"Losing My Mind" by LiZa MInnelli
By Mark Nobes, chief editor
The electro show tune "Losing My Mind" was released as the lead single from Liza Minelli's ninth studio album Results, and, surprisingly, it was her only single to break into the UK Top 40, officially making her a one hit wonder.
The song was originally penned by Stephen Sondheim for the 1971 musical Follies, and has been sung by numerous singers in different versions of the musical, including the American singer Barbara Cook and British actress Julia McKenzie (Fresh Fields) during the 1980s.
Pet Shop Boys sprinkled their stardust over the song to give it a quintessentially 80s synthpop makeover, complete with 808 drums, synth choirs and strings.
Frontman Neil Tennant never hid the fact that he is a huge fan of Lisa Minnelli, and she was keen to release a pop album, so it was the perfect match.
After their successful collaboration with Dusty Springfield in 1987 for the single "What Have I Done To Deserve This?", and then again in 1988 with Patsy Kensit's Eighth Wonder for the single "I'm Not Scared", Tennant and Lowe jumped at the chance to produce an entire album with Minnelli, alongside the Australian producer and remixer Julian Mendelsohn.
This wasn't the first cover the duo had worked on, and they saw huge success with their own cover of the ballad "Always On My Mind", which became the Christmas No.1 in the UK during 1987.
They penned several new tracks for Liza's album, which also includes a cover of their hit "Rent" (at the request of Minnelli, who adored the song) and Tanita Tikaram's "Twist In My Sobriety", which suited Minnelli's deep voice.
The singer also asked the duo to name the album, too, and Results was the, erm, result.
As with the single, the album also reached No.6 in the UK, and was her only release to make the Top 40.
Three more singles were released from the album which were "Don't Drop Bombs" (#46), "So Sorry I Said" (#62), and "Love Pains" (#41). All of these tracks were penned by Pet Shop Boys (credited as Tennant/Lowe) apart from "Love Pains", which was a cover of a 1979 disco pop tune by Yvonne Elliman, although they did co-produce it alongside Julian Mendelsohn
An official video wasn't available on Youtube until March 12 2019, when it was uploaded on Liza Minnelli's Vevo Youtube page. In Aug 2021, it had received over 785,000 views.
The video itself is pretty dark and focuses heavily on Liza. We see her running through a torrential downpour, forgetting to switch her iron off (which is burning through a shirt on her ironing board), and placing her gloves in the fridge - just a normal day for me, then! There is also imagery of her male lover.
This matches well with the lyrics which are about an obsession with a parther, thinking about them day and night and being certain that they have lost interest in you. "The sun comes up - I think about you, the coffee cup - I think about you",
"Losing My Mind" was a big hit in Ireland, where it reached No.2, and also in Spain where it peaked at No.7. The single was a top 20 hit in Belgium, Austria and Germany.
In the UK, the single entered the singles chart at No.24 on August 6th 1989, jumping to No.6 the following week, and then, sadly, falling back to No.7 on 20th Aug, spending just two weeks inside the top 10. Minnelli's dark and throaty voice isn't to everyone's taste, I guess.
UK 7 Inch Vinyl - Epic - Zee 1
A. Losing My Mind - 4:09
B. Tonight Is Forever - 5:03
UK 12 Inch Vinyl - Epic - Zee T1
A. Losing My Mind (Extended Remix) - 7:04
B1. Losing My Mind - 4:09
B2. Tonight Is Forver - 5:04
The CD single Zee C1 also includes the same tracks as the 12"
Liza Minnelli in 2019 (public domain image)