Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Memory" by Barbra Streisand

Song#:  0924
Date:  02/20/1982
Debut:  86
Peak:  52
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Streisand's previous single "Comin' In and Out of Your Life" just missed the Top 10 peaking at #11. It was one of three new recordings put on her compilation LP "Memories." This second single was one of those new recordings and it returned Streisand to her Broadway roots. Featured in the 1981 Andrew Lloyd Webber West End (London) musical "Cats," Streisand recorded and released the song long before the show made its Stateside Broadway debut in October, 1982. Even though she scooped the song before other performers in the US, it may have been a bit early to release the song. It was well-known in the UK due to the show and cast member Elaine Paige's #6 hit version, but the song was still unfamiliar to most US audiences. This could be part of the reason the big showstopper fizzled for Streisand, not even reaching the top half of the chart. However, AC listeners reacted well and it reached #9 on that chart.

ReduxReview:  I think I knew about "Cats" before this single was released but had not heard any of the music yet. So I'm sure this was my first exposure to the show. I remember liking it and Streisand taking to the nth degree, however I wasn't blown away by it. When the Broadway show hit I got the cast album. The songs didn't make much sense to me and I shrugged the LP off. Later, the show turned into a great memory (pun intended) when my best friend visited me in Boston while I was at college and I got us tickets to see the show there. We totally loved it. Looking back on it now, if I saw the show today I probably would not like it. I mean, the show is fun - they all act like cats! But when it comes down to it, there is no major plot. You just get introduced to different cats and one gets picked to get "reborn." There's your plot. I still look back on it with fondness, but I'm not a fan of the show anymore.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  It wouldn't be the last time Streisand got the scoop on a Lloyd Webber song. A few weeks before the London opening of Lloyd Webber's musical "Sunset Boulevard," Streisand released her LP "Back to Broadway." Included on the album was one of the show's songs, "As If We Never Said Goodbye." Produced by Lloyd Webber himself, Streisand introduced the song to the world before the show even officially debuted.


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