Saturday, 23 February 2013

Top 102 Albums. No 47. Songs for Swinging Lovers

Top 102 Albums. No 47.
Songs for Swinging Lovers - Frank Sinatra

This is not the late night whisky drinking Sinatra of previous album In The Wee Small Hours. which I was considering. This is a favourite in the car, with songs like  Makin' Whoopee singalong favourites with adults and kids alike. Here Sinatra seems to ride the crest of his second wave of success, confidently showering his benedictions on those lucky enough to be young and in love.

Is he one of the young lovers? Well the two covers seem to suggest a certain distance, before we even consider the music. In the original Frank is looking away from the happy couple but this was reworked so that he smiles down on them. In neither, though, does he seem one of them.

Despite the happy cheery tone it is still heartbreak that Frank convinces us of. My favourite song on this album is "I've Got You Under My Skin", a song that suggests that love is more of an addiction than a pleasure (see also You're Getting to Be A Habit).

"I would sacrifice anything come what might 
For the sake of havin' you near 
In spite of the warning voice that comes in the night 
And repeats - how it yells in my ear: 
Don't you know, you fool, ain´t no chance to win"

But as well as warning us of the dangers of love Frank and the Nelson Riddle conducted orchestra swing with verve and style.

I was on a radio panel show on this album around twenty years ago. I sat with a couple of total Sinatraphiles and represented The Youth. Not something i can do any more. However this album remains permanently young.


  1. Great album. But my favourite Sinatra album is "In the Wee Small Hours." Who am I kidding? One of my favourite albums of all time! Perhaps second only to Miles' "Kind of Blue."

    1. Those Wee Small Hours were close to being here. I alternate between them. I was swung by the kids, who love this one more.

    2. I've listened to Miles a few times while compiling this but can't decide which album to include. I'll have to decide sometime though.

  2. My fave would be Only the Lonely which has One For My Baby.



  3. Love, love, love this album. My parents had the vinyl and , even as a rebellious herbert, I couldn't resist it's euphoric charms.
    This is a fabulous album Seamus and had me knitting my eyebrows for an age over my favorite Frank album, which comes much higher on my list. As a confirmed melancholic I'm sure you can guess what my choice will be, considering that it won't be the (considerable) 'Only the Lonely'. That album is a wee miracle too...
    I remember reading that Elvis Costello rated the line after the exuberant musical break (check out the drumming there) in 'I've Got You Under My Skin" (where he reprises "don't you knoooow little fool") as the most exhilarating single sung moment in modern popular music. High praise indeed... it is probably my favourite Frank song too.

    1. "You little fool" being something Mr Costello would reprise! Love the specificity of the 'single sung moment'.

      The Sinatraphiles with who I was on a panel about Songs for Swinging Lovers (It was a Greatest Albums Ever show) were unanimous in favouring In the Wee Small Hours.

      And as I repeat every post or two (it seems), I completely gave up on putting these albums in any coherent order, barring a few I'm holding for the very top of the tree.