The Essential Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years [2-CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The beauty of any Frank Sinatra collection is that, depending upon how it is put together by the producers for whatever purpose they have in mind, each one allows the listener to focus on a different aspect of the singer's work and pick out new and varied details. On one level, this double-CD set is a good compromise for listeners who aren't prepared to spring for a four-disc collection much less a complete set of Columbia recordings, but want something that goes a little deeper into his output than any of the single-CD compilations of Sinatra's Columbia sides. The portrait constituted by this release may also perhaps be a little confusing -- for those expecting a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The beauty of any Frank Sinatra collection is that, depending upon how it is put together by the producers for whatever purpose they have in mind, each one allows the listener to focus on a different aspect of the singer's work and pick out new and varied details. On one level, this double-CD set is a good compromise for listeners who aren't prepared to spring for a four-disc collection much less a complete set of Columbia recordings, but want something that goes a little deeper into his output than any of the single-CD compilations of Sinatra's Columbia sides. The portrait constituted by this release may also perhaps be a little confusing -- for those expecting a step-by-step account of the man's music -- due to the fact that it doesn't follow anything resembling strict chronological order; just two songs past "All or Nothing at All" done with the Harry James band, we're into "Sweet Lorraine" from a half-decade later, and "The House I Live In" -- which is buried pretty deeply on most hits compilations -- is given almost a place of honor here as the seventh song on Disc One, well ahead of "All of Me" and more familiar fare. And this order works, stirring up the pot of Sinatra's most familiar fare of the era into new shapes and juxtapositions, so what we end up with is an engaging and informative, slightly abstract "portrait" of the singer in all of his different manifestations and settings -- big band, small group etc. As with most Sinatra Columbia collections, the emphasis is on ballads, though even here he surprises us with some of the entries in the latter category -- the way Sinatra sings it, the normally jaunty entertainment anthem "There's No Business Like Show Business" comes off like a ballad, at least in its first half, and with his voice, it does work that way. And with the remastering at such a high level of quality, the presence of The Voice -- but also the band, of whatever size -- is close and bracing. The annotation, featuring an essay by pop music maven Will Friedwald, is thorough, informative, and highly entertaining. [This collection was previously released as Portrait of Sinatra: Columbia Classics, and is entirely different from an identically titled 2003 collection that included only one disc.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/2010
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886977867323
  • Catalog Number: 778673
  • Sales rank: 795

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Frank Sinatra Primary Artist
Bobby Hackett Cornet
Arthur Baker Clarinet
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Irving Berlin Composer
Frank Sinatra Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Andy Gibson Arranger
Harold Arlen Composer
George Siravo Arranger
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Will Friedwald Liner Notes
Ira Gershwin Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Edward Heyman Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Cole Porter Composer
Axel Stordahl Arranger
Mark Wilder Mastering
Frederick Loewe Composer
Ken Robertson Mastering
Charles Granata Photo Courtesy
Matt Cavaluzzo Mastering
Jack Strachey Composer
J. Lawrence Composer
L. Allan Composer
Tom Ruff Mastering
Cliff Burwell Composer
E. Robinson Composer
H. Warren Composer
F. Eyton Composer
C. Conrad Composer
E.A. Swan Composer
R. Henderson Composer
S. Simons Composer
I. Taylor Composer
G. Marks Composer
J. Herron Composer
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