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Duets Original recording remastered

486 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 26, 2002
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Product Description

17 enchanting duets from across her career plus two new ones (with Barry Manilow and Josh Groban)! Includes Cryin' Time with Ray Charles; I've Got a Crush on You with Frank Sinatra; Lost Inside of You with Kris Kristofferson; Guilty with Barry Gibb, Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again with Judy Garland, plus Neil Diamond, Bryan Adams, Celine Dion and more!

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Even in the face of epochal success, it's tempting to ponder what Barbra Streisand might have accomplished had she not spread herself across so many diverse entertainment media; so much ambition, so little time. This collection of 19 Streisand duets chronicles collaborations with Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland at one end of the scale and Don Johnson at the other. It finds the singer dabbling--if, as her bluesy miscue with Ray Charles on "Crying Time" argues, not necessarily triumphing--in styles she largely eschewed elsewhere in her career. Still, her unlikely collaborations with Barry Gibb ("Guilty," "What Kind of Fool") and Donna Summer ("No More Tears (Enough Is Enough") during the disco era scored her some of the biggest successes of her career, ample proof that with the right chemistry, Streisand could be as powerful a pop music chameleon as she was a diva. New recordings with veteran Barry Manilow (the warm, low-key "I Won't Be the One to Let You Go") and Josh Groban (David Foster's overwrought "All I Know of Love") supplement recordings that stretch from the '60s kitsch-a-go-go of Harold Arlen's "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" across five decades of Streisand's unparalleled career. --Jerry McCulley

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00006LFGD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (486 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 109 people found the following review helpful By Matt Howe on November 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
2002 is the 40th anniversary of Barbra Streisand's recording career with Columbia Records. She signed her first contract with them on Oct. 1, 1962! Columbia, in celebration of this, released ESSENTIAL BARBRA STREISAND along with several remastered Streisand albums earlier this year. As 2002 draws to a close, Columbia has released *another* collection of Streisand hits - this time DUETS - Streisand's collaborations with various singers over the years.
The DUETS album has 2 new tracks: a duet with Barry Manilow ("I Won't Be The One To Let Go") and another with freshman and producer David Foster protege Josh Groban ("All I Know of Love"). The new tracks show that, at 60, Barbra is still in excellent voice and singing like a dream. The Manilow song (cowritten by Richard Marx) is an old-fashioned pop tune which I like a lot. "All I Know Of Love" (written by Foster) takes some getting used to. It's a "busy" song, half classical, half pop. Groban sings in Italian. Barbra does not. Yet, it is a fresh sound for Streisand and she rises to the occasion.
The rest of the tracks have appeared on previous Streisand albums. A new fan may not have heard these songs. They range from excellent (the duet with Judy Garland; Ray Charles; "One Hand One Heart" with Johnny Mathis) to simply ordinary.
There are some overlooked gems that I am glad were included here. I happen to like the Don Johnson duet ("Till I Loved You"). If you can get past the obvious Johnson jokes, it is actually a good song and their voices (rough and sweet) mix wonderfully. "Make No Mistake He's Mine" is the best Streisand duet with another woman, IMHO. Again, Kim Carnes' gritty voice is a great foil for Streisand's smooth one.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
First thing, let me say that I love Barbra Streisand. No other female singer on the planet today can touch her (Celine, Eder, Mariah, Whitney, Christina). The thing that has always set Streisand apart from the rest of the crop was all the nuances her voice could convey. It seems that todays singers only know two or three notes...loud, louder and even louder. Barbra puts emotion into everything she sings. Something these other girls need lessons in.
Most of these duets are first rate and classic material, including You Don't Bring Me Flowers, No more Tears and What Kind of Fool. The highlight of the collection is the duet with Barbra herself on One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home. Amazing and spine tingeling. She was at the top of her game when she recorded that and it sounds amazing today as when I first heard it back in 1971.
I was excited about the prospects of a duet with Barry Manilow. The song is ok. They both sound great and deserve better material. Streisand sounds amazing on her duet with Josh Groban. She sounds like she did 20 years ago (none of the vibrato, vocal thinness and reediness that has filled her recent recordings). But the song is mediocre. Just think if they had been given something great to sing how exciting the duet could have been.
Now with saying that, I'm tired of Columbia Records and Barbra taking advantage of Barbra's many (I' gotta have everything, obsessive) fans. The one's (like most Barbra fans) that will buy anything for one or two extra songs because they want to hear something new from this amazing singer.
5 of these songs were just released on her Essential set several monthys ago, witch also featured 2 unreleased bonus cuts. 4 songs is almost a half album. Why not wait and give us a whole new CD?
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By B. Buonassissi on December 8, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a lovely album, especially for anyone who loves duets. It is especially beautiful when Ms. Streisand joins in harmony with someone who has an equally powerful voice. A few of her partners who only have a mild voice are often left in the dust. A jarring note on the album for me was the duet with Ray Charles. He is wonderful on his own, singing songs in his unique style, but paired with Barbra was not a good listening experience for me. She was too loud and didn't seem to be in sync with him much of the time. The Josh Groban pairing was wonderful, as is her set with Johnny Mathis. Too bad she sang with Frank Sinatra so late in his career. He sounded old and tired. A reviewer commented that some of the men were outclassed, i.e. Don Johnson, etc., but those particular pairings were interesting because they were not of the norm. "TELL HIM" with Celine Dion, both strong singers, was an exhilarating and exciting duet. Whether these duets were old or new, the album is terrific to listen to.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Det. Abilene on June 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This compilation is actually more successful than THE ESSENTIAL BARBRA STREISAND, simply because it has a clear-cut purpose: collect the best of the extraordinary duets that Barbra has recorded during her long career. The tracks are not in chronological order, but that's acceptable seeing that this isn't a strict hits set.
Given that Barbra can seamless blend her voice with just about anyone, it's more than a little ironic that Barbra's best duet has been with herself, on the thundering "One Bell Less To Answer/A House Is Not A Home" medley. However, I'm not for certain that singing with your own overdubbed voice is really a duet. Her best "true" duet is with the bluesy "Cryin' Time" with the magnificent Ray Charles, which was recorded live on a television special.
The collaborations with fellow veterans Judy Garland and Frank Sintra are similarly winning, as are her smash hit duets with the more contemporary artists like Bryan Adams, Barry Gibb, Donna Summer, and, most poignantly, Neil Diamond. Some terrific album tracks are spotlighted, like "Music Of The Night" with Michael Crawford, and the soaring "I Have A Love/One Hand One Heart" medley with Johnny Mathis.
There are also some underrated singles releases that finally get a chance to shine. Barbra's most criticized duet is unarguably the Top 40 hit "Till I Loved You" with ex-flame Don Johnson, but the track is actually much better than it's reputation. The duets with Vince Gill and Kim Carnes ("If You Ever Leave Me" and "Make No Mistake, He's Mine," respectively) both failed to reach the Top 40 on the Hot 100, but they're both as good as adult contemporary ballads get. In fact, besides the classic pairing with Garland, the Carnes duet is possibly Barbra's best vocal collaboration with another woman.
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