Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, are pleased to present Release Me 2, a new collection of ten previously unreleased studio performances from the legendary Barbra Streisand, available Friday, August 6, 2021.
The first new Barbra Streisand album title since 2018’s Walls, Release Me 2 is the eagerly-awaited second volume of Barbra Streisand rarities, a timely companion to her highly-successful 2012 Columbia/Legacy album Release Me, which entered the Billboard 200 at #7, making it her 32nd Top 10 and 7th consecutive Top 10 album at the time.
Giving fans their first taste of Release Me 2, “I’d Want It To Be You”–Barbra’s irresistible duet with Willie Nelson–will be released via all digital service providers along with a lyric video for the song on Friday, June 4. A track originally intended for Partners, her 2014 album of duets with superstar male singers, this Barbra Streisand-Willie Nelson vocal collaboration was still a work-in-progress as Partners‘ release date approached. Produced by Walter Afanasieff & Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, “I’d Want It To Be You” was recorded in 2014 and 2020.
Release Me 2 showcases exquisite songs and sublime studio performances recorded over the course of Barbra’s astounding career, but shelved for various reasons. In her notes for the album, Barbra says, “For me, the studio is a combination musical playground and laboratory…a private sanctuary, where the possibility of catching lightning in a bottle always exists. Whenever that kind of magic happens, it’s extremely satisfying. Sometimes though, when the arrangement doesn’t quite gel or the song no longer fits the tone of the album it was meant for, the tapes go into the vault for safekeeping. Working on this 2nd volume of Release Me has been a lovely walk down memory lane…a chance to revisit, and in some cases, add a finishing instrumental touch to songs that still resonate for me in meaningful ways. I’m particularly struck by the ongoing relevance of ‘Be Aware’ and ‘One Day,’ which still speak to our collective sense of humanity.”
In addition to her duet with Willie Nelson, Release Me 2 features Barbra singing with Muppet superstar Kermit the Frog on the classic composition “Rainbow Connection” (originally intended for Barbra’s Wet album in 1979) and a musical collaboration with Barry Gibb on “If Only You Were Mine,” written by Barry Gibb/Ashley Gibb/Stephen Gibb as a potential bonus track for 2005’s Guilty Pleasures. Produced by Barbra Streisand & Jochem van der Saag, “Rainbow Connection” was recorded in 1979 and 2020. “If Only You Were Mine” was produced by Barry Gibb and John Merchant in 2005.
Release Me 2 will be available as a digital album as well as a CD digipak with a 32-page booklet–featuring liner notes by Barbra Streisand and Jay Landers, the album’s executive producers. Several collectible 12″ vinyl editions, art directed by Barbra Streisand, will be available in a variety of color packages, color vinyl pressings, and a special picture disc.
A woman of action, Streisand is a devoted philanthropist who works tirelessly to fight for what she believes in. She founded The Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai and co-founded the Women’s Heart Alliance, helping to raise awareness and push for more research into women’s heart disease, the leading cause of death among women. Through the Streisand Foundation, which she established in 1986, she has fought for progressive ideas. She has been a leading environmental activist funding some of the earliest climate change research. She has long been a staunch supporter of racial equality, women’s rights, civil rights, and the very urgent need to protect voters’ rights.