Frank Sinatra – New York  New York

Frank Sinatra

New York  New York

 

Theme from New York, New York” is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977). It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli. It remains one of the best-known songs about New York City. In 2004 it finished #31 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American Cinema.

In 1979, “Theme from New York, New York” was re-recorded by Frank Sinatra for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future (1980), and has since become closely associated with him. He occasionally performed it live with Minnelli as a duet. Sinatra recorded it a second time for his 1993 album Duets, with Tony Bennett.

 

Frank Sinatra

 

It should not be confused with the song “New York, New York”, from Leonard Bernstein/Adolph Green/Betty Comden’s musical On the Town (1944), which features the lyric “New York, New York, it’s a helluva town / The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down…”

Composers Kander and Ebb stated on the A&E Biography episode about Liza Minnelli, that they attribute the song’s success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was “too weak”.

The song did not become a popular hit until it was picked up in concert by Frank Sinatra during his performances at Radio City Music Hall in October 1978. (It was not even nominated for the Academy Award for ‘Best Song’).

 

Frank Sinatra

 

Subsequently, Sinatra recorded it in 1979 for his 1980 Trilogyset (Reprise Records), and it became one of his signature songs. The single peaked at #32 in June 1980, becoming his final Top Forty charting hit. It was also an Adult Contemporary hit, reaching #10 in the US and #2 in Canada. 

Sinatra made two more studio recordings of the song in 1981 (for his NBC TV special The Man and His Music) and 1993 (for Capitol Records). From the latter, an electronic duet with Tony Bennett was produced for Sinatra’s Duets album.

 

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