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About the album Guilty Pleasures

About the Album • Released September 20, 2005
  • Produced by: Barry Gibb & John Merchant
• Executive Producers: Barbra Streisand & Jay Landers
• Recorded & Mixed by: John Merchant
• Art Direction: Mary Maurer, Nancy Donald
• Photography: Alberto Tolot
• Videos Directed & Produced by: Rick Walker
• Co-Producer/Post Production Supervisor: Michael Arick
• Director of Photography: Rick Walker
• Lighting Consultant: Laszlo Kovacs
• Key Makeup for Barbra Streisand: David DeLeon
• Key Hair for Barbra Streisand: Soonie Paik

In February 2005, Billboard magazine reported that Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand would join forces again — 25 years after collaborating on Guilty. Producer John Merchant booked talented local musicians from the Miami area to record the demos for the new album. “I said, ‘give me three days at Criteria [Studios] and let me show you what they can do,” said Merchant. “Barry was really thrilled at who we have locally.” Streisand reportedly loved the demos, and asked Merchant and Gibb to continue. They ended up with demos of ten songs. Actual recording of the album began in May 2005, with Gibb laying tracks in Miami, then traveling to L.A. at the end of May to work in the studio with Streisand.

Streisand, Merchant, and Gibb recorded at Grandma's House—the guest cottage on Streisand's Malibu property. “It’s really charming,” Merchant explained. “The house was built in the 1950s and sits on the cliffs of Malibu. It has beautiful open beam ceilings, a view of the Pacific, but we had to essentially create a studio.” Merchant rented appropriate equipment to stock the cottage, including a Neumann M49 tube mic—the very microphone that Streisand had recorded with on many past projects. Streisand, Gibb, and photographer Alberto Tolot (who photographed the cover of A Love Like Ours) shot the cover and other publicity photos on June 9, 2005. They also shot the music videos and interviews that day using state-of-the-art 24p Hi-Definition format. The studio location you see in the videos is the Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage at Columbia Studios. “It’s a great sounding room and they have a beautiful piano there,” John Merchant said. “The song [“Letting Go”] is a simple piano-vocal. Barbra said, ‘Let’s do a pass of that!’ The first take was magic; now it’s included on the DualDisc.” Of the new album, Barry Gibb said, "Yes it is wonderful, she's in great voice and I think it’s a nice album." The new CD featured a fold-out insert in black with gorgeous photos of Streisand and Gibb, as well as lyrics and credits.


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