Guilty may well be Barbra Streisand’s best pop album. At the peak of her late-’70s popularity, she hooked up with the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb, who himself was basking in his Saturday Night Fever glow. Gibb wrote and produced most of the material on 1980’s Guilty, and he supplied background vocals as well as co-leads on two tracks. The results are still completely bewitching. “Promises,” for instance, is a lounge-like dance number and Babs sounds simply fabulous–sexy, lighthearted, passionate, playful–all at once. “Life Story” is a wild epic, and “Make It Like a Memory” keeps soaring up and up into a stratosphere of shag-carpeted luxury. Even Gibb’s wavering vocals are great–and not a little like a disco version of Mandy Patinkin. And of course, the hits are out of this world: “Woman in Love” and “What Kind of Fool” are titanium-plated classics the likes of which Streisand has not topped since. A guilty pleasure, sure–just indulge. –Elisabeth Vincentelli

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