Pins and Needles (1962)

Catalog Number(s):

Back cover Pins and Needles

Tracks

  1. Sing Me a Song with Social Significance [2:52]
  2. Doing the Reactionary [2:01] *
  3. One Big Union for Two [2:57]
  4. It's Better with a Union Man [3:03]
  5. Nobody Makes a Pass at Me [4:17] *
  6. I've Got the Nerve to Be in Love [4:46]
  7. Not Cricket to Picket [2:29] *
  8. Back to Work [2:13]
  9. Status Quo [4:27] *
  10. When I Grow Up (The G-Man Song) [2:49]
  11. Chain Store Daisy [3:50]
  12. Four Little Angels of Peace [4:36] *
  13. Sunday in the Park [3:31]
  14. What Good Is Love [3:38] *
  15. Mene, Mene, Tekel [3:51]

* Streisand vocals

About the Album

Harold Rome wrote the music and lyrics for Pins and Needles, a musical review produced in 1936 by The International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and later transferred to Broadway. It had the distinction of being the only hit Broadway show to be produced by a labor union.

Rome and Streisand in studio

(Photo, above): Harold Rome and Barbra Streisand in the Columbia Records recording studio.

In 1962, Columbia Records wanted Rome to commemorate the 25th anniversary of his show by personally supervising a new recording of it. Rome recruited Jack Carroll, Elise Bretton, Stan Freeman, Rose Marie Jun and Barbra Streisand for the record.

“She's nineteen years old, for heaven's sake!” Rome exclaimed about Streisand and her grasp of the 25-year-old material. “She's not a history student. She doesn't know about the period, and yet she gets into the songs as if she'd been born to them. I don't know where it's coming from.”

In Barry Dennen's book, My Life with Barbra, he wrote that Streisand called and asked him for assistance with the Rome songs once she found out she'd be recording the album. Dennen maintains he and Streisand met at Sardi's and he gave her direction on how to tackle the five songs she sang on Pins and Needles.

When Columbia finally released Pins and Needles on CD—restored and remastered—in October 1993, they replicated the original gatefold packaging of the LP, including all the liner notes. The cover added “Featuring Barbra Streisand” and an extra row of ribbon on the bottom. Missing from the CD were the 1937 photographs from the original production of Pins & Needles, which were included on the 1962 LP.

Columbia Pins and Needles CD

Pins and Needles was part of Columbia Records' 11 Essential Barbra Streisand Releases. The master tapes were prepared for release by John Arrias (who put together the masters for Just For The Record). According to Columbia's publicity:

“The objective with each album was to restore the tapes to the quality of the original master recording. To do this in some cases, 30 years of noise had to be eliminated. John used his proprietary C.A.P. Noise Reduction System to eliminate hiss, distortion and noise. In each case great care was taken to maintain the integrity of the original albums.”

Columbia also recreated the packages using the original art or printing film.

Album Cover Outtakes

The photographs on the back cover of the album were taken by Columbia Records' staff photographer, Hank Parker.

Parker alternates

End.

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