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Judy Garland & Liza Minnelli

Judy Garland & Liza Minnelli - "Live" At The London Palladium

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"Live" At The London Palladium

By  Judy Garland & Liza Minnelli

Very Good Condition

Live at the London Palladium was a Judy Garland/Liza Minnelli concert recording taken from shows in November 1964. Welcome as this may be, however, neither singer is heard at her best here. At 42, Garland was entering the last phase of her difficult life, and while she rouses herself now and then, her singing can be mannered and out-of-breath, her diction sometimes slurred. If she is noticeably past her peak, however, her 18-year-old daughter is nowhere near hers. Minnelli had recently released her debut LP, Liza! Liza!, when she appeared with her mother. Though clearly talented, she was far from a mature performer, tending to get a little out of control in her excitement (and, perhaps, nervousness). Still, the best moments of the concert are the ones when the two sing together; the mother tends to calm the daughter down, while the daughter inspires the mother to more spirited takes on her old warhorses. This album is no Judy at Carnegie Hall (reportedly, Capitol held it back from release for a while in the hopes of getting Garland to redo more of her vocals in a recording studio after she did do some overdubs), but the mother-daughter chemistry is its strong suit.


DISC 1  Total Time: 19:28
The Man That Got Away
The Travelin' Life
Gypsy In My Soul
Hello, Dolly!
Total Time: 18:45
Who's Sorry Now
How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life
What Now My Love
DISC 2  Total Time: 16:34
Make Someone Happy
Pass That Peace Pipe
The Music That Makes Me Dance
Medley: When The Saints Go Marching In / He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
Total Time: 18:08
Never Will I Marry
Encore: Swanee / Chicago / Over The Rainbow / San Francisco


Article excerpt

Nineteen sixty-four, the year of this concert, Judy Garland (1922-1969) had been pronounced dead, and I mean literally. Following her artistically successful though commercially ill-fated CBS television series during the 1963/1964 season, (1) she left for Hawaii for a brief break in early May, then on to Australia for some concerts, and Hong Kong. When she arrived in Australia, customs officials confiscated her medication suitcase, and she was forced to find substitutes. The drugs were not the same, nor the doses, and the effects were soon to become world news. After a couple of excellent shows in Sydney and a disastrous one in Melbourne, she flew to Hong Kong, where she encountered Viola, a typhoon that hit the city in late May and swayed the hotel where she was staying. Result: an overdose on the new medication. Local radio announced she had died, and the news was almost immediately relayed around the world. In reality, she had had her stomach pumped and was in a coma for 15 hours, but the news of her death was five years premature. Medical workers did, however, damage her vocal chords during the procedure, and her singing would never again be the same. In mid-June, she announced she had married husband number four, (2) although she had not yet completed divorcing husband number three. (3) She claimed they had been wed by a Buddhist priest on a boat to Japan. In late June, she flew on to London. By mid-July, a few days after newspapers reported she had cut her wrists opening a trunk, an unexpectedly alive Judy Garland upstaged The Beatles (4) at "The Night of 100 Stars." (5) She also recorded four sides at EMI in August, (6) and publicly announced she would appear with daughter Liza Minnelli (born 1946) in November at the Palladium. Minnelli had not really signed on, but when Garland announced the dates, Minnelli agreed. Such was Judy Garland in 1964.

Recorded on 8 and 15 November 1964 and first released on 25 July 1965, the concerts Garland and Minnelli gave at the London Palladium have a long and convoluted history. (7) The original 1965 double-LP, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli "Live" at the London Palladium, (8) had been radically edited down from the full show's 2 hours 19 minutes to 72 minutes 26 seconds in order to fit on four LP sides (Fig. 1). The two sold-out performances were both recorded, and the second show was videotaped by ITV. (9) As a result of the videotaping, the audio tape of the second show produced a buzz that rendered parts of the audio tape unusable. To make matters worse, Garland was far from her vocal peak for these shows (we will get to this later), and both she and Minnelli had to return to the EMI studios to overdub several numbers. (10) According to Scott Brogan, founder and webmaster of The Judy Room (http://www.thejudyroom.com):

On November 23, 1964 Judy and Liza recorded vocal tracks for the album in Capitol's London studios, recording these vocals over the orchestra tracks that were made during the November 15th recording. Judy dubbed "Just Once in a Lifetime" (one take); "His Is the Only Music That Makes Me Dance" (two takes); and together Judy and Liza dubbed "Hello, Dolly" (one take); "Don't Rain on My Parade" (three takes); "San Francisco" (three takes); and "Chicago" (two takes - this song used orchestra tracks from the first concert). Liza dubbed new solos of her "Mama" tribute and "Who's Sorry Now?" (11)

The LP hit number 41 on Billboard's Top 150 in the U.S. and charted for 14 weeks. It went to number 19 in Variety's Top 50. (12)

In 1973, a single-LP version of the original LP, butchered to a slim 28 minutes 20 seconds, was released by Capitol, (13) as well as by Capitol Japan, (14) the German label Horzu, (15) and EMI Argentina under the title En Vivo En El London Palladium. (16) The original double-LP was reissued in the 1970s first by the World Record Club--Retrospect Series, (17) then in 1987 by Capitol. (18) An emaciated 20 minute 50 second abridgement of the already abridged original LP, called Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli Together, was issued by Curb in 1993.

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