Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not A "Best Of" As Hits Go - But Among His Best Insofar As The Music Goes, April 16, 2008
This review is from: Nat King Cole (Audio CD)
One reviewer deducts 1 star from this magnificent box set because it omits a couple of his hit singles that he thinks should have been included. Now, no one out there is more critical than me of those releases that blare "GREATEST HITS OF" and "BEST OF" - and then fail to deliver. The only problem is, this one makes no such claim. It's titled, simply, "Nat King Cole" and what you get here is pure vintage Nat Cole.

The sound quality is excellent and inside is a 56-page booklet containing background notes under the sub-titles The Man (9 pages) by the British-born jazz pianist, composer, producer, music journalist Leonard Feather, and The Music (21 pages) by Mr. Will Friedwald, the noted author of Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices. There is also a list of the contents showing composers, recording dates, Capitol Master numbers, and orchestral back-up. All this is liberally sprinkled with great vintage photos of Nat (and The Trio), some with stars such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Mercer, Maria Cole, Nelson Riddle, a very young Natalie Cole, and George Shearing.

Unfortunately, ostensibly because the majority of the songs contained herein were never hit singles for Nat, they do not show chart details for the 37 included that WERE hits (disc 1 - tracks 1, 5, 10, 11, 13, 14 (The Christmas Song actually charted 5 times to 1954), 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22: disc 2 - 5, 7 to 14, 16, 17, 19, 21 and 25: disc 3 - 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 17 (Stardust became a hit single even though it was only released as part of a 5-tracl E.P.), 20 and 25{ disc 4 - 5, 21, 23 and 24.

For the record, counting his time as part of The King Cole Trio beginning in 1943, to his untimely death on February 16, 1965 at age 47, he had chalked up 136 hit singles - all for Johnny Mercer's Capitol label - and added five more posthumously, including that 1991 overdubbed duet with daughter Natalie on Unforgettable. From the inception of the R&B charts in 1942 (then called The Harlem Hit Parade) he placed 47 there, had two make what passed for the Country charts in 1944, and following the advent of the Adult Contemporary (Easy Listening) charts in late 1961, placed another 17 there.

One of the very best Nat "King" Cole box-sets on the market and worth every nickel.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (13 customer reviews)
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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