After reading all of the reviews where everyone blasts Liza Minnelli, and how this was a vehicle for her talents...I think they forget that she was originally desired for the role of Sally Bowles in the first place, and was considered too American. Yes, one cannot deny this is Judy Garland's daughter. Every actor/actress has one or two roles that define perfection...and in this case (as much as I hate to admit) this is Liza's. Ripping apart the "love triangle" and comparing it to the broadway musical, you are forgetting to the heart of this production in the first place: the stories written by Christopher Isherwood, and that is exactly what Fosse did in his desire to return to the original inspiration. Sexuality couldn't be mentioned in 1966 as something realistic or even a possibility. But blooming homosexuality/bisexuality was VERY prelevent in Weimar Berlin (it is even alluded to in the silent German classic: Pandora's Box, with Louise Brooks, which has modern cinema's first lesbian and remember, in Frankfurt there was a center for Studies on Human Sexuality that as early as 1925 said that homosexuality was natural...one of the first places to be destroyed by fascism and Hitler) and to me, that is why the story line and these songs work...it is realistic and also very true to Isherwood's stories. So if anything, blame the stage musical for glossing over the truth...not the film. Obvious critics also blast the cutting out of a lot of the original tracks, which again works because the story line has changed. Why include tracks of Sally's landlady singing about her love for a Jewish fruit vendor if it isn't even alluded to in the film?
Every track on this disc, makes you wish you could actually go to a Cabaret and see girls kicking up their heels...like the Cabaret girls did in the film. Joel Grey is priceless as the Emcee, a role he created and played to perfection. He is every bit as sleazy as the character on broadway, and even more so because the performance shows how the rise of nazism affected what was going on inside of the cabaret, and that slimy weasel just smiled and welcomed it into the performances. Both broadway and film versions are perfect in their own right.
One reviewer seems perplexed by the track "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" and where it fits. Hitler youth were groomed as aryan perfection, and the youth encouraged patriotism (be it false or not) amongst the Germans at a time when they were coming out of a depression. It is creepy watching the scene in the film, and even hearing it on the soundtrack, as it does stand out...the youth were persuasive and doing what they had been brainwashed to do: convince and create a hate filled patriotism. What is even creepier, is that "Cabaret" is written by persons of Jewish faith, and modern right wing and nazi/aryan groups have adopted "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" to sing at their rallies, and even skinhead punk bands (such as Skrewdriver) have covered the song as a tribute to their "perfect race", funny how a song that fuels the fire of their hatred is written by 2 jewish people (something I think they have forgotten) who are obviously of an "inferior race" (according to what nazism preaches)...(whats wrong here, couldn't the continuing people of anti-semitism and "white power" write their own track? ooh how hypocrisy is pathetic!) judging by their last names, so listening to this track is extremely disturbing on many social levels for this very reason today as it is presented in the film.
The opening track "Wilkommen"...wow what a way to open a show and get the juices flowing, informing everyone present that leaving your troubles behind and tasting some burlesque is a fabulous idea...and why not kick up your heels?
"Mein Herr" is one of the best tracks on the soundtrack, and remembering the sexy Fosse choreography makes it even more enjoyable. Performed in the film, it is intimate as if you are seeing the show first row. Yes, it works.
"Maybe This Time" Yes, this is obviously a Liza signature. But it does reflect Sally's character and her feelings of hope, that someone will believe in her and perhaps even love her, and making her feel worthy.
"Two Ladies" is obviously priceless.
The album does shortchange you in the fact that you aren't seeing it performed, but it gives you something else: the ability to remember what was going on. Remember, Fosse created this format into a "Concept" musical, and if the film is to be called "Cabaret" then gosh darnit, shouldn't the music be represented there?
This is a timeless classic.