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His Way, Britain-Style: Frank Sinatra Goes To “London” On New CD/DVD Box Set

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Sinatra - London Contents

In 2006, Frank Sinatra Enterprises took listeners to New York with a 4-CD/1-DVD box set chronicling many of the legendary entertainer’s greatest performances in the city that never sleeps. In 2009, Vegas was the destination for a similar set recorded at iconic venues like Caesars Palace, the Golden Nugget and The Sands. On November 25, you can set your GPS to London for the latest stop on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ trip around the world. This deluxe box set, coming from FSE and Universal Music Enterprises, is a 3-CD/1-DVD swingin’ affair spanning 1953-1984 with over 50 previously unreleased tracks on CD and DVD. (This set will also be available in digital format.)  At its heart is a newly remastered edition of Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain, the Chairman’s only studio album recorded outside of the United States.

This deluxe new collection’s more than 50 previously unreleased audio recordings include session alternates from the Reprise album, a 1962 BBC “Light Programme” radio special with introductions to each song by Sinatra, a 1953 live session for BBC Radio’s “The Show Band Show,” and a Royal Albert Hall concert from 1984. The collection’s DVD features a previously unreleased filmed 1962 concert from another venerable venue, Royal Festival Hall, plus a 1970 concert from the same venue with a never-before released performance George and Ira Gershwin’s standard “A Foggy Day.”

Unlike that foggy day, however, this set shouldn’t have you low or have you down. The first disc features Great Songs from Great Britain, arranged and conducted by Robert Farnon, four-time Ivor Novello Award winner and renowned composer of so-called “light music.” Recording at CTS Studios in Bayswater in June 1962, Farnon provided a lush setting for Sinatra on such classic British songs as “The Very Thought of You,” “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” “We’ll Meet Again” (so closely associated with Dame Vera Lynn) and Noel Coward’s “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart.” Two songs on the album, “London by Night” and “If I Had You,” marked the third time Sinatra had recorded them, in each case previously at both Columbia and Capitol Records, but Farnon’s orchestrations may well stand the test of time as the definitive ones. The London box adds the previously-released outtake “Roses of Picardy” as well as spoken radio introductions to each of the original ten songs by Sinatra.

The second CD features never-before-released outtake versions of six of the Great Britain songs plus Sinatra’s earlier, 1953 BBC recordings of “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Day In-Day Out” and “London by Night,” which he revisited a decade later on Great Songs from Great Britain. The third CD features Sinatra’s September 21, 1984 concert at Royal Albert Hall in which he brought “New York, New York” and “L.A. Is My Lady,” among many others, to London. The DVD has two earlier concerts from Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank of the Thames. The 1962 show, conducted by Sinatra’s longtime pianist Bill Miller, has a staggering 33 tracks including a couple of introductions and two tracks of bows; the second, a television broadcast from 1970 which has previously been available on DVD, has thirteen songs including one more Great Song from Great Britain – George Harrison’s “Something.”  (As noted above, “A Foggy Day” from this concert special is new to DVD.)

What else will you find on this set?  Hit the jump for more, including the complete track listing!

Sinatra - London CoverThe box set includes a 60-page booklet with liner notes from author Ken Barnes, who attended the Great Songs From Great Britain sessions, plus the album’s original liner notes, newly-written track annotations, details about Sinatra’s many visits to the U.K., and several photos of Sinatra in London: onstage, in the studio, and around the city. The collection also boasts two exclusive art print reproductions of original London concert posters, and a studio panorama from the 1962 recording sessions for Great Songs From Great Britain.

This treasure trove for fans of the great man arrives on November 25 from Frank Sinatra Enterprises and Universal Music Enterprises, and promises to kick off Sinatra’s centennial year of 2015. You can peruse the track listing below; we will update with pre-order links as soon as they become available!

Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: London (FSE/UMe, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1: Great Songs from Great Britain / BBC Light Programme track introductions

  1. The Very Thought Of You
  2. We’ll Gather Lilacs
  3. If I Had You
  4. Now is the Hour
  5. The Gypsy
  6. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
  7. A Garden in the Rain
  8. London by Night
  9. We’ll Meet Again
  10. I’ll Follow My Secret Heart
  11. Roses of Picardy
  12. BBC Light Programme Introduction
  13. Sinatra on “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”
  14. Sinatra on “The Gypsy”
  15. Sinatra on “We’ll Meet Again”
  16. Sinatra on “A Garden in the Rain”
  17. Sinatra on “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart”
  18. Sinatra on “The Very Thought Of You”
  19. Sinatra on “If I Had You”
  20. Sinatra on “We’ll Gather Lilacs”
  21. Sinatra on “Now is the Hour”
  22. Sinatra on “London by Night”
  23. End Credit

Tracks 1-10 from Great Songs from Great Britain, Reprise FS 1006, 1962
Track 11 included on Great Songs from Great Britain, Reprise CD 45219-2
Tracks 12-23 previously unreleased

CD 2:

  1. The Very Thought of You
  2. A Garden in the Rain
  3. London by Night
  4. The Gypsy
  5. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
  6. We’ll Meet Again
  7. I’ve Got the World on a String
  8. Day In, Day Out
  9. London by Night

Tracks 1-6 are previously unreleased outtakes/alternates from Great Songs from Great Britain, rec. 1962
Tracks 7-9 are previously unreleased from BBC Show Band Show, transmitted July 16, 1953

CD 3: Live at Royal Albert Hall, September 21, 1984 (conducted by Joe Parnello)

  1. Fly Me To The Moon
  2. The Lady Is A Tramp
  3. Come Rain Or Come Shine
  4. This Is All I Ask
  5. L.A. Is My Lady
  6. Pennies From Heaven
  7. Monologue
  8. Luck Be A Lady
  9. My Way
  10. Here’s To The Band
  11. These Foolish Things
  12. Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry
  13. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
  14. New York, New York
  15. Strangers In The Night
  16. Mack The Knife
  17. Bows: You Are There

DVD: Live at Royal Festival Hall, June 1, 1962 (conducted by Bill Miller)

  1. Introduction
  2. Goody, Goody
  3. Imagination
  4. At Long Last Love
  5. Moonlight In Vermont
  6. Without A Song
  7. Day In, Day Out
  8. The Moon Was Yellow
  9. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  10. I Get A Kick Out of You
  11. The Second Time Around
  12. Too Marvelous For Words
  13. My Funny Valentine
  14. In The Still of the Night
  15. My Blue Heaven
  16. April In Paris
  17. You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You
  18. Monologue and Band Introductions
  19. They Can’t Take That Away From Me
  20. All The Way
  21. Chicago
  22. Night and Day
  23. Autumn Leaves
  24. I Could Have Danced All Night
  25. One For My Baby
  26. A Foggy Day
  27. The Lady is a Tramp
  28. Bows
  29. Ol’ Man River
  30. You Make Me Feel So Young
  31. Nancy
  32. Come Fly With Me
  33. Bows

Live at Royal Festival Hall, London, England (November 16, 1970, recorded for ‘Night Of Nights’ on BBC TV and first broadcast on November 22, 1970, conducted by Bill Miller)

  1. You Make Me Feel So Young
  2. Pennies From Heaven
  3. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
  4. Something
  5. The Lady is a Tramp
  6. I Get Along Without You Very Well
  7. Didn’t We?
  8. One For My Baby
  9. A Foggy Day (previously unreleased bonus performance)
  10. I Will Drink the Wine
  11. I Have Dreamed
  12. My Kind of Town
  13. My Way

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2014 at 12:04

4 Responses

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  1. Will Great Songs from Great Britain be released on its own as well?


    September 27, 2014 at 19:47

    • There’s no word yet about an individual release, Scott. But I hope we’ll be having a lot to read about next year for the Sinatra centennial.

      Joe Marchese

      September 29, 2014 at 10:15

  2. The SInatra community has been crying out for a decent reissue programme ala Elvis, Miles, Dylan etc. Instead, for the last decade plus there has been an endless treadmill of compilations – all slightly different, remastered or with one ‘unreleased’ track as a draw.

    There is a wealth of genuinely unreleased tracks as anyone with even a passing knowledge of Sinatra private recordings can testify. It would be great if these saw the light of day: the Sinatra only vocals of the ‘Duets’ albums, his last sessions with Nelson Riddle for the ‘Here’s to the Ladies’ album, the ‘Man and his Music’ 1960s TV specials and loads more.

    Here is a TIP TO THE SINATRA ESTATE; the Elvis, Miles and Dylan reissue programmes have brought a whole swathe of new audiences to these artists; so far the Sinatra estate have lost out not doing this for Frank; 2015 is a major and perhaps last opportunity for them to do this. I sincerely hope they dont mess it up.

    Gerry Hassan

    September 29, 2014 at 14:03

    • Sinatra Enterprises will indeed mess up, as they have with their latest remaster projects which sound terrible.


      October 12, 2014 at 11:15

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