Classic Duets

Classic Duets

by Frank Sinatra
     
 

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Frank Sinatra's Duets and Duets II albums were artistic disasters, a tattered way to end a long, distinguished recording career -- and the third CD of duets, Classic Duets, is an obvious attempt to latch onto their undeniable financial success, right down to the similar pastel cover art. But this…  See more details below

Overview

Frank Sinatra's Duets and Duets II albums were artistic disasters, a tattered way to end a long, distinguished recording career -- and the third CD of duets, Classic Duets, is an obvious attempt to latch onto their undeniable financial success, right down to the similar pastel cover art. But this collection is the real thing -- real duets sung in real time, taken from Sinatra's short-lived ABC television show from 1957 and four subsequent one-hours specials through 1960. This is a series of snapshots of big-league showbiz in the 1950s, set well apart from the timeless concept albums that Sinatra was recording at Capitol at the time. Here, side by side with some of the biggest singing stars of the time, Sinatra interacts easily, wisecracking at his partners, rarely missing a beat, the consummate pro making it sound easy. Some of the duets are quite brief -- the number with Louis Prima lasts only a minute -- and lyrics are changed constantly to reflect something that may have been topical or personal at the time. The sound is not unexpectedly variable from track to track -- mono of course, but always listenable. Not all of the pairings strike fire; the "If I Loved You" duet with Shirley Jones -- the original matchup for the film Carousel (Sinatra walked out early in the production) -- is a mismatch of styles. The teenaged Nancy Sinatra can be heard in her pre-"Boots" manner, trying to stay afloat in Dad's big-band idiom. Yet Sinatra does manage to interact with Ethel Merman, who always keeps going one way like a Sherman tank. It's always a treat to hear Sinatra kidding around with Dean Martin, or cracking up Dinah Shore in the middle of a seamlessly linked medley. The highlight for many collectors and curiosity-seekers is the first official release on an audio CD of the historic Sinatra/Presley duet made shortly after Elvis got out of the Army; the King briefly forgets the words to "Witchcraft" while Frank impeccably swings "Love Me Tender." For jazz fans, the high points are three separate duets with Ella Fitzgerald, providing a taste of what a Frank/Ella album -- talked about but never undertaken -- might have been like. Hearing the frustratingly brief "Put Your Dreams Away" with Sinatra and Fitzgerald, which fades out after 43 seconds, points out the fragility of these kinescopic alliances, how special they were, and how distant they seem from 21st century culture.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/05/2002
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724354277122
catalogNumber:
42771

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Birth of the Blues  - Louis Armstrong
  2. I'll Never Smile Again  -  Hi-Lo's
  3. Can't We Be Friends?  - Ella Fitzgerald
  4. Medley: You Make Me Feel So Young/Them There Eyes/A Foggy Day/I've Got
  5. Nice Work If You Can Get It
  6. Side by Side  -  Tri-Tones
  7. Something's Gotta Give  -  McGuire Sisters
  8. If I Loved You  - Carmell Jones
  9. Together
  10. High Hopes  -  Kids
  11. Medley: Sunday, Monday or Always/On a Slow Boat to China/Saturday ...
  12. Me and My Shadow  - Sammy Davis
  13. September Song
  14. You're the Top
  15. I Can't Believe You're in Love With Me  - Keely Smith
  16. Harold Arlen Medley: As Long as I Live/It's Only a Paper Moon/One ...  - Lena Horne
  17. You Make Me Feel So Young (Old)  - Nancy Sinatra
  18. Witchcraft/Love Me Tender + Reprise  - Elvis Presley
  19. Our Love Is Here to Stay
  20. Moonlight in Vermont/I May Be Wrong  - Ella Fitzgerald
  21. Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day)  - Ella Fitzgerald

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Frank Sinatra   Primary Artist
Kids   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Paul James   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Cy Coleman   Composer
Jolson   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Nancy Sinatra   Liner Notes
Josef Myrow   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Paul Mann   Composer
Johnny Mercer   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
George David Weiss   Composer
Tommy Steele   Art Direction
Frank Sinatra   Liner Notes
Andy Engel   Illustrations
Frank Collura   Producer
Kay Swift   Composer
Bryan Kelley   Producer
Maxwell Anderson   Composer
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
John Blackburn   Composer
Dave Dreyer   Composer
Clarence Gaskill   Composer
Ruth Lowe   Composer
Vera Matson   Composer
Karl Suessdorf   Composer
Charles Pignone   Producer,Liner Notes
Tina Sinatra   Liner Notes
Barrie Smithers   Producer
Shannon Ward   Producer
Billy Rose   Composer
Robert Finkelstein   Executive Producer
LeRoy Neiman   Cover Painting

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