Butterfly (1974)

Catalog Number(s):

Butterfly Cover LP

Album scans by Kevin Schlenker

Butterfly back cover

(Below: “Butterfly” gatefold album ... inside photos.)

Butterfly gatefold Detail of BUTTERFLY gatefold pictures more pictures from inside the BUTTERFLY album

Tracks

  1. Love In The Afternoon [4:05]
    (B. Weisman / E. Sands / R. Germinaro)
  2. Guava Jelly [3:15]
    (B. Marley)
  3. Grandma's Hands [3:24]
    (B. Withers)
  4. I Won't Last A Day Without You [4:16]
    (P. Williams / R. Nichols)
  5. Jubilation [3:52]
    (P. Anka / J. Harris)
  6. Simple Man [3:01]
    (G. Nash)
  7. Life On Mars [3:10]
    (D. Bowie)
  8. Since I Don't Have You [2:52]
    (L. Martin / J. Rock / J. Taylor / J. Beaumont / J. Vogel / W. Lester / J. Verscharen)
  9. Crying Time [2:51]
    (B. Owens)
  10. Let The Good Times Roll [4:54]
    (L. Lee)

Individual track credits:

(mouse and click on each song to reveal the credits...)

1. Love in the Afternoon

Written by: B. Weisman, E. Sands, R. Germinaro

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

2. Guava Jelly

Written by: Bob Marley

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Vocal Arrangement by: John Bahler

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

3. Grandma's Hands

Written by: Bill Withers

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Vocal Arrangement by: John Bahler

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

4. I Won't Last a Day Without You

Written by: Paul Williams, Roger Nichols

Engineered by: Michael Lietz

Remixed by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded March 25, 1974 at Western Recording, Los Angeles

5. Jubilation

Written by: Paul Anka, J. Harris

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Vocal Arrangement by: John Bahler

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

6. Simple Man

Written by: Graham Nash

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

7. Life on Mars

Written by: David Bowie

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Horns & Vocal Arrangement by: John Bahler

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

8. Since I Don't Have You

Written by: Lenny Martin, Joseph Rock, J. Taylor, James Beaumont, J. Vogel, W. Lester, J. Verscharen

Arranged by: Lee Holdridge

Engineered by: Michael Lietz

Recorded March 25, 1974 at Western Recording, Los Angeles

9. Crying Time

Written by: Buck Owens

Arranged by: Lee Holdridge

Engineered by: Michael Lietz

Recorded March 25, 1974 at Western Recording, Los Angeles

10. Let the Good Times Roll

Written by: Shirley Goodman, Leonard Lee

Arranged by: Tom Scott

Horns & Vocal Arrangement by: John Bahler

Engineered by: Hank Cicalo

Recorded July 1974 at A&M Studios, Los Angeles

About the Album

Butterly ad

Jon Peters wanted to produce a Barbra Streisand album. And so he did, titling it Butterfly, based on a mutual love of the winged insect that he shared with his girlfriend, Barbra.

Butterfly magazine adThe album was recorded in March and July 1974 and was released in October 1974.

The first selection of songs chosen did not materialize into usable tracks: “You Light Up My Life” by Carole King, a weird R&B song called “Funky Type Thang”, “On Broadway” by the songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (which was a big hit for George Benson), and “Everything Must Change” by Benard Ighner Benard. [note: Barbra eventually recorded Ighner’s tune for her Higher Ground album in 1997.]

Streisand and Peters recorded studio versions of “You Light Up My Life,” “Funky Type Thang,” and “Everything Must Change” on February 18, 1974 at Burbank Studios.

On March 25, 1974, Streisand and company went back into the recording studio and laid down more tracks. “God Bless the Child” and the medley of “A Quiet Thing” and “There Won’t Be Trumpets”, which were both part of those March Butterfly sessions, were not used on the album and, instead, ended up on Barbra’s 1991 retrospective box set, Just For the Record.

At this point, veteran recording engineer, Al Schmitt said there were problems with Butterfly. “They've recorded seven or eight songs for this new LP,” Schmitt explained to columnist Joyce Haber. “Columbia played them and they were unhappy with what they heard. Barbra always gives me goosebumps: She has that incredible sound. This album has a flat, one-dimensional sound. It needs to be opened up. It needs climaxes.”

Schmitt was fired and Streisand rang up Joyce Haber to respond to his accusations. “Schmitt did three cuts,” Barbra confirmed to Haber. “I didn’t like them.”

Producer Tom Scott was called in at the last minute to write arrangements for seven songs. He accomplished this task in four days. “She did more songs in less time than she’s ever done,” Scott said.

Streisand herself said Scott was “terrific to work with. Rhythm is normally very difficult to lay down, but with Tom it was definite, clear and unified.”

“Jon [Peters] was very receptive and gave me lots of freedom,” Scott said. ‘We cut the album very quickly, for Streisand, because I planned everything so carefully and was able to give them the reasons for everything I wanted to do musically.”

Peters, Streisand and Scott in studio

(Photo, above: Jon Peters, Streisand, and Tom Scott go over Butterfly charts in the studio.)

The rest of the Butterfly tracks were recorded on July 18, 19, and 22, 1974 at A&M Studios in Los Angeles. There was a range of songs most would not conceive of Streisand ever covering – including some odd choices like Bob Marley’s “Guava Jelly” and David Bowie’s “Life on Mars.”

Reportedly, music contractor Kathy Kasper also did some last minute work on the album by bringing in several new songs and rescoring some of the tracks that were deemed unusable.

Whatever the behind the scenes drama was, Butterfly is an interesting part of Streisand’s recording history. She definitely took some musical chances on the album. Her singing on Butterfly was the most relaxed she’d been with modern music up to that point.

Below: A Butterfly review; a Butterfly billboard in Los Angeles.

Butterfly review

The Songs

“Love In The Afternoon” — Husband and wife writing team Evie Sands and Richard Wiseman joined forces with Ben Germinaro – he wrote over 50 tunes for Elvis Presley – and the trio wrote a string of songs in the mid-1970s, including this one. Sands also recorded her own version of the song for her 1974 album Estate of Mind.

Written by Bob Marley, “Guava Jelly” is a “moderate reggae” song. (Guava jelly, by the way, is made from delicious guava fruit and is the Jamaican equivalent of peanut butter.)

Cayman Music published sheet music for “Guava Jelly” but showed themselves to be behind the times when they used a photo of Barbra from 1967's Central Park concert. And they spelled Bob Marley's name incorrectly – “Bob Morley.”

Guava Jelly sheet music

Musician Bill Withers wrote “Grandma's Hands” as a tribute to his grandmother, Lula Galloway. He recorded it for his 1971 debut album Just As I Am.

“I Won't Last A Day Without You” was a big hit for the Carpenters. Songwriting team Roger Nichols and Paul Williams tinkered with the bridge for Karen and Richard Carpenter. “It was kind of a sore point with me,” Nichols said, “because [Richard] changed the melody in the bridge and the chord structure. After that, other people heard our version of the song—like Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross—and they all recorded the version as we had written it.”

Paul Anka (“My Way” and “The Tonight Show Theme”) wrote “Jubilation” – in 1978 he even owned a disco and restaurant in Las Vegas named “Paul Anka’s Jubilation.”

“Barbra can sing the phone book.  She has no problem singing anything,” Anka said after Barbra recorded his song.

Graham Nash (of Crosby, Stills & Nash) wrote “Simple Man” after his breakup with Joni Mitchell. Streisand changed the lyrics from “man” to “girl” for Butterfly.

David Bowie wrote “Life On Mars” in 1971 for his Hunky Dory album. (Bowie, by the way, told Playboy magazine that Barbra’s version of his song was “Bloody awful. Sorry, Barb, but it was atrocious.”)

Singles

Click the links to read more ...

 

Billboard Charts

The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine.

Here's the numbers for this Streisand album:

Gold: 500,000 units shipped

Note: The record company must submit an album to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) where it undergoes a certification process to become eligible for an award. The process entails an independent sales audit, which calculates the quantity of singles or albums shipped for sale, net after returns. The audit surveys shipments to the entire music marketplace, including retail, record clubs, television sales, Internet orders and other ancillary markets. Based on the certification of these shipments, a title is awarded Gold, Platinum, Multi-Platinum or Diamond status. The data here comes directly from official sources, mainly the RIAA online database.

CD Packaging Notes

The photo montage which filled both sides of the original gatefold LP (see scan above) was cut in half for the CD release. The CD booklet contained only the right side of the montage.

Butterfly CD

Also, the Bill Shirley's painting on the back cover of the LP was reproduced on the CD—but cropped, and very small. On the original LP, the painting filled the entire back cover.

CD Insert

End.

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