By Dan Miller
February 13, 2009
Keep reading, because I'm going to reveal to you the best recording of a song ever done, and even let you listen to it.
In selecting the best recording, I'm taking into consideration the arrangement... the orchestration... the quality of the recording... the vocal performance... and, of course, the song itself.
Impossible you say?
Too many recordings to pick from?
All that is true.
But since I'm the one writing this, I get to pick.
And I've been listening to this particular selection for almost half a century, and still haven't heard anything that tops it.
A person who likes only country music might suggest it's one of Johnny Cash's gems, or perhaps Marty Robbins or Patsy Cline.
Opera fans might select from the work of Luciano Pavarotti or Leontyne Price.
Those who like big band music would lean toward something recorded by Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman.
Rock historians could turn to the recordings of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin or perhaps Lynard Skynard's classic "Free Bird."
Gospel fans might say Mahalia Jackson surely made the best recording ever.
Jazz aficionados might find their best among the hundreds of Louis Armstrong's tracks.
All could be worthy places to look.
From time to time I've discussed with my son Stephen -- who's a long time appreciator and player of rock music -- what's the best ever recording.... and even he (sort of) agrees with me on this one.
And it's definitely not a rock song.
Here it is.
Based on all the considerations and criteria I mentioned above, I believe the best ever recording of a song is Nat King Cole's understated, dreamy rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's 1927 composition "Stardust."
It was recorded at Capitol Records for inclusion in Nat King Cole's 1957 album "Love Is The Thing."
It was arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins.
If you're not familiar with this particular recording, or if you haven't heard it in a while, I found several offerings on YouTube.
Take a listen just below.
If you know of any recording that's better, let me know, I'd like to hear it.