Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 11/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Judy Garland's Legendary 1960 Amsterdam Concert is a must-have for Judy Garland fans, delivering over two hours of live performances from the greatest singer to ever live. This is the next best thing to Judy's unprecedented concert performance at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961. 1960 was a remarkable year for Judy Garland both personally and professionally. The closing months of 1959 found her desperately ill and seemingly washed-up in the entertainment industry, yet her trials during this period ironically served to rejuvenate her, and she was able to return to work relatively happy. Soon after releasing her acclaimed studio album That's Entertainment!, Judy traveled to Europe and soon found herself touring the continent. Luckily for us, we can enjoy the terrific show she put on for the folks in Amsterdam that year.This Amsterdam concert is, in terms of the song selection, basically that of the much more famous Carnegie Hall performance of 1961, but anyone who knows and loves Judy Garland knows that each of her performances of any given song was unique. Admittedly, though, it is very interesting to compare the Amsterdam and Carnegie Hall releases. Judy was terrific on this night, but one does find a few stray moments of imperfection here that do not appear on the more famous concert album. She stumbles a couple of times on the words of That's Entertainment!, and her timing with that of the orchestra seems just a tad off every so often. The orchestra is in fact a weakness of sorts in this performance; much of their playing seems a little choppy to me, and the horn section seems not exactly flat but certainly a little tone-challenged from time to time. The other weakness exhibited here is a much less impressive sound quality than what you will find on the Carnegie Hall album. The sound lacks depth, robbing the listener of the true atmosphere surrounding Judy's performance. The audience can be heard screaming Bravo on a number of occasions, but one just doesn't get a proper feel for this Amsterdam audience's true depth of appreciation for the magic Garland graced them with. The song selection on this album differs with that of Judy at Carnegie Hall in a small yet noteworthy way. You will not hear Chicago or Judy's trademark Over the Rainbow in this concert performance; in their place you get It's a Great Day For the Irish and a reprise of San Francisco. You have to admire Garland's decision to sing It's a Great Day For the Irish during the encore, having already sung her heart out for her audience; that song takes a lot out of a singer, and I find it amazing that Judy could belt that spirited song out perfectly so late in the show. It's wonderful to listen to the closing tracks, as the audience keeps calling for Judy to continue singing and she tries her best to accommodate their wishes. After running out of every piece of music available to the orchestra, she goes back and sings San Francisco for a second time before expressing her love for the audience and bringing to a close a magnificent concert. As much as I would like to go through and praise every song included on this double album, I will refrain myself from doing so because it seems unnecessary. If you do not have Judy at Carnegie Hall, I heartily recommend that you buy it first, as it is by far the better live release. This Amsterdam concert is really for those who already own the Carnegie Hall album and want more of Judy, in which case these songs will already be familiar to the listener. Actually, though, there is a second reason all its own for purchasing this album, and that is the bonus tracks included on the second disk: nine songs from Judy's ill-fated and never-released Judy Takes Broadway album. Judy contracted laryngitis on the day she was set to record a live album of Broadway songs, yet she gamely went out and gave her all for the audience who had come to listen to her. These songs suffer little from Judy's laryngitis, however, and they are essential Judy Garland live recordings; although these tracks were released a good many years ago on a CD called Judy Garland Live, they have been hard to find in recent years. Basically, if you love Judy Garland and enjoy her singing, you cannot possibly be less than thrilled with this CD, despite the inferior sound quality and less magical atmosphere than that to be found in the later Carnegie Hall concert album. Judy's darling interaction with the audience is particularly enjoyable; every time she laughs, I immediately see the adorable little Judy Garland with the cute crinkled-up nose again. That was the real Judy Garland to me, and that persona comes out several times in this Amsterdam concert, making it a very special recording indeed."
TWO FOR THE PRICE OF TWO!
Musical lover, Oslo | Oslo Norway | 07/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with the person who recommended the CD Judy Garland à Paris: En Concert Avec Europe 1, in addition to this CD. That CD was recorded for radio and for that reason has a much better sound quality. On the other hand: That CD has only what was left after the station cut the show down to the little more than an hour they had of airtime and threw away the rest!!What this CD has is a complete show, recorded less than two months later in Amsterdam. The similarities to the Carnegie Hall Concert are plenty, songs and smalltalk and Judy's in great voice. The real plus of this double CD on the other hand are the 9 songs included at the end of CD 2 as Bonus Tracks. They are the 9 songs included on the album Judy Garland Live from 1989 and now long out of print. They are from the (planned)album recorded at Manhattan Center in New York on April 26, 1962 The concept was titled 'Judy Takes Broadway' and was to be a followup album to the phenomenal 'Judy at Carnegie Hall' album which had just won an unprecedented five Grammy awards. The album was never issued (she was not in the best of voice that night) and the only time the songs have been made available were in 1989, and now on this album....Not to be missed!"
It's not the Carnegie Hall concert, but it's good to own
Robert E. Gold | Whitestone, NY United States | 04/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I won't rehash too many things already written, but I will say I enjoyed the cd. I had already owned the Carnegie Hall concert and the Paris concert cd too. I had this concert on record album too, but I wanted to update it in cd form.
It is close to those concerts, but if you are a real Garland fan, you want each different recording. One thing I liked about this recording is Judy talking to the band and to the audience in her own self deprecating style. She is warm and funny and just plain adorable. Some of the stories (Mrs. Neanderthal) were told here, but some new ones were added as well.
Judy was in good voice at the time. And as for the sound of the cd itself, I didn't think it was bad. It's not as crisp and clean as some remastered ones, but I didn't have a problem with the sound quality."
Do It Again!
Anne Bosworth | Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA | 06/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There may have been better days in Judy's voice, but she is clearly singing with longing and passion in this concert and the audience loves her. She manages to reach through the music and hold your hand singing her classic songs. "Do It Again" is so desperate and real. A little known song these days, but an absolute gem of a Garland tune. This album has been an all time favorite of mine for over 20 years. I'm grateful that someone had the foresight to make this recording available on disc."