Fifty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Tony Bennett's half-century career, celebrated on this majestic five-disc set, is a wonder of consistency and vocal excellence. Bennett began his tenure at Columbia in the early 1950s with an impressively powerful and emotive voice that, over the years, richened into a gorgeous instrument capable of the most penetrating expressiveness. Decades after his initial hit-making days -- all documented here --Bennett continued evolving as an artist. Just listen to his more recent work from the past decade to hear how much deeper this vocal genius has taken his song readings. If the soaring notes of his youth aren't as audible anymore, Bennett's moving sensitivity to a lyric,...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Tony Bennett's half-century career, celebrated on this majestic five-disc set, is a wonder of consistency and vocal excellence. Bennett began his tenure at Columbia in the early 1950s with an impressively powerful and emotive voice that, over the years, richened into a gorgeous instrument capable of the most penetrating expressiveness. Decades after his initial hit-making days -- all documented here --Bennett continued evolving as an artist. Just listen to his more recent work from the past decade to hear how much deeper this vocal genius has taken his song readings. If the soaring notes of his youth aren't as audible anymore, Bennett's moving sensitivity to a lyric, superb phrasing, and unvarnished swing more than makes up for any technical failings. But the mature years are only a segment of this radiant retrospective; the majority of the set centers on the classics that established and fortified Bennett's fame, including such signature performances as "I Wanna Be Around," "Stranger in Paradise," "Once Upon a Time," and, of course, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco." Yet those who are most familiar with Bennett's theme songs will also be blown away by his soaring interpretations of songs associated with Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire, and others that were originally found in Bennett's highly acclaimed tribute albums. Sinatra may reign as America's numero uno popular singer, but, as this glorious collection proves, Bennett has been, and remains, his only true heir.
All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
When the first version of this impressive box set was originally released in 1991 (as Forty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett), it put the capstone upon Tony Bennett's remarkable return to prominence by looking back at a legacy that had been overshadowed by that of the colossus Sinatra. The collection methodically traced his career from his first Columbia record, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," in 1950, through the hit singles and key or capriciously selected album tracks up until 1972. Then, after borrowing three tracks from Fantasy's 1975 Tony Bennett/Bill Evans project (including an exquisite "Some Other Time" with a "Peace Piece" introduction from Evans), the box leapt ahead 11 years to contemplate Bennett's unlikely resurrection as an icon of the cynical young. From there, Fifty Years departs from its predecessor by adding a fifth disc which, at 23 tracks, boosts the total from 87 to 110 tracks. Bennett's unlikely popular success during the '90s and 2000s is surveyed with a parade of Grammy winners, including selections from 1993's Perfectly Frank, 1994's Steppin' Out and MTV Unplugged, 1999's Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot and Cool, and 2002's A Wonderful World (among others). Bennett's early records are almost operatic in feeling, a honey-smooth Italian tenor building toward histrionic climaxes, but the voice eventually busts loose into an outgoing, life-celebrating baritone, and, by the 1980s, reemerges as a darker, softer, even somewhat raspy replica of itself. There isn't much for the jazz listener here other than an occasional session with Count Basie (dig their ebullient "Lullaby of Broadway" together), a few cameos by jazz names, the Evans tracks, or some upbeat charts by Ralph Sharon, Ralph Burns, and a few others. Ultimately, the most striking difference between Bennett's records and Sinatra's is the sheer, unbeatably high quality of arrangements that Sinatra was able to get. Yet despite the abundance of period MOR treacle, many of these records are more interesting than memory recalls; for example, it's difficult to resist such a naïvely joyous track as Frank DeVol's rendering of "Put on a Happy Face" that has the Mitch Miller era written all over it. There is no better Tony Bennett retrospective at any price, although jazz specialists might be better served by the Jazz compilation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969278420
  • Catalog Number: 92784
  • Sales rank: 187,039


Disc 1
  1. 1 The Boulevard of Broken Dreams (2:57)
  2. 2 Because of You (2:58)
  3. 3 Cold, Cold Heart (2:40)
  4. 4 Blue Velvet (3:02)
  5. 5 Rags to Riches (2:50)
  6. 6 Stranger in Paradise - The Ray Charles Singers (3:05)
  7. 7 While the Music Plays On (4:34)
  8. 8 May I Never Love Again (3:09)
  9. 9 Sing You Sinners (2:17)
  10. 10 Just in Time (2:35)
  11. 11 Lazy Afternoon (2:25)
  12. 12 Ca, C'est l'Amour (2:47)
  13. 13 I Get a Kick Out of You - Art Blakey (3:08)
  14. 14 It Amazes Me - George Van Eps (3:24)
  15. 15 Penthouse Serenade (When We're Alone) (6:15)
  16. 16 Lost in the Stars - Count Basie Orchestra (4:01)
  17. 17 Lullaby of Broadway (3:12)
  18. 18 Firefly (1:40)
  19. 19 A Sleepin' Bee - Ralph Sharon (3:27)
  20. 20 The Man That Got Away (3:53)
  21. 21 Skylark (2:39)
  22. 22 September Song (3:53)
  23. 23 Till (2:57)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Begin the Beguine (3:26)
  2. 2 Put on a Happy Face (2:40)
  3. 3 The Best Is Yet to Come (2:37)
  4. 4 This Time the Dream's on Me (3:14)
  5. 5 Close Your Eyes (2:22)
  6. 6 Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye (1:56)
  7. 7 Dancing in the Dark (2:32)
  8. 8 Stella by Starlight (2:29)
  9. 9 Tender Is the Night (2:40)
  10. 10 Once Upon a Time (2:59)
  11. 11 I Left My Heart in San Francisco (2:54)
  12. 12 Until I Met You - Jo Jones (2:54)
  13. 13 If I Love Again (3:21)
  14. 14 I Wanna Be Around (2:13)
  15. 15 The Good Life (2:16)
  16. 16 It Was Me (3:07)
  17. 17 Spring in Manhattan - Will Bronson Singers (2:36)
  18. 18 The Moment of Truth - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:17)
  19. 19 This Is All I Ask (3:15)
  20. 20 A Taste of Honey - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:55)
  21. 21 When Joanna Loved Me - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:06)
  22. 22 I'll Be Around - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:05)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Nobody Else But Me - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:58)
  2. 2 It Had to Be You (3:16)
  3. 3 I've Got Just About Everything (6:11)
  4. 4 Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:57)
  5. 5 Waltz for Debby - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:39)
  6. 6 I Walk a Little Faster (4:26)
  7. 7 Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away) (3:16)
  8. 8 If I Ruled the World - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:03)
  9. 9 Fly Me to the Moon - Al Cohn (4:13)
  10. 10 Love Scene (2:36)
  11. 11 Sweet Lorraine - Joe Marsala (3:42)
  12. 12 The Shadow of Your Smile - Jimmy Rowles (3:41)
  13. 13 I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her (3:08)
  14. 14 Baby, Dream Your Dream (2:08)
  15. 15 Smile - Tommy Flanagan (3:34)
  16. 16 Maybe September (4:01)
  17. 17 Emily (3:24)
  18. 18 The Very Thought of You - Bobby Hackett (4:33)
  19. 19 A Time for Love (3:21)
  20. 20 Country Girl - Joe Soldo (3:40)
  21. 21 Days of Love (2:21)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Keep Smiling at Trouble (Trouble's a Bubble) (3:05)
  2. 2 For Once in My Life (3:24)
  3. 3 Who Cares? (2:11)
  4. 4 Hi-Ho! (4:42)
  5. 5 Baby Don't You Quit Now (2:50)
  6. 6 Something (3:21)
  7. 7 Cold, Cold Heart - John Bunch (3:04)
  8. 8 I Do Not Know a Day I Did Not Love You (3:29)
  9. 9 Old Devil Moon - London Philharmonic Orchestra (3:19)
  10. 10 Remind Me (3:54)
  11. 11 Maybe This Time (4:08)
  12. 12 Some Other Time - Bill Evans (4:42)
  13. 13 My Foolish Heart (4:49)
  14. 14 But Beautiful (3:37)
  15. 15 How Do You Keep the Music Playing? - The Ralph Sharon Trio (4:21)
  16. 16 What Are You Afraid Of (3:02)
  17. 17 Why Do People Fall in Love?/People (4:06)
  18. 18 I Got Lost in Her Arms (4:28)
  19. 19 When I Lost You (1:13)
  20. 20 Shakin' the Blues Away - The Ralph Sharon Trio (1:49)
  21. 21 Antonia (3:07)
  22. 22 When Do the Bells Ring for Me (2:57)
Disc 5
  1. 1 East of the Sun (West of the Moon) - The Ralph Sharon Trio (4:13)
  2. 2 New York, New York - Gregg Field (3:31)
  3. 3 Steppin' Out With My Baby - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:54)
  4. 4 They All Laughed - The Ralph Sharon Trio (2:13)
  5. 5 They Can't Take That Away from Me - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:33)
  6. 6 Speak Low - The Ralph Sharon Trio (3:15)
  7. 7 Solitude - Ralph Sharon (2:58)
  8. 8 I Wished on the Moon - Ralph Sharon (2:48)
  9. 9 When a Woman Loves a Man - Ralph Sharon (3:12)
  10. 10 That Ole Devil Called Love - Ralph Sharon (4:00)
  11. 11 The Way You Look Tonight (3:25)
  12. 12 Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (2:36)
  13. 13 Bein' Green - The Muppets (2:27)
  14. 14 Mood Indigo (4:35)
  15. 15 Day Dream (3:57)
  16. 16 Azure (3:50)
  17. 17 Sophisticated Lady (4:45)
  18. 18 Alright, Okay, You Win - Diana Krall (3:31)
  19. 19 Let the Good Times Roll - B.B. King (3:14)
  20. 20 Evenin' (4:14)
  21. 21 La Vie en Rose - Gray Sargent (3:24)
  22. 22 What a Wonderfurl World - Gray Sargent (3:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tony Bennett Primary Artist
Percy Faith Conductor
John Bunch Piano, Conductor
Cy Coleman Conductor
Eddie Costa Vibes, Soloist
Bill Evans Piano
Al Grey Trombone
Bobby Hackett Cornet, Ukulele
Dick Hyman Organ, Conductor
Jo Jones Drums
Jimmy Rowles Piano
Ralph Burns Conductor
Neal Hefti Conductor
Joe Marsala Clarinet
Ralph Sharon Piano, Conductor
Chuck Wayne Conductor
George Van Eps Guitar
Johnny Keating Conductor
Patrick Williams Conductor
Corky Hale Harp
Peter Matz Conductor
Frank deVol Conductor
George Siravo Conductor
Al Cohn Tenor Saxophone
Harry Allen Saxophone
Chuck Berghofer Rhythm Bass
Art Blakey Drums
Jorge Calandrelli Conductor
Clayton Cameron Drums
Don Costa Conductor
Marian Evans Conductor
Robert Farnon Conductor
Joe La Barbera Drums
Paul Langosch Bass
Jesse Levy Conductor
Johnny Mandel Conductor
Marty Manning Conductor
Wynton Marsalis Trumpet
Lee Musiker Piano
Glenn Osser Conductor
David Rose Conductor
Gray Sargent Guitar
Zoot Sims Saxophone, Soloist
Joel Smirnoff Violin, Soloist
Joe Soldo Flute
Torrie Zito Conductor
Ron Anthony Guitar
Gregg Field Drums
Doug Richeson Bass
Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
Alexander Borodin Composer
George Gershwin Composer
Kurt Weill Composer
Percy Faith Arranger, Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Bing Crosby Author
Judy Garland Author
Frank Sinatra Author
Barbra Streisand Author
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Ray Charles Duet
George Harrison Composer
Tony Bennett Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes, Creation
John Bunch Arranger
Cy Coleman Composer
Bob Dorough Composer
Bill Evans Composer, Author
Leonard Feather Liner Notes
Dizzy Gillespie Author
Freddie Green Composer
Bobby Hackett Author
Dick Hyman Arranger
Gordon Jenkins Composer
Al Jolson Composer
Michel Legrand Composer
Buddy Rich Author
Jimmy Rowles Composer
Ralph Burns Arranger
Sacha Distel Composer
Neal Hefti Arranger
Gene Lees Composer
Irving Mills Composer
Ray Noble Composer
Ralph Sharon Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes, Creation
Chuck Wayne Arranger
Johnny Keating Arranger
Jonathan Schwartz Liner Notes
Larry Wilcox Arranger
Alec Wilder Composer, Author
Harold Arlen Composer, Author
Gilbert Bécaud Composer
Mitch Miller Producer, Author
Edith Piaf Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Al Brown Engineer
Peter Matz Arranger
Frank deVol Arranger
George Siravo Arranger
Willis Conover Author
Jimmy Wisner Producer
Ettore Stratta Producer
Ogden Nash Composer
Dorothy Parker Composer
Steven Berkowitz Executive Producer
Kander Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Jerry Ross Composer
Richard Adler Composer
Al Cohn Arranger
Ernie Altschuler Producer
Louis Armstrong Author
Harry Barris Composer
Dae Bennett Engineer
Danny Bennett Producer, Executive Producer
Alan Bergman Composer
Marilyn Bergman Composer
Barney Bigard Composer
Leslie Bricusse Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
T Bone Burnett Producer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger
Charlie Chaplin Composer
Don Cody Engineer
Betty Comden Composer
Don Costa Arranger
Eddie DeLange Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Howard Dietz Composer
Al Dubin Composer
Duke Ellington Composer, Author
Gil Evans Author
Marian Evans Arranger
Ray Evans Composer
Sammy Fain Composer
Robert Farnon Arranger, Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
André Fischer Producer
Will Friedwald Liner Notes
Ray Gerhardt Engineer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Norman Gimbel Composer
Wally Gold Producer
Keith Grant Engineer
Adolph Green Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Arthur Hammerstein Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
John Harris Engineer
Wally Heider Engineer
Nat Hentoff Author
Isham Jones Composer
Gus Kahn Composer
David Kahne Producer
Helen Keane Producer
Matthew Kelly Tape Research
Larry Keyes Engineer
B.B. King Duet
Frank Laico Engineer, Author
Dennis Lambert Composer
k.d. lang Duet
Burton Lane Composer
John Latouche Composer
Jack Lattig Engineer
David Leonard Engineer
Jay Livingston Composer
Teo Macero Producer
Johnny Mandel Arranger, Composer
Marty Manning Arranger
Johnny Mercer Composer
David Merrill Engineer
Billy Moll Composer
Jerome Moross Composer
Cliff Morris Engineer
Joel Moss Engineer
Paul Mufson Engineer
Anthony Newley Composer
Glenn Osser Arranger
Mitchell Parish Composer
Fred Plaut Engineer
Cole Porter Composer
Brian Potter Composer
Phil Ramone Producer
Ralph Rainger Composer
Joe Raposo Composer
Jack Reardon Composer
John Richards Engineer
Pete Romano Engineer
David Rose Arranger, Composer
Al Schmitt Engineer
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Bobby Scott Composer
Frank Scott Composer
Carl Sigman Composer
Allen Stanton Producer
Billy Strayhorn Composer
Charles Strouse Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Bob Thiele Composer
James Van Heusen Composer
Sadie Vimmerstadt Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Ned Washington Composer
Bernie Wayne Composer
Paul Francis Webster Composer
George David Weiss Composer
Robert Wells Composer
Mark Wilder Mastering
Hank Williams Composer
Victor Young Composer
Torrie Zito Arranger
Diana Krall Duet
Bernie Hanighen Composer
Mitch Maketansky Engineer
Ron Miller Composer
Will Jason Composer
Jack Murray Composer
Stan Weiss Engineer
Martin Charnin Composer
Anthony DeCurtis Liner Notes
Bob Merrill Composer
Truman Capote Composer
Robert Waller Engineer
Harry White Composer
Al Ham Producer
Lee Morris Composer
Ted Fio Rito Composer
John Turner Composer
Mark Burdett Art Direction
Josh Cheuse Art Direction
Harold Chapman Engineer
Ted Brosnan Engineer
Jack Erickson Composer
Louis Bellock Engineer
Omar Carrasquilla Tape Research
Fred Ebb Composer
Tony Janack Engineer
Everett Raymound Kinstler Portrait Photography
Mike Kull Tape Research
Marcel Louiguy Composer
Seymour Mednick Cover Photo
Tony Ramburello Musical Supervision
Tex Satterwhite Composer
Joe Vallelonga Engineer
Woody Woodruff Engineer
Howard Roberts Producer
Maxwell Anderson Composer
Sam Coslow Composer
Ted Koehler Composer
Carolyn Leigh Composer
Bernice Petkere Composer
Brooks Bowman Composer
Clifford R. Burwell Composer
Doris Fisher Composer
Fleecie Moore Composer
Orlando Murden Composer
Ben Oakland Composer
Jack Segal Composer
Sidney Wyche Composer
Mack David Composer
Sano Marco Composer
Ric Marlow Composer
Anthony Scibetta Composer
Sam Theard Composer
Dudley Wilkinson Composer
Val Burton Composer
George Cory Composer
Douglass Cross Composer
Charles Danvers Composer
Charles DeForest Composer
Ernie Erdman Composer
Lupin Fein Composer
Lewis Gensler Composer
Mayme Watts Composer
Don Wolf Composer
G. Forrest Composer
Harold Nicholson Engineer
Allan Roberts Composer
Eddie Heim Composer
Woody Pornpitaksuk Mastering
Lee Adams Composer
W. Frank Harling Composer
A. Judson Green Composer
Maria Triana Mastering
Bart Howard Composer
Robert Wright Composer
Cyril Ornadel Composer
Marshall Barer Composer
Robert A. K. King Composer
Ben Rizzi Engineer
Geoffrey Parsons Composer
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