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Nat King Cole 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD)

1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD)
 
 
 

Artikel-Nr.: BCD16717

Gewicht in Kg: 3,000

 

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Nat King Cole: 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD)

In vielfacher Hinsicht waren die letzten fünf Jahre in Nat King Coles Karriere die erfolgreichsten und bedeutsamsten: Er behauptete sich gegen den rebellischen Rock 'n' Roll und andere Formen nicht-traditioneller Popmusik und stand auf dem absoluten Höhepunkt. Er verbuchte in jenen Jahren mehr Hits als je zuvor, und er schaffte es meisterlich, unmittelbar auf einzelne Hits komplette Bestseller-Alben folgen zu lassen. Zwischen 1960 und 1964 arbeitete Cole mit einem neuen, außergewöhnlichen musikalischen Leiter zusammen, Ralph Carmichael ' ferner schuf er einige seiner überragendsten Langspielplatten mit altgedienten Mitstreitern wie Billy May und Gordon Jenkins. Außerdem kam es zu wunderbaren, einmaligen Projekten wie etwa der Kooperation mit dem Pianisten George Shearing und zu Nat King Coles einziger offizieller Live-LP.

Die vorliegende, brandneue 11-CD-Box ist die erste Veröffentlichung sämtlicher Nat King Cole-Aufnahmen der letzten fünf Jahre seiner langen Karriere, insgesamt 292 Master. Die Box enthält die folgenden Alben, in vielen Fällen außerdem zusätzliches Material aus den entsprechenden Sessions: Nat King Coles einzige Live-LP 'Live At The Sands' (1960) ' einhellig als eines der besten Live-Alben aller Zeiten bezeichnet.
'Wild Is Love' ' Coles einziges Konzeptalbum inklusive des berühmten Titelsongs, zugleich seine letzte Zusammenarbeit mit dem bedeutenden Arrangeur Nelson Riddle (1960). 'The Magic Of Christmas' '
Nat King Coles einzige authentische Weihnachts-LP, eine Sammlung traditioneller Songs zum Fest; seine erstes Projekt mit dem großartigen Ralph Carmichael als musikalischem Leiter (1960). 'The Touch Of Your Lips' ' Eine von Nat King Coles schönsten Balladen-Sammlungen, mit aufwendigen Arrangements von Mr. Carmichael (1960). 'Nat King Cole Sings / George Shearing Plays' ' Eine weitere brillante Kollektion von Liebesliedern; Nat King Coles einzige Zusammenarbeit mit dem brillanten Jazz-Pianisten, abgerundet durch superbe Streicher-Arrangements von Ralph Carmichael. Enthält viele Extra-Tracks (1961). 'The Nat King Cole Story' ' Nat King Coles umfassendes autobiographisches Statement von 1961 mit Neueinspielungen seiner klassischen Hits aus den 40er und 50er Jahren, jetzt in vorzüglichem Stereo und mit den Original-Orchester-Parts (damals eine sorgfältig gestaltete Dreier-LP) ' dazu viele Extra-Titel. 'Let's Face The Music!' ' Nat King Coles letzte Zusammenarbeit mit seinem alten Weggefährten Billy May erwies sich als eine der am intensivsten swingenden LPs seiner Karriere; hier holte er nicht nur alles aus den 12 Songs heraus, sondern spielte zusätzlich fünf Soli auf einer elektrischen Orgel ' die einzigen seiner gesamten Karriere! Von 1961. 'More Cole Espanol' ' Nat King Coles letztes spanischsprachiges Album führte ihn nach Mexico City, musikalisch und textlich! Mit Ralph Carmichael (1962). 'Ramblin' Rose' ' Nat King Coles erster Super-Hit aus jenen Tagen, ein Country-Abräumer 'von zwei jüdischen Jungs aus Brooklyn', der zu einem seiner ewigen Bestseller wurde und den Boden für ein ähnlich erfolgreiches Album bereitete (1962). 'Dear Lonely Hearts' ' Nat King Coles zweites Country-Album. (1962). 'Where Did Everyone Go' ' Nat King Coles einzige LP mit Bar- und Einsamkeits-Songs im Stil von Frank Sinatras 'Only The Lonely'. Ein unterbewerteter Klassiker mit hochqualitativer Popmusik, überragend arrangiert von Gordon Jenkins und voller Cole-Highlights wie etwa dem Titelsong und dem unwiderstehlichen 'I Keep Going Back To Joe's' (1962). 'My Fair Lady' ' Nat King Coles wunderschöne (aber weniger bekannte) Gesamtaufnahme des weltberühmten Musicals von Alan Jay Lerner und Frederick Lowe aus dem Jahr 1956. Überragende Orchestrierung durch
Ralph Carmichael (1963). Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer  Einer der bedeutendsten Frühsechziger-Hits und gleichzeitig ein Song, der eine musikalische Epoche prägte und ein wunderbares Album nach sich zog ' 12 angenehm nostalgische Sommer-Lieder mit Nat King Cole, dem Carmichael-Orchester und großem Chor. Enthält That Sunday, That Summer, einen der schönsten späten Nat King Cole-Titel (1963). 'I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore' ' Nat King Coles letztes Country-Album (zugleich das modernste der drei), mit abgeklärten Arrangements von Ralph Carmichael sowie vielen Bonus-Titeln und Songs, die damals auf Singles erschienen sind (1964). L ' O ' V ' E Nat King Coles letzter Hit stammte von dem Deutschen Bert Kaempfert. Mit Ralph Carmichael schuf er um diesen Titel herum einen LP-Klassiker mit intensiv swingenden Liebesliedern im Stil eines Count Basie und mit europäischem Flair. Nat King Coles letztes Album präsentierte soviel guten Gesang und Swing wie nur wenige während seiner gesamten Karriere. Die Box enthält außerdem mehr als 40 Singles, von denen die meisten noch nie auf LP oder gar CD veröffentlicht wurden. Darunter sind unentdeckte, brillante Highlights wie zum Beispiel: Viele überragende Show-Songs, etwa Look No Further (von 'No Strings') und Magic Moment (von 'The Gay Life').

Nat King Coles kaum bekannte Reunion-Session von 1960 mit Stan Kenton und seinem Orchester. Nat King Coles einzige Zusammenarbeit mit dem Arrangeur Richard Wess, mit 'Cappuccina' als swingendem Ergebnis.
Die wunderbaren fremdsprachigen Versionen, die Nat King Cole von seinen Hits sang und die nicht einmal immer in den jeweiligen Ländern erhältlich waren!
Diverse überragende Film-Songs, zum Beispiel aus der Western-Kult-Komödie 'Cat Ballou'. Viele dieser Singles-Tracks waren in den vergangenen 40 Jahren nur mit nachträglich hinzugefügten Rhythmusspuren zu hören, auf dieser Box sind sie erstmals in ihrer ursprünglichen, unverfälschten Form zusammengestellt.

Das gebundene-Buch ist von gewohnter, außergewöhnlicher Bear-Family-Qualität: 184 Seiten, prall gefüllt mit Farbfotos aus dem Capitol-Archiv, einem umfangreichen, analysierenden Hintergrundtext des anerkannten Nat King Cole-Kenners Will Friedwald und mit einer Komplett-Discographie sowie einem Song-Index von Michel Ruppli, Jordan Taylor, Russell Wapensky & Richard Weize.

 

Songs

Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 1
1: Ballerina
2: Funny (Not Much)
3: The Continental
4: I Wish You Love
5: You Leave Me Breathles
6: Thou Swell
7: My Kinda Love
8: The Surrey With The Fringe On Top
9: Where Or When (instrumental)
10: Miss Otis Regrets (She's Unable To Lunch ...)
11: Joe Turner's Blues
12: Mr. Cole Won't Rock And Roll
13: Introduction
14: Wild Is Love
15: Wild Is Love
16: Hundreds And Thousands Of Girls
17: It's A Beautiful Evening
18: Tell Her In The Morning
19: Are You Disenchanted?
20: Pick-Up
21: Beggar For The Blues
22: World Of No Return
23: In Love Again
24: Stay With It
25: Wouldn't You Know
26: He Who Hesitates
27: Wild Is Love (reprise)
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 2
1: Steady
2: My Love-1
3: Magic Night
4: Is It Better To Have Loved And Lost?
5: Someone To Tell It Too
6: Baby Blue
7: When It's Summer
8: You Are Mine
9: Away In A Manger
10: I Saw Three Ships
11: Silent Night
12: The First Noel
13: Joy To The World
14: Deck The Halls
15: Hark The Herald Angels Sing
16: Adeste Fideles 1
17: Adeste Fideles 2
18: O Tannenbaum
19: A Cradle In Bethlehem
20: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
21: Caroling, Caroling/O Holy Night
22: O Little Town Of Bethlehem
23: The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)
24: Buon Natale Means (Merry Christmas To You)
25: The Happiest Christmas Tree
26: Toys For Tots (Marine Corps Release)
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 3
1: If I Knew
2: I Remember You
3: Sunday, Monday Or Always
4: A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
5: My Need For You
6: Poinciana
7: The Touch Of Your Lips
8: You're Mine, You!
9: Illusion
10: Funny (Not Much)
11: Not So Long Ago
12: Only Forever
13: Lights Out
14: It's Only A Paper Moon
15: Sweet Lorraine
16: (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
17: Straighten Up And Fly Right
18: (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
19: Embraceable You
20: Answer Me My Love
21: Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup
22: Smile
23: Pretend
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 4
1: The Sand And The Sea
2: A Blossom Fell
3: Nature Boy
4: Too Young
5: Somewhere Along The Way
6: Unforgettable
7: Mona Lisa
8: Send For Me
9: If I May-1
10: Looking Back
11: Goodnight Little Leaguer
12: Take A Fool's Advice
13: The First Baseball Game
14: Because You Love Me
15: Make It Last
16: Capuccina
17: Let True Love Begin (Let's Begin Again)
18: Let True Love Begin (Let's Begin Again) (with
19: chorus)
20: Love
21: I Heard You Cried Last Night
22: Orange Colored Sky
23: To The Ends Of The Earth
24: Non Dimenticar
25: Blue Gardenia
26: Night Lights
27: Calypso Blues
28: I Am In Love
29: Lush Life
30: Walkin' My Baby Back Home
31: Ballerina (Dance, Ballerina, Dance)
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 5
1: Ebony Rhapsody
2: Day In, Day Out
3: Too Little, Too Late
4: When My Sugar Walks Down The Street
5: Cold, Cold Heart
6: Let's Face The Music And Dance
7: Something Makes Me Want To Dance With You
8: I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself...
9: The Rules Of The Road
10: Warm And Willing
11: Bidin' My Time
12: Moon Love
13: Azure-Te
14: A Beautiful Friendship
15: Everything Happens To Me
16: Pick Yourself Up
17: September Song
18: Let There Be Love
19: I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good
20: Serenata
21: The Game Of Love
22: Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)
23: Guess I'll Go Back Home
24: I'm Lost
25: Don't Go
26: There's A Lull In My Life
27: Lost April
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 6
1: Step Right Up
2: Magic Moment
3: The Right Things To Say
4: Look No Further
5: La Feria De Las Flores
6: Guadalajara
7: La Golondrina (The Swallow)
8: Tres Palabras (Withut You)
9: Piel Canela
10: Solamente Una Vez (You Belong To My Heart)
11: Las Chiapanecas (While There's Music, ...)
12: Vaya Con Dios (May God Be With You)
13: Adios Mariquita Linda (Adios And Farewell...)
14: No Me Platiques
15: Aqui Se Habla En Amor (Love Is Spoken Here)
16: A Media Luz
17: Dear Lonely Hearts
18: Ramblin' Rose
19: Nothing Goes Up Without Coming Down
20: The Good Times
21: Who's Next In Line?
22: When You're Smiling
23: Wolverton Mountain
24: One Has My Name, The Other Has My Heart
25: Skip To My Lou
26: Sing Another Song (And We'll All Go Home)
27: Your Cheatin' Heart
28: Goodnight, Irene, Goodnight
29: I Don't Want It That Way
30: Twilight On The Trail
31: He'll Have To Go
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 7
1: Farewell To Arms
2: Happy New Year
3: When The World Was Young
4: Spring Is Here
5: No, I Don't Want Her
6: Say It Isn't So
7: Am I Blue?
8: Laughing On The Outside
9: I Keep Going Back To Joe's
10: The End Of A Love Affair
11: That's All There Is
12: Someone To Tell It To
13: If Love Ain't There
14: Where Did Everyone Go?
15: Miss You
16: Oh How I Miss You Tonight
17: All Over The World
18: Lonesome And Sorry
19: My First And Only Lover
20: Near You
21: Why Should I Cry Over You?
22: Yearning
23: All By Myself
24: It's A Lonesome Old Town
25: Misery Loves Company
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 8
1: In The Cool Of The Day
2: Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer
3: Felicia
4: You'll See
5: Mr. Wishing Well
6: On The Sidewalks Of New York
7: Get Out And Get Under The Moon
8: After The Ball Is Over
9: There Is A Tavern In The Town
10: On A Bicycle Built For Two
11: In The Good Old Summertime
12: That Sunday, That Summer
13: Our Old Home Town
14: Don't Forget
15: You Tell Me Your Dream
16: That's What They Meant
17: Wouldn't It Be Loverly?
18: I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
19: I Could Have Danced All Night
20: With A Little Bit Of Luck
21: You Did It
22: Show Me
23: I'm An Ordinary Man
24: Hymn To Him
25: Get Me To The Church On Time
26: The Rain In Spain
27: On The Street Where You Live
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 9
1: Silver Bird
2: My True Carrie Love
3: I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore
4: A Rag, A Bone, A Hank Of Hair
5: People
6: Let Me Tell You, Babe
7: Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes
8: You're Crying On My Shoulder
9: Was That The Human Thing To Do?
10: Only Yesterday
11: Road To Nowhere
12: Go, If You're Going
13: I'm Alone Because I Love You
14: Don't You Remember?
15: I'm All Cried Out
16: I Don't Want To See Tomorrow
17: You're My Everything
18: L-O-V-E
19: Wanderlust
20: Marnie
21: More And More Of Your Amore
22: The Ballad Of Cat Ballou
23: They Can't Make Her Cry
24: How I'd Love To Love You
25: Coquette (Little Coquette)
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 10
1: More
2: Your Love
3: My Kind Of Girl
4: Thanks To You
5: There's Love
6: Swiss Retreat
7: The Girl From Ipanema
8: Three Little Words
9: No Other Heart
10: Je Ne Repartirai Pas (french version)
11: Les Feuilles Mortes (french version)
12: Le Bonheur C'est Quand On S'aime (french)
13: Crois-Moi Ca Durera (french version)
14: Passing By (french version)
15: L-O-V-E (italian version)
16: Tu Sei Cosi Amabile (italian version)
17: Amor (spanish version)
18: Tu Eres Tan Amable (spanish version)
19: Muetterlein (german version)
20: L-O-V-E (german version)
21: I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore (japanese)
22: L-O-V-E (japanese version)
23: Kareha (japanese version)
Cole, Nat King - 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD) Box set 11
1: Magic Night
2: Is It Better To Have Loved And Lost?
3: Baby Blue
4: When It's Summer
5: You Are Mine
6: If I Knew
7: Looking Back
8: Take A Fool's Advice
9: Because You Love Me
10: Make It Last
11: Capuccina
12: Let True Love Begin (Let's Begin Again)
13: Magic Moment
14: Farewell To Arms
15: Happy New Year
16: Felicia
17: You'll See
18: Mr. Wishing Well
19: Silver Bird
20: People
21: Let Me Tell You, Babe
22: Marnie
23: No Other Heart
24: Unforgettable
25: Felicia
26: A Rag, A Bone, A Hank Of Hair
27: I Don't Want To See Tomorrow
28: Song Of Raintree Country

 

Artikeleigenschaften von Nat King Cole: 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD)

  • Interpret: Nat King Cole

  • Albumtitel: 1960-1964 Vol.2 (11-CD)

  • Artikelart Box set

  • Genre Pop

  • Music Genre Pop
  • Music Style Pop Vocal
  • Music Sub-Genre 281 Pop Vocal
  • Edition 2 Deluxe Edition
  • Label Bear Family Records

  • Preiscode KL
  • SubGenre Pop - Vocal Pop

  • EAN: 4000127167170

  • Gewicht in Kg: 3.000
 
 

Interpreten-Beschreibung "Cole, Nat King"

Nat King Cole

Geboren am 17. 3. 1917 als Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, Alabama- gestorben am 15.2.1965 in Santa Monica, Kalifornien. Ab 1934 leitete der Sänger und Pianist seine eigene Band The Royal Dukes. Fünf Jahre später formierte er das legendäre King Cole Trio mit dem Gitarristen Oscar Moore und Bassist Wesley Prince, der später von Johnny Miller abgelöst wurde.

Hits bis zum Beginn seiner Solo-Karriere: 15, darunter die Nr.-1-Erfolge '(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons' (1946) und “Nature Boy' (1948). 1946 spielte er - einen Tag vor der Aufnahme durch Autor Bobby Troup - die Originalversion des Klassikers '(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66' für Capitol ein. Bis zu Nat King Coles Tod kamen genau 80 weitere Titel in die US-Hitlisten, zu den bekanntesten gehören 'Mona Lisa' (1950), 'Unforgettable' (1951), 'Pretend' (1953), 'Looking Back' (1958) und 'Ramblin' Rose' (1962). In den amerikanischen R&B-Charts konnte sich Nat King Cole zwischen 1942 und 1991 mit 46 Titeln platzieren.

Der Entertainer und Komponist wirkte auch in Kinofilmen wie 'St. Louis Blues' und “Cat Ballou' mit. 1991 kam 'Unforgettable' ein zweites Mal in die Charts: Nat King Coles Stimme wurde einer Version beigemischt, die seine Tochter Natalie (Jahrgang 1950) gesungen hatte. Einen 'Grammy' für sein Lebenswerk erhielt der angesehene Interpret posthum 1990, in die Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame wurde er in der Sparte “Early Influences' im Jahr 2000 aufgenommen. 'Answer Me, My Love' (Capitol F 2687) war im Februar 1954 unter diesem Titel ein Nr.-6-Single-Hit in den USA, die deutsche Original- fassung von 1952 hieß 'Mütterlein' (bei der GEMA angemeldet als 'Mütterlein, Mütterlein') und ist als Nat King Cole-Aufnahme nicht veröffentlicht worden. Er hat die deutsche Version in Los Angeles eingespielt. Die populärste Veröffentlichung im deutschsprachigen Raum stammt von Schlagerstar Leila Negra (Austroton 45 229), es existieren auch Fassungen in mehreren skandinavischen Sprachen.

Von Schweden aus gelangte das Lied dann in die USA- die Übersetzung besorgte Carl Sigman, ein renommierter Texter aus Brooklyn. Auch 'L-O-V-E' (in deutscher Sprache) wurde erst im Jahr 2002 auf einem Cole-Band des Capitol-Labels entdeckt, offiziell erschienen ist diese Version nie. Als englische Fassung gab es die Nat King Cole-Veröffentlichung 'L.O.V.E' auf der Single Capitol K 22818 (Deutschland) bzw. Capitol 5261 (USA). Ein weiterer Song war zumindest für eine Nat King Cole-Interpretation vorgesehen: Die amerikanische Sängerin Vangie Carmichael hatte 1963 bereits die sogenannten - 'guide vocals' (Führstimme) von “Schön ist die Welt' = “All Over The World' besorgt- ein entsprechendes Capitol-Tape mit der Kartonaufschrift 'German vocals for Nat- hold for Gillette' (= Cole-Produzent Lee Gillette) liegt vor.

Aus dem Bear Family Buch - 1000 Nadelstiche von Bernd Matheja - BFB10025 -

Nat King Cole

"Some performers - like myself - have to be loud and rambunctious. But Nat was just Nat."
- Sammy Davis, Jr.


On December 20, 1954, a little more than a week before the start of the period covered by this box set, Nat King Cole and his musical director Nelson Riddle recorded A Blossom Fell. The song would be one of Cole's big hits of 1955; in 1956 it would become the lead track of his album 'Ballads Of The Day,' a popular compilation of successful singles. Empirical evidence suggests that Cole and his producer, Lee Gillette, regarded A Blossom Fell as one of the singer's all-time greatest hits. Cole would land more than a hundred songs on various hit charts over a 25-year period in his lifetime alone yet A Blossom Fell was one of the 36 songs they chose to re-record in stereo in 1961, for the retrospective album, 'The Nat King Cole Story.'

A Blossom Fell was in many ways, a typical Nat King Cole song. Like many of his hits in the '50s and '60s, it was a European import. Cole must surely hold the record, you should forgive the expression, for doing more foreign-born songs than any other American entertainer – with the possible exception of Louis Armstrong. In this particular case, the song came from England, where it had been written by three rather obscure authors named Harold Cornelius, Dominic John and Howard Barnes. (The only other fact I have been able to find out about them is that they also wrote one other song that Cole put on the charts: the 1955 Dreams Can Tell A Lie. This tune was neither anywhere near as good a song nor, correspondingly, nearly as big a hit as A Blossom Fell.)

For most of his career, not only did a significant portion of Cole's material come from outside the United States, a large percentage of his market resided there as well. Around the same time A Blossom Fell was released in America, Cole's disc also charted in the song's native country, where Cole's version climbed considerably higher than rival recordings by home-grown crooners, Dickie Valentine and Ronnie Hilton.

The song is also an archetypical Nat King Cole hit in that, with no disrespect intended to Mr. Valentine and Mr. Hilton, I doubt that anyone would remember this particular song – and many others - were it not for Cole. In a sense, this was the opposite of the traditional path into The Great American Songbook. In many cases, the original source of the great songs is irrelevant; only scholars and music nerds would care that All The Things You Are was introduced by a singer no one has ever heard of (even in 1939) in a show called 'Very Warm For May' that quickly flopped. A Blossom Fell is precisely the reverse scenario: we care about the song only because Nat Cole had a hit with it. We would have no reason to remember the song were it not for Cole; he not only put it on the map, he was the whole map.

Even though it has been recorded by a handful of other singers, the song's only cred comes from the Cole-Riddle hit recording. The Austrian jazz singer Simone Kopemajer recently included it on an album because, as she told me, she loved the Cole performance of it. To Frau Kopemajer, Blossom represents a slice of the Great American Songbook and of the Cole canon – I don't think she was aware that the song had actually originated in Europe.

But in contrast to All The Things You Are - which is, admittedly, an unfair standard of excellence to compare it to - A Blossom Fell is by no means a classic example of songwriting. The lyric pivots on two points, the first being the use of plants as a metaphor. Cole would sing other songs that used variations on this idea, most notably the famous Blue Gardenia (1953), the obscure Sweet William (1952), and the classic Autumn Leaves (which he would perform for the first of many times later in 1955).

The lyric also employs another time-honored conceit of songwriters: the idea that gypsies, being fortune-tellers, are a race of mystics who have the inside dope on fate. While many of the ethnic stereotypes of Tin Pan Alley had disappeared by the postwar era, the preconceived idea regarding gypsies was apparently alive and well. In songs like Golden Earrings and The Gypsy (and even Cole's own, earlier That Ain't Right), lovers evaluate their affairs based on tell-tale signs read by gypsies in tea leaves and crystal balls.

I have no idea if the tradition presented in A Blossom Fell is a genuine gypsy custom, or if it was invented wholly for the song. In fact, it's kind of an awkward idea, one of those concepts that's so goofy, I would almost like to think it really was part of the folklore of real-life Romany. According to the lyric, if two lovers are sitting beneath a tree, exchanging vows of affection, and a blossom happens to fall off a branch and touch the lips of one of the two lovers, it means he or she isn't telling the truth when he or she says he loves him or her.

It's an awkward idea to express in song, and make no mistake, it is very awkwardly expressed. The song opens, "A blossom fell / From off a tree / It settled softly / On the lips you turned to me." That's the A section, and the last two lines are very cumbersome. They make little sense when you read them in print, especially considering that even if this is a genuine gypsy tradition, it's certainly one that not many people would be familiar with. As the late Sammy Cahn once observed, it's a mortal sin for a lyricist to put something in a line that has to be explained: a songwriter's job is to make his point immediately understandable, and if it's deep and profound, like Cole Porter or Alan Jay Lerner, so much the better.

The most obvious point was that only a really top drawer vocal artist - a Cole, a Sinatra, a Clooney, a Holiday - could take a lyric like this and not only make it crystal clear, but sing it so compellingly that millions of listeners would want to rush out and buy the single. As he so often did, Cole compensates for any inadequacies a text might have - he puts over exactly what the lyricist wanted to say even on those frequent occasions where the lyric is lacking. The lyric needs help, and it gets it.

Arranger-conductor Nelson Riddle does the same for the melody: he opens with a glorious string flourish that actually suggests the wind blowing threw leaves and branches in a cherry orchard with blossoms falling all over the place. The secondary voice on Blossom is valve trombonist Juan Tizol, who appears frequently on Cole's sessions in the mid-'50s, most prominently on the 1956 album 'After Midnight.' (When Cole remade the arrangement in 1961, he took the chart slightly slower and replaced the valve trombone with the customary slide instrument.) Yet Riddle doesn't deserve all the credit; Cole, more than nearly all other pop singers, had a unique capacity for improving any melody, for emphasizing the parts of the tune that worked and minimizing its shortcomings. It's no insult to Sinatra to say that, for all his musical strengths (including a remarkable sense of timing), that he had to take a backseat to Cole in the realm of pure melody. The only major singers who compete with Cole in this respect were Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. But neither of those grand divas was the interpreter that Cole was.

Bing Crosby or Carmen McRae could have sung A Blossom Fell and put the meaning across, but Cole does something I don't feel any other singer could have possibly done with it, and that is to make us believe it. Cole sings it as if he was imparting wisdom gained from actual experience, and he makes the words and music sound unique to his idiom. As much as I love Sinatra, I somehow don't think he could convince me that he exists in this particular world - a stylistic universe where liars can be readily identified by the blossoms sticking to their prevaricatin' lips. I don't mean that at all disingenuously: Cole makes you believe it in the most literal and direct way. There never would have been any Watergate or Monica-gate in this world, because Nixon and Clinton would have had blossoms all over their faces.

Nat Cole is the kind of talent that's hard to fully fathom in the world of 21st century popular culture - where almost nothing means what it's supposed to mean. Everything in the millennial era would appear to be ironic or sarcastic, a series of codes where meaning is hidden and nothing is obvious. Yet Cole is precisely the opposite: when he sings about blossoms falling on the lips of liars, he doesn't mean it metaphorically, he isn't singing symbolically, he means exactly what he sings.

In fact, the song is precisely suited to Cole, not Sinatra or anyone else, great as they may be, simply because in this world that he creates, Cole himself would never have a blossom stuck to his own lips. If the song has any kind of symbolism at all, it's that which describes the singer himself.

That, in fact, is the central tenet of Cole's music. Sinatra, contrastingly, was about singing great songs with multiple levels of meaning - songs with deep gray areas between black and white, like Glad To Be Unhappy. Even when Sinatra sings something simple, he makes it deeper and more complicated, and adds in gradations of feeling - Johnny Hodges-like microtones and emotional glissandos in between points A and B. Cole, on the other hand is more direct. Sinatra can take a simple song and make it profound; Cole takes a complex song and makes it simple...

Nat King Cole 1955-1959 Vol.1 (11-CD)
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/cole-nat-king-1955-1959-vol.1-11-cd.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

 
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