Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Worth Another Listen - ButterFly

barbra streisand,butterfly

In 1974, Barbra Streisand released the album ButterFly. It was an interesting time in her career, when she is moving out from her early career in the 60s, when she established herself as a singer of standards, a torch singer with golden pipes, to moving into a more current Pop singer. That transition started in 1969 with the release of What About Today?, which offered pop with a rock twist. That continued on with Stoney End and Barbra Joan Streisand. The with the release of The Way We Were album, the sound turned toward a more adult balladeer, a mature pop. With the release of this album, it was a more soulful Barbra, even venturing into a touch of R&B.

barbra streisand,butterfly

One of the songs on the album is Crying Time, done as a duet with Ray Charles. The song, written by Country superstar Buck Owens, started out as a country song, but was soon interpreted by others to take a more soulful, bluesy bent.

Her version of Let The Good Times Roll, written by Shirley Goodman and Leonard Lee starts off with a bit of a languid feel, very Sunday morning in New Orleans, waking up in your lover's arms. About halfway through, the tempo picks up, upping the bluesy sound as the plays to the end.

Barbra included the song Guava Jelly on the album, a sexy reggae song written by the immortal Bob Marley. The playful song is really fun.

Barbra also tackled Grandma's Hands, written the great Bill Withers, also responsible for Ain't No Sunshine and Lean On Me. Withers wrote a highly personal song, talking about his Grandmother, and Streisand adds her amazing phrasing to the pot to make a great record.

To visit Ms. Streisand's official website, click here.


  1. Love Barbra! Such an amazing artist.

  2. Great blog post. I think I would have missed this album altogether. Is she the original singer of "Guava Jam"? I love it - I've heard that song so many times that I have no idea who the original singer is.

    But anyways - this is a great album. I think I want to take a listen to it - after all - what gay man is not a fan of Barbs?

  3. Michael, me too! I am just crazy about her voice, and her phrasing is incredible.

    SteveA, thanks! I think the original singer was Johnny 'I Can See Clearly Now' Nash. And ButterFly is an interesting album, one I certainly have in my iTunes.



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