Barbara Streisand goes mental on record

Babs_1I’ve never met such friction than when I said "I know of an ace Barbara Streisand LP you need to get your mits on…" Of course, if I hadn’t heard it, I probably would have said the same thing.

To sum up ‘Barbara Streisand and other musical instruments’ in one word would be difficult. At a push, I’d go for the word ‘preposterous’. This is Babs in prime pomp. Now, before you go and spend a tenner on it, or something silly, this is a curio, only to purchased at bargain prices (my copy was £2 from a charity shop).

The LP in essense, is a gonzoid concept album, encapsulating a ’round the world’ look at music. The back of the sleeve is colour coded, so you can identify where the players on the front cover are from. Barbara takes on turkish influences (very much in vogue now I can tell you), japanese folk instruments, scottish pipes… and best of all, crazy freako electronics and kitchen appliances.

Yes, you heard correct.

The start of side two is mind melting. Starting off with commonplace Streisand big bandery, ‘Don’t ever leave me’ suddenly cuts short into swathes of echoplex delays… which vanish, spiralling up towards some weirdo alien planet. When the far out gets too far in, we then find Babs talking to herself. Seriously. About beat poets and feeling lonely. Then, the moment your ears have longed for, a bibbling electronic metronome kicks in… and builds and builds into a moog symphony, not unlike something from Goldfrapp’s first cut. Then, she again toys with the delay and it’s all spiralling out of control again.

It’s camp, ridiculous, funny and utterly fantastic. Can you imagine a modern equivalent, say, Dido, doing something like this? No way.

If you’re a fan of the playful library electronics of sixties France (see Roger Roger/Cecil Leuter) then you’ll definitely find a friend in this. Skip the rest of the schmaltz, and go for the absolutely fucked sound of ‘The World is a Concerto’ which sees the ubiquitous full orchestra… backed by someone playing kitchen appliances. Such as a coffe machine, hoover, telephone and things that go swoosh.

You won’t believe your earholes, but will be glad of owning such a daft LP. One to fetch out when you’ve got mates ’round after the pub.[Mof Gimmers]


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