Originally posted by Edwin
Definitive signifies the best, the most authoritative and true version. It has nothing to do with sales of the record or how famous the performer was. Since you don't like the song "Lush Life," I can see why Marvin Gaye's "Shadow of Your Smile" is definitive. You don't like "Lush Life?" Really? Ed Spiegel
Definitive is about taking a song and transcending it. Taking a song and re-interpreting it, personalizing it and turning it upside-down to make something wonderful. Marvin Gaye does this with "Shadow Of Your Smile". He takes that song and runs with it. It feels so personal, you almost feel like a voyeur listening it.
Billie, because her voice was so distinctive could take any song, and make it instantly definitive.
It's about what a singer can bring to the table, either through voice, or twisting the melody, to breakthrough, pioneer new vistas, plumb new depths, reveal new facets (all without changing the essence of the song) .
It's the art of interpretation.
Bobby Darin doesn't bring anything new to the table with "More". His rendition is rather static, and one-note. Therefore, it's not definitive.
Harry Connick's "More" is achingly, heart-renderingly, gripping and compelling. Frank and Basie bring down the house on that one. Even Nat reveals new territory previously unexplored.
But, Darin's "More" doesn't do anything new, or open up new vistas/breakthroughs-----which is a requirement to get the "definitive" label.