- Audio CD (Jan. 26 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- ASIN: B002W9J5HG
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | LP Record
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
This 1966 album marked a comeback of sorts for Frank Sinatra. He hadn't had a number 1 album since 1960's "Nice And Easy", and hadn't had a big hit single for quite some time. The "Strangers In The Night" album all changed that. The album went to number one and spawned a pair of hit singles: the title track, which knocked "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles off the top of the charts, and "That's Life", which became a number 4 hit in Decmeber, 1967. And though it wasn't a hit, "The Summer Wind" became one of his most popular songs. There are more great songs here, too. He does an expertice cover of Petula Clark's "Downtown", and his reworking of his first hit, "All Or Nothing At All" (recorded when he worked with Harry James),as it is much more uptempo and his older - sounding voice gives the song more of an edge. His version of "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" ranks as one of his best vocal performances ever. The other songs are good but not worth mentioning.
This cd is a great cd for both noivice and expert Sinatra fans. I still think it's his best 1960s' album. I know it's one of my favorite albums of all time. Buy it today.
Also, I must correct a previous reviewer - this is not the final collaboration between Sinatra and Nelson Riddle. They recorded together in the studio a few times in the mid- to late-1970s and performed together live many times up through the early 1980s. However, this is the last of Sinatra's concept albums to primarily feature Riddle as the arranger/conductor.
The other selections are of a higher order (with the possible exceptions of "Downtown" and "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," both of which Sinatra manages to sing convincingly despite having his tongue conspicuously planted in his cheek). "All or Nothing at All" is a felicitous, swinging revision; "Call Me" is taken at a surprisingly slow tempo, allowing Sinatra to treat it as a love song; "The Most Beautiful Girl" is as fast a tempo as you will ever hear Sinatra take, and he makes it sound effortless and dramatic at the same time.
Sinatra is in excellent voice throughout, so I don't know what some earlier reviewers' comments about it being "rough" are all about. There are admittedly some downsides, however: 1. "Strangers" evidences more studio effects than is characteristic of a Sinatra recording; 2. the running time of the disc is well under 30 minutes; 3. finally, Riddle's decision to incorporate electronic organ on most of the orchestrations clearly demonstrates that he was human like the rest of us. Whether he considered the instrument trendy or was going through a Lawrence Welk phase, perhaps we'll never know. But each of its appearances invites that epithet coined by a later generation: "cheesy."
I wonder how the album would have fared if Nelson would have arranged the title tune also or if Ernie Freeman would have arranged the entire album like That's Life. Sometimes I think that w/o Strangers the album would have not made No.1 but then again if people just liked the single, then why did they buy the album?
If you're looking for a fun and swinging party album, GET IT!!