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Nothing But The Best

4.7 out of 5 stars 411 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 18, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

NOTHING BUT THE BEST is a single-disc, best-of collection from Sinatra's Reprise Years that contains 21 classic cuts including "Luck Be A Lady" and "My Kind of Town." Originally released in 2008, to date this title has scanned over 1.2 million copies and debuted at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Also includes a previously unreleased recording of "Body And Soul" featuring new arrangements.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 18, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00I6JEOFO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (411 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'll be honest. When I first heard about this cd through The Sinatra Family Forums back in February, I was ready to tear it to shreds. I thought to myself, "Frank's gone 10 years now, and they're marking the event with yet another compilation with same songs repackaged for the umpteenth time?" Even when it was announced that the songs were to be digitally remastered and a never before released bonus track was to be included, my anger and resentment towards this compilation still stuck.

However, as the release date grew nearer and I got word from several people who were able to hear it before it officially hit the market told me it was totally worth it, I slowly warmed up to it and by last week was all set on buying it.

When I received the cd this afternoon, I was extremely excited, even though I thought myself, "I heard these songs thousands of time before." The first thing that struck me was how beautiful the packaging was: the cd comes in a cardboard case with one of the best pictures of Frank ever taken. The cd's booklet is made from a elegant, smooth velvet like material and the liner notes by Charles Pignone as well as the various rare photos of Frank at work are excellent. Honestly, the packaging alone is enough to grab your attention.

But enough about the artwork. What about the music?

As stated already, my biggest concern with this collection was that I heard all these songs before. I had already received the mammoth "Complete Reprise Studio Recordings" boxed set, which had all these songs (except one) as well as over 400 additional tracks, all of which featured more than satisfactory sound quality. Still, undaunted, I popped the cd onto my Ipod and went for a listen.

Needless to say, I was blown away.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm really surprised at all the five star reviews posted here and especially taken aback at the raves about the sound quality. I was looking forward to this disc because Sinatra's Reprise catalog has never sounded as good as it should on CD and once I saw the track listing for this disc, and assumed that it would be mastered properly, I knew it was something I wanted to buy the day it hit the shelves. A lot of the tracks do sound better than ever and the most glorious example of sonic improvement is on "Summer Wind". It's obvious that some tweaking was done on this stereo mix to improve the sound and this track really does sound incredible! But some of the remixing (which I'm assuming was done by going back to the original master tapes and making some recording soundboard adjustments) is far from an improvement to my ears. While I'm happy to have the extended fade on "Strangers In The Night", the way the tambourine has been buried in the mix makes it sound like something's missing. And holy Manhattan, what the frank happened to "New York, New York"? It sounds terrible! You can hardly tell that there was a drummer present at the recording session at all! After Frank's "A-number one" line and before the track's tempo slows and he sings, "These little town blues...", there's supposed to be a snare roll. I can't hear it at all. Why would they ruin this song by covering up the entire drum track?? It makes no sense. The power and driving energy of the arrangement has been zapped and it sounds like just another cover of an overplayed showtune (albeit one with an outstanding vocal!) So while overall this disc contains a great song selection and should be a no-brainer 5 star release, I think it's shortcomings barely qualify it for 3 stars.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this with great anticipation, but I'm very disappointed. It's just loud and bombastic with Frank's voice brought up to compensate - there is very little dynamic contrast or sense of stage space or "air." Maybe this is good for car or ipod listening, but on a high-fi system it's sounds very artificial. Not recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
No doubt most Sinatraphiles will have the original albums, always the better bet with an artist who, along with Riddle, Jenkins, May and Co., saw the album not as a random collection of songs but a carefully conceived whole. Each of these songs was meant to be an integral part of organically developed tone poems, or suites, in which the individual selections are microcosmic movements of a sonata or symphony (the hallmark, above all, of the earlier Capitol recordings, whether swingers or "suicide" songs). To my mind, only the material from the Columbia period of the 1940s before the long-playing album (a format which Sinatra was the first to exploit artistically) is ideally suited for anthologizing.

Ignore the liner notes' suggestion that Sinatra's best period--vocally or artistically--was during the '60s for his own Reprise label, the primary source for the tracks on this anthology. And take with a grain of salt any suggestion that songs like "Somethin' Stupid," "Strangers in the Night," "Nothing But the Best," "Drinking Again," "My Way," even "NY, NY" and "That's Life" are, however worthy, representative of Sinatra's "best" among his Reprise treasures. Nor are even the Capitol recordings the last word: as we approach another Independence Day, his sublime, still politically-relevant 1945 Columbia recording, "The House We Live In," is the one deserving the American public's (and world's) attention.

But any like-minded Sinatra fan who's read this far would do well to scroll down to #22 on this collection and download it to their computer. When Sinatra revisited "Body and Soul" in 1984, the #1 popular song of all time was still considered to be "Stardust.
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