Barbra Streisand – The Way We Were

First Hit #1: February 2, 1974

Barbra Streisand spells her name in a very annoying manner.

Film songs tend to do well in the charts, possibly because people remember the relevant moments in the picture and the images that came with the song make it come along. This could also explain why the music video revolution substantially changed the musical landscape – visuals can make new connection which can elevate the song significantly. It could also explain why an overwrought ballad like The Way We Were can become a huge hit, because it’s the kind of thing that works well in a movie. It’s nostalgic and in context can bring out all the right emotions, capping off the film and defining the experience for everyone involved. Out of context, it’s an overblown ballad, but I’ve never seen The Way We Were.

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One Response to Barbra Streisand – The Way We Were

  1. RBerman says:

    Streisand was the last major Broadway star to be a major pop star. She owed her phrasing to previous jazz greats like Dinah Washington (compare http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj1-ylSfaZI) but knew how to bring the soft rock (and occasionally disco) that the ’70s demanded. Plus, awesome pipes, with her legendary ability to hold single notes for inhuman lengths. The lyrics clearly struck a chord with everyone fondly remembering the vigor of youth, while the music was pleasant enough not to alienate the demographic likely to think about such things. Two verses ending with the title catchphrase, bridge, and one final verse with a coda. A very Broadway song construction, for a very Broadway singer.

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