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As If She Never Said Goodbye: Barbra Streisand Goes “Back to Brooklyn”

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Barbra - Back to Brooklyn1969’s lavish Academy Award-winning film Hello, Dolly! found Barbra Streisand’s Dolly Levi returning to the Harmonia Gardens restaurant where she was serenaded with Jerry Herman’s famous title tune: “It’s so nice to have you back where you belong…!”  Some 43 years later, the same sentiments were applicable when Streisand – as herself, natch – took the stage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for two sold-out homecoming concerts.  On Tuesday, Columbia Records will release Back to Brooklyn, available in both CD and CD/DVD packages, to commemorate the event.  With a number of songs never previously performed by the superstar in concert, Back to Brooklyn draws on last year’s acclaimed from-the-vaults compilation Release Me as well as other Streisand staples and rarities.

Reviewing Release Me here at The Second Disc, we wrote, “On Saturday evening, October 13, Barbra Joan Streisand triumphantly concluded a two-night engagement at Brooklyn, New York’s brand-new Barclays Center.  The two evenings marked her first public performances in the borough of her birth since she dropped the ‘a’ from Barbara and followed the call of superstardom, first to Manhattan and then to Hollywood.  Streisand recalled to the audience of 19,000 that her last time singing in Brooklyn was on a stoop!  Still, she serenaded the community with special, lighthearted lyrics set to Cole Porter’s ‘You’re the Top’ and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye,’ relishing her hometown comeback.  More serious than all the talk of knishes and bialys, however, was Streisand’s deeply emotional performance of a song introduced in the 1967 Broadway musical Hallelujah, Baby!

‘Being Good Isn’t Good Enough’ was written by Funny Girl composer Jule Styne, with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and it translated a central point of Arthur Laurents’ provocative book into song.  (Laurents, of course, was another close associate of Streisand’s, having directed her Broadway debut in I Can Get It for You Wholesale.  He would later pen The Way We Were for the star.)  In the musical, a young black woman harbors dreams of stardom, cognizant that she must be more than superlative to overcome the obstacles society has placed due to the color of her skin.  Though Streisand wouldn’t compare her own journey to that of the character in the musical, she found resonance in the lyric, as an artist famously branded as a ‘perfectionist’ and as a performer for whom being simply good is altogether insufficient.”

What will you find on this new live album?  Hit the jump to find out!  Plus: pre-order links and more!

Back to Brooklyn, recorded on both October 2012 nights at the Barclays Center, includes performances of all those above-mentioned songs.  Also from Release Me, Streisand tackles Jimmy Webb’s timeless “Didn’t We,” and indeed, that wistful reminiscence captured the tone of the concerts.  Streisand feted many old friends – such as Alan and Marilyn Bergman, with a medley of “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and “That Face.”  She also paid tribute to those friends and collaborators who sadly passed on, such as Donna Summer (“No More Tears (Enough is Enough)),” Marvin Hamlisch (an affecting “The Way We Were” paired with the new-to-Streisand “Looking Through the Eyes of Love”), Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story/The Broadway Album perennial “Somewhere” and Candide finale “Make Our Garden Grow”) and Jule Styne (not just “Being Good,” but also a medley combining Funny Girl classic “Don’t Rain On My Parade” with “Rose’s Turn” and “Some People” from the Laurents/Styne/Stephen Sondheim Gypsy, which Streisand has long hoped to turn into a feature film).

Both the CD and DVD include guest performances by trumpeter Chris Botti and vocalist (and Streisand’s son) Jason Gould; the DVD only makes room for a duet of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” performed with the Italian vocal quartet Il Volo.  The track listings are very similar, however, with the CD containing 24 tracks and the DVD boasting 28.  In addition to “Smile,” the DVD also is the only place you’ll find “Happy Days Are Here Again,” the brief “Enough is Enough,” “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long,” Jason Gould’s performances of “Nature Boy” and “This Masquerade,”   and the I Remember Barbra documentary film as shown at the Barclays concerts.  The nostalgic film features interviews with Brooklynites who knew or remembered Streisand from her youth there.

A longtime Columbia Records artist, Streisand is the only performer to have accomplished No. 1 albums in five consecutive decades.  In addition, she has scored 51 gold, 30 platinum and 13 multi-platinum albums.  Back to Brooklyn isn’t the only Streisand appearance on CD to watch out for this holiday season, however.  The vocalist also appears with Mary J. Blige and Chris Botti on “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Blige’s A Mary Christmas (produced by Broadway Album alumnus David Foster) and with Il Divo – not to be confused with Il Volo – on their new A Musical Affair, singing a live rendition of “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera.  Il Divo backed Streisand on her 2006 tour, and the track is reprised from Streisand’s Top 10 release Live in Concert 2006.

Back to Brooklyn celebrates the singer’s unsurpassed career, looking back on each era of her stage, film and recording success over the years.  It’s available from Columbia Records on Tuesday, November 25 as a CD/DVD Edition and a standalone CD, and can be pre-ordered at the links below!

Barbra Streisand, Back to Brooklyn (Columbia Records, 2013)

CD/DVD Deluxe Edition: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD Only: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.


  1. I Remember Barbra #1
  2. As If We Never Said Goodbye
  3. Nice ‘n’ Easy / That Face
  4. The Way He Makes Me Feel
  5. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
  6. Didn’t We
  7. Marvin Hamlisch intro
  8. The Way We Were / Through The Eyes Of Love
  9. Jule Styne intro
  10. Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
  11. Rose’s Turn / Some People / Don’t Rain On My Parade
  12. I Remember Barbra #2
  13. You’re The Top
  14. What’ll I Do / My Funny Valentine (w/Chris Botti)
  15. Lost Inside Of You (w/Chris Botti)
  16. Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) (w/Chris Botti)
  17. Jason Gould intro
  18. How Deep Is The Ocean (Duet w/Jason Gould)
  19. People
  20. Here’s To Life intro
  21. Here’s To Life
  22. Make Our Garden Grow
  23. Some Other Time intro
  24. Some Other Time


  1. Back to Brooklyn
  2. As If We Never Said Goodbye
  3. I Remember Brooklyn (Dialogue)
  4. Nice ‘n’ Easy / That Face
  5. The Way He Makes Me Feel
  6. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
  7. Didn’t We
  8. Smile (w/Il Volo)
  9. Q&A
  10. Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long
  11. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
  12. The Way We Were / Through The Eyes Of Love
  13. Being Good Isn’t Good Enough
  14. Rose’s Turn / Some People / Don’t Rain On My Parade
  15. I Remember Barbra
  16. You’re The Top
  17. What’ll I Do / My Funny Valentine (w/Chris Botti)
  18. Lost Inside Of You (w/Chris Botti)
  19. Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born) (w/Chris Botti)
  20. Nature Boy (Birthday video performed by Jason Gould)
  21. How Deep Is The Ocean (Duet w/ Jason Gould)
  22. People
  23. Here’s To Life
  24. Make Our Garden Grow / Somewhere
  25. Some Other Time
  26. Happy Days Are Here Again
  27. “This Masquerade” (Performed by Jason Gould) (Bonus Feature)
  28. I Remember Barbra Documentary Film (Bonus Feature)

Written by Joe Marchese

November 21, 2013 at 14:17

Posted in Barbra Streisand, DVD, News

5 Responses

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  1. This should be good! Whatever happened to the DVD box set that was coming out – has anyone heard?


    November 21, 2013 at 15:06

    • I’ve been theorizing about (My Life in Words and Music) the box set you mention. I think it got held over until she releases the duets album she is working on. I would say fall next year. This way both products could be released in conjunction with each other resulting in cross promotion. We will have to wait and see.


      November 21, 2013 at 16:11

      • Let’s hope! I wish they’d put out a “Complete” box in the way they have for Johnny Cash, Tony Bennett and Bob Dylan.


        November 24, 2013 at 12:57

  2. Barbra is great. Though I am not a fan of ranking or saying one artist is “better” than another, I would still argue that there are some legends whose careers might be considered as “surpassing” Barbra’s. She might even agree. But if she maintains her pipes for another decade, I’ll grant your point.


    November 21, 2013 at 15:08

  3. What’s with the photo on the cover? Barbra looks about 25!


    December 2, 2013 at 03:57

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