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  • In The Wee Small Hours (Ltd Ed) (Vinyl)
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In The Wee Small Hours (Ltd Ed) (Vinyl) Limited Edition

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In The Wee Small Hours (Ltd Ed) (Vinyl) + Songs for Swingin Lovers! + Sings For Only The Lonely
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Product Details

  • LP Record (Nov. 10 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B002LBGBF4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

The first of many artistic milestones in the long and illustrious collaboration of Frank Sinatra and arranger Nelson Riddle that began at Capitol Records, In the Wee Small Hours is a first in other notable ways, as well: it was the pair's first 12-inch LP; their first album devoted entirely to ballads; the first "concept album," a program of songs designed to be heard in a particular sequence that sustains a mood and suggests a story; the introduction of Sinatra's definitive "saloon singer" persona; and the first flowering of Sinatra's mature artistic sensibility. Oh, and it's a masterpiece, too. The cover portrait suggests the mood of late-night desolation almost as effectively as the music, with Sinatra in the corner, smoking a solitary cigarette on deserted street illuminated only by the a foggy, blue-green glow of lamplight. Loneliness, thy name is Frank! They say that memories of Ava Gardner caused him to break down after finishing this aching version of "When Your Lover Has Gone." Riddle's clarinet theme for "What Is this Thing Called Love?" is as haunting as Cole Porter's melody itself. And if there's a more devastating evocation of solitude than "It Never Entered My Mind"... well it must be on Only the Lonely. With songs like "I'll Be Around" and "Dancing on the Ceiling" to suggest at least the hope of hope, Wee Small Hours may flirt with despair, but never succumbs to it. It's the kind of comforting company that misery likes best. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Ribel Sr on June 23 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ten years before the Beatles were getting credit for making the LP more than just a collection of album fillers to sit next to the 45 singles, Frank Sinatra was mastering te Long Playing Album with concept collections on Capital Records. Ironically, it was Capital who were the american label for the Beatles in the 1960's (EMI being the primary label in England). In the Wee Small Hours is not only my favorite studio, non best of, cd, It maybe the greatest pop music album ever. Sinatra also recorded masters such as Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely and September of my Years. Yes, The Beatles, The Who, and Springsteen created some all time great studio albums. However, this is pure magic. The mood set by Frank's voice as an instrument in it's own right, and the rapture of Nelson Riddle's conducting places this as one of the most artistic moments in any ones carrer.
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Format: Audio CD
The man never fails to impress, even after being long gone. "In the Wee Small Hours" is one album that reminded everyone that Frank was much more than a one-sided lively swinger. Sure, anyone could turn to "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" (a superb album in its own right and the perfect counter-listen) or any of his more commercial hits in his later years and be mildly entertained. However, Frank showcased his abilities to the fullest with his sad concepts, conveying a sense not seen in any singer before or since.
Every track creates a unified somber sound that perfectly accents the cover art (Frank standing outside alone under street lights late at night, the imagery he popularized). The opening notes of the title song will draw you in and lead you into Duke Ellington's infamous 'Mood Indigo' and the rest is just as good to listen to. The album never skips a beat and there are absolutely no fillers to be found here. The love gone wrong ballad concept may be the case, but whether you relate with the Gardner-Sinatra relationship or not, you will still enjoy the music just the same.
Okay, so Frank wasn't a songwriter, but if it weren't for his signature touch, the mood just wouldn't have had that same feel. The songs simply can't be sung by another person. It's what makes "In the Wee Small Hours" one of the best of all ballad collections by anyone. You won't be disappointed. Prepare for some amazing late-night listening. Although Ava left Frank with sad thoughts in mind, what resulted arguably turned out to be his finest moment.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is the ultimate in comfort music. When your lonely, destitute, world-weary, put on this cd and you'll have a buddy. Frank Sinatra's all-knowing voice on this, surely a landmark album in the history of popular music, is breathtaking. Understated, weary yet subtly powerful, his performances on my favourite tracks "Glad To Be Unhappy" and "I'll Be Around" are spellbinding. These tracks have a musical accompaniment of only piano, bass, guitar, drums and xylophone. This is where Sinatra's voice is most at home and where he is most able to communicate his regrets, wishes and desperation. Nelson Riddle paints a beautiful landscape with his haunting arrangments. I sometimes think that the violins heard in most of these songs, are made of heart strings, such is the emotiveness of the music. Again as in the majority of Sinatra's Capitol repotoire, most songs heil from the songwriting hayday of the 1920's - 1940's. Songs that might have sounded rather bland originally, but here are fully restored their intended beauty in the capable hands of Sinatra/Riddle.
This album can seem a little intense to the novice Sinatra fan, but it will grow on you, as it did to myself.
Definitely a must-buy album, and if liked, you must also purchase "No One Cares" and "Only the Lonely" to help complete the set of classic sad Sinatra "concepts".
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Format: Audio CD
The classic album cover says it all---Frank Sinatra, with his trademark cigarette burning, standing on a lonely street late at night, looking down and reflecting about a lost love. 1955's "In The Wee Small Hours" is a masterpiece on many levels. His first 12-inch long player (his previous records were 10-inch albums & 45 singles), and inspired by his painful breakup with Ava Gardner, Sinatra came up with this beautiful concept album about love and the loss of it. With exquisite orchestrations by Nelson Riddle, Sinatra pours his heart out into these 16 moody, perfectly selected tunes, bringing a musical cohesiveness to it that hangs together from the first song to the last. Singing from his soul, Sinatra's signature voice has arguably never been more rich or more full of feeling than on this album. With such lovely, meaningful songs as "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning," "I Get Along Without You Very Well," "When Your Lover Has Gone," "What Is This Thing Called Love," "Dancing On The Ceiling," and the concluding "This Love Of Mine" (for which Sinatra received a rare co-writing credit), and rendered by Sinatra with all the emotion he can muster, your heart just aches for the guy. Sinatra has many brilliant albums to his credit, including many that are certainly more upbeat and happier-sounding than this one ("Songs For Swingin' Lovers" is the epitome of that). But "In The Wee Small Hours" stands out as a truly special, landmark Sinatra recording, as Frank allows the listener to peak inside his very soul. A beautiful, highly-essential album.
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