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1. Dino: The Essential Dean Martin
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2. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
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3. Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good
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4. The Very Best of Frank Sinatra
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5. The World Of Nat King Cole
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6. Louis Armstrong - All-Time Greatest
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7. Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits
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8. Live From The Sands
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9. Pure Ella: The Very Best of Ella
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10. Love Songs
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11. Only You
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12. Capitol Collectors Series: Louis
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13. Italian Love Songs
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14. Tony Bennett - All-Time Greatest
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15. Best Of Ella Fitzgerald &
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16. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole
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17. Nat King Cole - The Greatest Hits
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18. The Rat Pack Live at the Sands
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19. The Essential Barbra Streisand
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20. Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday

1. Dino: The Essential Dean Martin
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00021LPIS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 239
Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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The revisionist take on the Rat Pack's razor-witted King of Cool reveals a Dean Martin who was considerably more complex than the Titan of Tipplers legend; a man who would just as soon retire to his room with a tumbler of milk to watch a TV Western than prowl the Strip with his famous cohorts. That sublime, preternatural indifference is both underscored and belied with dizzying regularity on this good 30-track overview of Martin's singing career. The breezy hits "That's Amore" and "Volare" underscored his public staying power when many counted him out in the face of a surging 1950s youth market. He repeated the feat again with trademark effortlessness a decade later to knock no less than the Beatles off the top of the charts with the unlikely, if inviting schmaltz of "Everybody Loves Somebody."Ever informed by his warm, deceptive vocal ease, Martin's rich signature tunes are well-represented here. But the collection also spans enough lovable kitsch ("Mambo Italiano," "Little Old Wine Drinker Me") and unabashed romantic yearning ("Innamorata," "Send Me the Pillow You Dream On") to deepen the compelling mystery of one of pop music's most enduring ciphers. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
When I saw the cover of this cd advertised I jumped for joy. But then I took a look closer and noticed that 2/3 of the 30 tracks are the SAME Dean Martin songs we are always given. If you're a huge fan, you'll get this for the rare unrecycled tracks that slide through. I certaintly may get this at a later time. But not right now. Cause the last "definite" Dean Martin collection I got was 1998's Greatest Hits: King of Cool, which really isn't that far off. The moment I get this one there could be another hits album released. So I don't know. Rating: 4 1/2 on content. 3 on necessity,

5-0 out of 5 stars If you only buy one Dean Martin CD-this is it!
The"Essential Dean Martin" is for someone who knows and loves the smooth voice of Dean Martin, or to initiate someone who might only know a couple of his numerous hits.
This CD is filled to the brim-literally. It has 30 tracks with over 78 minutes of music. The songs cover twenty years of his recording career (1949-1969) and include several top 10's. In fact, 27 of the 30 tracks were charted either here or in the U.K.

The majority of cuts are from the Capitol Records period, and though they are not arranged chronically, they are mixed nicely between uptempo and romantic sides. Chart toppers like "That's Amore", "Memories Are Made Of This", "Sway", "Volare" and others are represented, as well as some sides that don't usually get much play (but should)-"I'll Always Love You", "Mambo Italiano", and "Kiss" to cite a few.

The last ten sides are from the Reprise period, and all were charted hits. They include the #1 Everybody Loves Somebody and "Hot 100" top ten hits "I Will" and "Door is Still Open To My Heart". Additionally, they include two #1's from the Billboard Adult Chart "In the Chapel in the Moonligh" and "In the Misty Moonlight". Rounding out the CD is 1969's cover of "Gentle On My Mind" which went to #2 in the U.K.

All in all a great Father's Day gift or a gift for one's self that you will play and play again. It really is "essential" for any CD collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Everybody Loves Dean Martin Sometime"
For more than 50 years the world has had the very great privilege of being entertained by the one and only Dean Martin. Fans of all ages have enjoyed Dean's undeniable charm and cool wit, and his place in American pop culture is undisputed. He was part of one of the most successful comedy teams ever, made numerous movies including comedies, dramas, and westerns, had a TV show that was highly rated and ran for almost two decades, performed live in concert to millions of adoring fans, and was a cornerstone of one of the most hip and talented group of men the world has ever seen, The Rat Pack! All that said, it was Dean's elegant voice and easy phrasing and style that was the common thread that ran through all of his many outstanding accomplishments.

This CD, "Dino: The Essential Dean Martin", is a wonderful gathering of tunes that represent Dean's many years as a recording artist and bring back memories of a time when his velvety tones and suave ways enchanted listeners everywhere. There is something on this CD for everyone. Songs like "That's Amore" and "Standing On The Corner" reflect the fun, joyous side of Dean, while his versions of "Return to Me" and "Volare" epitomize the deep passion and yearning we all feel when were in love. If you like to swing, look no further than "Ain't That a Kick in the Head", my favorite Dean Martin song. "Memories Are Made of This", "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You", and his signature song "Everybody Loves Somebody" are also great tunes, and Dean's treatments are truly unforgettable. Young and old alike enjoy and treasure Dean Martin's music for good reason, it is truly timeless. If you are already a Dean Martin fan, I guess all of this is old news and I am just preaching to the choir, but if you're not a Dean Martin fan yet, then this excellent representation of his musical career is the perfect beginning to your Dean Martin music collection.

If you enjoy listening to crooners and Big Band Swing, I would also suggest Monte Procopio "Swingin' With Style" CD. His 13-piece band really swings and deserves a listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars As usual Dino gives us only the best music, 5 stars.
There are not enough adjectives to explain just how great this cd is. Do yourself a favor and get this cd today. You will have many enjoyable hours of listening to the beautiful voice of Dean Martin. Give a copy to someone you love and share a gift of music that they are sure to enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Music
I'm only 21 but I appreciate Dino. Having only some of his Rat Pack stuff, i looked forward to this and was not unimpressed. There are some incredible songs on here, "standing on the Corner" is somehow just funny. But to help enhance your Dean Martin collection I also recommend "Ee-O-Eleven" the best of the rat pack and "Italian love Songs." These two other collections will allow you to collect the songs "When your Smiling" and "On an evening in Roma", which are not found on here, but still great songs. ... Read more

2. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
list price: $39.98
our price: $31.99
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Asin: B0007X9U2Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 439
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Billie Holiday (1917-59) wore gardenias, was a teenaged prostitute,did drugs, and died with a cop posted outside her hospital bed.But withher gravel-like vocals, and behind-the-beat phrasing, she was one ofthe greatest singers of the twentieth century. This multimedia collectioncommemorates her ninetieth birthday. Two CDs contain forty two of hergreatest hits, from her 1935 stint with Benny Goodman, to her chilling 1958strings album, Lady inSatin. It features her signature songs like "Good MorningHeartache," "God Bless the Child," and her unforgettable anti-lynchingnumber "Strange Fruit." The DVD includes film cameos withDuke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, photographs, posters, rehearsals andinterviews with friends and musicians, including a rediscovered 1956 radiobroadcast with a young Mike Wallace.Her achy artistry is timeless, and asAshley Kahn wrote in his superb liner notes, "Billie will be there tonight,tomorrow night and a long time to come." --Eugene Holley, Jr. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Billie Holiday - by far the best ever
I purchased this collection solely for the DVD that's included because I have all of the other audio material.The DVD is great!It leaves you wishing for more.It's a pity that this is all we have of the best jazz singer of all time.I'd like to see a movie made of her life;a true story, not the bunk that they gave us with "Lady Sings The Blues" back in the 70's.If you do not own any of Billie's music this is a great starting place.

5-0 out of 5 stars The ultimate starting point (collectors take notice, too)!
It seems as if every year or two we're looking at a new and improved Billie Holiday anthology, and THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION is the latest and probably best Lady Day introduction to date.As others have mentioned, this set covers her entire career via 42 tracks on two CDs.The set is skimpy on Billie's first decade (albeit we do get such gems as "God Bless The Child").However, you can easily balance that out by one additional purchase: the highly-recommended 2-CD set LADY DAY: THE BEST OF BILLIE HOLIDAY on Sony, which has 38 key tracks from the early years (only three of which are repeated here).Several key tracks from her 1939-1944 Commodore sessions (including "Strange Fruit") and the 1942 cut "Trav'lin' Light" (with Paul Whiteman) offer further proof of this set's wide reach in covering her career.

Being that the set is produced in collaboration with the Decca and Verve labels, the last fifteen years of Billie's career get excellent coverage.There's a certain point in the 1950s where some Lady Day fans mourn the perceived wear-and-tear in her voice,while others such as myself celebrate the deeper emotive power and increasingly inventive melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic chances she takes with classic pop tunes.Even so, by the final track "I'm A Fool To Want You" (from the much-debated 1958 LADY IN SATIN album) it's difficult for most listeners to not feel 1) pushed away by her fading voice and 2) pulled back in by the communicative power of her heart-on-sleeve phrasing (one error in the set's booklet: this cut is not from her last session).

The DVD has an effective mix of seen and unseen footage.The 1934 and 1946 movie appearances have been issued in their entirety: here we get some highlights.The key bit of material that will attract Billie Holiday collectors is some newly-uncovered 1956 footage from the STARS OF JAZZ television show (three songs), and there is a 1958 appearance, too.The most famous Lady Day clip (1957's all-star jam on "Fine And Mellow") is seen in its entirety.The DVD also has a clip of Billie's key influences Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong, plus lots of other extras that are interesting but mostly not essential.Although some excellent Billie footage didn't make the cut, there's still enough of value on the DVD to recommend it.Add the timeless, extraordinary music on the CDs, and you've got a great introduction to arguably the greatest jazz vocalist of all-time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Lady Day is timeless&Will never go out of style.this is without a doubt the best all around Compilation on her Work&the DVD is a great collection as well. you get a chance to hear her voice&Material through various era's&whatnot. Her voice just had a way of hitting you emotionally that so few Artists ever reach that Zenith. Her Tone&Feel captures so many things all at once. she died far too young.She is One of My All time Favorite Artists in any Style of Music Period.

5-0 out of 5 stars KUDOS!!!
So many great things about this collection its hard to know where to start. This is the first collection to include tracks from ALL the record companies that Billie recorder, not even the Ken Burns compilation touched so much ground. There are tracks that are unavailable in CD until now, like 'Detour Ahead', a classic song. The remastering, specially for the Blue Note and Verve catalog is breathtaking, the best these sides have sounded ever. Package is beatiful, this is one of those Sound + Vision collections, like the Hendrix at Isle of Wight. It includes a COMPLETE sessionography, every session, dates, musicians, places of every song released commercially. It includes a timeline, which is a biography, year by year of the life of lady day,with dozens anddozens of pictures and scans of documents and letters. Wow!! I was really impressed. The DVD also includes a bunch of audio feautures, like interview with Billie, and people who knew Billie. There is a great segment of Billie rehearsing with Jimi Rowles that is pure gold. Live tracks with Basie. The video clips are not remastered, some of them look and sound preety rough. There are more videos of Billie out there, I wish they had included more. The CD's are too heavy on the Verve material, some more Columbia sides with Lester Young could have been better, and where is 'Autumm in New York'? Still, this is a five star collection, recommended both for newbies and long time fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, THE definitive overview .... ESSENTIAL
For years, there have been hundreds if not thousands of imports of Lady Day's music on subpar compilations that don't do her justice, various box sets put out by different record companies in the US (Columbia, Commodore, and Verve all have exhaustive box sets), but no true retrospective that covers the bases in one place.

Until now. This is one of the best collections of songs ever assembled in one place. Previous retrospectives were great, but because they were usually limited to the respective record label, they fell short.

In a way, if it wasn't for downloading as well as record companies finally being more willing to compromise, this probably wouldn't have been possible.

From one of her earliest recording sessions where she sings "Miss Brown To You" to her final recordings where she does "I'm A Fool To Want You", all 42 tracks are classics.

As if that wasn't enough, you're also getting a DVD of rare TV and film appearances, a lot of which have only been seen in documentaries (except the clips from the "New Orleans" movie Holiday and Louis Armstrong starred in and available on Amazon and contains the "Symphony in Black" short) It also has a few rare audio tracks as well as an interactive timeline. The only criticism (other than it having a slightly higher price tag than it should) is that I would've wanted the clip of "Strange Fruit" to have been included on here (unless I've overlooked it or it's an Easter Egg). But considering there's so little footage of Billie Holliday otherwise, the DVD alone is worth getting the collection for people who have bought previous collections.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is a music lover of any age. If you own Jeff Buckley, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra (who was a huge fan of hers) or Nina Simone (or liked Queen Latifah's foray into jazz) this should ABSOLUTELY be part of your music library. If you want to hear what a torch song is and one of the most significant figures of jazz music let alone music, you'll find it here. If you want to hear what is considered one of the most important songs of the 20th Century, it's here.

This is one of the best collections of music ever assembled, and warrants why more artists from the past should be putting out CD/DVD combos... This package is by far THE standard allcompilations should go by, versus the 1 CD packaging done for the millionth time just to keep an artist's name alive.

I can't say enough good things about it.

Frank Sinatra is another artist that should have a comprehensive overview out like this one versusdifferent record companies putting out the different eras. It strengthens a legacy as well as putting something comprehensive for future fans to enjoy.

(Side note: A couple of compilations that I found are called "Billy Remembers Billie" and "The Milt Gabler Story", which comedian Billy Crystal put together (and has it as well). Crystal's uncle Milt Gabler produced Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and others like Louis Jordan and Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock". Crystal has talked about Holiday taking him to his first movie. There's something about personalized compilations that I like though...)

If there's one CD worth buying this year, this is the one. ... Read more

3. Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B000002LOI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 284
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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A 20-track collection from the Reprise years that tries to cover too much ground. Very Good Years sweeps from the early 1960s to 1979's "New York New York," focusing on the most obvious Sinatra standards. The watchword here isn't art but populism. That's not a problem, really--but it means that serious fans (or those aspiring to be) will be better served elsewhere. It would be a fine introduction for the casual music lover, but so would any decent collection. For a compact Reprise-era sampler, try either this one or something from the Greatest Hits series. --Gavin McNett ... Read more

Reviews (58)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get some kicks out of Frank
This is a great intro to Frank Sinatra, whether you've never heard of him or if you like his films or songs you've heard on the radio and want his stuff on disc. Released around the time of the Chairman's 75th birthday, this offers 20 of his best cuts from his 1960 to 1988 tenure at his Reprise label. You get bona-fide Reprise-era classics like "It Was a Very Good Year," "My Kind of Town," "My Way," Send in the Clowns," and "Theme from NEW YORK, NEW YORK," as well as remakes of Capitol or Columbia songs like "I Get a Kick out of You," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Love and Marriage," and "The Lady is a Tramp." Also included are two collaborations with Count Basie, "Fly Me to the Moon" and "The Best is Yet to Come," and two previously unreleased songs "The Last Dance" and a new version of "Nancy." This CD is a lot of fun to listen to, especially on the road, which is when I listen to it the most, or lounging at home late at night (should work just as well as IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS, which I have yet to purchase). Frankie is surely having fun and you should too.


5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, diverse collection showcasing Sinatra's greatness
Why was Frank Sinatra considered one of the 20th century's greatest singers (some say THE). Sinatra Reprise The Very Good Years is one of the key Sinatra CDs that'll show you precisely why.

Sinatra fans will love this collection. And young people who are interested in singing-non rock (in his final years Sinatra's biggest fans included some of the rock's biggest names, who publically attested to his influence and their admiration for him) can find in this recording not only a good role musical model but proof (as rock's Bruce Springsteen now also clearly shows with The Rising) that a teen idol CAN age, create, innovate and wear well musically. Talent doesn't evaporate at age 30 or 40.

The 20 tracks on this CD are somewhat unusual since they're incredibly diverse, include some re-makes of his earlier Capitol hits and even a "live" performance in front of an audience. Usually you can't find a collection that gives you the studio and live recordings in one. This CD's songs reflect the 60s/70s/and-yes-80s Sinatra, the show-stopping singer who had survived being a washed-up teen idol and had been born again in the early 50s as a "swinger" using only the best arrangers and orchestras at Capitol Records. By the 60s/70s and 80s Sinatra had managed to pierce the rock charts and get extensive radio play as many of his easy listening/jazz contemporaries vanished from the airwaves, not due to lack of talent but due to musical/demographic changes. But Sinatra's work, talent and song selection were so overpowering that his songs not only were played but SOLD while still getting critical rave reviews.

My favorites here include the often-imitated theme from New York New York, ending in his final sock-em chorus where with gleeful pizazz he elongates the word "annnnnnnnnnnd"; My Kind of Town (Sinatra's zestful ode to Chicago, from one of his films); I've Got You Under My Skin (a slightly inferior remake of the1950s Capitol records version with the same lengendarily explosive Nelson Riddle arrangement); Strangers in the Night (a song he didn't really like and barely sung in concert); My Way (matched only by Elvis' unique but equally rousing version); That's Life (an almost harsh 70s-style rock-blues influenced number that he almost shouts); the Lady is a Tramp (Sinatra gave Cole Porter standards new life).

There are many others. Fans of Tv's "Married With Children" will find his remake of Love and Marriage, the theme song on that show. But there is one song on this CD that I think is WORTH THE WHOLE COST of the collection: The Summer Wind. Here he returned to his 1950s innovative roots, producing an original version of this song artistically satisfying as it builds to its emotional show-stopping conclusion....with Sinatra then punctuating it with a final, unusually low, soft phrase. It's a homerun.

Sinatra perfected this kind of singing. The Reprise label was his own and, as usual, he used state-of-the-art and only-the-best musicians and arrangers. STRONGLY recommended for Sinatra fans, young people who want to learn why Sinatra was considered great, and for young people interested in learning this kind of singing or using some of its techniques in their own music. You cannot learn from a better master than Sinatra -- and he has left a ton of great CD "instruction books" behind.

5-0 out of 5 stars My First CD Ever
I dare anybody to name a singer as timeless as Frank Sinatra. As much as I love the Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elton John, The Who, The Four Tops, The Four Seasons, Barry Manilow and many more, their legacy can't hold a candle to Sinatra.

The 1990 cd "The Reprise Collection" holds a special place in my heart. It was the first cd I ever heard. In fact, I played it so much I had to buy 4 copies because I wore it out. There's only a few cds you can say that about.

Every classic Sinatra recorded on Reprise is here. Whether you enjoy "Fly Me To The Moon", "My Way", "Strangers In The Night", "New York, New York" or "That's Life", it's hard to be disappoinetd by the song selection. There isn't a lot of rare stuff here. Thre's a selection of previously released but relatively unknown songs here, such as his haunting renditon of "Send In The Clown" or a latterday recording of his 1940s' hit "Nancy (With The Laughing Face)".

Aside from the number 1 hit Nancy Sinatra duet "Something Stupid", this set leaves nothing out. I sugest this, as well as "The Main Event" and "Sinatra 80: Live In Concert".

5-0 out of 5 stars My Kind Of Cd
In the last 13 years, I have owned countless Frank Sinatra cds, videos, books and dvds. But out of the all the merchandise I own, 1990's "Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years" is my favorite. It holds a lot of emotional value for me as well. It was the first Sinatra cd I ever owned. As a matter of fact, I had purchase at least 3 additional copies of the cd because the first one got worn out because I played it so much.

This cd has all the good stuff on here. There's nothing really rare on here, though "The Last Dance" and his 1961 recording of "Night And Day" (a song he recorded several time between 1940 and 1977, the year he released the disco version) remain underrated gems in the vast Sinatra catalogue. But songs like "The Way You Look Tonight", "Luck Be A Lady", "Fly Me To The Moon", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Strangers In The Night", "That's Life", "The Summer Wind", "My Way" and "Theme From New York, New York" have become firmly engraved as American classics. Granted, a few well - known songs from this period -"Cycles" and the smash duet "Somethin' Stupid" with Nancy Sinatra - are missing. But still, it's a great collection of the most timeless music in pop history, made that way by the most timeless singer who ever lived.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Get A Kick Out Of This CD
I have owned hundreds of Frank Sinatra albums in my lifetime, but 1990's "Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years" holds a lot of emotional value for me, since it was the first Sinatra cd I heard let alone owned.

Covering the years 1961 to 1980, this cd has all the best. Songs like "Fly Me To The Moon" (my favorite), "That's Life", "Strangers In The Night", "New York, New York" and "My Way" have become firmly engraved in pop culture history. And songs like "Strangers", "The Summer Wind", "Send In The Clowns" and "Nancy" evoke evocative images set by Frank's mellow voice, to many the most recognizable voice of all time. Ultimately, it's that voice that trimuphs overall, whether it be a ballad or a great uptempo number.

Buy this cd whether you're a newcomer or a longtime Sinatra fanatic who cannot get enough. ... Read more

4. The Very Best of Frank Sinatra
list price: $31.98
our price: $25.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002NFI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 230
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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A great, comprehensive collection of Sinatra's most popular Reprise tracks, and worth having for any number of reasons, Very Best Of features tons of familiar hits--but requires a caveat for casual Sinatra fans. When Sinatra formed Reprise, he began to re-record many of the sides he'd released on Capitol, in an attempt to transfer his catalog to the new label. It was a smooth move, but his re-recorded versions seldom replaced the originals in the way he'd hoped. And many of the familiar songs here are Capitol remakes. It'd be a task to compare the track listing here with that of the Capitol Years set, but if you want to get serious about your Sinatra, that's the way to go. If you're just a music fan, this is a gem. --Gavin McNett ... Read more

Reviews (60)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good companion to "The Capitol Years"
Although both "The Very Best of Frank Sinatra" and "The Capitol Years" qualify as greatest hits compilations, Sinatra fans would be well served to own both sets.

Even though many of the selections on this 2-disk set are remakes of the earlier Capitol recordings, there is enough new stuff to make "The Very Best" worth the extra investment.

"A Foggy Day", "The Way You Look Tonight", "The Summer Wind", "That's Life", "It Was a Very Good Year", "Wave", "Luck Be a Lady" and "New York, New York" are unique to this collection (as well as the execrable "Strangers in the Night"). And I prefer the Reprise rendition of "Night and Day", which Sinatra sings as a slow torch song. On the Capitol recording, it's done as a rerun of "I've Got You under My Skin." The more upbeat reading of "Witchcraft" also suits my tastes better than the earlier version. On the other hand, the introduction-only "Stardust" stikes me as strange.

On the whole, I prefer the Capitol recordings, even though the sound quality is somewhat lacking. And of course, there are simply more songs on the 3-disk Capitol collection.

Still, I'd strongly recommend this compendium to old Sinatra fans and those less familiar with his work. Flaws and all, it's classic Sinatra!

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST of "the best"- The way you remember Frank at HIS best
A RARE collection indeed! Of the 3 dozen-plus Sinatra recordings i own this is the one i keep coming back to time after time. Not only a SUPER selection of 40 of his most popular classics (notably served up in a thoughtfully-ordered 2-CD songlist) there's another bonus hideen here as well: many of these tracks are stand-alone best evers. This is the way you remember Sinatra - smooth, rich and suave!

This is THE VINTAGE of vintage Frank - recordings waxed almost exclusively from 1960 and on - and thus, unlike so many of the dreaded "best" compilations, this set spares us the litany of tired "same-old" recordings in lieu of the better swingin', energetic (and otherwise hard to find) takes of familiar numbers like "Tender Trap", "Don'cha Go Away Mad", "Witchcraft" and "Come Fly with Me" -- it's such a koo-koo day!!

REPRISE's "The Very Best of Frank Sinatra" would make a teriffic FIRST dip into Sinatra for many -- and for my part, if faced with tossing all of my Sinatra CDs but one, this one would be the LAST to go.

1-0 out of 5 stars ok
He is ok, but he blatantly copied AC/DC. I mean Angus & Malcolm invented smooth lounge singing way before Frank Sinatra.

5-0 out of 5 stars The eternal crooner
Frankie was sociologically the man who fought against all the odds and obstacles , he overpassed them and won. He acquired the status of living legend just because he knew engage all a whole generation of people , he din't only sing to the golden age , but he took the place of Bing Crosby and made the arrangements to be in the fashion mood with the post war generation. His velvet , expressive an eloquent voice he added his presence in the screen (From here to the eternity , the man with the golden arm ,Manchurian candidate Von Ryan's express) and showed also his skills as actor.
To talk about all the innovative devices that Frankie made in the artistic world would overcome that brief review.
These Capitol years defined a style and melted to that golden generation of crooners as Nat King Cole, Bobby Darin , Dean Martin, Tony Bennet, to name the most remarkable.
He survived to the rock new sound and he knew how to keep the link with a main social target without sacrifice any particle of his craft.
Frankie was a powerful influence for the sixties generation , think in Tom Jones for instance or Engelbert Humperdinck.
I would need a book to talk about the huge influence that even still Sinatra is making now, in this age.
Acquire this set and don't forget that Frankie was also a blessed guy . He married with Ava Gardner ,a cosmic beauty.
And above all think in this point , the portrait made for Mario Puzzo in the Godfather was meangliness due the myth was built!.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Standard By Which All Others Are Judged: Frank Sinatra!
When it comes to the music of the twentieth century, there are many musical presences that made tremendous contributions to the foundation, development, and elevation of American popular music and the greatness it has achieved, but no one and I mean no one has had a greater influence on the art form or impact on the public through the medium than the master, Frank Sinatra. Never before or since have we seen a single personality dominate the publics attention for such a lengthy period of time, (almost 60 years) with his music, movies, TV appearances, concert performances, and Rat Pack adventures. Even more so today, his massive body of work is cherished and enjoyed by countless numbers of adoring fans worldwide and rightfully so, he left us with an treasure chest full of priceless gems that is unequalled, at least in this century.

"The Very Best of Frank Sinatra" is a masterful compilation of his greatest hits that any music lover is sure to enjoy. There are many remakes of earlier recordings that Frank did with Capitol on this CD, several of which I like better than the originals, but my all time favorite Sinatra songs are also included on this CD and those are the ones I can't live without. When Frank starts to swing to "That's Life", "The Way You Look Tonight", or "The Best Is Yet To Come", you can feel his passion for the music pour out through the speakers and you are engulfed by his perfect sense of swing. Never has there been a more perfect version of "Night and Day", performed like only Sinatra could with his perfect tones and exquisite phrasing. "Summer Wind" is flawless, and there is no other song I know of that will lift you up off the deck and fill your sails with wind than the exhilarating "Theme from New York, New York".

I feel that this mixture of classic Sinatra songs is as near to perfect as you will ever find on a two CD set. Those of you who are already Sinatra lovers probably have many of these tunes on other Sinatra CDs, but I really like the way these tunes are arranged in order on these CDs and the quality is probably better than earlier recordings so I would still suggest you get this CD set also. For those of you who are just beginning to discover the musical genius that is Sinatra, this is a must have CD set no questions asked. After listening to this collection of songs you will surely be coming back for more. I guarantee it!

I recently discovered a new contemporary crooner named Monte Procopio that I also enjoy. He sings with a real passion for the music and his new CD, "Monte Procopio "Swingin' With Style" features a 13 piece band that really swings and deserves a listen. ... Read more

5. The World Of Nat King Cole
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Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Nat King Cole's death in 1965, this compilation is the CD companion of an excellent DVD/documentary. Produced with the blessing of his estate, this disc is a thorough survey of his timeless genius--all recorded on the Capitol label. It captures his sumptuous and soothing tenor voice crooning on the pop tunes he made famous, like the ethereal "Nature Boy," the melancholy "Mona Lisa," and the bouncy "Straighten Up and Fly Right," and "Route 66." It also features Cole's often-overlooked skills as an Earl Hines-style pianist. "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)," and "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup," attest to his international appeal, and see if you can keep a dry eye when you listen to Natalie Cole's posthumous, digitally-enhanced duet with her father on "Unforgettable." From strings to big bands, Nat King Cole is never out of style. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

SPECIAL CONTENT: Watch Free Clips about Nat "King" Cole

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Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Cole Compilation
This CD is a great starting point for anyone who is only casually acquainted with Nat's legendary career.Twenty-eight tracks, great audio quality, and terrific liner notes by Natalie Cole make "The World of Nat King Cole " a one-of-a-kind bargain.The songs are pretty much in chronological order from the 1940's through the 60's until Nat's untimely death in February of 1965.It's a classy 40th - anniversary salute to one of the greatest pop/jazz vocalists of the 20th-century.Cole, Sinatra, Bennett, and Torme form the Hall of Fame of the most brilliant interpreters of pop standards, and this CD is a worthy addition to that collective discography.Essential, five stars, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

5-0 out of 5 stars His Warmth Shines Through
Nat King Cole projects such warmth in performance.Although this project recognizes the 40th anniversary of his passing, he seems be eternally present through these marvelous recordings.Sisters Natalie and Carole Cole have worked hard to bring this project to fruition; and the result projects their love and care.Seeing the photograph of Nat with John Kennedy and the telegram from Martin Luther King Jr. highlights the importance of this performer during his lifetime.The fact that his brilliance reads to a new generation 40 years later testifies to his enduring legacy.

The music here is so consistently brilliant that it's hard to pick favorites.The whole CD is a highlight.At the top of my own personal top ten recently has been Chris Botti's instrumental version of "When I Fall In Love."To hear King's vocals with the lyric is a real treat, "When I give my heart, it will be completely; or I'll never give my heart."This is the type track that makes romantics everywhere melt!:)The instrumental version of "Nature Boy" in the film "Angel Eyes" where Jim Caviezel suffering from amnesia suddenly picks up a horn and plays this song impressed this melody indelibly on my mind.Then to hear it again in Moulin Rouge was another treat.This version of Nat King Cole's fully highlights the wistful and gorgeous melody.The soft-shoe rhythm of "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" puts a residual smile on my face.Newer singers like Peter Cincotti or Michael Buble who hearken back to this era have their exceptional talent and ability, but Cole will never be matched or surpassed for being good & cool, as Isaac Hayes notes in the booklet.Billy May's arrangement of "Let's Face the Music & Dance" bubbles joyfully & irrepressibly.The Cole penned "Straighten Up & Fly Right" is so delightfully silly and serious at the same time!Bert Kaempfert's "L-O-V-E" is so thoroughly familiar, but exquisitely delightful in Mr. Cole's hands.This set sparkles with the remastering and Nat King Cole will long be a cherished part of our recorded history.Bravo!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nat KING Cole...The name says it all...
I've just gotten into the King and I am glad I did, better late than never, right? This album is PERFECT for any newcomer and even veteran fans. Most of these songs I've heard but only covers of including "Smile" and "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas." I was amazed at how this album is one of those great albums you don't have to skip over any songs. Each song is beautiful and it really brings a positive light and mood when you listen.

I was going to create a list of the tracks and rate them individually but the majority receive 5 out of 5 stars so it's pointless.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great collection, Timeless Music
The World of Nat King Cole is a really great CD. Being that I am in my twenties, I admit, the most I knew about Nat King Cole musically was "Mona Lisa" and "Unforgettable," but the "World of Nat King Cole" CD opened up a whole new world of Nat King Cole Music to me.I found that songs like "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "(Get Your Kicks On)Route 66" songs that have been remade and included in commericals were songs sung by the King Cole Trio.The music on this CD is so pop and upbeat.The sounds of the horns come alive through your speakers especially on songs like "Day In-Day Out."Other songs I enjoyed were "L-O-VE," "Too Young," and "Thou Swell."I enjoyed the whole CD to tell you the truth and so did my kids.This is timeless music.The CD iteself includes 28 Nat King Cole songs, including the duet with his daughter Natalie, "Unforgettable."This is a great collection at a great price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best NAT COLE Collection out there!
Nat is among the very greatest pop performers of all time! As a jazz pianist, he was the top. His later vocal career is surpassed in consistant quality by no one! In fact, only Sinatra recorded such consistly great material during the 1950's and early 1960's. When Nat died in his mid 40's in 1965, his great sound passed on too, but luckily for the world his recordings will always live on! This CD has most of his very famous hits, ballads and toe-tappers, along with some lessor known, equally fine, songs. Check out his version of SMILE, the best ever. Also, ORANGE COLORED SKY, ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE. LOVE, and my favorite YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM, just a few among the hundreds of his best, 2 dozen which are featured here! For those who say "Just another Company making $$ on another 'Best of' Collection", I say, Great! Performers like Nat come along maybe once a generation, and his recordings are as timeless as anyone's, and can be appreciated by all ages. By the way, the late Ray Charles was greatly influenced by Nat, and his earliest recordings are almost carbon copies, until Ray realized he needed to initiate his own sound! ... Read more

6. Louis Armstrong - All-Time Greatest Hits
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Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (48)

5-0 out of 5 stars All-Time Greatest Hits Indeed!!
This CD is wonderful! Every song is excellent, every tune fun and nice to listen to.

All of Armstrong's best known songs are present from "Hello Dolly" to "Mack the Knife." One of my all time favorite songs from Armstrong is on this CD as well: "Sittin' in the Sun." Moreover, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" a song which also appears on the "Sleepless in Seattle" soundtrack, and "What a Wonderful Life," probably one of Louis most famous songs are present as well.

As always Louis has a very distinctive voice which sounds great with all the tunes. The mix contains ragtime style, to pure Jazz, to big band style. Every song on this CD is great! There are no bad apples in the bunch! If you are a big Jazz fan, then you will not want to be without this CD. This CD always puts a smile on my face when I listen to it because Louis' music is so fun to hear. This one of my favorite CDs in my overall collection!





5-0 out of 5 stars Louis Armstrong Was The Epitome Of Jazz And Always Will Be
The above caption comes from the seven pages of wonderful liner notes written by Will Friedwald, the author of Jazz Singing, and is attributed to the great Duke Ellington. Who, it is safe to say, knew what he was talking about when it came to Jazz.

Interspersed with the notes are a few more photographs of Louis and several LP/45/78 reproductions. A discography of the contents completes the package, although chart performances are not recorded.

Louis, of course, was selling thousands upon thousands of records long before there were charts, and after the advent of the Most-Played Juke Box Race Records charts [now R&B charts) in the mid-1940s, he had hits with I Wonder (#5 in 1945) and The Frim Fram Sauce (# 4 in 1946 in a duet with Ella Fitgerald). That same year he and Ella cracked the pop charts with You Won't Be Satisfied Until You Break My Heart (# 10) backed with Bob Haggart & His Orchestra. None of these, unfortunately, are included here.

In 1949 he made it to both charts simultaneously with That Lucky Old Sun [track 7] on which he began a lucrative association with Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra [# 14 on what had become known by then as the Most-Played Juke Box Rhythm And Blues Records charts] and # 19 pop. That, incidentally, would be the last time he would chart on anything related to R&B.

From there until 1966 he would chalk up 18 more pop hits, mostly for Decca, but also for the Capitol, Columbia [Mack The Knife], Kapp, ABC, and Mercury labels. In this volume you get all but the # 30 1950 duet with Ella, Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No), Now You Has Jazz, a 1956 # 88 duet with Bing on Capitol from the film High Society, So Long Dearie (# 56 in 1964 for Mercury), and Mame (# 81 in 1966 for Mercury).

What A Wonderful World first charted at # 12 on the Adult Contemporary Charts in 1966 for ABC, and in 1968 a re-release "bubbled under" on the Billboard pop charts at # 116. However, following the release of the film Good Morning Vietnam it reached # 32 pop in 1988 for A&M, and in 1999 the same recording, overdubbed by the sax of Kenny G, reached # 53 for the Arista label.

The sound quality on all tracks is superb and this is one of the best CDs on the market covering his hit singles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a Very Good cd listen to 11

5-0 out of 5 stars Smiles and Tears: Perfect Introducton to Jazz
Louis Armstrong brought such emotions to my music collection. My, a child grew up on rap, fell in love with and old dead man and his beautiful songs. He introducted me to jazz music and expanded my horizons.

That was three years ago. I now am a jazz fanatic. Louis brought my jazz life out of the womb. This ablum lacks the great early jazz recorded by Satchmo and some increditable duets with Ella Fitsgerald and many more. But one CD can only be so long and like I said a perfect introduction to jazz music specifically Louis Armstrong. God Bless and RIP. ... Read more

7. Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits
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Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

This is the longest selling album in the history of country music. Released in 1967, this collection of a dozen gemsfrom country music's greatest female voice raced to #5 onthe country charts upon release and has spent over 630weeks on the country catalog charts since reissue on CD in1988. Digitally remastered/HDCD. MCA. 2003. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fall In Love With Patsy All Over Again
Breathtaking. Chilling. Awe inspiring. Unparalleled. What else can I say about this album? Like most Patsy Cline fans, I own a copy of the original 1988 CD release of Patsy Cline's "12 Greatest Hits." So, why would I need to buy this edition? The advances in remastering technology that have been reflected in more recent compilations of Patsy's recordings intrigued me enough to see what MCA Nashville could accomplish with the best selling album in Patsy's catalogue. From the moment "Walkin' After Midnight" begins playing, you realize this CD is like no other Patsy Cline album currently available. Utilizing the original two and three track Decca recordings, Engineer Bob Ludwig used state of the art digital technology to "bring Patsy into the 21st Century." The result: you would swear that Patsy recorded these tracks just yesterday. The nuances that can be heard are incredible. The brush strokes on the drums in "I Fall To Pieces." The glide of the bows across the strings in "Sweet Dreams." The catch in Patsy's voice and that indescribable breath at the end of "Faded Love." Just absolutely amazing. For collectors, the original 1967 Decca LP cover art has been restored for this edition. Also, the CD booklet includes the original 1967 liner notes, the liner notes from the 1988 reissue, and a brand new interview with Harold Bradley, who played on most all of Patsy's recording sessions and is the brother of Producer Owen Bradley. If you're beginning a Patsy Cline collection, this is the album to start with. If you already own "12 Greatest Hits," you'll want to add this to your collection. You'll fall in love with Patsy all over again.

5-0 out of 5 stars This remastered collection sounds better than ever!
This Patsy Cline primer was first released in 1967, and its first CD incarnation in 1988 was acceptable but Patsy's voice (we'll get to that in a minute) sounded muted and lost. What a nice surprise (even though I shelled out money for the 1988 CD) it is to hear a much improved mix that brings Patsy to the front.

This CD is a must for casual listeners of her country-soul sound as it showcases a musical powerhouse that knocks you off your feet with its subtle intensity and melody. She does not resort to the histrionics of other artists and she knew that sometimes you can express much more by being less showy.

This collection includes a dozen simply brilliant songs from Cline's catalog. The biggest and best-known hits are here, such as: "Walkin' After Midnight," "Crazy," "Sweet Dreams," "He's Got You", and some that you may not have heard before ("You're Stronger Than Me", "She's got you," and "Why Can't He Be You)."

Patsy in an amazing artist who was a pioneer by setting a well-deserved place on the table for female country artists. In short, if you're a casual listener looking for a good single-disc Patsy Cline collection, for more hard-core fans there is the amazing 4 set box set titled "The Patsy Cline Collection", which gathers it all.

Some professional reviewers have been a little harsh about this CD in that its cover is exactly the same as when it was first released and it has the original notes. I actually love that. You'll also find an updated perspective of how her work has been perceived since this collection was initially released. A no-brainer 5 stars if there ever was one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfection.
I'm not a country music fan but if all country sounded like this then there wouldn't be so many jokes about it. Cline's voice is amazing and the range of emotion she conveys in her simple, poignant intonations overpower a million "I love you's" from the pop songs of today. She is clear, elegant, and haunting. I can't say enough about her. It's too bad that she didn't live longer; just think of what she could have accomplished. My personal favorite is "I Fall to Pieces" but there isn't a bad song to be found on the record.

4-0 out of 5 stars I fall to pieces...each time I hear Patsy Cline
I have always loved Patsy Cline. This is one of my favorite of her tapes. It covers most of her greatest hits. I own at least four of her albums including this one, The Legendary Patsy Cline, Showcase, and The Last Sessions. I also own the DVD of Sweet Dreams.

Here is why I did not give this album five stars. I think that "She's Got You," and the rest of the songs following it are pretty poor songs to follow "Back in Baby's Arms." That is one of my favorite of her songs. I even had it on my answering machine for awhile.

5-0 out of 5 stars Immortal
The description of Cline that comes to mind for me every time one of her songs is played or even just her name comes up, was this one by David McGee in the 1992 Rolling Stone album guide: "Kitty Wells had retreated to less controversial ground after her 1952 hit, 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels' had found a sizable audience for its distaff point of view; Cline, on the other hand remained a bulwark of feminine fortitude to the end of her life."

And this strength is apparent in every song the woman sings, no matter how much heartbreak the lyrics include. Patsy would probably reject the word 'feminist' and all the negative connotations its picked up over the years, but if we limited its meaning to that of unshakable confidence and self-awareness it would certainly encompass Patsy. Her every performance suggests a woman keenly aware of the scope of her talent, and she applied like the unerring pro she was.

Songs like "She's Got You," "I Fall To Pieces" and especially "Crazy" were substantially crossing over to the pop charts and pulling in even young rock and roll fans like I already was by that time. Had she lived, Patsy would surely have continued this accomplishment to even greater heights. Her first No. 1 pop hit was only one or two records away, no doubt. But once I heard her, even this 50-year-old R&B fan knew the Real Deal when I came upon it, and Patsy Cline is IT. ... Read more

8. Live From The Sands
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Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great 'New' Dino Concert
A great find - a 'new' dino concert! This one's nice because there's a lot of his concert patter too - few of his mid 60's concerts are around intact, so this is a nice find! The songs, as usual, are terrific but the comedy is a lot of fun to hear too.
Sound quality is really good on this one too!
Wish they'd find more original dino material for us!


4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Dino... but a little disappointed
First, Dino was one of the best live performers ever bar none! But why oh why, couldn't he come up with some new one liners in the six years or so that his act was captured on tape?If you've heard his Sands concert from February 9th, 1964, or around there.. (the dates vary since the concert is in the public domain and has been issued for years under a variety of different titles), then you've heard this show already.The songs are a bit different, the phrasing is different, but the act is essentially the same.Included are the same old stories about traveling to London to star in "Road To Hong Kong"(a joke he'd been using since 1962!), going to Hawaii,and getting *Lai-d*... get it!?, as well as his politically incorrect humor ex: "I'm unlucky... if they ever cut a woman in half... I'll get the part that eats!"
Then there's the sound quality.. now I love Dino, and I'm grateful for any recordings that are out there... This concert is listenable, and enjoyable.. but when I bought it, I was expecting the same sound quality that was delivered in the two Rat Pack shows, Villa Venice 1962, and At the Sands 1963.Both those shows were professionally recorded by Frank Sinatra's Record label Reprise.. and used several microphones to capture IN STEREO, the ambiance of the room, the audience, as well as the performers on stage.I was expecting the same from this recording... perhaps a Dean Martin performance, recorded for an album but never released.But it appears this is just a reel to reel tape that someone left running on stage on April 4th, 1967.The recording is in mono, though the fidelity is quite good... but it lacks the energy that a stereo recording might have had, if the audience had been included in it.
The packaging is slick.. although why do record labels insist on creating those gatefold paper sleeves for CD's?They scuff easily and don't protect the disc from dust and debris like the jewell cases do.. knock it off guys!
All in all, this concert is for big Dino fans only... I would reccomend starting out with the Rat Pack Live at the Sands.. and work your way to this. ... Read more

9. Pure Ella: The Very Best of Ella Fitzgerald
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Sales Rank: 735
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Get Ready to be Blown Away! Amazing!
I stumbled upon this collection by accident and was totally blown away. I don't think a better ever singer ever lived than Ella, and these songs are one amazing performance after another. A lot of fun!

She opens with the swinging "Mack The Knife" and moves on to one amazing performance after another. Her version of "Misty" is unbelievable. You have to hear it.

Listen to her completely destroy any other contenders to "best singer of all time" with astonishing scatting on "How High The Moon." It's almost unreal, but actually recorded live in Berlin.

You have to hear this CD!!


5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Taste Of Ella
Ella's recording library is immense and one CD cannot begin to paint a picture of this lady's talent. But this album will give you a very good taste of Ella. The album begins with "Mack The Knife", not one of my favorite songs. But Ella gives a great performance, enhanced greatly, by forgetting the words and ad-libbing. She sings that she can't remember the words to the second verse and just starts making up something and it results in a very good time for the listener. A great way to start off this album, it's fun and enjoyable. That was, indeed, pure Ella.

"Blue Skies", "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "The Boy From Ipanema", and "Over the Rainbow" will take your breath away. Ella's smooth, singing always melts me. And if it's scat you want, "You'll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini)", "Take The A-Train", and the classic "Lady Be Good" will leave you wanting more.

This is a great collection and I prefer the collections that mix up the variety of her recordings rather than showcase only one style.

It's a must if you want a taste of pure Ella.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best.
Ella is without question the greatest American singer of all time. Buy this one, buy any of them, buy them all. She never made a bad album. She opens her mouth and heaven flows. I would also suggest any of the biographies, including some on dvd with performances. This diva was, IS, the real thing - with a heart to match the voice.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Fella Loves Ella
Ella is an extraordinary and refreshing exception to most Jazz vocalists. Many Jazz singers have a very bad technique, producing their sound from their throats in an unhealthy manner. Ella, however, has the technique and stamina of a classical singer. This why her career peaked in her 40's and was able to sing until very late in her life.

Her singing is pure joy. She never strains or manipulates her vocal chords to produce that gorgeous, rich voice that just melts your heart out. The ease and beauty with which she sings, frankly, makes me question her humanity.

If you want the best of Ella Fitzgerald, THIS CD is it. It is the premiere comprehensive single-CD sampling of her career. The recording features some of her best collaborations with arrangers (Nelson Riddle, Billy May, etc.) and performers (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.)

The musical selections are excellent. The Verve label has chosen a balance of 9 high-energy swing numbers and 9 romantic ballads.

Some remarkable swingers are MACK THE KNIFE, a live recording in Berlin (1960) where she blanks out on a verse and has to improvise. I'm smiling thinking about it. Another is HOW HIGH THE MOON, in which she scats incredibly for about 6 minutes. Throughout the rendition she adds (and revises) brief tidbits of random American standard songs, like SMOKE GETS IN YOU EYES: "They ask me how I knew my true love was true/ I have course replied, 'Something here inside...SWEAT gets in my eyes!" Ella enjoys entertaining while she sings, and her infectious interpretations pull the listener in; especially on the 5 live recordings on this CD, where one finds himself laughing along with the audience at times.

Stunning ballads include MISTY (with her musically sensitive accompanist Paul Smith). Wow! Her lyricism, intonations, and diction are impeccable. Here she sings in a hushed soft fashion that is like she's whispering in your ear. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW features its great, not often-heard verse, and such sincere, expressive singing.

Buy this now. Ella will really impress you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Now this is the yummiest.
Ella is so truly talented and her voice is so lovey...I can't get enough of you Ella! I pray that God himself will loan me your voice long enough to satisfy my hearts wish to sing like the Queen, her Majesty, Ella Fitzgella. Alright, I'll settle for the CD. ... Read more

10. Love Songs
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Sales Rank: 1683
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Splendid experience
I used these songs to play at my parents' recent 50th anniversay party. I synchronized it with silent home movies from over the decades. Friends and relatives were in tears with joy and emotion. Special emphasis to tracks 1, 6, and 12....very touching songs performed by a man gifted with an exceptional voice. My highest recommendation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Gift That Lives On
A very special gift my mother gave me was having Nat King Cole's music playing in the house as I grew up. I can't say that there's ever been a time in my life when I didn't crave to hear his voice. I was ecstatic when I saw this CD and the songs that were included. It's a vacation for the mind, body and spirit to play this CD and melt into a chair. Nat King Cole has blessed us with beautiful music that wakes the heart and will live on as does the beauty of spring.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are an old fan of Nat or yet introduced
If you enjoy songs of love and warmth Please, please new or old fan of Nat purchase this album you will cherish it. That's a promise !

5-0 out of 5 stars He's the man
I never heard an album from him that I did not like, except from the "old" sound-like his "Greatest Hits". The sound on this album is excellent, you will love it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Words fail me...
There is really nothing more I could say about this man, his voice and the music -- it's all been said before. But I will say this: to have all these songs on one CD is something that is long overdue. You get 24 gorgeous, timeless classics sung as only Nat King Cole can sing them..."There Goes My Heart"..."Stardust"..."Let There Be Love"..."More"..."The More I See You"..."Stay As Sweet As You Are"..."Autumn Leaves"...WOW!! And that's only the beginning! Instead of me shuffling through my HUGE collection of NKC material to hear all these tunes, I can put on this one CD and let it play all the way through. These are REAL love songs, not the sorry, imitation excuses for love songs that you'll hear on the radio these days. Creates a perfect mood for relaxing with that special someone, or when you want to unwind after a hard day on the job. Nat does the job everytime! Highly recommended. ... Read more

11. Only You
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Sales Rank: 309
Average Customer Review: 3.89 out of 5 stars
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Having long been unfairly dismissed as an ingenious Sinatra impersonator in some critical quarters, it's easy to see why Harry Connick, Jr., has been reluctant to record the sort of pop standards cover album that's become the career refuge of rock artists as diverse as Bryan Ferry and Rod Stewart. But that's exactly what the New Orleans pop revivalist has done here on a slate of familiar chestnuts from the 1950s and '60s. But there's a notable conflict at work here between Connick the arranger/conductor and Harry the pop crooner. The former seems eager to infuse his charts with the sort of restless, reinventive musicality he's displayed on recent works as diverse as the stage foray Thou Shalt Notand the neo-bop jazz instrumental collectionit inspired, Other Hours,bringing to bear arranging influences as diverse as Ray Charles and Nelson Riddle. But the oft Sinatra-smitten vocalist cruising over those masterfully stripped-down arrangements and bluesy, laconic tempos still seems sometimes reluctant to step out of The Chairman's long shadows--and occasionally basks in them, as on the repeated "Jilly" references in "My Blue Heaven." Still, it's artistically head and shoulders above most marketing-driven retro collections, an album that should delight the Connick faithful with its jazzy arrangements and bittersweet takes on the title track and "I Only Have Eyes For You"--and maybe win a few new converts willing to forgive the periodic genuflection to Sinatra. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (79)

4-0 out of 5 stars Harry's "Only You" -- Truly Special!!
I was so happy to learn that Harry released his new "Only You" CD so soon after the magical "Harry for the Holidays" Christmas album. From Christmas songs to love songs, Harry really knows how to please. The songs on this new CD... "For Once In My Life", "You Don't Know Me", "More," may have been recorded before but no one has ever made them sound so fresh, up to date, and romantic as Harry has. I am completely captivated by his musical arrangements and can't stop listening to this CD. The song "All Of These Things" hypnotizes me! Thanks Harry for giving us this special gift so soon after the gift of your Christmas album.

4-0 out of 5 stars "great choice of love songs ~ Harry Connick Jr"
Columbia Records presents a long awaited album "Only You", featuring a pleasant surprise and very good performance by Mr. Harry Connick Jr. ~ it's simple, first rate and the majority of the release is very good. This twelve track album is an enjoyable collection of romantic standards, some over six decades of timeless classics.

Whatever the mood "SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME", Harry is truly warm of heart ~ "YOU DON'T KNOW ME" also enjoyed the way Jerry Vale and Ray Charles performed this one ~ "GOOD NIGHT MY LOVE (PLESANT DREAMS)", doesn't get any better than this one ~ "ONLY YOU" and "MY PRAYER", two songs from the past recorded by The Platters, but our crooner has bridged the gap of generations and what comes out is really a great interpreation.

Connick conveys an atmosphere of awe, much as we feel when he or she has fallen in love with someone ~ but there are a few cues that drag on and on. Connick needs to move on with his arrangements, just give a listen to Michael Buble's latest album. Buble's style is crystal clear with sparkling arrangements as the ballads send a happy positive message and mood. Remember Connick gave us this impression...gotta love it!

Total Time: 58:27 on 12 Tracks ~ Sony 90551 ~ (2/03/2004)

1-0 out of 5 stars Off key
What was HCJ thinking? Looking at the titles of these songs, they are great, but the arrangements are all wrong and his voice just cannot hit the right key. You will find yourself actually saying, "come on, hit it, Harry". But he just can't get it right. This is overall a terrible effort. Hopefully the REAL Harry Connick Jr will be back.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alabama Fan
Harry Connick does what only Harry can do using creative orchestration, inspired arrangements, and haunting jazz melodies to bring the golden years new glory. This is an album for all ages. The old will reminisce and the young will find a new venue. Timeless, ageless and cutting edge all in one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only You
This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. The songs are timeless. Mr. Connick's voice is timeless. A great CD all around. ... Read more

12. Capitol Collectors Series: Louis Prima
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Asin: B000002UWF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1854
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Band leader and lounge kingpin Louis Prima will be best be known for the classic, "Just a Gigolo," immortalized by David Lee Roth for a whole new generation of swingers. But Prima's output went much further: in his day he recorded for Capitol, acted in a movie or two, even owned a golf course. Prima's genius is infectious: lounge, swing, and Dixieland all fuse together into medleys that are fun, dance-worthy, and upbeat. Prima's duets with Keely Smith are the obvious highlights here: "That Ol' Black Magic," "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!," and "I've Got You Under My Skin" are essential Prima tracks. Sure, the cheese factor occasionally runs high, but it is a fun trip. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars The joy of life!
This disk rocks, and is packed with great, upbeat music. It brims with humor and spirit. Even though it runs for well over an hour, I feel let down when it's over.

Unlike many of the people who have posted here before me, I have no particular interest in the swing revival, and I did not come across Louis Prima via Brian Setzer. Brian Setzer is, however, as good a link to Louis Prima as any. Prima was a mysterious figure who played heavily in the otherwise fictional 50's period Italian food film "Big Night" (1996). Intrigued, I bought this disk after seeing "Big Night" in the theatre.

True, the song "Beep Beep" is dated and corny, but it differs from the rest of the disk only in its space-age subject matter and "otherworldly" slide-guitar sound effects. It was topical during the late-50's space race. Everything else holds up perfectly well over 40-plus years.

Prima's band is tight, yet spontaneous and not sterile. He has a great onstage comic rapport with cohort Sam Butera, and also with his then-wife and straight-woman Keely Smith.

Example on "Won't You Please Come Home" --

Keely: (singing) "Won't you come get your baby..."

Louis: (stage whisper aside to audience) "Call from 'The Point'."

This disk is a must for any non-classical music lover with a pulse. This is in my top 5 CD's, out of perhaps 300 I own, and is certainly a "desert island disk." Deservedly, almost everyone on this page has given it 5 stars. It doesn't get any better than this, kids.

Long before Brian Setzer did "Jump Jive N' Wail," and David Lee Roth did "Just A Gigolo," there was Louis Prima. He is one of the most underated and unappreciated American musicians of the 20th century! Just listen to Setzer's and Roth's (but don't waste your money buying their CD's) versions of those songs, and then listen to Prima's. Not only did Roth and Setzer literally rip off Prima (because they did little to embellish on what Prima had already done), but Prima was making this music 40 years before them! However, this is a testament to Prima's immense talent because his music is as hip today as it was 40 years ago when he was one of the greatest shows in Vegas. Prima was also a gifted songwriter and trumpet player. His voice is unique and no one else has a style like him. The music on this CD covers Prima in his prime and the sound qaulity is excellent. There is a remarkable timelessness to this album because the recordings sound so spontaneous. This album will kick any party into high-gear and will always put a smile on your face. If you really want the real Mcoy when it comes to swing, then Prima's music can't be beat. Prima was a pioneer in swing/jazz who's time has come. He deserves more than just Gap commercials and soundtracks to movies. His place in American music needs to be redefined as one of the greats whose genius was just as immense as Sir Duke's and Dizzy's. Get this album and you'll see what I'm talking about and then tell your friends where the real Swing comes from.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Music Goes 'Round and Around
Songs are performed between 1956 and 1962 by Sam Butera and The Witnesses and by Luigi's wife Keely Smith. All the classics are here "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" gave Dave Lee Roth a hit, "Jump, Jive, An' Wail" was a big hit for "The Brian Setzer Orchestra", "Sing, Sing, Sing" for Benny Goodman Orchestra. This is goddamn great Jump Blues!

5-0 out of 5 stars BOOM!
If California has another power outage, just hook the generators up to this Louis Prima CD and pow!-- no energy crisis here! Louis is like that other Louis-- Satch of course-- juiced up on rocket fuel. Then you've got Sam Butera blowing the living daylights out of that howling sax. Keely Smith's clear smooth voice mellows it out a bit, but this thing jumps, jives, and wails all the way.

With that crazy New Orleans-- or is it Neapolitan?-- rhythm going on behind him, and Butera growling for a few bars, it doesn't matter if this is jazz, lounge, or whatever, it's just infectious as can be. Oh, and by the way, Prima plays a mean trumpet himself. And he wrote "Sing, Sing, Sing"

So for some screaming, super-hyped music, you simply can't pass this disc up.

5-0 out of 5 stars so much fun
Louie Prima was a true original. He's been copied but no one has quite matched this level of joyous lunacy. Buy this and have a blast. And catch his wife Keely in concert if you have a chance. ... Read more

13. Italian Love Songs
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Asin: B00005NNF2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1691
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Makes me proud to be Italian!
What a georgous collection of songs! Being Italain myself, a lot of these songs I grew up hearing from other artist. Hearing Dean singing these songs is like hearing them for the first time. What a voice... what a ledgend!

5-0 out of 5 stars Dino my Love:
Hi Dino is one the best Italian love song crooners. I'm really glad I bought this CD. Dean martin is one of my favorites. There is always a place in my heart for Dino. He has influenced a lot of other artists as well. Warm Regards: Cathy Alexander(NH)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best!
This CD is the best work of Dean Martin. I love this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Record Company did very well in making this compilation!
One can buy so many CDs used nowadays; paying full price doesn't often feel worth it; but in this case, it is worth every red cent. Okay, Dino is American, Dino is Italian American, hailing from Steubenville Ohio, he was brought up, on the Italian language, it comes through the speakers, he's a native speaker, with ancestry in the Abruzzo region of Italy. Maybe for strict Italian, I don't know, I think, I'd still like it. I've travelled abroad; can speak two other languages, this collection, gives one some desires to even hear Dean sing in French and Spanish as he did, his talents being so diverse. Maybe this album too, to some, is like travelling abroad, you are not totally immersed in the culture, but you get a good flavoring of it. It might be a nice doorway to listen to other Italian/mandolin music; which brings to mind, some of the arrangements are stunning;

The famous "Return to Me" being maybe the best example, but not the only one. "Volare" is good, but somehow, I favor the Vic Damone (I believe) version more.

"Come back to Sorrento"; I believe is all in Italian, despite it's name, maybe a small part in the end is in English. Maybe in this case, I would like to understand more of the message of the song. What's important with Dean Martin, is that it is his native language, Italian, so it is not as if, he struggles, tries to sing some words, which, say, with all due respect to Nat King Cole, he did wonders for the Spanish language in singing some of his songs in that language, but a native speaker may be able to tell, his pronunciation is not perfect. They were hits in Latin America anyway. This is not a drawback for Nat King Cole, but it is a plus for Dean Martin, he really sings these songs, with Italian spirit!

Does it make you feel like loving? I don't know, but a few of these can surely bring tears to your eyes. For example, "From the bottom of my heart."

Not being in the know on some things, "O Sole Mio" seems to be the same song, as Elvis' "It's now or never."

Not much comment needs to be made on the wellknown songs of Dean Martin on this CD, such as "That's amoure" ; however, I will say, that with "That's amoure" I have a better appreciation of this song, presented with Dean's other Italian-American interpretations and singings of this album.

"Luna Mezzo Mare" is well done, and if you have listened to International music, the style, makes me think, of other songs I have heard, making it sound somewhat nostalgic and Italian.

If you never go to Italy, you'll get a taste of it with this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnifico!
I bought this album to use as background dinner music at my wedding, and I received so many thanks and compliments from friends and family. I listen to this CD all the time and recommend it to all. The album is cohesive and engaging. It will put anyone in the mood for love! ... Read more

14. Tony Bennett - All-Time Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000002AJH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 802
Average Customer Review: 4.06 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars An okay collection of Tony's best symposium...
Tony Bennett is the last of the great crooners.

Bing, Frank, Dino, Nat, and Perry are all gone now. The best way to enjoy these mammoth crooners is to buy their vast remastered albums.

Tony has a new one called "40 Years The Artistry of Tony B". It covers most of the highlights of Tony's lavish career. Some of my favorite standards are "Boulevard of Broken Dreams - Gigolo and Gigolette", "Rags to Riches", "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", and "Just in Time". Tony could also do some wonderful Sinatra-style singing too: "Chicago (That Toddling Town)" is a good one from the Carnegie Hall appearance in 1962.

This CD compilation is about half way there. Someone should sit down and REALLY evaluate a 25 song classic CD that includes only Tony's best based on listeners' favorite picks. Songs like "Something" just don't cut it for me. I think some of his early sixties and entire fifties material is pure gold.

It is no surprise when the Chairman of the Board once said that "Tony is my favorite singer."

4-0 out of 5 stars Tony Bennett: 5 Stars, This Collection: 4 Stars
Sinatra referred to Tony Bennett as the 'best singer in the business', and after listening to many of Tony's albums it is hard to argue. This 'best of' collection from 1972 includes some magnificent recordings, including 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco', 'Love Look Away', a heart-stopping 'I Wanna Be Around', a rousing 'Sing You Sinners' and more. It is a time capsule album of Tony's earlier career.

While his voice is sensational -- it deepens into something beyond compare by the early 1960s -- a few of the songs are the product of their era, notwithstanding Tony's talent. The early 1960s style of adding a background choir and additional echo has a kind of charm, but it sounds like -- well, the early 1960s. The good news is that apart from a 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams' that sounds like a bad cabaret tune and a cover of George Harrison's 'Something' that really isn't for Tony (he's a Cole Porter, Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart kind of guy -- best when the music swings or in great ballads), most of this album is a real treasure.

However -- some of the albums from which these songs were culled are worth buying. 'I Wanna Be Around' is a superb album, as is 'Who Can I Turn To'. And, if you enjoy live music, the 1962 Carnegie Hall Concert is an outstanding recording that includes much of the classic material here, in rousing renditions. Two CDs of live Tony Bennett in 1962 -- what else could you want?

If you are looking for an introduction to Tony Bennett, or just appreciate his powerful voice and inimitable spirit -- the guy always sounds like he's smiling into the microphone, and that happiness comes through -- you should enjoy this album. If a couple of the tracks sound a bit like kitsch, so be it.

3-0 out of 5 stars OK, But Nothing To Swing About
You want great ballad singing? Buy a CD by Vic Damone, Mel Torme, or Matt Monro. You want great swing singing? Buy a CD by Bobby Darin or Frank Sinatra. You want singing that's not quite as good in either category, then perhaps Tony Bennett is right for you. This is an okay collection, but Bennett's raspy-voiced screaming is certainly not for everyone. Certain singers, like Bennett, assume that if you have a powerful voice (even if its tonality is unpleasant) you must sing all songs at the top of your lungs. Rarely do such histrionics add anything to a pretty melody or romantic lyric. Bennett likes to think of himself as a great "jazz singer" who performs the compositions of Jewish-American songwriters and black orchestra leaders. I guess this self-description makes him feel "hip." In fact, Bennett is often a screechingly annoying balladeer and on uptempo numbers his style is about as hip as Conway Twitty's. And all that screaming!!! Tony, your head is about to explode!!!!

1-0 out of 5 stars Tony Bennett is a minor leaguer among major leaguers
I agree with the music fan from Potts Grove, Pennsylvania: Tony Bennett is a screamer with a grating, raspy voice who too often sounds like his head is about to explode. Bennett's "Greatest Hits" album has some nice tunes like "San Francisco" and "I Wanna Be Around," but many of the other selections feature Bennett's typical screaming at the top of his lungs even when the tune does not call for such volume and vocal histrionics. It's true, when I think back at watching him perform on TV over the years, his neck and face did grow red and contort as he screamed out lyrics. Like Barbra Streisand, Bennett must think that good singing equates with yelling and screaming. When he does keep his human vibrato under control, he sings a nice (although not great) ballad. He also does have good taste in the classic pop material he records, but his voice grows increasingly grating as you listen to it. With Sinatra, Darin, Martin, Crosby, Matt Monro, etc. dead, there are few classic popular singers remaining (Jack Jones and Vic Damone are the only two who come to mind)and so Bennett fills a necessary gap----but he is no Vic Damone or Jack Jones as a balladeer, nor is he a Bobby Darin or Frank Sinatra as a swinging belter of uptempo tunes. He is just there....tasteful but often annoying. Better invest in a pair of ear plugs before listening to this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bennett Another Great Italian Crooner
Aside from the classic "I Left My Heart In San Francisco," Tony Bennett's vocalizing is an acquired taste. But Bennett does grow on you. Initially, his voice is a bit grating and the listener may grow concerned that the veins in his neck might pop at any minute. Eventually, however, you realize that while he is not an exceptionally smooth vocalist (like Como or Damone), he is nonetheless a very good one. He has a powerful voice and, while he at times awkwardly tries too hard to swing like Bobby Darin (who, in my opinion, stands alone as a master uptempo vocalist), he usually has good taste in his choice of songs. Tony Bennett may not have the looks, panache, or magnetism of Bobby Darin or Dean Martin, but like his two paisanos, he can sing. Add his name to a list that also includes Vic Damone, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine, Nick Lucas, Al Martino, Russ Columbo, Buddy Greco, Julius LaRosa, etc., and you have a veritable who's who of American popular singers, all of Italian descent. His "Greatest HIts" CD is a must for any serious collector of American popular song. ... Read more

15. Best Of Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
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Asin: B0000047FO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1047
Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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Ella Fitzgerald's voice was satin to Louis Armstrong's sandpaper, but when you put them together on a single song, their chemistry was unimpeachable. This disc selects highlights from the three albums they made together at Verve (including their Porgy and Bess), and adds a spiffy live track from the Hollywood Bowl. Though they don't harmonize much (Armstrong's voice wasn't built for harmony), Ella's dignified swing and flashes of teasing wit play off Satchmo's gritty, good-humored roar symbiotically. The material is mostly lightweight Tin Pan Alley stuff (lots of Gershwin, plus the likes of "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"), and they fly it like a kite. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Perfection
Who would have thought that it could have worked? The pitch-perfect, articulate, and yes, angelic voice of Ella Fitzgerald combined with the gravelly grunts and growls of Louis Armstrong...Two very different singers with very different styles getting together to record? But it does work, and the result is absolute perfection.

The way Louis and Ella blend, harmonize, and play off each other is simply astounding to hear. And I think that's the secret of why these two superstars were such stellar musicians: They loved making music. Just listen to the fun they're having on "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Been Good to You." It's not only delightful, it's heavenly. Listen and lose yourself in the slow, unhurried harmonies of "Stars Fell on Alabama." And from the opening, emotion-packed trumpet statement of "Summertime," you know you're in for a powerful listening experience.

It's rare that you find a musician who really, I mean REALLY loves performing. To find two such artists on the same disc? Indescribable. These two greats were put on this earth to make music and they made music with all their might. And we're fortunate enough to have it with us. This disc is heaven. Buy it. Treasure it forever.


5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect album for a summer evening
Ella and Louis provide the perfect soothing music for a summer evening on this cd. Ella's singing is not quite as crisp as I've heard on some other recordings, but these two jazz vocalists compliment each other wonderfully. If you like this, check out Ella's "Best of the Songbooks" or Louis with another jazz genius on the cd "Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson."

5-0 out of 5 stars Let's Call the Whole Thing Awesome
This is a truly fantastic collection of classics and there's pretty much nothing I can add to's untouchable. May I recommend lighting some candles, clearing off the floor and swinging away the night with your lovey dovey, socks optional. I mean, this is not a pathetic waste of money or time... you deserve the best, and it doesn't get any better than Ella and Louey!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Gets Five Stars If Not These Two?
For many, the names of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong are synonyms for jazz. The two knew each other well but it is rather surprising that they did not record more than three albums together. These are: "Ella and Louis", "Ella and Louis Again" and "Porgy and Bess". In 1997, the Verve label selected the cream of the three albums for this compilation.

Picking the best of the three must have been pretty difficult. But on the other hand, there was nothing to be screwed up, it all sounds so good... As the liner notes say, 'the voices could hardly be more different,' but how well they went together. Smokey, throaty "Pops" and pure, glittering Ella... and THEY DID MUCH OF THIS STUFF WITH JUST ABOUT NO REHEARSAL! Armstrong adds his trumpet to many of the complation's selections, too.

From the first "Ella And Louis" LP, this collection contains "They Can't Take That Away From Me", "Under A Blanket Of Blue", "Tenderly", "Stars Fell On Alabama" and the glorious take of "The Nearness Of You".

Selections from "Ella And Louis Again" are, in my opinion, slightly lacking in comparison with the first album, but, nevertheless, they're still awfully good. Here we have six of them: "Autumn In New York", "Stompin' At The Savoy", "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good To You", "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off", the wonderful "I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm" and "Love Is Here To Stay."

As for "Porgy and Bess", no representative selection of Ella and Louis (or even of one of them) would do without the heavenly version of "Summertime." Also, Ella sings "I Wants To Stay Here" and Satchmo has his "There's A Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York" here.

The last track, "You Won't Be Satisfied" was recorded live in front of the audience and is a wonderful treat and the great closer for this impeccable CD.

There could be a lot more to say about this particular album. It should be an essential purchase for any jazz fan. Indeed, for every music fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magical!
I can listen to this CD forever. The magical and silky voice of Ella together with Louis's trumpet and vocals takes you to another world.. I am a jazz fan and this is one of the best CDs that I've ever listened to.. A must-have! ... Read more

16. Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Songbook
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Asin: B0000047EG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1059
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Long considered a jewel in Verve Records' very impressive crown, Fitzgerald's songbook collections of various composers--a series that was started by the success of this set--are all wonderful, but her natural wit and intelligence was at its most perfect with Cole Porter's erudite, urbane songs. While not as scat-oriented as her small group outings, these Porter sets offer her most realized pop performances.Also, the gold remastering does a fine job of bringing out the nuances in the arrangements, making this a treasure for the serious collector and the casual listener alike. A true American music gem. --Skip Heller ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars You MUST Get This CD! There's nothing better than this.
Oh Ella! I wish I could tell her how much I have enjoyed this CD. She is the stuff dreams are made of. That voice! How did you do it Ella? So effortless for you. Incredible. This is my all time favorite CD. I listen to all kinds of music and cannot go a day without hearing Ella sing Cole Porter. Don't hesitate to buy this- you'll listen to it the rest of your life. Cole Porter's lyrics pour out of her so perfectly. Those songs were made for her to sing! Her phrasing is impeccable. I just cannot express how amazing this Songbook is. BUY IT!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ella Shows Why She Reigns! 1st Lady of Song!!!!
All 30-plus tunes here are just fine. Some not quite great but about a dozen all time winners, even in these over-recorded Cole Porter songs. There's nice notes too, and spirited arrangements by Buddy Bregman. Most of these could have been recorded tomorrow, much less 1956!! My favorites?! ALL THRU THE NIGHT, a slow swinger, ANYTHING GOES, including the seldom heard intro, a real swinger, as good as Frank's version the same year. TOO DARN HOT,super hot, even better than Ann Miller's version in KISS ME KATE (but as a dancer Ann can't be beat!)LETS DO IT!, I LOVE PARIS, YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME, the best version I've heard, RIDIN HIGH, another super hot blaster, YOURE THE TOP, as good as Crosby's best version (PS Do they write songs like this anymore?!)..LOVE FOR SALE, different with its haunting,brooding style, and I like the horns here which IMHO are not dated! ITS DELOVELY another super hot ball of fire. NIGHT AND DAY, the 2nd best swing version (after Frank's version), ACE IN THE WHOLE yet another super hot ace! Maybe a few are not among the best recordings of many recorded ditties, still mainly aces...I prefer Ella's Gershwin songbook, with more songs, and more less known ones, but this costs less, and is surely a fine start!!

Ella Fitzgerald could sing about a garbage dump and make it sound beautiful. This CD is a great collaboration between the voice of Ella and the songwriting genius of Cole Porter. Ella was definitely the first lady of song and will be the last. No other singer on this planet comes close to her style, diction and her amazing scats. Her incredible voice, the timeless lyrics by Cole Porter and the great production talent of Norman Grantz makes this a CD to play over and over again.

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's a reason to stay alive, if you're looking for one.
So count your blessings. They don't make records like this any more.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Combination
Ella is the best jazz singer ever and Cole Porter was certainly one of the best composers of his time. This is an amazing CD. Any jazz lover will adore it. ... Read more

17. Nat King Cole - The Greatest Hits [Capitol]
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Asin: B000002TRT
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 701
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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You could fill box set after box set with Nat "King" Cole's work--and those are certainly out there--and never hit a less-than-stellar note. But for the creme de la creme, it'd be hard to fault this career-spanning, 22-song retrospective. From the swinging jump blues of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" to the easy lope of his definitive "Route 66" to the lush balladry of "Mona Lisa," every facet of the great singer-pianist's is explored. Bookended by Cole's original version of "Unforgettable" and his posthumous duet with daughter Natalie, this collection provides an ideal introduction to--or a stirring reminder of--Nat "King" Cole's legacy. --David Sprague ... Read more

Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Issues with the package and sound but never with the music
Nat King Cole is an American icon. Some sixty years later his early recordings with the King Cole Trio are still highly regarded by jazz afficianados around the world. And many of his solo efforts remain among the best loved songs of all time.
This collection contains some of both. If you have never heard the King Cole Trio, you are certainly in for a treat. Among the selections included here are the incredible "Straighten Up and Fly Right" from 1943 as well as other favorites like "You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love) and one of the great standards "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons)". This 22 track disc also includes some his biggest hits as a solo artist including "Mona Lisa", "Ramblin' Rose" and of course "Unforgettable". Also included here is the hit 1991 duet version of "Unforgettable" with his daughter Natalie where Nat's vocals were dubbed in from the original 1952 hit.
While one is hard pressed to criticize the music of Nat King Cole this collection does have some considerable flaws. First of all, there are absolutely no liner notes. Now I realize that there are literally hundreds of releases available by Nat King Cole but considering that this one is called "The Greatest Hits" you would think that Capitol might feel compelled to offer a short biography and/or discography of the man. After all, he spent his entire recording career on Capitol and was really that labels bread and butter for two decades. Secondly, it is worth noting that these recordings do not appear to have been remastered. Older fans would probably not have a big problem with this and may prefer to hear these songs the way they remember them. However, I mention it because it may well be an issue for some listeners.
But make no mistake about it, this is still a wonderful collection of the music of Nat King Cole. I was disappointed though that my very favorite Nat King Cole tune of all time "That Sunday, That Summer" was not included here. Nat King Cole died in 1965. I distinctly remember my mother crying when she heard the news. He remains one of the most beloved figures in American music history. So whether you choose this particular disc or decide on something else you will probably not be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars More class than ALL'a today's performers put together...
Along with Sammy Davis, Jr., Nat King Cole is somebody I was introduced to by my pops, who would play these records to death when I was a lil' kid in the early '80s, an' even I couldn't get enough of 'em. In fact, this is the first singer that I distincty remember enjoying as a child. An' now, even today, I can't say enough praises about this man. Nat King Cole simply put could not make a bad song. Whether it was in the tenderness of his flawless voice or in the sweet sounds of his piano, his tones have never been matched and I can hardly think of any performer in the past century of music on his level. From the heartfelt ballads to the finger-snapping swingers all of these songs are great. The timeless standard 'Unforgettable' (jus' try an' find a romantic comedy without that joint!), 'Route 66 (Get Your Kicks On)', 'Walkin' My Baby Back Home', 'Ramblin' Rose', 'For Sentimental Reasons (I Love You)', 'Too Young', an' all the rest are jus' irreplaceable. As much as I enjoy big band music and fully-equipped orchestras and arrangements, I've always found sumpin' soothing and comforting in just hearing Cole's gentle voice coupled with his equally-gentle piano over anything else. But my personal favorite song by him has actually been retained from my childhood, an' thas' 'Orange Colored Sky'. Is' one'a my favorite songs of all time, an' anytime I hear it playin' I will sit an' listen to it. Even if I'm in the most irritable an' don't-mess-with-me-or-I'll-break-your-face mood in the world I will sit there an' yell "FLASH! BAM! ALAKAZAM!" with a big ol' smile. If you are just being introduced to his work, then this is a great purchase to make as your starter. Another great one is the album 'After Midnight Sessions' culled from his recordings with his jazz trio, and the untouchable classic 'Christmas Song' album. All in all, this is a great collection, probably THE best 'greatest hits' album of ALL TIME. An' it will find a permanent place in any true music fan's collection. You got no class if it doesn't.

2-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Hits is not so great.
To begin with, the song "The Very Thought of You", one of his most beautiful songs, is not even included. Then, "Nature Boy" is not the stereo version, but a 1940's mono version in inferior sound. The whole cd is badly produced. After I bought this cd and found it sadly lacking, I purchased the cd titled "Unforgettable Nat King Cole" (on Capitol,released 2000). It has all of the great hits in stereo and in perfect sound. It should receive the 5 star rating. Why people should rate the "Greatest Hits" album 5 stars is beyond me. It should get at most 2 stars. I'm sorry I was snookered into buying it. I can always use it as a coffee coaster.

4-0 out of 5 stars good stuff
realy enjoy thes songs nat has a nack in music ramblin rose especially and bon natale nataly real good also i like music everything from a-z &0-9 +_)(*&^%$#@!~

3-0 out of 5 stars He's my man but
Wonderful selection of his hit songs, but not re-mastered...sounds pretty weak, much better try his "Loved Songs" now that's my man! ... Read more

18. The Rat Pack Live at the Sands
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our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00005RGHW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1068
Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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"If you wanna hear me sing serious, buy an album," Dean Martin says early in this 70-minute disc, underlining his point by deliberately mangling the last word's pronunciation. Issued to catch the wave of Steven Soderbergh's remake of the Pack's romp, Ocean's 11, Live at the Sands is the second official issue of a Martin/Frank Sinatra/Sammy Davis Jr. show. This September 1963 date, though, is nimbler and funnier than the previous year's set preserved on The Summit in Concert. Some of the same jokes are told, but this Vegas jaunt adds at least one new running gag (Dino's brief rendition of "It's My Party"), and Sammy also gets a few racially tinged zingers off in return for those of his partners. Oh, and lest we forget, there's good music. Martin actually plays it straight on two Guys and Dolls duets with Sinatra, who also turns in a half-dozen strong performances on his own. Plenty of mystique is present, but Sands captures the trio hard at work as well. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the One
"Ladies and Gentlemen - direct from the bar, Dean Martin!"

And with that sendoff begins one of the best live recorded cds I've ever heard. Recorded in 1963 during one of the many live performances at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, more than a CD, this is a time capsule of a bygone era - a swingin' and much less serious time, before the assasination of JFK and the turbulant Sixties began. Frank, Deano, and Sammy are absolutely on top of their game.

The Rat Pack mythology was shaped during the filming of "Ocean's 11" in early 1960. The five leading men - Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop - filmed during the day and then gathered onstage at the Sands Hotel at night. These "Summit Meetings" as Sinatra called them, not only galvanized Las Vegas as thousands of visitors poured into the gambling mecca without a prayer of getting a room reservation, but also made headlines and piqued imaginations as news reverberated around the world.

The Rat Pack's support of Senator John F. Kennedy (Lawford's brother-in-law) in his bid for the presidency became a cornerstone of his campaign, even as he was a ringside visitor at their shows. It was a moment in time, in history, never to be repeated. "There they were," writes Bill Zehme in his liner notes to THE RAT PACK LIVE AT THE SANDS, "twice nightly, without fail, tearing it up together through the dinner show at eight and back again at midnight, primed for even greater mayhem and off-color foolery."

The audio quality of this CD is fantastic and the music and dialogue sound great. The guys are absolutely irreverant, witty, and have a great time with the audience and eachother. Stand-up, impressions, music, cocktails - everybody is having a blast, the Rat Pack included, and it comes through loud and clear on this CD.

There are other Rat Pack CDs out there - a lot in fact, but NONE that truly capture their very essence like this one. Listen to this one and prepare to be taken back and find out what it was all about.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my 5 favorite CDs
This CD is a slice of history. It is a modified version of the act that Dean, Frank and Sammy came up with to perform at the "Summit" in early 1960.

If you're just after straight music, there are plenty of other CDs to choose from.

As for me, I'll go with the live recordings because they are just that, *ALIVE*. Frank, Dean and Sammy are still as vibrant on the recording as they were in early September, 1963. If you want to laugh at crazy jokes, hear Sammy's incredible impressions or sing along with the timeless tunes, this is the album.

After listening to this CD, I'm hooked on LIVE Rat Pack recordings (I'm in the process of collecting all I can find). I just wish someone would come up with a video of what was happening on stage. I someone makes a DVD, I'll buy it!

If this sounds interesting and you like Sammy, I particularly recommend "Sammy Davis Jr. At the Cocoanut Grove" (recorded in 1962, Reprise). Its all Sammy (although I did mistake Sammy's impressions of Frank for Mr. Sinatra the first few times through.)


If you love a good time, this CD is guranteed to "leave you swinging..."

5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Rat Pack
This cd is a real treat. It's like stepping back in time for an evening of great entertainment. The music, singing, and jokes are all great. This cd is vastly better all around than the Live and Swingin' set (which I also bought just for the dvd). If you are a fan of the Rat Pack or just want to know what all the fuss was about, buy it and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Drink To Me Only...
One of their shows. Astonishing! Jokes about booze, jews, negros, italians, gangsters,... and songs! Very nice! Some of jokes are repeated from previous performances and some are new!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is Great
I've had this CD for a while now, and I love it! It's hilarious. It seems to me that life was much more carefree before Political Correctness took over. I really don't think the Rat Pack would be allowed to put on a performance like this today. It's excellent, if you don't have it, buy it. Trust me, it's not a waste of money. (Unless you hate the Ratpack) ... Read more

19. The Essential Barbra Streisand
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Asin: B00005V3WH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1546
Average Customer Review: 4.37 out of 5 stars
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Barbra Streisand's bravado made her one of the 1960s' overnight sensations. This 40-cut compendium traces her recording career from early tracks that frequently relay her subtlety to often impressive accommodations with soft rock and still later vibrato-fests that find her taxing the limits of performer's ego and listeners' ears. The narrative is one of direct, sometimes showy, emotion giving way to empty displays of technique. By 1983's icky anthem "A Piece of Sky," Streisand has plowed under the light touches of "Lover, Come Back to Me" and the triumphal Central Park version of "Happy Days Are Here Again." Where she produced schlock masterworks when teamed with Neil Diamond ("You Don't Bring Me Flowers") and Donna Summer ("Enough Is Enough") in the '70s, a diva summit with Celine Dion led to the car wreck of 1997's "Tell Him." Essential wraps up with previously unreleased takes of "Someday My Prince Will Come" and "You'll Never Walk Alone." --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (91)

5-0 out of 5 stars It Hasn't Left the CD Player!
It's hard to imagine one album that would so completely encapsulate the career of Barbra Streisand... but this essential collection does so wonderfully. It's appropriate that Barbra begin the collection with "A Sleepin' Bee"... her 1st broadway song. All of the early classics are here, though I am surprised at the inclusion of "I Stayed Too Long at the Fair". I would have picked "Starting Here, Starting Now". The 70's are well reflected on this 1st disc as well. "Stoney End" is a personal favorite. Even Barbra's two disco classics are included! It's amazing to see the diversity of songs she has recorded. Ballads, pop, disco, broadway, film. All are well respresented here. I would have foregone "Lazy Afternoon" in favor of "Songbird" or "Prisoner". The 2nd disc starts with Barbra's #1 "Woman In Love" and touches base on most of her noteworthy songs up to the present day. I would have preferred the live version of "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and teh inclusion of "Left in the Dark" but this collection was most special because of the two new additional songs. It must have been difficult to pick from well over 50 albums and find the 40 best songs. Barbra's voice is such an incredible instrument. The power, majesty and beauty are still there as strong as ever before. This is a perfect 40th Anniversary collection. Now I look forward to a new album of contemporary songs. Perhaps a "Guilty Again" or a
"Broadway Album - Act III". Perhaps an album of uptempo songs
a la Cher or a Pet Shop Barbra such as was done for Liza Minelli. Gay men have always been Barbra's most ardent fans and it would be incredible to hear Barbra's voice back on the dance floor after all these years. Sure it would be a commercial venture but would also be great fun. Barbra has long said she has wanted to give something back to the gay community. Forget about a film which would be seen and promptly forgotten. Her fans fell in love with her voice 1st and that is the part of her talent that will endure the longest. An album of fun high-energy anthem type songs perhaps mixed with a couple of contemporary power ballads would be magic... perhaps entitled "NightLight". If only Barbra would realize how many fans love her dance songs she wouldn't be so hesitant. It seems she hasn't forgotten the floundering "Emotion" album, but hey, that had 3 charting singles and MTV airplay, so how bad was that? I'm sure whatever Streisand does, it will continue to enthrall the millions of people who've been enchanted by the gifts of this extraordinary woman.

5-0 out of 5 stars America's Best Selling Female Vocalist - A Collection
Barbra Streisand's four decades of beautiful music are perfectly captured on this sterling two CD set. Disc One introduces us to 60's Streisand, a new star who would the standard for standards at a time when the prevailing taste in pop music was the Beatles. Her passionate and powerful renditions of "Happy Days Are Here Again", "He Touched Me" and "On A Clear Day" set the stage for America's most beloved female vocalist. The latter half of this disc captures Barbra in exquisite vocal form as her voice matures and loses its early "reed" like quality in favor of a more powerful and melodic vibrato. The 70's showcases her successful forays into various styles of music from light rock ("Stoney End") to disco ("The Main Event/Fight") and cements her status as America's premier interpreter of loved songs ("Evergreen").

Disc II captures Streisand at the zenith of her sales career with the songs from her brillant collaboration with Barry Gibb. From there her music finds a deeper & richer showcase in the songs from her film "Yentl". Barbra's best album of the 80's, "The Broadway Album" is well represented here and finds Barbra returning to her musical roots and reestablsihing herself as the ultimate interpreter of Broadway standards. Even the start of the 90's has Barbra continuing this theme with songs from "Back to Broadway". The latter half of the 90's teams Barbra with Bryan Adams and Celine Dion in memorable pop confections.

The two new songs included here ("Someday My Prince Will Come" and "You'll Never Walk Alone") both recorded in 2000 are superb. Her new rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" is in itself reason enough to buy the album!

Her fortcoming album "Duets" will feature performances with Josh Groban ("All I Know Of Love") and Barry Manilow ("I Won't Be the One To Let Go"). If reviews of her latest live performance on 9/30/02 are any indiction, Barbra is in "better than ever" voice and it would seem that there are many more golden moments for Barbra to come!

For those who choose to critique Barbra the photo or Barbra the person with childish and inappropraite remarks... all I can say is... are they running low on Zoloft or something? Get a grip!

Chris Sullivan

1-0 out of 5 stars I only sing for the money
Once in a book Streisand it was written that Streisand said I only sing for the money. Well it is very clear that it is true for this emotionally barron diva, lacks any conviction, though she is technically gifted, she doesn't show any real passion or convictuin in her singing, just pure shallowness...

1-0 out of 5 stars terrible,i despise it
please dont buy or listen to this horrible double disc compilation of fourty of the lousiest,atrocious horrid,horrible,crappy throwaway songs you will will get better box sets than this so avoid this disaster at all costs.get the box set of black sabbath instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! I love it!
There are female singers, and there is Barbra Streisand, who is a total goddess. She sings, performs, acts, directs, and produces. She is, in a word, amazing. I'd eat off the ground she walks on! This collection is fabulous. You gotta get it. Buy now! ... Read more

20. Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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Asin: B00005Q45Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3582
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars A "Politically Correct" Compilation?
A 2-CD "best of" compilation for Billie Holiday without "Strange Fruit" doesn't make sense, but historically record labels have been reluctant to include this song. I wonder whether their reasoning is that the song's lyrics, about the lynching and hanging of a black from a tree, are unsuitable for mainstream audiences, which implies that they thought Holiday had crossed the line from blues or jazz (I think she's a blues singer through and through) to pop. After all, many blues recordings contain lyrics just as if not more gruesome than "Strange Fruit", but that doesn't result in their getting left off the compilation disks. If we can't hear the Holiday version of "Strange Fruit", then the soundtrack to "Lady Sings the Blues" by Diana Ross has a version of the song that is pretty convincing.

5-0 out of 5 stars regarding the absence "Strange Fruit"
A couple reviewers remarked about the absence of "Strange Fruit" from this compilation. The reason for its absence is very simple: Billie did not record the song for Columbia. If you want "Strange Fruit," get _The Commodore Master Takes_ or the Verve compilation _Lady in Autumn_.

"Strange Fruit" is missing because Columbia was afraid to touch it in the late 30s, not because of any current "political correctness." I'm pretty sure they'd love to have the song now.

Most major jazz artists recorded for many different labels, so "best of" and "greatest hits" compilations usually aren't as comprehensive as we might wish them to be. Usually you have to buy two or three different sets to touch on all the major bases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Descent Compilation
Apart from the fact that some of my favorite Billie Holiday songs are missing...its still a very good intro to those first timers. I first heart HOliday when I was 18 years old..and 5 years later...I still can't get enough of her ...she's such a great singer...along with Ella Fitzgerald she is the only one who can bring me to tears.

4-0 out of 5 stars Incomplete Sampler
Far from being a jazz buff, I'd still take issue with the other recommendations of this set to be a sufficient Billie Holiday sampler for the general public. The single most important reason - it's missing "STRANGE FRUIT".

It is Jazz's "Guernica", and therefore belongs in *any* Billie Holiday collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Billie Holiday collection!!!
I have so enjoyed this album! All the favorite jazz songs sung by the beautiful crooning voice of Holiday! If you are a jazz fan, you don't want to miss this CD! ... Read more

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