Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 26, 1998
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
#1 on the charts for five weeks in 1958!
Look past the tacky, sad-clown velvet painting on the cover (a Grammy-winner for album design in 1959!), there's nothing cheap or sentimental about this record--the bleakest and blackest album of popular songs ever recorded, so quietly powerful it can leave you slumped in your chair with the ice cubes still rattling in your glass. Every single "suicide song" (as Sinatra liked to call 'em) on Only the Lonely is a stunner that will take your breath away. Nelson Riddle's arrangements are like shadows, almost colorless and motionless, so that all you hear is the ache in the singer's voice. "Angel Eyes" and "One for My Baby" each deserve an album to themselves-- so exquisitely moving that at the end of three minutes you feel like you've just heard a lifetime of loneliness. My only regret--and it's a big one--is that this flawless masterpiece doesn't include Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," which truly belongs here; Sinatra put it into an already overcrowded recording schedule and, when fatigue and the difficulty of the song defeated him after a couple takes, he gave up and never attempted it again. We got the chillingly lovely "Willow Weep For Me" instead, so I'm really not complaining--but that just adds to the pang of loss that this album expresses so vividly. Drink up! --Jim Emerson
211 customer reviews
Review this product
Showing 1-5 of 211 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Many great songs are performed well by various singers, and sometimes a singer makes a song his own, such that nobody else's version really counts. As far as I'm concerned, Sinatra did that with every song on this album, which is quite something considering the winners on this disc. If you have this "Blues in the Night," don't even bother to listen to any other version.
But "Only the Lonely" hardly needs my recommendation. It has rightfully been praised since its release, and I suspect that people will be listening to it "ages and ages hence." So how about this recording, and the mono sound? In short, the sound is superb, and the fact that it is mono becomes insignificant right away. You won't even notice.
This Mobile Fidelity version blows away the first (1987) CD incarnation and the later 1998 US Capitol mastering, which suffered from a lot of obvious tinkering, apparently to eliminate tape hiss (as if anybody who knows this recording would care about barely audible hiss). If you can find it, the best stereo mastering is the 1998 UK version, which rivals the MF in terms of clarity and natural sound. It was in the UK "Capitol Years" collection, but I don't know whether it was ever available singly.
One last note. I do not miss "Sleep Warm" or "Where or When." They were not on the original album, they're of a genre different from that of the other 12, and the album ends much better with "One for My Baby."