“Funny Girl: Original Soundtrack” Recording (1968)

Catalog Number(s):

This page: Tracks > About the Album > CD Remastering > Billboard Charts > Grammy Award(s) > Diana Ross Version > Cover Outtakes

Front cover

Album scans by Kevin Schlenker

Below: the original FUNNY GIRL gatefold album unfolded to reveal an inner photo collage from the film, plus a page of liner notes by Jack Brodsky.

Back cover

Below: The Funny Girl LP also contained a handsome record sleeve, illustrated with all of Barbra's Columbia albums to date ....

Sleeve front

Tracks

Funny Girl soundtrack Playbill ad
  1. Overture [4:00]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  2. I'm the Greatest Star [4:06]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  3. If A Girl Isn't Pretty [2:26]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  4. Roller Skate Rag [2:01]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  5. I'd Rather be Blue Over You (Than Be Happy With Somebody Else) [2:38]
    (B. Rose / F. Fisher)
  6. His Love Makes Me Beautiful [5:39]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  7. People [5:01]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  8. You Are Woman, I Am Man [4:23]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  9. Don't Rain On My Parad [2:45]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  10. Sadie, Sadie [4:19]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  11. The Swan [2:51]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  12. Funny Girl [2:43]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)
  13. My Man [2:12]
    (A. Willemetz / J. Charles / C. Pollock / M. Yvain)
  14. Finale [2:20]
    (B. Merrill / J. Styne)

** UK CD only (2002, catalog number: 506358 2)

About the Album

Working with Barbra Streisand “wasn't always easy or peaceful,” said Walter Scharf, the musical director of Funny Girl, in an interview with Patricia Davis. “But,” Scharf added “the results I think justify the effort and sometimes agonies we went through.”

(Photo, below): Walter Scharf and Streisand in the recording studio.

Scharf, Streisand, Ross

“They warned me she was temperamental and stubborn,” Scharf said. “She was. She was and is also one of the most original and gifted artists I have ever encountered. There has been a lot of controversy about this girl. Barbra was temperamental, but only as a way of striving for perfection. People like Barbra, with great talent, have this burning desire to give their all and please their audiences. If they feel they've missed they get annoyed with themselves and this is misconstrued as temperament. The truly temperamental people are those without talent who create chaos just to be ornery.”

Scharf spoke specifically about his arrangements for the Funny Girl film: “It was a challenge to adapt the music from the Broadway Funny Girl and it intrigued me,” he explained. “I wanted to keep the period mood of Fanny Brice's time alive and yet contemporize the music at the same time.”

Walter Scharf actually made a cameo in the film—he is Barbra's accompanist during “Second Hand Rose”.

Second Hand Rose from film

Barbra Archives has always wondered why “Finale” has continued to be called “Finale” all these years? The music is actually the Main Title music.

Here's another Funny Girl rant: When the 2002 remastered CD was released, the UK version contained a bonus track that the U.S. version did not (Columbia single #4-44622 version of “I'd Rather Be Blue”). Peter Matz arranged the single, and it is different than the soundtrack version. The UK, in general, believes that a remastered version of a CD—that most people already own—should contain "added value". (Barbra Archives believes in this concept as well!)

Perhaps for the 50th anniversary of Funny Girl in 2018, Columbia Records will consider releasing a collector's edition of Funny Girl ... with the full, restored Overture, Barbra's single releases (including the single of “Funny Girl”—another Peter Matz arrangement), Omar Sharif's songs, demos and alternate takes.

Billboard ad for Funny Girl film soundtrack

Ad for FUNNY GIRL album

Columbia ad for Funny Girl soundtrack

CD Remastering & Packaging Notes

1990 remastered CD

Funny Girl has been remastered twice by Columbia Records.

The first remaster (pictured above, left. It is delineated by a white sticker on the front of the CD case that said “Digitally Restored from the Original Master Tapes, Digitally Remastered”) was done by John Arrias and released in 1994.

The second remaster (pictured above, right) was released in 2002, and remastered from the original master tapes by Stephen Marcussen; Digitally edited by Stewart Whitmore for Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, CA.

The 2002 CD is red with the Columbia label.

Funny Girl red CD

It should be noted that both versions of the CD omit "Second Hand Rose" from the overture. "Rose" was restored on the Quad and Masterworks LP in the 70's and 80's, but is missing on the CDs. (The only way to hear the complete overture if you do not own the LPs is to listen to it on the DVD!) What's more, there is an ugly, obvious cut in the Overture on the CDs at 3:02 minutes ... couldn't they fix this??

As for the CD packaging: Both CDs utilized Bob Peak's original cover artwork. However, the original LP's gatefold design (see photo above) contained liner notes and a Funny Girl photo collage. Only the 2002 remastered CD uses the gatefold elements, including Jack Brodsky's liner notes.

The 2002 CD, mastered by Marcussen Mastering, sounds wonderful—a great improvement over the 1994 disc.

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

Platinum: 1 million 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.

Grammy Nomination

“Funny Girl” Curiosity: “Diana Ross & The Supremes Sing and Perform Funny Girl”

Diana Ross and Supremes Sing and Perform Funny Girl

A Motown diva sings songs from the Brooklyn diva's hit show and forthcoming movie musical!

Released in May 1968, this album features Motown's take on Funny Girl, If A Girl Isn't Pretty, I Am Woman, Music That Makes Me Dance, Don't Rain On My Parade, People, Cornet Man, His Love Makes Me Beautiful, Sadie, Sadie, and I'm The Greatest Star.

The arrangements by Gil Askey are very good and Diana Ross provides some wonderful vocals. Randy Taraborrelli's excellent biography on Diana Ross explained that Motown utilized session singers for the project instead of Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong (the Supremes), who only sing on a few of the tracks.

The album went to #45 on the R&B charts, and #150 on the Pop charts.

The album is available on iTunes.

Jule Styne wrote the liner notes, which I've reproduced here ...

... The rendition of the Funny Girl score by the Supremes is a great example of their talents and taste and again proves they stand alone as one of the most important entries of our time.

Funny Girl story actually takes place in the 1920's. But Diana Ross' renditions and the musical arrangements are quite a feat. The album actually portrays a different musical style for each number with a dramatic musical background connecting each song. It takes in the early Dixieland and Two-Beat of the Twenty's to the Electric Rock Sound of now and tomorrow. The album has the excitement of a great concert, yet there is a relaxed feeling of fun, especially when Diana sings "Sadie, Sadie" and "If a Girl Isn't Pretty."

Askey, Styne, Ross

You will note many songs have that marvelous Motown Sound which makes this show album very special.

Although the girls are young and new and part of the now world, they have always shown great respect towards composers Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin (and now Jule Styne) Thank God. They are always aware of what's new by their appreciation of the sounds of Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Webb, etc.

What Diana Ross does with "People," "Don't Rain on My Parade" and the new title song "Funny Girl," written especially for the movie is something else again.

If I sound excited, I am! I'm proud that they chose Funny Girl score by Bob Merrill and music by yours truly for their first full scale show and movie album.

My life is now complete. From Frank Sinatra, to Barbra Streisand, to Diana Ross and the Supremes. What a parlay!!!

Thank you Motown and Diana, Mary and Cindy.

Jule Styne

P.S. What a delight to meet a star who is also a real human being. You're a very special person, Diana!

 

Album Cover Outtakes

Bob Peak designed the Funny Girl art used on the cover of the soundtrack album (and also utilized in the movie posters). Peak was a famed movie poster artist. He also designed iconic posters for My Fair Lady, Mahogany, Superman The Movie, and Star Trek The Motion Picture.

Below is an alternate, unused illustration for Funny Girl by Peak.

Peak alternate illustration for Funny Girl

End.

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