03/4/2018 11:10 pm  #1


My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

Dear all,

A few weeks ago I was talking to Marcos Callau, a friend of mine from Spain who's a huge Frank Sinatra fan, and we got to talking about Bing Crosby. This gave me the idea to record a video reviewing my 8 favorite albums by Bing, which I did originally in Spanish and published on my YouTube channel. Now here's the English version of that video, a review of my 8 favorite albums (not compilations) that Bing released during his lifetime. You may access it here below:




If you have time, please let me know (on YouTube underneath the video or here on CFW) what you think about the video and my choices, and whether there are other albums that you'd add. I am aware that I have left some out, but I didn't want the video to run way too long.

Best,

AGF

Last edited by Anton G.-F. (03/4/2018 11:11 pm)

 

04/4/2018 7:34 pm  #2


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

First and foremost, I enjoyed the video! One of the reasons I joined this forum was to share, banter, and discuss things just like this.

The video itself is good, you present well, sound good, etc. I think if you’re looking to “add” something to it, adding a snipped of music from each album as you’re discussing it might have been a nice touch. (I’ve never tried to put together a video though so I have no idea how difficult that would be to do.)

As for your choices – well first unless I missed my count you gave us 9 (8 and a bonus perhaps?).

I was a little surprised that you led it off with “Songs I Wish I Had Sung the First Time Around”. This is fairly new album for me and I do enjoy it quite a bit but I think because of song choice, and Crosby being in exceptional voice “Some Fine Old Chestnuts” would have probably led my list.

“Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings” is THE album that turned me from loving Bing Crosby the Christmas singer to loving Bing Crosby PERIOD. I agree that it’s not too loud! I find the arrangements to be exciting and Crosby to sound invigorated. Really one of my favorites and I fully agree that it’s one of Bing’s best.
I also agree with you on “Bing With a Beat” I think Bregman album is a touch better but another fantastic album and a bit scary to think the quality of both these albums considering where Bing was in his career at that time.

“Fancy Meeting You Here” is the second album, after “Bregman” that just blew me away and fired my appreciation for Crosby’s artistry. But it’s also the first album that really introduced me to just how talented he was as a duet partner. Amazing chemistry and again at a point where Crosby is supposedly being eclipsed by younger talent he releases 3 albums in short order that are just monumental testaments to his talents.

“That Travelin’ Two-Beat” is a nice album and fun to have Crosby and Clooney team back up but to me it just doesn’t rise up to level of the first and probably wouldn’t make the top 8. I’m glad I own it, there are just others I think are more essential.

“Bing & Satchmo”, I don’t have much to say about this one. I downloaded this a while back but haven’t got around to really listening to it. However, coincidently, I did give it a spin last night. It’s a good album, with good arrangements, I just haven’t listened to it enough.

“Bing ‘n Basie”, I’m glad this one made your list because it would make mine too. I’ve read the forums and have heard all the shortcomings, (song choice, didn’t record together) regardless I think the arrangements are great and the overall effect very enjoyable. This is certainly a big improvement over his previous the albums Crosby recorded just a few years before (I’m thinking “Hey Jude/Hey Bing!” and “Thoroughly Modern Bing”). You mention wishing Crosby and Armstrong had done a follow up, I would add another Crosby/Basie follow up would have been just as welcome.

I just picked up “Feels Good Feels Right” on CD and though I’ve only had the chance to listen to it maybe a half dozen times, it’s clear this is a very strong album for Bing. He’s in great voice, great songs, and really good arrangements. Now if it wasn’t so darn expensive to get a copy of!

Others have said it and I agree, the fact that “Seasons” is Crosby’s final album makes it worthy of owning but on top of that it’s a damn fine album. Although Bing sang several of these songs decades earlier when he was younger I prefer the versions on this album more. And the title track alone may be worth the purchase price.

I think I would have maybe inserted “A Southern Memoir” because I love the song choice, the arrangements, and feel Crosby just had a great time making it.
Overall, a great list and not a bad album in the bunch 😉.
 
 

 

05/4/2018 2:56 am  #3


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

While I've never heard a bad recording from Bing (even Hey Jude gives me a laugh) I wouldn't put all those 70's albums in the all time favorite listing.  In fact the only '70's album I would put there would be FEELS GOOD, FEELS RIGHT.     I still have never heard a better version of "Nevertheless" from anyone.  And while I could easily include the BING & SATCHMO album as I do love it, but I won't include it here as it is a duet album and not a Bing alone album.

The album in the top favorite position would be HOLIDAY IN EUROPE, I never tire of hearing this album, whenever it pops up on my computer's media player "shuffle play" mode I stop and listen and smile.  I love the way Bing sings every song on it. 
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/83/Holiday_in_Europe_%28album_cover%29.jpg/220px-Holiday_in_Europe_%28album_cover%29.jpg

The "10th Anniversery" and "New Recordings" CDs would be in that listing too.  Also love the "Bing Crosby SIngs" album, esp. the slight echo effect heard on it, really makes Bing's voice stand out.
https://img.discogs.com/99NSpEqJaRz0zOlOBD9v4rIbkF8=/fit-in/300x300/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(40)/discogs-images/R-3360211-1343362671-2635.jpeg.jpg

SONGS I WISH I HAD SUNG along with NEW TRICKS and the EP Collection
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51AG9TNZB3L.jpg

and the whole series of Decca's set of Bing's movie songs, all those albums with great covers like this:
http://stevenlewis.info/crosby/Bing'sHollywood1.gif

I guess that's more than 8, but those are some of my favorite Bing's.

Last edited by Archiefit (05/4/2018 3:08 am)

 

11/4/2018 3:10 pm  #4


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

Ron1972 wrote:

First and foremost, I enjoyed the video! One of the reasons I joined this forum was to share, banter, and discuss things just like this.
I think I would have maybe inserted “A Southern Memoir” because I love the song choice, the arrangements, and feel Crosby just had a great time making it.
Overall, a great list and not a bad album in the bunch 😉.

Ron,

Thank you so much for your very kind words about the video, as well as for your own assessment of the albums I selected. The reason why I didn't choose Some Fine Old Chestnuts, which I love, is the fact that those were songs originally recorded for Bing's CBS radio shows and perhaps not intended for album release at first. In contrast, Songs I Wish I Had Sung does have a concept behind it, and Bing cut all the songs with the intention of releasing the album.

If I had added two more albums, to make it a top ten, then I definitely would have added A Southern Memoir and Holiday in Europe. But I didn't want the video to become too long! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


AGF
 

     Thread Starter
 

11/4/2018 3:14 pm  #5


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

Archiefit,

I totally agree with you that Feels Good Feels Right is a fantastic album, and Bing's version of "Nevertheless" is lovely. Holiday in Europe is a great album that I would have added to the list if I had made a top ten instead of a top eight. I also listen to it often and believe it has some wonderful tracks. Though I like and have the other ones you mention, I didn't include them in the video because they are mostly compilations and not records that Bing made with the purpose of releasing them as albums. You say you wouldn't include the '70s albums I showcase in the video save for Feels Good Feels Right. I agree that the Bing 'n' Basie album has its flaws, but what is your opinion of Seasons? That one has always been one of my all-time favorite LPs by Crosby.

Last edited by Anton G.-F. (11/4/2018 3:16 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

12/4/2018 6:22 am  #6


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

What an interesting selection. FANCY MEETING YOU HERE would be at the top of my album list and I enjoy BING SINGS WHILE BREGMAN SWINGS. As for SEASONS, I reckon it's a beauty.

 

17/4/2018 2:28 am  #7


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

I'll have to listen to Seasons again, it's been a while since I heard it and I never thought enough of it to download it to my computer, so it never pops up.  The only song from the album I did download is "Sleigh Ride" I put that in my Christmas playlist on the computer.  Offhand, the album was OK, but nothing special or great about it, other than Bing was still in fine voice till the end.  If I had to choose, I never added Bing 'n' Basie to my computer either, but if I had to choose one or the other I'd choose Bing 'n' Basie.  Guess till I listen to Seasons again, I don't think much of it.  Albums with style rate high with me, and I think that's what it lacked.  I did like those '50's real albums, by your definition, the Bob Scobey and Buddy Bregman albums, now each of them did have style.  I really wish that the Bregman album had been recorded in stereo.  I'm glad I got the reissue album that MGM put out retitling it "Bing Crosby" (hey, that's original!) because the MGM reissue is in beautiful stereofied sound.  This is it:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ljz-ziXKVJg/T1Z-ZPHx4CI/AAAAAAAAEB8/NmV8CLQ6k8Q/s1600/bl2350.jpg

Last edited by Archiefit (17/4/2018 2:35 am)

 

17/4/2018 3:00 am  #8


Re: My 8 Favorite Bing Crosby Albums (Video)

If I'm really being critical both albums could have been better but Seasons has so many strong moments that deserve recognition because it's Bing's last album and because after his fall it was amazing he was recording anything at that point in time. 

"Seasons", "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year", "April Showers", "Autumn in New York", "Yesterday When I Was Young" are all exceptional performances!

Bing 'n Basie stands out, to me anyway, because it's a real return to form! No, it's not perfect, but it cooks in a way that Bing hadn't on record in maybe a decade. Some complain that it's all contemporary music, I love that it's contemporary music and that Bing and Basie just go right on and do it big band style!

"Everything is Beautiful", "Little Green Apples, "Sunrise, Sunset" all stand out as my favorites. I'm also partial to "Gonna Build A Mountain". 

 

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