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Classic Duets Original recording remastered

3.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, November 5, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Given his enormous talent and unparalleled musical history--not to mention the healthy, suffer-no-fools ego they inspired--it's hardly surprising that duets are relatively few and far between in Frank Sinatra's catalog, his smash duet on "Somethin' Stupid" with daughter Nancy notwithstanding. But in the heyday of the TV variety show, the star-hosted format virtually demanded musical cross-pollination, a tradition that carried over from radio. It's that fertile, largely unexplored territory that this rewarding, 21-track anthology (most previously unreleased on CD) explores in conjunction with the PBS special of the same name.

Here, Sinatra scales the jazz summit with Louis Armstrong on "Birth of the Blues" and does three electrifying collaborations with one of his faves, Ella Fitzgerald. Rat Pack cohorts Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.--along with honorary member Bing Crosby--loosen up the legend as always, and even rival Elvis Presley gets the Chairman's respect on a wonderfully playful meeting-of-the-icons medley of "Witchcraft"-"Love Me Tender." A warm, welcome addition to the Sinatra canon, whose banter-filled performances emphasize the saloon singer supreme's humor and humanity. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Together - Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin
  2. I'll Never Smile Again - Sinatra and the Hi-Lo's
  3. Can't We Be Friends - Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald
  4. Medley: You Make Me Feel So Young/Them There Eyes/A Foggy Day/I've Got You Under My Skin/Taking a Chance on Love/They Can't Take That Away From Me/All Of Me/Daddy/I Can't Give You Anything But Love/You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby - Sinatra and Dinah Shore
  5. Nice Work If You Can Get It - Sinatra and Peggy Lee
  6. Side By Side - Frank & Nancy Sinatra and Tri-Tones
  7. Something's Gotta Give - Sinatra and the McGuire Sisters
  8. High Hopes - Sinatra and kids
  9. If I Loved You - Sinatra and Shirley Jones
  10. Birth of the Blues - Sinatra and Louis Armstrong
  11. Medley: Sunday, Monday Or Always/On A Slow Boat To China/Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night of the Week/Memories Are Made of This/The Girl That I Marry/Innamorata/I've Got a Crush on You/Oh, Marie/Don't Cry, Joe - Sinatra and Dean Martin
  12. Me and My Shadow - Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.
  13. September Song - Sinatra and Bing Crosby
  14. You're The Top - Sinatra and Ethel Merman
  15. I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me - Sinatra and Louis Prima/Keely Smith
  16. Harold Arlen Medley: As Long As I Live/Paper Moon/One For My Baby/Accentuate the Positive/Stormy Weather/Get Happy/Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea - Sinatra and Lena Horne
  17. You Make Me Feel So Young (Old) - Frank and Nancy Sinatra
  18. Witchcraft/Love Me Tender - Sinatra and Elvis Presley
  19. Our Love Is Here to Stay - Sinatra and Peggy Lee
  20. Moonlight in Vermont/I May Be Wrong - Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald
  21. Put Your Dreams Away - Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00006LSP3
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,102 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on November 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Finally, for the many fans across the world looking for unissued Sinatra products to come to light, Capitol brings us "Classic Duets," culled from Sinatra's television series in the 1960s.
The bookend tunes are fantastic - opening with Louis Armstrong on "The Birth of The Blues" and closing with Ella Fitzgerald on "Put Your Dreams Away". The remaining quality of song choices and duet partners are not always up to par with Satchmo, Ella, or even Sinatra for that matter, but still there's some great listening moments.
Sinatra, though perhaps less inspired by the television cameras, is still captured during the top of his game. And the arrangements are done with the usual top-notch flair of Nelson Riddle. So it's basically top-shelf vocalization by the best in the business.
The sound quality is probably about as best as you could expect, considering Capitol was forced to try and remaster the soundtracks from the dusty old television tapes. For fans who already have the underground bootleg CD, "Sinatra: The Television Years," the sound quality of the tracks with Ella Fitzgerald are not markedly different. However, as mentioned, we do get to hear Ella and Frank singing a lovely version of "Put Your Dreams Away." And let's all be honest - even hearing Sinatra and Ella singing together through an old Bell telephone during a thunderstorm would be a joyous occasion, so there is much to be thankful here.
The tracks with fellow Rat Packers (Dino, Bing and Sammy) are mildly disappointing. There's almost too much "yucking it up" with the Dino and Bing duets. Don't get me wrong, I love to see them having fun, but in my opinion their antics play out better on video than on just audio alone.
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By A Customer on November 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This disc is a fun and heartwarming addition to the Sinatra collector's shelf. Though these performances would obviously make a top-notch viewing experience, as pure listening they're admittedly somewhat diminished. The sound quality is a bit spotty, as this stuff is all from television, and some of the performances are disjointed for the very same reason, mainly due to the performers and audience laughing or cracking wise about mysterious things that the listener can't see. Also, some of the tracks are hardly there, such as the Louis Prima one, which barely registers at a minute long, and the closer with Ella, which is quite pretty...until it suddenly fades out after 47 seconds.
Whilst this is not the pot of gold that an album called Frank Sinatra Classic Duets could be, there are many fine moments to savor. Frank's duet with Bing Crosby on September Song is absolutely spine tingling (There's a gold mine of great music to be explored in Bing Crosby, folks) and benefits from some of the best sound quality on the disc. The Louis Armstrong track, Birth Of The Blues, while rough, is still great by virtue of the combined energy of Frank and Pops. The medley with Dinah Shore is a charmer, with some truly funny ad-libbing, and a healthy 5:50 length. Of course Frank and Ella Fitzgerald are ALWAYS great together, as proven once again on Moonlight In Vermont/I May Be Wrong. The Harold Arlen medley with Lena Horne is nice, and really gets one thinking about that composer's talent. As another reviewer noted, there is a palpable emotional current running between Frank and Peggy Lee on their two tracks together, which is quite extraordinary. Of course the requisite goofing with Dean and Sammy is here as well, so the rat-Packer will not be disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful set. But it's too bad Capitol sees the "Duets" concept as a money-maker. A better CD would have the best of these tracks along with Frank's many solo performances from the old TV shows. The success, both critical and commercial, of Rhino's recent "Sinatra in Hollywood" box shows that there is a market for a more complete record of his TV performances. Instead, we get this teaser, marketed to go on the shelf alongside the abysmal "Duets" CDs of the 1990s.
Still, any unreleased Frank is better than none at all, so let's get to the highlights. The Frank 'n' Bing "September Song" is wonderful, as is "Birth of the Blues" with Satchmo. The songs with Peggy Lee and Ella are not to be missed, either. Personally, I've heard the Frank/Elvis duet once too often--neither were at their peak there. All in all, though, some of this is great, some is fun, all of it is worth a listen.
Would it have killed Capitol to have included the original broadcast dates, however? For more info, go to and look under "Television" in the Reference section. All of these date between November 1957 and May 1960.
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Format: Audio CD
A couple of notes while reading the other reviews. Capitol is merely the vessel-this collection comes via the Sinatra family vault(Nancy,Frank Jr.&Tina's holdings)and is pre-Reprise(Bristol)material,hence,no Jobim,which occured in the '60s. The liner notes are filled with recollections by the kids-OK,I guess,but I miss the sure and steady hand of Will Friedwald,a fan and critic, taking us through this material. Having said this,I suspect the "Duets" concept was used as a brand and adds another release of family material(often bootlegged) being made available through legitimate means,after the debacle of the Artanis gold recordings of a few years ago. The '90s "Duets"I&II were purchased by well-meaing gift givers and,sadly,served as an intro to Frank for many new ears but proved to be a very successful brand,hence the marketing people dusting it off again. As for the material in this collection-this will stand along my copies of the other Duets but will actually be played rather than gathering dust. Along with the many raves from others here(the words about Frank & Peggy Lee are quite insightful)may I cast a vote for the medley with Dinah Shore. Frank & Dinah allude to performing this same group of songs before,(probably on one of Dinah's shows)but,rather than sounding tired,they just seem to love this material and Dinah's voice is a fine foil to Frank's(IMHO-Keely Smith was the perfect duet partner for Frank). A pleasant addition to the collection,not a moment to feel ashamed by Frank or any of his partners. I'm ready for the next one,please.
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