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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 July 2011
From 1953 into the mid-sixties, Sinatra recorded a series of peerless albums of standards of which this, from 1958, is undoubtedly one of the pearls. I'd rate Nice 'n Easy beside it among the ballad albums, along with the lesser known, though equally essential, No One Cares & Where Are You, as well as the better known In The Wee Small Hours and September Of My Years.
There is a seriousness of purpose here, and a total dedication to interpreting definitively these great songs, which forever places Sinatra in the highest company of singers. Restraint and passion co-exist in these sober performances of some of the saddest songs in the repertoire. That Nelson Riddle was on hand to arrange things is only more cause for celebration. Ah, to hell with it, this is one of the most wonderful, immaculate, imperishably stunning set of songs ever recorded by anyone anywhere at any time.
Every note on this disc is critic-proof, with the astonishing One For My Baby a timeless standout ~ and arguably his greatest ever performance on disc.. Along the way we are treated to such works of the songwriter's art as Angel Eyes (not the easiest of songs to bring off), the ornate Blues In The Night, the lovely Willow Weep For Me, dramatic Ebb Tide, the forlorn What's New, and several other songs of love lost and heartbreak, including the sadly beautiful Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry, which includes the haunting line:

And when the twilight steals
I know how the lady in the harbour feels

An extra track is the marvellous Where Or When, a song made even more momentous by its lack of a chorus. It simply builds to a climax, and stops ~ like Roy Orbison's Running Scared or Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit!
There are a few souls left who think Sinatra couldn't really sing(!) and I suggest playing them this, then asking them again what they think. This is singing of the highest order, from a man whose best work is, quite simply, the very best we have.

Each place I go
only the lonely go. . .

Follow the man...he won`t let you down.
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on 19 March 2017
Great CD and good value for money
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on 16 May 2017
Good
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on 12 August 2016
Have all of his music, but this is good but rather sad at times.
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on 2 November 2008
I have racked my brains for some time as to what the finest Sinatra album of them all is. Having listened to all but a few of them I can safely say the job gets more difficult the more you listen to. In my humble opinion I can break down his finest five into this list; "Sinatra and Strings", "September of my Years", "Sinatra and Swingin' Brass", "Moonlight Sinatra" and "Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely". This is a debateable topic, and if something said to me "No you're wrong. Songs for Swingin' Lovers is the best", I would not argue with them, as each album holds a special place in everyone's heart for personal reasons. However there is no doubt to the musical prowess of this album.

I can narrow my greatest album list to Five, but I cannot rank them in order beyond on that for one simple reason. Each Sinatra concept album has a time and a place. No album is better than Swingin' Brass than when you're happy and full of energy. When darkness and romance is in the air Moonlight Sinatra is the only album that will do and so on for the other albums I have mentioned. When you're on the rocks, broken, beaten up and at your weakest nothing eases a troubled soul as Only the Lonely does.

This album is good at any time, however it never quite works and seems slow and melancholy if listened to when you're in a good mood during the day. At night and in sadness this album comes alive and each notation says exactly what you're thinking. It becomes an all consuming rhapsody of misery, which whilst sounding rather drab is in fact perfect for the moment. Listen to this alone, when you need a friend.

When you're sad Sinatra eases your pain, when you're happy Sinatra will propel you to new heights and when you haven't the words to say what you want to say, Sinatra will do your talking for you. He never asks anything in return, just that you sit down, shut up and listen, with him occasionally inviting you to sing a few bars.

I can't think of any other singers who could have pulled this off on an album sized basis, perhaps Crosby could have gotten close on a few tracks but no one does a torch concept album like Sinatra. "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" we heard torch songs filled with emotion, however with this album we get the emotion but we also get an overwhelming sense that he is living what he sings about, rather than just interpreting what emotions someone in this position would fill. This is something Sinatra would perfect in "September of My Years".

A lot has been said about the songs on this album so I need not re-iterate what has already been said in to much detail. "Angel Eyes" and "One For My baby" are classics and some of the finest performances ever in history, but for me "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" is the star track with "Ebb Tide" and "Spring is Here" coming close. The quality is fantastic considering this was 1958, the song list and theme of the album is simply inspired. The arrangements has Riddle written all over them, need I say anymore.

Sinatra's finest work and one of the finest albums ever made. Reviews do not do this album credit, what it can do to you in your darkest moments is something that isn't tangible, something dark, yet magical.
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on 17 November 2004
Here the theme of this ablum is a man resigned to the fact that he is alone and feels that he cannot change or move on from a failed romance, you could say that the overall character wallows in his daydreams. Nearly every facet of this kind of loneliness has been thoughtfully assemblaged, with Nelson Riddle perpetuating an almost relentless backdrop for Sinatra to croon through. (For those of you who like trivia, "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry" is originally from a 1940's musical by Julie Styne and Sammy Cahn called "Glad To See You"). Aside from the epic title song my favourite is "It's A Lonesome Old Town" where Riddle is very clever at making us believe that the lonesome chap has tried to drown his sorrows. I really like the cover artwork, front and back, so typical or its era, and although dated it harkens back to the days when thought was applied to covers. If you think you've got it bad with your lover gone you'll take comfort in the sympathetic ear of these songs. One of Sinatra's best ballad collections.
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on 21 July 2004
This is the only item I've seen on Amazon, reviewed by a significant number of people, that has received 5 stars unanimously.
As the title suggests, you have to be in the right mood to listen to it, and even then it's quite hard to take. But each recording is about as close to perfect as any rendition of any type of music I've ever heard.
The orchestration is brilliant, perfectly sympathetic and understated. And Sinatra's voice resonates between an almost spoken-like quietness and full-on operatics.
Every word is totally believable. There used to be a saying that 90% of Americans of a particular generation were conceived to the sound of Songs For Swinging Lovers. I wonder how many slashed their wrists to Only the Lonely.
A work of art.
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on 31 March 2017
A real classic. Sinatra at his best before success went to his head. You have to hear him singing "One For My Baby" or you haven't lived. Gorgeous arrangements by Nelson Riddell. One of my absolute favourite albums ever.
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on 29 April 2005
My mother, a huge Frank Sinatra fan since her teens, played this album frequently while I was a kid. I copped it for my own once I hit high school and began to have a series of catastrophic crushes, as do most teens. This is definitely music to mourn to. "In The Wee Small Hours" is Frank at his bleakest. He was in the process of getting over his marriage to Ava Gardner and still carrying a torch. His sorrow here is palpable. These beautiful ballads are filled with the sound of heartbreak. If you haven't heard this album, you may think I am being corny, or over-exaggerating. But, hey! This is real eat-your-heart-out music! For me, it is Frank Sinatra's greatest album and includes some of the best ballads ever written.
"In The Wee Small Hours" is another of the successful collaborations between Sinatra and arranger Nelson Riddle for Capitol Records. I still have the old 33 and 1/3 recording, and it never sounded as good as this remastered version.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would be "Good-Bye." The lyrics get me ever time, as does the despair in Old Blue Eyes' voice. His version of "Willow Weep for Me" is the best I have heard, and "One For My Baby," where he pours his heart out to a bartender, is extraordinary. Other favorites include "Angel Eyes," "What's New," and "It's A Lonesome Old Town," which really defines loneliness. Of course everyone has their own favorites. The point here is that all the songs are special and the Great One's voice is mellow, poignant and so sad. The best!
JANA
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on 7 May 2015
Utterly magnificent.

This was the first Sinatra album I bought back in 1983, after hearing Elvis Costello talking about it in such glowing terms. The sheer sorrow
and bleakness knocked me down. Having listened to junk like "My Way", it was a total revelation. It also transpires that this album is
also a favourite of Iggy Pop who would perform "One For My Baby" back in the 70s. If it was good enough for Ig, then it was good enough for
me. The circumstances during the recording have been well documented, and this adds to the overall desolate mood of the music.
It speaks volumes that Sinatra picked this flawless collection of "suicide songs" as his own personal favourite.

Only Amy Winehouse matched the mood of "Only The Lonely" with her own timeless "Back To Black", before she tragically fell into eternal silence.

Don Draper would have loved it.
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