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Sinatra was not the first nor the last artist to turn heartbreak into melody, but I think you will agree with me that he is one of the most exquisite performers of this form of expression. When his heart burned for Ava Gardner he made, with the blood of her sadness, heartbreakingly beautiful and everlasting works of art.

The unforgettable “I’m A Fool To Want You“, immortalized in 1951 during the death throes of the Columbia stage and partially composed by the singer himself with the shrapnel of his misfortune, is still today one of the most imposing monuments to the disappointment in love that have been erected on a pentagram. It is said that Frank, overcome with grief, had to leave the studio between takes.

Four years later, and already like an iridescent Phoenix at the peak of pop, Sinatra once again bared his soul tortured by evil in the masterful LP “In The Wee Small Hours“, which began recording on February 8, 1955 and which It was completed in four cathartic sessions, at a rate of four pieces each. After such an experience, it is not surprising that Frank dedicated his next day in the studio to recording a handful of light and uncommitted pieces, among them two fatuous rock and roll songs with the vocal group The Nuggets.

In The Wee Small Hours” is his first saloon album, also his most serene and least somber of them; But let’s not fool ourselves, it is a calm in the eye of the hurricane, the confession of a man too broken to explode.
Each microgroove contains an open-chested declaration, suppurating with sorrow but elegant, contained and loaded with a love that never really went out as demonstrated by all the subsequent saloon albums, the lacerating ballads that sneaked into single and long-playing albums and those mesmerizing live performances over forty years in which the theater lights went out, Frank lit a cigarette and the spectators were synthesized into a sleepy and empathetic bartender who made his cloth the cloth of tears for the unhappy drunk that Sinatra interpreted, with unmistakable ties to the man of flesh and blood under the tuxedo.
Frank’s soft and resigned intonation and Nelson Riddle’s orchestrations, which seem drawn in pastel, cannot dilute the deeply bitter ink of the lyrics and the cutting desperation of the protagonist, devastated in his erosive dance with “the most beautiful animal in the world.” “.

The album reached second place on the charts and stayed on them for 18 weeks, a feat in the era of furious rock syncopation delivered by millions. Today, in the empire of terror of disposable music, we continue to remember it and be moved by every drop of its ocean after seven decades of travel, incontestable proof of how solid the foundations of love are, no matter how chipped they may be. When the murky present and our longed-for yesterday are nothing more than a dream in someone’s dream, there will still be room for Sinatra’s indigo dawn and “In The Wee Small Hours.” And whoever abandons themselves to wandering through those streets of salt, whiskey and goodbyes will return a little better.


Side 1

1 “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” Bob Hilliard and David Mann 3:00

2 “Mood Indigo” Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington and Irving Mills 3:30

3 “Glad to Be Unhappy” Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 2:35

4 “I Get Along Without You Very Well” Hoagy Carmichael 3:42

5 “Deep in a Dream” Eddie DeLange and Jimmy Van Heusen 2:49

6 “I See Your Face Before Me” Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz 3:24

7 “Can’t We Be Friends?” Paul James and Kay Swift 2:48

8 “When Your Lover Has Gone” Einar Aaron Swan 3:10

Side 2

9 “What Is This Thing Called Love?” Cole Porter 2:35

10 “Last Night When We Were Young” Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg 3:17

11 “I’ll Be Around” Alec Wilder 2:59

12 “Ill Wind” Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler 3:46

13 “It Never Entered My Mind” Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 2:42

14 “Dancing on the Ceiling” Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 2:57

15 “I’ll Never Be the Same” Gus Kahn, Matty Malneck and Frank Signorelli 3:05

16 “This Love of Mine” Sol Parker, Henry W. Sanicola, Jr. and Frank Sinatra

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