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
Christmas probably sounded a lot like this in Hoboken, circa the late 1930s: A skinny kid with a huge voice leading friends through favorite carols like "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Greensleeves." Fast forward and that skinny kid is no longer just another voice in the crowd. All ears are turned his way as he croons through a whole new set of Christmas standards, from "The Christmas Waltz" to "I Wouldn't Trade Christmas." Sinatra is in fine voice on this 13-song set, which boasts some of the better arrangements you'll hear on a seasonal album.
The Capitol Years is a 1998 box set by the American singer Frank Sinatra. This set was originally assembled by EMI, Capitol's sister company in the United Kingdom. The set contains 21 CDs featuring every album that Sinatra authorized for release between 1953 and 1961 (save for Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color and A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra), remastered in state-of-the-art 20-bit digital audio. Each CD contains an individual Sinatra Capitol LP (including singles compilations), but the bonus tracks from the American versions appear on a separate CD here as The Rare Sinatra. The sound quality on this box is arguably superior to American remasters, also produced in 1998 for eight of Sinatra's key albums in the United States.