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Thread: Essential Sinatra CDs?

  1. #1

    Essential Sinatra CDs?

    Hello, as someone who is just beginning to seriously build my Sinatra collection, I was hoping that the experts amongst you could give me a bit of advice. I am looking for the CDs that you believe are absolutely essential as the foundation for my collection. I have the following...

    Classic Duets
    Duets (1 and 2)
    Best of the Columbia Years (4 Disks)
    Beginnings- Showstoppers (2 CDs)
    Classic Sinatra
    Greatest Love Songs
    Capital Collector's Series (1 CD)
    Rat Pack Live at the Sands

    Where should I go from here?

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    There's a lot out there

    Eventually you may want to get into the box sets from the various labels. However, the best concept albums will get you off to a good start.

    Some of the best concept albums are:

    Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy
    Wee Small Hours (a must)
    Songs for Swingin' Lovers (a must)
    Close to You
    Where Are You
    Come Fly with Me
    Only the Lonely (a must)
    Sinatra Swings
    Sinatra and Strings
    The Concert Sinatra (a must)
    Sinatra in Paris
    The September of My Years (a must)
    Sinatra/Jobim (a must)
    She Shot Me Down

    There are many more excellent albums, but I don't want to overwhelm you. You may also consider the 4 CD Capitol box of all the Sinatra Capitol singles.

    Ed S.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the tips, Edwin. I'm aware that there is ALOT out there... which is exactly why I am turning to the experts for advice

    The Capitol Box Set is next on my list, but how much crossover do you get with the boxed sets and the concept albums like Songs for Swinging Lovers?

  4. Essential

    The Voice

    The Wee Small Hours

    The Concert Sinatra

    Come Fly With Me

    September of My Years

  5. #5
    Wow, thanks for the reply Nancy! Those are going to the top of my list!

    BTW, while in Media Play earlier today, my fiance noticed your CD and asked if you were related to Frank. I explained that yes, you are... and that you sang 'These Boots are Made for Walkin' (among many others). Her response- "Hey, I love that song!"

  6. #6
    Kelso, please take my advice when buying Frank Sinatra Capitol CDs that the ones to get are the 1987-1991 releases. They are, for the most part, taken off the original full-track studio session tape, whereas the 1998 remasters may be 24 bit but they're culled from mixdowns. I hope you find some.

  7. #7

    Reply to Kelso

    The Capitol Singles Box Set (4 CD's) in an all white box will be at least 90% or more non-duplications of what you'll find on the CD's I mention above and well worth having.

    Two other great CD's are:

    Sinatra's 80th in Concert

    Sinatra in Australia with the Red Norvo Quintet ('59)

    and, as Nancy mentioned above, The Voice, which may eventually lead you to the complete Columbia box (12 CD's)

    Ed S.

  8. #8
    Thanks, guys. I figure if I am starting out from scratch... I may as well do it right

    I have already made one purchase that I kinda regret. [DELETED]

  9. #9

    Beginnings Showstoppers?

    Never heard of it. Maybe a bootleg, especially if the quality is horrible. Stick with RCA, Columbia, Capitol and Reprise.

    By the way, I love your Elwood P. Dowd quote. "Harvey" is a wonderful play.

  10. #10
    ^ Unfortunatly, I have never seen the play... but the 1952 movie is my all-time favorite film!


    I purchased "Songs for Swinging Lovers' today (along with the A&E Rat Pack documentary and Dean Martin's Greatest Hits)... it is excellent so far.

  11. #11
    Wow, my posts were altered to delete the referances to this CD and the company that produced it. Am I to take it that this is not a sanctioned CD? Is it illegal?? [EDITED] I would hate to repeat the same mistake!

  12. Don't worry

    << I would hate to repeat the same mistake! >>

    The buyer is not committing the crime - the seller is.

    Here on this site, out of respect for my father's wishes, we ask that our members
    avoid mentioning bootlegs or unlawful products. These refernces are deleted but
    the member is still respected. Most people don't realize what a bootleg is so mistakes
    can be made inadvertently.

    When in doubt, email me first with the item in question.

  13. #13
    I certaintly will. For future referance which labels are sanctioned? I know of Columbia, Capitol, and Reprise.

  14. #14


    Don't forget RCA. He was the vocalist with Tommy Dorsey's band 1940-1942 and made some great early records during that period. There's a five CD box set that has all of them plus radio air checks, some alternate takes and a an excellent book.

    Before Dorsey, he sang with Harry James in 1939. Everything he did with James is on a Columbia Legacy CD.

    Ed S.

  15. #15


    No mention of the kids from Redbank and Hoboken...

    also known as Bill Basie and his favorite boy singer...

    Shame on all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Could it be NO ONE CARES?..

  16. #16
    That's right... I forgot about RCA.

    As I said, I purchased 'Songs for Swinging Lovers' this week. It is fabulous! I am hoping to get 'In The Wee Small Hours' later this week.

    Maybe I could just mail my paycheck directly to the record companies (or Sinatra Family)... and they could send me the appropriate CDs

  17. #17

    Smile Hi Kelso

    Practically every legitimate FS recording is listed in FRANK'S RECORDINGS, as are his labels and their affilliates. Go to:

    When beginning your Sinatra CD collection, it's probably wise to do a bit of research so that you don't get burnt by buying rubbish. There's a lot of crap out there like scratchy old radio shows passing themselves off as the real thing, so an educated consumer will be sure to get best value for their hard-earned dollars.

    I'm hoping you'll get much joy from building your collection.

  18. #18

    Essential Frank C.Ds ?

    hey there i have just started collecting Franks c.d's. and was wondering what would you say were the best 10 c.d.'s he made so i can get them. here are the ones i have already
    songs for swinging lovers
    original recordings
    it might aswell be swing
    in the wee small hours
    best of frank sinatra
    the great american songbook
    the essence of frank sinatra
    sinatra at the sands

    any ideas would be wonderful

  19. #19
    They are all Essential my friend...welcome to Sinatra land.

  20. #20

    Hiya George.

    First off, welcome to the forum.

    You're starting off a collection, what a fantastic feeling that is, so much new to discover from Frank Sinatra and to enjoy for the first time. A quick search around the forum's recordings section should be invaluable in terms of reading what a very knowledgeable membership has to say of their own particular favourites.

    One of our members Bob has created an invaluable set of links to each and every officially released Frank Sinatra album discussed here on the site and clicking on the titles found in his link HERE will give you some idea of the plus points of each individual title.

    If I can also just take the opportunity too to ask if you could upload a clearer avatar picture too, which will help others here get to know you and will afford more responses too i'm sure.

    You'll find everything you need to start off a fine collection which will grow and grow as you discover the wonderful surprises to be found in each and every Sinatra release.
    sooner or later we all make the little flowers grow