Saturday, September 15, 2018

Tanya Tucker - TNT (1978)

“TNT” by Tanya Tucker (1978)

Release Date: November 1978
Produced by Jeff Goldstein
Genre: Country, Country Rock, Rock, Pop
Label: MCA

Chart Positions: #54 (US), #52 (Canada), #2 (US Country, Canada Country)
Certifications: Gold (US, Canada)
Awards: Nominated for the “Best Female Rock Performance” Grammy Award (Donna Summer won the award that year)

Singles and Chart Positions: “Texas (When I Die)” #3 (Canada Country), #5 (US Country), “I’m The Singer, You’re The Song #6 (Canada Country), #18 (US Country), #25 (Canada Adult Contemporary)
 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: “Not Fade Away” #70 (US)
Best Tracks: “Not Fade Away,” “Lover Goodbye,” “Angel From Montgomery,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Bown Eyed Handsome Man,” “Texas (When I Die)”

“TNT” was Tanya Tucker’s 9th studio album and was her first to be certified Gold in both the US and Canada. The album also received a Grammy nomination in the category of "Best Female Rock Performance." This was Tanya's third of 10 Grammy nominations. She has yet to win a Grammy.

With “TNT” Tucker made a bold departure from her classic country music style to do a more rock-flavored album – but for good measure kept a slight hint of that country there for her longtime fans. The departure proved to be extremely successful for Tucker as the album is her second highest charting on the US Country chart and her highest charting on the Canadian Country chart. The album was also her highest charting on the US Billboard Top 200 albums chart reaching #54. Only 1991’s “What Do I Do With Me” and 1992’s “Can’t Run From Yourself” have charted higher reaching #48 and #51 respectively. IN Canada “TNT” is Tucker’s highest charting album on the pop charts reaching #52. It was also her first album to make it onto the Canadian Country charts.

Because of the success of “TNT” Tucker followed the album with 1979’s “Tear Me Apart,” another rock-influenced album but captured much less success and by 1980 returned to her country music roots.

Featuring a playful somewhat flirtatious exuberant attitude from Tanya, "TNT was in many ways her coming of age album. She had just turned 20 a month before it's release and was ready to prove she was more than just a cute country music sweetheart.

The album opens with Phil Everly’s synth drum rocker “Lover Goodbye” and sets the mood for the album. Her remake of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” is a beautiful southern rock ballad. Prine wrote and recorded this song for his 1971 debut album “John Prine.” Seals and Crofts helped on backing vocals on the ballad “The River and The Wind.”

The album’s first single “Texas (When I Die)” was the only true country number on the album. The song peaked at #5 on the US country chart and with time has become one of Tucker’s signature songs.

Tucker’s rendition of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” is a real scorching treat. The song was released as the b-side to “Texas (When I Die).” Receiving a fair amount of radio airplay and fan requests it ended up charting on Billboard’s Top 100 Singles chart reaching #70, making it the third highest charting pop single of her career.

Not Fade Away (1978)

Easily one of the album highlights is her rockin’ rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” why they did not release this as a single is a mystery to me. Tucker puts in a flavorful rockabilly rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Brown Eyed Handsome Man.” The song was originally released on Chuck Berry’s 1957 debut album “After School Session” and was used as the b-side to his 1956 single “Too Much Monkey Business.”

Often "TNT" sounds as if Tanya's aim was to crack the AOR radio format and would have done well alongside the queens of AOR such as Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt and Anne & Nancy Wilson (Heart).



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Barry White - Can't Get Enough (1974)

“Can’t Get Enough” by Barry White (1974)

Release Date: August 6, 1974
Produced by Barry White
Genre: R&B, Disco, Soul, Pop, Quiet Storm
Label: 20th Century

Chart Positions: #1 (US, Italy), #2 (Canada, France), #4 (UK, Austria), #5 (Germany), #9 (Norway), #28 (Australia), #1 (US R&B)
Certifications: Gold (US, UK)
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions:
“Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe” #1 (US), #2 (Canada, France), #3 (Italy), #8 (UK),  #12 (Netherlands, South Africa), #13 (Belgium), #23 (Australia), #25 (Germany), #1 (US R&B), #26 (US Adult Contemporary)
“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” #1 (UK, Italy), #2 (US, South Africa), #3 (Brazil), #4 (France), #5 (Canada), #6 (Ireland, Belgium), #7 (Australia, Austria, Switzerland), #9 (Germany), #13 (Netherlands), #1 (US R&B), #2 (US Dance)
 Singles Certifications: “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe”  (US Gold), “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything”  (US Gold, UK Silver)
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: All Tracks – Solid Album from start to finish

“Can’t Get Enough” is Barry White’s third album and his first to crack the top five in the US and in many other parts of the world. This was Barry’s breakout, the one that launched him to worldwide superstardom.

The album topped the R&B albums chart, his third to do so. It also topped the US Billboard 200 and peaked at #4 on the UK Albums Chart as well as #1 in Italy and #2 in Canada and France.

Barry White wrote all the songs on the album as well as producing, arranging and engineering the album. White was a super talent well worth the recognition he received throughout the 70s and into the 90s.

Despite featuring two of his biggest career hits the album is a solid work with every song worthy of having been a single release.

“Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” was released as the first single from his album Can't Get Enough in 1974, the song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts and was a big hit throughout much of Europe. It was his second U.S. chart-topper, after "Love's Theme". The song is a pop-soul track with lush string arrangements and a disco-influenced beat behind it.

Barry White fell in love in 1973 with Glodean James, who was one of the members of his Love Unlimited backing trio of singers. He wrote, “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe” for her one night when he had troubles falling asleep. Barry and Glodean married in October 1974 and for a time were one of the best-known couples in showbiz. The pair separated in 1988 but never divorced and remained good friends for the remainder of White's life.

“You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” has gone on to become Barry’s biggest career hit and was the second single from the album. The song was White's fourth top ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, reaching #2; it spent a week at #1 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart. The early disco classic made it to number two on the disco/dance charts. In the UK Singles Chart, it fared even better, spending two weeks at the top in December 1974. It was also #1 in Italy, #2 in South Africa, #3 in Brazil, #4 in France and #5 in Canada and reached the Top 20 in another dozen countries around the world.

"You're The First, The Last, My Everything" (1974)

White's friend Peter Radcliffe started writing this as a Country song called "You're My First, You're My Last, My In-Between," but he couldn't get it recorded for 21 years. White recorded this as a Disco song, keeping most of the structure and two-thirds the title, but he rewrote the lyrics.

The album was a big winner at the 1974 NAACP Awards, which were presented in January 1975. White won Album of the Year ("Can't Get Enough), Male Vocalist of the Year and Producer of the Year. He attended the awards ceremony with his (then) wife Glodean.

The following review appeared in the July 20, 1974 issue of Billboard Magazine in the Top Single Picks section:
"Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Babe"
"Short talking intro leads into strongest vocal Barry has come up with in some time. Most uptempo thing he's done in a while, which includes his usual strong production work and distinctive beat which should be perfect for discos. Could cross easily into pop."

Barry White 1974


Thursday, August 9, 2018

J. Geils Band - Sanctuary (1978)

“Sanctuary” by J. Geils Band (1978)

Release Date: November 1978
Produced by Seth Justman, Joseph Wissert
Genre: Rock, Classic Rock
Label: EMI

Chart Positions: #49 (US), #53 (Canada)
Certifications: Gold (US)
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions: 
“One Last Kiss” #6 (France), #35 (US), #58 (Canada), #74 (UK)
“Take It Back” #67 (US), #94 (Canada)
“Sanctuary #47 (US)

 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “One Last Kiss,” “Take It Back,” “Sanctuary,” “Wild Man,” “Just Can’t Stop Me”

“Sanctuary” was J. Geils Band’s 8th studio album (10th album overall including live albums). It was their first to have 3 songs make it on to the US singles chart. After having achieved success with Atlantic Records, J. Geils Band switched over to EMI to produce their three most successful albums of their career.

“Sanctuary” was the band’s tightest sounding record in years. They produced a leaner and cleaner sound as they play up the keyboards more than in their past albums, giving the album an overall contemporary sound.

The first single release “One Last Kiss,” although not their highest charting hit, received a fair amount of airplay and put J. Geils Band in the minds of music listeners across the US. The hooky hit single was their first Top 40 since 1974’s “Must Of Got Lost.”

The second single “Take It Back” hints at what was to come in 1981 when J. Giles Band entered the realm of commercial pop and had their biggest hits with “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame,” “Take It Back” was a very distant prototype for those songs.

“Sanctuary,” the album’s third single just barely missed the Top 40 making it to #47 on the US chart. The song sports a Rolling Stone feel that is inescapable. This may have been a good direction to further explore.

Stand out track “Wild Man” continues with that Mick Jagger Rolling Stones vibe and begins with a dramatic keyboard opening. “Just Can’t Stop Me” brings in a glam feel with it’s “Rebel Rebel” sounding opening working into a rough jam band sound.

J. Geils Band


Friday, July 27, 2018

Bruce Springsteen - Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. (1973)

“Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.” by Bruce Springsteen (1973)

Release Date: January 5, 1973
Produced by Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos
Genre: Rock, Heartland Rock, Folk Rock, Classic Rock
Label: Columbia

Chart Positions: #35 (Sweden), #41 (UK), #60 (US), #71 (Australia), #181 (Japan)
Certifications: 2xPlatinum (US), Gold (Australia), Silver (UK)
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions: 
“Blinded By The Light” (No chart data)
“Spirit In The Night” (no chart data)
 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A

Best Tracks: All Tracks – Solid album from beginning to end

Trivia: This is where it all started for Bruce Springsteen. It was a humble start as the album only made it to #60 in the US and #41 in the UK. But the critics loved him as they called him a “daring new artists” with comparisons to Bob Dylan. It would take another 2 ½ years, with the release of “Born To Run,” before the public realized the genius of Bruce Springsteen.

Springsteen and his first manager Mike Appel recorded the album at the low-priced, out-of-the-way 914 Sound Studios to save as much as possible of the Columbia Records advance and cut most of the songs in a single week.

There was a dispute not long after the record was recorded—Appel and John Hammond preferred the solo tracks, while Springsteen preferred the band songs. As such, a compromise was reached—the album was to have five songs with the band ("For You", "Growin' Up", "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?" "It's Hard to be a Saint in the City", and "Lost in the Flood") and five solo songs ("Mary Queen of Arkansas", "The Angel", "Jazz Musician", "Arabian Nights", and "Visitation at Fort Horn").

However, when Columbia Records president Clive Davis heard the album, he felt that it lacked a hit single. As such, Springsteen wrote and recorded "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night". Because pianist David Sancious and bassist Garry Tallent were unavailable to record these songs, a three-man band was used—Vini Lopez on drums, Springsteen on guitar, bass, and piano, and the previously missing Clarence Clemons on saxophone. These two songs bumped "Jazz Musician", "Arabian Nights", and "Visitation at Fort Horn", leaving a total of seven band songs and two solo songs. The album was originally slated to be released in the fall of 1972, but it was moved back to early 1973 to avoid the pre-Christmas crush.

Both "Blinded by the Light" and "Spirit in the Night" were released as singles by Columbia, but neither reached the US charts. Manfred Mann's Earth Band released a version of "Blinded by the Light" on their album The Roaring Silence, which reached #1 on both Billboard's Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM chart. This recording of "Blinded by the Light" is Springsteen's only number one single as a songwriter on the Hot 100. His best showing on the Hot 100 as a performer was in 1984, with "Dancing in the Dark", which peaked at number two for 4 weeks.[4] Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. first charted in the United Kingdom on June 15, 1985, in the wake of Springsteen's Born in the USA tour arriving in Britain; it remained in the top 100 for ten weeks.

According to Springsteen, “Blinded By The Light” came about from going through a rhyming dictionary in search of appropriate words. The first line of the song, "Madman drummers, bummers, and Indians in the summers with a teenage diplomat" is autobiographical—"Madman drummers" is a reference to drummer Vini Lopez, known as "Mad Man" (later changed to "Mad Dog"); "Indians in the summer" refers to the name of Springsteen's old Little League team; "teenage diplomat" refers to himself. The remainder of the song tells of many unrelated events, with the refrain of "Blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night".

"Blinded by the Light" was the first song on, and first single from Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. Springsteen's version was commercially unsuccessful and did not appear on the music charts.

Manfred Mann's Earth Band's recording of the song changes the lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen's "cut loose like a deuce" is replaced with "revved up like a deuce." This is commonly misheard as "wrapped up like a douche" (the V sound in "revved" is almost unpronounced, and the S sound in "deuce" comes across as "SH" due to a significant lisp). Springsteen himself has joked about the controversy, claiming that it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song to be about a feminine hygiene product that it became popular.

Blinded by the Light (1973)

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band also released their version of “Spirit In The Night” which made it to #40 on the US Billboard singles chart. The song was originally featured on their 1975 album “Nightingales and Bombers” and was released as a single to moderate success. After the huge success of “Blinded By The Light”, they re-recorded the and rereleased as a single in 1977.

Although "Spirit in the Night" was one of the last songs written for the album, it did grow out of an earlier version of the song that Springsteen had played live prior to receiving his recording contract. The lyrics themselves describe a group of teenagers — Wild Billy, Hazy Davy, Crazy Janey, Killer Joe, G-Man and Mission Man, who is the person in the song telling the story — going to a spot called "Greasy Lake" near "Route 88" for a night of freedom, sex, and drinking. But their escape to the freedom of Greasy Lake is short-lived, the emphasis is on the friends' togetherness. The lyrics of the song echo the Crazy Jane poems of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
The follow-up album to “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle,” features a song entitled "Wild Billy's Circus Story".

In an attempt to capitalize on the success of “Blinded By The Light” and to a lesser degree “Spirit In The Night,” Manfred Mann’s Earth Band” recorded and released a third song, “For You,” from “Greetings For Asbury N.J.” They only made it to #106 in 1981 with the song.

The lyrics of “For You” are about a woman who has attempted suicide. She does not need the singer's "urgency" even though her life is "one long emergency" as Springsteen sings in the chorus (along with "and your cloud line urges me, and my electric surges free"). The singer is committed to doing anything to save her and admires her ability to hang on. Once again, the lyrics are evocative of images and not details.

The following review was written by Lester Bangs for the July 5, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine:
Remember P.F. Sloan? Sure you do. It was back when every folk rocker worth his harmonica holder was flushed with Dylan fever and seeing how many syllables he could cram into every involuted couplet. There was Tandyn Almer, of "Along Comes Mary" fame ("The psychodramas and the traumas hung on the scars of the stars in the bars and cars" -- something like that), and David Blue had his own Highway 61 too, but absolutely none of 'em could beat 'ol P.F. He started out writing surf songs, but shook the world by the throat with his masterpieces "Eve of Destruction" and "Sins of a Family," and all his best material was just brimming with hate.

Boy howdy, the first thing the world needs is a P.F. Sloan for 1973, and you can start revving up yer adrenaline, kids, because he's here in the person of Bruce Springsteen. Old Bruce makes a point of letting us know that he's from one of the scuzziest, most useless and plain uninteresting sections of Jersey. He's been influenced a lot by the Band, his arrangements tend to take on a Van Morrison tinge every now and then, and he sort of catarrh-mumbles his ditties in a disgruntled mushmouth sorta like Robbie Robertson on Quaaludes with Dylan barfing down his neck. It's a tuff combination, but it's only the beginning.

Because what makes Bruce totally unique and cosmically surfeiting is his words. Hot damn, what a passel o' verbiage! He's got more of them crammed into this album than any other record released this year, but it's all right because they all fit snug, it ain't like Harry Chapin tearing right-angle malapropisms out of his larynx. What's more, each and every one of 'em has at least one other one here that it rhymes with. Some of 'em can mean something socially or otherwise, but there's plenty of 'em that don't even pretend to, reveling in the joy of utter crass showoff talent run amuck and totally out of control:

"Madman drummers bummers and Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat/In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat" begins the very first song, and after that things just keep getting more breathtakingly complicated. You might think it's some kinda throwback, but it's really bracing as hell because it's obvious that B.S. don't give a shit. He singshoots his random rivets at you and you can catch as many as you want or let 'em all clatter right off the wall which is maybe's where they belong anyway. Bruce Springsteen is a bold new talent with more than a mouthful to say, and one look at the pic on the back will tell you he's got the glam to go places in this Gollywoodlawn world to boot. Watch for him; he's not the new John Prine.

This review showed up in Billboard Magazine – February 1973
“The comparisons with Dylan as far as lyrics are concerned will be inevitable, but this new artist proves himself highly original and able to run the gamut from humorous to rather sad songs. Best cuts include "Blinded By The Light," "Growin' Up," "Lost In The Flood," "For You" and "Spirit In The Night." LP should gain strong play from FM stations.”

Bruce Springsteen (1973)


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Joan Armatrading - Joan Armatrading (1976)

“Joan Armatrading” by Joan Armatrading (1976)

Release Date: September 1976
Produced by Glyn Johns
Genre: Rock, Pop, Folk-Rock, Blues
Label: A&M

Chart Positions: #11 (New Zealand), #12 (UK), #52 (Australia), #67 (US)
Certifications: Gold (UK, Canada)
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions: 
“Love And Affection” #10 (UK), #16 (Ireland)
“Down To Zero” (no chart data)
 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A

Best Tracks: “Love and Affection,” “Water With The Wine,” “People,” “Join The Boys,” “Like Fire,” “Tall In The Saddle”

Trivia: “Joan Armatrading” is Joan’s third studio album and her first to chart anywhere in the world. This is the album that put Joan on the map. The album mixes acoustic work with jazz-influenced material and displays Joan’s range of interest in music. The album was a big hit in the UK reaching #12 accompanied with a Top 10 UK hit “Love and Affection.”

"Love and Affection" 1976

In 1976, Robin Denselow wrote in The Guardian that the album "showed that we now have a black artist in Britain with the same sort of vocal range, originality (in fact even greater originality in terms of musical influences) and lyrical sensitivity" as Joni Mitchell.

Producer Glyn Johns has produced albums for many greats including Steve Miller Band, Eagles, Humble Pie, The Who, Boz Scaggs, Eric Clapton and more. He helped launch Joan Armatrading’s career when he was hired on to produce this album. He remained with her on her next three albums.

Joan signed to A&M Records is 1972 but it wasn't until after A&M gained worldwide rights to Joan's music that they decided to pour a good amount of money and effort into promoting Joan. A 3 1/2 minute film clip of the singer/guitarist performing "Love and Affection." A&M spent an unprecedented nine months promoting Armatrading's self-titled album, which included magazine ads, television spots (such as an appearance on Saturday Night Live) and promo copies of the album sent to every music critic and concert promoter throughout the world as well as a few film clips one of which shows comments from reviews. A&M spent near $300,000 promoting the album before it was even released.

Up to this point, Armatrading had shown that she had a lovely voice and an ear for interesting arrangements, but her work had been steeped in the folk idiom of the early '70s. Her third album changed all that, with producer Glyn Johns bringing in members of Gallagher & Lyle, Fairport Convention, and the Faces to punch up her folksy sound with elements of rock, country, and disco. The result is her most muscular music to date, with Armatrading adopting a swagger that showed her tales of unluckiness in love didn't have to have dire consequences ("Tall in the Saddle," "Water With the Wine"). Of course, it helped that the record featured her best material delivered in a wonderfully expressive voice that can capture the shades between song and speech like a sweeter version of Ian Anderson. "Down to Zero" (which features pedal steel guitarist B.J. Cole) and "Love and Affection" are the album's most memorable tracks, the latter breaking into the U.K.'s Top Ten (the album itself made the U.K. Top 20). But what endears this record to fans is the quality of each song; it wouldn't be fair to call anything here filler. The artsy and eclectic "Like Fire," the beautiful ballad "Save Me," and the ingratiating melodies of "Somebody Who Loves You" are just as likely to strike a chord with listeners as the better-known cuts. While Glyn Johns deserves credit for bringing Joan Armatrading's songs into a more flattering setting -- it's not coincidental that the record feels like a polished version of The Who by Numbers -- his real stroke of genius was letting the artist flower to her full potential. For many, this album remains the high point in her catalog.

Joan Armatrading 


Monday, June 25, 2018

Antonio Carlos Jobim - Jobim (1973)

“Jobim” by Antonio Carlos Jobim (1973)
Release Date: January 1, 1973
Produced by Claus Ogerman
Genre: Bossa Nova, Jazz, Latin Jazz
Label: MCA

Chart Positions: N/A
Certifications: N/A
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions: N/A
 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: “Aguas de Marco,” “Mantiqueira Range,” “Nuvens Douradas”

“Jobim” is heavily orchestral and more on the easy listening side and less Bossa Nova, but not to fear the album certainly has it’s share of the Bossa Nova sound for which Antonio Carlos Jobim is famous.

“Jobim” was an experiment for Jobim putting less of an emphasis on the bass and rhythmic style of bossa nova and more priority on a bigger symphonic sound. The record lets listeners in on another side of Jobim, a classical interpretation of moody instrumental tone poems for films based on the works of Debussy and Villa Lobos. Jobim continued with his symphonic orchestrations throughout the 70s.

It is the symphonic orchestrations which brings this album to life. Jobim hired Claus Ogerman to produce the album. Ogerman had worked previously with Jobim (since 1963) on a total of five albums before this one and two more afterward. Ogerman also arranged and conducted the orchestral arrangements. Ogerman a famed German composer, conductor and arranger also worked with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday and in his later years with Diana Krall. Though he worked mainly with in the jazz genre arranging musicians such as Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery and Cal Tjader, Ogerman did foray into pop music and composed arrangements for several pop hits including Solomon Burke's "Cry To Me" and Leslie Gore's "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn To Cry" and "She's A Fool."

Aguas de Marco (1973)

“Aguas de Marco” has grown to become a classic for Jobim. He wrote the lyrics for the song originally in Portuguese and later in English. The inspiration for the song came from Rio De Janeiro's rainiest month. March is typically marked by sudden storms with heavy rains and strong winds.

Antonio Carlos Jobim (1973)


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Barbra Streisand - Superman (1977)

“Superman” by Barbra Streisand (1977)

Release Date: June 1977
Produced by Gary Klein, Charles Calello (produced “My Heart Belongs To Me)
Genre: Pop, Easy Listening, Adult Contemporary
Label: Columbia

Chart Positions: #1 (Canada), #3 (US), #11 (Australia), #23 (Netherlands), #32 (UK), #33 (New Zealand), #44 (Japan), #46 (Sweden)
Certifications: 2xPlatinum (US, Canada), Gold (Australia)
Awards: N/A

Singles and Chart Positions:
“My Heart Belongs To Me” #4 (US), #3 (Canada) #1 (US Adult Contemporary, Canada Adult Contemporary)
“Superman” #29 (US Adult Contemporary) #18 (Canada Adult Contemporary)
 Singles Certifications: N/A
Other Charting Tracks: N/A
Best Tracks: "My Heart Belongs To Me," "Superman," "Cabin Fever," "New York State Of Mind"

Trivia: “Superman” is Barbra Streisand’s 19th studio album (if you include the soundtracks it is her 27th album). At this point in time “Streisand Superman” was her second most successful album worldwide topped only by 1976’s “A Star Is Born” soundtrack. As the years progressed other such as 1980’s “Guilty,” 1985’s “The Broadway Album” and 1997’s “Higher Ground” have outperformed “Streisand Superman.”

Having been released only 7 months after the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack, “Superman” follows with a similar pop-rock feel. Two of the song that showed up on the album (“Answer Me” and “Lullaby For Myself”) were written for “A Star Is Born” but did not make it into the movie. Streisand co-wrote “Answer Me” with Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher. Streisand also co-wrote the rock inspired “Don’t Believe What You Said.”

Many have stated Streisand’s cover of “New York State of Mind” fit her so well that it has become the definitive recording. Billy Joel, who wrote the song claimed, “I thought, ‘This is one of the greatest woman singers ever, doing … me? Me?’ I really loved it, though, because it kind of finally made me legitimate in this business to my mother.”

The first single release was the classic ballad “My Heart Belongs To Me” which was a huge success reaching the Top 5 in both the US and Canada. Columbia Records and Barbra put together a “publicity film” for “My Heart Belongs To Me.” It was shown at Columbia’s 1977 convention to industry insiders. Barbra lip-synched to the track. During the musical interlude, she “conducted” the orchestra, then started coughing from the smoke machines, all very comedic. At the end of the video, she spun toward the camera and made a funny face.

My Heart Belongs To Me (1977)

The second single, the title track “Superman,” was released about a year and a half after the album and did not fare to well, but was a moderate hit on Adult Contemporary radio.