On October 9, Barbra Streisand returns with Release Me, a collection of previously unreleased songs spanning her career from 1963 to now. Among the treasures the diva has deigned to pull from her vault of master recordings — yes, she holds the key — is “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today,” written by Randy Newman and taken from the sessions for Streisand’s 1971 album, Stoney End.
Two other Newman compositions were included on Stoney End, “Let Me Go” and “I’ll Be Home,” but Streisand’s take on “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today” is only now getting its day in the sun, some 40 years later. At the time, the song had already been recorded by Dusty Springfield, Peggy Lee, Nina Simone, and Helen Reddy (among many others, including Newman himself), which might be why it didn’t make the final cut.
“In the ’70s, I also did a lot of things with [producer] Richard Perry, and it was sort of in my period of trying to be more ‘contemporary,’ shall we say,” Streisand recalls today. “And so I met a lot of writers who were around at the time, one of them being Randy Newman, who was so gifted … I loved his song, ‘I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.’ I remember him coming to my apartment and we went over it a couple of times and then we recorded it, very simply, just me and Randy on the piano.”
To promote Release Me, Streisand has created a lyric video for “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today.” There she goes, trying to be more contemporary again — all the kids are doing lyric videos these days — but the clip, inspired by Streisand’s long-ago studio experience with Newman, is masterfully executed.
I love Streisand’s version of “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today, but my favorite remains Bette Midler’s cover from the Beaches soundtrack in 1988.