Sinatra 100th: Ten Best Albums – No. 07
Since way back in January, we here at TCOTS have been celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday and, man, it’s been a swingin’ affair so far. We started by ticking off the 100 Best Performances of The Chairman Of The Board on CD and digital download, and now we’re ready for another supersonic flight where the air is so rarified: counting down the Top Ten Best Albums of Mr. Sinatra, because, above everything else, ol’ Francis Albert was about da albums for a good part of his career [we’ll be featuring one album per week and this will take us right-up to the big day: 12 December].
While he may not have invented the Concept Album [and that is a matter of some dispute], Frank certainly defined and brought the genre to near-Perfection, turning out a series of them that still move the Heart and thrill the Soul.
While time will not permit me to post audio for all the tracks, I’ll try to provide a nice sampler of the tunes I enjoy the most.
So…put your seat belts on and get ready for a real mothery time [and indulge in a little ‘Hey-Hey’, if you feel the urge].
Captain Frank will be your pilot and Bobby Bell your navigator.
Let’s get this bird soaring…
07 — Where Are You?
Recorded: 10, 29 April & 01 May 1957
Arranger: Gordon Jenkins
Best Mastering* on CD/Digital Download: Stereo – 1991 CD with four bonus tracks; Mono – Mobile Fidelity SACD.
Mastering Engineer: Stereo – Larry Walsh; Mono – Rob LoVerde.
[favorite Performances in black]:
- “Where Are You?” (Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh) – 3:30
- “The Night We Called It a Day” (Matt Dennis, Tom Adair) – 3:28
- “I Cover the Waterfront” (Johnny Green, Edward Heyman) – 2:58
- “Maybe You’ll Be There” (Rube Bloom, Sammy Gallop) – 3:07
- “Laura” (Johnny Mercer, David Raksin) – 3:28
- “Lonely Town” (Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green) – 4:12
- “Autumn Leaves” (Jacques Prévert, Mercer, Joseph Kosma) – 2:52
- “I’m a Fool to Want You” (Frank Sinatra, Jack Wolf, Joel Herron) – 4:51
- “I Think of You” (Jack Elliott, Don Marcotte) – 3:04
- “Where Is the One?” (Alec Wilder, Edwin Finckel) – 3:13
- “There’s No You” (Tom Adair, Hal Hopper) – 3:48
- “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” (Charles Warfield, Clarence Williams) – 3:00
While unlike, say, No One Cares or Only The Lonely which make you want to slash your wrists or stick your head in a gas oven, Where Are You is wistful — sad, pensive, full of longing for the one who got away. It’s much less suicidal, more resigned.
It’s also a work of beauty.
From Frank’s gentle vocals to Gordon Jenkins’s masterful sonically painted backdrops, this album is infused with a loveliness, an exquisiteness, and an elegance that encompasses you like a warm blanket in a cold room.
As Mark Steyn has remarked:
If [Nelson] Riddle’s Small Hours are stark, Where Are You? finds its answer in a kind of luxuriant melancholy, with some of Jenkins’ most haunting string writing.
‘Haunting’ is spot-on.
Where Are You was recorded separately in Mono and Stereo, so the question arises: which version is the best? Well…it depends on what you’re looking for in terms of mood. As Friend In The Ether Matt Lutthans explains:
…The stereo is like you are in lonesome misery in a train station; the mono is like you are depressed and curled up, sobbing in a closet, and both are valid, human experiences we’ve all gone through.
I would add that the Stereo version is more lush and space-filling, while the Mono fits if you’re sitting alone in a room with the outside world shut-out – it’s much more of an intimately alone experience. I have both and would recommend you obtain the two, so you can achieve what atmosphere you desire at the moment you’re spinning this platter of pining. [Matt’s full review can be found here and is well-worth your time.]
-Where is my happy ending…
-There wasn’t a thing left to say…
-With anxious heart, I’ll hurry to the door, and maybe…
-The falling leaves drift by the window…
-The stormy clouds hover and falling leaves cover our favorite nook in the wall…
Here’s hoping you find that happy ending.
See you next Weekend as we head-off again to Bobsville…and tell us your favorite albums in the Comments, Clyde.
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 ring-a-ding world.
If you’re having trouble tracking down any of the masterings on this List, contact me at Robert[dot]Belvedere[at]gmail[dot]com and I might be able to help you.
*The links I’m providing for the best CD/Digital
masterings are not meant to be an endorsement of
the site linked to. I receive no enumeration or any
kind of considerations from them. They are linked
for informational purposes only.