131 Songs, 7 Hours 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

What becomes a legend most? In Tony Bennett’s case, it’s a 131-track anthology that touches on both the celebrated peaks and the lesser-known corners of the singer’s phenomenal career. Anyone who knows Bennett from his signature tunes will be pleased to find them all in this chronologically organized collection. Those who want to fully appreciate his artistic growth will be particularly rewarded. Hearing the operatic grandeur of his 1951 breakthrough hit “Because of You” give way to the emotive nuance of “Stranger in Paradise” and the jazzy vigor of “Sing You Sinners” is especially revelatory. The richness of Bennett’s ‘60s period is well represented by neglected gems like “A Sleepin’ Bee,” as well as his more famous songs; the easy mastery of his latter-day work finds expression in everything from “I Wished on the Moon” to “Bein’ Green.” A selection of Tony’s duets with everyone from k.d. lang to Lady Gaga rounds out yet another side of his complex profile as an artist. Exploring the length and breadth of Bennett’s 60 years of recording is a rare pleasure, one savored slowly and with relish over the course of this lovingly selected set.

EDITORS’ NOTES

What becomes a legend most? In Tony Bennett’s case, it’s a 131-track anthology that touches on both the celebrated peaks and the lesser-known corners of the singer’s phenomenal career. Anyone who knows Bennett from his signature tunes will be pleased to find them all in this chronologically organized collection. Those who want to fully appreciate his artistic growth will be particularly rewarded. Hearing the operatic grandeur of his 1951 breakthrough hit “Because of You” give way to the emotive nuance of “Stranger in Paradise” and the jazzy vigor of “Sing You Sinners” is especially revelatory. The richness of Bennett’s ‘60s period is well represented by neglected gems like “A Sleepin’ Bee,” as well as his more famous songs; the easy mastery of his latter-day work finds expression in everything from “I Wished on the Moon” to “Bein’ Green.” A selection of Tony’s duets with everyone from k.d. lang to Lady Gaga rounds out yet another side of his complex profile as an artist. Exploring the length and breadth of Bennett’s 60 years of recording is a rare pleasure, one savored slowly and with relish over the course of this lovingly selected set.

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About Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett cut his teeth singing in front of the toughest of audiences as a teenage army-band performer entertaining hardened troops stationed in Europe during World War II. Ever since, he’s carried the determination and gusto he learned back then through an epic career as America’s consummate crooner. During his initial star-making streak in the ’50s and ’60s, the New York City–born Bennett displayed both a pop singer’s flair for spotlight-seizing spectacle (listen to that soaring, curtain-closing vocal flourish on “(I Left My Heart) In San Francisco”) and a muso’s ear for jazzy improvisation (which blossomed on his supremely swinging albums with Count Basie). Bennett is always in crowd-pleasing mode—you can practically see his smile as he sashays through the big-band orchestration of “The Best Is Yet to Come.” But the natural grit in his voice can also imbue a ballad like Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart” with palpable melancholy and regret (the singer’s more artistic impulses have been channeled into a parallel career as a painter of impressionistic portraits and landscapes). Always faithful to the standards, Bennett’s staunch refusal to conform to trends has made him an unlikely hero to alternative rockers and modern pop firebrands alike, with latter-day duet partners like Elvis Costello and Lady Gaga lining up to bask in the eternal charisma that Bennett has always exuded so effortlessly.

HOMETOWN
New York, NY
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
August 3, 1926

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