Top critical review
Okay, But Lacking.
on January 2, 2008
Frank Sinatra was a master of song in all areas, but none more fluently in the romantic ballad. His love songs are so passionate, sincere and powerful that the government would probably try to quarantine them in the event of an overpopulation crisis.
With that being said, "Greatest Love Songs" is somewhat of a disappointment. Yes, the 22 songs here all classic recordings (even if one is butchered by the dreadful presence of Celine Dion), and they all sound excellent, but as far as the concept of the compilation goes, they could've done a lot better.
It should be noted that as far as Frank's love songs go, there are some absolute essentials included here: "Strangers In The Night," "My Heart Stood Still," "Moonlight Serenade," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Strangers In The Night," "The Very Thought Of You," "Night And Day" and "Come Rain Or Come Shine" all rank among Frank's most tender love songs and are perect for a romantic evening with your true love.
However, some choices are a bit more headscratching. The 4 Capitol tracks, as great they are, feel somewhat incongruous (especially since "What Is Thing Called Love" is hardly romantic, coming one of Frank's most melancholy albums) and could've been left off in favor of some more worthwhile Reprise selections.
Furthermore, and this was pointed out by a previous reviewer, but songs like "Let's Fall In Love," "You'd Be So Easy To Love," "You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me," and "Fly Me To Moon," even though they are great songs and some of my favorites, are hardly ideal for a quiet romantic setting.
All these songs, regardless of how great they are (and they are), do not fit with the idea of a compilation of Frank's love songs, and make this set feel like another "Best-Of" compilation with a few rarities thrown in to attract hardcore fans, who probably own all this stuff anyway (I certainly do).
There are so many amazing true Frank love songs that could've been included instead of these songs: "There Are Such Things," "Misty," "That's All," "I Have Dreamed," (an unforgivable omission) "I've Never Been In Love Before," "Quiet Night Of Quiet Stars," "Somethin' Stupid," (hate it on it, but it's great IMO) "Wave," "All My Tomorrows," "I Had The Craziest Dream," "Summer Me, Winter Me," "Something" and so many other classic Frank love songs could've been tacked onto this collection and made for a stronger collection of songs rather than simply tossing on the same warhorses that graced thousands of other collections. Imagine a collection of Frank love songs with this lineup:
1) I Hadn't Anyone Till You
2) Night And Day
4) Come Rain Or Come Shine
4) That's All
5) The Very Thought Of You
6) My Heart Stood Still
7) I Have Dreamed
8) All The Way (minus Celine)
9) I've Never Been In Love Before
10) The Way You Look Tonight
11) This Is All I Ask
12) Moonlight Serenade
13) Strangers In The Night
14) Somethin' Stupid
15) Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars
17) All My Tomorrows
18) What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
19) I Had The Craziest Dream
20) It Had To Be You
21) More Than You Know
23) Summer Me, Winter Me
24) My Foolish Heart
Obviously, the producers were more concerned with making a few more quick dollars off the Sinatra legacy instead of a truly great compilation of Frank love songs, because they know that the novice Sinatra fan who only knows "New York, New York" and "My Way," (and let's face it, those are the only people who have any use for this set) would never pony up for a bunch of songs they never heard before, which is a shame.
I suggest making your own compilation. I did, a 2 cd set with the best love songs from all three labels (Columbia, Capitol and Reprise) entitled "Those Fingers In My Hair: The Love Songs Of Frank Sinatra". It's excellent, and something along those lines would make for a much stronger compilation.