158. That’s how many Frank Sinatra songs I’ve listened to over the last few days.
The vast majority of them were well known covers. You know the sort of thing – Cheek to Cheek, Chicago, I Get a Kick Out Of You, The Lady is a Tramp, I’ve Got You Under My Skin – you get the picture. It was hard for me to tell which tracks were Sinatra originals – but it didn’t really matter that much.
Some were downright strange – Jesus Is A Rock In The Weary Land anyone? And what about My Shawl? These were both very ancient recordings. On the face of it different – one religious (obviously), the other about a shawl-seller singing to a ‘pretty lady’. But the background accompaniment just struck me as similar in both – heavily creole-like. You had to be there, I guess.
And there were some notable omissions – no New York, New York? And what about My Way? What kind of self-respecting Sinatra collection is this?
Of course, there were plenty of ballads. Around the World is very lovely. But the slower work doesn’t really float my boat that much.
In general, however, although something of a marathon to get through them all in one go, it was a pleasure to listen to. I preferred the big band stuff. You can’t beat a great track like Why Should I Cry Over You? – this is a real classic big band number in every sense. Pure gold. And then You Do Something To Me is similar, with added swing – even better. There were plenty more like this – perfect.
And here I am getting nearly to the end of this post without having written anything about Sinatra himself. Well, there really is no need, is there? You don’t need me to say anything about the power and smoothness of his voice? To comment on the remarkable longevity of his career? His versatility as a performer? No thought not, so I won’t mention those things.
But I will say that his music is yet another example of the enduring power of quality. I shall undoubtedly have something of a fillet – I definitely do not need the whole 158 tracks in order to get an occasional Frank-Fix. Less is more and that’ll do for me. 🙂