The Complete A&M Recordings
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In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of their initial issue, Collectors Choice is pleased to present, for the first time ever, the CD debut of Liza Minnelli s entire catalog for A&M Records restored and remastered for this new collection, in 24-bit digital splendor, directly from the original master tapes! Originally released from 1968 through 1972, these four albums represent a unique period in Liza s legacy, a time when she was already past the stage of being an unknown or new artist, but not quite the superstar she would become just as her association with A&M would end, and the avalanche of awards began in earnest (including an Oscar for her starring role in the movie Cabaret, and an Emmy for her TV special Liza With a Z ). In fact, you might think of this historic 2-CD set as Liza BEFORE The Z , or PRE- Z! This exclusive Collector's Choice 2-CD set features an informative essay from Liza's official webmaster, author-historian Scott Schechter, inside a full-color booklet with rare photos, and includes the studio albums Liza Minnelli (1968), Come Saturday Morning (1969) and New Feelin (1970), along with her first in-person solo recording Live at the Olympia in Paris (1972) discs that have never appeared on CD in the U.S. (and only the first and last LPs were on briefly-issued overseas compact discs, that fetch many hundreds of dollars online when they appear). Hear Liza tackle songs with an unexpected contemporary pop-country-folk-Muscle Shoals beat, including numbers by Randy Newman (Debutante s Ball), John Denver (Leavin on a Jet Plane) and her husband Peter Allen (Simon) along with, yes, the expected tunes from the Great American Songbook, Hollywood and Broadway...including selections by her team of Kander and Ebb, and thus her hits Liza With a Z and, of course, Cabaret. And, listen up, collectors this 51-track set also includes unreleased outtakes of I m Looking over a Four-Leaf Clover; Alicinha; I ll Never Fall in Love Again; This Girl s in Love with You; For Once in My Life; Old Friend (a.k.a Hey Friend) and For Once in My Lifetime, and an unreleased alternate take of (On) A Slow Boat to China! This set is a musthave for all fans of music from the late 1960s into the early 1970s and, of course, Liza Lovers will think they ve died and gone to, well, Liza Land. Come to the Cabaret and celebrate this still acclaimed living legend at the early period of her acclaimed career!
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Liza recorded a rich variety of standards during her productive stint at A & M Records but the real surprise here is the greatness of the contemporary material and unique originality of the varied and richly illuminating performances...the legendary lady can really sing and this magical & wondrous musical treasure should be given a Special "Grammy Award" as it is better late than never to award a deserving stunning collection filled with timeless great performances!!!
However for those who simply know Minnelli's work on her live albums, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that her vocals here are based on singing with actual nuance and real feeling, not bombast and histrionics (which works so much better on stage in the excitement of live performances than on record).
In my humble opinion, these are not perhaps the most exciting vocal performances by the gifted Liza Minnelli, but interestingly enough, they are among her absolute best. She is gentle on some tracks and wistful, but never boring... she truly interprets the lyric dramatically and with simplicity ("Simon", "Come Saturday Morning"). And her "The Look of Love" is just plain sexy. In fact, Liza's version of this golden chestnut stands with the best of them. No small thing.
The sound, overall, is of its time, and in quite a few cases it does not transcend, but it is still a delightful listen. In any case, it is truly wonderful to finally have this collection available for the buying public along with some bonus tracks and fantastic liner notes composed by Scott Schechter that cradle the music in a fun and insightful way.