Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 58-56
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…
58 — Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week (1944)
Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
Recorded: 01 December 1944
Released as a Single; included in the compilation albums Swing And Dance With Frank Sinatra, The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings [12-CD set], The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952 [4-CD set], Portrait Of Sinatra [2-CD set] [which was retitled in 2010 to The Essential Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years]
This first version that Frank recorded is more rhythm and bluesy than the one he cut in the 1950’s that really swings and that we’ll hear later on as we climb the List.
57 — You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me (1963)
Music & Lyrics: Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal, Pierre Norman
Recorded: 21 February 1963
From the compilation album Sinatra ’65, bonus track on the original CD of Sinatra And Swingin’ Brass 
This platter just jumps and I can’t understand why it wasn’t included on Swingin’ Brass originally. It’s one of Frank’s best swingers.
56 — TIE
Strangers In The Night
Music & Lyrics: Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
Recorded: 11 April 1966
From the album Strangers In The Night
Frank hated this song and this is one of those few times, when judging a tune and a performance, that The Chairman was wrong.
Is it the deepest, most profound expression of two lonely lovers meeting? No — after all, two words: Bert Kaempfert [look it up, pally]. But, as he often does, Frank takes something average and makes it something special.
All The Way (Film Version)
Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Recorded: 03 October 1956
From the special compilation box Sinatra In Hollywood
This is the version that is sung in the film, The Joker Is Wild, and it is much simpler in arrangement, making this performance more intimate. And that’s a good thing because it fits the lyrics and simple, yet sincere, melody much better than the Single version [which came in at #79].
See you next Friday as we head-off again to Bobsville.
Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown,
Ms Evi’s Sinatra Celebration,
& 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.