Frank sinatra The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings (1995 US limited edition 20-CD set containing a total of 452 songs [over 24 hours sequenced in chronological order] recorded between 1960 & 1988, with 70 songs previously unavailable on CD & a further 18 previously unreleased titles, presented in embossed deluxe leather and brass bound 'trunk' carry case with individually numbered brass plaque, complete with 96-page hard back book with extensive liner notes and insightful essays by respected Sinatra scholars like Will Friedwald, interviews and photographs.)
The Very Best of Frank Sinatra is a simple double-disc collection of 40 Sinatra classics from his Reprise Recordings. For casual fans wanting something more than the single-disc The Very Good Years but don't want the four-disc The Reprise Collection, The Very Best of Frank Sinatra is ideal, since it contains all of the true essentials he recorded during the '60s and '70s, including "Summer Wind," "Strangers in the Night," "My Way," "It Was a Very Good Year," and "Theme From New York, New York."
Though already in business in 1961 with his own record label, Frank Sinatra was contractually obligated to give Capitol one more record before moving on to Reprise. Sinatra gave them the ironically titled Point of No Return, which is hardly the deal-fulfilling throwaway one might expect. Expertly arranged and conducted by longtime Sinatra ally Alex Stordahl, it's an elegant collection of farewell songs (including "I'll See You Again," "As Time Goes By," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "It's a Blue World"), delivered by Sinatra with a profound sense of sadness and loss. Fans of such downbeat Sinatra concept albums as In the Wee Small Hours and Sings for Only the Lonely would do well to pick up on this oft-overlooked gem.
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.