Barbra Streisand announces release of ‘Live at Bon Soir,’ her intended debut album

Courtesy Sony Music

Did you know Barbra Streisand had another album in mind to serve as her debut? Almost six decades later, the legendary singer is finally releasing Live at Bon Soir, which she had recorded in November 1962.

Rolling Stone reports Barbra was just 20 years old when she recorded the album over her three-night residency at the Bon Soir nightclub in Greenwich Village — a month after she signed with Columbia. The Grammy winner intended for this to become her debut album, but plans changed.

Barbra went on to redo several of the album’s songs as studio recordings and then compiled them into the 1963 effort The Barbra Streisand Album. She earned several Grammy wins with the project, including Album of the Year.

Now, 60 years after Live at Bon Soir was shelved, Barbra is finally sharing her original vision with her fans. The album was compiled from the master recordings that had been sitting in her personal collection. 

As engineer Jochem van der Saag explained, some editing needed to be done in order to perfect the songs.

“There was a lot of leakage from the instruments into her vocal mic,” he said. “If we wanted to lower the volume of the piano for example, the vocal volume would decrease, too. To give listeners ‘the best seat in the house,’ we used cutting-edge spectral editing technology, clarifying the true artistry of Barbra and her band.” 

Barbra hailed the album’s impending arrival on social media, writing, “Live at the Bon Soir… the way she was. This album, which was intended as her debut solo album, will be released November 4th.” The effort holds “Barbra’s earliest live recordings.”

She has since released the original version of “Cry Me a River,” which is now available to stream and download.

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