Barbra Streisand to Release Shelved Nightclub Recordings Originally Slated for First Album

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Barbra Streisand is set to release her run of 1962 shows at the Greenwich Village nightclub, Bon Soir, as a live album. Live at Bon Soir will be released on November 4 via Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings.

The album was recorded over three nights when Streisand was just 20 years old. The fabled recordings were originally intended to become Streisand’s debut album but were ultimately shelved in favor of the 1963 studio effort, The Barbra Streisand Album. Her actual debut went on to win several Grammys, including the coveted Album of the Year.

Ahead of the album’s release, Streisand has shared a teaser from the record—a powerhouse rendition of the Arthur Hamilton-penned song, “Cry Me a River.” Find the song below.

Live at Bon Soir will arrive on the 60th anniversary of the 1962 shows. The album was pulled from the original master tapes which have remained unreleased for six decades. Streisand produced the final record alongside Martin Erlichman and Jay Landers.

The album required a heavy amount of audio engineering to be ready for release. The nightclub was not set up for such a recording, and, as engineer Jochem van der Saag notes, “there was a lot of leakage from the instruments into her vocal mic.”

He continued, “If we wanted to lower the volume of the piano, for example, the vocal volume would decrease, too. To give listeners ‘the best seat in the house,’ we used cutting-edge spectral editing technology, clarifying the true artistry of Barbra and her band.”

Streisand also penned the liner notes for the album. In one section, she recalls her journey to the Bon Soir stage, “I had never even been in a nightclub until I sang in one. I sang two songs in a talent contest at a little club called The Lion and won, which led to being hired at a more sophisticated supper club around the corner called the Bon Soir, with an actual stage and a spotlight. The buzz that began at the Bon Soir led to a contract with Columbia Records in 1962, the start of a long association that continues to this day. The initial plan for my first album was to record it at the club, and these early tapes have been sleeping in my vault for six decades. I’m delighted to finally bring them out into the light and share what could have been my debut album, Live At The Bon Soir.”

The album will arrive digitally and in a CD format first, while a special vinyl version will follow next year in the Spring of 2023. Find the full tracklist below.

Live at Bon Soir Track

1. Introduction by David Kapralik (Columbia Records)/My Name Is Barbra (Leonard Bernstein)
2. Much More (Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt)
3. Napoleon (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg)
4. I Hate Music (Leonard Bernstein)
5. Right As The Rain (Harold Arlen/E.Y. Harburg)
6. Cry Me A River (Arthur Hamilton)
7. Value (Jeff Harris)
8. Lover, Come Back To Me (Oscar Hammerstein II/Sigmund Romberg)
9. Band Introductions
10. Soon It’s Gonna Rain (Harvey Schmidt/Tom Jones)
11. Come To The Supermarket (In Old Peking) (Cole Porter
12. When The Sun Comes Out (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler)
13. Happy Days Are Here Again (Jack Yellen/Milton Ager)
14. Keepin’ Out Of Mischief Now (Andy Razaf/Thomas “Fats” Waller)
15. A Sleepin’ Bee (Harold Arlen/Truman Capote)
16. I Had Myself A True Love (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer)
17. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart)
18. Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf? (Frank Churchill/Ann Ronell)
19. I’ll Tell The Man In The Street (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart)
20. A Taste Of Honey (Bobby Scott/Ric Marlow)
21. Never Will I Marry (Frank Loesser)
22. Nobody’s Heart Belongs To Me (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart)
23. My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms (Herman Ruby/Joseph Meyer)
24. I Stayed Too Long At The Fair (Billy Barnes)

(Photo by Terry Fincher/Express/Getty Images)

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