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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 !).
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