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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank at his best
During the 50's Sinatra made three seminal albums, Songs for Swinging Lovers, Come Fly With Me, and this...In the Wee Small Hours. This is just THE perfect album for those late nights when you have nothing else to do but relax with a good bottle of what ever you fancy (Frank would approve of a Bourbon or two) and losing yourself in this simply superb set.
Sinatra...
Published on 6 Jun 2005 by mitchgibbo

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not the classic some think
Im probably in a minority but i really don't think "In the wee small hours" is the Sinatra classic some say it is. This is undoubtedly a special album but one that is more of a mood album than one that is lavished with classic songs. The vocals are excellent and Nelson Riddles arrangements are understated and natural but a lot of the songs on here lack any real melody or...
Published on 3 Aug 2010 by Mr. Russell C. Witheyman


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frank at his best, 6 Jun 2005
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
During the 50's Sinatra made three seminal albums, Songs for Swinging Lovers, Come Fly With Me, and this...In the Wee Small Hours. This is just THE perfect album for those late nights when you have nothing else to do but relax with a good bottle of what ever you fancy (Frank would approve of a Bourbon or two) and losing yourself in this simply superb set.
Sinatra sings for the lost and the lonely, and no-one and I mean NO-ONE does it any better than this. Every note is sung from the heart and every note connects. The Chairman of The Board was truly at the top of his game when he made this and it shows.
Accompanied by the brilliant Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra this is big band swing does the blues and it works supremely well.
Quite simply put...brilliant!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Sinatra singing songs of loneliness and despair, 29 Aug 2003
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
"In the Wee Small Hours" was the very first 12" album Frank Sinatra recorded, a superb collection of ballads arranged by Nelson Riddle that went to the top of the charts in 1955. Riddle created a melancholy sound that perfectly suited these songs of loneliness and despair, and which showcased Sinatra's sudden maturity as a vocalist. Everybody who could read a newspaper or listen to a gossip on the phone knew that Sinatra's love affair with actress Ava Gardner had ended badly, and it was impossible not to have that tabloid fact provide his singing with an obvious poignancy with this selection of songs. However, what was important was that Sinatra had raised his singing to a whole new level, showing a mastery of phrasing that would define the rest of his career. Special mention needs to be made of the piano work by Bill Miller, which also stands out in Riddle's sparse arrangements.
In addition to the title song by Bob Hilliard & David Mann, there are a series of standards of this type such as Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo," Cole Porter's "What is this Thing Called Love?," Arlen & Harbaurg's "Last Night When We Were Young," and a trio of Rodgers & Hart tunes. My vote for the best track would go to Hoagy Carmichael's "I Get Along Without You Very Well," a song that epitomizes the mood of the entire album and highlights Sinatra's singing prowess. With the "In the Wee Small Hours" album the crooner who had been the heartthrob of the nation's Bobbysoxers gave way to the saloon singer who became one of the most important musical figure of the 20th century (Bing Crosby, Elvis, and the Beatles are the others who define that ultimate level). This is a must have album for Sinatra fans, the oldest record on my list of ten essential Sinatra albums.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is why Sinatra is a Legend!, 23 May 2001
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
First off let me say I am 23 years old and my music collection includes Oasis, Pearl Jam, Fat Boy Slim, Pink Floyd, U2 etc. I think the main reason that young people today think that Sinatra is very sad is because the only experience they have of him is him wailing through 'My Way' about 20 years after his voice had long left him. Please understand: Sinatra in the 80s and 90s is appaling - he lost it completely. However in the 50s Sinatra was absolutley amazing! He had the greatest songwriters EVER working with him and his Nelson Riddle arranged albums are outstanding. This is a sombre album with lyrics which are just as relevant today and still feel contemparary. A case in point is "Can't We Be Friends", a song based on what women say after they've ripped out your heart. It actually makes you feel BETTER during bad times, not worse. If you want the more upbeat lively side of Sinatra you can't beat SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS. Remember: When buying Sinatra, get 50s albums and avoid new 'compilation' albums like the plague!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirred to the Soul, 8 April 2006
By 
ArcherFish123 "ArcherFish123" (Near Ware, Herts. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
This is an album of the finest calibre, bar none. For those of you who like the capitivating pensive moods found on albums such as Jeff Buckley's "Grace" or Nick Drake's "Bryter Later", this album is a must for your collection.
Without repeating the well known retoric about Frank's split from Ava - the genious of this record is the fact it is an album overflowing with painfully tender tracks, where one of the greatest voices of all time has worn his heart completely on his sleeve for 50 glorious minutes.
If that is not enough to draw you attention then you probably wouldn't like it anyway!!
My personal favourite tracks here are the title track "Wee Small Hours", the lonely "I see your face before me" and the wonderfully fine "I get along without you very well".
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I never realised how human Frank was., 24 April 2002
By 
E. Jackson "electricern" (N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
Do not be put off by the cover artwork not being up to modern standards nor by any preconceived notions that you may have about what Frank Sinatra represents in terms of "showbusiness". This work breaks all the moulds and shows why you should listen without prejudice.
I am a John Martyn fan and primarily like guitar music in all forms from metal to classical. I heard "I get along without you very well" on the radio. This started a whole new interest area in which to buy and listen stunned as I was by the depth of feeling evident on this album. If you are in to sincerity and emotion in music this is a big one.
I'm now investigating the Capitol records output in its entirety. Not since I saw BB King live have I been so impressed by a talent or by an artist's sheer class.
This album is a major achievement in recording a very genuine blues and parts are as difficult to listen to as Gorecki's Third for someone looking for wallpaper. This is not easy listening but is a genuine classic for those who appreciate classic singing, sensitive orchestration and depth of feeling. I never thought that I'd see the day, but the title track alone says more than a dozen empty guitar solos. Don't worry what others think, you can always conceal the CD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SINATRA CREATES HISTORY.....AGAIN, 19 Nov 2009
By 
ROMAN (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
DISREGARD WHAT CAME BEFORE IN THE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC ALBUMS AS, WITH MINOR EXCEPTIONS, THIS 1955 COLLECTION FROM THE SINATRA/RIDDLE AMALGAM WAS THEN, AND REMAINS TO THIS DAY, POSSIBLY THE THE FINEST ALBUM OF THEMED BALLADS EVER RECORDED. THIS IS NOT A STORY IN SONG NOR AN ATTEMPT TO PRESENT THE SONGS AS SUCH BUT FIFTEEN WONDERFUL CLASSICS OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC INTERPRETED BY THE FINEST INTERPRETER AND SINGER OF SUCH MATERIAL WHO HAS EVER LIVED, COMPLETE WITH ARRANGEMENTS (SETTINGS MIGHT BE A MORE APPRORIATE ADJECTIVE)BY THE THE MOST SENSITIVE, MUSICAL AND TALENTED CRAFTSMAN, NELSON RIDDLE, WHO HAS EVER WORKED IN THIS FIELD. IT IS A TOWERING ACHIEVEMENT AND SHOULD BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF ANY SERIOUS COLLECTOR'S RECORD COLLECTION.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Rich Sound, 9 April 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: In the Wee Small Hours [VINYL] (Vinyl)
This is one of my favourite albums, and after recently re-discovering vinyl I splashed out on this.The sound is so rich and warm, with the vocals and orchestration so perfectly balanced. If you're a Sinatra fan, a fan of the crooners, or just a fan of good music; this is a must have album on vinyl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-aching and brilliant, 20 Sep 2008
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
As a young man on a mission, I found myself faced with the prospect of having to buy this album without knowing much about Sinatra except that which had been told to me by my Grandfather, an avowed Sinatra fanatic. In all honesty, I thought this album would challenge me, and doubted that it would be my cup of tea.

This is not Sinatra as many of my age would understand him. Not the bombast of "My Way" nor the high kicking of "New York, New York." This is a man in agony, torn apart by a failed relationship. Sinatra's pain is translated into his singing, without ever turning itself into pathos.

There's no doubt that the arrangements are fabulous, but Nelson Riddle had surely realised that the best instrument at his disposal for this recording was Sinatra's voice. By not over-complicating the music,Riddle lets Sinatra life the weight off his mind and just sing. And sing he does, fantastically well. The sense one gets is of a man who sings rather than talking to a psychologist. Whilst not quite baring his soul, Sinatra is at least trying to make sense in his own head of what has happened to him. Asking questions of himself and his former lover, he perhaps helps in our own search for answers to similar questions.

It was a great place for me to start, and opened my ears to a true legend of music. A great album to listen to at any time, you should own this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands Up Well, 4 Oct 2009
By 
L. N. Nixon "nlnxn" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
The other reviews say most of what is required about the history of this album. Over half a century later its sales, critical standing and discovery by generation after generation put its classic status beyond doubt and if you're a Sinatra fan,this is an essential purchase, end of. If I could add one more thing to the tonnage of comments here it would be; the production and sound of this collection stands up superbly, considering the limited technology available in the mid-fifties. The main melodies are direct, simple and always supported by the backing. The genius here includes the arrangements which have the various backing instruments fading in and out with little flourishes of melody to create the mood of lonely, melancholy, introspection. I was prompted to put in this review after dropping this album in the changer alongside Joy Division's 'Closer', the third Portishead album and a couple of Mazzy Star CDs. Set on shuffle Frank's tracks didn't sound out of place at all because the moods and ideas are, near-enough, timeless
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dim the lights, pour a drink and sit back and relax, 7 Nov 2008
By 
M. B. Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Wee Small Hours (Audio CD)
When you are looking for something you can sit and listen to with lights dimmed and drink at hand, then this is surely it. Sinatra's voice is at its expressive best, so much so, if you close your eyes you could be on the next bar stool.

A superb colection of saloon songs that ranks among Sinatra's best.
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In the Wee Small Hours [VINYL]
In the Wee Small Hours [VINYL] by Frank Sinatra (Vinyl - 2009)
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