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Say Liza

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Performer Notes
  • Recording information: Sony Music Studios, New York, NY.
  • Liza Minnelli recorded for the Columbia and Epic labels of the company successively known as CBS Records, Sony Music Entertainment, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment off and on from 1972 to 1993. This budget compilation, Say Liza, attempts to span that period and does so with mixed success, if only because Minnelli's recordings were a mixed bag. Compilation producer Jeff James opts to use uncharacteristic selections from Liza Minnelli, The Singer (1973) and Tropical Nights (1977). The former was a set of covers of early-'70s soft rock hits, the latter an R&B experiment, but you'd never know that listening to "The Singer," which sounds like it should have been in some old Broadway show, or to the two Tropical Nights tracks, the ballads "A Beautiful Thing" and "Come Home Babe." Fearlessly, James then delves into Minnelli's 1989 electronic dance collaboration with Pet Shop Boys, Results, for extended, remixed versions of "Losing My Mind," "Don't Drop Bombs," and "Love Pains." A fourth Results excerpt, "So Sorry, I Said" is a ballad, which helps change the mood and prepare the listener, at least somewhat, for a couple of specially written novelty songs from Minnelli's nightclub act, as performed on the soundtrack to the Liza with a "Z" TV special, "Ring Them Bells" and "Say Liza" (aka "Liza with a 'Z'.") It seems safe to say that few Liza Minnelli fans will like all the tracks on this collection, but many Minnelli fans will welcome an album release for "The Day After That," a song from the musical Kiss of the Spider Woman (written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, Minnelli's favorite songwriters) that she released as a one-off single. ~ William Ruhlmann
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