The Essential Tony Bennett (Rm) (2CD) Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, September 22, 2009
Audio, Cassette, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, July 23, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
But this new ESSENTIAL TONY BENNETT has some gems I ignored. Anyone who wants to question Bennett's skills as an intepreter should listen to his performances here of IT AMAZES ME and most importantly, I DO NOT KNOW A DAY I DID NOT LOVE YOU. This Richard Rodgers gem was new to me, and it just knocked me out. I had to play the song four times in a row. Bennett sings both with depth and a world-weary sense of inevitability. Here you'll find outstanding examples of his extraordinary breath control (only Streisand is his equal here). His tuning on the latter song is utterly impeccable and his legato exemplary. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Two CDs are crammed with great cuts and if you listen really carefully, you'll be staggered too.
Like Sinatra I came to appreciate Bennett's skills a bit late in the day.Read more ›
This career review is rightly called "essential". It covers 50 years of Bennett recordings, from Because of You (1951) through his wonderful duet with KD Lang of "Keep The Faith, Baby" (2001). In between these bookmarks are some of the most well-orchestrated songs recorded over the last 50 years.
Tony isn't one to blow you away. He's more quiet ocean breeze than tsunami, and is a master of underdelivery. You don't realize how good he is until you hear a certain phrase or note that simply demands attention.
Disc 2 is incredible,mainly because the standards recorded here are perfect matches for the Bennett voice. "Stepping Out" and "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing") are two prime examples of what happens when the perfect singer meets the perfect song with the perfect arrangement. It's rare that this happens more than once in a lifetime for a singer. Toss in "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" and Tony hits this benchmark at least three times on this set.
This is sheer enjoyment from start to finish. Buy this recording, and indulge yourself.
Recently pulled an old LP from my collection - Tony's Greatest Hits (CBS 62821) - I bought this album sometime in the late 70's, it has 12 tracks of which 10 are on the reviewed CD. The comparison with the CD was night and day - the LP is focussed, clear, warm, just a delight. The CD .. well, see below. Something really rotten happened on the way to the remastering studio.
This two CD set is a disappointment. Yes, all the great Tony Bennett songs are here and there are many glimpses of his timeless artistry. But before you buy you need to know:
- The sound quality of both CDs is poor. Sony claims this collection has been "remastered". In Sony's world this must mean that the master tapes were played back through a 1960's transistor radio, recorded on a 1970's cassette player then transferred to CD. The sound is tinny, lacks depth, atmosphere and range. In places it's just unlistenable.
- Around half the tracks of the first CD are from early, 1950s recordings. These are not the masterful later recordings but immature and poorly recorded versions.
- The tracks are crammed together with just a second or so between the end of one track and the beginning of the next. These clumbsy, jerky transitions make for fatiguing listening.
- The liner notes are limited to a track listing and a few photos ... no bio, no perspectives on Tony Bennett's career ... nada. What a missed opportunity.
Overall a poorly engineered collection that is unworthy of this great artist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love listening to Tony. Great background music for life! CD arrived super fast!Published 27 days ago by Sarah Bellum
I have two different things to say about this CD.
1- Some of the reviews here say the early work of Bennett isn't good. Well, I have to disagree. Read more
I looked at the cover of The Essential Tony Bennett. The black and white photograph of Tony Bennett is what first caught my eye. Read morePublished 19 months ago by gobirds2