Nat King Cole - The Very Best of Nat King Cole [Capitol]

Number of Discs
Release Date
Nat King Cole
CD / Album
Label / Studio
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol


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This generous anthology, with 28 tracks and close to 80 minutes of music, is one of the best single-disc sets on the market of Nat King Cole's pop side. Spanning over 20 years, from 1943 to 1964, The Very Best of Nat King Cole includes most of his biggest hits for Capitol Records, like 1946's "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66," 1950s "Mona Lisa," 1951's "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and "Unforgettable," and 1956's "When I Fall in Love" (with its wonderful orchestration arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins), although there are some intriguing omissions (1962's "Ramblin' Rose," for instance, isn't included here), but it's hard to quibble; after all, Cole charted over 100 pop singles during his career and nothing short of a massive box set could feature them all. What's most striking is how uniform everything is, as if it was all drawn from one long recording session, and Cole's rich, warm voice and perfect enunciation never falters. He was criticized for leaving his jazz roots for pop stardom, but it is worth noting how jazz-based and stripped-down most of these sides actually are, and even when orchestration is present, it is never intrusive or overwhelming, and the focus is always on Cole's steady, calm and measured vocals. It all adds up to a near-perfect introduction to Cole's Capitol years. ~ Steve Leggett

1) Stardust (03:14)
2) Sweet Lorraine (03:07)
3) (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 (02:59)
4) Straighten Up and Fly Right (02:24)
5) (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (02:52)
6) What'll I Do? (03:01)
7) Morning Star (02:55)
8) Penthouse Serenade (03:03)
9) Candy (03:52)
10) Walkin' My Baby Back Home (02:38)
11) Unforgettable (03:10)
12) Mona Lisa (03:14)
13) Nature Boy (02:38)
14) Somewhere Along the Way (02:51)
15) Smile (02:52)
16) A Blossom Fell (02:31)
17) Can't I? (03:13)
18) Let There Be Love (02:43)
19) Almost Like Being in Love (01:51)
20) Ballerina (02:49)
21) I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself a Letter) (02:34)
22) Let's Face the Music and Dance (02:24)
23) Autumn Leaves (02:34)
24) When I Fall in Love (03:08)
25) That Sunday, That Summer (03:10)
26) Looking Back (02:25)
27) L-O-V-E (02:31)
28) I Wish You Love (02:54)

The Very Best of Nat King Cole [Capitol]
EMI Music Distribution
Main Format
Explicit Lyrics
Keyword Index
The Very Best of Nat King Cole [Capitol] | Nat King Cole