Frank Sinatra Duets (1993)

Catalog Number(s):

Sinatra Duets

The CD was packaged with a black fabric slipcover (below)

Duets with slipcover

Tracks

  1. Lady Is a Tramp - (with Luther Vandross)
  2. What Now My Love - (with Aretha Franklin)
  3. I've Got a Crush on You - (with Barbra Streisand)
  4. Summer Wind - (with Julio Iglesias)
  5. Come Rain or Come Shine - (with Gloria Estefan)
  6. New York, New York - (with Tony Bennett)
  7. They Can't Take That Away From Me - (with Natalie Cole)
  8. You Make Me Feel So Young - (with Charles Aznavour)
  9. Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry / In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning - (with Carly Simon)
  10. I've Got the World on a String - (with Liza Minnelli)
  11. Witchcraft - (with Anita Baker)
  12. I've Got You Under My Skin - (with Bono)
  13. All The Way / One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) - (with Kenny G)

About “I've Got A Crush On You”

Sinatra and Streisand in dressing room

(Photo, right): Sinatra was photographed backstage visiting Streisand in her dressing room during the run of Funny Girl on Broadway, circa 1964.

Released in 1993, Frank Sinatra's 1993 Duets album consisted of duets between Sinatra and younger singers from various genres. Producer Phil Ramone wrote he was “confident that pairing Sinatra with a variety of legendary artists will make for an attention-grabbing record.” The album, indeed, was a big commercial success, selling over 3 million copies in the U.S.

Ramone employed some new technology to record Sinatra's Duets album. He relied on a fiber optics system called EDNet to record tracks in “real time” from different locations. In many cases, Sinatra and his duet partners recorded their vocals separately.

Phil Ramone, who I interviewed in 2005, told Barbra Archives, “Barbra knows that I’m crazy about technology. It’s a way of life for me. When I was involved in doing [the Sinatra Duets album], Marty [Erlichman] said to me, ‘Please don’t tell her you’re experimenting with this – doing your vocals from home.’ (Laughs)”

In a 1993 Vanity Fair story about the album, it was explained how Patrick Williams, Jay Landers and Phil Ramone produced a demo of the song that modulated between Sinatra's key (F) and Streisand's key (E-flat). After Streisand asked for some revisions, David Foster was brought in.

Ramone recalled, “We did a whole new intro for her before Sinatra comes in. David Foster and I had fun with that, and a lot of laughs.”

Streisand, by the way, had already recorded “I've Got A Crush On You” alone for her Back To Broadway album, but when the opportunity to duet with Sinatra came along, she abandoned the solo track.

She recorded her vocals to “I've Got A Crush On You” on August 17, 1993 at Todd-AO, Hollywood. Sinatra arranged for a large bouquet of flowers to greet her; Barbra wrote a thank you note to Sinatra and included a note that he had written to her after seeing her on Broadway in Funny Girl.

Sinatra and Streisand during TIMELESS concert

 

That day in the recording studio, the team added a new ending to the song, which Patrick Williams wrote in the moment. Streisand created an intimacy for the recording when she sang line, “You make me blush, Francis.”

In order to revise Sinatra's already-recorded vocals, his team visited him in Chicago where he was performing. Sinatra sang, “I have got a crush, my Barbra, on you…”

Al Schmitt, who recorded and mixed the album, said “Hank [Cattaneo] just had Frank sing into a DAT machine, and we cut it in during the mixing.”

“I've Got A Crush On You” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocals.

Streisand sang the song live to a black-and-white video clip of Sinatra for her Timeless concert (1999-2000). She also included the Sinatra duet on her 2002 album, Duets.

“Yeah, he was really something,” Barbra said about Sinatra.

End.

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