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Duets

89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 6, 1993
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Duets + Duets II + Duets: An American Classic
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A line-up of singing/playing partners that only the Chairman of the Board could command: Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Carly Simon, Bono, Kenny G., Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Julio Iglesias, Gloria Estefan, Liza Minnelli, Luther Vandross, Charles Aznavour and Tony Bennett (doing New York, New York !).

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A tremendous commercial success upon its release in 1993, this collection pairs Sinatra with various big name vocalists on 13 of his best-known classics. Unfortunately, it's also one of the least enjoyable records of Sinatra's career. Part of the problem is Phil Ramone's obtrusively slick production, but the fact that Sinatra's partners sang along to tapes of his already-recorded performances--rather than with the Chairman himself--really keeps Duets from ever catching fire. Tony Bennett turns in a predictably swell "New York, New York," but duets with Gloria Estefan ("Come Rain or Come Shine"), Kenny G ("All the Way/One More for My Baby") and U2's Bono ("I've Got You Under My Skin") unfortunately represent something of an artistic low-point for Sinatra. --Dan Epstein


1. The Lady Is A Tramp
2. What Now My Love
3. I've Got A Crush On You
4. Summer Wind
5. Come Rain Or Come Shine
6. New York, New York
7. They Can't Take That Away From Me
8. You Make Me Feel So Young
9. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry/In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
10. I've Got The World On A String
11. Witchcraft
12. I've Got You Under My Skin
13. All The Way/One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 6, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002USN
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,609 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By L.A. Scene on January 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As a youngster, I always associated Frank Sinatra's music as not being in step with the times. As I entered adulthood, I soon realized the error of my ways - that Frank Sinatra is one of the great artists of all time. Recently, I listed what I thought were the Top 10 musical acts of the 20th Century. I had The Beatles #1 and I had Frank Sinatra #2. I don't think this assessment was far off - after all, how many artists have a weekly music show (i.e. "Saturday with Sinatra") dedicated to them? However, in the world where the radio airwaves are dominated by Rock and Pop stars, Frank's greatness often gets overlooked. Sinatra wasn't a Rock Star, but a true Pop Star. His music could often transcend musical boundaries. Sinatra's "Duets" album provides a way to bridge Frank's greatness with what is being played on the musical airwaves. On "Duets", Frank sings duets with some of the best contemporary artists out there.

For some reason, I think "Duets" often gets a bad rap. Many people did not like this album. I found this a very enjoyable album. It contains 13 tracks (actually 15 songs becuse " two songs are medleys of two songs). All of these tracks are classic Frank Sinatra tunes. On each track, Frank is "paired" with a Contemporary Music Artist that will sing a duet with Frank. With some clever production work from producer Phil Ramone, the end result is a great product. However, there are two reasons I can see where some of the protest comes from this album: First up, this was one of the last albums that Frank would make (it was released in 1993). Clearly, one this collection, Frank is well past his peak - and you can hear it in his voice.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Paul on September 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Great art this album is not, nor does it ever try to be. For us Sinatra diehards, it is a nice chance to hear the elder Frank, maybe vocally challenged, but musically on top. Of course I wish that he had recorded solo at this stage, but the fact is that he didn't ...so this is what we have. I disagree with critics who claim that these Duets damaged his legacy. While they are not classic Sinatra, no damage was done because he always rises above the mediocre. I can see some disliking this album, but I honestly don't think that many will be disgusted by it. There are high moments on it such as...What Now My Love with Aretha Franklin...Frank is powerful and sounds like he's very into this song. "Come Rain or Come Shine" with Gloria Estefan is also wonderful and the singer does well. Sinatra is in command with raw, exposed energy. The "voice" may sound frail at times, but the emotion, energy, and persona is wholly intact. The cut that ironically is most successful is one that is not actuallly a duet (that says something, doesn't it) is One For My Baby. Schlock Saxman Kenny G, provides a solo intro to the song and then... Sinatra begins his storytelling to Joe the bartender and it's magic. It is not only great for this album...it's an important addition to Sinatra's musical songbook. His reading here is so emotional that you feel as if he might breakdown and cry at any moment. You hear the ravages of time and age, and the final plea of a lonely man begging one last time for somebody to drown the torch that is consuming him. While he sings, Kenny G only adds a few inconsequential licks here and there that neither add nor detract anything from the song. If you are dead set against the duets and the concept of them, then spare the price of this album for "One for My baby" . It is well worth it...It choked me up. The night I heard Sinatra had died, I played this track.....and yes, this 26 yr old man cried.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By "dproct01" on July 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ever since this album appeared in 1993, after the initial glow wore off, the knives came out to shred Sinatra and his Duets offering.
I am so unbelievably sick and tired of these alleged Sinatra "fans" pouring forth their venom upon an album which, you know what folks, really is not all that bad. Shock of shocks, if you really LISTEN to the album without analyzing every note and musical substructure, it is actually quite a pleasure.
No, this is not the Frank Sinatra of the continually fawned over Capitol years or even that of his early Reprise careers. That Sinatra was technically flawless on virtually everything he recorded, while at the same time being able to inject his music with emotional power.
The Sinatra of Duets and Duets II is not as technically perfect as the man of decades (yes, DECADES) past, but what he lacked in 1993 in form and phrasing is more than made up for in wisdom and emotion.
Why is it that Sinatra in particular is always attacked for getting older and for not being the singer he was 30-40 years earlier. Other performers don't suffer that same fate. Tony Bennett was and is a superb singer, but have you listened to the man lately, he is not exactly the same one who made I Left My Heart in San Francisco a hit 40 years ago. However, how often is he criticized or attacked for the ravages time has inflicted on his voice, rarely. Instead, the critics chirp about how great his new more fully jazz style is. No such reprive for Frank Sinatra.
Those Sinatra fans who can not appreciate the full scope of Sinatra's career have missed the boat.
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