Saturday, April 23, 2011

Essential Albums of the '80s: Barbra Streisand - Guilty (1980)

The Bee Gee's Barry Gibb is so essential to the sound of Barbra Streisand's Guilty that he earned himself a spot on the album's cover. Even though the work itself is solely credited to Streisand, this really is a collaboration, and the Bee Gee's signature pop sound is unmistakable throughout. Dramatic "Woman in Love" was a #1 hit, while "Guilty" and "What Kind of Fool" both reached the top 10. "Guilty," a duet with Gibb, is a particularly nice slice of breezily romantic 1980s pop. It won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo/Group. A lot of the music here is in that vein--laid back, groovy love songs. Things get a little funkier on "Promises," and "Life Story" is a bold mix of guitar, brass and synths. But mostly it's the love ballads with their soaring strings that make this album memorable, like "What Kind of Fool," another Gibb duet, and "The Love Inside," which threatens to climb the raptors but actually manages to reign itself in as a nicely understated love song. The team-up with Gibb proved a major success for Streisand, making Guilty her most successful album.

Best: Guilty, Woman in Love, What Kind of Fool

1 comment:

Marc Freden said...

It should have been the opportunity...experience...of a lifetime, especially for a gay man. To meet the one and only Barbra Streisand...OMG. But was it a dream come true or a nightmare? In his new book Marc Freden describes meeting, talking with or interviewing three of the most iconic women in Hollywood. In his chapter "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly", Freden talks about an interview he had with Barbra Streisand...could she have rated Good, Bad or Ugly in Freden's eyes. Well, suffice it to say, Freden believes he must apologize.

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