From the postwar New York streets to the squalor of Glastonbury, it's been quite a trip....

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Streetwise

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Streetwise

FROM THE POSTWAR NEW YORK streets to the squalor of Glastonbury, it’s been quite a trip. Now, at 72, and seemingly comprised solely of toughened leather and fake tan, [a]Tony Bennett[/a] suddenly finds himself basking in kitsch-sponsored cool.

Spanning every decade since the ’50s – and getting up to date(ish) via duets with celebrity muckers kd lang and [a]Elvis Costello[/a] – this retrospective goes some way towards explaining why he’s undergone a revival. Whatever his fortunes, the fact remains that, along with Frank Sinatra, he undoubtedly played a part in shaping popular music long before Elvis first twitched his hips.

Because no matter how ironically you look at it, this comes down to tunes. Songs like ‘Stranger In Paradise’ and ‘Cold Cold Heart’ might be as old as, well, Tone himself, but he imbues them with love, pain, tenderness and the odd histrionic pause in which to wipe away sweat with a pair of knickers.

You could certainly quibble that the arrangements barely rise above the tinkling [I]niceness[/I] of the pre-rock era but, like discovering you can quite happily sit through an episode of [I]Ballykissangel[/I], it’s about finding out you have something in common with your parents. Denying it would be pointless.