Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer
aul Jabara had long been a Barbra Streisand fan, going back to Funny Girl days when he'd sat, mesmerized, in front of the Broadway stage at least a dozen times. He was also the songwriter who had just turned out the Oscar-winning "Last Dance" for Donna Summer, from Thank God It's Friday. When Barbra, in her self-described tradition of being "an actress who sings," elected to perform the theme for her new boxing film co-starring Ryan O'Neal, The Main Event, Jabara's talents were solicited.
When she went into the studio to record Wet, Streisand decided she wanted a concept disc, with each song based around water. Jabara pestered her to include a composition he had written with Bruce Roberts, "Enough Is Enough," but it lacked liquid. The songwriters tacked on the introduction, "It's raining, it's pouring, my love life is boring me to tears." At the urging of several intimates (including executive producer Charles Koppelman, producer Gary Klein, Jon Peters and Streisand's son Jason), Barbra hosted a lunch at her Malibu home for Donna Summer. Jabara popped a cassette into the recorder and out poured the melody authored as a duet for his extraordinary songstresses. "They both got excited," he told Us magazine. "Barbra kept asking, 'What part do I sing?'"
Overcoming their mutual nervousness was one of the biggest hurdles in realizing the effort. Jabara revealed, "Barbra and Donna were both intimidated by the other, and couldn't understand why the other person was intimidated. It was crazy." Speculation in the press about explosions between the "dueling divas" amounted to naught. A concert the night before the recording session delayed Summer's arrival for two hours, eliciting the Streisand crack, "I haven't waited two hours for anybody!"
Rehearsal was a bit rocky, both women revving their vocal motors to the max. Donna even toppled from a stool when she tried to h old a note longer than her partner and lost her breath.
Once the tape began rolling, though, magic took over. Jabara described the session for Us: "There was Streisand, hands flaring, and Donna, throwing her head back -- and they're both belting, sparking each other. It was a songwriter's dream. Seeing them on their stools opposite each other was so mind boggling, my hand nearly turned 360 degrees, like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist."
"No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 59 on October, 20, 1979, and moved impressively up the chart: 59-33-10-7-3 to number one. It was the fourth chart-topper for both women; Streisand had already scored a number one duet, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," with Neil Diamond.
- Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard, 1988.
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