Frank Sinatra turned 80 in 1995, and Capitol released this two-disc "best of" in celebration. Sinatra's initial tenure at Capitol, which lasted from 1953 to 1962, is generally considered to be his artistic watermark. His voice and technique had improved considerably since his initial peak of popularity in the mid-'40s (the "swinging" phrasing most commonly associated with Sinatra's style really came to the fore during the Capitol years); he also had the good fortune to work with Nelson Riddle and Billy May, whose inventive arrangements certainly brought out the best in Sinatra's singing. This set's song selection is tough to argue with, but you'll really need to get all of Sinatra's Capitol albums to gauge the true measure of the man's artistry. ~ Dan Epstein
The reasons for Holst’s relative neglect, beyond The Planets and the Band Suites, aren’t hard to fathom. He wrote no large works in conventional forms, and never repeated himself. Even the Choral Symphony on poetry by Keats, here in its finest recorded performance to date (by Boult), owes very little to precedent–Mahler’s Eighth and Elgar’s The Black Knight, perhaps–and in any case features Holst’s personal combination of “spacey” orchestral color and rhythmic complexity (sample below). The music is both personal, technically virtuosic, and however beautiful somewhat cool emotionally. There is nothing else quite like it in the early 20th century.
2009 CD/DVD live release from the veteran Synth Pop band fronted by Terri Nunn includes a bonus DVD. Berlin's Electro-Pop sound features the enduring and assertive voice of Nunn, which is why All The Way In is the most preferable place to hear this Los Angeles-based group's music. Berlin made its first national impression with the provocative single 'Sex (I'm A…)' from the gold-selling debut EP Pleasure Victim in 1982. The Synth-soaked punch of 'No More Words' from 1984's Love Life album and the number one ballad 'Take My Breath Away' from the film Top Gun are the album's high points. Berlin's '80s poignancy provided some rather palatable music, even if the charts didn't say so. Songs like 'Dancing In Berlin' and 'Scream' could compete with anything Depeche Mode or Duran spouted at the time, and the range of Nunn's vocals elevated most of Berlin's efforts above the norm of the run-of-the-mill synthesizer glitz. All The Way In captures Berlin at their best in front of a hometown Los Angeles crowd.