Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely - 1958


Here we have Sinatra’s third Capitol album cover art to prominently feature a lamppost (following SONGS FOR YOUNG LOVERS and IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS), a motif that beautifully fits the music within.  Here, also, we have Sinatra’s third Capitol album to feature stereo sound. 

More about the stereo sound will follow, but for now, suffice to say that this was the first Sinatra album for which the stereo recording could be deemed 100% successful in raw technical terms, and the music recorded was successful in spades, losing none of its appeal or beauty over 55 years on.

Of course, when the album was initially released, on September 8, 1958, the stereo LP format itself was in its infancy (Capitol’s first stereo LPs were released a mere two weeks earlier), and so FRANK SINATRA SINGS FOR ONLY THE LONELY was a mono-only release for over two months, with the first stereo release coming on LP from Capitol in November, 1958.  (More on that later.)

Capitol seemed to be rather inconsistent with its mono mixes and masterings once they entered the stereo era.  Some are gorgeous, some are tinny and/or overly-reverberant.  Where Are You had a very pleasant mono release, but Come Fly with Me had a soupy mix, with mediocre tone and way too much reverb on the vocal mic.  The “singles” releases around this time were hit-and-miss, sonically.  By comparison, Sings for Only the Lonely turned out quite nicely in its monophonic form.

How about a 13th track?  “Lush Life”

At the evening session of May 29, Frank Sinatra and Felix Slatkin (conducting in Nelson Riddle’s absence) attempted to record Billy Strayhorn’s “Lush Life,” but to no avail, which is too bad, as the “feel” of this song would have fit in quite well with the rest of the album, in my opinion.

Please click here to hear some brief excepts from that attempt, as broadcast by PBS.  You are probably best off ignoring the running commentary, which has a hooey content factor of about 60%.

Moving on to audio samples from the title track:

Lampposts and Landmarks

Recorded May 29, June 24, June 26, 1958    

Arrangements by Nelson Riddle    Conductors: Nelson Riddle, Felix Slatkin    

Produced by Dave Cavanaugh (erroneously credited to Voyle Gilmore on some releases)

Released September 8, 1958 (unabridged mono); November 18, 1958 (abridged stereo); 1968 (unabridged stereo, Australia)

Above: Original Japanese LP, courtesy stevelucille

Above: Original UK 1N LP, courtesy Scott1234

Above: D29 LP, courtesy Scott1234

Above: 2009 MFSL LP, mastered by Rob LoVerde, courtesy Scott1234

Above: 2009 MFSL CD

Above: D32 LP, courtesy Arkoffs

Each clip on this page falls within the 90-second free sample clip freely available on iTunes.  Click VIEW in the box above to hear the 90-second iTunes clip.


(All audio clips fall within the freely available iTunes samples.  Click “VIEW” at the iTunes link, below right.)

Above: D6#2 LP, courtesy Arkoffs

Above: 1984 Netherlands DMM LP, catalog #1A 038-2601391, matrix #2601391-A1+2 (on side one); matrix 2601391-B1+2 (on side two), labelled “stereo” on the jacket and label, but containing the original mono recording/mix.  Thanks to SHTV member “Pontus Nilsson” for bringing this variant to our attention.