Bing Sings The Sinatra Songbook
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Before people drew a line in the sand about whether they were fans of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, they debated the merits of the two powerhouse crooners Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Perhaps, this album will put that debate to rest as Bing sings Frank's biggest hits. Who do you think does it better?
- Product Dimensions : 6.57 x 6.34 x 0.28 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Manufacturer : UMe
- Item model number : 26341020
- Original Release Date : 2013
- Date First Available : February 8, 2013
- Label : UMe
- ASIN : B00BCV3JEU
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #291,831 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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But the title permits the recording's producers to assemble some of the best of Bing as well as include a sublime duet by the two titans of American Popular Song--perhaps the most affecting duet by two great baritones in the history of American Popular Song. In their early radio appearances, the rivalry between the "old groaner" and the "skinny swooner" is often as unmistakable as their respect for one another. But during the medley of three of the most elegiac popular songs ever written--"Among My Souvenirs," September Song," and "As Time Goes By"--the two converge as kindred spirits. It was Sinatra who, in the '50s, recognized the vibrancy of these early American songs, turning to them for his ballad concept albums featuring big formal orchestrations by Nelson Riddle or Gordon Jenkins. And he still remained, for the most part, the loner, the outsider, the solitary quester, speaking to the loneliness and desires of his listeners. For this performance, however, Bing and Frank share an affinity that emphasizes the communal resonances of each song. The effect even brings to mind the climactic scene of The Iliad, in which King Priam and his son's killer, Achilles, cry in each other's presence.
Another great singer, Tony Bennett, was not a "trailblazer" like Bing or Frank. He brought a later perspective that made it easy for him to reach back and declare with no small amount of certainty that his main "teachers" were Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby. As the more immediate challenger to the established order, Frank had the task of making his own "space"--emphasizing its difference from the preceding order--in terms, especially, of rhythmic feel, phrasing, and presentation. But he was savvy enough to know and say that Bing (and by implication Louis) was still the main man, the foremost teacher. And watching Bing closely in his big scenes with Frank in films like "High Society" and "Robin and the Seven Hoods" is to see a performer whose poise, charisma, and command of the cinematic space assure that his is the persona our eyes--and ears--are drawn to. The man was way "cool" long before the word rose to its present-day popularity (and meaninglessness).
Still, Bing learned from the younger newcomer, including a few readily accessible ideas about the art of interpretation. It's unlikely the version of "Imagination" on this recording would have occurred without Sinatra's influence. The interpretation here reflects the slow tempos favored by Sinatra, who seemed intent on stopping time the better to interpret the lyrics of a song through his sustained, "breathless" phrasing. Bing's version, like Sinatra's "suicide songs" (as he called his ballads), finds him in rich and resonant, full and reflective voice, closer to a Sinatra introspective, Olivier-level performance than the more customary casual and conversational, affable and flawless Crosby reading which, even when it failed to produce art of the highest order, ensured that Bing's will forever remain the most recorded voice in world history.
[Caveat: On many of his recordings before 1935, Bing is not the "casual, laid-back Everyman" singer that I might have implied to contrast him with Sinatra. Listeners are frequently surprised when I play them Bing's early versions of "Out of Nowhere" and, especially, "At Your Command." Here the ultra-versatile Bing is singing the emotional melodramatic tradition of much art and culture in the first 3 ½ decades of the 20th century (a tradition that Diana Krall (!), of all people, tried to recall in her recent heavily promoted "Glad Rag Doll" record release and tour).]
Simply, one of his greatest efforts.
And as good as it gets.
Maybe he was a man with some internal issues, which caused him to lash out in an unacceptable way, towards his loved ones.
My wife can't get past that. I feel that, any man who can sing like this, can't be all bad!
Bing is the only singer I know, who was born with a built-in sub woofer.