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Swinging on a budget
on 16 November 2009
Sinatra fans will know that 1953 was a watershed year for his recordings, when he signed with Capitol records. Teamed with the arranger Nelson Riddle and encouraged to sing in a lower register, Frank recorded superlative versions of many of the classic American Songbook entries which have not been bettered to this day.
64 of the tracks in the box set come from this era, and are pretty much all outstanding (although there are some glaring omissions like "All The Way" and "Chicago"). The remainder range from so-so to surprisingly good, covering the period 1946 to 1952, so in terms of content this box set can be recommended.
What lets this set down however is the uniformly disappointing sound quality. Listenable but quite poor. At a time when more and more of Frank's Capitol output is being released at a bargain price in excellent sound quality, it is a shame that these tracks sound like they have been taken from MP3s. At least the difference between the later and earlier tracks is not so noticable as they sound uniformly poor.
At 100 tracks for this price , you can't say this is a bad buy and if you are not concerned about sound quality, then this could be the one for you. If you are an audiophile, however, perhaps you should look elsewhere.