The Way We Were (song)

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"The Way We Were"
Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Way We Were
B-side "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?"
Released November 1973
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1973
Genre Pop
Length 3:31
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Marvin Hamlisch1
Producer(s) Marty Paich

"The Way We Were" is the title song to the 1973 movie The Way We Were, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.1 The song was written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and Marvin Hamlisch (music) and performed by Streisand. It won the Academy Award1 and Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and also made AFI's list of Top 100 Songs from Film; it was ranked number eight.

"The Way We Were" topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in 1974 and was replaced by "Love's Theme" by the Love Unlimited Orchestra; by coincidence, the orchestra, also abbreviated as LUO, did a version of "The Way We Were" on their 1979 album Super Movie Themes: Just a Little Bit Different. It then returned to number one for two additional weeks. The song also spent two weeks atop the easy listening chart, Streisand's second single to reach the top of this chart (following 1964's "People"). The track peaked at #31 in the UK Singles Chart in 1974.1

The version of the song which was released on 45 RPM single contains a different vocal take than the version which appeared on the original movie soundtrack and subsequent greatest hits compilations. Both versions use the same music track. The difference in the vocals can most easily be heard on the line "Smiles we gave to one another" at approximately 1:15 into the song. The true 45 RPM single version has never appeared on CD. The soundtrack version of the song, a completely different take with alternate music track, appears on Just For the Record, Streisand's 4-CD box set collection released in 1991.

A bootleg of the recording sessions exists featuring Streisand with composer Marvin Hamlisch in a recording studio as they perform various takes of the song. One segment reveals Streisand changing the first word of the song from "Daydreams" to "Memories."

Streisand's version was listed at #90 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time.2dead link

Chart Performance

The song reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 3 non consecutive weeks at number 1 and became the best selling single of the year in the US.3 The song was certified Gold and 23 years later was certified Platinum by the RIAA

Other versions

  • A 1974 version by Gladys Knight & the Pips on their "I Feel A Song" LP featured the intro to the song "Try to Remember" and was credited as "The Way We Were/Try to Remember". Released as a single, it reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #6 on the Hot Soul Singles chart. The track reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart in 19751( In 1993, Wu-Tang Clan sampled Knight's vocals from this version on their single "Can It Be All So Simple").
  • In 1974, Maynard Ferguson did a cover version for his album "Chameleon".
  • Andy Williams released a version in 1974 on his album, The Way We Were.
  • In 1975, Doris Day recorded the song for her television special Doris Day toDay.
  • In 1975, Shirley Bassey recorded the song on her album Good, Bad, But Beautiful.
  • José José recorded the song in Spanish titled "Nuestros Recuerdos", included in his 1975 album Tan Cerca...Tan Lejos.
  • Dick Haymes recorded the song in 1976 for the radio series, Alec Wilder's American Popular Song.
  • In 1976, The New York Disco Orchestra released a disco version of the song on Artemis Records. This version was produced by Clem Vicari. It was released as a seven inch single and divided into two parts. This version charted for two weeks on Billboard's Disco Action Charts.
  • In 1976, Teresa Teng recorded the song on her English album, "With Love from...Teresa Teng".
  • In 1976, Rico J. Puno recorded the song with a part of a Tagalog verse.
  • Donna Summer performed a cover on her 1978 live double album Live and More.
  • A version by singer Yoshiko Kimura was released as part of her 1979 album Memories, accompanied by alto saxophonist Gary Foster, pianist Clare Fischer, bassist Jim Hughart, and drummer John Perett.
  • In 1979, Gilda Radner recorded a somewhat humorous version of the song as character Lisa Lupner, on her LP, Live from New York.
  • Leslie Cheung released a live recording on his 1990 farewell concert album, Final Encounter of the Legend.
  • Free jazz saxophonist David S. Ware recorded the song on his 1998 album Go See the World
  • In 2007, musician Dave Koz recorded a version from his album of pop standards, At the Movies. The song featured vocalist Vanessa Williams.4
  • In 2007, Barry Manilow included the song on his album The Greatest Songs of the Seventies.
  • In 2008, Girlicious did a remake of the song on their self-titled debut album, Girlicious.
  • On December 30, 2008, Beyoncé Knowles performed her cover of the song to Barbra Streisand at the 31st annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.
  • In 2010, an a cappella version is featured on the 2008 album, Destinations, by Barbershop Harmony Society champions OC Times.
  • In 2011, a dance version is featured on the 2011 album, Forever Matell, by Matell.
  • Kerry Ellis performed a version of the song at her special Friday Night is Music Night in 2012

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "At The Movies overview". 

External links

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