Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand – “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” Live
An Undeniable Chemistry Between Two Legendary Musicians
Written by Neil Diamond along with Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, this song is basically about two people drifting apart. In 1978, it dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The 45-second original track was supposed to be used as a theme song for a show called “All That Glitters.” However, the concept and premise of the show were changed and the song was no longer appropriate to be used. Neil then expanded it to a little over three minutes and added some verses and instrumentals.
Neil Diamond spoke to Mojo magazine July 2008 about this song: “This song was actually written for a television show that was to be produced by Norman Lear, All That Glitters. The premise of the show was that the roles of men and women were juxtaposed: the men stayed home with the babies and did the housework, and the women went out to work. It kind of presaged the way the situation is now. I suggested trying to write a torch song, which is typically a woman singing on-stage about how her man done her wrong, but having sung by a man, therefore the title You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, which is not something that men really think about but a woman might.”
In 1977, Neil included this track in his album “I’m Glad You’re Here with Me Tonight” and the following year, Barbra Streisand recorded her cover version for the album “Songbird.” When they both officially recorded it as a duet, their chemistry was so good that the listeners loved the song so much more.
Mojo then asked Diamond if the show got made. He replied: “I ran into a problem with Norman who said, ‘I like the song a lot but I have to own the copyright if I’m to use it in my show’ and I said no. So I put it on my next album (1977’s I’m Glad You’re Here With Me Tonight) as a solo and Barbra really liked it and recorded it herself on her next album (Songbird), in the same key that I did and using the same arranger, so it was very similar. After both records were out, disc jockeys around the United States intercut the two records and made a duet out of them. Barbra and I somehow received some copies of these, and we looked at each other and a light bulb appeared in a bubble above our head and we said, ‘Hey, let’s go in and do it for real.’ It was an enormously successful record.”
It was also nominated for “Song Of The Year” during the Grammy Awards in 1980.