Thursday, 31 January 2013

Frank Sinatra - Top Ten (maybe...)

The Top Ten Sinatras
An Audiophilia Top Ten.
JANUARY 2, 2013

On New Year’s Eve, I sent a message to our own Harry Currie, the world’s foremost Sinatra scholar and an incredible singer in his own right, requesting an almost impossible task, at least for him. It’s only that I’ve known him literally my whole life (plus a little begging) that he concurred. For Harry, compiling a Ten Best list of Sinatra recordings is akin to asking him ‘who’s your favourite kid?’.
His email reply was ‘…that’s a tough one - at times he was effervescent, at times introspective, and no one has ever touched him when he was at his best in both categories. I’ll do my best. No particular order.
July 1960. Capitol.
July 1960. Capitol.
January 1958. Capitol.
January 1958. Capitol.
September 1958. Capitol.
September 1958. Capitol.
April 1955. Capitol.
April 1955. Capitol.
January 1957. Capitol.
January 1957. Capitol.
January 1954. Capitol.
January 1954. Capitol.
March 1967. Reprise.
March 1967. Reprise.
August 1954. Capitol.
August 1954. Capitol.
March 1962. Capitol.
March 1962. Capitol.
November 1962. Reprise.
November 1962, Reprise

Swing Easy and Songs for Young Lovers were the first recordings with his developed, mature voice, and Nelson Riddle. Come Fly with Me, with Billy May - Wow! Close to You was his most introspective and adventurous, with the Hollywood String Quartet. Point of No Return, his last Capitol LP, with Axel Stordahl as arranger. Listen to When the World Was Young. I listen, and it still moves me. The Capitol years were his very best, with a few during Reprise. The British album is a personal favourite because of arranger Robert Farnon — Bob sent me the chart of The Very Thought of You which I sang with the Kitchener — Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Symphony, and I transcribed for Windjammers. Other albums are close, but I think these are my picks.

Cheers, Harry

2 comments:

  1. Some of Sinatra's later Reprise stuff is just as good as the sometimes over-cherished Capitol material. Even as late as 1981, there are gems like 'It Never Entered My Mind.'

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  2. Everything Happens to Me is a really rather good collection of late period Sinatra without any of that showboating that marred some of his Reprise stuff.

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