New release entitled Frank Sinatra, With Love brings together timeless ballads and swingin’ standards
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
That special day every February when we try to prove how much we love our significant others by buying them candy they shouldn’t eat, lingerie they would be embarrassed to wear, flowers that will trigger their allergies and jewelry they won’t wear in public because they’re afraid they’ll lose it.
How am I supposed to express my love if chocolates, lingerie, flowers and jewelry are off the table? you ask.
With music, of course.
What kind of music? you ask.
Punk? Metal? Hip-hop? Techno? Acid jazz? Country? What?
None of the above.
When it comes to the music of romance, you just can’t beat the classics.
And no, I’m not talking about the music of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart or Chopin.
I’m talking about the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.
While I stand to be corrected, I suspect Sinatra likely recorded more classic love songs during his career than anyone else in popular music.
And you’ll find some of his very best on a new collection released — would you believe it — just in time for Valentine’s Day this year.
Sinatra, With Love brings together timeless ballads and swingin’ standards from some of America’s greatest composers, people like Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, George and Ira Gershwin and Johnny Burke.
Virtually every piece of music on this record is timeless.
The Sinatra recordings for this set come from both his Capitol Records and Reprise years and include standards like From This Moment On, Just One Of Those Things, Nice ‘N’ Easy, Moonlight Becomes You, The Way You Look Tonight and It Had To Be You.
They showcase great performances by Sinatra and great arrangements by Nelson Riddle and Billy May.
In a career that spanned 60 years Sinatra performed on more than 1,400 recordings, earning 31 gold records, nine platinum records, three double-platinum records and one triple platinum records.
His timing was impeccable, his delivery was almost flawless and he had such tremendous presence. He was style personified.
The recordings on Sinatra, With Love capture all of that.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Dean Martin release
If Sinatra, With Love sounds like it might be of interest to you you might also want to check out the re-release of another collection, this one by one of Sinatra’s closest friends, fellow Rat Pack member Dean Martin.
Originally issued in 2010, Dean Martin: Essential Love Songs features 16 songs from Martin’s back catalogue which, while not as extensive as Sinatra’s, is still substantial.
Martin, who died in 1995, is well represented here by hits like You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You, That’s Amoré and Innamorata and by romantic standards which lent themselves well to his cool, casual style like I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face from My Fair Lady, Dream A Little Dream Of Me and Just In Time.
Martin is recognized as one of the 20th century’s greatest entertainers for good reason.
And you’ll find that reason here.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
And while I recommend both of these recordings as Valentine’s Day offerings for your beloved, you might still want to hedge your bets by packaging them with chocolates, lingerie, flowers and jewelry.
Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at email@example.com or 629-6000, ext. 6057.