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Forty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett

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Tony Bennett 10/14/1997

Review

When this impressive box set was first released in 1991, it put the capstone upon Tony Bennett's remarkable return to prominence by looking back at a legacy that had been overshadowed by that of the colossus Sinatra. The collection methodically traces his career from his first Columbia record, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," in 1950, through the hit singles and key or capriciously selected album tracks up until 1972. Then, after borrowing three tracks from Fantasy's 1975 Tony Bennett/Bill Evans project (including an exquisite "Some Other Time" with a "Peace Piece" introduction from Evans), the box leaps 11 years ahead to contemplate Bennett's unlikely resurrection as an icon of the cynical young. Bennett's early records are almost operatic in feeling, a honey-smooth Italian tenor building toward histrionic climaxes, but the voice eventually busts loose into an outgoing, life-celebrating baritone, and, by the 1980s, reemerges as a darker, softer, even somewhat raspy replica of itself. There isn't much for the jazz listener here other than an occasional session with Count Basie (dig their ebullient "Lullaby of Broadway" together), a few cameos by jazz names, the Evans tracks, or some upbeat charts by Ralph Sharon, Ralph Burns, and a few others. Ultimately, the most striking difference between Bennett's records and Sinatra's is the sheer, unbeatably high quality of arrangements that Sinatra was able to get. Yet despite the abundance of period MOR treacle, many of these records are more interesting than memory recalls; for example, it's difficult to resist such a naïvely joyous track as Frank DeVol's rendering of "Put on a Happy Face" that has the Mitch Miller era written all over it. There is no better Tony Bennett retrospective at any price, although jazz specialists might be better served by the Jazz compilation. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Boulevard of Broken Dreams Tony Bennett 2:55
  3. 2 Because of You Tony Bennett 2:56
  4. 3 Cold, Cold Heart Tony Bennett 2:38
  5. 4 Blue Velvet Tony Bennett 2:59
  6. 5 Rags to Riches Tony Bennett 2:48
  7. 6 Stranger in Paradise Percy Faith 3:2
  8. 7 While the Music Plays On Tony Bennett 4:35
  9. 8 May I Never Love Again Tony Bennett 3:8
  10. 9 Sing You Sinners Tony Bennett 2:14
  11. 10 Just in Time Tony Bennett 2:33
  12. 11 Lazy Afternoon Tony Bennett 2:19
  13. 12 Ça C'est l'Amour Tony Bennett 2:45
  14. 13 I Get a Kick Out of You Tony Bennett 3:6
  15. 14 It Amazes Me Tony Bennett 3:24
  16. 15 Penthouse Serenade (When We're Alone) Tony Bennett 6:12
  17. 16 Lost in the Stars Tony Bennett 4:31
  18. 17 Lullaby of Broadway Tony Bennett 3:11
  19. 18 Firefly Tony Bennett 1:36
  20. 19 A Sleepin' Bee Tony Bennett 3:26
  21. 20 The Man That Got Away Tony Bennett 3:54
  22. 21 Skylark Tony Bennett 2:36
  23. 22 September Song Tony Bennett 3:51
  24. 23 Till Tony Bennett 2:56
  25. 1 Begin the Beguine Tony Bennett 3:23
  26. 2 Put on a Happy Face Tony Bennett 2:37
  27. 3 The Best Is Yet to Come Tony Bennett 2:33
  28. 4 This Time the Dream's on Me Tony Bennett 3:10
  29. 5 Close Your Eyes Tony Bennett 2:19
  30. 6 Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye Tony Bennett 1:52
  31. 7 Dancing in the Dark Tony Bennett 2:29
  32. 8 Stella by Starlight Tony Bennett 2:26
  33. 9 Tender Is the Night Tony Bennett 2:38
  34. 10 Once Upon a Time Tony Bennett 2:59
  35. 11 I Left My Heart in San Francisco Tony Bennett 2:51
  36. 12 Until I Met You Tony Bennett 2:51
  37. 13 If I Love Again Tony Bennett 3:19
  38. 14 I Wanna Be Around Tony Bennett 2:9
  39. 15 The Good Life Tony Bennett 2:15
  40. 16 It Was Me Tony Bennett 3:3
  41. 17 Spring in Manhattan Tony Bennett 2:33
  42. 18 The Moment of Truth Tony Bennett 2:14
  43. 19 This Is All I Ask Tony Bennett 3:12
  44. 20 A Taste of Honey Tony Bennett 2:51
  45. 21 When Joanna Loved Me Tony Bennett 3:5
  46. 22 I'll Be Around Tony Bennett 3:6
  47. 1 Nobody Else But Me Tony Bennett 2:56
  48. 2 It Had to Be You Tony Bennett 3:15
  49. 3 I've Got Just About Everything Tony Bennett 6:7
  50. 4 Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) Bill Evans 2:56
  51. 5 Waltz for Debby Tony Bennett 3:37
  52. 6 I Walk a Little Faster Tony Bennett 4:23
  53. 7 Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away) Tony Bennett 3:8
  54. 8 If I Ruled the World Tony Bennett 2:59
  55. 9 Fly Me to the Moon Tony Bennett 4:12
  56. 10 Love Scene Tony Bennett 2:35
  57. 11 Sweet Lorraine Tony Bennett 3:39
  58. 12 The Shadow of Your Smile Tony Bennett 3:34
  59. 13 I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her Tony Bennett 3:4
  60. 14 Baby, Dream Your Dream Tony Bennett 2:3
  61. 15 Smile Tony Bennett 3:31
  62. 16 Maybe September Tony Bennett 4:3
  63. 17 Emily Tony Bennett 3:20
  64. 18 The Very Thought of You Tony Bennett 4:30
  65. 19 A Time for Love Tony Bennett 3:19
  66. 20 Country Girl Tony Bennett 3:39
  67. 1 Days of Love Tony Bennett 2:20
  68. 2 Keep Smiling at Trouble (Trouble's a Bubble) Tony Bennett 3:4
  69. 3 For Once in My Life Tony Bennett 3:21
  70. 4 Who Cares? Tony Bennett 2:9
  71. 5 Hi-Ho! Tony Bennett 4:39
  72. 6 Baby, Don't You Quit Now Tony Bennett 2:49
  73. 7 Something Tony Bennett 3:21
  74. 8 I Do Not Know a Day I Did Not Love You Tony Bennett 3:27
  75. 9 Old Devil Moon Tony Bennett 3:21
  76. 10 Remind Me Tony Bennett 3:53
  77. 11 Maybe This Time Tony Bennett 4:7
  78. 12 Some Other Time Tony Bennett 4:37
  79. 13 My Foolish Heart Tony Bennett 4:51
  80. 14 But Beautiful Tony Bennett 3:34
  81. 15 How Do You Keep the Music Playing? Tony Bennett 4:18
  82. 16 What Are You Afraid Of? Tony Bennett 2:59
  83. 17 Why Do People Fall in Love?/People Tony Bennett 4:2
  84. 18 I Got Lost in Her Arms Tony Bennett 4:26
  85. 19 When I Lost You Tony Bennett 1:11
  86. 20 Shaking the Blues Away Tony Bennett 1:46
  87. 21 Antonia Tony Bennett 3:4
  88. 22 When Do the Bells Ring for Me Tony Bennett 2:55

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