Cole Porter

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Anything Goes – Sinatra and Bennett

By | March 20th, 2015|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , |

Anything Goes is a Cole Porter classic, and has been performed by various singers since 1934. The information on the song Anything Goes is out of scope of this post, as I would like to compare Frank Sinatra´s Anything Goes to Tony Bennett´s Anything Goes.

Frank Sinatra´s attempt on Anything Goes is clearly spectacular. The phrasing and appropriate stresses on words show that Frank Sinatra is in complete control of the song.

It is also buttery smooth and continuous, which also requires a long breath. For example, the following lines

The world has gone mad today, and good´s bad today
And black´s white today, and day´s night today
When most guys today that women prize today

are all sang without taking a breath, while maintaining the very high control and performance.

When we look at Tony Bennett´s version of Anything Goes from his early years, we see that he can handle the same continuity like Sinatra, but without any style. This is just straightforward singing.

To be honest, it is actually surprising that Tony Bennett follows the melody because in certain cases, and I know this sounds brutal, Tony Bennett just does not follow the notes and simply reads the lyrics like it is not a song.

And lastly, let´s take a look at Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga´s take on Anything Goes.

Now I am aware that Tony Bennett is old, but what is this really? This is too fast for him. He is just trying to keep up with the tempo and reads the lyrics. No style, no control, which result in a weak delivery. I also must say Lady Gaga´s voice is a bad choice for Anything Goes.

But I don´t think anybody cares. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga´s Duet album (Cheek to Cheek) is not an artistic album, it is a bridge between old and new generation, with very good marketing, just like Frank Sinatra´s Duet albums. At least Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga were in the same room when singing Anything Goes along with the other songs, still a terrible version, just like the other songs in the album.

Tony Bennett Lady Gaga Anything Goes

This post was a bit of Anything Goes and more of my opinion on Tony Bennett and his current and old performances. I will write another post solely about Tony Bennett and his, in my opinion, wrong direction; because I think it is an interesting topic. Tony Bennett is one of the few alive singers of Sinatra era, along with Vic Damone, and although Bennett has some very good songs, he also simply killed a good amount songs, which is surprising for a singer of his caliber.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

By | August 11th, 2011|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here’s a truly masterpiece, an awesome jazz piece, I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Written in 1936 by Cole Porter, it was not perfect till Nelson Riddle’s rearranged this song. Sinatra included this song in his album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers (1956), and it was a huge hit. From then on, I’ve Got You Under My Skin was to be a song he would sing all his life.

I've Got You Under My Skin Frank Sinatra

“…It took twenty-two takes of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” to satisfy the singer. Sublimely erotic, this recording is the turning point in the Sinatra-Riddle epoch, the pivot on which all future Sinatra efforts would hinge. Ironically, it almost never came to pass, as it was added to the list of tunes for the Songs for Singin’ Lovers album shortly before the session at which it was recorded. In the forty-plus years since its waxing, the recording has become one of the most studied and admired Sinatra performances of all time…” [Sessions With Sinatra]

Frank Sinatra was to re-perform I’ve Got You Under My Skin in 2 other albums later, in Sinatra’s Sinatra (1963) and Duets (1993) with U2’s soloist bono. Except the version with Bono, in which Bono can be considered as having ruined the song, it is very hard to find a bad version of this song. Mr. Sinatra included I’ve Got You Under My Skin in his concerts great many times, making it hard to count. And every time, he was legendary. The orchestration is very rich and highly enjoyable with a trombone solo, and Sinatra’s shouting “Don’t you know you fool, you never can win”, and stopping at a point and re-singing the chorus starting with “I would sacrifice anything…” makes it perfect.

What did Frank Sinatra say about I’ve Got You Under My Skin?

Here’s something that I don’t like leaving out because it’s a classic. And its arrangement is a classic.( 1976-05-10 Grand Ol’ Opry)

This is a Cole Porter Song. Great Song (Sinatra ’57 In Concert)

Nelson Riddle’s most identifiable orchestration I believe this would be. It’s bigger in Japan than it is here. (?,?)

Oh, here’s something we can’t leave out when we do a performance. Cole Porter’s shining hour and Nelson Riddle’s, at his best. (Main Event)

Ah! Here’s an old chestnut we can never leave out of program because people I think, sometimes we get letters say why didn’t you do it or you didn’t sing that song. This is a Cole Porter and Nelson Riddle’s wonderful orchestration, the song you know well. (Dublin, 1991)

Nelson Riddle and Cole Porter, something we never leave out. (Caesar’s Palace, 1975)

Ah, here’s a beauty. (?, 1973)

This is one of the best of Mr. Cole Porter and Mr. Nelson Riddle’s arrangements. (White House, 1973)

Cole Porter, My Way of Nelson Riddle (Royal Festival Hall, 1971)

Cole Porter and Nelson Riddle, this is a must! You don’t do this, you get hate letters. (1980-07-07 Universal Amphitheater)

 

Here’s a wonderful version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin from A Man and His Music.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin might not be as widely known as My Way, Strangers In The Night or New York New York, but surely it is known by almost everyone that knows Frank Sinatra, and I might add this is one of his greatest songs of all times.