Sammy Davis, Jr.

I've Gotta Be Me: The Best of Sammy Davis, Jr. on Reprise

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I've Gotta Be Me: The Best of Sammy Davis, Jr. on Reprise is a thorough 15-track retrospective of Davis' '60s recordings for Reprise, featuring the bulk of his hit singles -- including "What Kind of Fool Am I," "As Long as She Needs Me," "The Shelter of Your Arms," and "I've Gotta Be Me" -- plus album tracks that illustrate Davis' depth as a singer. The album is assembled as an argument for Davis' skills as a vocalist and entertainer, shunning many of his lighter numbers for show tunes and interpretations of '60s professional songwriters. The gambit works, since I've Gotta Be Me not only showcases Davis' immense vocal talent, but also the variety of his '60s recordings. Though these sometimes exhibit a glossy Vegas sheen, they are more varied and intriguing than his later work, while they demonstrate a versatility that his earlier Decca work only hinted at. In short, I've Gotta Be Me captures much of the essence of Sammy Davis, Jr.

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