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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Frank Sinatra - Sinatra Sings Greats Songs from Great Britain

Reprise R 1006 [mono] (UK release only), released in 1962.

In 1962, Frank Sinatra was appearing in the UK doing a series of concerts for Children's Charities, and this album was the climax of the tour, recorded in Bayswater, London, with the crème de la creme of London's top studio players under the baton of the great Robert Farnon. Only one of the selections, "London By Night", had been recorded before by Frank, on the 1958 Capitol album "Come Fly With Me", but here, in a programme of outstanding British popular songs, he and the orchestra recorded a tour de force performance for posterity. It seems strange that Reprise Records neglected to release this album in the United States, which partially explains its rarity value, but the selections - "The Very Thought Of You", "We'll Gather Lilacs", "If I Had You", "Now Is The Hour", "The Gypsy", "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square", "A Garden In The Rain", the aforementioned "London By Night", "We'll Meet Again", and the little-heard but beautiful "I'll Follow My Secret Heart", are all ballads, and Sinatra's "swinger" image of the early '60's would seem to be at odds with this type of repertoire. Be that as it may, he also had a great reputation as an interpreter of ballads, so this album is a worthy addition to his legacy.

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