Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frank Sinatra. The US singer and movie actor Frank Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915.
Frank Sinatra became an American popular icon with a career that lasted over six decades. His singing career stands out as one of the most successful and legendary in popular music ever, but he also had a very successful career as an actor in many movies.
Above all we remember Frank Sinatra the singer today. In concerts and on recordings. The Sinatra discography stands out in popular music. The Sinatra discography is an essential part of 20th century popular music.
Throughout his career Frank Sinatra collaborated with many great singers, musicians and actors. In 1993, in the last stage of his career, Sinatra recorded a string of studio duets with such great artists as Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett and Liza Minnelli, just to mention a few.
These recording sessions resulted in the release of two Sinatra duets album: “Duets” was issued in 1993 and “Duets II” was issued in 1994, both on single CDs. Both albums stands out as classy classics even today. Or maybe even more so today than when they were first released.
As part of the Duets project Sinatra also recorded “My Way” with the great Luciano Pavarotti. This recording wasn’t included in neither of the two Duets albums, but in 1995 this recording was issued as a bonus track on the Sinatra live album “Sinatra 80th: Live in Concert” (1 CD).
This Sinatra-Pavarotti duet was also included as a bonus track on a release of both Duets albums in 2005 as “Duets and Duets II: 90th Birthday Limited Collector’s Edition“ (2 CDs). The Sinatra-Pavarotti version of “My Way” was only included on international pressings, and not on North American pressings, of this album.
In 2013 the Sinatra Duets project celebrated its 20th anniversary and the release of several Duets anniversary albums appeared. All of the following three versions includes the Sinatra-Pavarotti duet:
“Duets Twentieth Anniversary: Deluxe Edition” (2 CDs) included all duets from the two Duets albums, duets that weren’t included on the original Duets albums and previously unreleased duet recordings from the project.
“Best Of Duets“ (1 CD) was a compilation of highlights from the Duets project.
“Duets Twentieth Anniversary: Super Deluxe Box Set” (2 LPs, 3 CDs, 1 DVD) is for the die-hard fan and also includes a 20-page LP sized booklet and an embossed lithograph with envelope, all packed together in an elegant box.
The Sinatra-Pavarotti duet of “My Way” is also included on many Pavarotti compilations, such as “Pavarotti: The 50 Greatest Tracks” (2 CDs) which was also issued in 2013.
The Sinatra-Pavarotti duet of “My Way” is very popular among Pavarotti fans. This duet is easily available on the albums mentioned above and on other albums, on CD, download and streaming.
It seems that this duet is not available on YouTube. I therefore have included versions of “My Way” sung by Sinatra and Pavarotti (as part of The Three Tenors) separately. Look how Sinatra salutes The Three Tenors after their performance of the song! This video is taken from the The Three Tenors concert in Los Angeles in 1994.
Sinatra and Pavarotti did only perform together on stage a couple of times but they just recorded this duet together. One thing is certain: Sinatra and Pavarotti managed to take “My Way” to new heights!
Frank Sinatra died on May 14, 1998. In a statement Pavarotti said that Sinatra was “the Mozart of popular music”. He was indeed.
This post was first published 12-12-2015. Last revision 12-12-2015.