Can there really be a definitive album from a singer whose voice is one of the most immediately recognized and internationally cherished, and whose command of songs is akin to the manner in which an able-bodied masseuse handles delicate muscle tissues? If so, then I Left My Heart In San Francisco is that record, the 1962 effort was a turning point for the great Tony Bennett and an all-time pop standard. Winner of two Grammy Awards, the record contains Bennettâ€™s signature track as well as eleven other indelible classics.
Half-speed mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelityâ€™s numbered edition 180g LP presents Bennett in the finest sound heâ€™s ever enjoyed. Amazingly, this landmark recording has lavished in the vaults over the years and longed for the restoration that meticulous engineering can bring. Gone is the veiled haze that hung over the orchestrations, artificial ceiling that held back the highs, and cloudiness that obscured the entire range of Bennettâ€™s vocals. Previously unheard levels of warmth, expressiveness, and detailing are just some of the hallmarks of this terrific audiophile delight.
At the time of the albumâ€™s sessions, Bennett found himself caught between the need to sing thin uptempo numbers in order to appease the marketplace and the desire to move beyond the jazzier material he tackled in the late 50s. Unwilling to compromise his will to sing ballads and swing, Bennett, along with producer Ernest Altschuler and arranger/pianist Ralph Sharon, found the perfect combination on I Left My Heart In San Francisco, replete with expansive orchestration, period echo, anthemic ballads, and lush pop arrangements that still leave plenty of room for intimacy and delicacy.
Thereâ€™s little left to say about the timeless title track, amidst the most definitive songs ever recorded. Similarly, the closing â€œThe Best Is Yet to Comeâ€ ranks equally high, with Bennettâ€™s rendition coming a full two years before Frank Sinatraâ€™s version. Itâ€™s no wonder why The Voice deemed Bennett his favorite singer. The proof is everywhere, whether on the brassy â€œRules of the Road,â€ big-band bossa nova send-up of Cole Porterâ€™s â€œLove for Sale,â€ tender â€œHave I Told You Lately?,â€ or the white-gloves treatment of the Broadway tune â€œOnce Upon a Time.â€ Bennettâ€™s charismatic personality and refined singing ring true throughout, his burnished baritone as clear as spring water.
Now, hear this triumphant performance as if Bennett is singing to you on a private stage. Witness every breath, and experience the thrill of the singer holding a note for what seems like eternity on â€œIâ€™m Always Chasing Rainbowsâ€ without flinching. Seldom, if ever, has a vocalistâ€™s singing sounded so effortlessly natural and innate. Mobile Fidelityâ€™s 180g LP is simply unmatched in terms of sonics, spaciousness, and sensation.
One of the five-best vocal albums ever made. Order your collectorâ€™s copy today!
Tony Bennett I Left My Heart In San Francisco Track Listing:
1. "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" (George Cory, Douglass Cross) â€“ 2:54
2. "Once Upon a Time" (Charles Strouse, Lee Adams) â€“ 3:02
3. "Tender Is the Night" (Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster) â€“ 2:41
4. "Smile" (Charles Chaplin, Geoffrey Claremont Parsons, John Turner) â€“ 2:51
5. "Love for Sale" (Cole Porter) â€“ 3:10
6. "Taking a Chance on Love" (Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John Latouche) â€“ 1:56
7. "Candy Kisses" (George Morgan) â€“ 2:28
8. "Have I Told You Lately?" (Harold Rome) â€“ 2:41
9. "Rules of the Road" (Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh) â€“ 2:37
10. "Marry Young" (Coleman, Leigh) â€“ 2:22
11. "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (Harry Carroll, Joseph McCarthy) â€“ 2:43
12. "The Best Is Yet to Come" (Coleman, Leigh) â€“ 2:29