Frank Sinatra: The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings
Massive Frank Sinatra box set, with a cover of the Robbie Robertson/ Neil Diamond song "Dry Your Eyes," orginally from Diamond's Robbie-produced album Beautiful Noise.
Originally encased in a small, leather-bound trunk and comprising a grand total of 20 discs, Frank Sinatra's The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings is easily the most lavish box set ever assembled. In addition to the 20 compact discs, the set comes with an hardcover book containing insightful essays by respected Sinatra scholars like Will Friedwald. Sinatra founded Reprise Records in 1961, and he continued to record for his label over the next two decades, completing nearly 500 songs. By and large, the recordings are sequenced according to session order; the only exception are concept albums like September of My Years or the "Future" section of the triple album Trilogy. (Strangely, the song cycle Watertown, which tells a story with its songs, is presented out of order.) Frequently, the sequencing of the original studio albums is more effective than the set's strict chronological presentation, but that's not to say there aren't immense rewards in any one of these long discs. Throughout the set, Sinatra comes to grips with rock and contemporary pop songwriting, as well as arrangements that had more in common with soft rock and easy-listening pop. While the quality of his voice does decline during the two decades documented on the box set, much of the music is compelling; although they might not match the consistently brilliant efforts on Columbia and Capitol, the Reprise recordings are rich in variety and drama. The chronological sequencing is effective in portraying Sinatra's evolution, even if the presentation is a bit academic and intimidating for some listeners. For listeners willing to spend $500 on a box set, The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings will be endlessly enjoyable and fascinating. [Originally released in 1995, the box was reissued in a simpler cardboard format several years later.]
Frank Sinatra - The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings - 1995 - 20 CD set - Warner Brothers 46013