Monday, September 05, 2011


In celebration of the artist's 85th birthday, Columbia Records/RPM Records/Legacy Recordings will release Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection, an extraordinary compilation chronicling the entire career of the great American pop vocalist as documented in the albums and singles he's made for Columbia Records (beginning in 1952 through the present), as well as his recordings for Roulette (an historic encounter with Count Basie and Orchestra in 1959), MGM (1972-73), Improv (Bennett's own label from 1973-76) and Fantasy (a pair of sublime titles with pianist Bill Evans, released in 1975-76).

Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection will be available exclusively at select Barnes and Noble retail locations on Tuesday, November 8.  Len Riggio, Chairman of Barnes and Noble commented, "Tony Bennett's amazing career seems to be ascending as he celebrates his 85th birthday, therefore we are excited about the opportunity to sell his new Duets album as well as the historic collection of his entire lifetime in music. 

Assembled chronologically, Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection presents the breathtaking entirety of Bennett's recorded repertoire, more than a thousand individual songs spanning six decades, across 73 CDs and 3 DVDs. At the core of the collection are Tony's original albums, each with its original jacket design and original sequencing and, in many cases, bonus material.  In addition to Bennett's best-selling album titles, this monumental anthology includes two newly curated collections -- "Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights" (2 CDs) and "The Columbia Singles" (6 CDs) -- available exclusively in this set.

"The Columbia Singles" brings together for the first time all of the singles Bennett recorded for Columbia Records, the label he signed with in 1950.  Most of them recorded in the early 1950s, "The Columbia Singles" includes the a-sides and b-sides that were not included on individual albums. "Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights" collects rare tracks, previously unreleased outtakes, guest appearances on other artist's albums, soundtrack songs and more beginning with the recently discovered 1946 V-Disc recording of "St. James Infirmary Blues" that "effervescent delight," which was Tony's very first known recording.  Nestled among the "Rarities" are two tracks from another fabled concert Bennett gave at the Latin Casino in Philadelphia with the Count Basie Orchestra, which was recorded and never released.

Tony Bennett fans will rejoice at the inclusion of a pair of rare previously unreleased full album sets on Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection: On The Glory Road and Live at the Sahara, two mythic sessions, recorded June 1962 and April 1964 respectively, at the height of Tony's early 1960s career. A lost Tony Bennett masterpiece, On The Glory Road had been recorded, assigned a catalog number and assembled, only to be left on the shelf when Tony's "(I Left My Heart In) San Francisco" (originally the b-side to "Once Upon A Time") became a national hit and a compilation album of the same name was released instead.  A smattering of tracks from Glory Road have been released but this is the first time the whole album has been presented in its originally intended form. Live at the Sahara is a live document of Tony's incandescent performances at the legendary Las Vegas casino during the swinging 1960s.  Culled from four different nights, the performances on this album have never been heard before.

Rounding out Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection are three DVDs, each covering an essential aspect of Tony's career: Tony Bennett Sings... with the London Philharmonic, a rarely seen BBC "Show of the Week" from 1971 (released as the Get Happy LP);  MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett, the 1994 breakout performance that introduced Tony to a whole new generation of fans while earning the 1995 Album of the Year Grammy;  Tony Bennett: An American Classic, the 2006 star-studded Rob Marshall-directed television special celebrating Tony's 80th birthday that won 7 primetime Emmys.

Tony Bennett is an artist who moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences. He's not just the singer's singer but also an international treasure honored by the United Nations with its Citizen of the World award, which aptly describes the scope of his accomplishments.  Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York.  Tony's big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village. His initial fame came via a string of Columbia singles in the 1950s, including such chart-toppers as "Because of You," "Rags To Riches" and a cover of Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart." He has placed two-dozen songs in the Top 40, including "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)" and his signature hit, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." One of only a few artists to have albums chart in the 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, and the new millennium, he's introduced multitudes of songs into the Great American Songbook that have become pop music standards. Thus far, Tony has earned 15 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006.  His 2006 CD released in honor of his 80th birthday, DUETS became a multi-platinum hit, won three Grammys and is the singer's best selling recording to date. A multiple Emmy winner, Tony's AN AMERICAN CLASSIC TV special, directed by Oscar winner Rob Marshall ("Chicago," "Memoirs Of A Geisha"), won 7 Emmy Awards in 2007. Tony is a dedicated painter whose interest in art began as a child. He continues to paint daily, even while touring. He has exhibited work around the world, and three of his original paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institutions in Washington, D.C. Throughout his career, Tony Bennett has always put his heart and time into humanitarian concerns. The United Nations presented him with their 2007 Humanitarian Award. In 2001, Tony established the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, one of the highest rated public high schools in New York City. With his wife Susan, they founded Exploring the Arts, a non-profit organization that supports arts programs in 14 NYC public high schools in all five boroughs.

Tony Bennett celebrated his 85th birthday on August 3, 2011.  In honor of this milestone, Tony's new Duets II CD will be released in September, featuring Tony performing duets with many celebrated artists including Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Josh Groban and Amy Winehouse. "It amazes me to realize that it has been over 60 years since I was signed to Columbia Records," writes Tony Bennett in his introduction to Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection.  "Being with Columbia has provided me with the ultimate music education: I've been blessed to perform, record and be properly involved with such brilliant musicians as Count Basie, Stan Getz, Ralph Burns, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Duke Ellington, and many other great artists.. To be an artist with Columbia was an adventure into the very heart of the creative arts world. My ambition has always been to create a hit catalogue rather than hit records. Columbia gave me the platform to do so, and I have been fortunate enough to introduce some three dozen songs into the "Great American Songbook." To me there is no such thing as an old song, just a great song. No other country in the world has produced more popular standards than the United States – and those wonderful songs can all be found on Columbia."

Tony Bennett - The Complete Collection
1. Rarities
2. Rarities, vol. 2
3. The Columbia singles, vol. 1
4. The Columbia singles, vol. 2
5. The Columbia singles, vol. 3
6. The Columbia singles, vol. 4
7. The Columbia singles, vol. 5
8. The Columbia singles, vol. 6
9. Cloud 7
10. Tony
11. The Beat Of My Heart
12. Long Ago And Far Away
13. Basie/Bennett
14. In Person!
15. Hometown, My Town
16. To My Wonderful One
17. Alone Together
18. A String Of Arlen
19. Tony Sings For Two
20. My Heart Sings
21. Mr. Broadway
22. On The Glory Road
23. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
24/25. Tony Bennett At Carnegie Hall
26. I Wanna Be Around
27. This Is All I Ask
28. The Many Moods Of Tony
29. When Lights Are Low
30. Who Can I Turn To
31. If I Ruled The World
32. The Movie Song Album
33. A Time For Love
34. Tony Makes It Happen
35. For Once In My Life
36. Yesterday I Heard The Rain
37. Snowfall
38. I've Gotta Be Me
39. Tony Sings The Great Hits Of Today!
40. Something
41. Love Story
42. Get Happy
43. Summer Of '42
44. With Love
45. The Good Things In Life
46. Listen Easy
47. Tony's Greatest Hits, vol. 7
48. Sunrise, Sunset
49. Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs
50. 10 More Rodgers & Hart Songs
51. Life Is Beautiful
52. Tony Bennett & Bill Evans
53. Tony Bennett & Bill Evans: Together Again
54. Tony Bennett/The McFarlands & Friends...
55. The Art Of Excellence
56. Bennett/Berlin
57. Astoria
58. Perfectly Frank
59. Steppin' Out
60/61. MTV Unplugged
62. Here's To The Ladies
63. Bennett On Holiday
64. The Playground
65. Bennett Sings Ellington
66. Our Favorite Things
67. Playin' With My Friends
68. A Wonderful World (with k.d. lang)
69. The Art Of Romance
70. Duets – An American Classic
71. Duets 2
72. Christmas With Tony Bennett
73. A Swingin' Christmas
74. Live At The Sahara: From This Moment On
75. Tony Bennett Sings... with the London Philharmonic (DVD)
76. An American Classic (DVD)

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