Posts Tagged ‘ frank sinatra ’

classic christmas album covers

01deanmartinxmas copy

i don’t know about you, but i’m trying to get in the christmas spirit around here. usually i wait until the week of to start listening to christmas music and hanging lights and buying presents, but not this year. this year i’m starting early. (i’m actually listening to dean martin’s winter romance as i type this post.) rather than post a link to a mix you’ll never listen to on spotify, i thought it’d be fun to check out the cover art of some of my all time favorite christmas albums. kids these days ain’t doing it right. click read more for the rest of the list.

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the rat pack

i’m headed to vegas this weekend for work.  i have a hard time going to vegas without thinking about sinatra, martin, and davis.  i don’t know too much about joey bishop or peter lawford, but i’m sure they were cool cats to be included in the rat pack.  i can’t imagine what vegas was like when those 3 were alive.  almost every single one of their shows sold out.  they never said who was going to be on the bill.  one of them would announce a show and people would go hoping other members of the rat pack would show up.  only they didn’t call it the rat pack – the press and generally public did.  they called it the summit or the clan.  in all honesty, they probably didn’t care what it was called as long as they were having a good time.

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beginners guide to frank sinatra

one of my icons is francis albert sinatra.  sinatra was the original king of cool.  he’s that rare combination of a man’s man and a ladies’ man.  i discovered his music in 8th grade when the columbia record club accidentally sent me a copy of his album reprise: the very good years.  i was hooked the minute i heard “the way you look tonight.”  since then i’ve been obsessed with the legend of frank sinatra.  he truly lived his life his way.  we should all be so lucky.

many of you casual sinatra fans own one of his greatest records.  that’s a great place to start, but there’s no need to stop there.  i’ve got a friend who’s been asking me to introduce him to more sinatra, so consider this your introduction.  here are my three favorite sinatra albums and the ones you should start with:

a swingin’ affair!: it’s tough to say one of these 3 albums is better than the others, but i listen to a swingin’ affair! more than the rest.  i tend to gravitate towards the uptempo stuff and nelson riddle’s arrangements are as good as it gets here.  if you only have the cash for one of these, start with this one.  it’s considered the follow up to the album below, but i think it’s better.

songs for swingin’ lovers: a lot of people put songs for swingin’ lovers at the top of their list and for good reason.  it was released a year before a swingin’ affair and features sinatra at his most confident (according to experts).  it’s another sinatra and riddle collaboration that breaths new life into pop standards such as “pennies from heaven” and “i’ve got you under my skin.” 

in the wee small hours: many consider in the wee small hours to be the first concept album.  the idea was to make an album featuring only ballads about lost love and isolation (apparently it was a direct response to his separation from ava gardner).  i dare you to make it through the whole thing without weeping.  recommended if you’ve just broken up with your girlfriend and are having a cocktail and a sulk.

what to buy next: sinatra sings for only the lonely, songs for young lovers/swing easy, come fly with me

christmas essential

i mentioned a jolly christmas from frank sinatra last week.  this week i’m recommending you pick up christmas with the rat pack. you get frank, sammy, and dino all for $7.99 on itunes (or $5 on amazon mp3 i just found out).  i tend to like the martini sipping christmas music as opposed to the overproduced cheeseball stuff.

christmas essential

if you’re out and about today and have a record store day-participating independent record store in your neighborhood, then stop by there and grab a copy of the newly re-released a jolly christmas from frank sinatra on vinyl.  it’s been remastered from the analog master recordings and features the replicated original art work.  my store here in town is out, but i will be checking back next week.  it’s a must have.