Liza Minnelli

The Capitol Years

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Liza Minnelli recorded three LPs and a handful of singles for Capitol Records in the U.S. between 1963 and 1966, when she was between the ages of 17 and 20. British parent label EMI Records' 22-track compilation The Capitol Years ignores the singles and compresses the albums into 66 minutes, starting with the complete contents of 12 songs from the first one, Liza! Liza! (1964), albeit in a different sequence, followed by five tracks from the second, It Amazes Me (1965), and five from the third, There Is a Time (1966). That seems like an odd balance, since Minnelli grew more assured as she went along in her teens and, if anything, There Is a Time is the most accomplished of the three LPs. It is also, however, different in style from the first two. Both Liza! Liza! and It Amazes Me were arranged and conducted by Peter Matz, who chose show music standards and worthy show music obscurities and gave them inventive new arrangements (just as he was doing at the same time for Barbra Streisand). There Is a Time, however, employing arranger/conductor Ray Ellis (another Streisand collaborator), was a concept album largely consisting of French songs written by the likes of Jacques Brel and Charles Aznavour. It makes sense to segregate the selections from that album and to put them at the end. But more songs from the disc would have strengthened the collection, as would a few of Minnelli's singles-only tracks, such as the four songs she recorded for Capitol from her Tony-winning performance in Flora, the Red Menace. The Capitol Years features some excellent early recordings by Minnelli, notably her first version of "Maybe This Time," a song that would become a signature number for her after she repeated it in the movie version of Cabaret in 1972. But as a single-CD compilation of her Capitol Records recordings, it could have been better selected and sequenced. [The Capitol Years was released originally under the title Best of Liza Minnelli: The Capitol Years in 1997. After reappearing as The Capitol Years in 2001, it was released for a third time in 2003 under the title Essential Liza Minnelli.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:04 SpotifyAmazon
2 2:41 SpotifyAmazon
3 4:19 SpotifyAmazon
4 3:36 SpotifyAmazon
5 2:37 SpotifyAmazon
6 2:50 SpotifyAmazon
7 3:16 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:04 SpotifyAmazon
9 3:43 SpotifyAmazon
10 3:29 SpotifyAmazon
11 1:50 SpotifyAmazon
12 3:22 SpotifyAmazon
13 4:15 SpotifyAmazon
14 3:09 SpotifyAmazon
15 2:43 SpotifyAmazon
16 2:15 SpotifyAmazon
17 3:22 SpotifyAmazon
18 4:20 SpotifyAmazon
19 2:06 SpotifyAmazon
20 1:57 Amazon
21 2:42 SpotifyAmazon
22 2:16 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick