When reviewing a new album, I usually find some space in the first paragraph or two for a little background on the musician, just in case they’re new to the reader. Somehow I don’t think that’s necessary in this case, because I’m reviewing a new Capitol/EMI release titled Sinatra At The Movies, and I’d be very surprised if you didn’t already know a little bit about Francis Albert Sinatra. Released to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death, it’s part of a larger effort that includes a new US postage stamp, some TV play and even a special website.
It’s doubtful that any singer has ever approached the sheer volume of notable songs recorded by Sinatra in his long career, and there are an enormous assortment of collections available. An Amazon search returns over 1800 results, and included among them are just about every album theme that can be imagined. In fact, there are a number of previous releases featuring Ol’ Blue Eyes singing music from the movies so the question naturally arises, do we need another?
Well, this one does have a few things going for it. Coming from the record company that he partnered with for much of his career, the quality of the recordings is higher than you might find on some older albums from other sources. It’s also a large collection, with a total of twenty tracks.
Sinatra also appeared in most of the movies chosen, but that doesn’t seem to have played a major part in the producers’ choices here. Rather they seem to have attempted to provide a varied mix that includes well-known tunes along with a few surprises, and the result is a very nice collection.
A lot of fans will be happy to note the presence of old favorites such as “All The Way” and “Chicago” (from The Joker Is Wild), “Young At Heart” (from the film of the same name), and one of my favorites, “I Could Write A Book” (from Pal Joey). But they’ll also enjoy lesser-known pieces such as From Here To Eternity‘s haunting theme song, and “To Love And Be Loved” (from Some Came Running).
Other outstanding songs include “I Love Paris” (from Can-Can) and “High Hopes” (from A Hole In The Head), but there are many more fine tracks here and you can get a list complete with sound clips at the website or by following the Amazon link. Sinatra is in fine voice on every track, in full and confident control of his pipes. I’ve always felt that during the middle years of his singing career he was at his best, and there was nobody better. Highly recommended.