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Guide to getting started in the art of Sinatra.
Chapter: Essential collection boxsets.

By Mahnuel Muñoz

Frank Sinatra’s discography is truly extensive and complex for the neophyte to follow, due to its scope and variety. Sinatra’s musical career spanned sixty years of incessant studio and live work, with four record labels and offering a very high overall quality. When someone approaches his music for the first time, the feeling is overwhelming. Is a compilation with “My Way”, “Strangers In The Night”, “New York, New York” and the rest of the commercial super hits enough? And if it’s not enough, what to have? Where to start? Calm. You will see that it is not that big of a deal, and that it will be very difficult for you to make a mistake.

I clarify that in this first selection I am going to include only compilation boxes from official record companies. In subsequent posts I will talk about very interesting releases, in different, more concise formats, both official and from other labels.

•Everything in one album?

“The Ultimate Sinatra”, (Capitol / Universal, 2015) is a quadruple compact disc that for the first time brings together material from all of his stages. Be careful, there are 1 and 2 CD editions that are not so interesting!
More than a hundred songs recorded between 1939 and 1979 with the great classics that everyone expects and desires, and other lesser-known songs but worth enjoying. It is presented in a fold-out format with an informative booklet, and as a cherry on top it includes an unpublished song. Ideal for those who do not want to complicate their lives and have a little bit of everything.

•Early Years and Columbia Records (1939-1952)

Ladies and gentlemen, the first Frankie is essential to understanding and enjoying the Sinatra Experience in its entirety.
“A Voice In Time”, from Sony Music (2007) is an excellent compilation that is made up of four compacts with 80 cuts from the period 1939-1952, that is, his years with Harry James, Tommy Dorsey and his first decade as a soloist, Packaged with love and with a magnificent booklet full of photos and information.

•Capitol Records (1953-1962)

The “Concept Albums” box includes fourteen albums from the most iconic era of The Voice, which does not need any comment, but rather the listener dives without float into the music that made Frank Sinatra eternal. Although some titles are missing, the content takes your breath away. Warning: you will be left wanting much more.

•Reprise Records (1960-1988)

“The Reprise Collection” (1990)

Generous collection of four albums and seventy-five songs from Sinatra’s longest and most eclectic period, which has nothing to envy of the Capitol decade, but whose artistic merits have been partially overshadowed by its commercial impact.

•Musical Cinema

The Reprise / TCM box set “Frank Sinatra In Hollywood 1940-1964” (2002) includes The Voice’s entire work for his films, as well as commissions for other films. 182 tracks on 6 compact discs loaded with magnificent little-known music and a generous informative book, in an impeccable presentation.

•The Voice In Concert

There are numerous volumes that collect live recordings of Frank Sinatra. To start, I suggest the box set “Sinatra: Vegas” published in 2006 by Reprise, which includes four CDs and a DVD with shows in the city of gambling between 1961 and 1987, as well as a beautiful booklet and several facsimiles.

•Tuning in to Sinatra

“A Voice On Air 1939-1955”, published by Sony in 2015, brings together on four albums more than a hundred songs performed on the radio by Frank over a period of sixteen years. Many unreleased songs and curious versions of classics, an elegant and complete informative booklet and surprising sound quality.

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