Barbra Streisand has recorded so many hits in her legendary career that it’s hard to single out just one as her signature song. But “The Way We Were, from the film of the same name in which she co-starred with Robert Redford, comes pretty close to being definitive. Written by the Alan and Marilyn Bergman, it reached number one in 1974 and sold more than a million copies.
Over the years, Streisand has sung more than 50 songs by the husband-and-wife team, whose work has received numerous awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Globe and two Grammys for “The Way We Were.” Now she is paying tribute to the Bergmans with What Matters Most. Says Streisand, of the songwriters: “Alan and Marilyn Bergman have a remarkable gift for expressing affairs of the heart.”
The album features 10 Bergman songs that Streisand has never previously recorded (a deluxe edition CD contains a second disc with her recorded Bergman classics). The album opens with “The Windmills of Your Mind,” a song recorded by the likes of Sting and Dusty Springfield. Barbra makes the stirring ballad her own with a dramatic, emotional reading. Also included are “So Many Stars,” a hit for Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66, and “That Face,” first recorded by Fred Astaire. But for pure sensuality, nothing tops “Nice ’n’ Easy.” The song, long associated with Frank Sinatra, gets the full, lush Streisand treatment, making it and What Matters Most the perfect soundtrack for a romantic evening or weekend getaway.