Irving Berlin wrote some of the most popular songs of all time, and they sound great on guitar. In this DVD, Fred plays and teaches six Berlin favorites, including guitar backup (for singing) and instrumental versions of each tune. Just for fun, Fred includes the rarely-heard introductory verses to some of the songs, and plays ad-lib instrumental chord solos for all of them.
Jazz pianist Beegie Adair's series of "romantic songs" songbook albums, devoted to the major songwriters of the interwar era (there are also titles for George Gershwin, Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Berlin, and Richard Rodgers), tend to have photographs of affectionate couples on the covers, as does this one, featuring the music of Duke Ellington. That's a signal that the recordings are intended to accompany the listeners on their own romantic adventures, as much as express the feelings of the songwriters.
There are almost more Petula Clark collections than there were actual songs (that's saying something), and Sanctuary's three-disc Songs of My Life: The Essential Petula Clark is one of the better ones. Split into three themes, "Swinging Times," "Mellow Moods," and "Beautiful Sounds," Songs of My Life relies heavily on the English pop sensation's peak '60s and '70s output. All of the key radio hits are here ("Downtown," "I Know a Place," "My Love," "This Is My Song"), as well as countless ballads, uptempo pop gems, and choice covers. Fans looking for a decent career overview (sadly, none of Clark's vast arsenal of French hits are here) may find the 78 tracks that populate Songs of My Life a bit overwhelming, but they're well worth spending some quality time alone with.