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Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:09 am

I managed to get hold of Sinatra's Sinatra at the weekend at a record fair - it was the one reprise album I was missing as it, strangely, wasn't reissued along with the rest. I think it's the album that gets forgotten, mostly because it's largely remakes, but there's some lovely performances on it.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:53 am

Sinatra's Sinatra? I don't know that one.

TCB-FAN wrote:
Richard--W wrote:Is it true that the Brits don't always shrink wrap new discs?


Hey, I shrink wrap mine all the time ! :wink:


Just before you put them in the refrigerator, you mean.
To keep them fresh, no doubt.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:21 pm

greystoke wrote:
Richard--W wrote:Is it true that the Brits don't always shrink wrap new discs?


Yes, that's right. Rarely, in fact.

I'd have said the opposite. Supermarkets...shrink wrapped. HMV (if you still have access to one)...shrink wrapped. Amazon...nearly always shrink wrapped. I've seen comments on here and other forums, on more than one occasion, along the lines of - "I received a disc today from (insert name of online retailer) which wasn't shrink wrapped. Does that mean it's not new? They're usually shrink wrapped."

Not being wrapped doesn't mean it isn't new, especially if it's from somewhere like Amazon, but I would say that these days most discs come sealed.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:16 pm

A bit late to the discussion on this, but I'm such a major Sinatra fan and this 20 cd collection is one of my most cherished music related possessions.

While there's no denying Frank was at his very best at Capitol, there's something very captivating about the Reprise era. Maybe it's because he finally had complete and utter control of his music now that he owned his own label, but I feel it was at Reprise that Sinatra really cemented his status as a legend; To quote my Amazon review on the product that I wrote back when I got it as a birthday gift in 2007:

If the Sinatra at Columbia was the young upstart who made bobbysoxers cry themselves to sleep each night, and the one at Capitol a slowly maturing interpreter of adult pop music, than the Sinatra at Reprise is an elder statesman of the music world, who knows his craft like the back of his hand, who had seen it all and done it all, and let it his reflect in his music.


I look at the 1960-65 period as an extension of his Capitol years in terms of quality as well as his overall sound and persona on record. I think the swing records he cut when he got there, Ring-A-Ding Ding, Sinatra Swings (an underrated gem) and I Remember Tommy, are excellent. Sinatra and Swingin' Brass isn't quite as good, but there's still some fine moments there too. On the other end of the musical spectrum, he's at his operatic best on Sinatra & Strings (featuring his best take ever of "Night and Day" and an unforgettable "Come Rain or Come Shine," among others) and The Concert Sinatra (that version of "Ol' Man River" is devastating), and All Alone is tremendously underrated, with several haunting performances that are among his best (the title song, "What'll I Do," "The Song is Ended"). I also think the London album deserves more attention, especially that gorgeously understated take of "If I Had You. I also love stuff like "Here's to the Losers," "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love," and of course "Luck Be Lady" from the Broadway Revue records he did with Dean, Sammy, Rosemary Clooney, Bing, etc.

The first Basie album is divine, maybe my personal favorite record; every song there just clicks and the chemistry is palpable. I don't think It Might As Well Be Swing is quite as good except for "Fly Me to the Moon" and "The Best is Yet to Come."

September of My Years is the peak of his Reprise work for me, just a breathtaking record with incredible depth and focus. I think that was his last real 'classic' album on par with the Capitol records, although She Shot Me Down and parts of Trilogy come close. I also love Moonlight Sinatra, especially "Moonlight Serenade" and the absolutely gripping take of "Moon Love."

The 1966-73 period is kind of all over place. Obviously the first record with Jobim is a masterpiece (scratch what I said about SOMY - THIS was his last real classic), and for some reason I have always loved Strangers in the Night, I think he managed to successfully incorporate the 1960s' sound while not sacrificing his own style and credibility. But That's Life is simply awful aside from the title song. I honestly can't believe it's a Sinatra album, it's as bad or worse than some of Elvis's movie recordings. I do really enjoy several parts of The World We Knew, and I think Cycles and My Way are both very solid, if not classic records. Oh, and I agree the Ellington record is excellent and very underrated. "Indian Summer" is another unsung Sinatra masterwork.

Sinatra and Company is kind of tough for me as well: the Jobim parts are very good, even sublime (man, do I love "Wave"), but the second half is pretty dire. That said "Watertown" is very underrated and an excellent, albeit a very different and challenging listen. "Lady Day" is an excellent song.

Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back, while not perfect, was a solid comeback album with several strong performances, especially the tender "Dream Away" and "You Will Be My Music," two of my all time favorites. However, "Some Nice Things I've Missed" is an ill advised disaster.

I really find the 1974-75 period where he didn't release any full albums but was recording prolificly to hold several very fascinating; there's some truly great work there, like his towering cover of Neil Diamond's "Dry Your Eyes," his goofy but very exciting and charming take on "Stargazer" (Frank's having an utter blast on this recording), the breezy 1975 single "Anytime (I'll Be There)," and the outtakes from the unfortunately abandoned Here's to the Ladies projects are excellent, including his very best take on "Nancy (With the Laughing Face)."

I really think he hit a new stride with Trilogy, even if the Present section is a bit ill advised in spots. The Past, however, is a flawless throwback to some forgotten Big Band era numbers that Frank rips through with energy, especially that joyously manic "The Song is You" that kicks off the record. And the quieter numbers, especially the soaring "My Shining Hour," are immaculately sung. I don't see the 'Future' as a failure at all. I find it an endlessly fascinating experiment with Frank fully committed to such a bizarre project for him, and Gordon Jenkins does some stunning arrangements.

She Shot Me Down is a near perfect bookend to In The Wee Small Hours. In particular, I think "A Long Night" is the darkest, most haunting recording in his entire sixty year career.

L.A. Is My Lady could've benefited from less of that 1980s' slick sound, but there are several great performances there, particularly "Stormy Weather" and "A Hundred Years from Today." His "Mack the Knife" left a lot to be desired, though.

Finally, his last three recordings at the end of Disc 20 are so fantastic and a joy to have. Forgive me for such a long, over detailed post, I just couldn't help but nerd out here.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:28 pm

poormadpeter wrote:I managed to get hold of Sinatra's Sinatra at the weekend at a record fair - it was the one reprise album I was missing as it, strangely, wasn't reissued along with the rest. I think it's the album that gets forgotten, mostly because it's largely remakes, but there's some lovely performances on it.

I really do enjoy that record and I think most of the re-recordings stand up against the Capitol predecessors.

I definitely think "Witchcraft" and "How Little We Know" are much better the second time around, as they're looser and capture the feel of the lyrics a lot better. "I've Got You Under My Skin" isn't as smooth or as focused on the 1956 take, but I appreciate the looser, wilder take present here. I think the new "In the Wee Small Hours" bookends the 1955 take very nicely; in the original take, the pain sounds very fresh; the 1963 one is the narrator looking back on the same heartache, with maturation and begrudging acceptance. I really like how they compliment each other.

On the negative end, "All the Way" and "Young at Heart" are certainly lusher and heavily arranged than the 1954 and 1957 takes, but they're definitely lacking something. I enjoy them, but the originals really triumph here.

I think the real gem of the record is the remake of the Columbia classic "Oh, What It Seemed to Be," with a beautifully rich vocal and a hypnotic arrangement from Riddle that gives it an almost ghostly feel.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:39 pm

Nice posts :) I have to say I rather like the That's Life album, despite it being a decidedly lightweight effort. I certainly wouldn't say there was anything as bad as some of the Elvis soundtracks on it, but it is a rare example of Sinatra moving away from the artistic and towards the popular instead. He sings quite well throughout, although some of the arrangements are rather bombastic. Sinatra had been trying this approach in his singles during the 1960s, and the That's Life is his only full-length attempt at that kind of sound. I think a song such as I Will Wait For You deserved better, but What Now My Love remained in his repertoire for nearly three decades. I certainly find more of worth here than on The World We Know.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:12 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Nice posts :) I have to say I rather like the That's Life album, despite it being a decidedly lightweight effort. I certainly wouldn't say there was anything as bad as some of the Elvis soundtracks on it, but it is a rare example of Sinatra moving away from the artistic and towards the popular instead. He sings quite well throughout, although some of the arrangements are rather bombastic. Sinatra had been trying this approach in his singles during the 1960s, and the That's Life is his only full-length attempt at that kind of sound. I think a song such as I Will Wait For You deserved better, but What Now My Love remained in his repertoire for nearly three decades. I certainly find more of worth here than on The World We Know.

To each his own and I respect your opinion, of course. You and greystoke have given some magnificent posts on these boards. With that said, I think The World We Knew is a much more substantial effort with plenty of commendable highlights:

[*]The title song - a great noir style ballad and I like the harder edged rock sound he employed here, especially the guitar work.
[*]Somethin' Stupid - a guilty pleasure, but this is definitely a very charming number.
[*]This Is My Love - while not as good as the 1959 take "This Was My Love," this is a nice re imagining of that song and Frank sangs it with great feeling.
[*]This Town - a classic 'Frank' track. When I think the Sinatra persona, what made him the epitome cool, this is one of the first songs that comes to mind. Lots of style here.
[*]You Are There - an excellent, haunting ballad. Frank played this as his outro music in the mid-1980s'
[*]Drinking Again - as good a saloon song as any he ever did.
[*]Some Enchanted Evening - I love what he did with this song. It really swings!

The two Petula Clark covers are admittedly pretty abysmal, and "Born Free" could've been a lot more powerful, but overall I think it's a very good effort..

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:26 pm

U.S. Male1990 wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Nice posts :) I have to say I rather like the That's Life album, despite it being a decidedly lightweight effort. I certainly wouldn't say there was anything as bad as some of the Elvis soundtracks on it, but it is a rare example of Sinatra moving away from the artistic and towards the popular instead. He sings quite well throughout, although some of the arrangements are rather bombastic. Sinatra had been trying this approach in his singles during the 1960s, and the That's Life is his only full-length attempt at that kind of sound. I think a song such as I Will Wait For You deserved better, but What Now My Love remained in his repertoire for nearly three decades. I certainly find more of worth here than on The World We Know.

To each his own and I respect your opinion, of course. You and greystoke have given some magnificent posts on these boards. With that said, I think The World We Knew is a much more substantial effort with plenty of commendable highlights:

[*]The title song - a great noir style ballad and I like the harder edged rock sound he employed here, especially the guitar work.
[*]Somethin' Stupid - a guilty pleasure, but this is definitely a very charming number.
[*]This Is My Love - while not as good as the 1959 take "This Was My Love," this is a nice re imagining of that song and Frank sangs it with great feeling.
[*]This Town - a classic 'Frank' track. When I think the Sinatra persona, what made him the epitome cool, this is one of the first songs that comes to mind. Lots of style here.
[*]You Are There - an excellent, haunting ballad. Frank played this as his outro music in the mid-1980s'
[*]Drinking Again - as good a saloon song as any he ever did.
[*]Some Enchanted Evening - I love what he did with this song. It really swings!

The two Petula Clark covers are admittedly pretty abysmal, and "Born Free" could've been a lot more powerful, but overall I think it's a very good effort..


The title song is great, and deserves to be better known, for sure, You are There and Drinking Again are both first class too. But Some Enchanted Evening has always been a train wreck in this arrangement in my opinion - I've always viewed as one of Sinatra's major misfires. The rest of the album just seems to be blandness personified in my opinion - This Town has a bit of spunk to it, but the rest is just rather insipid, I find.

Re: Frank Sinatra -- The Complete Reprise Recordings

Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:29 am

poormadpeter wrote:
U.S. Male1990 wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Nice posts :) I have to say I rather like the That's Life album, despite it being a decidedly lightweight effort. I certainly wouldn't say there was anything as bad as some of the Elvis soundtracks on it, but it is a rare example of Sinatra moving away from the artistic and towards the popular instead. He sings quite well throughout, although some of the arrangements are rather bombastic. Sinatra had been trying this approach in his singles during the 1960s, and the That's Life is his only full-length attempt at that kind of sound. I think a song such as I Will Wait For You deserved better, but What Now My Love remained in his repertoire for nearly three decades. I certainly find more of worth here than on The World We Know.

To each his own and I respect your opinion, of course. You and greystoke have given some magnificent posts on these boards. With that said, I think The World We Knew is a much more substantial effort with plenty of commendable highlights:

[*]The title song - a great noir style ballad and I like the harder edged rock sound he employed here, especially the guitar work.
[*]Somethin' Stupid - a guilty pleasure, but this is definitely a very charming number.
[*]This Is My Love - while not as good as the 1959 take "This Was My Love," this is a nice re imagining of that song and Frank sangs it with great feeling.
[*]This Town - a classic 'Frank' track. When I think the Sinatra persona, what made him the epitome cool, this is one of the first songs that comes to mind. Lots of style here.
[*]You Are There - an excellent, haunting ballad. Frank played this as his outro music in the mid-1980s'
[*]Drinking Again - as good a saloon song as any he ever did.
[*]Some Enchanted Evening - I love what he did with this song. It really swings!

The two Petula Clark covers are admittedly pretty abysmal, and "Born Free" could've been a lot more powerful, but overall I think it's a very good effort..


The title song is great, and deserves to be better known, for sure, You are There and Drinking Again are both first class too. But Some Enchanted Evening has always been a train wreck in this arrangement in my opinion - I've always viewed as one of Sinatra's major misfires. The rest of the album just seems to be blandness personified in my opinion - This Town has a bit of spunk to it, but the rest is just rather insipid, I find.

Fair points. I think even with those tracks, it's an infinitely stronger record than That's Life, which only has the title song as a highlight.