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Life Is Beautiful

Life Is Beautiful

1 Jan 1975

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 1975
  • Release Date: 9 Feb. 2009
  • Label: Universal Music Group International
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Concord Records, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 42:13
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001U3H3U6
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 494,240 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL WITH TONY'S SINGING! 24 Oct. 2003
By Giovanni - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The problem with Tony Bennett's recordings is Tony himself owns
the rights to them all, and until he decides for them to be released,
we eager Bennett fans will just have to wait. While we thoroughly
enjoy seeing Tony still doing the wonderful new recordings he's given
us over the last decade or so (the Here's To The Ladies album alone
has given me more enjoyment than any ten CD's in my collection) it's
recordings like these, (and the early to late 60's Columbia LPs) that
we desire, the stuff that MADE Tony the icon he is today. This album was
made during Tony's short-lived tenure away from the Columbia fray where
he did all those wonderful albums. Originally on the IMPROV label of Bennett's
own devising, Tony brought long time arranger/conductor Torrie Zito along
for the ride when he did LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, a collection of seldom covered
beauties mixed in with a few evergreens, by some of the best composers ever.
(Ellington, Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, and Porter, to name a few)
There isn't a bad song in the bunch here, and how could there be,
with the best male exponent of any song at the microphone? From the beginning,
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, written by Tony's old neighbor in California, Fred Astaire (and
Tommy Wolf) is an exclamation of the simple pleasures in life and love. Someone
once said life is a flower, love is honey. If that's true, Bennett makes the case of being
the bee during this quaint number. ALL MINE, with its latin -tinged torchiness, should
have been a standard by now. It possesses all the qualities needed; strong message,
infectious melody and haunting refrain, all executed by Tony flawlessly. BRIDGES,
written entirely by longtime Bennett friend and associate Gene Lees, shows Gene's
perfect qualities as a writer (he'd penned lyrics to such classics like the timeless
Esta Tarde Vi Llover (Yesterday I Heard The Rain) for Tony years earlier) Tony
finishes the song off with a nice high note. The Duke Ellington masterpiece, REFLECTIONS,
finds Tony in a wistful mood and Zito's orchestration dreamily sends the song along
and tells the story beautifully. THIS FUNNY WORLD, written by the immortal team of
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, tells the bitter truth all too well; Tony's sentimental reading
here is sure to break your heart. One of Tony's favorite songs to sing was included here;
the magnificent LOST IN THE STARS by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson. Tony
had been singing this one since his early days at Columbia, but perhaps after all those
years he finally realized the definitive performance in this very touching version.
There's a few swingers to off-set the lovely aformentioned ballads; EXPERIMENT by Cole Porter,
is a short and to the point song but well worth the listen, as anything by Porter is.
Tony's version of AS TIME GOES BY brings a big band orchestration with it, and Zito's
charts are particularly imaginitive here, with Tony swinging his way all through the song.
But the anchor is what makes this ship really sail, meaning the last song of the album,
(as it was released back in the 70's, anyway) THERE'LL BE SOME CHANGES MADE.
Originally a big band number back in the 40's, Tony revisits and updates this one with
Torrie Zito in their finest hour. An absolute lights-out performance with a great tag on the
ending. Not to be missed. A nice touch was adding the Cole Porter medley as a bonus track
here (even though it's incomplete; the original had Tony starting and ending with WHAT IS
THIS THING CALLED LOVE?; here he only starts with it and the medley ends with GET OUT OF TOWN,
but no complaints here!) Bennett fans will be glad to see this one released in this complete
manner, as so many of these songs have been smattered across various bootlegs of poor
quality over the years. And until we can get more of those 60's Columbia LPs out on CD,
this will have to tide us over. Not a bad deal after all.
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong Bennett, Inspired Song Selection 20 May 2008
By Giuseppe C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
On the heels of the discovery of two genuine Bennett sleepers, "On Holiday" and "The Playground," I was hoping to find more of the same with this relssue of a 1975 date. Indeed, Bennett is in full and strong voice, and the song selection is inspired. Still, the recording, perhaps unavoidably, shows its age (i.e. the 70s).

Listening to this session makes one appreciate all the more the two meetings between Tony Bennett and Bill Evans (how could such recordings occur in the 1970s?). By contrast, "Life Is Beautiful," though no doubt a musical oasis at the time, sounds broad and pushing. Despite the stellar quality of the voice, the added reverb hits the listener from the first note; the arrangements are cabaret "stock," with tempos taken too fast and Bennett sounding overly determined to bring gravitas, urgency and significance to each and every note.

Humor, lightness, nuance, reflectiveness--they're most likely here, comparatively speaking, but after a recording like Shirley Horn's "Here's to Life," this one comes off as not a little bombastic. (Tunes like "All Mine" and "Bridges" cry out for understated Sinatra-Jobim readings, not Pavarotti overachieving. "Experiment" and "This Funny World" are characteristic, highly worthy songs by Porter and Rodgers and Hart respectively. "Reflections" reflects its composer's harmonic genius but is so un-Ellingtonian in its voicings and orchestration that I can't wait to hear the original.)

Although the album perhaps deserves five stars for the song selections alone, it's nonetheless one I'm unlikely to replay.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life Is Beautiful - Tony Bennett 20 Jun. 2012
By Silvercab - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An earlier collection of recordings, and not my favorite Bennett CD; but I bought it based on the 12 minute Cole Porter medley - which I had heard a few weeks ago and is excellent.
4.0 out of 5 stars "All Mine" is lovely 30 Mar. 2008
By Mark A. Underwood - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Reviewer "Giovanni" is right on about "All Mine." From the moment the string section breaks out of a slightly daring close dissonance, Bennett's performance is at once both dark, crisp and confident. The arrangement has some great moments, and could have been even better, but overall a wonderful listen.

Thanks to Jonathan Schwartz for exposing it on WNYC-FM.
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