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In The Wee Small Hours
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In The Wee Small Hours
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 26, 1998
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Released in 1955, In The Wee Small Hours is Frank Sinatra's ninth studio album. Recorded for Capitol, the album was arranged Nelson Riddle and is regarded as one of the first-ever concept albums, featuring songs about loneliness and lost love. Certified gold, In The Wee Small Hours was commercially successful and spent eighteen weeks at number two on the charts. Rolling Stone also considers it one of the best albums of all time.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12 x 12.6 x 1 inches; 9.59 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Capitol Records
- Item model number : 30071797
- Original Release Date : 2014
- Date First Available : July 11, 2014
- Label : Capitol Records
- ASIN : B00LB5PTVS
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,025 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Nelson Riddle's orchestral arrangements on this album are amazing, and the orchestral mix is perfect. Riddle's orchestrations and the melancholy vibe throughout really transport you to another era.
The vinyl pressing of this Capital reissue is very good. There is very little surface noise. The record is perfectly flat and the grooves are perfectly centered around the spindle hole. The record is in mono, as it was made in 1955, just a year or two before the stereophonic era began. While I much prefer stereo to mono, I find that my ears adjust to the mono very quickly; then I forget it's not stereo and I just enjoy it. The sound quality is phenomenal for a recording from the 1950s--warm and airy with good soundstage and good separation between Frank's voice and the various sections of Nelson Riddle's orchestra.
This recording is available on CD, too, and if both had the same sound quality I would choose the CD for the greater convenience of digital. But for this record, I strongly recommend the vinyl LP over the CD. The CD sounds good compared to other CDs of recordings from this period. But the CD isn't as warm-sounding and doesn't have as much dynamic range as the LP. Plus, as Trent Reznor says and it's especially apt here, this record is a physical object that exists with you in the real world, not just a bunch of 0s and 1s that can streamed over the internet or stored on your phone and listened to with less intense attention while you check your emails and stock prices and weather. Nope. The vinyl demands your full attention, and rewards you with a real experience.
A great record, highly recommended--especially on vinyl.
The vinyl pressing sounds great, the vocals sound close and real, and the instrumentation is clear without having to blast the volume.
Every time I listen to this album, I hear some new nuance revealed by his unique ability to impart the meaning in a song.
You will never get tired of re-hearing this album.
I saw Sinatra several times and he was awesome. But in lieu of seeing him (not possible now), listen to his singing. Singers studied his singing and he studied opera singers to learn how to breathe.
Henry Winkler once said in an interview that this is the best album to commit suicide by. Pretty close.
My man, now and forever.
(And my Dad wasn't a Sinatra fan, so I'm not sure why he bought the album but it became mine.)
Top reviews from other countries
I have not set out to write reviews of the music content as “beauty is in the ears of the listener”. These reviews are about the quality (or not) of the recorded sound. To read about how the reviews are done please see my profile.
• Clarity – Excellent very transparent
• Channel separation – very limited sounds as if a mono recording
• Channel balance – virtually no use made of the left and right channels. It sounds as if it is a very high quality mono recording. However there is no clarification on the leaflet notes
• Sound Stage – exceptionally limited as sounds as if a mono recording. However the sound of the band behind Sinatra is excellent
• Distortion – non audible
• Compression – good highs and lows does not sound overly compressed. There may be limitations due to when the recording was made
• Atmosphere – very warm and intimate. Sounds as if it were a personal recording made just for the listener. The band is sparse and restrained.
• Bass – low frequencies – good, but limited and restrained. Has little depth and is on the whole un-intrusive. The bass on Sinatra’s voice is excellent
• Treble – high frequencies – overall very good, measured and balanced. The horns and strings are very good. Unlike the vocals the music does not soar
• Vocals – superb, deep, rich, honeyed, evocative
As a general rule of thumb recordings from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s are nearly always better on the original vinyl. Remasters often fail to please as it’s just not possible to make a silk purse from a sows ear, i.e. the original recording lacks the necessary detail to be processed digitally and show an audible improvement. Indeed such processing can make the sound worse.
Modern recordings which have been processed digitally from start to finish can be as good as vinyl. CD’s are often unfairly criticised for being poor quality. This is not the case, it is the original recording or the process which is to blame. Modern “remasters” can both enhance and degrade a recording. The statement GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) is the limiting factor. Ignore this at your cost.
Certainly one of the classic albums and, as described, this is the first concept album, therefore, the songs are generally all of the same type so don't expect a variety of tempos and moods. This is the album for late night subdued lighting and reflective contemplation as you cradle a glass of single malt.