Sings for Only the Lonely (2018 Stereo Mix)

Sings for Only the Lonely (2018 Stereo Mix)

Throughout his Capitol run from the mid-’50s to the early ’60s, Sinatra’s pendulum swung from upbeat to disconsolate. Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely falls into the latter category, like its predecessors Where Are You? and In the Wee Small Hours, which are among the first concept albums, organized around a narrative theme. The album is also one of several to feature the lush orchestral arrangements of Nelson Riddle, indelibly a part of Sinatra’s signature sound (although Gordon Jenkins, Billy May, and others wrote for Sinatra during this period as well). Mainly it’s a testament to Ol’ Blue Eyes’ inimitable way with a song, caressing those odd sliding chromatic notes in “Only the Lonely,” or falling into the phrase “Probably I’m boring you” on “What’s New?” But these Capitol releases can be seen as a repository of wisdom on the Great American Songbook—not jazz records per se, but vital source material for anyone in jazz seeking definitive readings of standards by Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn, and more.

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