It's starting to sound a lot like an Ol' Blue Eyes Christmas with this hearth and heart-warming TV-marketed collection of Yuletide favorites. On traditional carols and holiday favorites from the American popular soundtrack, no one can deliver a vocal like Sinantra!
Talk about your gifts of Christmas past, The Christmas Collection is a must-have for any Sinatra-phile, right down to its family photos and one priceless shot of Sinatra swinging a golf club next to the tree wearing a Santa suit! Complete with four previously unreleased tracks (some from live TV specials) -- including two with Bing Crosby ("The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas"), the 18-song collection surveys Sinatra's holiday output and its effects are often chilling. Listening to him glide soulfully through Jimmy Webb's melancholy but romantic "What Ever Happened to Christmas?" or hearing him do his immaculate phrasing on "Silent Night" when he was visibly frail and aging in 1991 are close encounters of a Sinatra kind that are rarely captured on one album. There's also a delightful "The Twelve Days of Christmas" sung with his kids Nancy and Frank, Jr., from their 1969 record The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas and insightful and intimate liner notes by James Ritz, not to mention those magical orchestral arrangements. Here's a five-star package to remind us that it's still Frank's world--we just rent a stable in it. Highly recommended. --Martin Keller
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