Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LIZA WITH A 'Z' - Liza Minnelli

YEAR: 1972

LABEL: Columbia

TRACK LISTING: Yes, God Bless the Child, Say Liza (Liza With A 'Z'), It Was A Good Time, I Gotcha, Ring Them Bells, Son of a Preacher Man, Bye Bye Blackbird, You've Let Yourself Go, My Mammy, Medley of Tunes from "Cabaret": Willkommen/Married/Money, Money/Maybe This Time/Cabaret

IMPRESSIONS: I certainly wouldn't call myself a Liza Minnelli fan. I only own one album by her and I've never even seen the film CABARET. However, this is the album to own and this is the album I love. Once again, this goes to the legendary road trip to Atlantic City with my friend Paul talked about in the Neil Diamond "THE JAZZ SINGER" entry when we had to take his father's car and we only had one tape in the car with these two albums on it. Listening to both albums over and over both to and from A.C. would probably drive most people nuts but something about these two albums leant themselves to repetition. And I've been listening ever since. LIZA WITH A Z is so "of its time" with it's choice of early 70's "hip" instruments and musical arrangement that it becomes charming. And there's no doubt Liza was at the peak of her career providing a vocal performance designed to knock the audience's socks off (and we can't even see the constant choreography here). Liza attempted to bring old-fashioned show biz razzmatazz to early 70's grooviness and somehow she succeeded.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Yes, God Bless the Child, Say Liza (Liza With A 'Z'), It Was A Good Time, Ring Them Bells, Son of a Preacher Man, My Mammy, Medley of Tunes from "Cabaret"

FACT SHEET: LIZA WITH A 'Z': A CONCERT FOR TELEVISION was broadcast September 10, 1972 on NBC. The concert was, according to Minnelli, the first filmed concert on television; it was shot using eight 16mm cameras instead of the usual videotape. The film was produced by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse (who also directed and choreographed) with Ebb writing and arranging the music with his songwriting partner John Kander. All three had worked with Minnelli earlier that year on the film "CABARET". The show was filmed at the Lyceum Theatre in New York on May 31, 1972. Costumes were designed by Halston and the music coordinator was Marvin Hamlisch. Not shown on television since 1973, the original negative was thought lost until it was re-discovered in 1999; Minnelli discovered she owned the rites and restored the film for re-release in 2006 on DVD with a new stereo remix of the soundtrack included. LIZA WITH A 'Z' won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and a Directors Guild of America award while the soundtrack album was certified gold and has never been out of print to this day.

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