FRANK SINATRA > A Voice In Time (1939-1952)

For one-stop shopping of Sinatra’s career highlights during the early years of his career, you couldn’t do better than A Voice In Time. Legalistic kinks have been worked out to make this a fully comprehensive look too, compiling tracks from the Columbia, Brunswick, Victor and Bluebird labels for the first time in one collection.Label: COLUMBIA/RCA VICTOR/LEGACY
[RATING: 5]

Videos by American Songwriter

For one-stop shopping of Sinatra’s career highlights during the early years of his career, you couldn’t do better than A Voice In Time. Legalistic kinks have been worked out to make this a fully comprehensive look too, compiling tracks from the Columbia, Brunswick, Victor and Bluebird labels for the first time in one collection. It’s nice to have well-known chart-toppers like “I’ll Never Smile Again” (recorded with Tommy Dorsey) all in one place, and it’s fascinating to be able to dig into Sinatra’s formative years in depth, but still find a few choice surprises along the way. Though the bulk of the set has previously released material, there are previously unreleased alternate takes of “From the Bottom of My Heart,” dating back to the singer’s time with Harry James in 1939, and “All The Things You Are” from 1945; there’s also a generous 11 previously unreleased songs from radio airchecks. The radio performances (on disc two) are the most fascinating; the interaction between a devil-may-care Sinatra and his screaming teenage audience makes it easy to hear how he became the first “teen idol.” Disc one, covering his Big Band years, also serves as a reminder that no matter how good “The Voice” was on his own (evident on later tracks like “Stormy Weather” and “The Birth of the Blues”), his years with James and Dorsey are also well worth reinvestigating.


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