Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Barbara and Neil--You Don't Bring Me Flowers (1978)

This song was written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman for a TV pilot created by Norman Lear called All That Glitters. The song was intended to be a theme song, but Norman Lear changed the concept of the show so that the song no longer fit. Eventually, Neil Diamond and several collaborators came upon the song (then only 45 seconds long) and expanded it with instrumental sections. The Bergmans expanded the song to full length with an additional verse, and the composition took form.
In 1977, Diamond released the album I'm Glad You're Here with Me Tonight, which included the track "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" as a solo performance. Early in 1978, Barbra Streisand covered the song on her album Songbird.

Enter Gary Guthrie who was the program director at WAKY-AM in Louisville KY, who spliced the two solo tracks together as a going away present to his wife, whom he had just divorced. As the real life story behind the song unfolded, interest in the duet caused Columbia Records was compelled to bring Streisand and Diamond into the studio to record an "official" version in October 1978. The song reached number one for two non-consecutive weeks in December 1978, producing the third number-one hit for both singers.

Diamond and Streisand had planned to star in a motion picture based on the song, but such plans were canceled when Diamond starred in a remake of The Jazz Singer. The version you are going to see here is what I consider the definitive version from the Grammy's in 1980.... 


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