Tony Bennett

The Essential Tony Bennett [Columbia/Legacy]

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Like most entries in Sony/Legacy's Essential series, 2002's The Essential Tony Bennett is an excellent, exhaustive retrospective of a lengthy, hit-filled career at Columbia. Although Bennett spent time at other labels -- particularly in the '70s -- he made his best-known and greatest recordings for Columbia, from the late '50s through the '90s, which is what provides the bulk of the material here. Though this skips through the '70s material, it does provide what amounts to Bennett at his best, whether it's on "Rags to Riches" and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" in the '60s, or on latter-day classics like "Steppin' out with My Baby." Bennett surely recorded more great material than can fit on a two-disc, 40-track collection, but this contains the cream of the crop and it's hard to imagine a collection like this being executed better than this.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Tony Bennett 02:58 Amazon
2 Tony Bennett 02:39 Amazon
3 Tony Bennett feat: Percy Faith & His Orchestra 03:01 Amazon
4 Tony Bennett 02:49 Amazon
5 Tony Bennett feat: The Ray Charles Singers 03:06 Amazon
6 Tony Bennett 02:16 Amazon
7 Tony Bennett 02:31
8 Tony Bennett 02:34
9 Tony Bennett feat: Firefly 03:23
10 Tony Bennett 02:46 Amazon
11 Tony Bennett feat: Count Basie 01:38
12 Tony Bennett 02:38
13 Tony Bennett 02:34 Amazon
14 Tony Bennett 02:40
15 Tony Bennett 02:58 Amazon
16 Tony Bennett 02:51
17 Tony Bennett 02:11
18 Tony Bennett 02:15
19 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 03:15 Amazon
20 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 03:07
21 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 02:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 02:55
2 Tony Bennett feat: The Will Bronson Chorus 03:01
3 Tony Bennett feat: The Will Bronson Chorus / The Ralph Sharon Trio 04:11
4 Tony Bennett 03:38
5 Tony Bennett 03:33
6 Tony Bennett feat: Bobby Hackett 04:32
7 Tony Bennett 03:23
8 Tony Bennett 03:41
9 Tony Bennett 03:17
10 Tony Bennett 03:28
11 Tony Bennett feat: The U.K. Orchestra Ltd. / The Ralph Sharon Trio 04:20
12 Tony Bennett feat: The U.K. Orchestra Ltd. / The Ralph Sharon Trio 02:58
13 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 03:35
14 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 02:27
15 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 02:54
16 Tony Bennett feat: The Ralph Sharon Trio 03:06
17 Tony Bennett 04:34
18 Tony Bennett feat: k.d. lang 03:51
blue highlight denotes track pick