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#100 – In The Wee Small Hours (Frank Sinatra)

In 124-100, Top 150 on January 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Usually regarded as one of Frank Sinatra’s best recordings, In The Wee Small Hours captures the feeling of time slowing down, cocooning the crooner in a melancholy state – a state which is perfectly freeze-framed on the LP cover. Sinatra is legendary, as we all know, but my experience listening to this album was contrary to what I expected. Most of the Sinatra tunes I know tend to be more upbeat and jovial. And if you know anything about this album already, you know that it isn’t exactly jovial!

The downfall of Sinatra’s controversial relationship with his second wife, Ava Gardner, seems to have inspired this April 1955. Although Sinatra didn’t write the songs on the album, its still considered to be one of the first “concept” albums, because it has such similar themes of melancholy, late-night heartbreak. Its also one of Sinatra’s top selling albums, originally released in a 2-disc, 10 inch LP, as well as a single 12 inch LP. According to Wikipedia, by 2002, In The Wee Small Hours sold over 500 000 units and was certified as a Gold release.

What I love about In The Wee Small Hours is the timelessness of recordings. Sinatra’s voice has spanned almost 50 years of recordings and been played everywhere, in every movie, in every restaurant, in every home. The beautiful warmth and easy intensity of his vocal stylings are matched by studio artists who accompany him with equal warmth. I think this album is one to add to a list of LPs to pick up, because listening to a vinyl recording of this, as opposed to digital, would be fantastic. It would be even smoother, even warmer, and even more melancholy as a result.

I’m not sure what else to say about this album, so maybe I should just leave it here. To send off though, I decided to plug in a nice video in here of one of my new favourite tunes from this album, “I’ll Be Around”. There is a subtle difference in this track that distinguishes it from others on the album. There is definitely a difference in the instrumental track, although I can’t make out what it is, but Sinatra’s voice has less push and more of a sense of calm at the beginning of this track. It caught my attention, and now I love the subtle difference. Its refreshing.

Track Listing

Side One

  1. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
  2. Mood Indigo
  3. Glad To Be Unhappy
  4. I Get Along Without You Very Well
  5. Deep In A Dream
  6. I See Your Face Before Me
  7. Can’t We Be Friends?
  8. When Your Lover Has Gone

Side Two

  1. What Is This Thing Called Love
  2. Last Night When We Were Young
  3. I’ll Be Around
  4. Ill Wind
  5. It Never Entered My Mind
  6. Dancing On The Ceiling
  7. I’ll Never Be The Same
  8. This Love Of Mine

Enjoy this album! And guess what! We’re officially at the 100 mark now. Next up, number 99…

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