“The Way We Were” “capped a rare entertainment grand slam” AMG in that the song, album, and movie all hit #1. AMG Streisand was no stranger to the Billboard pop charts, having racked up 20 hits since “People,” taken from the musical Funny Girl, charted in 1964. However, “The Way We Were” was her first chart-topper – she would accomplish the feat four more times – and her second of eight to the adult contemporary charts.
Barbra conveys “the lyric with great passion and style, without resorting to overly sentimental histrionics.” AMG The result was the biggest song of 1974 WHC and one of her “finest performances.” AMG The song is “ingrained into the memory of anyone who was listening to radio in the mid-’70s.” AMG
The movie “starred Streisand and Robert Redford as a pair of opposites who fall in love. They are followed “from college to marriage to divorce and beyond.” BR1 The use of the word “memories” throughout the song perfectly captures the essence of the film’s focus on “emotions of long-term (and long-lost) love.” AMG
The original movie version of the song was recorded with an orchestral backing which was scrapped in favor of a more pop arrangement for the single and Barbra’s subsequent album of the same name. BB100
When awards season hit, the track took home prizes for Best Song at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. The song was also ranked #8 on the American Film Institute’s list of top 100 film songs of all time. WK