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06 September 2013

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Barbra Streisand, “As If We Never Said Goodbye”

As If We Never Said Goodbye

TRACK FIVE of Back to Broadway is “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from Sunset Boulevard (1993) by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Along with another song from the musical, “With One Look”, “As If We Never Said Goodbye” is Barbra Streisand's most controversial recording to date. Furore ensued (primarily by the msuical's lead star Patti Lupone) when Mr. Webber allowed Ms. Streisand to record and release the song ahead of the show's world premiere in London. Moreover, there was criticism to the inclusion of these two songs in Back to Broadway, since the musical had not yet debuted in Broadway. For all the wrong reasons, I still think Ms. Streisand's version is the most stunning of all recordings made of this song. It's one of her vocal highlights in the 1990s.

For the “song pictorial” above, I wanted to evoke the decaying environment of the lead character, the aging, faded actress Norma Desmond. It had to be the most queenly, most matronly visage of Barbra Streisand—and I found one from her meeting with Prince William at a 2011 BAFTA gala dinner. I portrayed Ms. Streisand in a fur coat originally worn by Betty Buckley for a London production of the musical. The textures of the house complemented the fur coat. The whole piece does look properly aged.

Listen to the track:

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