The Best of Frank Sinatra
What can you say about a legend, a classic? Someone who defined the music industry and still remains unforgotten, even more than a decade after his death?
Frank Sinatra has become more than an icon. His music is still loved and sells by the millions. Highly successful modern artists have built whole careers on his songs, imitating the inimitable style that only he could ever fully possess. The smooth voice, the effortless charm, the blue eyes and boyish grin are all part of his aura. Frank Sinatra has become a genre to himself, and here are ten of his best, most famous, and loved songs ever recorded.
The Way You Look Tonight
This song has become a standard recorded by many artists of every style in pop, jazz, or just about any other genre you could think of. Frank's recording has an upbeat, casual swing that makes it likeable, listenable and always a favorite. It was first heard sung by Fred Astaire in the 1936 film Swing Time and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song that year but it wasn't recorded by Sinatra until 1964. He created a standard by which many have since made their own recording.
Come Fly With Me
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen specifically for Frank Sinatra, Come Fly With Me became a Sinatra standard. After using it as the title number of a 1958 album it was such a hit that it became a standard part of his concert repertoire. There was even a movie made by the same name in 1963 that featured Frankie Avalon singing the theme song, and more recent artists have brought back it's popularity.
The Lady is a Tramp
Witty and sarcastic, mocking and funny, The Lady is a Tramp has been a large part of many artist's repertoires. Sinatra sang it in the film Pal Joey and often during his career, and in 1968 Sammy Cahn rewrote the lyrics for Frank to record a special version for he Beatles. The master recording and all duplicates were destroyed, making the single surviving recording is quite possibly one of the most valuable records in the world.
It's the song most often identified with Frank Sinatra's persona, but he himself disliked it, calling it "self-serving and indulgent." But if any man ever truly did it his way it was Frank Sinatra, whether it was working his way up through the musical industry from a very humble beginning in Hoboken, New Jersey, or coming back from a vocal hemorrhage that should have ended his singing career forever. The tune is based on a French song and Paul Anka wrote the lyrics with Sinatra in mind and though it's considered one the most covered songs in history it will be forever linked to the image of Sinatra.
One of the many duets Sinatra recorded includes the hit Somethin' Stupid with his daughter Nancy. The original recoding in 1967 shot to the top of charts and stayed there for a long time, eventually selling over a million copies and becoming one of Sinatra's biggest hits.
Fly Me To The Moon
Originally title In Other Words, the song was made popular in cabarets in the early 50s with a waltz rhythm, but was arranged by Count Basie for Sinatra in the now-traditional 4/4 swing. Astronauts on Apollo 10 played his 1964 recording while in lunar orbit and again on the moon as Buzz Aldrich was landing in Apollo 11.
Night and Day
It's slow and romantic, with a smooth jazz background to support Frank's silky voice. Cole Porter claimed that the song was inspired by an Islamic call to worship while he was traveling in Morocco and especially the opening has a Middle-Eastern sound to it. Sinatra first recorded in in 1942 but went on to record it at least four more times during his career with the most unique being a disco version from 1977. Even Frank Sinatra had to keep up with musical trends.
You Make Me Feel So Young
The upbeat tune and catchy lyrics make this song a definite sing-along. Who can help but swing along with "You and I/Are just like a couple of tots/Runnin' across the meadow/Pickin' up lots of forget-me-nots!" Perfect for people of any age who find themselves in love.
A love song that joyfully delights in the prospects of a happy marriage and a lifetime of bliss to ensue. Like Come Fly With Me, Ring-a-ding-ding! was written for Sinatra by Cahn and Van Huesen as the title number of a 1961 album of upbeat swing numbers. The record was on best selling charts in the U.S. for 35 weeks, and in Europe for nine weeks. Talk about a show-stopper!
As Time Goes By
The beautiful, haunting song most famous from the 1942film Casablanca never sounded so wistful and longing as when Frank gives it an interpretation. Originally from a 1931 Broadway play called Everybody's Welcome, As Time Goes By was given it's best remembered rendition by Dooley Wilson in the film. But Sinatra's is an unusually tender and vulnerable rendition for him, showing a side to his talent that all of the upbeat swing could never reveal.
These songs are some of Sinatra's most famous, but they are also the ones that I love best. I hope you enjoyed the list and take a minute to share some of your own favorites with me. Cheers to Old Blue Eyes, who gave us nothing but the best.