Not the best of the Television specials.....
Anthony Paul | 11/23/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sinatra (1969) is the latest edition in my quest to obtain all of the specials on DVD. After seeing the first special from 65 and the one with Ella and Jobim, or even the playful special with the 5th Dimension, this one paled in comparison. Sinatra isn't as emotionally involved in this one as he had been in the past, and it is clear to see. While on some songs Sinatra sounds powerful, on most he sounds tired and appears to be pushing a little too hard. There are a few times when he blatantly coughs into the microphone and appears raspy. However, Forget to Remember rises above all, and is an emotionally moving masterpiece. Perhaps most disappointing is the DVD's audio track. Unlike the other Sinatra specials I have, this one has alot of hiss, and a few points when the sound appears to drop out a little. Whether or not this is the fault of poor transferring or if the original tapes are damaged, it is nontheless distracting. All in all, there are enough worthwhile moments on this DVD to justify purchasing it, however, I wouldn't start with this particular one."
The finale is worth the price alone
Anthony Paul | 07/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Sinatra in black tie, center stage, knocking off "Fly Me To The Moon", "Street Of Dreams", "My Kind Of Town', with fresh re-worked arrangements courtesy of Don Costa, is worth the price alone.This performance has been criticized in the past and, according to one book, Frank showed up at the taping with laryngitis, sitting on a stool and chastising himself, muttering, "drink, drink drink, smoke, smoke, smoke, shmuck, shmuck, shmuck." Could've fooled me. He's strong on the openers, "For Once In My Life" and "Please Be Kind". In fine voice, tan, limber, working the stage like a prize-fighter.In my opinion, this video is superior to one done a year later at Royal Albert Hall. His vocal powers were not as consistently powerful after '69.I rate this 4 stars for repetoire, new arrangements, humorous monologue."
Anthony Paul | 10/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a copy of the 1969 "Sinatra, with guest star Frank Sinatra." I must say that I was not aware of many of the songs from this special, but I enjoyed many of them. His voice is stronger than from my favorite Sinatra special (Royal Festival Hall). He sings "My Way" almost flawless, making one think he might be lip-synching like modern singers do in their Tv-specials. Of course, then Sinatra simply proves me wrong by going off key at "(each and every) highway."There are a few cool features in this special that include Sinatra making (scripted) jokes about his movie career (that are funny) and doing an entire list of sad love songs (aka Songs for losers, as called in the Royal Festival Hall special). The sad love songs can sometimes be too much to handle, depending on your tastes, but Sinatra's jokes make up for it.I've read many reviews that explain Sinatra's voice wasn't in great shape during the recordings of this special, but he could have fooled me. The only song (minus the Songs for Losers) that I could really hear Sinatra crack-up on was "My Way" for a brief moment, as I said before. For first time Sinatra listeners, this or "Royal Festival Hall" should be your pick."
One Of His Best TV Specials.
Anthony Nasti | Staten Island, New York United States | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a so-so attempt to connecet with the younger crowd on the previous year's "Francis Albert Does His Thing", Frank Sinatra returned to the small screen in 1969 with his fifth tv special, simply titled "Sinatra". The result was a more cohesive and enjoyable performance, if not quite up to par with the first two "A Man And His Music" specials and the one with Ella and Jobim.
The show starts off in fine form, with Frank firing off powerful, energetic renditions of "For Once In My Life" and "Please Be Kind" (the latter of which never was done better in any format), followed by moving, elegant "My Way". In between songs, Frank cracks some amusing one-liners and pays tribute to the songwriters of the world.
After this excellent comes a brief clipshow of Frank's movie career, which is filled with hilarious clips and Frank's shamelessly self-depricating humor. He does a few snatches of songs from his movies, including "I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night", "You're Sensational" and "All The Way". This half closes with a rousing performances of "The Tender Trap".
After this comes a selection of new numbers. "Little Green Apples" is corny and worth skipping after one listen, but the obligatory "sad song" sequence is a sight to behold. After the brief Rod McKuen poem "Out Beyond The Window", he sinks into soulful, appropriately melancholy renditions of McKuen's "A Man Alone", Jimmy Webb's "One For My Baby" - esque "Didn't We" and the haunting "Forget To Remember".
Frank then reunites with his audience for the final half of the show, starting off with "Fly Me To The Moon", which he dedicates to the recent heroes of the moon landing. "Street Of Dreams" is up next, followed by two final new numbers, Rod McKuen's bittersweet "Love's Been Good To Me" and Teddy Randazzo's "Out Of My Head". In a departure from the norm, "Put Your Dreams Away" is not done as the closing number, as Frank instead opts for a revised Don Costa arrangement of "My Kind Of Town" that Frank goes all out on.
Frank looks and sounds great on this special. Looking slim, sporting a tan and sounding exceptionally good (1969 was the last year in which Frank ascended to the vocal heights of his peak years until 1979). I noticed a lot of reviewers saying Frank seems bored and distant during the performance, but I couldn't disagree more. Frank is having a ball here, and I find it very surprising that Frank had laryngitis during the taping, because he sounds absolutely wonderful.
"Sinatra" is up there with Frank's best specials, and is entirely worth the price of admission. Pick it up."