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Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 16-14

29 August 2015 @ 19:18

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…

16 — More

Music & Lyrics: Riz Ortolani, Nino Oliviero, Marcello Ciorciolini, Norman Newell
Recorded: 12 June 1964
From the album It Might As Well Be Spring

I may be the only Sinatra Aficionado in the whole World who would rate this performance so high on a ‘Best Of Sinatra’ list.  I say that because my love for this recording when stated always brings me strange looks.  People are either convinced I’ve lost it or am under the influence or they heard wrong.

Well…if I have to strike out alone on this one, then so be it: this is one of Frank’s greatest performances.

Listen to his phrasing – one is reminded of his performance on The Way You Look Tonight: Frank understands the subject thoroughly and conveys exactly the right emotions through pitch appropriate singing and dead solid perfect emphasis on the right words and phrases [two examples: both times he sings ‘My arms long to hooold you so’].

15 — Please Be Kind

Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Saul Chaplin
Recorded: 2 October 1962
From the album Sinatra-Basie

The Basie-ist of Frank’s collaborations with The Count – a bit of Kansas City Swing that makes you want to sip a cocktail, put your around your gal and give her a squeeze with one arm, while you snap you fingers with t’other.  You want to take a time machine back to the early 1960’s, well then, this is the essential soundtrack.

It’s all so grand…

14 — You Make Me Feel So Young

Music & Lyrics: Joseph Myrow, Mack Gordon
Recorded: 9 January 1956
From the album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers

What a way to start off an album!  Right away you know you’re taking a journey with Romance at your side.  And what a mothery time you will have swingin’ down the lane.

As Mark Steyn remarks:

On January 9th 1956, Frank Sinatra went into the not yet famous Studio A of Capitol Records at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles for the first of a handful of sessions for a new album. Released that March, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers would become not just a bestseller but the great defining title of the LP era. It declares itself in its opening number – a short, brassy Nelson Riddle vamp in what he liked to call “the tempo of the heartbeat”, and then:

You Make Me Feel So Young
You make me feel ‘so spring has sprung
And every time I see you grin
I’m such a happy in

And by the second chorus he’s an even happier in-di-vi-du-al: as Frankologist Will Friedwald puts it, “You Make Me Feel So Young” “modulates from mere cheerfulness to exalted rapture”

…Alec Wilder called it “a simply great rhythm song” with “irresistible vitality” that says “get out of my way till I finish”. Can’t argue with that….

I wouldn’t even try.

BONUS — You Make Me Feel So Young [Live]

Music & Lyrics: Joseph Myrow, Mack Gordon
Recorded: Sometime between January 26-February 1, 1966
From the album Sinatra At The Sands

This arrangement and the Frankisms contained within together form the live version Francis would perform for the rest of his career.  And, unlike some others, this one works perfectly.

From ‘You make me young’ to ‘Be-cause you make me feel so / Man, I just feel so’, what he does fits so wonderfully – it’s a koo-koo thing.

See you next Weekend 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.


  1. 29 August 2015 @ 21:17 21:17

    Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

  2. 02 September 2015 @ 07:29 07:29

    I love “More” too. It came close to making my top 100. It took a lot of listens for me to erase from my mind the Andy Williams version from childhood and just hear it the way Frank was doing it. His timing — the way he comes it late after the bridge! And the finger snapping near the end … Really great, and I wish I had found room for it.

    • thecampofthesaints permalink
      02 September 2015 @ 07:56 07:56

      Regarding the Andy Williams version: I had the same problem!

      ‘Great minds’ and all that jazz, eh, Jill?

      On Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 7:29 AM, The Camp Of The Saints wrote:



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