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Tony Bennett’s “The Classics” Features Solo Hits Plus Streisand, Winehouse, Sinatra Duets

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Tony Bennett - The ClassicsFollowing the success of 2013’s Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962 and Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas 1964, Columbia Records, RPM Records and Legacy Recordings are starting off 2014 with a newly-assembled collection from Tony Bennett due on January 28.

The Classics, available in a 20-track standard edition or a 30-track deluxe configuration, features material personally selected by the 87-year old living legend.  In a statement provided by Legacy, Bennett confirmed that he kept two things in mind while compiling this celebratory project: “choosing songs that exemplify to the highest degree a timeless quality, while selecting a performance of those songs that present them in a very immediate and ‘live’ approach. I feel that songs I selected for The Classics absolutely meet both of these criteria.”

Both editions of The Classics open with “Because of You,” the artist’s first Columbia Records single and first chart-topping record.  It goes on to include the “solo tracks that I felt most closely represented the highest level of musical craftsmanship that has been my mandate as I have built my recording catalogue” and includes a number of recent duets, sung “with artists who I admire and have loved working with over the years.”  No rare or new-to-CD material is present.

After the jump, we have full details including the track listing for both versions!

The standard edition is weighed towards the latter portion of Bennett’s career, with eight solo tracks and twelve duets.  The solo tracks include 1960s signature songs “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “I Wanna Be Around” and “The Good Life” along with 1980s favorites “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” and “When Do the Bells Ring for Me.”  The duet tracks have been taken from Frank Sinatra’s Duets (“(Theme From) New York, New York”) plus a number of 21st century albums: Bennett’s Playin’ with My Friends (“Evenin’” with Ray Charles) and A Wonderful World (the nominal title track with k.d. lang), and the balance from Bennett’s Duets: An American Classic, Duets II and Viva Duets.

The deluxe edition fleshes out Bennett’s solo recordings with seventeen tracks; the remaining thirteen are all duets. Of the added solo material, you’ll hear “Rags to Riches,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” “Stranger in Paradise,” “Put on a Happy Face,” “If I Ruled the World” and other favorites.  Featured artists in the duet portion of the collection include Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, John Mayer and the late Amy Winehouse.  Recent Sound of Music star Carrie Underwood’s “It Had to Be You” is the only duet track not on the standard disc.  Even on the deluxe edition, however, there’s no music from the period between 1968 and 1986.

Tony Bennett’s The Classics arrives from Columbia, RPM and Legacy on January 28.  You can pre-order below!

Tony Bennett, The Classics: Standard Edition (Columbia/RPM, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

  1. Because Of You
  2. Just In Time
  3. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
  4. I Wanna Be Around
  5. The Good Life
  6. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
  7. How Do You Keep The Music Playing
  8. When Do The Bells Ring For Me
  9. New York, New York – Duet with Frank Sinatra
  10. Evenin’ – Duet with Ray Charles
  11. What A Wonderful World – Duet with k.d. lang
  12. Smile – Duet with Barbra Streisand
  13. The Shadow Of Your Smile – Duet with Juanes
  14. The Best Is Yet To Come – Duet with Diana Krall
  15. For Once In My Life – Duet with Stevie Wonder
  16. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) – Duet with John Mayer
  17. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore – Duet with Michael Bublé
  18. The Lady Is A Tramp – Duet with Lady Gaga
  19. Body And Soul – Duet with Amy Winehouse
  20. Steppin’ Out With My Baby – Duet with Christina Aguilera

See discographical details below.

Tony Bennett, The Classics: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/RPM, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. link TBD)

CD 1

  1. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  2. Because Of You
  3. Cold, Cold Heart
  4. Blue Velvet
  5. Rags To Riches
  6. Stranger In Paradise
  7. Just In Time
  8. The Way You Look Tonight
  9. Put On A Happy Face
  10. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
  11. I Wanna Be Around
  12. The Good Life
  13. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
  14. If I Ruled The World
  15. My Favorite Things

CD 2

  1. How Do You Keep The Music Playing
  2. When Do The Bells Ring For Me
  3. New York, New York – Duet with Frank Sinatra
  4. Evenin’ – Duet with Ray Charles
  5. What A Wonderful World – Duet with k.d. lang
  6. Smile – Duet with Barbra Streisand
  7. The Shadow Of Your Smile – Duet with Juanes
  8. The Best Is Yet To Come – Duet with Diana Krall
  9. For Once In My Life – Duet with Stevie Wonder
  10. One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) – Duet with John Mayer
  11. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore – Duet with Michael Bublé
  12. The Lady Is A Tramp – Duet with Lady Gaga
  13. Body And Soul – Duet with Amy Winehouse
  14. It Had To Be You- Duet with Carrie Underwood
  15. Steppin’ Out With My Baby – Duet with Christina Aguilera

CD 1, Track 1 from Columbia single 4-38825, 1950
CD 1, Track 2 from Columbia single 4-39362, 1951
CD 1, Track 3 from Columbia single 4-39449, 1951
CD 1, Track 4 from Columbia single 4-39555, 1951
CD 1, Track 5 from Columbia single 4-40048, 1953
CD 1, Track 6 from Columbia single 4-40121, 1954
CD 1, Track 7 from Columbia single 4-40770, 1956
CD 1, Track 8 from Long Ago and Far Away, Columbia LP CL 1186, 1958
CD 1, Track 9 from Columbia single 4-41691, 1960
CD 1, Track 10 from Columbia single 4-42332, 1962
CD 1, Track 11 from Columbia single 4-42634, 1962
CD 1, Track 12 from Columbia single 4-42779, 1963
CD 1, Track 13 from Columbia single 4-43141, 1964
CD 1, Track 14 from Columbia single 4-43220, 1965
CD 1, Track 15 from Columbia single 4-44688, 1968
CD 2, Track 1 from The Art of Excellence, Columbia LP FC 40344, 1986
CD 2, Track 2 from Astoria: Portrait of the Artist, Columbia LP CK 45348, 1990
CD 2, Track 3 from Frank Sinatra, Duets, Capitol CD CDP 0777 7 89611 2, 1993
CD 2, Track 4 from Playin’ with My Friends, Columbia/RPM CD CK 85833, 2001
CD 2, Track 5 from A Wonderful World, Columbia/RPM CK 86734, 2002
CD 2, Tracks 6-9 from Duets: An American Classic, Columbia/RPM CD 82876 80979 2, 2006
CD 2, Tracks 10-14 from Duets II, Columbia/RPM CD 88697 66253 2, 2011
CD 2, Track 15 from Viva Duets, Columbia/RPM CD 88725 47310 2, 2012

Written by Joe Marchese

December 16, 2013 at 16:29

One Response

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  1. The two concerts that Tony released in 2013 must have been pretty successful for Sony to give the public another re-hash of Tony’s hits. I don’t see the point though. I want Tony to give his fans a brand new solo album sans any duets. That isn’t too much to ask.

    Robert

    December 16, 2013 at 17:32


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