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Duets:An American Classic

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 26 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music
  • ASIN: B000H0MKGU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,473 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Lullaby Of Broadway Bennett-Tony duet with Dixie Chicks
2. Smile Bennett-Tony, duet with Barbra Streisand
3. Put On A Happy Face- Tony Bennett duet with James Taylor
4. The Very Thought Of You- Tony Bennett duet with Paul McCartney
5. The Shadow Of Your Smile- Tony Bennett duet with Juanes
6. Rags To Riches- Tony Bennett duet with Elton John
7. The Good Life Bennett- Tony, duet with Billy Joel
8. Cold, Cold Heart Bennett- Tony, with Tim McGraw
9. If I Ruled The World Bennett- Tony, duet with Celine Dion
10. The Best Is Yet To Come- Tony Bennett duet with Diana Krall
11. For Once In My Life- Tony Bennett duet with Stevie Wonder
12. Are You Havin' Any Fun?- Tony Bennett duet with Elvis Costello
13. Because Of You- Tony Bennett & k.d. lang
14. Just In Time Bennett- Tony duet with Michael Bublé
15. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams- Tony Bennett duet with Sting
16. I Wanna Be Around...- Tony Bennett duet with Bono
17. Sing You Sinners- Tony Bennett duet with John Legend
18. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
19. How Do You Keep The Music Playing?- Tony Bennett,duet with George Michael

Product Description

In celebration of his 80th birthday, Tony Bennett performs 18 of his hits and favorite numbers with famous duet partners including Sting, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, and Tim McGraw -- all live in the studio with the master.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The sound is simple, fun, classy and classical. The CD sounds great! The perfect mix of music and vocals. The band is basically the piano, bass, drums and guitar (Because of You features Chris Botti on the trumpet with k.d. lang). The music is never overpowering, thus allowing the singers to exhibit their vocal talents. The music is crisp & clean and the voices are clean and crystal clear. This cd is remenicent of the great American Oldies with a twist of present day fun with present day artists (some may like it and others may not). Style may not be suitable for the masses. Listening to the CD in peace and quiet with your eyes closed can teleport you to a state of levitation. I can actually picture myself dancing amongst the clouds. My favorite song would have to be Lullaby of Broadway with Dixie Chicks. The voices of Barbra Steisand, Stevie Wonder and Michael Buble are outstanding.
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Format: Audio CD
The star-studded duets album has become a rite of passage, though often, as in Ray Charles's case, an emptily sentimental one, if not a mere Christmas marketed cash-in project.

Alas, Tony Bennett isn't the first to travel down the rocky duets path and he certainly won't be the last.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with like-minded artists getting together and indulging in an extracurricular jam sessions, but that doesn't mean that the results should be inflicted on the world at large. Rare is the occasion when such pairings are based on any consideration of style or legacy.

Frank Sinatra's 1993 "Duets" album, featuring collaborations with Gloria Estefan, Bono and Kenny G, was one of the low points of his career, made particularly excruciating by the ultra-slick production and the fact that the guest singers sang along to tapes of existing Sinatra performances.

Ray Charles's final album, "Genius Loves Company", featuring, among others, Norah Jones,the ubiquitous Elton John, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and and Willie Nelson, may have flown off the shelves in the wake of the great man's death but it was hardly the elegant swansong that critics and long-standing fans had in mind.

Tony Bennett is too seasoned to make that mistake.

Though he rounds up the usual suspects ( Elton John, Sting, Bono, Elvis Costello, Diana Krall ), Old Big Tony remains in charge.

At 80, his chords aren't so nimble, but his phrasing and reading of the orchestra are effortless. Surprisingly, it's George Michael who comes closest to matching him here. For his signature song " I Left My Heart In San Francisco" : the piano becomes Bennett's partner for a wintry but eloquent swansong.
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Format: Audio CD
There's little more dispiriting than the sound of ageing stars frantically chasing after their lost youth. This autumn sees the release of Tony Bennett's "Duets: An American Classic", in which the octogenarian crooner revisits his signature hits alongside a raft of younger artists, from Bono ("I Wanna Be Around") and Sting ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams") to John Legend ("Sing You Sinners") and the Dixie Chicks ("Lullaby of Broadway").

There's no disputing that Bennett, whose career spans five decades, boasts a fine body of work. It's also fair to say that his golden years are now behind him, which makes it all the more distressing that, to mark his 80th birthday, he should see fit to pair up with a series of young pups and bask in their leather-clad glory. Surely a party and a birthday cake would have been more than adequate.

This isn't the first time that Bennett has played the duets card. His last release, "A Wonderful World", a collection of songs associated with Louis Armstrong, was recorded with kd lang. Given that lang and Bennett are both gifted interpreters with pseudo-operatic voices, it made perfect sense and was widely praised.

By contrast, "Duets: An American Classic" smacks of an artist who longs to stay musically relevant. On paper, at least, it's an album that belongs to that dubious Grammy-grabbing genre in which pop and rock royalty put on a glitzy show of mateyness while conspicuously failing to push the envelope.

At 80, Bennett justly qualifies as "An American Classic." And he sounds like one on this starry duets set on which he's teamed with the so called SERIAL COLLABORATORS... a new generation of musicians, who have all but abandoned their own musical endeavours in favour of hitching a ride on those of older musicians..
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was never really a big fan of Tony Bennett but, nevertheless I thought that I might enjoy his two CD's titled Duet and Duet II! Well, was I ever surprised at the quality and the content of both CD's - great songs, great music and sound! Bennett's voice combined and intermingled with such famous and talented singers like Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Bono, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Faith Hill, Lady Gaga, Willie Nelson and others makes these CD's a must for all that enjoy quality music! I strongly recommend both Duet CD's and I am truly glad that I purchased them both!
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Format: Audio CD
If you make it to 80, some companies give you a gold watch. Record companies prod you into recording a ''duets'' album with pop stars young enough to call you "grandpa".

Tony Bennett's old-age pension CD is much less embarrassing than Frank Sinatra's post-70 Duets projects a decade ago. For starters, the ever-classy Bennett insisted on recording in the same studio with his "partners", even if it meant traveling to wherever they were across the globe.

This makes "Duets: An American Classic" better than similar projects even though it's no ''American Classic.'' (No problem -- Bennett's catalog is graced with plenty of American classics: "Cloud 7", "Perfectly Frank" and "Hot & Cool: Bennett Sings Ellington", to name just three).

On "Duets", there is noticeable interplay between the guests and Bennett -- sounding a bit huskier but still a singer's singer and endlessly charismatic.

He and Barbra Streisand sound comfy and flirtatious on the oft-recorded "Smile" and Bennett and James Taylor get into the playful spirit of "Put on a Happy Face".

Country star Tim McGraw is the big surprise -- not only that he's here, but that he sounds unrecognizable (and not half-bad) crooning Hank Williams' ballad "Cold, Cold Heart".

Naturally, a lot of this feels awkward. Paul McCartney sounds stiff and self-conscious on "The Very Thought of You". Juanes doesn't sound right on "The Shadow of Your Smile", either.The Dixie Chicks are largely wasted on "Lullaby of Broadway".

And Ms. Dion is over-the-top, as always, on "If I Ruled The World".

Perhaps if the arrangements and song selection weren't so slavishly locked into the Great American Songbook way of doing things, "Duets" would be of more interest.

3 *** just for my huge respect for Mr. Bennett.
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