This is a great set. I have a used original copy and a pristine French reissue that came out in the 80s. Thanks to Edwin for the bump and the comments and same for the other posters here. And Bob too. And ex-forum member Bernhard who places this album in the context of other Sinatra efforts at that time. To think that the impetus for this collection could possibly be the success of "Strangers in the Night". Who'd a thunk it? I like considering historical events juxtaposed to other events occurring at the same time as opposed to looking at them in a vacuum so to speak. This set also became a collectible rather quickly. I wonder if it sold well at the time considering that it was a three album package. Who was buying this material in the late 1960s?
The thing about this set that is special as has been well documented in this thread is that so much of the material had not been released in album form before. And it didn't simply cover FS's hits. It went deeper. But then as Bernhard states it came out at the same time as the two greatest hits Columbia albums so since they took care of the hits this album was free to focus on the less known material. I wonder how the other Columbia release from this time fits into this theme. That would be "Frank Sinatra in Hollywood 1943-1949". I do not see it in the album section of this forum so I just ran up stairs and found my copy. The liner notes are dated 10/2/68. So take the Essentials set, the two greatest hits albums and throw in the Hollywood set and one can see that Columbia was busy repackaging their Sinatra material much to the satisfaction of record buyers like me (and the other senior members of this forum).