Duets: An American Classic is an album by Tony Bennett, released in 2006.
The album was released in conjunction with Bennett’s 80th birthday the previous month. The songs selected were mostly ones that Bennett had played a major role in introducing into the Great American Songbook.
Unlike some other celebrity duets efforts where performances were recorded separately and then combined by producers, such as Frank Sinatra’s 1993 Duets, Bennett was physically present with each of his partners during recording. The vocals were performed live as the band was playing.
It debuted at #3 on The Billboard 200 selling around 202,000 copies in its first week. The album spent five consecutive weeks in the Top 10 – a great achievement considering that was released during the competitive Christmas season – and was certified Gold in less than four weeks of release. It also reached #1 in Canada. The sequel album, Duets II, was released in 2011 in conjunction with Bennett’s 85th birthday.
1. “Lullaby of Broadway” Al Dubin, Harry Warren Dixie Chicks
2. “Smile” Charles Chaplin, Geoff Parsons Barbra Streisand
3. “Put On a Happy Face” Lee Adams, Charles Strouse James Taylor
4. “The Very Thought of You” Ray Noble Paul McCartney
5. “The Shadow of Your Smile” Johnny Mandel, Paul Francis Webster Juanes
6. “Rags to Riches” Richard Adler, Jerry Ross Elton John
7. “The Good Life” Sacha Distel, Jack Reardon Billy Joel
8. “Cold, Cold Heart” Hank Williams Tim McGraw
9. “If I Ruled the World” Leslie Bricusse, Cyril Ornadel Celine Dion
10. “The Best Is Yet to Come” Cy Coleman, Carolyn Leigh Diana Krall
11. “For Once in My Life” Ron Miller, Orlando Murden Stevie Wonder
12. “Are You Havin’ Any Fun?” Sammy Fain, Jack Yellen Elvis Costello
13. “Because of You” Arthur Hammerstein, Dudley Wilkinson k.d. lang
14. “Just in Time” Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Styne Michael Bublé
15. “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” Dubin, Warren Sting
16. “I Wanna Be Around” Johnny Mercer, Sadie Vimmerstadt Bono
17. “Sing, You Sinners” Sam Coslow, W. Franke Harling John Legend
18. “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” George Cory, Douglass Cross
19. “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand