on 24 July 2012
I was delighted to see that his CD had finally become available. The vinyl version was the first - and consequently greatly cherished - Minnelli album I ever bought (and I still have - loath to move it on until I got the CD. Well I have got it now, and the op shop will benefit rom a donation of the vinyl version.
And to my mind it is STILL the best album in the Minnelli range of live performances. ( I also recently bought Liza at Carnegie Hall (recorded in 1987) and Liza's Back (recorded in 2002)).
She was at the peak of her fame performing to the Winter Garden in 1974, and I have waited for so long for the entire album to re-released on CD. Several songs have appeared on compilations, but never the whole album. Now we understand why - something to do with the orchestration of the song Cabaret was the same as the movie. Ah well...
And sepaking of orchestrations - they suit her style perfectly. The song choice for this album is impeccable and the delivery ranges from raunch to pathos, from showbiz to pop and mahy roads in between.
I still think Liza's version of Shine on Harvest Moon is the best version EVER. Her Quiet Thing from Flora the Red Menace (her first Broadway show) is touching and heartfelt, and the Aznavour song And I In My Chair is sublime. Of course, this was after she had done the Liza with a Z TV production, but the one standout song in the same vein in Exactly Like Me(also from the pen of Kander and Ebb) which takes the mickey out of people who feel that they look like a celebrity. Great fun and very clever lyrics. There's even an Edith Piaf song - The Circle - and while Piaf's French idiom rarely translates well to English, in this case the plight of the "girls of the night" is poignant and delivered with rare sensitivity.
Minnelli is woithout doubt one of the greatest performers of our time - and with her genes, is that at all surprising?
Still, thanks Sony Music and Legends of Broadway for re-releasing this album.