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Ultimate Sinatra: 100 Songs Celebrating 100 Years
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|1||All or Nothing at All (1940 / #1)|
|2||I'll Never Smile Again (1940 / #1)|
|3||Street of Dreams (1942 / #17)|
|4||You'll Never Know (1943 / #2)|
|5||If You Are But a Dream (1944 / #19)|
|6||Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week) (1944 / #2)|
|7||Nancy (With the Laughing Face) (1945 / #10)|
|8||Oh! What It Seemed to Be (1946 / #1)|
|9||Five Minutes More (1946 / #1)|
|10||Time After Time (1947 / #16)|
|11||Night and Day (1942 / #16)|
|12||The Song Is You (1942 / DNC)|
|13||I'm a Fool to Want You (1951 / #14)|
|14||The Birth of the Blues (1952 / #19)|
|15||Why Try to Change Me Now (1952 / B-Side the Birth of the Blues)|
|16||I've Got the World on a String (1953 / #14)|
|17||Don't Worry 'Bout Me (1954 / #17)|
|18||My Funny Valentine|
|19||They Can't Take That Away from Me|
|20||I Get a Kick Out of You|
|21||Young at Heart (1954 / #2)|
|22||Last Night When We Were Young|
|23||Three Coins in the Fountain (1954 / #4)|
|24||Just One of Those Things|
|25||All of Me|
|26||Someone to Watch Over Me (B-Side You, My Love)|
|27||I Get Along Without You Very Well|
|1||This Love Of Mine|
|2||In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning|
|3||Learnin The Blues (1956 / #1)|
|4||Love And Marriage (1956 / #5)|
|5||(Love Is) The Tender Trap (1956 / #23)|
|6||Love Is Here To Stay|
|7||You Make Me Feel So Young|
|8||Memories Of You|
|9||Ive Got You Under My Skin|
|10||Too Marvelous For Words|
|11||(How Little It Matters) How Little We Know (1956 / #30)|
|12||I Couldnt Sleep A Wink Last Night|
|13||I Wish I Were In Love Again|
|14||The Lady Is A Tramp|
|15||From This Moment On|
|17||Where Are You?|
|18||Witchcraft (1957 / #6)|
|20||All The Way (1957 / #2)|
|21||Moonlight In Vermont|
|22||Come Fly With Me|
|23||Put Your Dreams Away|
|25||Guess Ill Hang My Tears Out To Dry|
|1||Only The Lonely|
|2||One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)|
|3||Somethings Gotta Give|
|4||Come Dance With Me|
|5||Heres That Rainy Day|
|6||A Cottage For Sale|
|7||High Hopes (1959 / #30)|
|8||The Nearness Of You|
|9||Ive Got A Crush On You|
|10||Nice N Easy (1960 / #60)|
|11||When The World Was Young|
|12||In The Still Of The Night|
|13||The Second Time Around (1961 / #50)|
|14||Without A Song (1961 / DNC)|
|15||Loved Walked In|
|16||Stardust (1962 / #98)|
|17||Come Rain Or Come Shine (b-side of Stardust)|
|18||The Girl Next Door|
|19||At Long Last Love|
|20||The Very Thought Of You|
|21||Pennies From Heaven|
|22||Ol Man River|
|23||I Have Dreamed (1963 / #108)|
|24||Luck Be A Lady|
|1||The Way You Look Tonight|
|2||My Kind Of Town (1964 / #110)|
|3||The Best Is Yet To Come|
|4||Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)|
|5||Softly, As I Leave You (1964 / #27 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|6||It Was A Very Good Year (1965 / #28 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|7||September Of My Years (b-side of That's Life)|
|9||Strangers In The Night (1966 / #1 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|10||Summer Wind (1966 / #25 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|11||Thats Life (1966 / #4 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|12||I Concentrate On You|
|13||The Girl From Ipanema|
|15||Somethin Stupid (with Nancy Sinatra) (1967 / #1 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|16||The World We Knew (Over And Over) (1967 / #30 Pop / #1 Adult Contemporary)|
|17||Cycles (1968 / #23 Pop / #2 Adult Contemporary)|
|18||My Way (1969 / #27 Pop / #2 Adult Contemporary)|
|20||All My Tomorrows|
|21||Forget To Remember (1969 / #16 Adult Contemporary)|
|22||It Had To Be You|
|23||All Of You|
|24||Theme From New York, New York (1980 / #32 Pop / #10 Adult Contemporary)|
|25||The Surrey With The Fringe On Top (Rehearsal) previously unreleased|
Ultimate Sinatra presents key recordings for Columbia, Capitol & Reprise, together for the 1st time and boasts 100 tracks celebrating 100 years - all on 4 CDs. Ultimate Sinatra opens with 1939's "All Or Nothing At All," from Sinatra's 1st studio session and closes with a previously unreleased version of 1979's "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top." Features an 80-page booklet; with rare photos & quotes from Ol' Blue Eyes himself. Every track reinforces Sinatra's well-deserved moniker: The Voice.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 7.52 x 5.71 x 0.59 inches; 10.3 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Capitol
- Item model number : 4713696
- Original Release Date : 2015
- Date First Available : March 3, 2015
- Label : Capitol
- ASIN : B00U38Z18A
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 4
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,168 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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1) The ten recordings made with Harry James And His Orchestra in 1939. The first Sinatra/James 78 RPM single, "From The Bottom Of My Heart" b/w "Melancholy Mood," was originally issued on the American Record Corporation's Brunswick imprint, which was later folded into the revitalized Columbia Records label. All other Sinatra/James singles were issued on Columbia. In the 1940's, American Decca revived the Brunswick imprint.
2) The 1940-42 RCA Victor recordings with Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra. Toward the end of his Dorsey tenure, Sinatra made four solo sides with Axel Stordahl, issued on RCA's Bluebird imprint.
3) His solo recordings on Columbia from 1943-1952.
4) The first Capitol era (1953-62).
5) The recordings for his own Reprise label (1960-88).
6) Sinatra's return to Capitol (1993-94), where he made the commercially successful but artistically dreadful Duets albums. The phoned-in guest singers were good for the most part, but Frank's voice was shot.
ULTIMATE SINATRA is Universal Music Group's attempt to honor Mr. Sinatra's 100th birthday on December 12. It is not the first Sinatra collection to feature songs from all eras; that honor goes to the soundtrack to the CBS miniseries with Philip Casnoff . While it has 100 songs (plus a bonus track) on four CDs, the collection, while good, could have been much better. It was understandable to include only "All Or Nothing At All" from the Harry James sessions, as that was FS's only hit with the James band, which occurred four years after the fact, and it took a 1943 musicians' union strike to make that possible. But only two cuts from the TD era - "I'll Never Smile Again" and "Street Of Dreams"? At least a few more TD cuts, such as "I'll Be Seeing You," "There Are Such Things," and "Be Careful, It's My Heart," could have been included. Twelve cuts from the Columbia solo era follow, and that's not being too generous either. Sony Music, which owns the James, RCA, and Columbia catalogs, was being rather stingy. Perhaps they want you to purchase one of THEIR Sinatra collections.
The rest of Disc 1 consists of Capitol material. Disc 2 is all Capitol. Disc 3 is evenly divided between Capitol and Reprise material. Disc 4 is all Reprise. In some cases, the best version of a song (e.g., "Night And Day" and "The Song Is You") was not chosen. UMe, of course, owns the Capitol material; the Reprise tracks are controlled by the Sinatra Estate, which acquired them from Warner Music Group/Rhino Records.
This set does have one bonus track - an unissued rehearsal take of "Surrey With The Fringe On Top," from the 1979 TRILOGY sessions. The single-CD version of ULTIMATE SINATRA has an alternate take of "Just In Time," from the 1958 COME DANCE WITH ME! sessions, which is not on the box set. The Ultimate Sinatra 2-CD Limited Edition 2015 TARGET EXCLUSIVE has a 15-track bonus CD (13 songs, excluding the intro and closing bows) with selections from FS's Australian concert at Sydney Stadium, recorded December 2, 1961. The Australian version of ULTIMATE SINATRA has the full concert; I'm sure that Target wanted the full version as well, but UMe probably told them, "Sorry, that's reserved for the Aussies, but we'll let you have half of it." You can find the Australian version on Amazon.co.uk. Amazon's Australian site does not sell music. However, you may end up paying more for that version that you would for this box set, so only hard-core Sinatra collectors need bother.
Personally, I would have made this a six-CD set - a full CD of James/Dorsey material, one full disc of Columbia selections, and two discs each for Capitol and Reprise. The softcover book is very nice, with great pictures and interesting comments from Sinatra and the other participants, but the track listing should have been annotated with the original single and/or album release that each song appeared on, instead of just the recording date. Hard-core Sinatraphiles already have this information, but it would be useful for more casual fans and Sinatra newbies.
For those who want to dig deeper into the Sinatra oeuvre:
The Harry James recordings are available on a single CD ( The Complete Recordings Nineteen Thirty-Nine ), a 21-track CD with the 10 master takes, four alternates, and seven radio broadcasts.
There are many collections of the TD material available, but the best one is the 1994 RCA/BMG 5-CD set "The Song Is You" .
For Columbia-era material, I recommend the four-CD collection The Best of the Columbia Years 1943-1952 . Sony also offers a later CD box set, Voice in Time 1939-1952 , that covers the James, Dorsey, and solo Columbia eras together in one fell swoop. That collection contains a full CD of James/Dorsey material, and three CDs of solo Columbia selections. If you want to spend really big bucks, a 12-CD box of Columbia material is also available.
Capitol offers 1990's The Capitol Years , which I own in the original clothbound book edition, and 1996's The Complete Capitol Singles Collection , with some rare B-sides not found on the first collection. There are also two Capitol box sets of Frank's concept albums - one with CD bonus tracks, the other without - but you may be better off purchasing the individual CDs (the 1956 instrumental album, TONE POEMS OF COLOR - the first LP recorded at the then-new Capitol Tower, on which FS conducted an all-star orchestra - was originally a CONCEPTS box set exclusive, but was finally issued as an individual CD in 2002).
Finally, FS's material for his own label is compiled on 1990's Frank Sinatra: The Reprise Collection . Reprise also offers another complete suitcase box, if money is no object. Other box sets cover his Las Vegas and London concerts and his movie recordings.
These are only a fraction of the available Sinatra releases, including his Christmas recordings, live albums, and collaborations with The Rat Pack.
There have been many great male pop singers over the decades - Frank's Rat Pack buddies (Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.), Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Nat "King" Cole, Jack Leonard, Vaughan Monroe, Louis Armstrong, Dick Haymes, Billy Eckstine, Vic Damone, Bob Eberly and his brother Ray Eberle, Joe Williams, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett (still going strong at 88), Jack Jones, and Robert Goulet, to name but a few, but, in his prime, no one was better that Francis Albert Sinatra. Michael Bublé is probably the closest thing to a 21st Century Sinatra, but he would be the first to tell you that he is no Frank.
Four stars for ULTIMATE SINATRA (I wish I could give it five).
Packaging 3 / 5
Remastering 2 / 5
UMG’s Ultimate Sinatra box set was one of the few CD releases this year I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. And unfortunately, my hopes were put too high.
Ultimate Sinatra delivers what the hardcore Sinatra fans would have expected from a comprehensive four-label-wide box set: fifty percent Capitol with little wiggle room for the rest… Only three songs from Sinatra’s big band tenure (2 from Dorsey, and “All Or Nothing At All” from James). If that is UMG’s idea of “comprehension,” then I am no longer excited for Sinatra’s CD reissues under the blanket label. Their vinyl reissues however are something of a marvel—they’re making too many as it would have it!
The set list here is superb, but again, the Capitol percent is too much for my taste, considering the set leaves out several masterful songs. (below is a list of several Capitol numbers left out.)
01. I See Your Face Before Me
02. I Thought About You
03. It Could Happen To You
04. There’s a Flaw In My Flue (Of course!)
05. Night and Day (instead is the “show opening” version from Columbia which is still good)
06. Oh! Look at Me Now!
07. Lonely Town
08. There’s No You
09. On the Road to Mandalay
10. Autumn in New York
11. Let’s Get Away From It All
12. Willow Weep for Me
13. Blues In the Night
14. Ebb Tide
15. Angel Eyes
16. Day In – Day Out (from Come Dance With Me!)
17. The Song Is You
18. Where Do You Go?
19. How Deep Is the Ocean?
20. Memories of You (Instead we get the faulty Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! outtake)
And these songs are just from the albums… Only the Lonely and Come Fly with Me were particularly butchered in this set.
This collection prides itself on its span but unfortunately, that means it also has to take its selections from varying releases over the years. Although the liner notes claim that Larry Walsh has done the mastering, the songs chosen here range from those Walsh readings from the first CD reissues through the Norbergs, into even the Concord remasters and other subsequent releases. Because of this, there is a HUGELY uneven sound on this record, particularly with the Capitol numbers. The big band remasters here are also way too loud for my ears.
If you already have these remasters and were expecting something new, unfortunately, there’s only the one song at the end that will probably get you to buy this set.
“Surrey” is actually really good! But it does get the question how many more of these songs are going to be released like this? We got the “My Foolish Heart” alt take last year (and frankly, that set was much better than whatever UMG is pulling here. I haven’t even gotten to the single disc version of this set yet!
Anyway… “Surrey” is from the Trilogy: Past Present Future sessions, so fans of that time period of Sinatra will be happy to hear this track. It’s bouncy, vibrant, and enjoyably—he swings hard, although about a minute, forty seconds in, he gets a little tired. I don’t know why this track is only available in a set like this, and not as like a digital single like the “Brazil” alt take was (although it was released as a duet…). This track also reminds of the Reprise section of the set, which is pretty well-represented, but there’s a lot more of the best that’s missing (more than on Capitol, that’s for sure). In fact, there’s some oddities like “World We Knew” and “Cycles” here!
Furthermore, the rarer tracks you get on this set aren’t particularly valuable. “Forget to Remember” is one of the best here, but is on a set I’ll mention later. “Memories of You” has been on several releases now, and frankly I’m sick of it. “The Very Thought of You” was in that forgettable (but expansive!) London box set from last year. All of the Columbia stuff was on The Box Set Series set a while back, as well, but it reminds me that that material desperately needs a good large-scale reissue. You can at least buy the Complete Columbia volumes on iTunes.
Although, it is annoying that some of the Reprise songs are just versions of Captiol songs: “Pennies from Heaven,” “At Long Last Love,” “All My Tomorrows,” and “The Girl Next Door,” instead of better songs that fit that niche like “How Little It Matters,” “I Won’t Dance,” or “Night and Day,” or for that matter some of the best tracks under the label like “Granada,” “You Will Be My Music,” or “Hello, Young Lovers.” There’s a lot of material that just can’t be represented in a set like this.
All in all, this is a nice curiosity and a good effort, but far from what we “want.” Honestly, the single-disc set is a much better buy than this, so I only hope that “Surrey” will get a reissue one of these days. And speaking of, if you want to collect ‘em all, UMG doesn’t stop here, since you have to buy both this and the redundant single disc set for the “Just in Time” alternate take. It’s this kind of dreck that makes me want to quit buying these Sinatra sets.
Frankly, if you’re a newbie to Sinatra and looking for long box sets like this, but are actually good, check out The Reprise Collection and The Capitol Years from the early 1990s. I’m sure you can get both on ebay or amazon marketplace for about how much this set costs, and then you’ll be rolling around with almost double the material.