I'm talking, of course, about Barbra.
And certainly, were one to peruse my record collection when I was teen, it most likely would have given one pause for reflection. Yes, you would find the requisite mix of Pink Floyd, The Cars, Fleetwood Mac. But you'd also see Barbra Streisand. Or even worse, Anne Murray's "A New Kind of Feeling." Egad. If that's doesn't scream out gay, I'm not sure what does.
With that in mind, Josie's mother purchased "Just for the Record..." a few months ago, which is I guess, a retrospective of Barbra's career over the course of fourty years. I was drooling over it. I just couldn't wait to listen to it. Every time I'd go to her house I'd feel the urge to snatch it off her shelf. But I was good. But, I must admit, I practically had an orgasm the day Josie brought them home.
And now, now that I've listened to each and every side, I have a secret confession to make.
If this is for the record, then Babs better make another record.
Certainly the first two discs--from the sixties--are superlative. The first disc is very young Barbra--pre Funny Girl--and just full of kitschy delights, such as "Miss Marmelstein." The second disc, while extremely heavy on "Funny Girl," is very very good. I especially love--in fact, I play over and over again--"You Wanna Bet," which just has to boast an arrangement from Nelson Riddle. I get the same tingles I get hearing Ella sing with Nelson--the orchestration falls upon the ears not as a series of note, but as a series of delights, and the singer sounds engaged and working hard to convey the song in an original, fresh way. And I also like "Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead" with Harold Arlen.
But then you get on to discs three and four, and it's an absolute wasteland. The songs are just...drippy. You get one upbeat number "Stoney End," and then song after song (with the exception of "You're the Top") that's just sad, sad, sad, sad.
This is not her best. Nor, do I suspect, is it intended to be. I think it's more a collection of odds and sods, to nick The Who. But even so..no "No More Tears"??? I mean, "Wet" was one of my absolute favourite albums of all time! "Kiss Me In the Rain," "Wet," "One Rainy Afternoon,"...oh, come on...