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The Ultimate Tony Bennett Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 3, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The first-ever single-disc collection to span Tony's entire five-decade career, now presented with special, 80th birthday packaging! And Tony chose the 20 tracks himself, as well as contributed rare photos and commentary in the notes. Includes Because of You; Rags to Riches; I Left My Heart in San Francisco; Stranger in Paradise; Blue Velvet; Smile; I Wanna Be Around; The Good Life; When Joanna Loved Me; If I Ruled the World , and more, winding up appropriately with The Best Is Yet to Come . A true legend.

Amazon.com

While Sinatra, Martin, and the Rat Pack were busy sacrificing a good measure of their vocal talents in the sordid business of fame and fortune, Tony Bennett was quietly, stubbornly, burnishing his vocal gifts into High, if seemingly effortless, Art. How good is Bennett? Just ask the Chairman of the Board and Head Rat: "The best goddamned pop singer I've ever heard." While a single disc can't offer much more than a sketchy outline of Bennett's rich, seven-decade career, this one offers the commercial peaks--and some telling hints at the restless artistic instinct that produced them. From the pure, nearly operatic power and perfect vibrato he displays on early hits such as "Rags to Riches," "Stranger in Paradise" and the overly theatrical, borderline kitsch of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" through his signature "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" to his gratifying if unlikely '90s resurgence, you can literally hear Bennett's voice tempering like the wood of a Stradivarius, his phrasing taking on a deceptively loose, jazz-fueled languor that tells you where his musical heart really lies. The singer, not the song; damn straight advice--take it from a master. -Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  2. Because Of You
  3. Rags to Riches
  4. Just In Time
  5. Stranger in Paradise
  6. The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (Gigolo And Gigolette)
  7. I Wanna Be Around
  8. The Good Life
  9. The Shadow of Your Smile (Love Theme from "The Sandpiper")
  10. Put On A Happy Face
  11. If I Ruled The World
  12. Smile
  13. Night and Day
  14. How Do You Keep The Music Playing? - Tony Bennett with The Ralph Sharon Trio
  15. Mood Indigo
  16. Blue Velvet
  17. Steppin' out with My Baby
  18. When Joanna Loved Me
  19. When Do The Bells Ring For Me
  20. The Best Is Yet to Come


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004Z3SC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on August 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
With 14 songs from the 50's & 60's and 6 from the 80's and 90's, This CD is heavily weighted in favor of Tony Bennet's earlier commercial hits. According to the liner notes, Tony himself carefully handpicked these songs, so if you don't like the selection you'll have to talk to the singer about it.
However you look at it, this is undeniably the essential Tony Bennett hits over some 40 years. Many of them were produced by Mitch Miller. And many come from the classic compsers such as Julie Styne, Cole Porter, Jonny Mercer, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and such.
This is basically 50's and 60's nostalgia with a nod at Tony's more recent work, and so is obviously for those who prefer the older and most familiar music. And for those listeners, it's definite four star material.
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Format: Audio CD
Tony Bennett is a great singer. Like Hank Aaron could hit a baseball. Like New York has a few people around, or Dallas is warm in July.
This may be the best single disc compilation of Tony's work available. It has just about every popular song he has ever recorded. Leaving aside the ubiquitous "San Francisco (a classic of all time, it goes without saying), this disc has so much more to offer. "I Want to be Around (to pick up the pieces)", "Tender is the Night", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", and on and on and on. Each song here is better than the next. His voice is a treasure. "Steppin' out with my Baby" is as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Thanks to MTV "unplugged", a whole new generation of fans got to hear this marvelous singer. As importantly, millions who had heard him before and somehow forgotten how fine his work were able to re-discovered his brilliance.
Do yourself a favor.
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By A Customer on October 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There is no fat on this one! No fillers! This is the creme de le creme of a long career full of tasteful music. Each and every song chosen is 100% pure TONY...100% pure TASTE! No fat on this review either! BUY IT! It's THE BEST!!!
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Format: Audio CD
The Ultimate Tony Bennett is essentially a single CD retrospective of what Tony Bennett himself considered to be his best work. (Bennett himself picked the songs for the album.) The quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is nicely done. The selection of songs may lean toward to 1950s and the 1960s but Tony Bennett truly was so great that just about anything he ever sang is priceless.

The album starts off with Tony singing the single version of "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." This is one of Tony's signature songs and it's not hard to understand why. Tony's ability to convey the emotions in every subtle nuance of the lyrics to this ballad strikes me as incredibly wonderful. Tony sings with excellent diction; and the piano arrangement lacks nothing--it's THAT good.

"Rags To Riches" features Tony's vocals squarely in the spotlight; and the lush musical arrangement enhances the natural beauty of this number. Tony sings this so well I am sure you will enjoy this song if you haven't heard it before. Moreover, "Stranger In Paradise" places Tony in the spotlight; he sings "Stranger In Paradise" to perfection and the backup vocalists support Tony very well. "I Wanna Be Around" is a romantic, emotional love song that couldn't sound any better if anyone even tried to perform this one. Tony sings this with great sensitivity at the same time that his voice is strong and full of warmth. Great!

"The Good Life" is utterly charming when Tony sings it; and listen also for Tony's fine rendition of "Smile." Tony delivers "Smile" with panache and I always enjoy this ballad. "Night And Day" is a romantic ballad and Tony swings slowly to perform this with an elegant style all his own.
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1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Tony Bennett is a singer's singer. This CD is the best compilation disc of greatest hits he's ever put together. It covers his entire career from early hits like Rags To Riches thru "San Francisco", I Wanna Be Around, Just In Time and the heartbreaking When Joanna Left Me, one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. There are excellent liner notes, dates etc. and the sound is clean and exquisite. There are 20 cuts, and every one is a jewel. Tony Bennett is the Rolls Royce of singers. If you're lacking room and can only make room for one Bennett CD, this is the logical choice. Buy It! It will be one of the best CD purchases in your life.
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Format: Audio CD
Tony Bennett is like an excellent bottle of scotch just waiting to be opened. All of the great crooners (Nat, Bing, Frank, Dino, and Perry) are all gone now. Tony is all that is left from the Your Hit Parade era. This is the definative album where Tony has selected the songs that he cherishes. My children (ages 12 and 16) just love this guy. Nearly every song is memorable although I would have added a few more, such as "Firefly", "Once Upon a Time", "Rules of the Road", as well as some cuts from his now-famous MTV concert, just to name a few. Keep up the GREAT WORK Tony!!!!!! We LOVE you!!!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Tony Bennett is the ultimate saloon singer. Perfect, jazz inspires phrasings that can take a familiar song in interesting new directions. I was looking for that stripped down bar room sound: stand up bass, piano and soft brushes on a snare drum and Tony's unique virtuosity, sometimes whispery, othertimes sharp and loud. This is not that recording. This "greatest hits" album features the lush and elaborate productions of the 50's and 60's, a style that is like a sugar coating on top of Tony's greatness.
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