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.
You can't argue with a great concept: Songs sung by Frank Sinatra are interpreted by a slew of indie rock and punk bands. A great concept, but one that makes for truly (and gloriously) unpredictable results. Chairman of the Board is, of course, not a perfect record, but it offers up some true gems.
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
After returning to the spotlight with Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back, Frank Sinatra continued his comeback with Some Nice Things I've Missed. As the title suggests, the bulk of the album consists of songs that became popular during Sinatra's brief retirement, including hits by Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Jim Croce, and Bread. By and large, the material is adapted for big bands, with a couple of tracks featuring slight contemporary touches, like folky acoustic guitar. The majority of the album is arranged and produced by Don Costa…