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1. Il Divo
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2. Breakaway
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3. It's Time
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4. Michael Buble
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5. Closer
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6. ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits
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7. Josh Groban
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8. Dino: The Essential Dean Martin
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9. Renee Olstead
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10. Classic Sinatra
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11. Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition
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12. Ultimate Manilow
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13. Hymns of the 49th Parallel
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14. Nolita
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15. Thankful
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16. It's Time
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17. Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good
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19. Josh Groban Live at The Greek
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20. Live From The Golden Nugget

1. Il Divo
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0007QS4KK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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While not exactly classical crossover's take on The Monkees, this international quartet of young male vocalists from America, France, Spain and Switzerland shares a similar genesis. Assembled after a long talent search and audition process, they were teamed with pop producers Per Magnusson and David Krueger (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys) and Steve Mac (Charlotte Church, Kelly Clarkson) and turned loose on a slate of classical-pop favorites, with a dramatic, dynamically nuanced read of Toni Braxton's signature "Unbreak My Heart" setting the standard. While the deceptive ease of their harmonies belie the group's disparate nationalities and talent search roots on the melodramatic "Hoy Que Ya No Estas Aqui," Morricone's glorious Mission theme, "Nella Fantasia" and the cascading "Passera," the album's pop-oriented material is a decidedly more mixed bag ."Everytime I Look At You" and "Feelings" (not Morris Albert's) soar gracefully, while "The Man You Love" seems more a throwback to the producers' boy band roots. The standard "My Way" and a lovely, bonus cut Italian version of "Unchained Melody" close the album out on a high note, even if their safe familiarity doesn't offer the promising quartet a sufficient musical challenge. --Jerry McCulley

[NOTE: A dualdisc version including DVD is now available.]

More Divine Crooners To Explore

Haunted Heart, Renee Fleming

Stardust, Rod Stewart

Andrea, Andrea Bocelli

Follow Your Heart, Mario Frangoulis

On the Moon, Peter Cincotti

Taking a Chance on Love,Jane Monheit

... Read more

Reviews (119)

Even Mariah Carey's "Glitter" was better than this (And I didn't like that album either). This "IL DIVO" group is one of the worst acts I've ever come across. THEY TOTALLY RUINED TONI BRAXTON'S "UN-BREAK MY HEART". Even Ms Braxton sounded better in Spanish (She did a Spanish version). "Un-Break My Heart" is the kind of song that if it is going to be remade, Do have any Males Remake it. This Album SUCKS

1-0 out of 5 stars Ugh.
Really.When one bad tenor insists on singing it's bad enough, but four bad tenors at once?What did we do to deserve this?Well, we can't really expect great things from Simon Cowell, can we?I don't even need to buy this CD to know that it would horrible.Just from the samples available on Amazon, it sounds like they are all trying to outsing each other, which in turn causes them to strain, which causes them to go sharp.This is like Ashlee Simpson.Why would someone really, genuinely think this is good?It disgusts me.If I could give it a rating of negative stars, I would.

1-0 out of 5 stars Tenors out of tune.
I listened to the samples of this groups' songs and did not like it at all. It sounds like they are trying to outsing each other. Their voices sounds like they are imitating the 3 tenors but did not quite made it. I will not buy the CD even if you give me a hundred bucks. That's what I think of this group Il Divo (really bad sound and bad song selection). So Simon you're not really a good judge, I don't know why you say all those nasty words at some of the contestants in Amercian Idol. This group of yours sounds really bad, it needs fine tuning.

1-0 out of 5 stars Great talent, bad direction
The guys can sing. I'll give you that. But what on earth are they singing? Certainly nothing appropriate for them or their style. Taking guys from around the world and making a pop group was an interesting idea and, if done right, could have been something special. But Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart"??? Are you kidding me? The guys sound uncomfortable singing these songs and it makes me feel uncomfortable listening to it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Original?Yes.Tolerable? Not quite...
I must hand it to Simon Cowell, this is an intriguing project.Taking classical (not new wave classical but REAL classical) and pop and attempting to meld the two together is an interesting notion.Ultimately, however, the band fails.First and foremost, Il Divo will never be able to escape the fact that they are a manufactured band, brought together by a talent search and, essentially, given everything they needed on a silver platter.Yes, it worked with the Sex Pistols and a few others, but bands created by a record company, for the most part, spew out whatever crap their adoring label wants them to.Their poppy take on classical will make fans of classical music despise their superficiality, their classical take on pop will make most pop-listeners dismiss them as boring or as a silly novelty.If you must buy this album, "Nella Fantasia" and "Passera" are better than most of the other tracks. ... Read more

2. Breakaway
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Asin: B00064ADRK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 10
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Kelly Clarkson could have played her American Idol-propelled career much differently, languishing in the role of dippy ingénue or shunting her musical development by leaning too heavily on overnight stardom. Instead she dug in her heels and allowed good sense (or a good manager) to steer, and somewhere Simon Fuller and the rest of the TV gang ought to be smiling. Credit Breakaway, which couldn't be more aptly titled--the sophomore set represents a seismic split from the thin if pretty stuff debut Thankful set forth. Here we encounter Clarkson as superstar, with the humility that made her likable on the first disc tucked tightly under her arm. First single and leadoff track "Breakaway" topped the pop charts on arrival, and its rock-friendly thumps, dips, and rolls don't wear out their welcome; they blend, instead, into the firestorm of beats and guitars that is "Since U Been Gone," another shout-it-out rocker. Those songs set the tone for the rest of the disc in all its fury: The innocence is long gone, numbers including "Addicted" and "Hear Me" say collectively, and Clarkson's of a mind to kick it. The big, expressive voice ringed by the occasional high-pitch trill--the one that prompted millions to get behind her on Idol--doesn't dip entirely off the radar, though. On "Where Is Your Heart," and the stunning live closer "Beautiful Disaster," it's there in full force--a hint, maybe, that despite the wide, smart career step Breakaway represents, her fans come first. -Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

3. It's Time
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Asin: B00070Q7VO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 27
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Michael Bublé's assured debut and the tireless year of globe-trotting touring he spent promoting it elevated the 20-something Vancouver native into the first rank of pop crooner revivalists. His sophomore studio follow-up largely turns on the same formula that helped make his considerable vocal prowess so attractive to mainstream audiences, mixing the nigh flawless, if expected Sinatra-channeling ("I've Got You Under My Skin") with more playful and inviting renditions of pop standards like the Gershwin's "A Foggy Day in London Town," "Feeling Good," "Try A Little Tenderness" and Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin." But it's the eclectic mix of more contemporary material the singer seasons them with -- apt tribute to Bublé hero Bobby Darin -- that keeps him walking the narrow tightrope between artistic intrigue (a blues-tinged vamp of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "How Sweet It Is," Leon Russell's lovely "Song For You," with a guest turn by Chris Botti) and the kitsch-laden abyss ("Quando, Quando, Quando"'s Euro-centric duet with Nelly Furtado, a ring-a-ding-fling with the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" that echoes fellow Canadian crooner/rival Matt Dusk's more successful flirtation with Lennon-McCartney). Arranger/producer Tommy LiPuma offers Bublé a welcome swinging jazz showcase on "The More I See of You," a bracing respite from the rest of producer David Foster's slick, if typically bloodless MOR production.-- Jerry McCulley [Note: Aspecial edition including two bonus tracks--"Dream a Little Dream" and "Mack the Knife"--is also available.]

Michael Bublé and More

Michael Bublé

Come Fly with Me

Totally Bublé

Come Fly with Me (DVD)

Two Shots

Peter Cincotti

... Read more

Reviews (103)

Michael Buble continues climbing the ladder of stardom with his latest CD "It's Time". I saw Michael sing "Feeling Good" on the David Letterman Show and his performance was truly outstanding. With his International appeal and record sales in the millions, it has now become very apparent that Michael Buble has truly found his audience and has become one of the brightest stars on the worldwide music scene.

With "It's Time" Buble has given his legions of fans exactly what we wanted, more of the same but with a bonus, an original song. This album like his first "Michael Buble" is a very well thought out mixture of well-loved standards, light rock, and classic pop hits with the addition of an excellent original called "Home". All thirteen of these songs are recorded and produced superbly and Michael's tremendous voice and performances just keep getting better and better. The addition of other well-known contempory artists on a few of the tracks makes this cd an extremely good value and I really like this formula of combining two or more wonderful talents to create great music. The sky is the limit for Michael Buble and if this CD is any indication it is going to be a very enjoyable ride.

If you like Sinatra and Swing, I would also suggest Monte Procopio's "Swingin' With Style". He is another crooner that can really swing with the standards.

5-0 out of 5 stars The absolute best male singer today...
This man is one in a lifetime as far as I'm concerned. Ever since I was ateenager, and that was a long time ago, the sultry and sophisticated 'blues' sound of Frank, Dean, Tony, et al have kept me interested in 'real' music, and that's why I have played contemporary and Jazz piano for over 40 years.. the romance that is so delectable in a young persons' life -even if they don't know it at the time- is found- and will last- in Michael's music..thank God there is someone out there with the talent that Michael exhibits. His renditions are first rate by any standard, he brings new life and zip to old classics that the current generation(s) may not have even heard before. And his song "Home' almost brings me to tears every time I hear it.. isn't that something. Canada should get behind Michael as we have here a budding superstar of the magnitude of Celine Dion and even the untouchable GordonLightfoot.

5-0 out of 5 stars What Can I Say?
Before i bought this album, I'd only heard a few songs, mostly from Michael's first album. I bought "It's Time" solely for the track "Home" (which is totally worth it!). I was very impressed with this whole album. It's very eclectic. Michael Buble's vocals are amazing and soothing all at the same time. His covers are creative and polished.

If you're looking for some great music, do yourself a favor and pick up anything by Michael Buble! You'll thank me for it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Celebrate Michael Buble's musical magic!
It's Time is a celebration of musical magic! Michael Buble is a refreshing and welcome addition to the music scene. Celebrate how he manages to make every song on this cd his own and he accomplishes it with style and panache.

Since my purchase of It's Time it has been in steady rotation both in my car stereo and in the offices and will continue playing for a long long time. There is something on this album for all moods and it's refreshing to enjoy EVERY track on a cd for a change. Thank you Mr. Buble.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
I love all genres of music but hold a special place for jazz in my heart. I bought Michael's album "Its Time" because I love jazz and those whose musical opinion I value gave it the thumbs up. I popped it in and listened to the first track, "Feeling Good". Starts slowly, unassumingly... then WOW, it starts swinging, he starts showing off his vocal prowess, and I sat there with my jaw dropped and knew INSTANTLY this guy was something special! Its rare that I like a song the very first time I hear it, I've never loved one the first time I heard it. I LOVED "Feelin' Good" the first time I heard it, and had the same reaction to track 4, "Quando Quando Quando." Most of these songs are covers you will recognize, but the really amazing thing is that Michael makes them sound different... you feel like you're hearing them for the first time. Michael's voice is like a hybrid between a young Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr., but his style is 100% his own. I literally have not stopped listening to this album (all tracks are great) since I bought it. I am going to see Michael perform in Memphis this August (2005), and I couldn't be more excited! I am very thankful for such a wonderful young artist who is bringing this fabulous music to the masses (and to many young fans previously unexposed to jazz). This music- and Michael Buble'- should be celebrated!

... Read more

4. Michael Buble
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Asin: B000088E6D
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 247
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Pop's rush to raid the cradle continues with this promising debut by 25-year-old Canadian singer Michael Bublé. And while the young vocal star's good looks are smart enough for a boy band, his muse seems to have sprung from a more sassy and compelling musical era. Mentored by Paul Anka (whose '50s hit "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" is covered in dreamy, cabaret fashion here), Bublé sings in the orbits of Darin and Sinatra, covering swing epoch gems ("Come Fly with Me," "The Way You Look Tonight," "That's All") and rock era standards (Van Morrison's "Moondance," "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" by the Brothers Gibb, Queen's "Crazy Little Ting Called Love") with equal aplomb. David Foster's production is typically slick and played to the back row of the bleachers, but it's informed by smart contexts provided by such arrangers as Johnny Mandel, Randy Waldman, and Mike Melvoin. If the choices of material are sometimes staid and predictable, they also give the singer a crucial framework for building toward something more challenging; his is a bright future. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (345)

4-0 out of 5 stars I Like this CD - A Lot
I just bought this CD 3 days ago, and I've played it probably 10 times already. Its a pretty good album - Michael Buble has a very good - although Sinatra/Torme/Connick - sounding voice. The arrangements are well made too - but Just The Way You Look Tonite should have preferably been arranged as a slow croon rather than bossa nova style.

I usually look into the Tower reviews to see if anybody else liked the CD's I buy, and it seems that a lot of other people like MB as well as I do. There are however a few people who really blasted him in their reviews. Not only blasted, but outright insulted him - a Karaoke singer!? Really now. Around 10 of 155 reviewers gave him 1-3 stars, and all I can say is that talent is in the ears of the beholder (or in this case, the listener). Measuring MB on the review scale, he is most obviously a talented singer who has moved his audience.

I hope MB comes out with his own album of The Great American Songbook. I'll be looking forward to hearing it, and reading the reviews.

5-0 out of 5 stars Harry Connick Jr. eat your heart out!
I first heard Michael Buble in the film DOWN WITH LOVE. I turned to my friends and asked "Who is that singing? He's great!" But I didn't think about the unknown singer for weeks.

Then I was in a CD store with the same friends and one turned to me and said "You must get this CD. This is the guy you liked from DOWN WITH LOVE." Well, I bought the CD and rushed home to listen to it.

This guy has real talent. Harry Connick Jr. may be a fine musician but he is but "a poor man's Sinatra" next to a singer like Michael Buble. Buble brings something more to the standards. He has a sweeter voice than Connick yet brings a more individual style too. In some ways he is reminiscent of Bobby Darin but whereas Darin could certainly swing, Buble also brings a sensuality to his music. His version of "Sway" is by far the best I have heard and my current favorite from the CD.

The arrangements are all great and the selections range from standards like "Fever" and "Come Fly With Me" to new classics like "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" and "Moondance". Buble's cover of "The Way You Look Tonight" would make even Fred Astaire proud.

5-0 out of 5 stars The boy is soooooooo good!
I bought singing lessons on CD "Voice Lessons TO GO" by Vaccarino, because I was tired of being embarrased to sing with him when my husband was around! I love to play Buble's CD over a good home cooked meal. It is is such romantic music- his voice is so charming. I am also a huge Harry Connick Jr. fan. If you like one, you'll like the other.

5-0 out of 5 stars A word to the detractors;
So you like Frank and Bobby better? Quite a left-handed insult. Although it's fair to say that Bubel comes from that style, (and who could be interested in this kind of music without listening to a -lot- of Sinatra?), it's also apparent to me that this guy just opens his mouth and -sings-, naturally and musically. Some people aren't built to punk out, guys. Let's allow two or three saloon singers to have a career .

5-0 out of 5 stars "Michael Buble" one CD you will never get tired of playing.
Michael Buble is a special talent. I have been listening to his self-titled album "Michael Buble" for quite some time now and every time I hear Michael sing I am just amazed at how mature and seasoned his voice is. Others have mentioned comparisons to other great performers from the past, but Michael doesn't have to rely on anyone's reputation but his own. With his gorgeous voice and unique style he will be a permanent fixture in the pop music scene for many years to come. This CD is really well done. The song selections and production are perfect for a singer of Michael's great ability. You are really going to enjoy this CD!

If you enjoy listening to crooners and Big Band Swing, I would also suggest Monte Procopio. His 13-piece band swings and Monte can really sing the standards. ... Read more

5. Closer
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Asin: B0000CFW87
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 13
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Thanks to a fortuitous intersection of talent and fate, 22-year-old Josh Groban hasn't finished his senior year in performing arts school but has already released his sophomore effort on a major major label. Fans of the young vocal phenom's debut will find much to enthrall them here, even if it nudges the singer closer to the center of producer/mentor David Foster's MOR pop sensibilities. Eschewing much of its predecessors more overt classic-lite pretensions and pop-rock covers for a slate of dramatic, Eurocentric ballads that serve as a showcase for the singer's inviting baritone, Groban shrewdly positions himself as the American alternative to the Bocelli-Watson crossover axis. "Caruso" may find the singer falling short of its operatic inspiration, but "Oceano" and "My Confession" quickly showcase the singer's truedramatic range (which seems to all but yearn for a bona fide Broadway musical challenge), while a vocal take of Bacalov's graceful "Il Postino" theme uses classical virtuoso Joshua Bell's violin flourishes to good effect. To his credit, Groban displays some promising efforts at songwriting collaboration on the bittersweet "Per Te" and "Remember When It Rains," while the ambient/ethnic soundscape of Deep Forest's "Never Let Go" offers a teasing alternative to the record's otherwise melodramatic production formula. Groban has found commercial triumph via Foster's mentoring, but there remains a nagging sense here that he hasn't truly pushed himself as an artist--yet.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (411)

4-0 out of 5 stars Remarkable voice
My four star rating is given because Josh Groban has, in my opinion, the best male voice out there right now. I bought this CD strictly to hear him sing. In that I wasn't disappointed although some of the song choices leave me somewhat less than thrilled. "Mi Mancherai" is done so beautifully. It is by far my favorite. The collaberation of he and Joshua Bell was genius. Tracks 2,4,6,7, and 11 are also lovely. "Remember When It Rained" was written by Josh Groban and is quite pretty. He plays the piano on that song and does so very well. I hope he will do more playing in his future projects. As for the opinions about "Caruso" being less than well performed, I would have to disagree.
The pop sound in some of the songs I could gladly do without. Ideally, he would stick to a more classical sound with the instruments adding to the beauty of his voice rather than detracting from it.
This is the only CD I've ever bought the day it came out. I will likely do the same next time. And if there are more violin or piano or cello accompaniments and fewer by electric guitars and drums, I will be thrilled!

5-0 out of 5 stars A little range reach but "Closer" to roots of appeal.
I love music - all kinds of music. But the music on this cd seems almost tailor made for what my heart loves to hear best. David Foster has this incredible way of building a movie set of music around a spectacular voice. The effects are dramatic and to Josh Groban's interprative credit not melodramatic.

Josh Groban really took a couple of risks here, he cowrote and plays piano on "Remember When It Rained". It's great to hear something a little different from him even if it isn't the best track on the cd. Some of the tracks sound a little saccharin like "Broken Vow" - the live version on the cd/dvd was better but "My Confession" is a wonderfully elegant ballad that takes Josh's voice to a higher range and works majestically well. Some of the tracks are absolutely spectacular like "Mi Mancherai" which includes some of the most expressive violin from Joshua Bell and "Oceano" which also includes musical arrangements that compliment and frame Josh's exquisite voice. Josh Groban's absolute pitch, warmth and power are showcased so well but this cd illustrates some lovely diversity not seen in the debut. It's hard to ascertain what Josh Groban is conveying when he sings but the aura of emotional distancing doesn't interfere with the extraordinary delivery on each track, it creates an appealing mystique. Even if a couple tracks are skippable - the cd overall is a demonstrative delicious big bang.

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW WHAT AN AMAZING ARTIST
This guy is amazing and i think that anybody that disagrees with me is crazy. This is a true artist and it is a GOD given talent also. You have to buy this CD if you really want to hear good music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blew me away
This guy and I are the same age and I cannot believe that wonderful voice comes out of him. This CD is a must get and I am glad I bought it. It is a perfect way to relax after a long day- his voice just soothes you. Favorite tunes are of course Oceano- also Mi Mancherai, Per Te, and Remember when it rained. He packs so much power into his music and Thank God for whoever discovered him!

1-0 out of 5 stars 0 Stars
What the world needs now is NOT an opera version of Clay Aiken! or should I say opera-wannabe version. Do yourself a favor and get the "Cabaret" soundtrack of the movie for some REAL MUSICAL TALENT. F-(-) ... Read more

6. ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits
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Asin: B000001DZO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 336
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Anyone looking for the key to Abba's enduring appeal should look no further than "Voulez Vous" and "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" for their answer. There was an innocence to the Swedish quartet, even when they were singing about one-night stands and the invitations to them. Gold establishes that the band, while appreciated as campy, were actually multifaceted in their execution. "S.O.S." has a raw urgency in its chorus, and "Does Your Mother Know" draws its energy from classic '50s rock & roll. Likewise, you don't have to be Priscilla to swoon over "Mamma Mia" or "Dancing Queen." And when it comes to drama, those soaring vocals on "The Winner Takes It All" turn the song into a bitter anthem of every relationship that has ever fallen apart. The much-covered "Lay All Your Love on Me" is practically epic. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (185)

5-0 out of 5 stars PURE GOLD!
There are three words I can say after listening to this album all the way through: wow, WoW and WOW!!! I must admit, I originally thought ABBA was one or two hit wonder because all I've ever heard from them was the ever-popular "Dancing Queen." (However after listening to it I found myself asking "They sang that?! I had no idea!") I enjoyed "Dancing Queen" enough that my sister bought this wonderful album for me as a Christmas present. At first I was a little hesistant to listen to the other tracks but I decided to do so anyway. And boy, was I impressed!! This is one of the few, exclusive albums that I can listen to all the way through. It's just *that* good.

Even in the 2000's ABBA's legacy lives on. Their music can be tolerated even in today's pop music world. Take the group A*teens for example. Isn't it great that you hear children singing songs such as "Take A Chance On Me" and "Mama Mia"? Yeah maybe they aren't the best singers but the fact remains: ABBA still get recognized even today, decades later. Currently, the Broadway musical "Mama, Mia!" is a hit. With a musical based on ABBA's greatest hits, why wouldn't it be? "Mama Mia!" was written by Benny and Bjork (The two male singers/songwriters of ABBA) as well as the often produced musical, "Chess."

My favorite songs on the album are as follows:
"Take A Chance On Me", "Super Trouper", "Chiquitita", "Voulez Vous", "Does Your Mother Know", "One Of Us", "The Name of the Game" and "Thank You For The Music."
Don't worry, there are more songs on the album then this, all of great merit. I had a hard time myself thinking up which ones were my absolute favorites, and in time they may change as well. All of the songs on this album are up-beat and make you just feel happy inside. The rhythm just makes ya wanna get up and dance (Especially "Dancing Queen"). Yeah, some maybe a little 70's like ("Lay All Your Love On Me") but the fact still remains: ABBA is here to stay!! Reccomended to *anyone*...even if only hearing their song "Dancing Queen."

5-0 out of 5 stars This Is Pure Gold
The title says it all. Gold - Greatest Hits and every one of the hits included on this album are of the highest standard.

One of the top bands of the 70's and writers of timeless quality songs, Abba's music will surely never die and is currently being boosted further by the tribute band The A Teens which is bringing Abba's music to a new generation of listeners.

Every song included here is great and must be if nine of them topped the UK singles chart during the 70's and early 80's. As well as the number ones there are 10 other great tracks that will no doubt ring a bell to anyone dancing in the 70's. From the major hits Dancing Queen, Knowing Me Knowing You, Mamma Mia and the Eurovision Winner Waterloo to lesser known but still as good hits Does Your Mother Know, I Have A Dream and Voulez Vous this CD is sure to please.

My personal favourites are some of Abba's later hits. One Of Us is a beautiful and touching ballad, Lay All Your Love On Me is a stomping disco classic and Chiquitita which is my all time favourite Abba song as i feel it has everything required by a great pop song.

Whether you are young or old, male or female you are sure to enjoy this compilation of some of the finest music of the 70's.

4-0 out of 5 stars Abba Gold rocks my socks
As i listened to this cd, i realize that i know every single word to every single song. this cd is amazing in that the best songs arent just in the beginning, they are all throughout the cd. the cd starts with the huge hit Dancing Queen and ends with Waterloo. Waterloo was the song that made abba famous when abba won a competition with it and released a record "Waterloo" using the song as the theme song. Throughout the years, movies have used abba songs because they're funny and fun to listen to. In johnny english, does your mother know is one of the main jokes used throughout the movie. some of the most popular songs on this cd are mamma mia, dancing queen, does your mother know, thank you for the music, take a chance on me, and Voulez vous. this cd is truly gold

5-0 out of 5 stars ABBA - Gold: Greatest Hits
Abba is one the greatest rock bands of all time. They are up their with greats such as Depeche Mode, Beatles, Bee Gees and The Rolling Stones. The lyrics are very well written, the music is amazing and they have unfairly been called stupid disco music when it is in deed sublime. Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Collection of Classic Hits
This disc has all of the essential ABBA classics. From the ever-popular "Dancing Queen" to the melodic "Fernando", this CD contains something for every ABBA fan, either the casual or the strong follower. Formed in the early 1970's, ABBA quickly took Europe by storm, but they had some problems establishing themselves in the United States. But with each successive album, ABBA began to develop a very distinct sound that lured listeners in and they quickly began to establish themselves as one of the first successful "prog rock" groups.

This fine CD contains all of the songs that people associate with the group. "Dancing Queen" was their most successful single, and it appropriately leads off the disc. And the classics keep coming with "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take A Chance On Me", "S.O.S.", "Chiquita", "Fernando", and "Waterloo". Also included is "Does Your Mother Know", the only song where Benny and Bjorn sing lead vocals.

ABBA's trademark throughout the years has always been strong vocals and melodic insturmentals, and each of these qualities is readily evident on this CD. Frida and Agnetha shine on lead vocals, while Benny's and Bjorn's insturmentals and backing vocals give life to each song. I highly recommend this CD. If you are a casual ABBA fan such as myself, you'll get all of the essential tracks on one CD, but more loyal fans will enjoy it as well. ... Read more

7. Josh Groban
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00005RGNI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 58
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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There are worse things in life than making your acting debut on the much ballyhooed season finale of Ally McBeal, though teen operatic baritone Josh Groban doesn't seem destined to encounter them anytime soon. As the awkward high school student-client who asks the typically romance-jinxed Ally to his senior prom, Groban performed this debut album's "You're Still You" (adapted from film-composing legend Ennio Morricone's Academy Award-nominated score for Malèna, with lyrics by Linda Thompson) as a heart-tugging, literal showstopper. The young phenom was just 17 when veteran producer-writer David Foster tapped him to fill in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsals for the 1999 Grammys, where Groban found himself suddenly dueting with Celine Dion.

Indeed, such were his fortunes that the young Foster protégé was forced to drop out of Carnegie Mellon when professional commitments--including this record--interfered. And if this collection tends to hew sometimes uncomfortably close to Foster's own MOR sonic instincts, the material offers enough challenges to display Groban's talent and the potential of his warm, mature voice: a lyrical take on another Morricone classic, "Cinema Paradiso"; melancholy readings of Don McLean's "Starry, Starry Night" and Albert Hammond's "Alejate"; masterfully dramatic takes of the Neapolitan "Alla Luca Del Sole" and "Canto Alla Vita," the latter featuring the Corrs. Many of Groban's performances here, including a neo prog-rock-opera take on Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (with Lili Haydn), seem both bigger and bolder than their precious musical frameworks, a telling hint that Grand Opera can't be far from his grasp. As said earlier, there are worse things in life. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (946)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing Baritone
I first became aware of this young man's vocal abilities by accident, tuning into Rosie O'Donell's show one afternoon. I didn't get his name correctly, just Josh G-something. When I was able to find his CD, I listened to the entire thing with headphones on and was reduced to tears several times by the emotion and sincerety conveyed in his voice and the words of the ballads chosen for this CD. I've never been interested in operatic singers or songs in Italian or Spanish before, but I am now a devoted fan of this new genre..Classical Alternative, or whatever it's being called this week (hard to classify). Everyone I've introduced to Josh's voice has been won over and bought the CD, usually after searching alot in the store for where it's located. My favorites are Gira Con Me and Let Me Fall from Cirque de Soleil. His diction is so clear on the Italian and Spanish lyrics, his breath support and phrasing reflect his classical vocal training. For a 21 yr old young man from LA, he sings with a maturity beyond his years. I would recommend this CD to ANYONE, and have! Thanks for the opportunity to review the CD for your readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Can't wait for more!
This is one of the most uplifting, enticing, and cathartic CD's that I've listened to in a very long time. Josh Groban has a strong, warm voice that brings his words to life and allows the listener to become completely lost in the phrasing and orchestration. Highlights include:

You're Still You - a powerful ballad with great background vocals and high-flying orchestration

Canto Alla Vita - one of the most upbeat songs on the album. Surprisingly this song leans a bit toward techno (in the tradition of Sting's "Desert Rose" and the like). The beautiful harmonies provided by The Corrs really add interest and life to this one, not to mention Groban's "big" voice. A great mix of Italian and English.

Let Me Fall - another ballad, this time a little darker and more desperate. Groban's voice is very dramatic and he does a great job translating emotion into the lyrics.

The Prayer - this time Charlotte Church joins in. Although she's not her best on this particular song, it's still breathtaking.

I eagerly anticipate more of Josh Groban's efforts, and hope that he can skate easily past all the hype surrounding his age and maintain a high level of creativity, passion, and excellence.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good voice, terrible music.
This young man has a pretty damn good voice for someone his age. He's not what I'd consider truly opera material, but it is suitable for an enjoyable listening.

The problem is, the music is just plain cheesy pop. Like others have said, you'd have to be a soccor-mom soap-opera watcher to be able to swallow the tripe. Now, let's say this man were making music along a creative vein such as Radiohead, then it would be truly phenomenal.

I'm still of the group that believe in reality in music. I don't want to hear some nobody's pop or lackluster classical over this man's voice. I want to hear this man's internal perspective. I want him to write the songs and I want to hear something different than the cheesyness. There's a reason bands like the Beatles stand out. Integrity. He has yet to prove it, it honestly appears as if he's just another marketing tool to be abused by a greedy music company.

Man, if only this guy would get out and do his own stuff. Until then, I simply cannot respect him.

5-0 out of 5 stars His voice is like eating great chocolate!
I received this album from a friend for christmas, and I was
completely in love with this man voice!

His songs are wonderfully written, you can place yourself in them and how he is feeling when he sings them.

I think his voice is like the "smoothness of fine chocolate when it is melted"

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome, amazing, spectacular, beyond anything ever heard...
You may not believe it but I was a skeptic at first. When my mom bought the CD after hearing Josh Groban on the radio I was reluctant to listen to a CD where half the songs were in a language I couldn't understand.

Then I heard "The Voice."

Wow. He was ~20 when he recorded this? I was stunned. His voice was spectacular. Even if you had no idea what the words meant you still managed to understand them! And it was because of the emotion that Josh Groban protrays in singing. What makes Josh Groban such a refreshing singer are two things:
1. He manages to blend the line between classical and pop with ease.
2. His voice is so mature he could sing opera but the music he sings reflects his age.

Altogether it creates a wonderful package that leaves you wanting more. This is the best debut album I have ever heard in my life. ... Read more

8. 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

9. Renee Olstead
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00020HEL6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 361
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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No less an expert on pop affairs than Neil Sedaka likens the impossibly mature voice of 14-year-old vocalist/TV star (CBS' Still Standing) Renee Olstead to "Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday all wrapped in one." There's no disputing the sultry vocal talents showcased on this debut that balances familiar chestnuts from the great American songbook ("Summertime," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Sentimental Journey") with more recent fare that veers from R 'n' B sass ("Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby") to 70s chart hits like Sedaka's own "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" and Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis." A cynical ear might question how much of Olmstead's own life informs these bluesy performances: how trying can eigth grade be for an attractive redhead with a major label contract? Indeed, the tagline for at least one latter-day Ella Fitzgerald project comes frequently to mind here: "Is it real, or it Memorex?" Olmstead is yet another teen protege of hugely successful producer David Foster (who's midwifed the careers of Josh Groban and Michael Buble in recent years), and he provides her with some sturdy jazz arrangements to riff emotively on here--even if his production is as slick and bloodless as ever. Still, Foster's penchant for overwrought melodrama is kept mercifully in check on his own composition "I Want a Love to Last," while his shrewd teaming of the young chanteuse with fellow teen pop phenom Peter Cincotti on Sedaka's "Breaking Up.." deftly underscores the promising talents of both. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (62)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and only better from here
The orchestration, arrangements, and amazing singing talent in terms of style, timing, phrasing, and voice on this CD are worth every penny if you are a fan of this type of music at all ... "older standards." Some songs are very much Diana Krallesq and one or two lean in the direction of Norah Jones. Those I can do without. In Norah Jones I find nice music, but nothing special. Renee has much more to offer and, when she turns to a Diana Krall style of orchestration and adds her own voicing, she wins me over completely.

At 15 years old, this young lady and comic actress seems to be an amazing talent. Her bio bears witness to this fact. Her singing is wonderful and, judging by the list of well knowns, including Chris Botti, that helped her on this CD, the right people seem to agree.

Buy this CD and hope that she continues, because if she does, with another 3 or 4 years of maturity, this will be a singing talent to be reckoned with. If she takes the time to further develop her own style, phrasing, and voice even more, she will be a premiere singer who's CD releases we will all anxiously anticipate. I am already looking forward to the next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Who Knew? Renee Olstead is the real deal!!!
Renee Olstead is the real deal! Who knew this sitcom star ("Still Standing") had such a great voice. This new singer takes a collection of great standards, intermixed with a couple of newbies, and makes them her own. She's a pop singer with a jazz sensibility that is absolutely intoxicating. One can only hope that her record company will promote her as well as Norah Jones was promoted by her label. This is a fresh take on titles from the Great American Songbook, with arrangements that match.
Her duet with Peter Cincotti on "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" is worth the price of the CD all on its own! A wistfully done "Someone To Watch Over Me" is equally great. Listen to her rendition of the Barry Manilow song "Meet Me, Midnight", and tell me that you aren't hearing a new singing star being born!
This is one terrific CD!

5-0 out of 5 stars I listened for a week before I checked her out ....
My 22 yr old daughter works at a major chain that sells CDs, books, & coffee. She brought home this free CD with 3 tracks on it. I put it in my CD player and listened to these 3 tracks off and on for a week. I liked it right away. The more I listened, the more I liked it. I went on Amazon (like I usually do) and bought two of her CDs for myself. When I took the free one to work; others really liked it too. One of my employess took the time to read the liner notes. Boy was I surprised that learn from him that Renee Olstead was only 14 yrs old! I was impressed. She has a beautiful voice! She is a beautiful redhead! This is a great selection of songs! I rate this CD 5 STARS. I have been listening to Jazz, rock, and classical music for at least 50 of my 53 years. I have played in folk groups, rock bands, and even in church when I was a kid. I've spent hours in practice halls and recording studios. This is great music sung by a great voice and I love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great singer at any age
I am sure some people or going to attack this person because they don't like her music or her age or something to that effect. If you close your eyes and listen to her sing, you won't even notice anything like that. Reminds me of the attacks against the talents of Nora Jones by fans of Avril Langione. I love all kinds of music myself as well except maybe attack rap songs and a few others. I listen to the Motown Oldies station here at my job because that is about the only clear fm I can get.

But this girl has been singing for a number of years and I am sure she was involved here in Houston with a number of local singing groups. A friend of mine said he recognized her from some of the vocal workshops he use to go to.

She has a talent and knows how to display this to the audience which is where her acting talent comes in.

You will be hearing her name for sometime.


5-0 out of 5 stars Wow. Just Wow.
As a hard core swing dancer, I hear more than my fair share of good music but it takes a lot to get me excited. This CD gets me excited. Go to her website and listen to her version of "Summertime" all the way through. Wow. ... Read more

10. Classic Sinatra
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0000479AV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 348
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Few would dispute that Frank Sinatra was one of the greatest popular singers of the 20th century. His voice had distinct power and majesty, whether he was belting out a swinging dance number or softly crooning a tender ballad. When he was at his height, no one could touch him, and the songs collected on Classic Sinatra showcase the range of his talent. Recorded during his memorable run for Capitol Records in the 1950s, the songs here are more than just his best, they're often the definitive recordings: "I Get a Kick out of You," "Young at Heart," "Witchcraft," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "In the Wee Small Hours," and"I've Got You under My Skin." Like almost everything Sinatra recorded during this period, there isn't a dud to be found here, which makes Classic Sinatra a perfect introduction to the work of this truly great talent. --Robert Burrow ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars Looking for a great way to discover Frank Sinatra?
Than look no further. I had heard about Frank Sinatra but didn't know where to start with his music until I stumbled across this CD. It was my first Sinatra CD, but it certainly won't be my last! Classic Sinatra serves as the perfect introduction to this classic yet timeless singer because it's full of dazzling songs that are enjoyable to listen to. In fact, you may be hooked after just hearing the opening phrase of the first song. The tempo is generally upbeat, with the perfect mix of swingers and ballads. I enjoy listening to this CD while hanging out with my boyfriend or friends, while driving, or any time I need something to perk up my spirits.
By the way, the sound quality is amazing. The recordings sounds crisp and fresh--hard to believe they're 50 years old!
I'm no Sinatra expert, but thanks to this CD I'm rapidly becoming a fan. If you'd like to experience one of the 20th century's most memorable singers, pick up this CD now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice 'N' Easy!
This certainly is classic Sinatra. Twenty of his best cuts from those Capitol years are here in this terriffically remastered CD, a Nice N' Easy feel being the overall theme. Some great ballads like "In the Wee Small Hours" and "One More for My Baby" are scattered throughout, but mainly this is a confident and swingin' Sinatra at the top of his game. This whole thing just leaves us feeling good, and a little in awe of Sinatra's greatness.

If you have a lot of Sinatra's stuff, as most people do, this is a nice addition, and if you really aren't familiar with what all the fuss was about, this is definitely the one to get. A good twentysomething friend of mine recently bought this after listening to me chide him because he didn't own any Sinatra, or really know much about popular music. You can occasionally make out that tune he's singing as "It Happened in Montery", his favorite cut. Any fan could go on all day talking about these wonderful Sinatra classics, but better just to buy it and see for yourself.

Frank's "Only the Lonely" concept album (which I have also reviewed) shows us the darker side of love and romance, but for the most part, this collection of 50's classics are either melancholy or swingin'. It's about the romantic chase (Come Dance With Me), and the sheer adrenaline rush (Come Fly With Me) of falling in love. Fairy tales can come true, it could happen to you, if your "Young at Heart", which is just how you'll feel after listening to this true Sinatra classic.

Buy this one today. It might just seem like "Witchcraft" as this collection gets "Under Your Skin", and you find yourself playing it "Night and Day", not for a few cuts, but "All the Way" through. Thought you weren't a Sinatra fan, huh? "Oh Look at You Now"!

5-0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC -- Sinatra means -- His Greatest!
Since only 16, I was greatly influenced by ole Blue Eyes! Regard-less whether his Movies, his Records on 78 rpm or on the Radio! (Long before TV!) Then our Senior Yr comes along, we got old enuf to be "Dancing in the Dark with Mary Costa, Harriet____ or Dorris! We thrilled & chilled-out to "The Lady Is A Tramp; When You're Young at Heart; It's Witch-craft!" We stayed long, Past our Curfew" to have another Frostie to Smootch a bit-more! Along about 40, Frank's still going strong. Sir Robert Shaw said: "If you really hope to learn the art of phrasing, Listen to Frank!"

Only reminded today on hearing Garrison Keillor, my 75th yr, hearing a Poem of Donald Justice: "Men over 40 learn to close the door very softly when leaving the room if not coming back!" But we leave it open, just enuf to hear Frank!

So here is Frank moving us once more to Nostalgia, Bittersweet Memories, hearing, "You Make Me Feel So Young! ; Night and Day ; Put Your Dreams Away til Another Day; Come Fly With Me!"
Only 7 out of the 20++ Classic Songs of Sinatra from Ole Blue Eyes, who never stopped looking, feeling, singing YOUNG! Every trip includes Frank, Duke, Louis, Sir Robert! Not-Yet-Older, Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood

5-0 out of 5 stars Great engineering
Thankfully remastered classics. I remember going off to Viet Nam, wandering the streets of Tokyo one dark and rainy night and hearing "Strangers in the Night" blaring out of every bar with cheap speakers, it was the soundtrack before my personal hell. Years later I heard it rightfully played on a quality stereo, I wept.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sinatra Riddle, what a couple!
Sinatra and Nelson Riddle are like Scorsesse De Niro in movies.A perfect combination.
However, the jewel of the crown is "My funny Valentine" one of the most perfect songs ever composed.
This compilation was complete. There's no hole.
Sinatra in his best.
Buy this one. ... Read more

11. Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0001AP0OU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 365
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars DON'T leave yesterday behind..LET'S have yesterday once more
I too, would like to have the original studio cuts of the songs, on a nice collection or compilation CD. It's not that the re-mixed versions are bad, it's just that you want the original songs instead of the original songs remixed. Richard gives interesting commentary in the liner notes. Like how "The Karen Carpenter Story" which he produced and directed, is fictitious and false. And he calls his involvement with the tv-movie "a mistake". 40 songs on a CD is a plus. That's one of the best things about this CD. "Those Good Old Dreams" should have been included with this CD.

RAINBOW CONNECTION - better then the Kenny Loggins version and the kermit the frog version. This song is beautiful, & Karen is at her best here.

LEAVE YESTERDAY BEHIND - it sounds like a bad version of "For All We Know". The beginning of the song sounds identical to "For All We Know". This song STINKS!

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN - Some of the background instuments sound scratchy, and it's inferior to the classic MaMa's & PaPa's version. But Karen's voice sounds great. Richard notes that Karen sang one of the lyrics wrong. This song STINKS too!

A & M finally included a non-love song from the Carpenters called "Mr. Guder". This is one of my favorites. The best songs are: superstar- rainy days- top of the world- jambalaya- rainbow connection- masquerade- yesterday once more- make believe it's your first time- i just fall in love again- for all we know- i won't last a day without u- a song for you.

I highly recommend this CD.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Emotions
A great deal for the money, no doubt about that, and the second best Carpenters collection out there (look for the out of print "1969-1973" greatest hits, which has twelve classic songs and no filler at all).

Several issues: Richard Carpenter has remixed the songs, and while there's nothing wrong with them, they won't all sound exactly like you remember. A minor quibble, but worth mentioning. Richard's liner notes, are excellent, however, and well worth your time--you'll find his comments about the TV movie made after Karen's death very interesting.

There are three previously unreleased tracks, including a so-so "California Dreamin'," with vocals recorded way back in 1967 and musical backing added several years ago. There are some interesting covers, including "Rainbow Connection," (yes, the Muppets hit the Top 40 with the same song), and Barry Manilow's "Tryin' To Get The Feeling." Karen sounds tremendous on Leon Russell's "This Masquerade" as well.

Diehard fans will have their own quibbles about a song here and there which was left out, but this set is packed with not only the all-time classics but lesser-known singles and the oft-played "Merry Christmas Darling." This is very close to a five-star package, but while there are no noticeable drops in song quality, the later years for the band didn't yield music quite as powerful and enduring as their first few years. But this one is strongly recommended, especially at this bargain basement price--you can't be without "Close To You," "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays" and all the rest of their timeless hits.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yesteryear Once More
This cd's only flaw is that it's not done chronologically, as it would have helped new Carpenters fans find it easier to trace the group's legacy. But when one overlook that one major mistake, what's here is 2 great cds of timeless music from the greatest duo in pop music history (in my opinion).

Disc 1 is easily the more intriguing of the two discs. While it features a few big hits like "Superstar", "Rainy Days And Mondays" and "Top Of The World", it mostly features obscure tracks and previously unreleased material. Among the goodies are a 1967 recording of "California Dreamin' featuring a haunting vocal by Karen, the "Star Wars" - inspired "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)", and the stirring "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore" (from the 1983 posthumous release "Voice Of The Heart"). My favorite song on this disc is the 1976 hit "There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World)". This version easily buries Herman's Hermits' original version. And am I the only one who tears up when I hear "We've Only Just Begun"?

Disc 2 contains all of the big hits. Here's where you'll find "Yesterday Once More", "Hurting Each Other", "Sing", "Goodbye To Love" and, of course, "(They Long To Be) Close To You". Also included a few more obscure numbers that I enjoyd just as much like "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song", "I Need To Be In Love" (Karen's favorite) and "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again" (their version buries the top 10 hit version by Barry Manilow, who had the lyrics altered for his recording). Also included the stirring instrumental "Karen's Theme", from the 1989 tv movie "The Karen Carpenter Story", as well as a track on his 1997 solo album "Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor". What's best about these cds is that aside from continuing show that Karen was the best female singer of her era, it shows that she was an amazing drummer, a talent of hers that remains underrated (that and her dazzling beauty).

This set leaves nothing out (there a are few low - charting latterday singles like "Goofus" and "Beachwood 4 - 195789" missing, but they are not that important). Also, Richard Carpenter provides For good, old - fashioned pop music that will surely brighten your day, pick this cd up today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Clearer, Cleaner, & Fresher - Remixed is better
This is the greatest and largest Carpenters greatest hits album so far! As usual, Karen's voice is haunting and beautiful and very pleasing to the ear. She sounds so wonderful. The song selection is great too. All of the hits and 3 new Carpenters songs. "Rainbow Connection" & "Leave Yesterday Behind" are lovely ballads, that Karen sings perfectly. "California Dreamin" is a 17-year old Karen!

"Tryin' To Get the Feeling Again" is a beautiful Carpenter ballad, that is way better than Barry Manilow's version. "I Need To Be In Love" & "I Won't Last A Day Without You" are the only two songs that Karen sings with soul and sadness. She believes and really feels what she is singing, with these two songs. "Yesterday Once More" and "Make Believe It's Your First Time" are two of Richard's best songs that he arranged. His creativity and arrangements on those two songs, combined with Karen's voice is magic. The Carpenters making more adult and mature music like "Make Believe It's Your First Time" and "Touch Me When We're Dancing" was a good shift and change in their music. For future greatest hits CDs, I hope to see "One Love" and "Because We Are In Love (The Wedding Song)", on future greatest hits compilations.

People criticize Richard's remixing the Carpenters songs. But if you ever listen to the original version of the Carpenters songs (especially the early ones), you should hear how old and phonically bad, they sound. The remixed songs on this CD, sound updated and brand new, as if they were just recorded on brand new state-of-the-art recording equipment. When I compare the remixed and original versions of "Yesterday Once More", there is very minor, almost no instrument or orchestration difference between the two, but the remixed version sounds clearer and cleaner, and the original version sounds as if you are listening to a vinyl record on a turntable. And I compared "Yesterday Once More" with the "Now & Then" studio album on CD and not vinyl!

Richard tells us that doing these compilation CDs are "bittersweet", but he says he owes it to Karen. I thank and appreciate Richard for writing the liner notes and producing this CD and releasing more unreleased Carpenters songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Guiltiest Of All Pleasures
I can't stand it when haters rag on the Carpenters. Say what you will, but no one can deny the beauty and simplicity of Karen Carpenter's voice. This collection is a great representation of the many hits that the Carpenters churned out in the the 70's. You get the tracks that they're the most known for ("Superstar" *my fave*, "We've only Just Begun", "Close To You", etc.) the covers ("Rainbow Connection", "California Dreamin", "Ticket To Ride", etc.) and some of the lesser known tracks. I can't help but marvel at the innocense and simplicity that this music represesnts. So it had no substance....who really cares? Music nowadays lacks the innosence that the Carpenters portrayed and it's rather sad how the times have changed. I'd trade hip hop for the 70's any day. ... Read more

12. Ultimate Manilow
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Asin: B00005USBH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 248
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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There's a cynical adage that argues if you stand still long enough, history will eventually catch up with you. It's tempting to say that about Barry Manilow, an artist whose stubborn, quarter-century dedication to old-fashioned song craft and musical melodrama has earned him few critical praises but a loyal worldwide following in the millions. When a cult of 20-something would-be lounge lizards tried to cash in on Manilow's shtick in the 1990s, they distanced themselves from its emotional potency with telling dollops of irony and retro-hip cynicism--anything to keep from looking too sincere. This album serves up the high points of Manilow's long, successful career, rightly focusing on the long string of '70s hits that built both his legend and record label. They're a body of songs whose solid craftsmanship is undeniable, but it's Manilow's sincerity that crucially sells them--indeed, he didn't write "I Write the Songs," but who could doubt him? It's an odd tribute that much here--"Mandy," "Looks Like We Made It," "Copacabana," et. al.--has become the palette for a popular entertainment spectrum that somehow encompasses endless hotel piano bars on one flank and TV sketch-com parody on the other. Good to remember that kitsch, by definition, requires a deep and lasting impact on the culture. Manilow hasn't just embraced the "K" word; he's reveled in it with a smile--how could one frown through "Bandstand Boogie" and "Copa" anyway?--and elevated it to something approaching the transcendental through his sheer, joyous force of will. And if his latter work has been unabashedly nostalgic, how could anyone be surprised? --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (140)

5-0 out of 5 stars Barry gets the last laugh again!
When was the last time Barry Manilow seriously charted a record? My guess is that it's been about 20 years since broke the top 25, let alone the top 10. Well, lookie here -- this album debuts on the Billboard 100 this week at #3. You read it right.....NUMBER THREE.

The really "Ultimate" thing about Manilow is that for all the jokes about him over the years - he has always had the last laugh. As a songwriter/arranger who most thought had only a passable voice with his thick Brooklyn accent, he became one of the top vocalists of the 1970's with many of his biggest hits being the songs he DIDN'T write. He also single-handedly brought back the sound of a full orchestra in popular music after years of only rhythm instruments.

When the early 1980's arrived and musical tastes changed, Manilow disappeared from the airwaves. But he has never disappeared from the public. He maintained and built his solid concert following worldwide, selling out shows for years and years. The average person in the U.S.A. has no concept of how big Barry is all over the world. In fact, unless you have and play his old albums, many people haven't heard him in years because his records don't even get played on "oldies" stations and only occasionally on "granny" stations.

Manilow's unabashed vocal sincerity and musical romanticism, while not always hip, has always been "in". As be-bop, hip-hop, new wave, grunge, and every other here today/gone tomorrow style passes by, the one constant is the romantic ballad. Barry knows it and never strays far from it. Unlike Coca-Cola who foolishly changed their winning formula several years ago to disasterous effect, Manilow is constant and loyal to both his product and his fans. He makes no apologies and you're either with him or you're not - but HE'S not going to change.

As for the songs in this collection, they are quintessential Barry - huge production values, soaring vocals, the halting drum break before the inevitable key-change. I had the full library of Manilow albums while growing up and we have long since parted. It's great to have the cream of the crop (with a few minor omissions) on one CD. These songs bring back some great memories.

I'm thrilled for Barry that he's regaining some prominence with this collection, his appearance on "Ally McBeal", and at the Super Bowl pre-game festivities. I suspect that about four years from now when he turns 60 and is tired of touring, we're going to see Barry pitch his tent in Branson, Missouri at the Copacabana Theater! Good for him.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Overview Of All Of Barry Manilow's Best!
Besides the fact that we share a common first name, I have little in common with seventies crooner Barry Manilow, but I have to admit to having a soft place in my heart for a number of his most famous song. Thus I recently purchased this CD, which has all my favorites and a whole lot more to often the casual fan. From the original rendition of "Mandy", which burst him onto the mid-seventies scene, to "It's A Miracle" to "Could It Be Magic", both the lyrics and the arrangements of Manilow's songs were memorable and immensely popular. He was truly the king of the formula song, and reportedly made his start in entertainment by writing clever jingles for commercials, and that sense for what is catchy and saleable permeates all of his work.

This is not to say it isn't good, for much of it is really quite good, but to admit he was interested in writing popular commercial music. No fault there. And he did it exceptionally well, with hits including "Can't Smile Without You", "Even Now", "Copacabana", "Looks Like We Made It", and "somewhere In The Night" among many others. He also was a superb interpreter of other's songs, as with his smash hit, "I Write The Songs". Some of my favorites are "Weekend In New England", "Somewhere Down The Road", "I Made It through The Rain", and "Trying To Get The Feeling". All of Manilow's work deals with aspects of love and romance, so he finds himself somewhat limited in terms of his scope. But within that particular genre no one has been more successful in producing such a stream of marketable songs that won such enduring public acclaim. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure
Though he may be the most maligned singer in pop music history, Barry Manilow remains one of the most successful and popular solo male vocalists ever. His musical versatillity is matched only by a select group of artists, as is his success (he topped the AC charts 13 times).

If you're a casual or even a huge Manilow fan, it's hard to not to enjoy the songs here. Whether you prefer "Mandy", "I Write The Songs" or "Can't Smile Without You", the latter my personal favorite, it's unlikely that you won't find your favorite Manilow song here. Also included is a fare amount of lesser - known numbers like "Daybreak", "This One's For You" and the haunting "When October Goes". And while some people think that he peaked with the "Even Now" album and its four hit singles, his post - 1978 is among his best work; "Ships", "I Made It Through The Rain", "The Old Songs" (another personal favorite), "Somewhere Down The Road", and the haunting "When October Goes" are just as good as "Mandy", "I Write The Songs" or "Copacabana".

If there's one criticism I could make about his songs, it's this. Manilow's music has often been criticized for being overblown. I find this partly true. Some of his songs - namely "Ready To Take A Chance Again" (though this one is one of my favorites) and "Looks Like We Made It" - are great song but suffer from heavy orchestration instead letting them stay simple, piano - driven ballads. But most of Barry's hits rely on his powerful voice and simple arrangements. He also didn;t rely on entirely ballds. For instance, at first "Can't Smile Without You" may seem like a traditional Manilow ballad at first, but when listens to the whimsical whistling intro and the chugging melody, the song goes from a ballad to a delightfully melancholy romp. And when he's at his best, he can deter the listener from the hefty arrangement with his powerful vocal presence. This goes especially for "I Made It Through The Rain", "Ships" and "Somewhere In The Night". As with all greatest hits collections, there is an abundance of singles missing. Most of them are minor hits, but it would have been nice to have seen them included. They are:

"When I Wanted You" (number 20 in 1979, but number one Adult Contemporary)
"I Don't Want To Walk Without You" (number 36)
"Lonely Together" (number 45)
"Let's Hang On" (cover of the 4 Seasons hit) (number 32)
"Oh Julie" (number 38)
"Memory" (number 39)
"Some Kind Of Friend" (number 26)
"Read 'Em And Weep" (number 18 and number one for eight weeks on the Adult Contemporary charts)
"I'm Your Man" (number 86)
"Hey Mambo" (number 95)

So, as you can see, this could've have easily been a 2 - cd set.

Alas, these songs aren't among his most popular works, but their inclusion would have pleased hardcore fans who are dying to hear these songs again. Overall, a hugely worthwhile collection of classic songs that remain timelss Also worth picking up is 1978's "Even Now" and his 1977 live album.

5-0 out of 5 stars I Can't Smile Without This CD
Love him or hate him, it's no denying that Barry Manilow is one of the most successful solo male vocalists of all time. Anything but a "critics' darling" (I hope I'm using that phrase in the right context), he still has a large fan base, "Even Now".

Indeed, very one of his biggest hits are here (with the exception of, as one reviewer pointed out, 1983's Top 20 hit "Read 'Em And Weep"), as well as a couple of album tracks (including the stirring Johnny Mercer composition "When October Goes"). Indeed, his best songs were his finally crafted ballads -"Mandy", "Could It Be Magic", "I Write The Songs" (a song which, ironically, he didn't write), "Weekend In New England" and many others. My personal favorites are "Can't Smile Without You" and "Somewhere In The Night", but let's not forget uptempo hits like "It's A Miracle" and the immortal "Copacabana (At The Copa)", plus the above average novelty number "Bandstand Boogie". He also is open to collaborations with many other famous writers, such as Cynthia Weil ("Somewhere Down The Road") and Randy Edelman ("Weekend In New England"). Perhaps his strangest collaboration was the Top 10 hit "Ships", written by Ian Hunter. Hunter had previously rose to fame as a member of the hard rock group Mott The Hoople.

Overall, a great collection of hits by a great artist who deserves more recognition than he gets "Ultimate Manilow" is all fans need until the Barry Manilow boxed set.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Old Songs
For 7 years, Barry Manilow ruled the charts with his signature style of "easy listening" hits, during which he racked up an amazing 18 top 40 hits in a row, inluding 3 number 1 hits. Dozens of gold and platinum awards later, his music still sounds as fresh and innovative as it did during his heyday.

The hit streak began in 1974 with "Mandy", which topped the charts. This started the balladeer's astonishing winning streak. Over the next two decades, he created some of the most dynamic ballads ever to grace the Hot 100 - "I Write The Songs", "Looks Like We Made It", "Even Now", "Weekend In New England", "Can't Smile Without You", "Somewhere In The Night" and many others. But while they gave him the most success, Barry didn't limit himself to ballads. He also broke through the top 25 with the upbeat "Daybreak" and conquered the top 10 with the immortal "Copacabana (At The Copa)". Also included is his immortal paean to "American Bandstand", "Bandstand Boogie".

Many "greatest hits" collection tend to leave songs out, and "Ultimate Manilow" is no exception. Here is the complete list of singles missing from this collection, plus their chart positions:

"When I Wanted You" (number 20)
"I Don't Want To Walk Without You" (number 36)
"Lonely Together" (number 45, the single that broke his top 40 streak)
"Let's Hang On" (number 32)
"Oh Julie" (number 38)
"Memory" (number 39)
"Some Kind Of Friend" (number 26)
"Read 'Em And Weep" (number 18)
"I'm Your Man" (number 86)
"Hey Mambo" (number 95)

But as a collection of his greatest and most popular songs, it would be difficult to pass up "Ultimate Manilow". Also, pick up his recently released live album, "2 Nights Live", which features most if not all of the songs here. ... Read more

13. Hymns of the 49th Parallel
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our price: $13.49
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Asin: B000267J10
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 70
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Was it homesickness that compelled long time Los Angeles resident k. d. lang to fashion her one woman campaign for north of the border nationalism, or just plain good sense? As an organizing tool, all Canadian content has long been a mainstay of the Canadian Broadcasting System but few have selected their material with such a fine hand and a high aesthetic. The expatriate singer has taken great pains to create a sophisticated homage to her Canadian roots, elegantly reinterpreting 11 songs penned by some of her more illustrious countrymen (and women) such as Jane Siberry, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen. The idiosyncratic chanteuse turns Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" into an aching monochromatic lament, exploring new tributaries of pain that didn't exist in the original, while recasting Neil Young's "Helpless" into haunting anthem of memory and comfort, all the while sounding anything but helpless. A gorgeous love letter to her brethren, complete with an intelligent and understated orchestration. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

14. Nolita
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Asin: B0007LXP5O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1023
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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French singer/songwriter Keren Ann moved to New York to record the follow-up to her English-language debut, Not Going Anywhere. She settled in the area north of Little Italy, i.e. Nolita, hence the title of her second release. While her first two recordings were in French, Nolita is in both languages (pre-production took place in Paris). It's a quieter, more intimate affair than previous efforts, but just as lovely. Like Brazilian vocalist Astrud Gilberto or Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval, Keren Ann never shouts when a whisper will do and the music throughout could even be described as "whispery" (as opposed to, say, wispy): gently strummed guitars, delicate strings, spare percussion. There is one song, however, on which she does not take the lead: actor Sean Gullette (Pi) recites the spooky "Song of Alice," John Cale-style, while Keren Ann provides backing vocals. --Kathleen C. Fennessy ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars j'adore la...
keren ann is a unique and lovely french chanteuse, and this album highlights her french-ness, versus the album "not going anywhere" where she speaks english for the most part.i really love this record, and it's perfect for days in the spring or summer when it's rainy and candles are lit for emphasis.i gotta hand it to this woman--i saw her live and she is even better than her recordings, but if she's not there in person to serenade you, buy this record.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beauty by another name is "Nolita"
The Songs on "Nolita" are sung in both French and English with the same beauty we've come to expect from Keren Ann. The title track, "Nolita" is particularly beautiful. Though unlike "Not Going Anywhere" with the occasional lively song, "Nolita" is quiet throughout. Keren's lush vocals are sometimes little more then a whisper over equally lush instrumentals. Listening to Keren I often feel entranced by her voice, as if drawn into the music. "Nolita" along with "Not Going Anywhere" are two of the most beautiful, most wonderful albums I've had the pleasure of hearing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Listening to this album is like taking a long, relaxing bubble bath. You won't want to get out any time soon. Positively lovely.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the best French album this year
Keren Ann did a few albums in French with svengali Benjamin Biolay. He moved on to the model Coralie Clement. Keren Ann moved to New York City and signed up with Metro Blue Records. Her two albums since have been in both French and English. Keren Ann is at the head of the new French Music explosion. All the better since she sings in English and most of the others don't. Her last album, Not Going Anywhere, was an introduction to this French sensation. Now with Nolita, she has created something really special. Nolita is a neighborhood in New York. There are songs about New York neighborhoods like "Chelsea Burns" and "Song of Alice." These songs evoke the people like Nico, Mazzy Star, and the Velvet Underground. The best song is the amazing "One Day Without" which combines a haunting melody with soothing guitars and a piano line that sounds like rain on the window. There is a melancholy feeling throughout that feels too good. "La Forme et Le Fond" is a cool cinematic song like Portishead. The bass guitar floats in the air like bubbles. Some songs are very French sounding, like "Que n'ai-je?" and "L'onde Amere." They encapsulate everything I want to know about the past of French songs. Keren Ann's voice is like a whisper. The songs feel intimate. It's like listen to a friend singing songs to you in a room. Some songs sound more like a band, as in "Greatest You Can Find." The French speaking public may be more familiar with the music of Keren Ann, but it's time for her to shine in America too. This a great record, that is very beautiful to listen to.

5-0 out of 5 stars pretty, dreamy, melancholy and genuine
This French-Israeli singer-songwriter has decidedly western, jazzy harmonies (she's on Blue Note, after all) that are sweet and mellow. Her simple production has a full, warm sound that comes from a prevalent acoustic bass, violin, and an occasional harmonica or electric guitar. Her voice has a light smoker's hoarseness, though her intonation is tender and sensual. Her lyrics are poetic ruminations on love and loneliness. She can sound like Carla Bruni (on the French tracks) or quiet Velvet Underground (#3).

Recommended Tracks: 4**, 6**, 5* (French), 3, 9 (French) ... Read more

15. Thankful
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B00007GUIO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 395
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Kelly Clarkson, the toothsome winner of Fox TV's first American Idol competition shows that her prime-time win was no fluke. She blithely skipsthrough octaves and genres like a seasoned pro, belting out power ballads like hooky "Low" and the Diane Warren-penned "Some Kind of Miracle," with the aplomb of Pat Benatar in her prime. Clarkson tackles the neo-gospel "Anytime" without flinching, then shows some dirty street cred as she growls through "Miss Independent," a song she penned with Christina Aguilera. But Miss Independent would be a gross misnomer; despite the fact Clarkson co-wrote four of the album's tunes. Clarkson not only had uber record exec/executive producer Clive Davis at her disposal, but an arsenal of producers and songwriters to make sure she didn't make a creative misstep. Despite Clarkson's sublime vocal talents, excessive gloss at times overwhelms the quirky charm and personality she displayed on Idol. --Jaan Uhelszki ... Read more

Reviews (952)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best CD I've Ever Heard!!!
I wasn't a huge fan of American Idol last summer, but always loved Kelly. She has amazed me to an extreme point. Her album is absolutely the best CD in my collection, which includes over 300 CDs of every type of music.

The Trouble With Love Is - Extremely meaningful lyrics, gracefully sung

Miss Independent - You've all heard this on the radio, co - written by Christina Aguilera, it really gets you going!

Low - Sounds like a Faith Hill song, the second single and is terrific

Some Kind Of Miracle - Diane Warren penned this for Kelly, and Kelly has officially made the top of classic Warren singers

What's Up Lonely - Very Catchy song that will stay with you for a long time after listening to it

Just Missed The Train - My favorite song on the CD. It's such a great song, amazing vocals and great background music. Bravo!

Beautiful Disaster - Very soothing song

You Thought Wrong - Duet with Tamyra Gray. My other favorite song. It's an amazing song which should definitely become a single, because it would go straight to number one!

Thankful - Sweet song about what she's thankful for

Anytime - The most beautiful slow song ever written (along with Def Leppard's "Long Long Way To Go"), and Kelly's vocals will wow anyone who listens

A Moment Like This - This rerecorded version is even better than the original she recorded in September last year

Before Your Love - This song still gets to me, it's so beautiful

The entire album is spectacular, and every song is a potential single, particularly "Just Missed The Train", "You Thought Wrong", and "Anytime." I highly recommend this, you won't be sorry! I hope to hear much more in the future from Ms. Clarkson, truly the most talented singer on the planet.

4-0 out of 5 stars Surpassed my expectations! -- an honest and accurate review
Speaking from the view of someone who hadn't watched the first American Idol season, I was expecting this album to flop. I gave it a listen, and was I ever surprised!

Kelly Clarkson has one of the best and most unique voices in today's pop music. She has a remarkable range, she has the strength and power of a professional, and her vibrato is rich without being excessive.

One of the strengths of this album is that it crosses so many genres -- from flat-out pop ("Miss Independent") to alternative ("Beautiful Disaster") to blues ("The Trouble With Love Is").

Clarkson shows her talents in the power ballads "Anytime" and the smash hit "A Moment Like This", easily two of the best songs on the album. Other good songs are the girl-power dance hit "Miss Independent", the midtempo "Low" and the wistful "Just Missed the Train".

The lowest point is probably the track "You Thought Wrong", featuring Tamyra Gray of the first season. It was supposed to echo the Grammy-winning Brandy and Monica duet "The Boy Is Mine" but lacks the clear and unique lyrics and is too fast to enjoy. Also, Clarkson's and Gray's voices are too similar to make it a memorable song.

Overall, I give Kelly Clarkson praise for putting out an album that mixes musical talent with clever songs to showcase her in the best way. Whether you're an Idol fan or not, buy this album. You won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars PUTS HILLARY TO SHAME!
This cd is truly amazing, Kelly has an amazing voice that even Simon would love. The question is is it better than hillarys? OMG yeah! And trust me ppl it's not just because I don't like hillary! This is a must have cd and I mean it I love all her albums trust me it's a must have just like everything else she dose!!

5-0 out of 5 stars I am Thankful for Kelly
This is, in all honesty, my favorite CD of all time. Kelly has the most beautiful voice of any other female singer I have evr heard, and her fame is success is well-deserved. All I can say to anyone who is reading this, BUY THIS CD! I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Many of the songs that haven't even made fame yet are excellent. "Just Missed The Train" and "Beautiful Disaster" are fantastic, along with all her other songs that have been released as singles. This CD is highly recommended to anyone who appreciates marvelous songs with awesome vocals.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome cd!
I never watched American Idol until mid way this season to watch Diana DeGarmo, but I do have to say that I bought this cd along with Ruben's and then Clay's. I love it ! Kelly has a knock em dead voice that she can make whatever she wants whenever she wants it. I like the fact that her pitch changes a lot, this makes the songs energetic, and exciting. I love the fast songs and I love the sad songs as well, to me its like she relates to you personally and to me thats a real singer... Great album! I can't wait for second one - Ive heard Breakaway, so I can't wait for that to be released too... ... Read more

16. It's Time
list price: $24.98
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Asin: B00074CC1Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 856
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Michael Bublé's assured debut and the tireless year of globe-trotting touring he spent promoting it elevated the 20-something Vancouver native into the first rank of pop crooner revivalists. His sophomore studio follow-up largely turns on the same formula that helped make his considerable vocal prowess so attractive to mainstream audiences, mixing the nigh flawless, if expected Sinatra-channeling ("I've Got You Under My Skin") with more playful and inviting renditions of pop standards like the Gershwin's "A Foggy Day in London Town," "Feeling Good," "Try A Little Tenderness" and Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin." But it's the eclectic mix of more contemporary material the singer seasons them with -- apt tribute to Bublé hero Bobby Darin -- that keeps him walking the narrow tightrope between artistic intrigue (a blues-tinged vamp of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "How Sweet It Is," Leon Russell's lovely "Song For You," with a guest turn by Chris Botti) and the kitsch-laden abyss ("Quando, Quando, Quando"'s Euro-centric duet with Nelly Furtado, a ring-a-ding-fling with the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" that echoes fellow Canadian crooner/rival Matt Dusk's more successful flirtation with Lennon-McCartney). Arranger/producer Tommy LiPuma offers Bublé a welcome swinging jazz showcase on "The More I See of You," a bracing respite from the rest of producer David Foster's slick, if typically bloodless MOR production.-- Jerry McCulley[Note: This Special Edition includes two extra tracks: "Dream a Little Dream" and "Mack the Knife."]

Michael Bublé and More

Michael Bublé

Come Fly with Me

Totally Bublé

Come Fly with Me (DVD)

Two Shots

Peter Cincotti

... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Bublé'ng over with talent
Sorry, yet another bad pun. Anyway, Michael Bublé appears to have had a long time coming, because his debut self-titled album came out two years ago and seemed to go virtually unnoticed. I guess in this day and age, it's a little difficult for a jazz singer to compete with all the hip-hop and hard rock dominating the charts. But thanks to critical acclaim, he's doing much better with his second studio album, It's Time.

I didn't hear his first album, so I'm not sure if he's always been a cover artist, but at any rate, he does an excellent job with the songs on here. I don't know if I'd necessarily say that these remakes are just as good as the originals, but Michael turns them into great songs in their own right. R&B classics like Stevie Wonder's "You and I" and Leon Russell's "Song For You" get wonderful makeovers. "How Sweet It Is" is also good; and Nelly Furtado lends a helping hand in "Quando, Quando, Quando" (it's especially refreshing to hear her because I think most people forgot about her second album, even though it went gold).

Another good track is "Feeling Good", which will definitely have you doing just that. And while some people might be tired of hearing covers of the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love", you can't deny the greatness of Michael's version. Every song on this album is great, to be honest with you. Whether you're a listener of jazz or just plain great music, it's time to pick up Michael Bublé's album.

Anthony Rupert

5-0 out of 5 stars Well Made Album
Through this album, Michael Buble continues to breathe life and vitality into the musical style and art form of the Golden Age of American Popular Music (1920-1960)."It's Time" is a well made and well-rounded album containing a stable of songs from that period, and newer ones performed and arranged in the same vein...

From Buble's smooth delivery of a song on unrequited love in "You Don't Know Me", to the swinging and brassy intro of "The More I See You", and the Latin-tinged orchestration of "Save the Last Dance for Me".

There is also Buble's refined version of "Quando, Quando, Quando" - recorded in duet with Nelly Furtado-standing in sharp and deliberate contrast to Engelbert Humperdinck's brash style.And, a classic, with Buble crooning to Nelson Riddle's familiar arrangement in "I've Got You Under My Skin".Finally, a new standard in "Home"-a song likely inspired by Buble's long days on the road, has the artist pining to "go home".

Michael Buble and band (led by music director/arranger Alan Chang) have put together a fun album that will delight and entertain true lovers of traditional pop.

Highly Recommended ... 5 Stars!!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Buble
As much as I like Michael Buble I have to admit that this CD is a stinker (no wonder he had to go on tour to sell it).The magic of Michael is not there it's like the CD was produced to make money, fast.I found it dull, I bought Totally Buble at the same time as this one and find Totally Buble far superior to this one.Lyle Lovett does a better version of Mack the Knife (which is more of a transliteration of the original German than we are used to hearing thanks to Bobby D.)than this CD.Frank Sinatra does a better version of I've Got You Under My Skin than the duplicaiton of the Nelson Riddle/Frank Sinatra arrangement version on this CD.A Foggy Day to me is the CD's only saving grace.The CD is gathering dust in my collection.Michael you can and have done better, your other CD's are full of the verve and warmth of your voice, this one is cold and emotionless.I wish you would have thought this one out a little longer. In the words of Gerturde Stein, "There is no there, there".

5-0 out of 5 stars There Is No Stopping Him Now!!!
Michael Buble continues his musical juggernaut with this Special Edition of his latest offering "It's Time". With his International appeal and record sales in the millions, it has now become very apparent that Michael Buble has truly found his audience and has become one of the brightest stars on the worldwide music scene.

With "It's Time" Michael has given his legions of fans exactly what we wanted, more of the same but with a bonus, an original song. This album like his first "Michael Buble" is a very well thought out mixture of well-loved standards, light rock, and classic pop hits with the addition of an excellent original song, "Home". All fifteen of these songs are recorded and produced superbly and Michael's outstanding voice and performances just keep getting better and better. The addition of other well-known contempory artists on a few of the tracks makes this cd an extremely good value and I really like this formula of combining two or more wonderful talents to create great music. The sky is the limit for Michael and if this cd is any indication it is going to be a very enjoyable ride.

Monte Procopio is another new crooner that I also enjoy. His CD, "Swingin' With Style" features an excellent selection of songs and a 13-piece band that can really swing.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the virgin ear i guess . . .
if youre lookin for pure atmosphere, this cd is fine as backdrop. AS far as avocalist, he has listened to entirely too much Connick Jr [who is incidentally the largest Sinatra wanna-be on the planet]... and radiates of the sound...
I would reccomend this cd for those not familiar with jazz classics as a way to ease into them, but once you hear the true masters sing these songs [as ALL the greats have] you most likely will never let this sound in again....
I will say i enjoyed a few tracks, however, this is anything but timeless......

Its nice music, and in nice, i mean its sung in key and tempo, but it lacks all the lustre and emotion that any of you who love jazz seek in music....he hasnt found his way, and the fluctuation of sounds heard in this collection reflects it... ... Read more

17. Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years
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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

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Asin: B00079GCEC
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19. Josh Groban Live at The Greek (CD/DVD)
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Asin: B00063LTH4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 18
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If Josh Groban's unabashedly melodramatic musical fusion inspires grousing on both sides of the classical/pop pundit divide, the screams of the (mostly) young female fans that punctuate these 2004 performances at L.A.'s historic Greek theater better underscore the real point. This set's CD and more expansive DVD complement each other well; if anything, supplemented by a live string ensemble and crack backing band, they're a warmer, more focused showcase for the singer's talents than the studio albums that made his meteoric fame. In peak form, Groban variously delivers forceful renditions of his pop-operatic powerhouses "Canto Alla Vita" and "Anna Luce Del Sole" (the former featuring a drum solo [!] from Groban, the latter a fine guest turn by Bela Fleck on banjo), takes a surprising solo piano break on Paul Simon's "America," waxes Central Asian on Troy's "Remember" and brings the crowd to its feet with the heart-on-his-sleeve dramatics of Closer's "Never Let Go." They're all informed by the singer's insouciant, youthful enthusiasm, arguing that Groban is gifted with more than just a magnificent voice; he's a complete natural as a performer as well. The DVD also includes a tour diary narrated with typical charm by the singer, as well as bonus live performance of "Believe" from the Polar Express soundtrack. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

20. Live From The Golden Nugget
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Asin: B0007RIYX6
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Sales Rank: 798
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars ClassicLateCareerConcertfrom theCapitolVault
December, 1986.Seventy-one year-old Frank Sinatra performing live at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas.I was stunned the first time I listened to this CD to realize how good Sinatra still was.I own almost everything he ever recorded, and I have all of the DVD's, and I've read at least three dozen books about the entertainer of the century.But he still never ceases to amaze me.What else is out there that hasn't been released yet?This is the greatest vocalist of all time, and his influence upon American culture, music, and entertainment is incalculable.Yet this ESSENTIAL SINATRA PURCHASE is casually released as just another part of the celebration of the Las Vegas centennial.Frank is in fine form in this concert - which is really a compilation of several performances - and he charms his audience with a performance that only a master craftsmen could deliver.The sound quality is a little uneven, but the CD is a connoisseur's delight.I absolutely loved it!This CD ranks as one of the best live performances of his incredible career.We can only hope that there will be more treasures released from the vault!

5-0 out of 5 stars In the palm of his hand
18 months after the death of his friend Nelson Riddle, (on-or-about his 71st birthday in 1986) Frank Sinatra found a special way to pay tribute to America's greatest orchestrator: At this live show Sinatra chose to introduce an all-string arrangement by Riddle of the Gershwins' enduring love song, "Someone to Watch Over Me."

It's a breathtakingly beautiful `new' arrangement (reminiscent actually of the best work of Robert Farnon --- the Canadian-born `King of Strings' as Quincy Jones dubbed him --- whose death, last month in Britain, went unnoticed in his homeland.).

But no --- it's a `new,' never-before-recorded Nelson Riddle arrangement.As the singer accepts the applause at song's end, he gives credit where it's due, saying:"That's a lovely song! What marvelous song! The Gershwins! And Nelson Riddle's orchestration! Thank you very much! I love singing it, it's a great song!"

Sinatra immediately launches into a (then) "new song" by Ebb & Kander "Maybe This Time" - expressing hope that this would become "a new standard." (It didn't - disappearing without a trace, through no fault of Frank Sinatra, who gives it a great rendition here.)The song's brassy, brightarrangement by Frank Foster subsides at its end, with a quiet, innovative jazz-combo resolution . . . reminiscent of Sinatra's best band arrangements from Don Costa (whose mid-tempo, `in the groove'swing orchestrations were Sinatra's favorites in his final years of live performances).The singer wistfully speculates that . . .

"Maybe this time I'll be lucky!Maybe this time she'll stay! Maybe this time --- for the FIRST time --- Love won't hurry away! . . .All the odds are in my favor!Something's BOUND to begin . . . it's got to happen sometime! Maybe this time I'll win!"

Now, building from strength-to-strength,The Master segues into the next song, asking conductor Bill Miller: `Whaddya got (next)?Oh!Cole Porter!Cole Porter is so deserving to be one of the members of the club here!"

As the orchestra breaks into Nelson Riddle's famous, swing version of the song most Sinatra fans say is their all-time favorite, the singer announces, "Nelson Riddle's most identifiable orchestration, I believe this would be. It's bigger in Japan than it is here!

"I've got you under my skin . . . "

This performance is surely the best-ever, live version --- the orchestration, the recording-engineeringis unsurpassed.(The "At the Sands" rendition of 20 years earlier, pales in comparison.)After a `false ending'(and Sinatra's spoken acknowledgement over the applause, "Cole Porter, Nelson Riddle,") the singer and musicians break into another, 40 second chorus, more enthusiastic than before --- again with Sinatra rising to the occasion with his strongest singing of the night, subsiding to his softest voice - no longer reduced to a croak, as at earlier moments of the `concert.'

And, speaking of concert . . .the singer bestows on this audience the most breathtakingly beautiful renditions (with original Nelson Riddle arrangements) of TWO songs from "The Concert Sinatra" album of 1963, featuring Sinatra's favorites by Broadway composer Richard Rodgers --- "My Heart Stood Still" (lyricist Larry Hart) and "I Have Dreamed" (words by Oscar Hammerstein II).

To hear a large orchestra with a good-sized string section, this well recorded, is sheer delight: The singer expresses sentiments many of us share to this day, about "My Heart Stood Still." The audience is teased with choice words of introduction: "Ah! this was written by Rodgers & Hart and orchestrated by the great Nelson Riddle, and it is one of the FINEST love songs ever done and I hope you enjoy the way we do this thing --- if not, I'm gonna cry!"And suddenly the years melt away as a younger sounding Sinatra recalls:

"I laughed at sweethearts I met at schools . . .
All indiscreet hearts --- seemed romantic fools!
A house in Iceland was my heart's domain . . .
I saw your eyes
Now castles rise in Spain . . ..
I took one look at you
That's all I meant to do . . .
And then
My heart stood still . . . .

The master of breath control holds his final note (in loud sustain) for 18 seconds.If that doesn't sound impressive, (for ANY singer, not just someone 71-years-old) . . . try singing along!And try it at full volume.


Beyond a natural, phenomenal vocal ability -- which enabled Sinatra to perform like this in his 70s -- the singer actually turns weaknesses into strengths. The occasional `croakiness' (on softly-sung passages) is magically transformed into endearing vulnerability . . .an emotional fragility that lesser singers never convey, on their best day.

Listening to this remarkable recording, you can hear for yourselfhow the `entertainer of the century' blossoms and shines -- casting a warm spell over a loving audience. Performer and listener become as one --- rather like dance partners . . . recalling something Sinatra himself once observed ---that an audience is rather like a woman:If she senses indifference in her suitor, then the party's over!. ( "Endsville" as the old swinger would say.)

And that love dance is happening here --- a fascinating moment-in-time, captured for those of us who missed our chance to be there . . .to hear Sinatra "live" in the autumn of his career.


Late in the program the singer makes a noble attempt to introduce a "sweet new standard" by "Leiber and Stoller who wrote all of Elvis's big hits." The songwriters (who two decades earlier gave Peggy Lee "Is That All There Is?") provided Sinatra with "The Girls I've Never Kissed."One listens and wonders if any male singer, even at the peak of his abilities, could ever rival Sinatra's late-in-life rendition of this lovely ballad:a memorable melody, oh-so-poignant lyrics . . . caressed by an old Master who holds us - his rapt audience - lovingly, in the palm of his hand. . .

"The old wolf sniffs the summer breeze . . .and dreams about his youth . . . .
And the scent of honey in the trees -- whets an old sweet tooth . . .
The pretty girls go strolling by
I smile at them and heave a sigh . . .
And think of all the things I've missed
And all the pretty girls I've never kissed . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars Sinatra Past His Prime Is Still Better Than Any Other Singer
The best review I ever read of Frank Sinatra went something like this: "Sinatra's voice was like gravel, his singing off key, and he couldn't remember the lyrics. And even so, he is still the best singer alive today." I'm paraphrasing from memory. I wish I knew who wrote that or what publication I read it in. What the reviewer was saying is that Sinatra at his worst is better than anyone else at their best. It's a hell of a compliment, and one I very much agree with, especially when you think about what popular music is like today. It is also what I would respond with to the other, um, "vocal critics" reviewing this cd. So, yes, this CD is Sinatra past his prime, but in very good voice for 71. The sound quality is rough, but who cares? It's Sinatra and I loved it.

I saw Frank in 1986, 1989, and 1993. All were excellent shows, all were good nights for Sinatra. Lucky me. This CD is similar to the show I saw at the Tacoma Dome in 1986, although the room at the Golden Nugget is obviously more intimate. This would have been quite a show to see. I'm glad to see more Sinatra coming out on audio CD. Now, I'd LOVE to see more performances from the 80's and 90's on DVD. That would be awesome.

I would recommend this CD to the Sinatra-phile enthusiast (like me), or anyone who is brand new to this, the greatest American singer that ever lived.

5-0 out of 5 stars Only for connoisseurs of Sinatra, life, and good music
No question that there are things to be suspicious, if not to dislike, about this set of 19 previously unreleased performances recorded during a December 1986 engagement at the Golden Nugget.The tie-in with Las Vegas iconography is blatant and exploitive to the point of being insulting to anyone who purchases the CD for (would you believe?) the music.(Open the album's cover, and the print--enlarged and in bold--screams: "Congratulations! You now own a special piece of the Las Vegas Centennial Celebration!") The audio balance is uneven, with the voice occasionally sounding a bit distant or taking on excessive echo.(There's no disguising the fact that the recording is not of a single performance and that equipment changes were made along the way.)Finally, the voice does waver a couple of times (imagine that!), especially early in the program on "What Now My Love."

But this may be Sinatra's most satisfying live performance on record, making up for "The Main Event" (the most disappointing Sinatra album in my entire collection of over fifty albums) and superior to the slightly overrated "Sinatra at the Sands."First of all, listen to the sheer joy and generous good will in the man's voice.No gratuitous rat pack business or Chairman of the Board posturing.He can't contain the love--from the crediting of composers and arrangers (more than usual) who have served him well to gratitude and subservience to his audience to the boyish excitement that simply bubbles to the surface during fresh readings of old and new material ("The Girls I Never Kissed," "Only One to a Customer").And this would be one of the last times he would perform with his all-time favorite drummer, the irreplaceable Irv Cottler.

Sinatra's live performances were far too electrifying to be adequately represented by any recording, and his "bigger than life" persona never came off well on a TV screen.To be sure, not even Sinatra could create away from the studio the timeless and pure musical art realized on his precious "concept albums" for Capital and Reprise. But as a reminder of his other claim-"Entertainer of the Century"-this album at least comes closer than the other, admittedly few, live recordings.

Ignore the title and the gaudy sin city packaging.This is a live recording with genuine life!In place of the old Vegas swagger, this is a Sinatra of tremendous grace, gentility, and vulnerability.It's a Sinatra who is universal and quite frankly irresistible.

3-0 out of 5 stars For Sinatra Archivists Only
Just looking at the cover and seeing a graying, nearly 71 year old Frank Sinatra, kind of hints at what you can expect from this one. He's still a fantastic showman, who loves to entertain.. but who's time.. hasstarted to pass.. although not as dramatically as in the "Duets" albums of the early 90's.But like the Duets sessions.. I would say this is more a document of what he was like at a certain point in his life.. as well as how he sounded live in the mid 1980's.From my viewpoint, this is not one to throw in the car on that long road trip. Save that for the Sinatra @ the Sands CD from 66, or Sinatra 57.. two STEREO examples of what the Chairman sounded like at his peak.
Also I'm curious as to the origin of these recordings.. (this is one of a set commemorating the 100th anniversary of Las Vegas).I know the Bobby Darin @ the Flamingo is actually a concert taped in Vegas in 1963 by Capitol Records, but never released.. so the sound quality should be superior.The Dean Martin at the Sands CD on the other hand, sounds like it was recorded by someone with a reel to reel tape recorder in MONO, and *this* concert.. is a blending of Mono and Stereo.Was this a home-made recording made by a casino audio technician? Or perhaps a promotional taping distributed by Steve Wynn to clients of the Golden Nugget?Whatever the case.. it doesn't appear to be a recording that was orginally intended for public distribution, but rather for archival purposes only.. Sinatra was a chronic archivist.. and we are the better for it... But I feel even *he* would question how much of the material is suitable for public release as a representation of his rich legacy. ... Read more

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