to sing along with them." Without being able to book an orchestra, what was the point? Besides, the pointedly topical, boldly polemical Walls had been rewarded with her lowest album sales in six decades.

"I felt so passionate about what was happening [in America]," she says. But "people weren't interested in how I felt". Inevitably we will return to how she feels, despite her advance team's firm directive that we "keep the interview absolutely music-focused".

Her new album, Release Me 2, is worth talking about. And despite her slightly forbidding reputation - I'm pre-warned to pronounce ‘Streisand' right or else: two equally weighted syllables, hard ‘s' in the middle - the icon I decide to call ‘Barbra' is warm company. "Ooh, tell me your stories," she enthuses when I start babbling that she's been in my house forever. Hello, Dolly! Christmas albums. TV variety shows. What's Up, Doc?… "I like it," she says, "I like it."

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Toby: Nothing’ s gonna harm you Not while I ’m around Nothing’ s gonna harm you No sir, not while I ’m around Demons are prowling everywhere Nowadays I ’ll send them howling I don ’ t care I got ways No one’ s gonna hurt you No one’ s gonna dare Others can desert you Not to worry Whistle I ’ll be there.

BARBRA STREISAND ' s passion for truthfulness and excellence in her work has been a benchmark in film and music for over fifty years. As singer, actress, director, producer, composer, and stand -up citizen, she holds a voluminous list of award-winning, record-breaking credentials. She is a woman of undeniable talent, courage, and inspiration. Her greatest gift is that voice—a breathtaking sonic cornucopia filled with emotion and intelligence, able to plumb and scale the depths and heights of song in seamless fashion. Long after its recording debut in 1963, this vocal instrument remains the most

Release Me 2 is a make-do project in one sense: the archival album you pull together when the studios are locked. But with 10 unreleased songs written for her by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Barry Gibb, Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman; forgotten takes with Randy Newman, Willie Nelson and other giants spanning 1962-2014, it's no bottom-drawer affair.

"I've always kept my things," she says. "I would keep track of the tapes that weren't used. I kept track of some of my movies, the deleted scenes. And they come in handy." Take A Star Is Born. "I had final cut, which was so unusual at the time, 1976. So I could play around with the movie." As executive producer, "I controlled that movie," she reminds me.

Control is a Streisand keyword. Back in 1962, her manager Marty Erlichman negotiated a contract with Columbia Records that enshrined the upcoming 20-year-old club and theatre singer's right to choose her own material, from songs to artwork. He's still her manager. And while Columbia suggested a long list for Release Me 2, she chose the short one.

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Barbra Streisand is a celebrated American vocalist, actress, director and song writer. Barbra Streisand . I don ' t read music . Not even essentially. Barbra Streisand . When I was working a lot , I felt guilty as a parent. I couldn't pick up my son every day from school, bake him cookies and that kind

"These are all my original vocals so I didn't have to sing anything. It was just musically, you know, maybe tweaking it the way I hear them now." The subtext here is pure Barbra: she got it right the first time. The mix, the orchestration, even the chords needed bending to her will.

For her 1974 take on Carole King's You Light Up My Life, "I hired Neil Diamond's piano player to do an arrangement and I didn't like it," she says. "It didn't support my vocal. It was too dull." On Newman's Living Without You, "I didn't like the chords that accompanied me. So we fooled around with different chords until I liked them". The version of Be Aware from Bacharach's 1971 TV show was "really lousy. You couldn't hear the orchestration," but she knew she had a better take in the vault.

Time was the issue for other unearthed tracks. Barry Gibb's If Only You Were Mine didn't fit on her biggest-selling album, Guilty. With hindsight, the moonlighting Bee Gee earns a rare distinction. "I trusted him completely," she says. "I thought, ‘God, this guy knows. I'm not telling him what to do. He can tell me what to do.' I just put myself in his hands." Although it was her idea, she adds, that they both wear white on the album cover.

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It was only time, too, that shelved Sweet Forgiveness, written for her by Walter Afanasieff in 1993. "I love the melody of it," she says, but the session clock ran out after one pass. "I love things I did in one take … What did you think of Sweet Forgiveness?"

One take with a live orchestra? Who does that any more?

"That's the way I record even now," she says. "I mean, the last time I made a record."

She means Walls, the commercial disappointment of which clearly lingers.

"I was inspired," she says. "Three years ago, my voice was ... you can hear the sound of the passion in it. I sang really good and I also had a wonderful engineer, Jochem van der Saag. At the moment I put on the headphones, I could hear myself correctly." Who knew it's so hard to find someone who can hear "the difference between two-tenths of a dB and four-tenths of a dB"?

But the greater deafness, as it turned out, was to the material: songs of clear resistance to the reigning administration and heavy with bruised hope, from Imagine/ What A Wonderful World to Lady Liberty, Better Angels, Take Care of This House and the unofficial Democrat anthem, Happy Days Are Here Again.

"I can't stand to be lied to," she says. "I just couldn't deal with it. That's why I wrote the song Don't Lie To Me. I did a video too. Did you see the video? Oh my God, I guess people didn't like that," she mutters. "Making fun of the President of the United States. But you know, Teddy Roosevelt wrote about the duty of the citizen to speak out against the government if they feel. That is a part of a democracy."

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Streisand has sung for three presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and her friend Bill Clinton. Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Given her mainstream appeal, her long history of speaking out is remarkable. Her most recent concert tour of 2016 was awash in good, clean Broadway flounce and sequins as ever, but also in hot-button imagery: gun control, LGBTQI+ pride, abortion rights, womens' rights, police brutality, refugee rights, global warming…

As the minutes slip away with the afternoon sun over the cliffs of her Malibu mansion, Streisand rails against Republican obstructionism, anti-vaxxers and anti-scientists, and swoons with admiration for New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern.

In this light, her fans' failure to identify with Walls clearly jars. By comparison, this new album's 1962 flashback to the Harold Arlen/ Yip Harburg showtune Right As The Rain feels like a blissful return to safe harbour. She's had her moments of pop currency, of course - Neil Diamond, Donna Summer, Barry Gibb - but at 79, is she simply more at home in the golden age of song?

"Those golden age writers, when they were writing for Broadway plays, they were writing for characters," Streisand says. "So the song had a beginning, a middle and an end … It gives the actress in me, which is always where I start when I sing a song, a way to go. It gives me the interest in the lyric. And it has to be beautiful to sing. Beautiful music.

"I don't understand a lot of today's music. Because I can't understand the lyrics. There's some good beats, you know. Beats and sort of ... ideas?" She sounds unconvinced. "But some of them shock me today." She laughs softly. "I guess I'm from another time."

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She feels the same about movies, an area where her inroads as writer, director and producer are often overlooked. They're too sexually overt now; "abrasive," she says. "I like the mystery." Rumours have linked her to several projects in recent years, including an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Gypsy and a film about Catherine the Great. But no green lights.

"I've been offered things to direct, but they don't have my passion behind them. The several things that I'm passionate about I couldn't get made in those years. And that's the only reason I started writing a book," she says. "That, I have control over. You know what I mean?"

As of today, she's 824 pages deep into that. "That's my life up until my marriage to Jim Brolin. But they want me to write an epilogue. I was going to end with my Harvard speech in 1995 [‘The Artist As Citizen' is on YouTube]. But no, it's better to include my husband. We've been together 25 years. Can you imagine?"

Asked if the autobiography taught her anything about herself, she stalls for a while before saying, "I hate talking about myself. I don't know if you can tell that … I didn't want to review my life at all. Been there done that, you know. But it is interesting to look at something now from this distance. And realise certain things that I might not have realised at the time it was happening."

A long-time abstainer from her own press, she reveals at last that she was pleasantly surprised when her assistant started digging up old articles to jog her memory.

"What I found out about myself is that I just remembered the negative. I forgot the positive part of the review. So that kind of thing is interesting to me. You know, that's my problem. I see the negative rather than the positive."

Recently, Streisand found herself doing something she'd almost forgotten. She was out driving with her husband and decided to put on that Desmond Child song she's had lying around the house all this time.

"I started singing in the car. I never do that. But I haven't sung in such a long time. So I didn't know what kind of voice to expect, you know? As I'm singing to this track, I hit these notes that I really didn't think I could hit, being so out of practice … and my voice was there."

Funny that. She might be the one person on Earth who would doubt it.

Release Me 2 is out on August 6 through Sony Columbia.

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