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1. It's Time
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2. Careless Love
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3. Wicked (2003 Original Broadway
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4. When I Fall In Love
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5. Michael Buble
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6. The Phantom of the Opera (Original
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7. As I Am
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8. De-Lovely
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9. Dreamland
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10. The Sound of Music (1965 Film
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11. Dino: The Essential Dean Martin
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12. Renee Olstead
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13. The Ultimate Collection [DVD]
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14. Classic Sinatra
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15. Ultimate Manilow
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16. Highlights From The Phantom Of
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17. All Shook Up (2005 Original Broadway
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18. It's Time
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19. Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good
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20. The Hit Singles Collection

1. It's Time
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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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

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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

2. Careless Love
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Asin: B0002NRRAG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 55
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When Madeleine Peyroux's debut, Dreamland, was released in 1996, its success threw her for a loop. She's taken eight years to create this follow-up, and, at age 30, she brings a confidence and resilience to this dozen-song set. She's able to move seamlessly between songs by writers as diverse as Elliott Smith and W.C. Handy, whose title track was popularized by Bessie Smith. Though American-born, Peyroux absorbed the language and culture of France growing up in Paris with her French-teacher mother. On her debut, she covered Edith Piaf, and this time out she wraps herself around "J'ai Deux Amours," which Josephine Baker sang to the Allied troops during World War II. --David Greenberger ... Read more

3. Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)
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Asin: B0000TB01Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 57
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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One of the most common complaints about musicals is that the books are flimsy pretexts from which to hang numbers. Wicked runs into the opposite problem: it has a great plot but too often the songs just get in the way. Based on Gregory Maguire's novel of the same name, Wicked tells us what happened between Glinda the Good and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, before Dorothy showed up in Oz. And the show is lucky to boast a pair of ace leading women in the main roles. As Glinda, Kristin Chenoweth delivers a sensational star turn, displaying a crystal-pure voice and sharp comic timing; Idina Menzel lends her powerful pipes to the tricky role of Elphaba. Unfortunately, you wish they had better material to work with. Stephen Schwartz's pop score is often dragged down by overly synthetic orchestrations and sentimental lyrics (think Chicken Soup for the Witch). Still, at its best Wicked is a seductive slice of popular entertainment that could well give a younger audience a lasting taste for musical theater. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (241)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Although I've been a huge admirer of both Kristin Chenowith and idina Menzel for a few years now, I was not sure what to expect upon first hearing this soundtrack. Actually, I ended up seeing the show on broadway, and buying the CD the day after because i couldn't get enough of this music! Stephen Schwartz has made a brilliant creation, and couldn't have gotten better voices to sing it. The vocal harmonies are beautiful throughout. Defying Gravity, the real showstopper (much thanks to Ms. Menzel's UNBELIEVABLE voice), gave me almost as big of a chill when hearing it on the soundtrack as it did in live performance. Ms. Chenowith's lovely voice carries songs as well, and the song Popular is cute and funny, while showing off her vocal talent. Aside from Defying Gravity, my favorite songs are I'm Not That Girl (sung by Ms. Menzel), and the love ballad As Long as You're Mine. It's a fun, entertaining musical more full of emotion than I had expected it would be. Between Norman Leo Butz, and the two leading women, I can hardly put into words the feeling that their voices produce- you have to hear it to know! This is definitely one of the best new broadway shows to come about since RENT, and I hope it has a long, successful run.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deliciously wicked and most definately wonderful
Being of fan of the original novel and ecstatic that a musical was made from the book, I bought the CD the day it was available. It is pure and simple magic. Idina Menzel, who's voice blew me away on the OBC of Rent, proves her power and stands right up there with the superb Kristen Chenowith. I've been playing the CD non-stop since Decemeber, and with great fortune and luck, I was able to see the actual Broadway show this past weekend...front row lottery tickets. The power and majesty of this show cannot be conveyed on this CD, but it comes very close. Seeing all these perfomers dance, sing, and act the songs I fell in love with cannot be described. You'll have to see it for yourself. There's not a bad song in the show or on the CD...these songs, standing alone on the CD out of context from the show, are enough to move anyone. From Idina's perfect 'The Wizard and I' to 'No Good Deed,' from Kristen's comic songs to ballads, from their duets together (no two voices have ever matched better), and from Norbert Leo Butz's 'Dancing through Life' to 'As Long as Your Mine,' this CD is a definate to buy and share!

5-0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
If you haven't seen the play... you must go NOW!!! Idina Menzel who plays Elphaba (Wicked Witch) is amazing and awesome to watch... I've seen the play twice and hope to see it again!! If there were such thing as 6 stars... This musical absolutly deserves it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Sublime...
Miss Kristin Chenoweth... If there is a greater star on the rise on the great white way I dare you to name her. I spend my days puttering around in my care listening to Ariella Vaccarino's must-have CD series "Voice Lessons to Go" in preparation for the moment I put the real deal on here and try my best to match the vocal styling of Ms. Chenoweth... and fail (but maybe with these vocal CDs I've been listening to... who knows). Anyway, the woman is a queen of the stage at the moment and this recording is a vocal photograph of a true star in the midst of her prime. I highly recommend buying it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wicked Rocks!
You wouldn't expect a teenager to love broadway music, but Wicked has me hooked!I can't get enough of "The Wizard and I" and "Defying Gravity".Other great tunes on the cd are "Popular", "As long as you're mine","I'm not that girl", and "Popular". The vocalists are fabulous, the tunes are catchy, and its a fun cd to listen to! If you want to hear a GREAT CD, listen to Wicked! ... Read more

4. When I Fall In Love
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Asin: B0002VL0K6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 23
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This is not the typical example of an artist from another genre jumping on the crowded standards-and-ballads bandwagon. When I Fall in Love instead represents an instrumental stylist busting out of a box to find a much more suitable platform for his craft. These tracks are the fruits of an obvious labor of love for everyone from the featured musicians to the arrangers to the engineers. The arrangers, particularly Billy Childs and Gil Goldstein, give Botti's trumpet a broad-brushed orchestral backdrop that allows him to emerge from the swirling strings and bouncy horns with bold strokes of creative improvising. Some tracks are obvious nods to Gil Evans and the lush arrangements of 1970s CTI recordings. Even the guest vocalists, Sting and Paula Cole, let his trumpet sing first before their respective cues on "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" and "What'll I Do." The only blemish here is the obvious attempt at smooth jazz airplay with Sade's "No Ordinary Love." --Mark Ruffin ... Read more

5. 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

6. The Phantom of the Opera (Original 1986 London Cast)
list price: $37.98
our price: $30.49
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Asin: B00004YTY2
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 151
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (261)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Let the specacle astound you!"
I can get a pretty good sense of what a theatrical experience this show must be from listening to its London cast recording. All that thundering, overpowering, eerie but beautiful music, which is actually pretty good and may very well be Andrew Lloyd Webber's best. The above-average, occasionally beautiful and touching lyrics to such songs as "Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," and "Point of No Return." The fine performance of Michael Crawford as the Phantom, which does a great job of conveying the character's passion and pain and thankfully doesn't really conjure up memories of his best-forgotten days as a juvenile lead in such fimusicals as "A Funny Thing..." and "Hello, Dolly!" The beautiful voice of Sarah Brightman as Christine. The supporting cast, from Steve Barton's Raoul to Rosemary Ashe's stunning Carlotta to the two theatrical agents, Andre and Farmin (or something like that). All contribute to the enjoyment and, yes, spectacle of this recording, and no doubt did and, in the case of the music and lyrics, still do contribute to the success of the stage show. All are reasons for buying it, so why not?

5-0 out of 5 stars Not the best recording ever. . .the ONLY recording ever
Alright, let's get this straight. It's a simple math problem; even a first grader could get this. Michael Crawford=Phantom. Phantom=Michael Crawford. That's just how it is. In the title song, when he sings "The Phantom of the Opera is there"...oh its brilliant. Especially that funny thing his voice does on the "Phaaa" part of Phantom. Normally it might be a little awkward, but in this role its absolutley perfect. He really makes us sympathize with him and almost makes you bawl in the Finale.

Sarah Brightman does a great job with Christine. Most peolpe absolutely screw up the vocals at the end of the title song (ah-hem, 1992 Japanese Version and Sandra Joseph on Broadway. Hate to say it, but it doesn't work with their voices. Yeah, they can sing, but just not that. They do very well otherwise though) I like the way she screams out "I'll go MAD!" in Notes II.

The only bad part about this (but it's quite minor) are Madame Giry and Joseph Buquet. Buquet's voice is kind of breathy and the vibrato takes over and Madame Giry's voice is a little breathy also, but nothing major.

The orchestra in this is beautiful. In most recordings, the orchestra cuts short in the intrumentals before Hannibal and after the Auction (which is one of the best parts) but in this one is it really powerful. It gives you goosebumps because it blends so well together. Especially when the horns come in!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Recording
I simply love this recording. I have never seen Phantom performed on the stage and this is the only recording I have ever heard of the Phantom of the Opera, but I was delighted to hear its music. I have had this CD for only a week and cannot stop playing it for some reason! It has quite a musical score, and the story is very sad. I have never read the book (although I am waiting for its arrival from Amazon after ordering it), so I cannot tell you whether it is true to the original story. The story is that of a man who has been abandoned by all mankind and must live in a labyrinth under the opera house. He falls in love with Christine Daae and becomes her tutor. She believes that the Phantom is the Angel of Music sent by her deceased father. The Phantom loves her so and wants her career in the opera house to advance. He sends notes to the managers, telling them to give her main roles instead of the prima Donna Carlotta. It is a heart wrenching story because you really feel sorry for the Phantom.

The cast is strong. MICHAEL CRAWFORD plays the Phantom on this recording and is argued by many phans to be the best phantom. I have heard no other recording, so I can't argue that point. The role of Christine was written for SARAH BRIGHTMAN, so naturally she does well. There are many high notes and her role can be compared to that of COSETTE in LES MISERABLES because it seems that the majority of her parts are high. RAOUL is played by STEVE BARTON, and his voice is marvelous. ROSEMARY ASHE plays CARLOTTA. I don't like the part of Carlotta, but that isn't Ashe's fault!

Some of the music in this sounds familiar, like from CATS (I'm talking about a couple bars of music, not like a whole song or anything), so that is very interesting. If you like Andrew Lloyd Webber, you will love this rock opera! I like "Angel of Music," "Phantom of the Opera," and "Music of the Night."

Buy this CD because it is worth every penny!

4-0 out of 5 stars Just as good the 100th time!
This is truly a great recording. Overall, I am totally in love with it, but I am here to give a review, not to push my personal biases on others. So, from the standpoint of a musician, actress, and singer, here goes. First of all the actors...
MICHAEL CRAWFORD: Overall, Awesome. Truly the best cast member. His voice is easy to listen to, and very expressive. He IS the Phantom. No questions asked. Technically, not perfect, but this is theatre, not technical type singing. Sometimes, he sounds like he has a bad cold, and tends to slide into the correct note on the higher notes, but overall, this detracts very little from his outrageous awsomeness.
SARAH BRIGHTMAN: Not a huge fan of Sarah's, I'm afraid. Vibrato is one thing, but when you sound like a chipmunk singing while sitting in one of those massage chair things, you're using a little too much. She hits all of the notes beautifully, but you would too if your husband wrote the part for you. Her acting skills and expression are below par, and her inunciation is like she's singing with dental equipment in her mouth. She should definately practice singing more forward, as she gets caught in the back of her throat frequently. Her solos can wear on the nerves, but overall, you could do worse, she's not completely devoid of vocal talent, and she sounds fine when she's singing with someone else.
STEVE BARTON: Not much to say about him. No surprises here, but easy to listen too, expression is on par, and he is technically the best out of the three leads. No complaints, but I've heard this voice a million times before.
OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT: Carlotta is excellant, and beautifully annoying, all though she does have one moment in NOTES where she slips out of character for a phrase. Meg sounds like she's singing while trying to breath through an oxygen tube, in other words, barely audible. I would have liked to hear her more in the harmony on Angel of Music. Everyone else: Fine. Cooly. No complaints.
AS FOR THE MUSIC: There is a lot of it, and it rocks. The orchestrations are fabulous for Broadway, and the melodies are beautiful, if frequently repetitive. Don't buy this if you don't like the tune of Angel of Music, it shows up in practically every song. The chorus numbers are ass-kicking and funky harmony-full.
THE FINAL VERDICT: You can't go wrong here. Even if you despise Sarah Brightman, everyone else more than compensates for her, erm , lack of pronunciation. Crawford is at his best, and the melodies are some of the most memorable in musical history. Even newbies to the Phantom world will rejoice. Go ahead, throw away your money here. You won't be dissapointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Overblown, but still worth a listen.
I am not one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest fans. But still, this is a good show. People that give this negative reviews claim that it is overated. And they are correct. But there are very good melodies in this show, although the lyrics are not top quality. There are also so many layers of the phantom that Gaston Leorux wrote in this character that are not explored in the lyrics. In this show we have little reason to sympathize with the main character. But in Sondheim's"Sweeney Todd" we are told in sometimes Gruesome detail why Sweeney has those killing sprees. But these shows are completly different animals of the theater. Phantom is a show that takes you to another world, while "Sweeney" makes you think. In my opinon, this is Andrew Lloyd Webbers last good show. ... Read more

7. As I Am
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0007TFHES
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 512
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Television viewers know her as The West Wing's opinionated deputy press secretary Annabeth Schott, while Broadway aficionados are familiar with her Tony-winning work in Wicked and the revival of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, as well as the successful 2001 American Songbook anthology, Let Yourself Go. But on this eclectic collection of traditional and contemporary gospel anthems and related songs, songstress Kristen Chenoweth claims a bold return to her spiritual roots. Her chameleonic, crystalline soprano lights up the beloved title track standard and the Gaither's modern inspirationals "Because He Lives" and "Upon This Rock" with a deft, Broadway-bred sense of drama. Yet her voice remains supple enough to impart country charms to "It Will Be Me," "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" and Amy Lee Grant's "There Will Never Be Another." One-woman pop songwriting empire Diane Warren offer Chenoweth a typically melodramatic showcase on the spiritually generic "Borrowed Angels," while the unfortunate "Joyful, Joyful" once again proves Ludwig van still doesn't need any lyrical help with "Ode to Joy," thank you. The album's bonus cut, "Taylor, the Latte Boy," closes out the album on an upbeat note of playful, romantic innocence.--Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Chenoweth Brings More than Herself in "As I Am"
Prime Cuts:Upon This Rock, Borrowed Angels, The Song Remembers When

For artists to cross pollinate into other musical genres is not a recent provenance.Pop superstar Whitney Houston has had cut a gospel soundtrack with "The Preacher's Wife" and American Idol winner Rueben Studdard has just professed his faith on his sophomore offering "I Need an Angel". Hence, it is of no surprise that cabaret singer Kristin Chenoweth to grace us with an inspirational themed CD.Not only is this a contemporary Christian record, but it is by far one of the most elucidating and effable efforts in years.What sets "As I Am" apart are the distinct readings Chenoweth and producer Christopher Harris has had given to these paeans.Rather than allow a genre to package the sonic output of the songs, Harris has allowed the songs to define the musical intonations.Hence, you will find power ballads in the Celine Dion league ("Borrowed Angels") side by side with the more acoustic-country sounding ("Poor Wayfaring Stranger") to an all-out gospel clamor ("Upon This Rock").In short, this album's pride of place resides in the fact that Harris has allowed these song to define themselves as any good recording producer ought to do. Also, thumbs are up with regards to the choice of songs selected:though Chenoweth has tackled some of the great hymns of the church (such as "Joyful, Joyful," "Because He Lives," the title track etc) some of the hidden gems of contemporary Christian music have been unearthed.This includes Sandi Patty's "Upon this Rock," Amy Grant's "There Will Never Be Another," Faith Hill's "It Will Be Me" and Michael W. Smith's "Word of God Speak".

Though Chenoweth does not have a full bodied voice as that of say Whitney Houston, but what she is well compensated with her nonpareil range that can escalate to the operative high registers that most singers only dreamed of reaching.Her vocal gymnastics is parlayed to its full glory on the Sandi Patty's majestic ballad "Upon this Rock:" listening to how she soars higher and higher towards the end of this tune is just an experience well worth the price of this CD itself.Thoughlittle bit more subdued, her rendition of the old Easter hymn "Because He Lives" is another standing ovation moment as Chenoweth breathes live and verve into each syllable of this gorgeous profession of faith. More subdued, but no less affecting, is "Borrowed Angels" the brand new power ballad written by pop maestro Diane Warren.With all the hallmarks of a Warren hit, this contemplative number is a beautiful apologetic for suffering and death that has overwhelming Christia overtones.

Some pedal steel certainly spices up the country flavor of Faith Hill's "It Will Be Me," but Chenoweth's flawless delivery certainly adds an undeniable slickness to it.Belonging to the same country fold is Trisha Yearwood's top 5 hit "The Song Remembers When."With its vivid images, this Hugh Prestwood penned ballad about the power of music to reach the recesses of the heart, is sure to induce tears of affinity.However, with such highly charged ballads as "The Song Remembers When," the Southern gospel "Poor Wayfaring Stranger" proves a more understated bluegrassy feel that certainly creates variety and some emotional breathing space.

Perhaps out of place is the album closer the coy "Taylor the Latte Boy."On such a shiny and strong faith declarative album, this light weighted ditty about Chenoweth's crush for a Starbucks barista seems out of place.On a pop album, "Taylor the Latte Boy" could work.Further, Chenoweth's somehow frail delivery pales in comparison to Susan Egan's version which can be found on her latest LML release.Nevertheless, despite such quibbles, "As I Am" is truly a glorious and dexterous proclamation that ought to do her Savior proud.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, As Always
Kristin has once again amazed us all with her new CD "As I am"...which is just that; as Kristin is. The CD contains songs reflecting the personal beliefs and loves of Kristin herself, which is obvious as the music is sung with heart and conivction. Kristin's unbelievable ability to switch effortlessly from broadway to jazz, from pop to opera, from character voices to comedic ones, and on is sure to please a buyer.

Buyers should be aware that this CD does stray from Kristin's "broadway roots". Therefore, one seeking broadway songs, may be more likely to enjoy Kristin's first solo CD "Let Yourself Go" or "Wicked". However, Kristin's huge and beautiful voice still resides within the inspirational songs on this CD and one who is a fan would not be let down. Kristin has once again out-done herself with a beautiful CD that is sure to be a household favorite. Enjoy!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Cd of hope
Kristin has a very nice voice all most of the song's on this cd are good.This is good for anyone that wants postive music.

5-0 out of 5 stars She's done it HER way!
It saddens me to read some of these reviews.Some of you feel that Kristin has "let you down" because she has done a CD of inspirational songs and that she is becoming a conformist.God forbid anyone proclaim that they're a Christian these days!You feel this CD is not the "real" Kristin and she needs to go back to jazzy Broadway standards.It doesn't showcase her talent properly...blah, blah, blah...

On the contrary, I think this IS the real Kristin and this CD shows just how versatile she and her magnificent voice can be.If you've ever heard Sandi Patti sing "Upon This Rock," you know she has an incredible range.I, for one, didn't think there was anyone else who could sing that song, but not only does Kristin pay wonderful homage to Patti, she one-ups her by taking the song even higher at the end.

Yes, musicians make albums for their fans, but their albums are ultimately a reflection of themselves.I think this album is an incredible reflection of the beautiful person that Kristin is, both inside and out.And for those of you who won't buy this album because of the "Jesus" songs, it's your choice, but you'll be missing out on a terrific album.

3-0 out of 5 stars If you were expecting Broadway
You will be disappointed.
There is no trace of a Broadway Baby anywhere on this CD.
I guess it is proof that Kristin has star power that
a sophmore CD release is made of her personal choices.
I like it, for what it is. A CD of inspirational tunes.
Vocally,Kristin is as always,gorgeous.
But, for a CD of inspirational lyrics, I just don't "hear" it in her performance.
The last song, included for us die-hards, Taylor the latte boy[so much fun to hear live in concert] is as jarring as the sound of an espresso machine when
in queue with the serious songs on the cd.
I doubt that
this album is going to be played down to the grooves like
I have Kristin's "Let Yourself Go".
This particular CD is one you must experience yourself.
Because the alchemy of "As I AM" is going to depend "soul"ly on the listener. ... Read more

8. De-Lovely
list price: $18.98
our price: $12.98
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Asin: B00023GGHQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 126
Average Customer Review: 3.42 out of 5 stars
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At first glance, the approach picked for De-Lovely will be familiar to those who already own Red Hot + Blue: A Tribute to Cole Porter. On both albums, contemporary pop stars cover classics by Porter. But many of the interpretations on Red Hot + Bluewere modernized, whereas the approach on De-Lovely is more traditional---it's the soundtrack to a biopic about Porter, after all, so a classic (though not quite period) sound prevails. What's surprising is how well many of the singers deal with the songs without the crutch of a contemporary pop retooling. Who would have thought that Alanis Morissette had such a natural affinity for "Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)," for instance? She fares equally well in her screen cameo, whereas Diana Krall sounds superb on "Just One of Those Things" but looks horribly uncomfortable in the movie. Other good surprises include Robbie Williams's "It's De-Lovely" and Kevin Kline as Porter, coming across as a more-tuneful Rex Harrison. Elvis Costello, meanwhile,confirms he's a better songwriter than singer, and as Linda Porter, Ashley Judd is hesitant at best. In a nice touch, a recording of Cole Porter himself performing "You're the Top" provides the album's coda. --Elisabeth Vincentelli ... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Cole Porter
The sound track of DE-LOVELY features some of the greatest standards of the American Songbook, sung by such contemporary artists as Alanis Morissette (Let's Do It); Sheryl Crow (Begin the Beguine); Elvis Costello (Let's Misbehave); Diana Krall (Just One of Those Things), and Natalie Cole (Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye). All of the tracks, except Cole Porter singing "You're the Top", are newly recorded for the sound track of this telling of Cole Porter's life story. Kevin Kline, who plays Porter has a couple of well-chosen cuts as well.
If the film is as good as the recording, this could be one of the better films for adults and show-biz fans for the summer.
Ashley Judd portrays Porter's wife Linda and she, too, has a few songs.

3-0 out of 5 stars I'll see the movie anyway.
I haven't seen the movie yet because musical movies come late to this overrated tinhorn resort town where I live, in the redneck state of Arizona. But I did buy the soundtrack. I am speaking as an old lady who has loved musicals all my life. I remember when Cole Porter's songs were on the Hit Parade (the Top 10 of the '50s). I memorized his lyrics when I was a teenager.
With the exception of Natalie Cole, my experience with most of these singers is name recognition only (Morissette, Crow, Costello, maybe Williams; I've never heard of Krall, Lemar, or Hucknall).
Now that I've heard them actually sing, I think they must be rejects from American Idol. Their voices are terrible; they're only reciting the lyrics, not singing them as if they have any idea what the words mean (listen to Frank Sinatra). And now I know why I dislike most of today's popular music: so much of it is in a minor key, like Crow's embarrassing rendition of "Begin the Beguine." Whoever had that idea should have been outvoted. Porter must really be spinning.
In my opinion, only four tracks did the music justice: "Anything Goes," sung by Caroline O'Connor, who mercifully did not go overboard in suggesting the performance of Ethel Merman; "Love for Sale," beautifully sung by Vivian Green, perhaps the best version of that song I've ever heard; "Be a Clown," sung by Kline, who obviously appreciates that he's playing an intelligent, sophisticated man of the world and one of the finest Broadway and Hollywood composers and lyricists ever; and, of course, "Ev'ry Time We Say Good-bye," sung by Natalie Cole, who learned how to put over a song from one of the best singers: her father, Nat ("King") Cole.
I'll still go to see the movie, if it ever opens here, but generally I was disappointed with the arrangements and the singers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Movie: 5, Soundtrack: 2
Great movie... BUT... hearing ONLY the soundtrack it is a 2... why? Because the music is some of the most melodic and beautiful ever written and several performances are neither authentic of the time, or not sung in a way the beauty of the song can be heard. This music is NOT about the performer... it was about the song! Most of the original recordings which featured a singer did not even have the singers name on the record! That is because the song was beautiful and did NOT need a song "stylist" to make it "all about the singer"!

Having said that, most of the songs in the film are not bad... and standouts include Natalie Cole and Diana Krall. The sad renditions are worst with Sheryl Crow TRYING to sing "Begin the Beguine" and Elvis Costello who butchers "Let's misbehave."

Get these tunes on CD from some great people who sang them in the past... like Sinatra, Torme, Clooney, Bennett and Vaughn.

5-0 out of 5 stars New Life to classic tunes
With quite a few negative reviews here, I must put a positive hand up for this movie and for its terrific soundtrack.
Many great songs, in new - sparkling arrangements, sung by todays artists give so much emotion to the movie, setting the scene, and telling the story - musical dialogue in effect... I especially enjoy "Begin the Begine" with Sheryl Crow. The instrumentation includes a Bass Flute which adds a sultry sheen to this moody performance. Cole Porters wonderful songwriting lifts these songs - decades later, for a new audience to appreciate.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stop
You just saw the movie, loved it, and now you want to buy the soundtrack? Stop. Instead, buy either "The Very Best of Cole Porter" or "Cole Porter: A Centennial Celebration". Of these two, I would recommend "A Centennial Celebration" first because it contains three original Cole Porter recordings.

I don't think that there is a perfect Cole Porter collection out there. They all seem to either leave out an important song or they allow someone to butcher one of his songs. However, either one of these is far better than the movie soundtrack which simply strays too far Cole Porter's original work. ... Read more

9. Dreamland
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002JAX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 427
Average Customer Review: 4.77 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprise someone you love--this is a great gift CD
When I first heard this album on NPR two years ago, I was stunned. Peyroux sounds like Billy Holiday filtered through Patsy Cline by way of Edith Piaf. Her phrasing is fabulous, especially given her young age when the CD was cut. My only gripe is that sometimes she sounds too much like Lady Day, Patsy, or Piaf. I cannot wait for her to develop her own voice and sound--it will be incredible when she matures and deepens. I hope a second album is coming soon--I will get it immediately. Give this as a gift and you will be seen as a true afficianado! By the way, Marc Ribot is on guitar on this album--for another special treat, listen to his Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos, a wonderful Cuban-inspired guitar CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Also looking..
Yes, like everyone else I have been anxiously awaiting a new album from Peyroux. Aside from all of the comparisons to Billie Holiday, I can honestly say that she has a wonderful voice and is also a great performer. I was fortunate enough to see her perform twice about 5 or so years ago. She sang at the University of North Florida. I also saw her perform at a cafe with her Lost and Wandering Blues and Jazz Band. I was very impressed with the more intimate venue. I will never forget her three piece band which included someone who played a real washtub bass. After the set, they sold cassette recordings of her and the band. The cassette is great, but I am looking for a copy on CD. If anyone knows of this please e-mail me!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but she has improved much since this one....
I recently saw Madeleine in NYC and was just mesmerized- I thought her voice was fantastic and her style of performing was simple but bewitching. I bought her CD afterwards (its a short version not available in stores I think) and was similarly excited. I had been looking forward to hearing Dreamland for awhile but I have to admit that now that I have, it's just okay in my mind compared to what she is capable of. No doubt that her voice is wonderful here but I feel the songs chosen and the arrangements for much of the album are not nearly as great as she is capable of. It's enjoyable to hear but it doesn't stand out in my head. Your best bet is to see her or get the new one when it comes out.

4-0 out of 5 stars Buy this album, then GO HEAR HER LIVE!
Unfortunately, I did it the other way around--heard her gorgeous, heartbreaking singing at a little Red Cross benefit in October 2001 and then picked up the record, which is beautiful but almost sterile by comparison. Hence the loss of a star.

I do listen to _Dreamland_ whenever MP hasn't done a local gig for a while, and it tides me over, but I try to go see her whenever I can (find gig listings at I took my parents to hear her, and my dad--a lifelong Billie Holiday fan--literally had tears rolling down his face, he was so happy. Every foot in the place was tapping. She is so much The Real Thing.

MP does keep saying that the new album's coming soon. I hope that it includes more of her own songs, as the ones I've heard are beautiful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Evocative Voice
I bought this CD based on the reviews here and was not disappointed. She has a voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday, but she doesn't sound like she's trying to copy her.
Great Jazz/Blues sound that is different from many of today's artists.

It's amazing that someone so young has such an interesting voice ... Read more

10. The Sound of Music (1965 Film Soundtrack)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00004WFNP
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 267
Average Customer Review: 4.59 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (75)

4-0 out of 5 stars "I go to the hills when my heart is lonely..."
This brand-new 35th Anniversary Edition of the classic 1965 film soundtrack features two discs in beautiful packaging. (Okay, the purple coloring on the discs is a bit much)... the CD booklet is filled with pictures and is wonderful. Disc 2 features extended versions of several songs and many tracks (mostly orchestral) not included on the 1965 soundtrack, and an interview with Richard Rodgers. What is the enchantment of "Sound Of Music??" Maybe it's because the film and myself both turn 35 this year, but it really has a lot to do with Julie Andrews as Maria. Like another customer wrote, I always think of Julie Andrews, and not Broadway's Mary Martin, as Maria. Also, Andrews' devastating 1997 operation that left her without a singing voice, adds a note of sadness to this recording (as well as Andrews' classic Broadway performances in MY FAIR LADY and CAMELOT) as we recognize what has been lost. I recently saw a disappointing stage production of "Sound Of Music" and returned to the film and this soundtrack with a sense of refreshment, renewal, and even inspiration.

5-0 out of 5 stars A more merciful review - more praise with some minor flaws
I remember once "advising" beginners to shy off this version not because of performace quality, which is just perfect, but because of presentation of the music material. However, because of listening to the soundtrack a little bit more often. I feel as if Ihave changed my views more positively. Of course, we still have Julie Andrews and her crystalline voice, but we also have sparkling children, a convincing Captain and a soul-stirring Mother Abbess taking their place on the album just as they have been always doing, alongside the towering Irwin Kostal orchestrations and arrangements. This edition does indeed put most of the icing on the cake with the clear, sparkling remastering and the tantalising bonus material available for us to have forever. At long last, we have the additional appearance of Edelweiss after the Lonely Goatherd puppet sequence (and an extended version of its folk festival reappearance - the only rendition of the song used on the original soundtrack), the Landler, the Salzburg Montage harnessed to an extended My Favourite Things, the second-act reprise of Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and the complete chase music, all sounding remarkably vivid after 35 years in the Fox vaults, enough to make you recall the scenes in the movie so vividly. The only things I can carp about are the slightly murky sound quality during certain moments on the first disc, the obvious lack of completeness (as always) and the value of the set.

The murky sound quality on certain parts of certain tracks of the first disc does not bother one at all, because they don't affect the parts of the soundtrack you are supposed to be enjoying. However, once you get down to listening to the remastered soundtrack, it will be easy to notice the pristine sound that improves this issue over the others. (The fact about pristine sound also applies to the second disc.) However, once you get over with this problem, there are still more serious qualms. This release is obviously not really ABSOLUTELY complete, as ttere are some missing musical segments (the Act One finale waltzes based on Edelweiss and the deleted song How Can Love Survive, the Entr'acte, the children's dejected-sounding reprise of My Favourite Things with Maria making it better half-way through by joining in, and the folk festival reprises of Do-Re-Mi and So Long, Farewell.) In addition, the original versions of the Overture and the Preludium prayer sequence are not included, as they seem to sound better and more complete when separated rather than when allowed to seague into each other as in the original soundtrack, along with the complete wedding sequence, also not included here. Also, the price is quite expensive, as it's clear that record companies keep reissuing and improving certain albums such as this by adding previously unreleased music until they are perfect and complete - all at the consumer's expense. Once that's said and done, you can easily get down to enjoying this classic soundtrack in the splendour of a sparkling new digital remastering and new video transfers of this classic film.

To sum everything up, I still can say I feel happy and satisfied with this new reissue of the soundtrack, even despite some minor quibbles and snags, but I feel as if I will not stop rallying until I see the ABSOLUTELY COMPLETE version released and made available. Perhaps the Richard Rodgers centennial celebrations next year will provide the right impetus for the R&H organisation to get 20th-Century Fox and RCA Victor to release and reissue the soundtrack in its original album and expanded versions COMPLETE on 2 CDs, with the original album taking up one disc (with all the outtakes as fillers) and the COMPLETE expanded edition taking up the other - all at a twofer bargain price. Still, I will be more than happy to recommend this soundtrack to the beginning purchaser, and it still makes a wonderful, if extravogant, way to acquire a classic in a sparkling and attractive new dress.

BTW, I would suggest checking out the new Broadway cast recording of the show and purchasing it along with this equally excellent version, as it presents a top-quality performance and is like a stage production in the spirit of the film, to give yourselves an alternate view and a more conceptual performance of the show.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Simply perfect for adults and kids. Will addict for a lifetime.

5-0 out of 5 stars iwould like the cd as you canot buy it in nz
ilkie the sound of music and julie andrews is my favorite

1-0 out of 5 stars A ridiculous way to release a complete recording
I was horrified when I was browsing the record store and saw how this supposedly complete disc was arranged. I have no doubt that it sounds fine, but under the circumstances, it is a waste of money and I refused to buy it.

The manufacturers have done nothing more on this "Sound of Music" re-release than add a second CD containing everything that had to be omitted from the LP and other CD versions of the film soundtrack album. RCA Victor, it seems, could not be bothered to start from the beginning and do the same beautiful job that Angel Records did with the enhanced editions of the "Oklaoma!", "Carousel", and "The King and I" soundtracks. The makers of those CD's saw to it that all the songs as well as the previously omitted material were all sequenced IN THE ORDER THAT IT APPEARED IN THE FILM.

But, apparently, doing this is too much work for RCA Victor. Instead of giving us the pleasure of being able to listen to all the songs and music in its proper order, so that we can get the feeling that we are listening to the soundtrack as it ought to be heard and experienced, we have to sit through the soundtrack album exactly as it was issued for its previous incarnation, and then put on ANOTHER CD so that we can listen to the background music and other versions of the tracks heard on the first CD in the set.

This is just sloppy and insensitive thinking. Why would RCA release a soundtrack album of a beloved film in an edition like this, when Rhino, with its M-G-M soundtrack series, and Angel, with its enhanced editions of three Rodgers and Hammerstein musical films, have done such a superlative job on their soundtracks?

The answer, of course, is pure laziness. They have the most successful and beloved film musical on their hands, so RCA Victor assumes that listeners will automatically buy any version of it, no matter how it is issued.

Shame on them. ... Read more

11. Dino: The Essential Dean Martin
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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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

12. Renee Olstead
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.49
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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

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

Reviews (6)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can't say enough good things about it.

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

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

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

14. Classic Sinatra
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.49
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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

15. Ultimate Manilow
list price: $18.98
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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

16. Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original Cast Recording (1986 London Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000001FLQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 577
Average Customer Review: 4.76 out of 5 stars
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Highlight versions of cast recordings are by definition a compromise, and this reduction of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera is no exception. Weighing in at 59 minutes, it's over 40 minutes shorter than the two-disc version, excising many musical scenes that convey the flow and impact of the show (which include, admittedly, a lot of patter and screaming). On the other hand, all the hits are here--"Think of Me," "Angel of Music," the title tune, "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Masquerade," and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"--and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman are still on hand to make their distinctive contributions to the original London cast. So if you're looking for a convenient, inexpensive single disc that will let you enjoy Lloyd Webber's scrumptious melodies without having to immerse yourself in the action, this just might be for you.--David Horiuchi ... Read more

Reviews (67)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Terrific, not to mention terrifying!
I have yet to buy the complete CD version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's haunting musical version of the classic love story The Phantom of the Opera, but my copy of 'Highlights' is nearly ten years old...and I still love it.
Michael Crawford was not only the first man to play the title character but in my opinion he must be the best. Surely, it's impossible for anyone to be better than him. His voice is magnificent, his cackling laugh keeps me up at night and even on a recording his sorrow and anger seem so real.
Although I've heard she's not much of an actress, vocally Sarah Brightman is amazing as Christine, a talented opera singer and the object of the phantom's desire.
Steve Barton sings the part of Raoul, Christine's old friend and love interest. He's very good which is why it's a shame his career didn't get more of a boost out of his performance.
In fact the whole cast is simply amazing. In songs like 'Masquerade' it becomes very clear to even be in the chorus of this spine-tingling musical you have to be very, very good.
Some will appreciate this CD more after having seen it live, but in my opinion every single person should own a copy of this tremendously good recording.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Phantastic Soundtrack
I saw The Phantom of the Opera nearly three years ago, and I remember it like I just saw it yesterday. The acting is superbe and the music is magnificent!! The entire soundtrack (it's a double cd) is great, but if you are just looking for the "main" songs, then the Highlights CD is just as good. Every time I listen to this CD, the play vividly comes to life, and I feel exactly what all of the characters are feeling....especially the Phantom. The play is wonderful...the music is even better!! You will definitely not be sorry that you bought this soundtrack.

5-0 out of 5 stars This started my Crawford Kick!!!!
I never heard of Mike before hearing this in 6th grade....

I was absolutely memorized by this man's voice--and boy
if i was the only one in the classromm, i would have started crying...his singing was so cystyalized- seems like he puts
all genuine emotion in his voice and it shows....

I love when he sings with the music box in the last song....
that's better than a full orchestra...

Or Michael with that haunting piano in song 6..that'll
do it to me....

I now have joined the Michael Crawford International
Fan Club Association (well not yet, i plan to!!)--

I saw the Phantom 2wice in my life.... with Ted Keegan
and Colm Wilkonson in the lead roles respectively---

Just holds no candle to Mike.....

5-0 out of 5 stars The Abriged Phantom of the Opera
Highlight versions of cast recordings can be convient -- nice price, one disc, shorter runtime, and all of the big numbers. I originally bought this highlights version a couple months before seeing the show because I didn't have the money for the two-disc complete recording, and it is a decent purchase. All the standout songs are here -- Think of Me, the title song, Angel of Music, All I Ask of You, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, and others -- and for the curious who may never see the show but want a sample of it anyway, this is likely more than enough. But I made a mistake buying this over the complete set, because as soon as you see the show you'll be dying to have it all. Yes, the big ones are here, but there's so much wonderful stuff that you miss with this one, especially little things connecting the big numbers. Notes and Magical Lasso are perticularly missed here. It may not be important to you now but once you've seen the show you'll want it. So my advice is skip this version and save up a little more money for the complete double-disc album. You'll be glad you did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Audiophile friendly
I agree with the other many positive reviews. In adition if you have a high end system, the recording reproduces the soundstage and imaging of the performance. As an example in the last piece you can follow the performers moving across the stage providing a "you are (almost) there" experience. ... Read more

17. All Shook Up (2005 Original Broadway Cast) (Featuring the Songs of Elvis Presley)
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Asin: B0009941TI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 140
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18. It's Time
list price: $24.98
our price: $22.99
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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

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

Reviews (58)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. The Hit Singles Collection
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
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Asin: B0000634HG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 141
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Bobby Darin was one of the most personally complex and unpredictable artists of the rock era. Indeed, it's hard to find another major artist who reinvented himself with the deceptive ease and overwhelming success chronicled on this 20-track highlight disc. After scoring three lively and considerable Top 10 successes in the space of a year in the late 1950s ("Splish Splash," "Queen of the Hop," "Dream Lover"), Darin traded in his teen idol sweater 'n' slacks for a tux and tie (evidence suggests he considered rock a passing fad!) and went gunning for Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The immediate results were the Grammy-winning No. 1 legend "Mack the Knife" (adapted from Kurt Weill's "Moritat" in The Threepenny Opera) and the enduring, French-inspired Top 10 hit "Beyond the Sea." If Darin spent the early '60s alternately goosing standards from the American songbook ("Clementine," "Bill Bailey," "Lazy River," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," etc.) and mending a few rock-pop fences ("Multiplication," "Things"), he still had another surprise in store. His Top 10 take on Tim Hardin's dolorous "If I Were a Carpenter" cast him all too convincingly as conscientious '60s folkie. Other highlights here include his irresistible, swinging take on the lyrically bleak "Artificial Flowers" and his successful, self-penned nods to the '60s Nashville sound, "You're the Reason I'm Living," and "18 Yellow Roses." Darin was considerably more than the first postmodern lounge Revivalist, and herein lies the evidence. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Almost all of Bobby Darin's Top 40 hits on one CD
"The Hit Singles Collection" comes to us courtesy of Rhino, which means you know you are going to get not only 20 choice tracks which include (almost) all of Bobby Darin's Top 40 hits but also solid liner notes from Bill Dahl. The chief attractions are the Top 10 hits, which would be "Splish Splash" (#3), "Queen Of The Hop" (#9), "Dream Lover" (#2), "Mack the Knife" (#1), "Beyond the Sea" (#6), "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" (#5), "Things" (#3), "You're The Reason I'm Living" (#3), "18 Yellow Roses" (#10), and "If I Were a Carpenter" (#8). As you can see, that is half the album right there. Overall the songs reflect the wide range of Darin's career, where he did everything from popular standards to rock 'n' roll with a bit of folk-rocker and Vegas hip cat in between. Darin is often dismissed as a junior grade Frank Sinatra, but you have to give him credit for refusing to be limited to a particular type of music. This was a man who sang songs written by both Kurt Weill and John Sebastian, and who covered Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones in his nightclub act.

Is this a complete hits collection? Well, there are a pair of Top 40 hits missing ("If a Man Answers" and "Nature Boy") and Darin easily had another dozen songs that made the Billboard charts that could have been picked over. But these would be minor quibbles over all and you will be hard pressed to find a better single CD collection of Darin songs than "The Hit Singles Collection." Darin died relatively young (in 1973 during open-heart surgery) and his election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 recognized that whatever his limitations his body of work is rather significant in terms of both the overall quality and the diversity. For those looking for something more ambitions Rhino also has a four-CD box set, "As Long As I'm Singing: The Bobby Darin Collection," which is more comprehensive in terms of not only hits but also B-sides and other obscure recordings. But I am happy with this one for now.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bobby Darin, The Underrated
Ooh Bobby Darin. Ya can't beat that voice. The soothing sounds of Bobby Darin's honey coated voice. Just too sweet! This CD, is perfect in everyway. His songs are addictive, and get stuck in your head forever. These songs, are my drugs, I get a totally pure 'High' off of them. Ladies and Gentlemen Bobby Darin.

4-0 out of 5 stars Darin does Sinatra does Tim Hardin.....
Bobby Darin could croon with the best---his take on Sinatra was surpassed only by Frank himself but the real treasure here is his cover of "If I were a Carpenter" which rivals Tim Hardens own version. Get this if for that track only and the rest will fall in place.....

5-0 out of 5 stars Ultra Cool
Bobby Darin, like Dean Martin, had a cool demeanor that always came across in everything he touched, be it movies or music. This collection of his hits has just about everthing that was great about him and is a pleasure to listen to. All these songs have nice arrangements backing up Darin's catchy style and phrasing.

You need only look at the list above to see all the great songs included in this package. There is an overall light and breezy feel to this CD and it fits Darin's career perfectly. It is always hip, sometimes romantic, and definitely like nothing you'll hear today. Harry Connick Jr. sometimes catches the swing and swagger of Darin's style in his lighter moments, but this IS Bobby Darin, a true American origional.

How cool was Bobby Darin? "Beyond the Sea" was playing in a scene in Pacino's "Sea of Love" and an entire episode of televisions own approach to cool, "The X-Files", was built around this song. You'll have no doubt once you pick this up, Macky is indeed, back in town.... ... Read more

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