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Barbra Streisand ... and other musical instruments was broadcast in 1973 on the CBS Television network. It was Streisand's fifth television special. Streisand went back to her basic form of just singer and song. Except for a host of musical instruments from all over the world. Oh, yeah, and Ray Charles and the Raelettes are in it too! Barbra attempted a fantastic show to be similar to My Name Is Barbra, but in some respects, the show fell short. Don't get me wrong there are a lot of stellar performances in this special. The special's soundtrack was released on LP and was Streisand's least successful solo album ever.

Some critics say that this special could never live up to her earlier achievements with My Name Is Barbra, I disagree. This special has many wonderful moments in it. One true highlight is the opening itself. Barbra walks onto the stage wearing a black dress with empire waist. Her hair is very similar to the way she wore it in What's Up Doc?. She sprays her throat for optimal vocalizing and begins to do just that. As she continues to vocalize, members of the orchestra arrive each needing their seats that she keeps occupying. So, she finally finds her appropriate chair, and sits down next to the saw-player. Yes a man who is playing a saw. And with one clean stroke of the saw, "Sing/Make Your Own Kind Of Music" begins and the show is on its way.

we return from a commercial to see a profile of Barbra in the shadows. The piano player begins his scales and Barbra reminisces of her hours of "Piano Practicing" she had to endure as a child. Then, she begins to show the bright side of it all by emphasizing how she now has rhythm. As she sings "I Got Rhythm" a new sound emerges. She lowers down a pole and reveals that is just a "One Note Samba."

She then finds herself in Japanese style clothing and hair. She confronts the man who seems sad and tries to console him by saying he should be "Glad To Be Unhappy." With the bang of the gong, "People" begins.

Time for Spanish Barbra as she apppears with black dress and shawl and red rose in her hair to sing "Second Hand Rose." Then while beating a tom-tom she declares, "Don't Rain On My Parade." Now its back to the orchestra with all of the musicians to finish "I Got Rhythm."

Act II begins with Barbra walking down the stairs to the orchestra singing "Don't Ever Leave Me," as they all disapear. She then proclaims how it feels to be alone and shares "By Myself" with us. While fiddling around with a computer, she sings "Come Back To Me." I guess the computer didn't like her song much as it decides to blow up immediately following her song.

She lifts her head up by the edge of the piano as we hear Ray Charles singing "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma." Barbra of course joins in for the chorus. She and Ray's girls, the Raelettes, begin to sing the chorus in French. As they finish their song, she and Ray begin to sing "Cryin' Time." Truly one of the standouts in the entire show. As they finish she dedicates "Sweet Inspiration" to Ray. And then in true "Forum" style, she begins to rock out on "Where You Lead." Its a fun arrangement and nice to see Barbra letting go and doing some great Motown style choreography with the Raelettes.

Act III begins as she walks down the stairs in the white dress seen on the album cover and sings "Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen" and urges the home viewers to join in as a happy faces bounces over the lyrics which are typed on the screen. After that, Barbra gives what I feel is the knockout number of the show, "I Never Has Seen Snow." And then she moves us to realize who we are with "On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)."

She wraps things up with a very electronic version of "The World Is A Concerto/Make Your Own Kind Of Music." Then reaches the end of her musical exploration by singing the beautiful song "The Sweetest Sounds."

NOTES:

  • This televison special has never been released on Home Video.
  • The soundtrack is available in edited form on CD and Cassette.
  • Bootleg copies of this special have circulated through the fans.
  • If you'd like a copy of this special, please feel free to email me.

    Barbra Streisand ...and other musical instruments Song List:

  • Vocalizing
  • Sing/Make Your Own Kind Of Music
  • Piano Practicing
  • I Got Rhythm
  • Johnny One Note/One Note Samba
  • Glad To Be Unhappy
  • People
  • Second Hand Rose
  • Don't Rain On My Parade
  • I Got Rhythm (Reprise)
  • Don't Ever Leave Me
  • Monologue
  • By Myself
  • Come Back To Me
  • Look What They've Done To My Song Ma (With Ray Charles and the Raelettes)
  • Cryin' Time (With Ray Charles)
  • Sweet Inspiration/Where You Lead (With the Raelettes)
  • Auf Dem Wasser Zu Singen
  • I Never Has Seen Snow
  • On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
  • The World Is Concerto/Make Your Own Kind Of Music
  • The Sweetest Sounds

    Song List Notes:

  • Tracks in BOLD type are unavailable on the CD and Cassette version of the Soundtrack.

    The Ultimate Barbra Streisand Video Experience

    1996-2001 The Ultimate Barbra Streisand Experience. Heath David Castor, Webmaster.