Unforgettable… with Love, also known as simply Unforgettable, is a 1991 album by American singer Natalie Cole. Released on June 11, 1991, The album focuses on covers of standards previously performed by her father, Nat King Cole. It was also her debut for Elektra Records, after being given her release from Capitol Records.
The record was very successful in the Pop, Jazz, and R&B markets and was considered the major comeback recording that had been brewing since Cole’s late 1980s releases. The album was certified 7x platinum as of 2009 by the RIAA. The album won the 1992 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Engineered – Non-Classical, while the track “Unforgettable” (duet with her father Nat King Cole) won four additional Grammys: Record of the Year, Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Arrangement Accompanying Vocals. The album also won Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Album, Female the same year.
Two albums prior to this one (1987’s Everlasting and 1989’s Good to Be Back) also moved to Elektra after Cole signed with the label. Her uncle Ike Cole plays piano on the album.
A major change of direction for Natalie Cole, Unforgettable found the singer abandoning the type of R&B/pop she’d been recording since 1975 in favor of jazz-influenced pre-rock pop along the lines of Nat King Cole’s music. It was a surprising risk that paid off handsomely — both commercially and artistically. Naysayers who thought that so radical a change would be commercial suicide were proven wrong when the outstanding Unforgettable sold a shocking five million units. Quite clearly, this was an album Cole was dying to make. Paying tribute to her late father on “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” “Route 66,” and other gems that had been major hits for him in the 1940s and early ’50s, the 41-year-old Cole sounds more inspired than she had in well over a decade. On the title song, overdubbing was used to make it sound as though she were singing a duet with her father — dishonest perhaps, but certainly enjoyable. Thankfully, standards and pre-rock pop turned out to be a primary direction for Cole, who was a baby when the title song became a hit for her father in 1951. (by Alex Henderson)
Pianos: Monty Alexander (Track 20) Alan Broadbent (7, 12, 16, 19). Brad Cole (5-6, 14). Ike Cole (3). Clare Fischer (1, 21). Mike Lang (4, 8-9, 13, 15, 18, 22). Michael Melvoin (4, 8-9, 15, 22). Joe Sample (2, 10).
Drums: Sol Gubin (Tracks 4, 7-9, 15, 22). Jeff Hamilton (3, 12-13, 18). Harold Jones (1, 5-6, 14, 19-21). Dave Weckel (2, 10).
Bass: Ray Brown (Tracks 3-4, 8-9, 12, 15, 22). John Clayton (13, 18). Chuck Domanico (7). James Hughart (5-6, 14, 19). John Patitucci (2, 10). Andy Simpkins (1, 20-21).
Guitars: Dennis Budimir (Tracks 3, 7). John Chiodini (4, 8-9, 12, 15, 22). John Collins (20). John Pisano (20). Alfred Viola (5-6, 14, 19).
Violins: Murray Adler, Israel Baker, Marilyn Baker, Arnold Belnick, Dixie Blackstone, Mari Tsumura Botnick, Jacqueline Brand, Darius Campo, Stuart Canin, Lily Ho Chen, Gail Cruz, Isabelle Dashkoff, Bonnie Douglas, Assa Drori, Bruce Dukov, Pavel Farkas, Henry Ferber, Mike Ferril, Ronald Folsom, Armen Garabedian, Berj Garabedian, James Getzoff, Julie Gigante, Harris Goldman, Endre Granat, Diana Halprin, Clayton Haslop, Karen Jones, Nathan Kaproff, Ezra Kliger, Bernard Kundell, Kathleen Lenski, Brian Leonard, Rene Mandel, Edith Markman, Mike Markman, Yoko Matsuda, Ralph Morrison, Irma Neumann, Sid Page, Stanley Plummer, Barbara Porter, Anatol Rosinsky, Sidney Sharp, Paul Shure, Haim Shtrum, Raymond Tischer, Alex Treger, Gerald Vinci, Dorothy Wade, Miwako Watanabe, Kenneth Yerke
Violas: Samuel Boghossian, Denyse Buffum, Kenneth Burward-Hoy, Alan Deveritch, Pamela Goldsmith, Roland Kato, Myra Kestenbaum, Don McInnes, Carol Mukogawa, Dan Neufeld, Mike Novak, Kazi Pitelka, Myron Sandler, Harry Shirinian, Dave Stockhammer, Milton Thomas, Raymond Tischer
Celli: Jodi Burnett, Anthony Cooke, Ron Cooper, Steve Erdody, Christine Ermakoff, Paula Hochhalter, Armand Kaproff, Anne Karam, Dennis Karmazyn, Raymond Kelley, Armen Ksajikian, Nils Oliver, Dan Rothmuller, Frederick Seykora
String Basses: John Clayton, Chuck Domanico, Buell Neidlinger, Robert Stone, Margaret Storer
Harps: Katie Kirkpatrick, Gayle Levant, Dorothy Remsen, Joanne Turovsky
Oboes: Thomas Boyd, Gene Cipriano
Flutes: Louise DiTullio, Gary Foster, Susan Greenberg, Ronnie Lang
French Horns: Vincent DeRosa, David Duke, Marilyn Johnson, Arthur Maebe, Brian O’Connor, James Thatcher, Rick Todd, Brad Warnaar
Trumpets: Rick Baptist, Oscar Brashear, Conte Candoli (Track 5), Charles Davis, Chuck Findley (16), Gary Grant, Larry Hall, Steve Huffstetter, Warren Luening, Nolan Smith, Frank Szabo
Saxophones: Peter Christlieb (Tracks 9, 22), Bob Efford, Gary Foster, Dan Higgins, Don Menza, Dick Mitchell, Lanny Morgan, David “Fathead” Newman (11), Jack Nimitz, Bill Perkins, Robert Tricarico
Trombones: Peter Beltran, George Bohanon, Thurman Green, Tommy Johnson, Charlie Loper, Dick Nash (Track 15), Bruce Paulsen, Bill Reichenbach, Jack Redmond
Tuba: Tommy Johnson
Other Woodwinds: Pete Christlieb, Gene Cipriano, Louise DiTullio, Gary Foster, Steve Kujala, Ronnie Lang, Jack Nimitz, Sheridon Stokes
Celeste: Alan Broadbent
Synthesizers: Pat Coil, Tom Garvin, Ralph Grierson, Randy Kerber, Thomas Ranier
Percussion: Larry Bunker
Background Vocals (Track 9): Donna Davidson, Debbie Hall, Kerry Katz, Rick Logan, Gene Merlino, Don Shelton, Sally Stevens, Susie Stevens
01. The Very Thought of You (Noble) 4.16
02. Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) 3.25
03. Route 66 (Troup) 3.01
04. Mona Lisa (Evans/Livingston) 3.46
05. L-O-V-E (Gabler/Kaempfert) 2.31
06. This Can’t Be Love (Hart/Rodgers) 2.14
07. Smile (Chaplin/Parsons/Turner) 3.38
08. Lush Life (Strayhorn) 4.20
09. That Sunday That Summer (Sherman/Weiss) 3.31
10. Orange Colored Sky (Delugg/Stein) 2.27
11, Medley: For Sentimental Reasons/Tenderly/Autumn Leaves (Best/Gross/Kosma/Mercer/Prévert/Watson) 7.32
12. Straighten Up And Fly Right (N.K.Cole/Mills) 2.40
13. Avalon (DeSylva/Jolson/Rose) 1.51
14. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) 2.34
15. Too Young (Dee/Lippman) 4.32
16. Nature Boy (Ahbez) 3.24
17. Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (Sosenko) 3.25
18. Almost Like Being In Love (Lerner/Loewe) 2.11
19. Thou Swell (Hart/Rodgers) 1.50
20. Non Dimenticar (Dobbins/Galdieri/Prévert/Redi) 2.57
21. Our Love Is Here to Stay (G.Gershwin(I.Gershwin) 3.29
22. Unforgettable (Gordon) 3.28