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Liza Minnelli

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Album Review

Liza Minnelli's career as a recording artist essentially lapsed after the commercial failure of her 1977 album Tropical Nights, but recording was never one of her real priorities, taking a back seat to her work as a live performer and film star. After early records on which she was positioned as a middle-of-the-road pop singer in the '60s, she made some attempts to perform contemporary, rock-informed material, but her heart wasn't in that, and eventually she contented herself with occasionally updating her stage act on record, notably with 1987's Liza Minnelli at Carnegie Hall. Thus, Results, her first studio album in 12 years, seemed to come out of the blue. And for Minnelli's old-time fans, it was very different from what they might have expected. Simply put, the album was a Pet Shop Boys electronic dance disc with Minnelli serving as vocalist. Pet Shop Boys, the duo of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, were all over the record, writing seven of the songs (including a cover of their hit "Rent"), producing, and contributing synthesizer programming, with Tennant even chiming in on vocals here and there. Although they did place Minnelli in front of an orchestra on "Tonight Is Forever" and give her a jazzy arrangement for "I Can't Say Goodnight" at the end of the disc, for the most part the singer was swamped by the electronically generated beats and sounds. Sometimes, as on "Love Pains," she was even forced to compete with other female voices more accustomed to making themselves heard through such arrangements. Among the more interesting, if odd, tracks was a version of Stephen Sondheim's "Losing My Mind" from the musical Follies, which might have seemed a good song choice for a more conventional Minnelli collection, but that here was made to sound like Laura Branigan's 1982 hit "Gloria." That track, released in advance of the album, hit the Top Ten in the U.K. and made the dance charts in the U.S. The full LP made the U.S. charts, but its greatest success occurred in Great Britain, where it made the Top Ten and threw off three more chart singles. It was, however, a one-off. Pet Shop Boys went back to their career, and Minnelli went back to singing "Cabaret" in theaters around the world. Although she held her own against the arrangements, Results is more a Pet Shop Boys album than a Liza Minnelli disc.

Biography

Born: 12 March 1946 in Hollywood, CA

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although singer/actress Liza Minnelli can count Academy Award-winning film roles, Tony Award-winning musical theater performances, Emmy Award-winning television specials, and gold-selling records among her accomplishments, she is primarily a concert performer whose career has been defined by a series of stage acts dating back to her nightclub debut in 1965. Her best work in film, in the musical theater, and on television has taken advantage of and grown out of her reputation as a live performer,...
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Results, Liza Minnelli
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