on May 31, 2000
For those who enjoy Barbra Streisand's unique voice and dynamic delivery, this album is excellent. It is a fairly comprehensive collection of her best material from 1964 to 1969.
There are only two Top 40 cuts, "Second Hand Rose" and the wonderful "People", Barbra's only Top 10 offering of the period. However, it must be noted that with artists who are more accurately considered easy listening than pop, chart position is a very misleading gauge of the quality of their songs.
This album also includes a beautiful version of "He Touched Me", the tongue-in-cheek "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long", the powerful "Don't Rain on My Parade" and the triumphant "Happy Days are Here Again." Granted, none gained particular commercial success, but all are very good selections.
Greatest Hits may be a bit too strong a title for a very diverse compilation, some of which just barely crawled into the Top 100 and a couple of which didn't make the list at all. Nonetheless, there are several very good songs here, more than enough to make this a worthwhile investment.
on June 9, 2003
Barbra Streisand was the best selling female artist of the sixties (and would become the best-selling female artist of the twentieth century) with incredible string of hit albums during which she scored 11 gold records. It is more than a little ironic that during this time she only scored two Top 40 singles: the big hit "People" (#5 Pop, #1 Adult Contemporary), which is still perhaps her signature song, and the moderate hit "Second Hand Rose" (#32 Pop, #5 Adult Contemporary). Streisand did reach the Billboard Hot 100 eight more times during the `60s though, and recorded plenty of prime album tracks from her astonishingly consistent records which gives this compilation a justifiable reason to exist.
Some of the best performances of Streisand's long career are to be found here in "He Touched Me" (#53 Pop, #2 Adult Contemporary), "Why Did I Choose You" (#77 Pop, #15 Adult Contemporary), "My Man" (#79 Pop, #17 Adult Contemporary), "Free Again" (#83 Pop, #8 Adult Contemporary) and the stunning "Don't Rain On My Parade" (which was shockingly never issued as an A-side single). The charting single "Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long" (#98 Pop, #9 Adult Contemporary) makes it's only full length appearance on a Streisand album (it was previously only a part of the long "Circus Medley" from COLOR ME BARBRA), however, I really wish the rare single versions of "Happy Days Are Here Again" and "My Coloring Book" (which were completely different recordings than the album versions) had been included - even though the live version of "Happy Days" is stunning in it's own right.
It is worth noting that the disc ignores a whole raft of her lower-charting singles like "Absent Minded Me" (#44 Pop, #6 Adult Contemporary), "Where Am I Going" (#94 Pop, #4 Adult Contemporary), "The Minute Waltz" (#5 Adult Contemporary), "Non C'est Rien" (#15 Adult Contemporary), "Stout Hearted Men" (#92 Pop, #2 Adult Contemporary), "Lover Man" (#29 Adult Contemporary), "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You" (#19 Adult Contemporary), the film version of "Funny Girl" (#25 Adult Contemporary), a cover of the Beatles' "Honey Pie" (#35 Adult Contemporary), and the failed pop crossover "Our Corner of the Night" (#107 Pop, #5 Adult Contemporary). Streisand also recorded some non-LP B-sides that became chart entries on their own, including "I am Woman" (#114 Pop), the abandoned, up-tempo stage version of "Funny Girl" (#123 Pop), and "You Wanna Bet" (#18 Adult Contemporary). It is somewhat of a shame that none of these rare tracks were included. Some signature album tracks are also absent (such as "Cry Me A River" and "When The Sun Comes Out") - but perhaps that would have been too wide a focus for any vinyl-age compilation.
Even though there is a considerable amount of missing singles, GREATEST HITS does remain an excellent primer of some of Streisand's most memorable single recordings. I do wish that some of the alternate single versions of certain songs had been utilized, as well as including a few charting B-sides, but such practices were not yet common back in 1969. None of this matters, however, as the eleven recordings present on this disc are so amazing that no listener should feel disappointed. While I strongly suggest that anyone interested in Streisand check out her early albums in their entirety, GREATEST HITS will more than fit the bill for listeners who only looking for a single disc summary of her sixties output.
Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits gives us what is really just a sampling of her very best. This disappoints me because it is not a thorough "greatest hits" package; but what we do get here is excellent material. The sound quality is excellent and the artwork is very nicely done.
"People" starts off the CD with a smash hit for Streisand; she sounds like pure silk on this number and there couldn't be a better interpretation that the one Barbra does here! The strings are very beautiful and I like the harp, too. "Second Hand Rose" is an older number that gets a ragtime flavored musical arrangement--listen for that piano! Barbra aces this easily and I've always liked her rendition of "Second Hand Rose." It makes me smile whenever I hear it. Great!
"Why Did I Choose You" is a tender love song that Barbra makes glisten like gold when she delivers it so flawlessly; Barbra Streisand fans are sure to love this tune! Barbra sings her heart out on "Why Did I Choose You" and just one listen proves it. There's also "He Touched Me;" this ballad is a wonderful highlight of this album. Barbra is able to capture the joy a woman can feel when her one true love shows his affection for her; and that's grand.
"Free Again" is quite a stunner; this somewhat torchy song moves with its beauty. However, what really impresses me the most on this album would have to be "Don't Rain On My Parade" from Funny Girl. Barbra opens us and lifts this tune to new heights; I've never heard anything like it. Barbra's delivery of "Don't Rain On My Parade" is truly one of her best masterpieces ever.
"Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long" is another song that makes me smile; this nostalgic tune gets the royal treatment with what sounds like a washboard used as a type of percussion treatment. Barbra performs "Sam, You Made The Pants Too Long" a charming little tune that you can't resist playing over and over again. "My Man" is also a fine ballad on this CD; I think you'll like this very much if you haven't heard Barbra sing it yet.
The CD ends well with Barbra Streisand performing "Happy Days Are Here Again;" this live concert track features Barbra literally front and center--and that's quite all right with me! Streisand does a fine job on "Happy Days Are Here Again."
This is not a complete "greatest hits" album--and it wasn't even when it was originally released on record album! I must take off 1 and ½ stars for this flaw. However, what we do hear is wonderful words and music, so Streisand fans will want this for their collections.
on March 2, 1999
This collection, simply titled GREATEST HITS, features the best of Streisand's recordings from the sixties before she took off for an even better (and more successful) career as a more pop oriented performer in the seventies. But no matter which decade your're more found of, this is a must-own for any Streisand fan.
This album, mostly containing standards and show tunes, includes the pop singles "People" and "Second Hand Rose," which were two of her biggest hits of the 60's. Also making an appearence are two more songs from the film version of FUNNY GIRL, the show stopping "Don't Rain On My Parade" and her classic rendition of "My Man."
"He Touched Me" is beautifully arranged, while she explores heartache in the unusual "My Colouring Book" and her sense of humor in "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long." A live version of "Happy Days Are Here Again," from A HAPPENING IN CENTRAL PARK, closes the package with a sense of hope and a promise of what the future would bring.
on October 9, 2013
Review by William Ruhlmann
At a time when Barbra Streisand's career was in decline, what turned out to be only her first greatest-hits album seemed to serve as both a summing up and a kiss-off of her 1960s recordings. Streisand was not primarily a singles artist; between 1964 and 1969, she enjoyed nine chart singles, of which only one, "People," made the Top Ten, with only one other, "Second Hand Rose," reaching the Top 40. But in that time, she scored seven gold-selling, Top Ten albums. This hits collection contained seven of her chart singles, plus her non-charting early single "My Coloring Book," "Happy Days Are Here Again," which was one of the highlights of her debut album (heard here in the live version from A Happening in Central Park), and "Don't Rain on My Parade" from the Funny Girl soundtrack. For casual fans, that made for a good sampling of Streisand's most prominent '60s work, and if at the time it seemed likely that this was all the hits there would be, instead the '60s proved to be only the first chapter in Streisand's career.
on March 28, 2016
What can you say about Barbra Streisand? She's a very talented singer, songwriter, actress, Academy Award Winner, promoter for special causes, and she's always been loyal to her fans. Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits is just like the woman ~ GREAT!!!!
on August 17, 2005
In December of 1970, Barbra Streisand released her thirteenth album entitled, BARBRA STREISAND'S GREATEST HITS. This album may have been her thirteenth album overall, but it was to be her first-ever greatest hits compilation, featuring the hits from 1963 to 1969.
From the album PEOPLE (1964). Still a beautiful song.
SECOND HAND ROSE
From the album MY NAME IS BARBRA, TWO... (1965). Still a great song.
WHY DID I CHOOSE YOU?
From the album MY NAME IS BARBRA (1965). Great.
HE TOUCHED ME
From the album MY NAME IS BARBRA, TWO... (1965). Great.
From the album JE M'APPELLE BARBRA (1966). Not bad.
DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE
From the original motion picture & motion picture soundtrack FUNNY GIRL (1968). Barbra had already played the role of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical version, but she then reprised her role of Fanny Brice in the film adapted version, which is where this song is from, with Barbra singing it. Great song.
MY COLORING BOOK
From the album THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM (1963). Great.
SAM, YOU MADE THE PANTS TOO LONG
From the album COLOR ME BARBRA (1966). This song, which is great, is included on that medley from her COLOR ME BARBRA album.
From the album MY NAME IS BARBRA (1965). Great.
From the albums THE SECOND BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM (1963) & COLOR ME BARBRA (1966). Great song.
HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
From the album THE BARBRA STREISAND ALBUM (1963). Great song.
Not that many greatest hits, but how would you like to own these hits again, but on one CD? Great, wouldn't be? Well, all you have to do is just simply place in your order for BARBRA STREISAND'S GREATEST HITS or you could just go to an actual store and buy it. Either way, you are still buying a great album.
on May 18, 2013
What can I say about Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits which hasn't yet been said so many times? Her voice was simply the best ever recorded. Not even trained, how she managed to interpret a song at such an early age is beyond comprehension to me. It has been said that her songs are 3 minute movies: she introduces the set-up, follows with conflict and drama and finishes it with a climax (usually a huge over the top long note.) NO song is simply boring and one note ... each word ... in fact each syllable, is carefully and uniquely phrased. Amazing.
on May 27, 1999
Streisand's music from the sixties is featured here, in a superb package which includes such classics as "People," "He Touched Me," and "My Man." This 1969 release, together with 1978's "Greatest Hits, Volume 2," shows just how gifted and versatile Streisand is. She doesn't think she created the universe (an absurd remark), but, with a voice like this, perhaps she should rule it.
on November 10, 2011
Barbra Strisand's "Greatest Hits" album was released in January, 1970 and was her very first compilation album for Columbia. The LP(CD) features her biggest songs from the 1960's including "Don't Rain on My Parade", "People", and "My Man". The only new song from this set is "Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long" which was a single for Barbra in 1966, but never released on an album.
This particular "Greatest Hits" record has been certified by the RIAA as "Double Platinum" meaning it has sold over $2,000,000 copies. It was followed by Barbra's second greatest hits record called "Barbra's Greatest Hits-Volume 2" in 1978.