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Thread: Frank Sinatra: Album Of The Month #27 (Nov 2009) "Point of No Return"

  1. #1

    Frank Sinatra: Album Of The Month #27 (Nov 2009) "Point of No Return"

    “You feel he understands and means every syllable of the lyric. he seems to be recounting a personal experience each time. He sings as if he knows. His phrasing is final, absolute, definitive - so logically and inevitably do the phrases follow each other that, after hearing him sing a song, that song never sounds quite right sung by anyone else“

    Robin Douglas Home : Sinatra

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
    What would you like to do with the rest of your life?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this. As we get older and time gets shorter and more precious, we really must spend some of that time considering what we want to do or accomplish with the years we have left.

    Younger members might not think this way but I know we middle-aged and seniors do and it might be helpful and fun to share our thoughts.

    I had intended to go in a different direction, with a different album for this month’s album of the month, but my original choice just wouldn’t inspire at the moment (it was an equally beautiful LP to be sure, and one that will no doubt feature in the near future, but for some reason the words wouldn’t come to introduce it)...hence the belated inclusion of November’s album...(inspired in part by the question above from our hostess here on the Sinatra Family Forum, one which until very recently I was having great difficulty formulating in my own mind to come up with an answer) so I submit, by way of not an answer, but the start of one (in a way the title a very statement of intent)....Point Of No Return

    What inspired my choice in this regard of Frank’s final Capitol album, sessions from which led to Robin Douglas Home’s observations above, was it’s transitional status, a look back at what was accomplished so far in the life and work of the artist, the songs are predominantly much older entries from the great American songbook, and the mood very much a reflective and pensive one, a mood that imbues each and every track with an impressionistic flavour of things completed, of a chapter closing, and the return of arranger Axel Stordahl in itself seems to bear out that feeling that here is a last hurrah in one respect as the artist goes on to pastures and opportunities of new and exciting kinds.

  2. #2


    Track Listing

    When the World Was Young
    I'll Remember April
    September Song
    A Million Dreams Ago
    I'll See You Again
    There Will Never Be Another You
    Somewhere Along the Way
    It's a Blue World
    These Foolish Things Remind Me of You
    As Time Goes By
    I'll Be Seeing You
    Memories of You

  3. #3
    I adore, These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)
    I am a complete tool

  4. #4
    Oh my favorite would have to be "Don't Make a Beggar of Me" on this album, also "As Time Goes By" and "Memories of You".
    ~Robert
    "I like the sunrise"

  5. #5
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Stnwy18 View Post
    Oh my favorite would have to be "Don't Make a Beggar of Me" on this album
    "Don't Make A Beggar Of Me" was not on this album. It's a bonus track on the US versions of the CD, which was added only because of the Axel Stordahl arrangement.

    The song was recorded at Sinatra's very first Capitol session in 1953; the album proper was recorded eight years later. It remained unreleased until 1966 when it appeared on the compilation LP, Forever Frank.

  6. #6
    Oops, my bad. Thanks, Bob! Now my favorite is "Memories of You".
    ~Robert
    "I like the sunrise"

  7. #7
    Guest
    I didn't intend to change your opinion, Robert.

    I just wanted to make clear the song's origin. If you had bought this album when it was released in 1962, you would not have heard "Beggar" or the other three bonus tracks. Nor will you hear these on the compact disc versions in the current US box set, Capitol Records Concept Albums, or the big UK box, The Capitol Years.

    The only connection the bonus tracks have with the album is that they were arranged by Axel Stordahl: These were his first efforts for FS at Capitol. The album itself was the arranger's final work for the singer whose solo career he guided in the 1940s.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    the return of arranger Axel Stordahl
    It should be noted that two of the tracks—"I'll Remember April" and "It's A Blue World"—were arranged by another veteran Sinatra collaborator, Heinie Beau (uncredited).

    The other ten songs were charted by Stordahl, who was already ailing at the time. Axel died of cancer, at the age of fifty, just two years after these recordings were made.

  10. #10
    Its an album with an autumnal feel, so many endings; be it Franks time at Capitol, or Axel's health; and the whole era that made Frank famous was slipping by; he'd been at the top of his game over 20 years by that point and this is definitely an album that has a world weary feel. Thats the actor that Frank was, we all know the fun he was having in reality in 1961 and the new mountains he'd climb at Reprise.

  11. #11
    Guest

    Sleeve cover variations

    I'm intrigued by the LP album cover which Marty placed above in post #2. Its well-worn and deteriorated condition seems somehow appropriate to the album concept, but that's not what drew me to study it.

    The displayed cover lists only eleven of the twelve songs, and it is missing "As Time Goes By." To my knowledge (and that of my discographies) there never was an 11-track LP, so that may be a printing error exclusive to certain issues.

    There WAS an abbreviated 10-track LP released by Capitol in later years, which was missing "A Million Dreams Ago" and "It's A Blue World." Interestingly enough, THAT is the cover which is reproduced (incorrectly) on the US single compact disc issues (both 1987 and 2002 versions)!

    Finally, the cover images from the UK 21-CD box set, The Capitol Years, and the US 14-CD "mini box" set, Capitol Records Concept Albums, have the correct and full twelve tracks listed.

    Just a bit of hitherto unnoticed trivia.

  12. Ah gem of an album, great choice! Beautiful arrangements and some real emotional vocals.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I'm intrigued by the LP album cover which Marty placed above in post #2. Its well-worn and deteriorated condition seems somehow appropriate to the album concept, but that's not what drew me to study it.

    The displayed cover lists only eleven of the twelve songs, and it is missing "As Time Goes By." To my knowledge (and that of my discographies) there never was an 11-track LP, so that may be a printing error exclusive to some international issue.
    Bob
    I have the exact cover in my collection, which I picked up used here in Pittsburgh a few years ago. It's a standard 12 track Capitol US pressing. I never noticed that the front cover was missing a title until you mentioned it. One thing I did notice how the album title is presented on the cover:
    POINT OF NO RETURN
    FRANK SINATRA


    As oppose to my other mono & stereo versions:
    FRANK SINATRA
    POINT OF NO RETURN
    - Terry

    "Each time I find myself flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race".

  14. #14
    Guest
    Aha! I missed that, Terry. All my different CD covers (some with ten, some with twelve, tracks listed) have FRANK SINATRA at the top in white letters, and POINT OF NO RETURN is below in blue. (The color difference makes Frank's name stand out more.)

  15. #15
    This is an album I don't play often, however, it's one I really do like and a great selection for album of the month. A fine collection of beautiful but sad songs and sung with lots of feeling and emotion. My favorite tracks are A Million Dreams Ago, Somewhere Along The Way and It's A Blue World.
    Allen
    "Could start for the corner... turn up in Spain... why try to change me now..."

  16. This is truly one of my favorites of my father's albums. It speaks volumes to me and makes me miss him even more each time I hear it.

  17. #17
    An overall beautiful, wistful album. "When the World Was Young", "I'll Remember April", "I'll See You Again", and "There Will Never Be Another You", in particular, are the best tracks to my ear. "Somewhere Along the Way" is really nice too (as is Nat Cole's version). I don't think "These Foolish Things" here is nearly as great as the 1945 Columbia version though...

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by SinatraFan View Post
    My favorite tracks are A Million Dreams Ago, Somewhere Along The Way and It's A Blue World.
    I seem to remember a thread from a while back about the "rare" Sinatra or the "undervalued" Sinatra or some such thing, and these three tracks definitely play a part in terms of Sinatra recordings that deserve greater noteriety, alongside even the well worn and beautifully crafted wistful torch songs of LPs such as No One Cares, Wee Small Hours or Only The Lonely, they hold up beautifully.

  19. I always find myself wondering who started the nonsense about FS not singing well on this album. That is so unjust and inaccurate.

  20. #20
    Yes, I'd say that Francis is in good voice here. There's a lot of texture, maybe slightly more than average, but I enjoy it, kind of like I enjoy it in Jack Teagarden's singing.

    The only flaw I can think of is a very uncharacteristic voice crack on "I'll be Seeing You," which occurs around :45 on the word way in the line "the park across the way."

    Nonetheless, it's still a great rendition.

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