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Capitol Mines Vaults and Releases a Pile of Cole

Be careful who you pick this fight with, but the argument can be made that singer-pianist and smooth smiling man Nat “King” Cole was bigger than the Beatles. Cole may not have had swarms of crazed young women tailing him everywhere he went—though I’m sure he never suffered from a lack of love—but he did see more of his songs on the charts than his Liverpudlian Capitol Records label mates ever did. So you can tell the hippies and the rock and rollers to stick that in their pipes and smoke it.

In fact, Cole scored more charting singles than any other Capitol artist ever has, and the Cap’s roster has, in addition to the Fab Four, included hit makers like Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys and Garth Brooks. If you don’t believe it, witness this: One hundred of Cole’s singles have been collected and made available for purchase as Nat King Cole: The Classic Singles. The four-disc box set came out Tuesday and includes tunes Cole cut with the various incarnations of the King Cole Trio, as well as the hits he sang backed by a full orchestra, conducted by folks like Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins and Billy May. A number of these tracks are appearing on CD for the first time; all of the tracks have been sent through the 24-bit Remaster-o-Matic (patent pending), which makes every song it spits out sound positively brilliant.

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