One that I have, and was on the Stereophile recommended list, is the "Frank Sinatra Reprise". It's a pretty popular cd, so they are readily available. Also, I've bought some Sinatra cd's off Ebay and from Music Direct. I've bought quite a few Sinatra cd's, my wife is a BIG fan.
"Sinatra at the Sands" I feel has the best song selections of the three mentioned here. A DCC disk called "Sinatra in Concert," is a very smooth sounding Cd, and " The Summit in Concert" is a very interesting 1950's style live Cd, with Frank, Sammy Davis,Jr. and Dean Martin also on DCC. All three have their strengths.
The Capitol years (1950's) represent some of Frank's best work and when he actively sought to record definitive versions of his catalog. In this vein, try the following compilation, "Classic Sinatra, Great Performances 1953 to 1960" (released in 2000). Two other Capitol recordings to consider are "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" and "Songs for Swinging Lovers." For a sampling of his work with Reprise (1960's - on), try "September of My Years" and "Sinatra at the Sands." Good listening. Rich
A wonderful retrospective is Sinatra on Capital, although it is better to listen to an entire regular issue cd because Frank recorded in themes while on Capital. For a single cd you have to get "SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS". also Sinatra at the sands is a great live cd ( you get the count basie orch.). But for an intro go with the retrospecitive.
Thank you very much for your recommendations, guys. I will be checking them out and placing some orders.
Buy tyhe Capitol "Concept" CD's in their entirety as they are well "Concepts".Story goes that wehn Frank went to go form Reprise in '63(?) Capitol without his permission started to assmeble songbooks according to composer say "Rogers and Heart" etc.Even tough he stood to make huge amounts of money he stopped them sayiong that "The songbooks are Ella's bag not mine.When I went into the studio with Neson Riddle,Gordon Genkins,Frank Devol,Billy May et al we had picked songs that fit a mood or "concept" that mad ethe LP complete themeactically no matter who the composer were".That said I suggest three LP's that aren't chistmas (I am sure there is a Frank X-mas LP.I can see the cover but can't rember the name) but get one uptempo Riddle "Songs for Swinggin' Lovers",One Ballad Torch Song Lp's "For only the Lonely".These may be his two greatest LP's.But there was also a series with Billy May that was excellent because May used a 10 piece small big band which unlike the Riddle LP's didn't allow Frankie to lay back into the strings.The May series have titles that all start "Come ___ with me".I like Come Fly with Me" which is all travel songs.Lastly even though he kept the "concept" thing going throughout his career there is so much Reprise stuff get the 4 CD best of set.But the mid fities Capitol is the cream of the crop and should be nevere be listened to on a greatest hits format.
"Sands" is a great record as far as the music (Quincy Jones arrangements) and sound goes, but you've got to put up with the embarrassingly dated, sexist, 'humorous' monologues (unless the CD leaves these out? I wouldn't know, I've only got the original vinyl set. But then again, some folks go for that stuff in a kitschy sort of vein, although once is usually enough, and without Deano...well, CD players can always be programmed to skip!). If she likes Ellington too, another nice Reprise is "Francis A. & Edward K.", which also sounds good (again though, only personal experience is with original vinyl). You can't really go wrong with the classic Capitol 50's material, however.
listen to chazzbo. he's dead on. SFSL and OTL are sinatra's 2 best albums; honorable mention should go to sinatra w/ basie (has pennies from heaven and others), sinatra w/ jobim, and come fly w/ me. all great albums.
but the man was in his day in the 50s w/ capitol. nothing in reprise compares.
that's not to say i don't like the reprise stuff. i'm just suggesting where to start.
and yes, for a comp album, the reprise collection or the capitol 3-disc set are just fine.
rhyno (i got about 80 sinatra discs myself)
If you really want to hear Sinatra at his vocal best, you have to go very early '50s and '40s. When he was with Dorsey, he was amazing. He only sings, of course, on half the song length, because, obviously, Dorsey was the big deal. Sinatra was over from the late '50s to My Way and the ubiquitous, NY,NY. That is definitely not Sinatra-type song. Liza Minelli, maybe. I know, I know, fans will go nuts. I am a fan, and he never sounded better or close to it then in those early years. That's not to say he was small change later, but not the same voice.
As A Sinatra fan for years the Capital stuff was ok for the time. Most of my favs are already mentioned.The stuff with Gorden Jenkins stand out the most for me. --Sept.of my Years---- Also try some Nat Cole w/ Jenkins. Gordy was such an arranger,I miss him. Nelson did well for Linda Rondstead and is worthy as well.
Well, it is for Christmas, so I would recommend "A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra". The regular CD reissue and Capitol LPs are fine, but if you really want to treat mama get her the Mobile Fidelity LP, MFSL 1-135. Shalom, happy Chanukah and great listening.
Here's the recording for ya: The Voice. On Columbia, Legacy. Forties stuff-mid to late. This is a killer recording. It's in mono-His voice NEVER sounded better.