Life is a Cabaret: The Top 12 Liza Minnelli Albums

By Ben Rimalower
23 Nov 2013

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The Complete A&M Recordings

It's sort of a cheat to include "The Complete A&M Recordings" as one entry here, but the individual albums it contains ("Liza Minnelli," "Come Saturday Morning," "New Feelin'" and "Live At The Olympia In Paris") have been out of print individually my entire adult life, and some of my favorite tracks are cuts that only made it onto this compilation — so here you go. In truth, considering these various unsuccessful attempts to make Minnelli a music star, the differences between the late 60s and early 70s were more pronounced at the time. As a result, one sought to cast her as a flower child in the world of hippy singer-songwriters and another one offered Minnelli's then-contemporary take on standards. Today, the songs of Burt Bacharach and even Randy Newman are essentially standards — and no matter how many tambourines and electric guitar riffs you throw in the mix, Liza Minnelli pretty much sounds like Liza Minnelli. That said, these recordings represent Minnelli at her formidable vocal summit and it's enormously satisfying to listen her to tear into such an extensive gamut of material not typically found in her repertoire with her trademark gusto. There's some overlap with some other recordings on this list, and you still need the "Cabaret" soundtrack, but the Complete A&M Recordings is a must-have.

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