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Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 79-77 [UPDATED]

06 March 2015 @ 22:46

Sinatra100th-Logo-009-250gxRing-A-Ding-Ding, everybody!

Here at TCOTS, we’re celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday by counting down what I think are his 100 best performances on Vinyl and CD. All of the songs on the List have been released on either one or both mediums. Interspersed with the countdown will be Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the List and a countdown of what I think are his best albums.

Francis Albert will be your pilot and Bobby Bell your navigator.

So sit back easy in your easy chair, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s take-off in the blue…

79 — All The Way

Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Recorded: 13 August 1957
Released as a Single; included in the compilation albums All The Way, The Complete Capitol Singles Collection, and The Capital Years [this last collection has the best remastering]

Sammy Cahn explains, perhaps, the main reason this song, written for the movie The Joker Is Wild, works:

Sammy Cahn: When he sings, [sings] ‘It’s such a lovely day,’ he makes the word ‘lovely’ sound lovely. Ninety-nine singers out of 100 wouldn’t sing it that way. [Sings] ‘When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless he loves you…‘ The word ‘love.’ He gives the words their full meaning. And that’s why he’s Sinatra.”

In a number of the remasterings of this performance, too much remixing and ‘enhancing’ was added to it [the reverb/echo that was added, Frankly, stinks].  This is the least tampered-with version I could find on YouTube…

The best version is to be found on The Capital Years three CD collection [which, by the way, is the best introduction to Frank’s Capital Years recordings].

78 — All Of Me

Music & Lyrics: Seymour Simons, Gerald Marks
Recorded: 19 April 1954
From the album Swing Easy

Francis recorded this song a number of times, but in this performance I think he swings it best.

Ahh…Kismet, baby: In the past several weeks, Pundette and Mark Steyn have both put this one on their Sinatra 100 Lists.  And, now: moi.  —’Great minds…’ and all that Jazz.

I really can’t add anything to what Jill and Mark have written about this performance, so I highly recommend you all read their posts for the all the dish, but let me provide a few tastes of what they have on offer at their joints…

Pundette:

I like the changes this arrangement takes us through, starting off kinda sweet and then picking up a big head of steam in the second half, just perfect for the song and the singer.

Mark:

The way Sinatra re-accents the second half of the song – “Your goodbye left me with eyes that cry” – against the drums and the brass thrilled me the first time I heard it, and has never ceased to thrill over the years.

It’s a thriller and a killer.

77 — I’ll Never Smile Again

Music & Lyrics: Ruth Lowe
Recorded: 23 May 1940
Released as a 78 rpm Single; included in many compilation albums, the best, perhaps, being The Essential Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra, remastered by Charles Granata

Recorded by Tommy Dorsey And His Orchestra, with Frank and The Pied Pipers providing vocals, this performance was Francis Albert’s first big hit, staying at Number One on the charts for twelve weeks.

[UPDATE on 18APR2015 at 0027: Mark Steyn has written-up the story behind this song and offers his usual perceptive remarks here.]

Funny how this sad song always leaves me with a smile on my face.

See you next Friday as we head-off again to Bobsville.

Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown
& Mark Steyn’s Sinatra Songs Of The Century.
It’s a swingin’ world.

If you’re having trouble tracking down any of the performances on this List, contact me at Robert[dot]Belvedere[at]gmail[dot]com and I might be able to help you.

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