Frank Sinatra – In The Wee Small Hours (1955)

The world was a totally different place back in 1955. Colour TV didn’t exist, every person on the street wore Victorian era like clothes and there were no social media outlets either, let alone computers.

In addition, Frank Sinatra was alive and well. After signing to Capitol Records, he delivered this – the first great LP ever made. LPs were a new thing at the time, and fortunately, the music here stands the test of time.

The album is a sort of Burt Bacharach take on love. Lots of heartbreak and misery written in the subjects of the lyrics. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s observe this fine album from Frank Sinatra.

We begin with In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning which sets the scene for Frank Sinatra. It’s about reflecting on love lost. This is about the loneliness and pain associated with it. A sad but great song. Excellent stuff. The lyrics here are awesome, despite the fact that Frank Sinatra never wrote his songs.

Following that, we have Mood Indigo. It uses the colour to reflect the mood and is an unhappy piece with reference to reflections on love. Many people can connect with this album, as no relationship is perfect. A nice piece though.

Glad To Be Unhappy follows. Frank Sinatra sings about the difference between idealistic love versus the reality of love. It’s a really good piece and can be mood provoking in sadness. A nice listen for the lyrics especially, as well as the melody.

I Get Along Without You Very Well is a great piece about moving on from a disappointing relationship. It sounds like Frank is singing about a lover who he is somewhat still infatuated with. It’s a good retrospective and reflective piece.

The next piece Deep In A Dream follows and it is about a dream of romantic illusion. It’s very descriptive and sounds very loving. It’s a sad reflection of the lack of love for a girl long gone. Nice work here by all parties who made the song. Mint.

The following song I See Your Face Before Me is a great reflection on the obsessiveness of a lover who our main man used to have. The whole album is also a concept album, perhaps unofficially so. Still, it’s a great listen all the way through. “I can’t erase your beautiful face, before me.” Wonderful lyrics indeed.

Can’t We Be Friends? is a lament for a sad outcome in a relationship. It’s about finding someone who at first, seems open to a relationship, but then uses that quote to turn down yourself. It’s another sad tale, but a rewarding listen.

When Your Lover Has Gone is about the split of lovers in affairs and other areas of romantic and sexual matters. The loneliness in Frank Sinatra’s voice here is outstanding. Given that this was the 1950s, the performances sound dead-on perfect with relation to lack of editing by digital means, as that did not exist at the time. A brilliant mood swinger here.

A question in What Is This Thing Called Love? It’s a sort of song for people who don’t know how to cope with love lost. It makes perfect sense to anybody who has had serious love in his or her life. Brilliant stuff.

The follow up Last Night When We Were Young talks about a past experience of love, long gone. The orchestral background in this album is really fantastic. Melancholy abounds everywhere here. It’s a very sad song indeed. Frank sounds very deeply emotional at the end of this song.

I’ll Be Around talks about hovering around for a lover who has already been taken. A very deep and meaningful piece about said scenario. Brilliant. Absolutely worth listening to.

Ill Wind begins with a clarinet melody before talking about a nasty scenario with the weather at hand. It loosely talks about love and disappointment with love. A good effort, and a nice performance by all.

The next piece It Never Entered My Mind talks about difficulties of coping with errors in relationships. It is a sad reflection on things, and being solitary in life without a love to be with.

The following song Dancing On The Ceiling is about using imagination to reflect on love lost. In a very unhappy state, our story unfolds to reveal how Frank Sinatra copes with it. An unusual song, but essential listening all the same.

I’ll Never Be The Same reveals how someone is destroyed by a failure in a romantic relationship. Frank Sinatra is underrated with his singing voice – and pulls every single song and note-off magnificently. A great job.

This Love Of Mine is the last song here. It concludes a truly great listen, and album. This song focuses on the loneliness of hurt from love. Brilliant job here by all involved.

Frank Sinatra broke with this album and began an upward trajectory with his music. He has recorded a huge amount of material throughout his life until he passed away in 1998 – some good, some not-so-good. This is likely one of his best recordings, if not his very best. This is hugely underrated today and is an absolutely essential listen.

If you like crooner style vocal jazz and want a starting point, begin here.

9/10