(To read reviews of this album, click here!)
This page is devoted to Liza Minnelli's seventh album, and second live album, Live At The Olympia In Paris.
Live At The Olympia In Paris (A&M Records, #SP-4345) is Liza's seventh album, and the second live album she recorded, and released in April of 1972. It marks a first in her career as being the first live solo Minnelli album - the only prior live album she had done at this point in her career was with her mother, Judy Garland, at the London Palladium. At the same time, it would also mark a last - this was the final album she released on the A&M label. The album was recorded over two nights; the majority of the album's material came from her December 11th, 1969 concert, but a few selections were substituted from her December 13th concert 2 nights later. This album also does not represent the full stage show she was doing at that point; far from it. This album only represents approximately 40 minutes of the full show, as it was not deemed financially viable to release a two-disc album. Sadly, the unused tracks were deleted, and no masters were kept. These deleted tracks include, but are not limited to, a french version of "All I Need Is The Boy", "Where Did You Learn To Dance?", and an instrumental track. This was also not the first time that Liza had ever performed at the Olympia in Paris; she had performed there three years earlier during June of 1966 during the International Festival of Variety Shows.
When the prior album Liza had released on the A&M label, New Feelin' actually managed to make an impact on the charts, unlike its predecessors, naturally the label wanted to hurry and release another album while the iron was still hot. However, Liza was riding the waves of success of the film Cabaret at that point and had no time to record another album. The label had two options: either release a live album, or release an album of unused tracks she had previously recorded but not used on her other albums. They chose to release a live album. The recording had been sitting around on the shelf for a few years by the time it was finally released; France had already received the recording, as well as a live television airing of the performance, a year earlier. A&M never expected there to be enough public interest to release it outside of France, so they sat on it and let it collect dust. Realizing their mistake, they hurriedly released it for international audiences. The album was produced and arranged by Larry Marks; the orchestra was directed by Jack French; the art director was Roland Young; the photographer was Guy Webster; and color technique was by Sandra Darnley.
The set list used was very similar to that of the act she had been performing live for the past four years; a mixture of old and new songs to try and please all her audiences. it was a hybrid of contemporary songs of the time and standards; something that Liza has made her signature from the very start of her career and never really lost sight of. Even in its highly edited state, the album still manages to capture both her interaction with and impact on her audience (who were chanting her name by the end of the album).
Live At The Olympia In Paris was never released on CD in the US, but it did briefly have a CD run overseas. That import is VERY pricey and rare. However, fans can still enjoy the tracks from this show, as they are included as part of The Complete A&M Recordings collection that was released in 2008.
The back of the album reads as follows:
Some ice-cube clinking swells come insisting inwardly that she show them the Judy thing, mama's famous moves, but they soon get much more. Liza belts, she warbles, she croons, she smirks -- with a quavering voice that has Mother Earth and skinned-knee gamine and sassy kid sister and sultry vamp folded into it all at once. She is very much her own. On screen, she gently zaps you with those liquid, chestnut Elsie Borden eyes, or pouts you into chuckles or makes you feel the sudden stitch of old hurts with a sad wince. But she can bump-and-grind you into guffaws or nail you with an icy stare down that foxy nose and regally dispose of you like limp Kleenex. The acting's in the blood.
Which is why the French especially love her, why words fail the Paris critics (imagine a Frenchman short of words!), why they throw kisses, why they weep. The Paris that produced Mistinguet, Piaf, Trenet, Brel, and Aznavour can sense the love that aches, the heart that overreaches, the eyes swimming with loneliness -- and the hard head that rebounds with self-mocking sang-froid. Liza has those qualities, those Gallic nuances. Where she got 'em, I don't know, but they come tumbling, leaping, hand-springing over the famed Olympia footlights and into the enthralled audience.
So here she is in her triumphal, third Paris tour, her cork popping, up to her ears in bubbly stardom, her moods changing like sun and shadow rippling over the rose window in the St. Chapelle. Some of it's in French, but no matter (you get Aznavour's "This Time" in English anyway): Liza has her own sublingual esperanto that always manages to push the heart of the emotion through. The song about her name is a tongue-twister in English; in French, it's a minefield. You can hear hints of the Gallic in some of the numbers, and even some bonafide Rainbow in "My Mammy" and "You'd Better Sit Down, Kids". But there's much more than that. Beneath the effervescent la-la-la misty-quay melancholy is a vibrant, bright young woman who knows how to sing her heart out -- and loves it. As Liza sings here: "Mama may have, papa may have, but God bless the child that's got his own..."
-- S. K. Oberbeck
1. Consider Yourself/Hello, I Love You/I Gotta Be Me/Consider Yourself (reprise) (Lionel Bart/John Densmore, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison/Walter Marks)
2. Everybody's Talkin'/Good Morning Starshine (Fred Neil/James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot)
3. God Bless The Child (Billie Holiday, Arthur Herzog)
4. Liza with a 'Z' (John Kander, Fred Ebb)
5. Married/You'd Better Sit Down, Kids (John Kander, Fred Ebb/Sonny Bono)
1. Nous On S'Aimera (Frank Gerald, Claude Bolling)
2. I Will Wait For You (Norman Gimbel, Michel Legrand)
3. There Is A Time (Les Temps) (Charles Aznavour, Jeff Davis, Gene Lees)
4. My Mammy (Sam M. Lewis, Joe Young, Walter Donaldson)
5. Everybody Loves My Baby (Jack Palmer, Spencer Williams)
6. Cabaret (John Kander, Fred Ebb)