November 20, 2015

#10: Just one of those perfect things

Fanfare, please, as we get into my top ten favorite Sinatra songs.

Here are Frank and Nelson Riddle, swingin' easy with Cole Porter's "Just One Of Those Things," the first song from their first real album together. I can't think of any word but perfect to describe Riddle's arrangement and Sinatra's vocal, perfectly paired to each other and to the song:

Regrets, the guy may have a few, but they don't penetrate much below the skin; the style is too breezy and cool for someone with a broken heart.

But Mr. Porter has written a complex song, and it all depends on how you approach it, as Sinatra points out during a 1961 show at the Sands:

This is a song that you wouldn't consider a sad song . . . normally, I mean, because of the way you hear it done [. . .]. But when you hear it this way it really has a different connotation. 
And there's nothing breezy about what follows -- a softly sung, pensive vocal  accompanied only by Bill Miller's piano. (That's from the new multi-disc Vegas set which includes the 1961 live show. I haven't worked my way through all the discs yet but the '61 performance is primo. Tracks listed below.)

Frank goes in the opposite direction on Sinatra '57, tossing in a "mothery" and switching out a whole "yes, it was one of those things" for one long, low, growly "yeahhhhhhhh."

Here's another great take on the song from the movie Young at Heart. It falls somewhere between the sad, saloony Sands version and Riddle's easy-swingin' chart:

Coming soon is #9, which, unlike the previous four songs, will not be a Cole Porter tune.


Sinatra at the Sands, November 1961:

The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else
Don't Cry Joe
Moonlight In Vermont
Without A Song
In The Still Of The Night
Here's That Rainy Day
The Moon Was Yellow
You Make Me Feel So Young
The Second Time Around
River, Stay 'Way From My Door (parody)
The Lady Is A Tramp
Just One Of Those Things
You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
Young At Heart
On The Road To Mandalay

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