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Frank Sinatra Collection, The (DVD Review)

9 Oct, 2017 By: John Latchem

Eagle Rock
$9.99 each
Not rated.

Fans of music or entertainment in general should be extremely interested in this series of concert films and music specials centered on Frank Sinatra, who is undoubtedly on the shortlist of the most influential acts of the past century.

The DVDs cover two collections each, filled with dozens of his signature songs and then some, many of which reappear in different shows across the decades.

The Royal Festival Hall (1962)/Live at Carnegie Hall

The Royal Festival Hall show from 1962 featured Frank performing in London for a crowd that included members of the royal family, during a tour to raise money for children’s charities. The show was filmed in black and white.

The Carnegie Hall show showcases Sinatra with a full orchestra and features many songs from the Trilogy album that had been recently released.

Live From Caesars Palace/The First 40 Years

The Sinatra style is synonymous with Las Vegas, and this disc presents two shows filmed in the late 1970s. In the first, Sinatra performs a concert at Caesars Palace in 1978, but the show actually kicks off with Sinatra backstage preparing for his introduction as the opening act is heard in the background.

The First 40 Years is something of a variety show tribute to Frank, recorded in 1979 to commemorate his show business beginnings in 1939. The guest cast is an impressive who’s who of mid-century talent, including Monte Hall and a great performance from Don Rickles, both of whom recently passed away. You also get Sammy Davis Jr., Lucille Ball, Dean Martin, Rich Little and many more.

Portrait of an Album/Sinatra Sings

This pair of shows aren’t concert films, but TV specials showcasing Sinatra’s legacy. Portrait of an Album follows Sinatra in 1984 filming his L.A. Is My Lady album, interspersing full performances with interviews with producer Quincy Jones and other collaborators. Plus, Michael Jackson shows up for a visit of immense important to music history. “L.A. Is My Lady” was something of Frank’s tribute to Los Angeles in the way his renditions of “Theme From New York, New York” honors New York and “My Kind of Town” honors Chicago. But while those songs have become anthems for their cities, Sinatra’s L.A. song was never able to displace Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” as the town’s signature tune.

Sinatra Sings is a 2011 retrospective tribute narrated by Nancy Sinatra, presenting clips from her father’s performance on television over the years.

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