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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This a truly great box set,comes in a sturdy box with an informative booklet detailing the Albums and giving an insight into Franks battles with capitol Records,The albums come in cardboard slip covers featuring the original artwork,and the cover his most productive period with great arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Billy May et al.What is fantastic is the remastering...
Published 8 months ago by T. C. Clark

versus
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It gleams, and yet...
Well, there always has to be one, doesn't there...

Can't argue with the presentation of these CDs, though perhaps the font on the spine is a bit too bright and jazzy, trying to be a bit to hard to be Mad Men. The cardboard sleeves for the albums are tastefully done - it seems the bigger albums such as Songs for Swinging Lovers get a sleeve to themselves, while...
Published 1 month ago by Mr. C. Morris


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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 16 April 2014
By 
T. C. Clark - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
This a truly great box set,comes in a sturdy box with an informative booklet detailing the Albums and giving an insight into Franks battles with capitol Records,The albums come in cardboard slip covers featuring the original artwork,and the cover his most productive period with great arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Billy May et al.What is fantastic is the remastering which has been done really well breathing new life into fantastic recordings.This box set is a must have if your a big fan or just a lover of great music GET IT NOW!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant, 27 May 2014
By 
TheDoc "Billious" (Sidcup, KENT United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
Let me start by saying that if you are already a Sinatra fan that the recording quality of these CDs is excellent. Some of the albums from the 50s are not quite as good as those from the 60s but they are still surprisingly good, especially when you consider how the recording quality of many pop albums from the 50s or 60s (or even the 70s in some cases) can be so very poor. It is claimed that these have all been re-mastered and I can believe the claim - they are simply brilliant.

The bonus tracks are not from poorly recorded live concerts or takes that weren't considered for inclusion on any of the albums, they are just as good as anything else in the set. Some are single releases, for example 'Chicago' and so they are definitely a bonus.

OK now, if you are not a confirmed fan of 'old blue eyes' then you should be, imo he was the greatest 'American Songbook' singer of all time. At the time of these recordings he had much competition from great singers like Tony Bennett, Ella Fitgerald, Sammy Davis Jnr, Billy Eckstine et al. But sadly there is no one today who can compete with these recordings, please forget the likes of Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart they simply are not in the game compared to Sinatra.

The quality of songs in this set speaks for itself, composers like the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Sammy Kahn, Gus Cahn, Jimmy van Heusen, Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kergy, Hoagy Carmichael - the list goes on. Just beautiful songs - music and lyrics!

Then we have the quality of the musicians. This set feature the Orchestras of Nelson Riddle, Johnny Mandel and Billy May.

Summing up then: This box set is about as good as gets and at £100 it would be great value - but just look at the current price.

Go on buy it. Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on, Go on!
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94 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Value & Sound, 14 April 2014
By 
Pantheon (Boston, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
I'm not really a fanatic fan of Mr. Sinatra. More of a casual listener. However, I was recently given a Greatest Hits CD and really enjoyed it. So, when I saw this set being released - and at such a good price - I decided to get it.

I'm really glad I did.

Excellent sound - according to the box 44.1KHz 16-Bit CDs. All remastered.
Each CD is housed in a cardboard sleeve with the original release artwork. The outer box is thick cardboard (clamshell style).

The contents are:
Disc 1: Swing Easy! / Songs for Young Lovers (plus 12 bonus tracks)
Disc 2: In the Wee Small Hours (plus 8 bonus tracks)
Disc 3: Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (plus 11 bonus tracks)
Disc 4: Only the Lonely (plus 7 bonus tracks)
Disc 5: Come Dance with Me! / Come Fly with Me (plus 3 bonus tracks)
Disc 6: Nice 'n' Easy / Look to Your Heart
Disc 7: Sinatra's Swingin' Session!!! / A Swingin' Affair (plus 2 bonus tracks)
Disc 8: Come Swing with Me! / Sing Along with Me
Disc 9: Ring-a-Ding Ding! / I Remember Tommy...

Box states that this is a 'De-Luxe Edition'. If you're a fan and don't have these albums this is a great way to get some of Sinatra's best.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Sound Quality, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
I was a little sceptical having never heard of the " Masterworks" label but I am glad I trusted the other glowing reviews and bought this absolute bargain. As stated elsewhere the sound quality is amazing -warm , intimate and detailed and without the harsh brightness that mars many remasters. I have been listening to Mr Sinatra on vinyl and cd for over 40 years and these are the best sounding discs I have heard.
During his stay at Capitol Records in the 50's Sinatra established himself as a supreme artist. Key to this was his new relationship with Nelson Riddle who created wonderful arrangements that inspired Frank to new heights in popular singing. As you listen to these early Capitol recordings you feel his excitement as he explores his new "adult" voice . The singing here is sublime , the stretching of notes thrilling and this coincided with improvements in sound technology which meant that no singer had ever been recorded so faithfully before.
As the 60's arrived he moved to Reprise and although there were still outstanding moments (the Jobim collaboraton and The Concert Sinatra album especially ) the voice began to decline, time had moved on and the impatient Sinatra seemed to lose interest in seeking excellence in his work.
A few minor quibbles . A small selection of songs from the two Gordon Jenkins albums Where Are You and No One Cares and also from Close To You are included as extras among these discs .I'd prefer to have these albums in their entirities and lose the 3 Reprise albums which could have been bumped onto a second Reprise only set.This would have the added bonus of making the current set more balanced and less swing heavy. The provenance of these extra tracks could also have been detailed more informatively in the sleevenotes. Also, his wonderful 1956 album "A Swingin' Affair" is stuck on as the second half of a disc with the 1960 "Swingin' Session" -a curious fate for one of his very best albums. But these are minor quibbles -this is a massive and massively enjoyable box set for less than £15 (and seemingly getting cheaper daily).Enjoy.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It never entered my mind...", 14 April 2014
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
...that this would be so darn good.I bought it as a pig in a poke,with low expectations,never having heard of the label,but what a surprise I had.Certainly the best sounding Frank I've EVER come across, but as the previous reviewer said it's 16 bit,I must correct this...it is 24bit,although info on the box could be misinterpreted.This may not necessarily result in additional audible detail,but the 24 bit resolution gives a warmer,more analog sound,and is superb. Approx.11 hours or more of music,with some of his very best LP's and bonus material included.Whether it's upbeat,jaunty swinging Sinatra,or the melancholy of Wee Small Hours,here's a great collection,sure to satisfy the ardent enthusiast as much as the less dedicated fan.
However Eurosceptic you may be,this will surely make you a Frank-ophile!

PS Makin' Whoopee is one the best,wittiest,most cynical(or realistic,if you prefer) songs about romance ever written,I wonder whose decision, when originally recording it,it was to excise the faithlessness and divorce verses?For anyone interested in hearing the full version,there are two great versions to be had,one by Ricky Lee Jones and Dr.John,and another by Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys movie.Great stuff!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite a bootleg!, 17 Jun 2014
By 
James B. Spink "Jim" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
Although this set from "Masterworks" is not a bootleg it is, however, far from an official release. It falls into the grey area where recorded music falls out of copyright and into the public domain. Until last year, in the UK, that period was 50 years from release - that period was challenged by various artists when it was realised that the fifty year period was rapidly approaching the sixties back-catalogues of many of them. The copyright period was successfully extended to 70 years in the UK under what became known as "Cliff's Law" as Cliff Richard was one of the campaigns leading lights. However, the law was not applied retrospectively so material that had already entered the public domain remains there. That is why there are many collections like this one that end around the year 1962!

Studying this set from top to bottom will not reveal its origin but a bit of research online suggests it is produced in Spain. The companies producing this type of collection do not usually have access to the original record company's master tapes so have to rely on "other sources" - generally vinyl records. So my guess would be that this collection has been dubbed from the original albums then fed through some clever computer software before being transferred to CD. That being said the end result is very good and although they don't take any credit for it the compilers have produced a really good package!

Assuming that these recordings are vinyl transfers would explain why the sound is as uncompressed as it is and many listeners are really going to enjoy them - even with a few imperfections! So if you understand that this is not an official release by any of Sinatra's record companies and are happy to accept it for what it is then I have no hesitation in recommending it as a good-sounding and great value collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding......A MUST HAVE FOR MUSIC LOVERS., 8 Aug 2014
This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
This set is quite simply.........FANTASTIC. i'm a Sinatra collector, so i already own all these tracks on official Capitol CD sets, but i just could not resist buying this as the price was SO CHEAP and the bonus tracks really added to the overall listening pleasure. The individual Capitol release's do, in the main, feature a few bonus cuts and the reprise release's feature None with a few exceptions, but here the bonus tracks are in abundance, as most of the disc's are nearly at full capacity. The sound quality is SO GOOD that one questions.....Did they come from the original master takes tapes. As a collector i've been tempted to buy quite a few "out of copyright" release's, and sound quality ranges from good to very poor to darn right awful (the Halmark release's for instance. Avoid these like the plague), but this is truely OUTSTANDING quality, in fact some tracks sound BETTER than the offical Capitol Cd's). A notable omission is the "No One Cares" album, but most (not all) of the cuts from that album are included within the bonus tracks. If you are either a casual Sinatra fan or a die hard, GET THIS, you will not be disappointed. The sleeve notes feature the original liner notes plus newly written ones as well as Billboard magazine quotes from the time of original release. This set will never be far from my Hi-Fi, and it would be great to get a volume Two, or even the original Mono mixes of the Stereo albums. Why the Sinatra family can't issue something similar, is beyond me. A CD boxed set of outtakes would be outstanding, but for some reason they feel it would damage Sinatra's image....HOW WRONG THEY ARE. It would surely enhance it. Anyway back to this set, i give 100 out of 10. Come on Capitol/Reprise, if an independent company can release this, then why can't you, instead of churning out the same old stuff time and time again. Sinatra was FAR MORE than My Way and New York, New york. Thank you Masterworks, for an amazing release/
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent., 3 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. K. Frost "JAZZ FAN" (LIMERICK IRELAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
I have all these albums on vinyl and cd. These remastered cds are a different class. It is like listening to them for the first time.This collection is a must have for Sinatra fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it whilst you can!, 30 Aug 2014
This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
This set of nine CDs must represent the bargain of the year, not only does it include 15 complete LPs, including Songs for Young Lovers, Come Dance With Me, Come Fly With Me and Nice ‘N’ Easy, but you also get a further 43 songs taken from recordings of the same period, some 277 tracks in total, and all for the price of a single full price CD! The set comprised some of Sinatra’s finest recordings, true, there is no My Way or New York, New York, but you do get majority of his most popular songs recorded when he was in his prime. Sinatra is wonderfully backed by Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Sy Oliver and Johnny Mandel and their orchestras. All the tracks are digitally remastered in 24 BIT crystal clear sound, none of the crackle and pop that you get from some classic album sets that use ‘needle drop’ recording techniques to keep the price down, these recordings are pristine. This set represents an invaluable recorded document, Sinatra at his best, a must for all fans. Even if you have a few of the original discs, at this price you don’t mind if you duplicate!
The discs are presented in cardboard sleeves with the original album artwork and full track listing on each one, encased in a cardboard clamshell box. There is also a 20 page booklet which presents an informative essay on Sinatra during the period as well as the original LP notes on all the albums.
This set is supposedly a limited edition, so all I can say is rush out and buy it whilst you can!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i do love this, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The 1954-1961 Albums - 15 complete albums (Audio CD)
all the albums on this i have got on vinal and some on cd but to have 15 of franks best plus booklet all in one box is a bargan that could not be missed .
this was one of the longest wait for the post to bring this but was worth the wait.
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