Losing My Mind

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"Losing My Mind" is a song written by Stephen Sondheim originally for the 1971 musical Follies for the character of a former showgirl, Sally Durant Plummer. The song became a popular top ten hit for singer and actress Liza Minnelli in 1989 on the UK Singles chart and in Europe. "Losing My Mind" has been covered by many artists over the years.

Follies[edit]

Background[edit]

"Losing My Mind" was first performed by Dorothy Collins in the role of Sally Durant Plummer in the original Broadway production of Follies.[1] Other performers who have sung the song in later productions of Follies include Barbara Cook (1985), Julia McKenzie (1987), Donna McKechnie (1998), Judith Ivey (2001), Victoria Clark (2007),[1]Bernadette Peters (2011) and Imelda Staunton (2017).

The song was written as a torch song for the character of Sally to sing in the "Loveland" portion of the musical. The song "expresses her preoccupation with Ben, her idealized lover...With infinite attention to detail, Sondheim leads Sally from sunrise to sleepless night, revealing that every second of her existence is defined by her longing...the number ...explores the extent to which she has lost herself in this make-believe world of undying desire."[2] As originally staged, Sally comes onstage in a "clinging, beaded silver" dress, holding a microphone.[3] The "cute" Sally from Phoenix "has become a languid torch singer." She repeats her lines, reflecting "the paralysis about which she sings...the phrase 'It's like I'm losing my mind' occurs no less than six times."[3]

In the first literary resume of his career, Look, I Made a Hat, Sondheim reveals that the song is a pastiche of George and Ira Gershwin's "The Man I Love".[citation needed]

Liza Minnelli version[edit]

"Losing My Mind"
Losingliza.jpg
Single by Liza Minnelli
from the album Results
B-side "Tonight Is Forever"
Released 5 August 1989
Format 7", 12", CD single
Recorded 1988/89
Genre Synthpop, dance-pop
Length 4:09 (7")
Label EpicZEE 1
Songwriter(s) Stephen Sondheim
Producer(s) Pet Shop Boys, Julian Mendelsohn
Liza Minnelli singles chronology
"For You, Armenia"
(1988)
"Losing My Mind"
(1989)
"Don't Drop Bombs"
(1989)
"For You, Armenia"
(1988)
"Losing My Mind"
(1989)
"Don't Drop Bombs"
(1989)

Background[edit]

In the UK Singles Chart, the most successful version has been by American singer and actress Liza Minnelli, reaching number six. It was the lead single from her 1989 studio album, Results, produced by Pet Shop Boys and Julian Mendelsohn. The 12" release peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Maxi Singles Sales chart. It also peaked at number twenty-six on the American dance chart.[4]

The Pet Shop Boys demo version of "Losing My Mind" (which has Neil Tennant singing the vocal) was later remixed and released as a B-side on the Pet Shop Boys' single, "Jealousy". This demo version contains a scream that Minnelli opted not to include on her release.

Track listings[edit]

7" Epic / ZEE 1 (UK)
  1. "Losing My Mind" (7" mix) – 4:09
  2. "Tonight Is Forever" – 5:03
  • also released on MC (ZEE M1)
12" Epic / ZEE T1 (UK)
  1. "Losing My Mind" (extended mix) – 7:01
  2. "Losing My Mind" (7" mix) – 4:09
  3. "Tonight Is Forever" – 5:03
  • also available on CD (ZEE C1)
12" Epic / 49-68858 (US)
  1. "Losing My Mind" (extended remix) – 7:01
  2. "Losing My Mind" (7" mix) – 4:09
  3. "Losing My Mind" (Ultimix) – 7:32
  4. "Losing My Mind" (Ultimix dub) – 5:07

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1989–1990) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[5] 72
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[6] 19
Belgium (Ultratop Flanders)[7] 15
France (SNEP)[8] 42
Germany (Media Control Charts)[9] 17
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 2
Italy (FIMI)[11] 27
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[12] 36
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[13] 23
Spain (AFYVE)[14] 7
UK Singles Chart[15] 6

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b " Follies', 1971 Broadway Production" SondheimGuide.com, accessed June 7, 2011
  2. ^ Gordon, Joanne Lesley. 'Follies' Art isn't easy: the theater of Stephen Sondheim, Da Capo Press, 1992, ISBN 0-306-80468-9 , pp. 114–115
  3. ^ a b Goodhart, Sandor."The End of Ever After" Reading Stephen Sondheim; A Collection of Critical Essays, Taylor & Francis, 2000, ISBN 0-8153-2832-X, p. 23
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 177. 
  5. ^ "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 17 January 2014". Imgur.com. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  6. ^ "austriancharts.at > Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Ultratop Vlaanderen > Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  8. ^ "lescharts.com > Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind (chanson)" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  9. ^ "Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know > Search results for 'Losing My Mind'". Fireball Media. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  11. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1989" (in Italian). HitParadeItalia. Retrieved 2017-02-05. 
  12. ^ "dutchcharts.nl > Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  13. ^ "charts.org.nz > Liza Minnelli – Losing My Mind (song)". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  14. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  15. ^ "Official Charts > Liza Minnelli". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 

External links[edit]