CONFESSIONS is a collection of standards recorded with one of her longtime collaborators, pianist and arranger Billy Stritch. Reflective, wry, and even wise, this album is one of her best.
The voice, deep and rich as an aged single malt, has a generous, even forgiving quality, especially in songs that make gentle fun of the singer’s reputation for excess, like the title track (“I never had a taste for wine / For wine can’t compare with gin”). “This Heart of Mine” deploys her vintage, veering vocal mannerisms to the verge of self-parody, before landing, catlike, on a precise ending.
Best and most affecting of all is “I Got Lost in His Arms,” in which the lyrics dive headlong into romance but the voice is halting, even mournful, as if the singer were trying to warn her own heart that love may not be worth the trouble. If a single song could stand as an autobiography, this might be Liza’s.
Does this quality reflect something that Minnelli has learned about romance over the course of a lifetime that has included four marriages? (Her husbands were singer and songwriter Peter Allen, producer Jack Haley Jr., sculptor Mark Gero, and producer David Gest.)
Minnelli’s relationships with gay men.
It’s a difficult topic, fraught with clichés. The air of Sisyphean struggle with tragedy and suffering that hangs over both Garland’s and Minnelli’s reputations has to do in no small part with their connection with gay audiences—and their romantic relationships with gay men.
When she was 15, Minnelli attended her mother’s legendary 1961 concerts at Carnegie Hall, where there were so many gay men in the audience that major publications like Time took note—in an era when many newspapers and magazines kept a strict silence about gay people’s existence.
Minnelli’s first marriage, from 1967 to 1974, was to a gay man: Peter Allen, a former protégé of her mother’s, whose pop hits included “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” and “I Honestly Love You” and whose life inspired the musical The Boy From Oz.
The legendary Liza Minnelli released on last September her new album “Confessions”, celebrating sixty years in the show business.
The album was arisen from “having people as Tony Bennett at house on weekend” as the artist asserted – “singing around the piano many of the songs included in the album”, favorite songs of all time, arranged simply and elegantly.
When singer Liza decided to pop over to her neighbour’s house late one night a decade ago, little did she know that the songs she sang in his living room would one day be released.
While she relaxed on a couch and sang 20 old standards, with Billy Stritch playing the keyboard, Roberts tape-recorded the session. The tapes were forgotten until last year when Roberts found them in an old box.
“They were brilliant. So I tweaked them up. It’s like having Liza singing in your living room,” he said.
The duo signed a deal with Decca in November, and now the album, titled Confessions, was released on September 21.
1. Confession (1:45)
2. You Fascinate Me So (3:10)
3. All The Way (4:09)
4. I Hadn't Anyone Till You (2:47)
5. This Heart Of Mine (2:47)
6. I Got Lost In His Arms (3:43)
7. Remind Me (3:05)
8. Close Your Eyes (2:53)
9. He's A Tramp (2:33)
10. I Must Have That Man (3:31)
11. On Such A Night As This (3:54)
12. Moments Like This (2:46)
13. If I Had You (4:48)
14. At Last (3:29)