"I'm the Greatest Star" The Essential Barbra Streisand on Disc

By Ben Rimalower
25 Jan 2014

8. "The Broadway Album" (studio album, 1985)

After nearly 20 years singing almost exclusively pop music, Barbra Streisand returned to showtunes in a very big way with 1985's four-time Platinum "The Broadway Album." Streisand opens the disc confronting her long-awaited return to the music that made her famous, with "Putting It Together" from Sunday in the Park with George, a paean to the struggles of an artist, here reconfigured to specifically deal with Streisand's own trade, the music industry. The new material was scripted by no less than the song's creator, Stephen Sondheim, who also provided additional lyrics to "Send in the Clowns," another of the handful of his songs that make up a plurality on the album. If some of the ballads suffer from overproduction and lack of intimacy in Streisand's too-meticulous renditions, there is a plethora of winning, even definitive, tracks of such quintessential Broadway numbers as "Something's Coming," "Adelaide's Lament" and "Somewhere."