Tuesday, July 19, 2011


YEAR: 1955

LABEL: Capitol

TRACK LISTING: In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Mood Indigo, Glad To Be Unhappy, I Get Along Without You Very Well, Deep In A Dream, I See Your Face Before Me, Can't We Be Friends?, When Your Lover Has Gone, What Is This Thing Called Love, Last Night When We Were Young, I'll Be Around, Ill Wind, It Never Entered My Mind, Dancing On the Ceiling, I'll Never Be the Same, This Love of Mine

IMPRESSIONS: The only Sinatra I really like is the "suicidal" Sinatra still smarting after his horrendous breakup with Ava Gardner. Here we have one of the most perfect example of song sequencing ever captured on tape. The perfect album title and the perfect sombre cover painting to evoke the perfect mood of late night melancholy. But its thankfully not mawkish but almost wistfully sad without resorting to hysterics. The tone of the album is quiet and subdued: a resigned assignation of a broken heart. The very sound of the album brings to mind the open window with billowing curtains looking out into the black night air as a tumbler of whiskey sits on the night table next to a smoldering cigarette in the ashtray. The perfect late night album. It contains the best version ever recorded of both "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" as well as the sublime "Dancing On the Ceiling"; a particular favourite of my late friend Peg. I will never hear "Dancing On the Ceiling" again without thinking of her.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, Mood Indigo, Dancing On the Ceiling

FACT SHEET: When the long-playing record came into being in 1948, it took a while for it to catch on with consumers. At first, the LP was thought to be merely a way to collect individual 78s onto one record and LPs were initially groupings of unrelated songs. However, Frank Sinatra and his producers determined that the new format could be a wonderful way to combine songs of a certain theme or mood so that an entire LP would present illustrate a certain emotional or thematic concept. With IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS, Sinatra basically created the "concept album" by collecting a series of emotionally consistent songs programmed in such a way as to evoke a particular mood of "elegiac melancholy". The mood is aided by tasteful arrangements of conductor Nelson Riddle.


  1. I agree about the "suicidal" Sinatra. Been there, done that and Frank captures the mood perfectly. I have to congratulate you on your new blog. Great subject, great format. Not had a chance to read more than the Sinatra post yet but will devote time later today to peruse all entries. You certainly seem to have hit the ground running.

  2. "Hit the Ground Running". That's a Tim Finn song. Time to post a Tim Finn album!!! LOL

    But thank you for the kind words and congratulations on being my very first comment here on the new Dark Forest blog. By being the first commenter EVER, you have won a prize package of music and movies. Watch your mailbox for its arrival . . . as soon as I can get to the post office, lazy thing that I am! Gordon Bennett but I'm a slug!!!