The Classic Singles

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The music of Nat King Cole has been readily available throughout the CD era, but this four-disc overview -- collecting 100 mostly monstrous singles -- stands apart from all the other Cole anthologies. This display of Cole's peerless artistry begins with his first single, 1942's lowdown blues "That Ain't Right" (a No. 1 R&B hit out of the box) and winds up four CDs later with a bonus, multilingual version of his last Top 20 hit, 1964's sweet pop ditty "L-O-V-E," hitting all the commercial high-water marks in between. It's a breathtaking unfolding of immaculate pop and R&B hits, but even more than that, it spotlights a consummate vocalist gracefully melding his ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
The music of Nat King Cole has been readily available throughout the CD era, but this four-disc overview -- collecting 100 mostly monstrous singles -- stands apart from all the other Cole anthologies. This display of Cole's peerless artistry begins with his first single, 1942's lowdown blues "That Ain't Right" (a No. 1 R&B hit out of the box) and winds up four CDs later with a bonus, multilingual version of his last Top 20 hit, 1964's sweet pop ditty "L-O-V-E," hitting all the commercial high-water marks in between. It's a breathtaking unfolding of immaculate pop and R&B hits, but even more than that, it spotlights a consummate vocalist gracefully melding his approach to the varying styles of great arrangers. Most notable among them are Nelson Riddle and his lush strings; Pete Rugolo and his muscular, orchestral punch; Billy May and his brassy exhortations; and the underappreciated Ralph Carmichael and his seamless integrations of penthouse pop and swinging rock 'n' roll during Cole's later years (the ones behind classics such as "Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer" and "That Sunday, That Summer"). For those who prefer their Nat unadulterated, Disc 1 is heavy on the evocative Nat King Cole Trio recordings, including legendary sides such as "Sweet Lorraine," "Straighten Up and Fly Right," and "The Frim Fram Sauce." Enter the above-mentioned Murderer's Row of arrangers, and it's one sweet ride over the next three hit-filled discs. This is quintessential American pop that stands with the best of its era, including Sinatra's great work during the same time frame -- which is to say it stands with the best of all time.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
If you add up all the songs Nat King Cole placed in the various Billboard singles charts -- including not only the pop and R&B charts, but also the adult contemporary and even country ones, as well as the lists of discs "bubbling under" the main pop chart -- the total comes to a remarkable 123, and that's not including the many repeat appearances of "The Christmas Song Merry Christmas to You." The entries begin with "That Ain't Right," the King Cole Trio recording that entered the "Harlem Hit Parade" in the fall of 1942, and end with "Let Me Tell You, Babe," which dropped off the easy listening chart in the summer of 1966 more than two years after Cole's death; they range in popularity from "Straighten Up and Fly Right," which topped the black chart for ten weeks and the country chart for six while also placing in the pop Top Ten in 1944, to "Cappuccina," which spent one week bubbling under the pop chart at number 115 in 1961. Capitol Records chronicles this run of chart singles on a four-disc box set running close to five hours and containing 101 tracks. "Cappuccina" is understandably not among them, and many of Cole's other down-chart discs have been omitted particularly ones from the late '50s to the '60s, when he was battling the incursion of rock & roll into the singles chart and had trouble making the Top 40. Also, the compilers have taken occasional liberties, including the odd U.K.-only hit, EP track, and, in the case of "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" from the Cole Español LP, a song that was never released as a single. The collection is sequenced chronologically by recording date with the exception of "The Christmas Song," which is held until the end. The running order gives a good sense of Cole's development from his jazzy trio days to his years as a pop singer backed by an orchestra. But the problem isn't so much what has been excluded, it's what has been included. Cole fans and pop music scholars may be happy to have a close-to-complete collection of the singer's chart singles, but as a listening experience many of the songs turn out to be justly forgotten. With his pleasurable pipes, Cole shared with Bing Crosby the knack for raising mediocre material to listenability, but for the average fan it is still sometimes a long wait from one big hit to the next on this set. Many of these singles really are classic, but many others are not. Capitol's 1992 box Nat King Cole, which mixes in key album tracks, remains a better overview of Cole's career, and a two-disc reduction of this collection focusing on the more popular tracks would be better for most listeners.
New York Times - Ben Ratliff
[These singles] provide a valuable way to understand Cole, who belongs to the history of the radio at least as much as to the history of the LP.
Blender - Jon Young
[A] dazzling package.

[These singles] provide a valuable way to understand Cole, who belongs to the history of the radio at least as much as to the history of the LP.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/4/2003
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724359205526
  • Catalog Number: 92055

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 That Ain't Right (3:11)
  2. 2 All for You (3:24)
  3. 3 I'm Lost (3:08)
  4. 4 Straighten Up and Fly Right (2:26)
  5. 5 Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You (2:56)
  6. 6 If You Can't Smile and Say Yes (Please Don't Cry and Say No) (2:52)
  7. 7 Sweet Lorraine (3:10)
  8. 8 It's Only a Paper Moon (2:56)
  9. 9 I Can't See for Lookin' (3:08)
  10. 10 I Realize Now (2:55)
  11. 11 I'm a Shy Guy (2:48)
  12. 12 Don't Blame Me (3:25)
  13. 13 Come to Baby, Do! (3:05)
  14. 14 The Frim Fram Sauce (3:13)
  15. 15 Route 66 (3:02)
  16. 16 You Call It Madness (But I Call It Love) (3:04)
  17. 17 (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (2:54)
  18. 18 You Don't Learn That in School (3:06)
  19. 19 Meet Me at No Special Place (And I'll Be There at No Particular Time) (3:11)
  20. 20 What'll I Do? (3:03)
  21. 21 Kee-Mo Ky-Mo (The Magic Song) (2:22)
  22. 22 Nature Boy (2:40)
  23. 23 Little Girl (2:23)
  24. 24 A Boy from Texas, a Girl from Tennessee (2:41)
  25. 25 Lost April (2:58)
  26. 26 My Mother Told Me (2:57)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Exactly Like You (2:42)
  2. 2 I Almost Lost My Mind (3:02)
  3. 3 Always You (3:00)
  4. 4 Mona Lisa (3:15)
  5. 5 Orange Colored Sky (2:33)
  6. 6 Jet (2:50)
  7. 7 Too Young (3:13)
  8. 8 Because of Rain (3:11)
  9. 9 Red Sails in the Sunset (3:17)
  10. 10 Unforgettable (3:12)
  11. 11 Walkin' My Baby Back Home (2:40)
  12. 12 Walkin' (2:49)
  13. 13 The Ruby and the Pearl (3:12)
  14. 14 Somewhere Along the Way (2:53)
  15. 15 Funny (Not Much) (2:59)
  16. 16 Don't Let Your Eyes Go Shopping (For Your Heart) (2:30)
  17. 17 Strange (2:29)
  18. 18 Because You're Mine (3:11)
  19. 19 I'm Never Satisfied (2:14)
  20. 20 Faith Can Move Mountains (3:12)
  21. 21 Mother Nature and Father Time (3:12)
  22. 22 Pretend (2:45)
  23. 23 A Fool Was I (2:51)
  24. 24 Lover, Come Back to Me (2:31)
  25. 25 Can't I? (3:15)
  26. 26 If Love Is Good to Me (2:47)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Tenderly (3:00)
  2. 2 Return to Paradise (2:58)
  3. 3 Make Her Mine (2:57)
  4. 4 I Am in Love (3:02)
  5. 5 Why (2:53)
  6. 6 Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (2:51)
  7. 7 Answer Me, My Love (2:39)
  8. 8 Alone Too Long (2:56)
  9. 9 It Happens to Be Me (3:10)
  10. 10 Unbelievable (3:04)
  11. 11 Hajji Baba (Persian Lament) (3:09)
  12. 12 Smile (2:55)
  13. 13 My One Sin (In Life) (3:00)
  14. 14 The Sand and the Sea (2:33)
  15. 15 A Blossom Fell (2:32)
  16. 16 Forgive My Heart (3:00)
  17. 17 If I May (3:04)
  18. 18 Someone You Love (2:55)
  19. 19 Ask Me (2:57)
  20. 20 Too Young to Go Steady (2:55)
  21. 21 Dreams Can Tell a Lie (3:01)
  22. 22 My Personal Possession (2:59)
  23. 23 That's All There Is to That (2:21)
  24. 24 Night Lights (2:49)
  25. 25 To the Ends of the Earth (2:19)
  26. 26 Ballerina (2:51)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Stardust (3:16)
  2. 2 When I Fall in Love (3:12)
  3. 3 With You on My Mind (2:39)
  4. 4 Send for Me (2:39)
  5. 5 Angel Smile (2:31)
  6. 6 Looking Back (2:21)
  7. 7 Acércate Más (Come Closer to Me) (2:48)
  8. 8 Quizas, Quizas, Quizas (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps) (2:44)
  9. 9 Non Dimenticar (2:50)
  10. 10 You Made Me Love You (2:55)
  11. 11 That's You (2:36)
  12. 12 Midnight Flyer (2:19)
  13. 13 My Love (2:41)
  14. 14 Let True Love Begin (2:32)
  15. 15 Let There Be Love (2:46)
  16. 16 Dear Lonely Hearts (3:09)
  17. 17 Ramblin' Rose (2:49)
  18. 18 Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer (2:25)
  19. 19 That Sunday, That Summer (3:12)
  20. 20 I Don't Want to Be Hurt Anymore (2:29)
  21. 21 L-O-V-E (2:33)
  22. 22 The Christmas Song (3:11)
  23. 23 L-O-V-E (2:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nat King Cole Primary Artist, Piano, Celeste, Vocals
Les Baxter Conductor
Maynard Ferguson Trumpet
Gordon Jenkins Conductor
Billy May Conductor
Art Pepper Alto Saxophone
Irving Ashby Guitar
Bobby Bryant Trumpet, Soloist
Oscar Moore Guitar
Pete Rugolo Conductor
Buddy Cole Celeste
Frank deVol Conductor
Shorty Rogers Trumpet
Ralph Carmichael Conductor
Harry Bluestone Violin
Red Callender Bass
Joe Comfort Bass
Jack Costanzo Bongos, Conga
Belford Hendricks Conductor
McCoy's Boys Vocals
Johnny Miller Bass
Nelson Riddle Conductor
Wesley Prince Bass
Richard Wess Conductor
Lee Young Drums
The Four Knights Vocals
Joe Lipman Conductor
Armando Romeu Conductor
The Ray Charles Singers Vocals
John Collins Guitar
Dave Cavanaugh Conductor
Julius Kinsler Reeds
Charlie Harris Bass
Technical Credits
Ivory Joe Hunter Composer
Sigmund Romberg Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Les Baxter Arranger, Orchestral Arrangements
Brook Benton Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Gordon Jenkins Orchestral Arrangements
Louis Jordan Composer
Bert Kaempfert Composer
Stan Kenton Composer
Billy May Arranger, Orchestral Arrangements
Mel Tormé Composer
Carl Kress Producer
Irving Mills Composer
Pete Rugolo Arranger, Producer
John Benson Brooks Composer
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Don Redman Composer
Bobby Troup Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Matthew Fisher Composer
Frank deVol Orchestral Arrangements
Mary Lou Williams Composer
Ralph Carmichael Arranger, Orchestral Arrangements, String Conductor
Jimmy Kennedy Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Fred E. Ahlert Composer
Paul Atkinson Producer, Discographical Annotation
Gene Austin Composer
Howard Barnes Composer
Bennie Benjamin Composer
William Best Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Charlie Chaplin Composer
Nat King Cole Composer
Con Conrad Composer
Joe Davis Composer
Eddie DeLange Composer
Lew Douglas Composer
Ray Evans Composer
Osvaldo Farrés Composer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Milt Gabler Composer
D.W. George Composer
Charles Randolph Grean Arranger
Walter Gross Composer
Bill Halley Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Belford Hendricks Arranger, Composer, Orchestral Arrangements
Hoot Hester Composer
Edward Heyman Composer
Bob Hilliard Composer
Matt Hyde Composer
Bert Keyes Composer
Jack Lawrence Composer
Jay Livingston Composer
Leroy Lovett Composer
Ron McMaster Remastering
Johnny Mercer Producer
Sid Miller Composer
Taps Miller Composer
Robert Mosely Composer
Nelson Riddle Arranger, Composer, Orchestral Arrangements
Clyde Otis Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Hughie Prince Composer
Ben Raleigh Composer
Leon René Producer
Richard Wess Orchestral Arrangements
Bob Russell Composer
Robert Scherman Composer, Producer
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Joe Sherman Composer
Carl Sigman Composer
Harry Beasley Smith Composer
Hubert Spencer Composer
Roy Turk Composer
Ned Washington Composer
Deek Watson Composer
Ben Weisman Composer
George David Weiss Composer
Robert Wells Composer
Paul Weston Producer
Fred Wise Composer
Victor Young Composer
Emil Newman Composer
Lee Gillette Producer
Milton DeLugg Composer
Ian Grant Composer
Will Jason Composer
Kelly Owens Composer
Eden Ahbez Composer
Alan Livingston Producer
Bob Merrill Composer
Dave Dexter Jr. Producer
Russ Columbo Composer
Luther Dixon Composer
Ollie Jones Composer
Geoff Parsons Composer
John Turner Composer
Joe Lipman Orchestral Arrangements
Cliff Parman Composer
Kevin Flaherty Discographical Annotation
Jim Conkling Producer
David McEowen Noise Reduction
Charles Tobias Composer
Ted Shapiro Composer
Marcia Neil Composer
Bryan Kelley Producer
Harold Adamson Composer
Irving Gordon Composer
Harry Revel Composer
Robert Mellin Composer
Clifford R. Burwell Composer
Sylvia Dee Composer
Marvin Fisher Composer
Sammy Gallop Composer
Arthur Kent Composer
James V. Monaco Composer
Otis Rene Composer
Sydney Robin Composer
Jack Segal Composer
Sunny Skylar Composer
Guy Wood Composer
Frank LaVere Composer
Sidney Lippman Composer
Vittoria Mascheroni Composer
Joe Ricardel Composer
Nadine Robinson Composer
Russell Robinson Composer
Noel Sherman Composer
Anna Sosenko Composer
Fred Spielman Composer
Dok Stanford Composer
Lindsay Steele Composer
William Stein Composer
Arthur Terker Composer
Hugh Williams Composer
Gerhard Winkler Composer
Kurt Adams Composer
Roy Alfred Composer
Dan Belloc Composer
Nicholas Brodszky Composer
Philip Broughton Composer
Chester Conn Composer
Harold Cornelius Composer
Stanley Cowen Composer
Shelley Dobbins Composer
Gladys Dubois Composer
Michele Galdieri Composer
Kay Twomey Composer
Carole Cole Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Walter Rivers Producer
Jeff Smith Art Direction
Francis Henry Composer
Rose Marie McCoy Composer
Dominic John Composer
Inez James Composer
Shannon Ward Producer
Al Quattrocchi Art Direction
Billy Rose Composer
Dave Cavanaugh Producer, Orchestral Arrangements
Charlie Singleton Composer
Fred Rauch Composer
Carlyle Hall String Arrangements
William O. Harrington Composer
Joseph McCarthy Composer
Lionel Rand Composer
Aaron Kahan Producer
Hans Carste Composer
Ruth Poll Composer
Gino Redi Composer
E.J. Anton Composer
Henry Pyle Composer
Charlotte Hawkins Composer
Annerley Gordon Composer
Lynell George Liner Notes
Paul Gregory Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Classic Singles By Nat King Cole

    This CD record collection of Nat King Cole is very much worth the money. The sound quality and richness of his voice with over 100 song selections is very much a treasure indeed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews