Once upon a time Liza Minnelli truly mattered. She is an Oscar winning actress, a Broadway star, and a recording artist who has sold millions of albums. In fact, she is one of few artists to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Tony, and an Academy Award. While the last two decades have been up and down for her career and reputation, she has left a lasting legacy upon the entertainment industry.
Liza Minnelli: The Complete A&M Recordings gathers her four albums released by the label, 1968-1972, into a two disc set. There are also a number of bonus tracks as well an an informative booklet with notes about each release.
Minnelli was well known in 1968 but was still several years away from her Oscar winning performance in the film Cabaret. Her mother, Judy Garland, had been signed to the Capital label and Liza had followed her. When her contact expired she moved to A&M. When she reached her early twenties her material would become more mature as Herb Alpert and company would treat her as an adult. While the results would be uneven at times; as a whole her time with A&M would produce the best body of recorded work of her career.
Her first release for the label was the self titled Liza Minnelli issued in February of 1968. It would find her experimenting with the songs by modern pop composers such as Randy Newman, Lennon and McCartney, and Sonny Bono. The four Randy Newman tracks, of which one is a bonus, fit her style particularly well. “The Debutante’s Ball,” “Happyland,” “So Long Dad,” and “Snow” are all good examples of her emotional and interpretive style. Her rendition of the lesser known Lennon and McCartney tune, “For No One,” is worth seeking out. While the album’s sales were average at best, it served the purpose of expanding her fan base in an adult direction.