Classics Albums: In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

Well, after a couple of newish records for my Classic Albums collection. I just had to write about yet another one today but it’s got to be posted until it’s at least dark outside, OK? I think might do few more of these post and to start with a little more well known albums,  maybe one from each decade to which will take me up to the end of the month sometime.

To start with is the 1950’s, my second album from that after Marty Robbins one last month. Sinatra’s mid fifths album here is his ninth overall in his career, it’s no doubt about this one but it was surprising to me it’s just missed out of on the Rolling Stone 100 greatest albums of all-time, coming in at number 101. It was also never a number one album too but it just missed out at that, at number two spot where it did stayed for 18 weeks which is pretty amazing but it does open that book called 1001 albums you should hear before you die too. Maybe the greatest honor for Wee Hours album is Tom Waits in 2005 named it his number one of his favorite albums of all-time also way back in 1974 paying tribute to cover artwork of In the Wee Small Hours with his own album cover following after it with his Heart of Saturday Night album.

The story behind making of In The Wee Small Hours album is pretty amazing, recording was only done over just five nights starting around 8PM with Frank drinking coffee and going to midnight or just passed it. It’s Frank’s break-up album which he basically invented with it so some say it’s the first concept album too. So with his first divorced in the early 50’s he then married his second wife Ava Gardner only ten days after the papers were filed but then by 1954 this new one was already on the rocks too, recorded in early 1955 and released in April it was pretty much over then but they hung on for a little longer until finally divorcing in 1957. I enjoy Sinatra’s much more than both Dylan’s and Cave’s break-up albums, there is something about this that I don’t find on those maybe with songs like Glad To Be Unhappy and I Get Along Without You Very Well pretty earlier on in the track listing is a clue to it’s all not being bad news.

For me personally it goes into altered state of sleep-deprived and insomnia or by the time I got around to hearing and buying this record it would the nostalgic of it. When I was younger I didn’t sleep very well and now when I listen to this reminds me it wasn’t all bad, you get a lot done while everyone else is sleeping so now I sleep, I guess I’m more healthier and what not because after a while it’s not very good for you, not sleeping. Anyway with tracks like the opening In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning, Last Night When We Were Young and Dancing On The Ceiling are faves plus off course that album cover artwork works so well too, the times alone on the streets at 3AM or 4Am where pretty great, you know? Can’t We Be Friends?, Deep In A Dream and I’ll Be Around are yet more faves. As well as that with the nightlife, loneliness, lost love, failed relationships it deals with introspection and depression which songs like I See Your Face Before Me and I’ll Never Be The Same are so perfect too but I should say now it’s impossible to pick out fave tracks here at all because I’m might as well or I’m already just writing out all the names on the back of the record.

 Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely from 1958 is the other one of his greatest albums but haven’t yet got a copy of that maybe never will but in the past finding these old albums as the there were original release was a bit hard for a while, you can find endless comp greatest hit or best of or whatever. I picked Wee Hours up so long ago but it’s amazing I still remember where I got it, at one of those golden oldies shop in some suburb shopping center for hell. It’s a reissue but it’s only got just the sixteen track listing and no extras which is perfect really. I don’t think any other of his albums would come close to this really in his back catalog but I haven’t listen to everything by him, why hell would I too? I kind-off know all his real big songs/hits which none of these are but for an album for beginning to the end it flows like just about nothing else and you really don’t need a bigger hit song on a classic album. Sometimes, always that just takes away for the all the other songs on the record, I’ve said that before on the previous Classic Albums I’ve written about here maybe that’s one reason they make it on to this list. A little part or song or two that’s a big hits removes from the whole or the album as a whole. This album was in the early days of the album coming in being too, remember in those times singles and albums didn’t mix on the same thing.

So the these sixteen tracks come in at just under 50 mins which is perfect time for an album. Frank pretty much with just this one album set up all the requirements for and to make a perfect album way back then and it’s over sixty years ago now. I think that’s all, covers everything about this album or should I called it some kind-of tick boxes for every other album that comes after it to be judge by?

In The Wee Small Hours track listing, songwriters and times

1. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
composed by David Mann and written by Bob Hilliard
3:00
2. Mood Indigo
composed by Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington and written by Irving Mills
3:30
3. Glad To Be Unhappy
written by Rodgers & Hart
2:35
4. I Get Along Without You Very Well
composed by  Hoagy Carmichael and written by Jane Brown Thompson
3:42
5. Deep In A Dream
composed by Jimmy Van Heusen and written by Eddie DeLange
2:49
6. I See Your Face Before Me
composed by Arthur Schwartz written by Howard Dietz
3:24
7. Can’t We Be Friends?
composed by Kay Swift and written by Paul James
2:48
8. When Your Lover Has Gone
written by E. A. Swan
3:10
9. What Is This Thing Called Love?
written by Cole Porter
2:35
10. Last Night When We Were Young
composed by Harold Arlen and written by E.Y. Harburg
3:17
11. I’ll Be Around
written by Alec Wilder
2:59
12. Ill Wind
composed by Harold Arlen and written by Ted Koehler
3:46
13. It Never Entered My Mind
written by Rodgers & Hart
2:42
14. Dancing On The Ceiling
written by Rodgers & Hart
2:57
15. I’ll Never Be The Same
songwriters: Frank Signorelli, Gus Kahn and Matty Malneck
3:05
16. This Love Of Mine
songwriters: Frank Sinatra, Henry Sanicola and Sol Parker
3:35

frank-sinatra-in-the-wee-small-hours

My Classic Albums are, so far:

Tales From The Australian Underground – Volume 1 & 2 by Various Artists

Station To Station by David Bowie

Unplugged In New York by Nirvana

Rust In Peace by Megadeth

Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs by Marty Robbins

Henry’s Dream by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Whatever You Love, You Are by Dirty Three

Gala Mill by The Drones

Black Monk Time by The Monks

Ex Tropical by Lost Animal

Work (Work, Work) by HTRK

In The Wee Small Hours by Frank Sinatra

So, this was the reason I started this blog. The idea is simply to write page/post about one of my fave album each that I consider a classic album. Please leave your comments below about each album because I would love to hear what you think about each album too, cheers!

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