Sinatra 100th: Ten Best Albums – No. 01
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 about to land after another supersonic flight where the air is so rarefied: counting down the Top Ten Best Albums of Mr. Sinatra.
Above everything else, ol’ Francis Albert was about da albums for a good part of his career.
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. In fact, he was one of the first performers to put out an album in the mid-1940’s, The Voice Of Frank Sinatra, and it even had a concept, a common theme.
So far, we’ve made our way from #10 down to #02.
While time did not permit me to post audio for all the tracks on each album, I tried to provide a nice sampler of the tunes I enjoy the most and that gave you a good taste of the mood to be found therein, heretofor, and whatfor.
So…put your seat belts on one more time and get ready for a real mothery time [and indulge in a little ‘Hey-Hey’, if you feel the urge] as we come to a real smooth landing with the Best Of The Best of The Chairman Of The Board.
As evah: Captain Frank will be your pilot and I, Bobby Bell, your navigator.
Let’s get this bird motivating…
01 — Songs For Swingin’ Lovers
Recorded: 17 October 1955 / 09, 10, 11, as January 1956
Arranger: Nelson Riddle
Best Mastering* on CD/Digital Download: 2014 Mobile Fidelity SACD.
Mastering Engineer: Rob LoVerde.
[favorite Performances in black]:
- “You Make Me Feel So Young” (Josef Myrow, Mack Gordon) – 2:57
- “It Happened in Monterey” (Mabel Wayne, Billy Rose) – 2:36
- “You’re Getting to be a Habit with Me” (Harry Warren, Al Dubin) – 2:19
- “You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me” (Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal, Pierre Norman) – 2:48
- “Too Marvelous for Words” (Richard A. Whiting, Johnny Mercer) – 2:29
- “Old Devil Moon” (Burton Lane, E.Y. Harburg) – 3:56
- “Pennies from Heaven” (Arthur Johnston, Johnny Burke) – 2:44
- “Love is Here to Stay” (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) – 2:42
- “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (Cole Porter) – 3:43
- “I Thought About You” (Jimmy Van Heusen, Mercer) – 2:30
- “We’ll Be Together Again” (Carl T. Fischer, Frankie Laine) – 4:26
- “Makin’ Whoopee” (Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn) – 3:06
- “Swingin’ Down the Lane” (Isham Jones, Kahn) – 2:54
- “Anything Goes” (Cole Porter) – 2:43
- “How About You?” (Burton Lane, Ralph Freed) – 2:45
Well…this one, at least, was no surprise.
Unlike, say, movie critics who always want to be one of ‘the Cool Kids’ and list Citizen Kane as the greatest film evah!™ made, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers is without a doubt the greatest album ever recorded. The artistry never is less than high-quality, the skill something close to perfection on the part of Francis, Nelson Riddle, the Musicians, and the Engineers. It’s also one Helluva ride, a real gas.
The stars aligned for this one in a big way and then they fell on the Capitol Records Studios at 5515 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, C-A.
From the happy-happy opening bars of You Make Me Feel So Young to the last, smooth ba-dum of the drums on How About You, this album is nothing but pure jubilation, brothers and sisters.**
The temptation is to engage in a little bloviation time when describing a wonderful Work Of Art, so…let me stop my jaw-jawin’ right here and take you by the hand for a quick trip to The Promised Land…
–I wanna go and bounce the moon
Just like a toy balloon…
–Stars and steel guitars and luscious lips, as red as wine…
–Every kiss, every hug seems to act just like a drug…
–You’re just too marvelous, too marvelous for words
Like “glorious”, “glamorous” and that old standby “amorous”…
–It’s very clear, our love is here to stay,
Not for a year, but ‘ever and a day…
–I would sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of havin’ you near
In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats — how it yells in my ear:
Don’t you know little fool, you never can win?
Why not use your mentality — step up, wake up to reality
But each time I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop just before I begin
‘Cause I’ve got you under my skin.
Yes, I’ve got you under my skin….
-It’s on six more days until the BIG DAY and I’m going to attempt to post some new celebration every day until then when we’ll tear it up on that Biggest of B-Daze.
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.
**Mrs. B and I discovered yesterday that, if you
want a great companion album to SFSL, follow-up
you’re listening to it with Dean Martin’s best:
This Time I’m Swingin’ [this mastering is, IMHO,
the cat’s meow].