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Thread: THE BEST OF THE COLUMBIA YEARS (Columbia/Legacy)1995 

  1. #1

    THE BEST OF THE COLUMBIA YEARS (Columbia/Legacy)1995

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    Columbia Legacy #C4K-64681
    Released: October 31, 1995
    97 Tracks on 4 Discs
    Total Playing Time: 5 hours, 2 minutes

    Compilation CD Box Set
    Produced by Gary Pacheco
    Compilation produced by Didier C. Deutsch
    Project directed by Charles L. Granata
    Sonic restoration and digital mastering by Mark Wilder and Darcy M. Proper
    Book introduction by Nancy Sinatra
    Essays by Daniel Okrent, Will Friedwald (2), Roy Hemming, and Charles Granata
    Interviews with Dave Mann and Matt Dennis

    This wonderful collection has received only brief mention elsewhere in the forum. Released in time for Frank Sinatra's 80th birthday, this set contains key selections from the 1993 full 12-disc box set, The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings.

    Originally housed in a tall-form package, the attached 68-page book is particularly impressive for its wealth of written material, discographical detail, and rare photographs and artwork. (The "long" box has now been replaced by a jewel case sized package with an equivalent booklet.) Nancy Sinatra's introduction and some of the essays may be read online at Sony Music's Columbia/Legacy website.

    Now that the full "big blue" box has been discontinued, this package remains as a recommended introduction to Sinatra's Columbia years. In the track listings which follow, code numbers are provided as a cross-reference to the complete 12-CD box set. (Code digits: 1&2 = Disc, 3&4 = Track)

  3. #3

    Track Listing

    DISC 1

    0101 Close To You
    0105 People Will Say We're In Love
    0110 If You Are But A Dream
    0111 Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night in the Week)
    0113 White Christmas
    0117 I Fall In Love Too Easily
    0120 Ol' Man River
    0121 Stormy Weather
    0201 Embraceable You
    0204 (I Got A Woman Crazy For Me) She's Funny That Way
    0205 My Melancholy Baby
    0206 Where Or When
    0207 All The Things You Are
    0209 I Should Care
    0211 Dream
    0213 Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day)
    0214 Over The Rainbow
    0216 If I Loved You
    0301 Someone To Watch Over Me
    0302 You Go To My Head
    0303 These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
    0305 The House I Live In (That's America To Me)
    0306 Day By Day

    DISC 2

    0307 Nancy (With The Laughing Face)
    0315 Full Moon And Empty Arms
    0316 Oh, What It Seemed To Be
    0318 (I Don't Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance
    0319 Why Shouldn't I?
    0320 Try A Little Tenderness
    0403 Begin The Beguine
    0405 They Say It's Wonderful
    0406 That Old Black Magic
    0409 How Deep Is The Ocean (How Blue Is The Sky)
    0410 Home On The Range
    0415 Five Minutes More
    0416 The Things We Did Last Summer
    0420 Among My Souvenirs
    0422 September Song
    0423 Blue Skies
    0424 Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
    0502 Lost In The Stars
    0507 There's No Business Like Show Business
    0513 Time After Time
    0517 The Brooklyn Bridge
    0605 Sweet Lorraine
    0606 Always
    0609 Mam'selle

    DISC 3

    0611 Stella By Starlight
    0615 My Romance
    0621 If I Had You
    0623 One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)
    0701 But Beautiful
    0706 You're My Girl
    0707 All Of Me
    0711 Night And Day
    0714 S'posin'
    0717 The Night We Called It A Day
    0718 The Song Is You
    0719 What'll I Do?
    0722 The Music Stopped
    0803 Fools Rush In
    0806 I've Got A Crush On You
    0807 Body And Soul
    0808 I'm Glad There Is You
    0812 Autumn In New York
    0908 Nature Boy
    0911 Once In Love With Amy
    0919 Some Enchanted Evening
    0923 The Hucklebuck
    1001 Let's Take An Old-Fashioned Walk
    1003 It All Depends On You

    DISC 4

    1004 Bye Bye Baby
    1005 Don't Cry Joe (Let Her Go, Let Her Go, Let Her Go)
    1011 That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)
    1021 Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy
    1024 American Beauty Rose
    1102 Should I (Reveal)
    1103 You Do Something To Me
    1104 Lover
    1105 When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
    1116 London By Night
    1117 Meet Me At The Copa
    1119 April In Paris
    1120 I Guess I'll Have To Dream The Rest
    1121 Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)
    1124 I Am Loved
    1204 Hello, Young Lovers
    1205 We Kiss In A Shadow
    1207 I'm A Fool To Want You
    1208 Love Me
    1213 Deep Night
    1215 I Could Write A Book
    1216 I Hear A Rhapsody
    1218 My Girl
    1222 The Birth Of The Blues
    1223 Azure-Te (Paris Blues)
    1226 Why Try To Change Me Now?

  4. #4
    This is a general Columbia question more than specifically related to this particular set, but I wasn't sure where else to post if not here...

    Anyway, I'm really not very familiar with Mr. Sinatra's Columbia work, but I recently picked up the "Sings his Greatest Hits" single-disc compilation. Of everything on it, what I really LOVE right now is Sweet Lorraine. Wow. Anyway, what I'm wondering is whether there is any other Columbia-era stuff with the same jazzy feel as this song. From what I can see on the sessionography, this was the only side he recorded with that particular all-star band, but I'm wondering if he did anything else like this at any time during his Columbia period. Thanks for any advice...

  5. #5
    Jason, "Sweet Lorraine" is about the jazziest thing that Sinatra ever recorded in a Columbia studio.

    Arranged by Sy Oliver, and backed by The Metronome All-Stars with Nat "King" Cole on piano and Buddy Rich on drums, it features solos by Coleman Hawkins (tenor), Johnny Hodges (alto), Charlie Shavers (trumpet), and Lawrence Brown (trombone). This is reminiscent to me of some of Billie Holiday's work from that era. (The flip side of the single was "Nat Meets June" with Cole and June Christy.)

    I don't think you'll find much else in the way of studio recordings like that, although there may be some radio transcriptions of a similar nature.

    Your post has reminded me that the following CD has somehow escaped a detailed description on the Forum (now supplied in a separate thread):

    Sinatra Sings His Greatest Hits (Columbia) 1997

  6. #6

    Metronome All Stars

    You're right, Bob -- "Sweet Lorraine" sounds not unlike Billie Holiday's sessions with Teddy Wilson, Lester Young et al -- as organized and sponsored by John Hammond in the 1930s. In 1946 George T. Simon, big band aficionado, jazz buff, Sinatra fan -- and editor-in-chief of Metronome magazine -- assembled the Metronome All-Stars. Credit Simon for providing stellar jazz talent to back FS in this one-off recording op.

    Guardian obituary (2001) for George T. Simon

    Not sure that these would be nearly as jazzy -- but FS did record three songs with rhythm section only in a 1947 session: John Guarnieri, piano; Herman "Trigger" Alpert, bass; Tony Mottola, guitar. Alpert often played bass on Sinatra's recordings, and of course Tony Mottola accompanied FS much later in his career, live and on the Reprise recording, "It's Sunday."


  7. << Tony Mottola accompanied FS much later in his career, live and on the Reprise recording, >>

    Oh yes, Tony Mottola is a great guitarist. Frank liked him... I assume he's still with us.

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    << Tony Mottola [...] I assume he's still with us. >>

    Sad to say, no: Oh My!! Tony Mottola Is Gone!

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    I just noticed that the links to Sony's (Columbia Legacy) Sinatra web pages have changed. I've corrected the link for this package in my post above. There is much additional Frank Sinatra material linked from the main artist home page:

    Frank Sinatra at Sony Music

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    Thumbs up I love each and every song

    Been listening to this album today on this rainy day. It's so beautiful I just love Frank from this time. I have always loved the song "but beautiful". I saw Frank singing this on his tv special "A man and his music part II" before I even had this cd box set and I just love this version from the 40's. So many rare songs on here like his old version of "One for my baby and one more for the road" and "if I had you"... the list goes on... My favourite version of "Deep Night" he ever did is on here Every song on here is a treasure of the soft Sinatra. The selection on here is beyond fantastic.


  11. #11

    Nice read about Frank and Columbia by Nancy.

    Here is a nice article about Frank Sinatra and his music on Columbia by Nancy Sinatra. I have read this before and many here have probably read this before but it's nice to read it again, it talks about Frank and his music.

    -From The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952
    (written in 1995)


  12. #12
    In the Frank's Recordings thread for The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952, I supply the root link for Nancy's introduction and several other essays from that box set which appear at:

    Sony Music's Columbia/Legacy website

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    The best of the Columbia years 1943 - 1952

    I have a 4 CD "Best of the Columbia Years" 1943 to 1952. I love the songs and I always thought Axel Stordahl's arrangements were just tailored perfectly for Frank voice at that time of his career. There is a scratching sound through some of the recording however, some songs are worse than others. Does anyone else own this particular 4 CD collection and do you also have this issue regarding the sound?

  14. #14
    Hi Steven,

    You will find the existing thread for this box set here:

    The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952

    The "scratching" sound you hear is the remnants of the best that could be done with digital restoration of some of the (then) fifty-year-old masters. In the book which accompanies this box set, Charles Granata (project director for the box and a member of the SFF) describes in detail the loving care and technical attention which went into the creation of these remastered recordings. In particular, the following paragraph should help to answer your question:

    Although much of the sonic "grime" that permeated the original releases of these recordings has been removed, you will notice that a few minor blemishes remain. These were unavoidable, owing to the age and condition of the original source material. It was determined early on that heavy processing to minimize such minor artifacts would spoil the richness and integrity of the original masters, thus throughout the remastering process, the production team opted for minimal processing in order to preserve the underlying clarity and depth inherent in the original master recordings. The result of this intense effort has been the finest reproduction of Sinatra's Columbia recordings to date!

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    Thank you very much for clearing this up, I thought perhaps I had a bad copy.

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    It's worth noting that the Columbia/Legacy transfers for this set (and its predecessor, the "Big Blue" 12-disc box set: The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings) are now nearly 15 years old. Perhaps Chuck (Granata) might care to elaborate a bit, but there is newer equipment and technology which might make future transfers even more noise-free.

  17. #17
    hi guys
    yes the great columbia years
    welll guess what i have that collection on 78rpm records
    talk about noise well the records are about fifty years old
    all the same a great collection to have
    the best
    Old Man Music

  18. Hi Bob,

    I can certainly elaborate (and will) shortly...


  19. #19
    Consider yourself fortunate that you DO hear the noise that's left on there. A less discerning producer/engineer wouldn't have been so judicious, and would have wiped the fidelity off with heavy noise reduction, leaving a processed sound behind.

  20. I'm a Fool To Want You & Why Try To Change Me Now

    I always thought the Capitol versions of these songs were excellent...and I scoffed at the Columbia recordings, even though I hadn't heard them before. I didn't think they would be as good.

    Well, I've heard them recently and I am amazed. This version of I'm A Fool To Want You is even more emotional than the Capitol recording. I could hear the cry in Frank's voice and I even shed a tear. I guess the hurt of losing Ava was still fresh at the time, and is apparent in this recording.

    Same for, Why Try To Change Me Now, as ironic as it is for Frank's last recording at Columbia records, he turns in a more convincing performance, compared to his later Capitol recording.

    I'd say these two recordings alone, are worth the price of this collection.