Barbra Streisand's private music vault holds all the master tapes she's recorded for five decades. Now, she's sharing 11 previously unreleased songs, spanning a cross-section of her career from 1963 to the present. The collection, titled RELEASE ME, will be available on vinyl (Tuesday, September 25) and on CD (Tuesday, October 9).
To promote the release, her longtime concert co-director, Richard Jay-Alexander, will once again take to the airwaves appearing on QVC to take us closer inside this new album, as well as give us insight into the artist.
Jay-Alexander is set to make two appearances on Thursday, September 20th, in the 7:00 A.M. hour on MORNINGS MADE EASY and again in the 12:00 Noon hour on Q CHECK. These appearances on QVC always include some sort of bonus material with purchase, but no word yet on what that will be. We do know, from previous appearances, that ordered CDs show up, as scheduled, on release dates .... delivered right to your home.
When the first cut (I Think It's Going to Rain Today) was released for listening from this highly anticipated collection, on Streisand's website, the fans and followers went crazy. This looks to be another possible #1 record for Barbra, who continues never to disappoint. Broadwayworld's Pat Cerasaro got an "advance" this week and is listening and writing about RELEASE ME, so click here for it.
Streisand recently celebrated a milestone birthday, which doesn't seem possible, considering the output of material and product and is now raiding the vaults to satisfy the hunger of her longtime devoted fan base. RELEASE ME and an upcoming multiple DVD box set has everyone excited. Add the upcoming BACK TO BROOKLYN Tour and her film, GUILT TRIP, with Seth Rogen, for Christmas ... and, well, you get the idea. No retirement in sight ... and WE couldn't be happier.
In an unparalleled career, Streisand has released more than 60 albums. Many of the sessions for these albums yielded extra recordings, which weren't included on the albums they were intended for. They've all been stored in her vault until now. Over the past year, Barbra has painstakingly gone through the recordings to come up with this collection, RELEASE ME.
Highlights include: "Didn't We" written by Jimmy Webb - recorded in 1970 for an unreleased album project titled The Singer; the standard "Willow Weep For Me" - an unreleased track recorded in 1967 for Simply Streisand, arranged by Ray Ellis noted for his legendary work with Billie Holiday; A striking version of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going Rain Today," with Barbra on vocals and Newman on piano - from the 1971 Stoney End sessions; an unreleased studio version of "With One More Look At You" from A Star Is Born; Two tracks from the unreleased sequel to the acclaimed The Broadway Album, titled Back To Broadway - "Home" (from The Wiz) and "How Are Things In Glocca Morra ? / Heather On The Hill" (from Finian's Rainbow / Brigadoon).
Reflecting on the album, Streisand noted, "The thing I'm happiest about is that I still have great affection for all these songs. They appealed to me at the time...and still do. Listening now, I actually think to myself, 'The girl wasn't half bad.'"
With the exception of two songs where the original masters couldn't be located, all the tracks on RELEASE ME were transferred from first generation master tapes. Every attention was paid to preserving the sonic perspective of the sessions as they were originally recorded and mixed.
Speaking of the unreleased recordings that reside in Barbra's music vault, her long-time A&R man and co-producer of RELEASE ME, Jay Landers says in his liner notes, "All of Barbra's glorious music...her ideas...the collaborative efforts of the fortunate songwriters, arrangers, mixers and producers who have come into her orbit...the experiments...the occasional missteps and the many triumphs - all driven represent the unstoppable force of one woman's vision."