Nat “King” Cole – The Greatest Hits {Capitol}[DCC]


Review by William Ruhlmann (allmusic.com)

For all the resurgence in interest in Nat King Cole since 1991, when his daughter Natalie recorded a duet patching her new vocal with his from 40 years earlier and scored a gold-selling hit, Capitol Records lacked a single-disc hits collection that covered Cole’s most successful singles for the label. This 22-track, 62-plus minute CD/cassette collection does the trick. Cole scored 21 Top Ten hits between 1944 and 1963, and 19 of them are here, from “Straighten Up and Fly Right” to “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer.” The only ones missing are seasonal hits, “The Christmas Song” and “Frosty the Snow Man.” In their places, you get the original and later versions of “Unforgettable” (neither of which, as it happens, quite made the Top Ten). You also get Cole’s four number one songs, “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,” and “Too Young,” along with such memorable tunes as “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,” “Smile,” and “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66.” The non-chronological sequencing emphasizes the stylistic and qualitative consistency of Cole’s work; it doesn’t much matter if you juxtapose a song recorded in the ’40s (“Nature Boy”) against one recorded in the ’60s (“Ramblin’ Rose”), because you still get the same warmth and assurance in Cole’s singing and the same tastefulness in the arrangements. One might have hoped for more in the way of packaging (there are no liner notes), but this is the single album to buy to hear Nat King Cole’s best-known vocal performances.

Tracks:
01 – Unforgettable
02 – (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
03 – Orange Colored Sky
04 – Mona Lisa
05 – Walkin’ My Baby Back Home
06 – Straighten Up and Fly Right
07 – Send for Me
08 – Looking Back
09 – You Call it Madness (But I Call it Love)
10 – (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
11 – Nature Boy
12 – Ramblin’ Rose
13 – Pretend
14 – Too Young
15 – Somewhere Along the Way
16 – Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
17 – Smile
18 – Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
19 – Answer Me, My Love
20 – A Blossom Fell
21 – If I May
22 – Unforgettable (Duet with Natalie Cole)

Personnel:
Nat “King” Cole – vocals, piano (with collective personnel)

This compilation, 1998.

Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork

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