This British set is compiled from Frankie's recordings that are now owned by Sony, beginning in 1951. All the songs that charted in Britain are here except for a few minor hits, as well as re-recordings of some of his earlier Mercury hits. It is worth pointing out that Frankie often re-recorded his old hits to take advantage of technology that was improving rapidly in the fifties, and I'm not sure if all the later hits are original recordings. The original release dates given in the track listing are sometimes several years later than the date that the song hit the charts. People who must have the original recordings may decide not to buy this set on that basis, but those people will have to check any Frankie Laine compilation carefully.
Record sales charts only started in Britain in November 1952, before which there were only sheet music charts; however, Frankie's American chart success began in 1947. Among his early American hits (on Mercury) represented here by re-recordings are That's my desire, Mam'selle, Shine, That lucky old sun, Mule train and The cry of the wild goose. The last three of these all made number one in the American charts. Frankie had plenty of lesser American hits on Mercury, so dedicated fans will want a compilation of his Mercury recordings to get those hits as well as the original recordings of the ones featured here via re-recordings.
Frankie switched labels in 1951 and his records were then released on Columbia in America, but on Philips in Britain. His early American hits for his new label included Jezebel, Rose Rose I love you, The girl in the wood (a belated UK hit in 1953, having been an American hit in 1951), Jealousy, The gandy dancer's ball and When you're in love, all featured here. With the launch of the UK charts, High noon, Sugar bush (with Doris Day) and many other singles charted in both countries, though none of Frankie's wonderful duets with Jo Stafford charted in Britain and they're not featured here either, though they can be found elsewhere. Despite those records failing to chart, Frankie's solo recordings were very popular in Britain, often charting higher than they did in America. I believe, Tell me a story, Where the winds blow, Hey Joe!, Answer me (later revived by Barbara Dickson), Cool water and A woman in love (not to be confused with other famous songs titled Woman in love) were among the biggest UK hits and you'll find them all here.
The first CD of this set mainly focuses on Frankie's cowboy songs, with the love songs dominating the other two discs. As an introduction to Frankie's music, this is brilliant. I already had the cowboy songs on a couple of Bear Family compilations On the Trail and On the Trail Again so I'm pleased at the way this set was compiled. If I play this soon after I play the other two compilations, I can simply skip the first CD to avoid repetition. Where Frankie's music is concerned, my next task is to look for a compilation of his Mercury recordings, but meanwhile this set has all the songs that really matter, even if some of them are re-recordings.
Anyone who enjoys Western music will enjoy this compilation by Frankie Laine - my special favourites are "Moonlight Gambler" and "Riders in the Sky" but listeners of a certain age will recall most, if not all, of the tracks, both Western and contemporary. A great listen.
Singers come and go - Frankie Laine is eternal and nobody can equal him in the passion and interpretation of Cowboy ballads. Of course Hank Williams is the 'founder' of Country/Cowboy music with Johnny Cash/Glen Campbell able to belt out a few great songs but close your eyes and Frankie will take you to Tombstone, The Wild West, the gunfight at the OK Corral and the street of High Noon where Gary Cooper meets his enemies.
Frankie was and is forever a great great singer - just wish he was around today as he'd still be a super star. Thank you Frankie = legend is a word that comfortably sits against your name
3 CDs containing the very best of Frankie Laine's original recordings. The first CD is mainly 'western' songs and very good they are too. The other CDs contain such hits as Jezabel, Granada, Rose Rose I love you etc etc. High quality sound. Great material. I can't think you can get a better collection for this iconic artist. A superb compilation. Hilly recommended.
I chose this rating because that was my opinion of the album, and nothing disappointed me. I have been a fan of Frankie Laine since I was a teenager, and still have some of his original recordings, which of course are not quite as good as when new, so I was delighted to have these discs.
I have followed Frankie Laine since the 1950's and obviously have my own collection. I did like this mainly because it contained actual recordings from the 1950's and that was just what I wanted. As expected it came quickly and was well packed. What more could I do?