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For those who simply can't get enough of Ol' Blue Eyes.

  • Nov 9, 2011
When you take a look at Frank Sinatra's long and prolific recording career the numbers are simply staggering.  Frank had his first big hit as lead vocalist of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1940 with "I'll Never Smile Again".  Sinatra would go solo just a couple of years later.  Over the next four decades Frank would amass an astonishing total of 145 hit singles including such memorable hits as "The Lady Is A Tramp", "Come Fly With Me", "Strangers In the Night" and of course his signature tune "My Way".  Now for the very first time Frank's most popular sides from his salad days at Capitol have been combined with all of those great 1960's hits at Reprise"Frank Sinatra: Best of the Best (Deluxe Edition)" offers up an impressive 23 track disc featuring the greatest hits from the prime of Frank's fabulous career.  And for just a few dollars more than the basic edition the folks at Capitol have thrown in a lot of extra goodies that will delight collectors and long-time fans as well.  I suspect that this one is going to be a very popular holiday and birthday gift for quite some time to come.

After a decade at Columbia Records Frank Sinatra made the move to Capitol in the spring of 1953. Most Sinatra afficianados will argue that he did his finest work while at Capitol.  "Frank Sinatra: Best of the Best (Deluxe Edition)" offers up more than a dozen of these memorable tunes many of which were among the biggest hits of the 1950's.  Enjoy once again great hits like "Young-At-Heart", "All The Way" and "Love and Marriage" from 1955 which younger listeners will recognize as the theme from the popular FOX TV series "Married...With Children".  While at Capitol Frank made a number of unforgettable recordings with the legendary arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator Nelson Riddle.  You can sample at least a half dozen of these songs right here including his big 1958 hit "Witchcraft", "All the Way", "You Make Me Feel So Young" and what many feel is one of Sinatra's finest performances ever "I've Got You Under My Skin".  Trust me folks it simply does not get any better than that one!

Frank Sinatra would leave the cozy confines of Capitol Records in 1960 and launched his very own record label.  He called it Reprise.  One of the label's founding principles under Sinatra's leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work including publishing rights.  It was a noble idea but unfortunately things did not pan out the way Frank had hoped.  In 1963 Frank sold the label to Warner Brothers but remained on board as an artist. Sinatra continued to churn out successful LP's but it had been awhile since he had a hit single.  That all changed in early 1966 when he teamed up once again with Nelson Riddle and recorded the album "Strangers In the Night".  Not only did the album soar to the top of the Billboard album charts but the single did as well!   The "Chairman of the Board" was being introduced to a whole new generation or record-buyers.  Frank had a number of other hit singles in the 1960's including "Summer Wind", "It Was A Very Good Year" and one of my all-time favorites "That's Life" from 1966.  You will find them all on "Best of the Best".  Add to that the aforementioned Grammy Award winning "My Way" and Frank's final hit single "Theme from New York, New York" from 1980 and what you have is an extraordinarily entertaining collection by the man many consider to be the greatest entertainer of the 20th century.

As I mentioned earlier this is the first time that Frank Sinatra's Capitol and Reprise hits have been included on the same CD.  Rest assured that these are all the original recordings that have been lovingly remastered for your enjoyment.  As an added bonus "Frank Sinatra:  Best of the Best (Deluxe Edition)" includes a bonus disc featuring Frank's long out-of print "Live in '57" performance recorded in Seattle, Washington.  I am sure that lots of Sinatra afficianados will appreciate the opportunity to own this rare recording.  Personally I am not a big fan of "live" recordings so I opted for the less expensive basic 23 track single disc collection which was released on the very same day.  Either way you simply can't go wrong with this one. "Frank Sinatra: Best of the Best (Deluxe Edition)" would be a splendid gift for that senior on your list or perhaps for a younger person who may have never even heard of Frank Sinatra.  Perhaps they will discover why "Ol' Blue Eyes" was so popular for so long with people of all ages.   Very highly recommended.     

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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on I never could … more
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