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In The Wee Small Hours (Ltd Ed) (Vinyl) Limited Edition
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The 1955 classic that spent 18 weeks at #2 on the charts!
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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".
Most recent customer reviews
Love Frank Sinatra. An amazing artist. The item arrived fast and in great conditionPublished 18 months ago by Kristijana
Super fun album. Not a fan of every song but still a great album. Though I have most of these songs because of a couple collections I bought.Published 20 months ago by nick jaggan
I really only wanted a single track from tis record, 'In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning'. This one is fabulous. The rest are Ok, but not particularly enjoyable for me.Published 22 months ago by Chris Potter
If you like classic Frank this is one for the collection, and shipped fassst! Im pleased at the pressing and the value.Published on April 11 2011 by Vinylspir
There are simply no words to explain how much this album has meant - to me,to audiences, to the whole of popular music. Read morePublished on March 30 2006 by Artanis Frank
here sinatra proved he was no flash in the pan, no mere velvet toned singer, and not even just ' the voice'. here sinatra proved he was an artist. Read morePublished on June 11 2004 by ageofanxiety