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Issues with the package and sound but never with the music.

  • Jan 4, 2009
Rating:
+4
Nat King Cole is an American icon. Some sixty years later his early recordings with the King Cole Trio are still highly regarded by jazz afficianados around the world. And many of his solo efforts remain among the best loved songs of all time.
This collection contains some of both. If you have never heard the King Cole Trio, you are certainly in for a treat. Among the selections included here are the incredible "Straighten Up and Fly Right" from 1943 as well as other favorites like "You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love) and one of the great standards "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons)". This 22 track disc also includes some his biggest hits as a solo artist including "Mona Lisa", "Ramblin' Rose" and of course "Unforgettable". Also included here is the hit 1991 duet version of "Unforgettable" with his daughter Natalie where Nat's vocals were dubbed in from the original 1952 hit.
While one is hard pressed to criticize the music of Nat King Cole this collection does have some considerable flaws. First of all, there are absolutely no liner notes. Now I realize that there are literally hundreds of releases available by Nat King Cole but considering that this one is called "The Greatest Hits" you would think that Capitol might feel compelled to offer a short biography and/or discography of the man. After all, he spent his entire recording career on Capitol and was really that labels bread and butter for two decades. Secondly, it is worth noting that these recordings do not appear to have been remastered. Older fans would probably not have a big problem with this and may prefer to hear these songs the way they remember them. However, I mention it because it may well be an issue for some listeners.
But make no mistake about it, this is still a wonderful collection of the music of Nat King Cole. I was disappointed though that my very favorite Nat King Cole tune of all time "That Sunday, That Summer" was not included here. Nat King Cole died in 1965. I distinctly remember my mother crying when she heard the news. He remains one of the most beloved figures in American music history. So whether you choose this particular disc or decide on something else you will probably not be disappointed.

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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 amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

For all the resurgence in interest in Nat King Cole since 1991, when his daughter Natalie recorded a duet patching her new vocal with his from 40 years earlier and scored a gold-selling hit, Capitol Records lacked a single-disc hits collection that covered Cole's most successful singles for the label. This 22-track, 62-plus minute CD/cassette collection does the trick. Cole scored 21 Top Ten hits between 1944 and 1963, and 19 of them are here, from "Straighten Up and Fly Right" to "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer." The only ones missing are seasonal hits, "The Christmas Song" and "Frosty the Snow Man." In their places, you get the original and later versions of "Unforgettable" (neither of which, as it happens, quite made the Top Ten). You also get Cole's four number one songs, "Mona Lisa," "Nature Boy," "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," and "Too Young," along with such memorable tunes as "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "Smile," and "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66." The non-chronological sequencing emphasizes the stylistic and qualitative consistency of Cole's work; it doesn't much matter if you juxtapose a song recorded in the '40s ("Nature Boy") against one recorded in the '60s ("Ramblin' Rose"), because you still get the same warmth and assurance in Cole's singing and the same tastefulness in the arrangements. One might have hoped for more in the way of packaging (there are no liner notes), but this is the single album to buy to hear Nat King Cole's best-known vocal ...

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Details

Performer: Nat King Cole
Release Date: October 18, 1994
Label: Capitol
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: October 18, 1994
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