Wednesday, May 25, 2011

306. Songs for Swinging Lovers. Old Blue eyes is here

Album: Songs for Swinging Lovers
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Year: 1956
Genre: Big Band Swing


  1. You Make Me Feel So Young
  2. It Happened in Monterey
  3. You're Getting to be a Habit with Me
  4. You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me
  5. Too Marvelous for Words
  6. Old Devil Moon
  7. Pennies From Heaven
  8. Love is Here to Stay
  9. I've Got You Under My Skin
  10. I Thought About You
  11. We'll Be Together Again
  12. Makin' Whoopee
  13. Swingin' Down the Lane
  14. Anything Goes
  15. How About You?

I defy you not to like this record. In fact more than that I dare you. I officially dare you to put this album on and not enjoy it. If you can convince me that you heard Songs for Swinging Lovers all the way through and didn’t tap your toes with enjoyment at some point then I’ll gladly give you a free CD of your choice- which would be small compensation for the fact that you’re clearly dead inside and incapable of joy on any level.

While it’s possible Sinatra wasn’t an especially nice guy in person and he had a habit of befriending even less pleasant people, none of that comes through on the album. When you put Songs for Swinging Lovers on your CD player all you hear is a truly remarkable voice singing  some well chosen standards. There’s nothing original on the album, you won’t find Sinatra’s name in the songwriting credits and some of the tracks were already over a decade old before they appeared on the album. In fact Sinatra fans would have been able to pick up the record in the shop and probably sing a version of every track themselves before they even heard it. But they wouldn’t do the songs justice the way Frank does. He really does these tracks justice. And not “we tracked down the perpetrators and fined them” justice but full on, Dirty Harry, Charles Bronson “we hunted them down and shot them in cold blood after making a growly speech" justice. Okay that analogy got away from me a bit but the point is that Sinatra and the brilliantly named Nelson Riddle completely transform these old love songs into Frank tunes. Anyone doing them after the release of Swinging Lovers was doing them with due deference to the Sinatra way.

You may not consider yourself to be especially swinging, you may even be a life-long celibate, but none of that will stop you from enjoying Songs For Swinging Lovers and becoming slightly cooler for having heard it.

Highlight: I've got you under my skin
Lowlight: Too marvelous for words

Influenced by: The songs themselves and a rat-pack mentality
Influenced: Countless imitators.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Wonderful arrangements. Magnificent composers. Frank's glorious voice. What more could anyone want? This is music that will still be enjoyable 20-30 years from now."

-Strange that the reviewer felt the need to date the timeline. Are they suggesting that it won't be enjoyable in 31 years?

So to be Frank are you a lover of the Swing or would you rather this sort of thing only happened in Monterey? Let me know below

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