All of Frank’s music feels like Christmas, even if it’s not remotely related.
In the Wee Small Hours is the ninth studio album by American vocalist Frank Sinatra. It was released in April 1955 by Capitol and produced by Voyle Gilmore with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. All the songs on the album deal with themes such as loneliness, introspection, lost love, failed relationships, depression, and night life. The cover artwork reflects these themes, portraying Sinatra on an eerie and deserted street at night awash in blue-tinged street lights. In the Wee Small Hours has been called one of the first concept albums.Sinatra had been developing the idea of an album with a consistent theme since 1946 with his first album, The Voice. He would successfully continue releasing "concept" albums with later releases such as Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, No One Cares, and Only the Lonely.In the Wee Small Hours was issued as two 10-inch LP discs, and also as one 12-inch record LP, making it one of the first of its kind in the pop field. It was also issued as four four–song 45-rpm EP discs sold in cardboard sleeves with the same cover as the LPs, not in paper covers like 45-rpm singles. The album was a commercial success, reaching number 2 on the Billboard album chart, where it stayed for 18 weeks, becoming Sinatra's highest charting album since Songs by Sinatra in 1947. The success of the album helped popularize the viability of the 12-inch LP in popular music, and the 10-inch format fell into obsolescence by the end of the 1950s. In 1970 it was re-issued as a ten track album under the name What Is This Thing Called Love?. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number 100 on their list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, dropping it to number 101 in the 2012 revision and to number 282 in the 2020 update.
All of Frank’s music feels like Christmas, even if it’s not remotely related.
Of course this belongs on this list, there is no doubt about that. Sinatra was one of the most influential people in musical history after all. That being said, it hasn't aged the best. A full 50-minute album of songs about heartbreak? It starts to get pretty annoying after the third song of him singing about a girl leaving him. My brother in Christ, chill. I'm sure this would sound better at a cocktail party in the 50s. I don't think Frank anticipated people listening to this album through headphones, in front of their computer, working and drinking hot cocoa.
A masterful album about heartbreak. I am always a fan of the old ones just because of the feel of the recordings. They kind of scratch an invisible itch of mine, and I've been a fan of this 50's popular music since fallout sparked my interest for it. It's such an enjoyable album from start to finish, not necessarily particularly genius og creative, I am just in love with the feeling it portrays.
Wow, two classics in a row. Our second from Frank Sinatra, and it's a legendary album. This is cited as one of the first ever concept albums in pop music; some people try give that award to the Beach Boys for Pet Sounds, but Frankie beat them. A whole album of sad boy hours at that. I love how defeated and wistful this whole thing is. Sinatra's not bitter. He's just accepting heartbreak and rejection as the inevitable price of love. Compare this to other artists from the '50s, like the Everly Brothers. Those guys wrote songs like incels and they tried to make their boohoos danceable. But compared to Ol' Blue Eyes, they're just kids. They don't know pain yet. Frank knows the pain like an old friend, and he doesn't resent it. Next to the rest of the pop landscape in the '50s, Sinatra seems like quite the pioneer. And how about this line from Wikipedia: "Based largely on Sinatra's reputation, this album helped change the 'tough guy' image, allowing for a larger range of acceptable emotional responses from men, which might previously have been perceived as for wimps." But even if you remove the high-brow analysis, this is just a fantastic collection of songs for late night loners. The title track has been in my DNA all my life, and there are so many gems on here to continue exploring. As someone who loves sad music, I have to give the man his due. Screw it, back to back 5 star albums. Frankie, you've earned it. Favorite tracks: In the Wee Small Hours, Can't We Be Friends, What Is This Thing Called Love, Glad to Be Unhappy, Mood Indigo, This Love of Mine. Album art: Exceptional. Perfect. I'm embarrassed to say I'm more familiar with the greatest hits covers, but this is just the ultimate encapsulation of what the music is. The slow-burning cigarette, the hazy twilight city street, even distant look in Frank's eyes - how is it even possible to capture that in a painting?? We can't see what he's looking at, but we can TELL he's looking past, looking through whatever's in front of him. Man, this is just too good. 5/5
Beautiful album. Perfect for an evening in, full of that longing emotion after losing in love and the maturity and class to move with it. The album is neither invasive nor demanding but far from being mere background music to become wholly ignored. Franks velvet voice alone makes this easy to listen to but the accompanying instruments does nothing more than make him shine.
In The Sad Boi Hours
I am conditioned to see Sinatra and think oh it’s a classic this will be good. But it’s kinda not. His voice is nice but the album is a drag. 2.5
Perhaps Sinatra’s finest album. Perfectly chosen songs to reflect that melancholy, down tempo, heartbreak mood - legend has it Frank recorded in front of a life size cardboard cut out of Ava Gardner - sung with the lightest of touches by the greatest interpreter of popular music, framed perfectly by exquisite Nelson Riddle arrangements. What’s striking is the musical choices - Can’t We Be Friends is simply backed by the beautiful guitar solos of George van Eps and little more than piano, drums and bass, creating a quiet, jazz cafe mood; whilst others, such as the opening track, are backed by a full orchestra which swells and soars - but throughout, Sinatra’s vocals stand out as the focal point, constantly capturing the emotion of the moment, making the listener truly believe the heartache. Sinatra’s artistry is captured beautifully on one of the greatest works of art of the twentieth century.
A window into an age I only know because my parent's were kids then. It was a fun listen.
Frank Sinatra hot take: His music hasn't aged well. Out of all of the legends that I have listened to on this list, Sinatra has been the least impressive to me. Sure, he sings on key, he has an intimate way of delivering music, he tells stories, he has a sense of the epic and he helped pioneer the concept album. He has a very nice voice. By todays standards though, he doesn't do any of these particularly well. He's no wordsmith, his stories are pretty shallow, he doesn't have great vocal range and his delivery seems more self indulgent than anything. I have been told by elders that he was the Jimi Hendrix of the microphone, but when I listen to Hendrix, he still rocks my socks off and people can point to exactly what he did that was innovative for the time. I just don't get that from Sinatra. All of that said, I don't hate his music. It's fine. It's alright. It has a calm, chill vibe that works great for some easy listening. But other musicians do that better too.
I love this record, Nelson Riddle's arrangements are perfect.
J'ai écouté le doyen des albums du générateur en même temps que je dégustais un très bon petit-déjeuner constitué de tartines grillées au spéculos, d'un jus d'orange et d'un café. Ce mélange alimentairo-sonore m'a permis de faire le plein d'énergie pour attaquer la journée de la meilleure des manières.
These are gorgeous wistful tunes matched perfectly to the moody cover art. The production really spotlights Sinatra's voice and delivers nostalgia straight to the heart. The thing I don't understand is why a guy like that didn't have better luck with the dames.
I really don't think it is fair to judge Frank Sinatra by today's standards. We aren't listening in the right medium. He was played on black and white tvs on a 12 inch screen on grandma's tv. With earbuds and cars being the most common place to hear music, it just isn't doing him justice. He is a good singer, I'll give him that and he would influence lounge for generations. That's basically where he stops being good though. All these songs sound exactly the same - I have no idea which one was the "hit." The lyrics have aged very terribly. This guy sounds like a whiny "nice guy." I'll be waiting for you when he's done with you? I'm not like the other guys? I think this was romantic back in the day, but he definitely treats women as one dimensional in his songs. They are objects - they don't do anything and their opinion matters little. It is hard to judge this by the original standards, so I'm not going to try. 2.5 stars rounded down.
Frank. We get it. He's handsome with a lovely, smooth voice for a guy in the 50s. This album is sixteen songs and 50 minutes of him crooning about heartbreak and rejection over barely-there lounge music. Insert Jennifer Lawrence "ok" gif here. But worse than that it's just the same song over and over and over again. Three or four of them were more than enough for me. Sixteen is ridiculous.
Love Frank. He was the soundtrack of a generation and somehow the little man's story was bigger than the music. Wee Small Hours - Sweet tune, and actually heart wrenching. Musically, very minimal. Mood Indigo - Very slow start to an album. Based on the album art and the first two songs, we have a moody record for sure. The moment of jaunty piano is so starkly different. Makes you want more. Lost love is the story so far. Is Mood Indigo Depression? Glad to be Unhappy - Wow, really pouring on the isolated man who lost his dame motif. This is one sleepy album. The ironic title is clever...but I don't think he's glad to be unhappy based on the lyrics. Unless this is like Shakespeare's sonnet where he says being in love is boring and sad, but I am in love and I love being that kind of sad? I Get Along Without You Very Well - Damn! Who is this album about? Ava Gardner? She messed him up! Deep in a Dream - Now we get the reflective idealized love song. It's funny that this came after that Black Keys album - which also was full of songs about looking for love or reflecting on the result of lost love. I See Your Face Before Me - Feels like Deep in a Dream Part II, but awake. Can't We Be Friends - Not a bad track. A clever turn on the same self-loathing style of previous songs. I'm not worthy of anyone, despair. This is one mopey album. When Your Lover Has Gone - Now this is getting ridiculous. Who listened to this album?
Don't understand the hype
Mood music to the highest caliber. Wistful, melancholy. Makes me want to smoke a cigarette under an awning in the rain, glass of whiskey-on-the-rocks conveniently in the other hand as a compliment. Sinatra has a very powerful voice, you can tell when he hits those big notes, and when he brings it down to an almost stare-out-the-window-dreaming whisper. I appreciated when the band behind him broke into some jazzy numbers to break up the big band music. Favorite tracks: "Can't We Be Friends?", "This Love of Mine"
I liked this more than I expected. Does everyone reach an age where suddenly music like this appeals? I'm less likely to put something on the turntable that's harder, faster, louder than maybe even 5 years ago and listen to something softer, slower, quieter. That might just be an after work/evening thing; it's different during the working hours with headphones. Also I have a theory that all art, whether it be music, painting, architecture, whatever, reaches an artistic peak and then descends to its lowest common denominator over time. Craftmanship and beauty become far to expensive, quick and cheap trumps all. You can't fail to listen to the orchestral arrangements in this and think "Well that's really lovely".
He's a really good crooner. Did this album is pretty much exactly what you'd expected to sound like. It doesn't really do anything for me, but it doesn't offend me either.
Good. Not dazzling or particularly thematic, but some real nice songs, and Sinatra's voice is lovely.
Sounds like a musical soundtrack where I'm missing something by not experiencing the songs in the context of the film (which doesn't exist). Maybe someone should make a musical built around these songs? This album made me hungry for drums. The whole thing comes across as a sort of musical appetizer to me - it's got a nice flavor but doesn't leave me feeling full. I respect this and all but as the thing drags on, on a personal level I must admit I simply don't enjoy it (at least an albums worth of it). I honestly find ambient music more exciting than this. Great album cover though.
Frank Sinatra's crooning tones can't be surpassed. In the Wee Small Hours takes you through a journey of the end of a relationship, which mirrored Sinatra's personal life at the time with his separation from his second wife Ava Gardner. It's hard not to hear the emotion in his voice throughout, however this really has brought my mood way down for the day. Would have been 1 star if not for his dulcet tone and emotion throughout the album. Best: Dancing on the Ceiling Worst: Deep in a Dream
Some great early pop there. I’ll happily play it to impress a significant other (I’m still single).
Well it's Frank Sinatra. Crooning orchestral songs of lost and unrequited love. Still great for relaxed background music.
This might be my favorite album.
Quelque chose que j’adore dans ce genre de musique. Tellement beau! C’est intemporelle, la voix, les arrangements, tout est parfait! 5*
Ah, Frank. Hijodetureputamadre.
Not first time listening: 16/16 songs liked Who hurt you Frank? This is second to "Song For Swingin Dancers" but it's a very close second. Such sadness and loneliness that I can relate to. Also bias love to Frank Sinatra. 2 songs saved
A* loved it
Ellie- makes me feel I'm bathing chocolate So wholesome and Christmassy
Melancholy off the scale, great vocals and sublime arrangements.
Frank's best era. This album was the first concept that he made and would continue to follow the format. This album was the first pressed 12" LP. From an artistic standpoint, this is some of the best Sinatra songs recorded. If you're in a melancholy mood, listen to this album.
I really liked this album for some reason. Vibe was right for the time and place
Sinatra at his absolute peak. This along with Sings for Only the Lonely are ssns pareil. 5 🌟
not the greatest collection of tunes, but with frank's voice he could just narrate a bible and it would be amazing
Classic depressief album. 5 - i'm in my joker era
genieten. Meer heb je niet nodig, buiten een haard en een boek.
Le meilleur album de l'année 1955 je n'ai pas peur de le dire
One of the best albums ever made, great stuff
Opuštajuće. Divan glas. Uvik se vraćan ovom albumu pa je možda i navika, al briga me 💛
In the wee small hours slušan ovo i uff, Sinatra me uvik asocira na toliko toga... osjećaj Božića, crno-bilog filma, sporog plesa u lepršavoj haljini, pucketanje vatre sa komina, gramofonske ploče, sviranje klavira u zatamnjenom baru, a povrh svega, njegov glas!! vječni klasik
9/10 frank sinatras a total asshole but this was a really nice album, production is incredible and I want to give full credit to the talented people who actually wrote these songs
“At the height of his powers” is a hackneyed phrase but it must’ve been invented for this album.
Funnily I listened to this album just last week. One of the best albums for the end of the night.
A classic! Sinatra's voice is wonderful! I already knew some songs but never listened this album entirely. What a crime. It truly deserves the spot on this list. Favorite tracks: * In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning * I'll Be Around * This Love Of Mine
Let's say you get dumped by the love of your life. You can deal with it in the healthy, boring way, nobody's gonna judge you for that. By all means take care of yourself, you do you. My way is a little different though. Get yourself a bottle of Jack Daniel's and a couple of packs of Camel Straights and put on this album ("Sings for Only The Lonely" will work too) and get good and drunk while chain smoking, you'll eventually feel better the next day.
I am a fan of this Sinatra period. I did not love the earlier big-band era, but the worn, lonely Sinatra always worked for me. Nelson Riddle's arrangements are spectacular.
There’s just something so magical about Frank Sinatra songs. It’s probably just the orchestral aspects of each song, but both his voice and the band come together to create music that feels as if it could wash all your problems away. This album in particular perpetuates that relaxed feeling, which makes it a joy to listen to. Favorite track: Glad to be Unhappy
Wow, this was gorgeous. I've always loved the brash and campy '60s Sinatra, but I forget that there was really something beautiful about his work for all those years before that. A man with an amazing voice singing sublime torch songs to Nelson Riddle's orchestra. Wonderful. This was truly like buttah.
Another excellent Sunday album.
I channel my inner 1950s teenage girl for this listen. For some reason I don’t play Frank that often. Whenever I do though I absolutely love his music and feel like I could listen to it all day. This album is no exception. His voice just hits home on so many levels. Emotionally, you can connect with the simple subject matter on each song. Usually they’re about love, or lost love but not always. Intellectually, I can appreciate his delivery. Frank’s versions of songs that I already know like “Mood Indigo” and “Can’t we be Friends? ” are so different as to make them totally his own. The arrangements of the orchestration on his music are prefect for his voice too.
A sound like the feeling of eating a good meal while sitting in a Cafe off the Mediterranean. A chill creeping down my spine with an urgency to absorb the beauty of the moment before it passes. I'm not mad at people thinking I like jazz lol
This is, hands down, my favorite Sinatra record to date. Gone is the swagger and ego of the King of Croon. Instead, we're presented with an image of a tender hearted, big-feels lover. The lyrics are beautiful and the delivery is, unsurprisingly, flawless. The musical arrangements are stark and minimal, perfectly complimenting the moody vocals. I have no complaints here. "In the Wee Small Hours" is a very specific vibe and I'm here for it.
Sometimes, doing this generator highlights why some artists are so revered. This is one of those cases. From a beautiful delivery to the sturdy concept aesthetic, I really found this album stands out.
2/2 sad franks
The first album on the 1001 list. It’s a fitting start. Obviously a dated sound but the greatness comes through.
This is gorgeous - every second of it
Romance is dead and it died with Old Blue Eyes.
Absolutely essential listening. It's the work that not only birthed the concept album, but the concept of the album itself, as a cohesive piece of art. It also re-ignited Sinatra's career, and formed the basis for the break up album. I love albums that capture a time and place, and for me this is a late-night, rainy-day, drinking-alone-in-a-city album, and I love it. Maybe a bit long, but it works well as a background piece you can dip your attention in and out of at will. 27/10/22
One of the first concept albums, and one of my personal favorites. Perfect for those late, lonely nights.
This is a classic. Every track is such a mood. I really enjoyed listening to this one, and added it to a list I'll listen to whenever I want to relax
Love his voice and the gorgeous, melancholy instrumentation here. It's cool to hear a vaguely conceptual album from the 50s, which seems incredibly uncommon. Love it.
Ohhhh Frankie Sinatra
Very appeasing album. Full listen without noticing the end - very smooth
Genius. Pour me another whiskey
The album showcased stories about unrequited love, the singer shared his view of life along with his feelings without any resent. Easy to relate to.
Wow. Had low expectations going in. It's not that I dislike Sinatra, but often his music isn't for me. But man, the first song pulled me right in from the get go. Even when he's singing about heartbreak, there's something comfy about his voice and the music. It all comes together and covers you like a warm blanket. One of the first concept albums, and even if the concept gets a little tired by the end, it's still great.
🌞 favourite song: In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning & all of them 🌜 least favourite song: n/a wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ✨5/5💫
Frank's voice is unmistakable, I've never heard an album from him though, just collection's. This is pretty special.
sinatra makes me sad :(
It's Frank Sinatra. Beautiful orchestra, great voice. A little melancholy, gotta be in the right mood for it all.
Eén van de eerste conceptalbums, en wat voor een. Pak een glaasje whiskey, zet de lp op em ga genieten. Het opmerkelijke is dat er eigenlijk geen hoogtepunt op het album staat, het gaat hier echt om het geheel. En dat geheel is gewoon super mooi. Het schetst perfect de melangoliek van midden in de nacht over straat struinen, nadenkend over hoe het anders had kunnen lopen. Bij elke andere artiest zou dit gaan vervelen, maar Sinatra houdt het het hele eind interessant. Echt heerlijk.
Frank is sad. 5
How does anyone come to have a voice like this? The songs are almost immaterial, it's like having liquid honey poured over you.
maybe not my favourites from Sinatra, but still great
I often have to get up for a wee in the small hours. My bladder isn't quite what it used to be. I've pissed the bed twice this week due to hurting my knee whilst paragliding and not being fast enough to reach the white bowl in time. The others times I've just pissed in an empty beer bottle and slung it out the window. Last Monday I hit a passer-by with once such bottle, killing her instantly. The body is still there in the street, unmoved and covered with piss. I'm not sure what to do.
So smooth. Sinatra still sings in his original smooth style, prevalent during his big band era, rather than the later staccato (punchy) cadence he adopted as his voice waned. The choice of songs is marvelous too. Some are sad or full of longing; All give that sense of being alone late at night, walking the streets of NYC.
Excellent album. One of the first, if not the first, concept albums.
Dit kan ik heel goed hebben. De Stem van de man met de Oude Blauwe Ogen, mooie rustige nummers, stemmig orkest, pure melancholie. En daardoor tijdloos. Een van de groten van de 20e eeuw.
We can kinda thank this album for this entire list because it was one of the first times a major artist specifically chose songs for an album based around a cohesive theme both lyrically and sonically and reimagined the way we view albums. All that aside this album is just a mood from start to finish. The title track immediately sets the scene and allows the rest of the album to take you through the varying feeling and thoughts you have after being heartbroken. The band and Sinatra do a great job of portraying the range of emotions from the frustrated end of “When your lover has gone” to the dreamy “I see your face before me” to the despair of the title track. They also know when to add more emotion to a song by stripping away some of the flares. The smaller backing band on Dancing on the ceiling allows for a more intimate song along with the freely playing Spanish guitar that sounds like a memory of dancing with the one you love. There are a few tracks I wasn’t immediately struck by like Ill wind but I think they serve the narrative well and that song still shows another side of the emotional range of the album by focusing on the feeling of being sick of being sad and just wanting it to all blow away. That one is also cleverly placed cuz if you had any listener fatigue at that point from the consistent theme it’s almost like he’s saying “yeah me too this shit sucks.” Every song on this one serves a unique purpose and Sinatra’s voice ties it all together with an earnestness that brings every story to life. 👍: I see your face before me, dancing on the ceiling, In the wee small hours
Frank was really in his bag with this one. Every song on this album flowed so perfectly into the next, sometimes i couldn’t even tell if a new song had started. I noticed a lot of the lyrics don’t seem to rhyme but the way Frank portrays his heart break is beautiful. Incredibly refreshing to hear break up songs that are written with a more optimistic and future forward mindset. I feel like my rating of this is slightly skewed as i am coming out of a recent breakup and a lot of these lyrics were very relatable to what i’m feeling currently. I joined this album grind late but this has easily been my favorite so far. Fav songs I Get Along Without You Very Well & Can’t We Be Friends ?
I don’t think I’ve been so charmed while listening to an album about heartbreak.
What can I say? It’s Frank and it’s great. This one doesn’t have many super hits but it’s 50 minutes packed with slow ballads and pretty much exactly the type of music that you think of when you think of Frank Sinatra. Even if you’re expecting the vibes, though, it’ll still make you sad but also warm and fuzzy inside the whole time as the lyrics are emotional but the music is comforting. However, I ended up listening to more architecture and morality throughout today than Frank which really surprised me. Something about the synth pop on that album really clicked with me between yesterday and today and even Chloe liked it when I played it over dinner. Since I tend to give 5s to albums I go back to even after I rate it, I want to retroactively give a 5 to that album and let this 5 serve as that 5 as well.
not usually my favourite genre but very good
i listened to this album a lot in my adolescence moping around in a confused slump. lord knows how much i felt it (frank did alright). i was blue. it was subtle at first but i learned how real and raw a feeling could be channeled deep on a silly bit of plastic. the only problem is, sometimes i listen to this record a lot now moping around in a confused slump - so how much of this feeling was pubescant solipsistic self pity - and how much of it was a genuine complete feeling of hopelessness and longing? i have felt every bar of this record so deeply. between riddle and sinatra the arrangements are of unprecedented grace and sophistication. its the mixture of perfect execution with real character from a bygone age of musicians that will never come again. sinatra is unquestionably the greatest singer of the 20th century. i do not expect anyone else to love this record, but those who know they know. i love the fiercely manic spark of hope in dancing on the ceiling. sometimes its not bad to indulge in the imagination. 🦡
I guess I thought I knew Sinatra before listening to this album, and went into it expecting more of that. What I got instead was a wonderfully melancholy, introspective and emotional album. Reading about this album it is considered one of the first concept albums, and I concur with that. I would love to hear this album performed in its entirety.
All that sweet, sweet sadness... Far from his usual swing adventures, Frank Sinatra had to come to grips with his breakup with Ava Gardner, and he did so with this melancholy masterpiece of a record. The mood is deep autumn, the sad, yet longing songs are mostly from the Great American Songbook, but the arrangements by Nelson Riddle are sublime, and Sinatra's voice is just perfect here. There is a sweet bitterness that's too good to be resisted - like coffee or very dark chocolate. Even the cover art conveys the mood spot on. Whenever you are awake after hours - regretting, mouring, thinking - this is the perfect album for the occasion. An iconic masterpiece. 5/5
Min bästa Frank.
Like pouring honey into the ears. How can anyone not appreciate the brilliance of this record.
Fantastic album. May have to give it a re-listen as the tone of the album seems to stir something within me.
Malen mit Musik und Gesang. So fühle ich Frank Sinatras Musik. Zeitlos schön. 5 Sterne.
Good grief, does anyone sing like this nowadays? Can anyone sing like this?