29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2003
This was the album that got me hooked on Sinatra 25 years ago when I was in my early teens. Maybe it was the cover showing a very hip Sinatra about to travel with a pretty girl to an exotic location. Maybe it was the absolutely perfect choice of songs (with the possible exception of "Blue Hawaii" which doesn't do it for me.) How many songs allow you to travel the camel route to Iraq or savor Autumn in New York? They truly don't write tunes like this anymore. Maybe it was the sparkling and witty arrangements by Billy May who proved on this album he could write strings as well as uptempo pieces.
Whatever it was, I have listened to this album hundreds of times and never gotten tired of it. You won't either. With its mixture of swingers and ballads, this is the perfect album to get someone listening to Frank.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2007
A great Frank Sinatra album at his best vocally. Being a sound engineer I must admit a bit of dissapointment at the Re-mastering of this CD....Why push the volume up so much on these old analog recordings...I understand that everyone wants to be as loud as Diana Kralls last CD, but they souldn't do it at the expense or the overall sound....Fortunatly Sinatra's voice wasn't affected much, but the big band sometimes sounds a little distorted...I'm sure it didn't on the original LP.
I'm sure that most folks don't even hear these things....But there ya go.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2003
This is the first I ever heard of Sinatra (3 years ago) and I have been fixated ever since. My collection now consists of hundreds of songs, all excellent. Given my experience, I'd say this is the best introduction to Sinatra you can get.
On this album, you see all of Sinatra: the swing and the ballads. You also see a great arranger (Billy May) showcasing his versatility, something he doesn't really get to do on the (IMO) overrated "Come Dance". The swing is highlighted by tongue-in-cheek renditions of "Isle of Capri", "Let's Get Away From It All", "It's Nice to Go Trav'ling", and the brilliant title track. The most interesting arrangements on the album are "Mandalay" with it's exotic flourishes and "Brazil" with (to quote the liner notes) "[it's] constantly shifting rhythmic tapestry."
The ballads on "Come Fly with Me" are often overlooked, but nonetheless solid. "Around the World" is in my top 10 of all the ballads he recorded. The moods vary, from the somewhat sad "Autumn in New York" to the most romantic "Around the World", and "Moonlight in Vermont", "Blue Hawaii" and "London by Night" in between.
Another detail that makes this album great is three excellent bonus tracks: the immortal classics "Chicago" and "South of the Border" and an equally great version of "I Love Paris."
In summary, make this your FIRST SINATRA PURCHASE. Forget all those compilations that lack the cohesion and overall strength of this conceptual masterpiece. Highly recommended.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2000
This is one of Sinatra's classic theme albums, with all the songs revolving around travel. Five stars isn't sufficient for an album that contains some of the great vocal tracks ever sung by Sinatra. Billy May's arrangements are nothing short of electric and infuse Sinatra's voice with a verve and exuerbance rarely heard. This is an album where you can put it on, hit play and never fast forward, all the songs are eminently Sinatraesque and every single arrangement has a touch of genius.
Frank's phrasing is (as always at this stage of his career) letter perfect. Listen to "Brazil," never a particular hit for Frank and he rarely sang it live, but who cares? It's immortalized here, forever. One wonders why he didn't incorporate this marvelously swinging song into his live repertoire, it's sheer brilliance.
If you love Sinatra, you will already have had this on vinyl and cassette (maybe even eight track). If you're new to Frank, don't hesitate one moment: grab it and listen to it for the rest of your life.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2004
Arranger Billy May was so successful as a touring bandleader and arranger that he was unavailable to record Sinatra's first sides for Capitol in 1953. Amazingly, the two would not be joined on a project until the present project in 1957, but judging from the results, it was more than worth the wait!
May showcases his impressive range as an arranger in another of Sinatra's groundbreaking "theme" albums, this one revolving around travel. The difference in this album is that the concept stressed is not principally stylistic as in the series of albums preceding it; thus May covers the spectrum from his lush string backing on classic readings of "Autumn in New York" and "Moonlight in Vermont" to his driving brass chart on "Brazil." There was clearly a lot of fun involved in the making of this album too. Witness Sinatra's play on words in the lyrics of the witty "Isle of Capri." And who else but May and Sinatra could have combined their talents to inject an irresistible measure of swing into Rudyard Kipling's poem "On the Road to Mandalay"? The title song as well as "Let's Get Away From it All" have become core fixtures in the cache of titles most associated with Ol' Blue Eyes.
Sinatra is in peak form throughout, and May displays his genius for textures and subtle orchestral touches at every turn. This is the most varied program in Sinatra's entire recorded catolog at Capitol; add to it performer and arranger both at their considerable best, and this collection ranks as probably the finest single-album showcase of Sinatra's incredible vocal and interpretive versatility.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
As I don't believe there's any need to go into detail regarding the recordings contained within Sinatra's fine "Come Fly with Me" release, I'll restrict my comments to the quality of this Capitol Vaults 180 gram vinyl reissue. While I'm delighted the album's monophonic mix was chosen (and the remastering is quite nice), I can't say I'm happy with the amount of surface noise found on the copies I've purchased. I returned my first record hoping the almost constant low-level crackling heard on it was an aberration--but the replacement disc had the same noise in the same places as the previous LP. I don't see the point in returning this second disc in the hope that a third copy would sound any better, so I'm going to suck it up and keep this replacement disc. Is the surface noise bad enough to warrant banishing this LP into the more-irritating-than-enjoyable-to-listen-to pile? While I'm not certain I feel that strongly about it, I will say that I have original '58 copies and '60s reissues of Come Fly with Me that have less surface noise (still!). I'm not a total nitpicker with regard to minor vinyl crackle and pops; I have the "In the Wee Small Hours" and "Come Dance with Me!" Capitol Vaults reissues and neither exhibits any of the noisy pressing issues I hear on "Come Fly with Me" (although "Dance!" was cut a little too hot and *almost* distorts in places). I listened to "Come Fly" on great audio gear using a good turntable with a good stylus--and I've worked doing motion picture sound for over 25 years. I'm certainly no expert, but I thought I'd post my experiences with this 180 gram vinyl reissue in case any potential buyers were curious about the quality of the album's pressing. Just my two shiny cents!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
With the exception of the year the Beatles exploded on the American pop charts, no recording artist ever had a year as good as Frank Sinatra did in 1957. For my money three of the ten best albums Sinatra ever recorded came out that year, starting with "Come Fly With Me" and followed by "Where You Are" and "A Swinging Affair." But Sinatra also put out two other albums almost as good, "Close to You and More" and the soundtrack for "Pal Joey," while still finding time to record "A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra." Only the last qualifies as average, which means that in one year Sinatra put out five above average albums; stop and think how many artists put out five above average albums in an entire career.
As if often the case with Sinatra's Capitol albums during the Fifties, "Come Fly With Me" is a thematic collection of songs having to do with travel that takes listeners around the world. We go from "Moonlight in Vermont" and "Autumn in New York" to "April in Paris" and "London By Night." The emphasis on fun is seen in humorous songs like "Isle of Capri" and "On the Road to Mandalay." This album was Sinatra's first project with arranger Billy May and the result of the bold, brassy arrangements is more boisterous and more fun than his more somber albums, like "Where Are You." During this period Sinatra had proved his greatest strength was as a saloon singer, but from the opening notes of the title song, "Come Fly With Me" makes it clear that he was a master of the playful, carefree tune as well.
"Come Fly With Me" hit the top of the Billboard album charts in 1958. The cover, with its clear blue sky, stands out as a distinct memory from my childhood; I am sure my mother had pretty much all of the Sinatra albums, but this is the one that stands out in visual terms. This remastered album is further enhanced by the addition of a trio of bonus tracks, of which "Chicago" is the best (it was released as a single during this period), but his cover of Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" is pretty good as well. Even without those bonus tracks, "Come Fly With Me" remains one of the top ten Sinatra albums and therefore part of an essential collection of the man and his music.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 1999
Billy May was Sinatra's wild and outrageous arranger, so whenever you want to go for a musical ride look to the Sinatra/May albums -- Come Fly with Me, Come Dance with Me, Sinatra Swings, Come Swing with Me. Of these, Come Fly with Me is the most famous and it rates 4 stars only on the Sinatra scale. Among 20th century albums, it is securely 5 stars.
The opening track takes off with May's orchestral liftoff, introducing one of the most famous tunes of the century, the ultimate jet-set party at the spur of the moment song. This is 1957 and Sinatra's voice is stunning. The second track, 'Around the World', is a slower waltz, but I think it's a perfect transition on an album that is mostly uptempo. 'Moonlight in Vermont' and 'Autumn in New York' are classics in every sense. 'On the Road to Mandalay' is a marvelously fun song, one of my favorite Sinatra-May numbers (also check out the 1959 Sinatra Live in Australia album for the ultimate version of 'Mandalay'). 'London by Night', which would be remade on the now unavailable Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain album of 1962, is also a standout.
Capitol has added three perfect bonus tracks, Chicago, South of the Border and I Love Paris. Apparently, Chicago was included on UK releases of 'Come Fly' because Rudyard Kipling's family objected to 'Mandalay' (which was based on a Kipling poem), but it is great to have both songs on the same CD.
Recommended. Probably 'Come Dance with Me', 'A Swingin' Affair', 'Only the Lonely' and a handful of others rate more highly in the Sinatra canon, but 'Come Fly' (one of the first stereo albums released, I believe) is a classic.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2006
Here's a lesson for rock music fans: it was Frank Sinatra, not some rock 'n' roll act, who invented the concept album. Although none of Sinatra's concept albums tell any actual stories from beginning to end, they each have unifying themes to them. "Only The Lonely" is about loneliness, "In The Wee Small Hours" is about lost love, and, on the upbeat side, there's this equally marvelous concept album from 1957, "Come Fly With Me," with songs all about travel. Backed by conducter Billy May and his orchestra, Frank takes the listener on a trip around the world. Inviting us on the journey with the fun, opening title song, Frank takes us to the "Aisle Of Capri," we enjoy together the "Moonlight In Vermont" and the "Autumn In New York," take in "April In Paris," view "London By Night," and see the sights of "Brazil" and "Blue Hawaii," among a few other places, before Frank takes us back home again and remarks that "It's Nice To Go Trav'ling." And for an encore, the "Come Fly With Me" CD concludes with three bonus tracks, with Sinatra's excellent renderings of "Chicago," "South Of The Border," and "I Love Paris," with backing by Nelson Riddle. The songs are classic, Sinatra's voice is in supreme, prime form, and the orchestrations are wonderful. Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" is one of his very best recordings. So climb aboard, and come fly with Frank!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 1998
This album is a special treat because it has the perfect mix of Uptempo tunes and Ballads. Sinatra soars into one of the most swinging arrangements ever written by master arranger Billy May the title tune "Come Fly With Me". This CD also contains 3 of Sinatra's Finest ballads from the Capitol period; they are "Moonlight In Vermont", "Autumn In New York", and "April In Paris". Sinatra is in fine voice and this CD would be a must for any fan even if it contained only one of these classic ballads. To get the full affect you should listen to all his recordings with headphones.