Sinatra Sings Great Songs from Great Britain is one of the oddest albums in Sinatra's catalog. Recorded in the summer of 1962 and available only in the U.K. for a number of years, the album consists of songs by British composers, performed with British musicians, and recorded in Britain, while Sinatra was on tour. As it happened, Sinatra was tired and worn out during the sessions, and arranger/conductor Robert Farnon had written a set of charts that were ambitious, lush, ornate, and sweeping. Although the arrangements are provocative – occasionally they are more interesting than the actual songs – Sinatra was simply not in good shape for the sessions, which is clear from his thin, straining singing. As such, Great Songs from Great Britain isn't much more than a curiosity.
Griff Rhys Jones sets out to explore eight very disparate kinds of quintessentially British terrain, investigating how they have dictated different ways of living, working and playing - both in the past and as they are now - across the entire country, while also unearthing quirky and funny facts en route.