April 3, 2009

"I Couldn't Care Less"

Sinatra listening to a playback at Capitol Records, late 50s

For some reason, this Frank Sinatra tune is fairly obscure. There's no Wikipedia entry, for example. And there is no mention of it in one of my primary Sinatra reference texts I sometimes use when I do these Sinatra posts, Will Friedwald's marvelous Sinatra! The Song Is You (I learned so much about him in that book). That's really unusual. I find this very hard to believe, because not only is the melody pretty good, the singer's performance of it is about perfect. He just nails it. I heard "I Couldn't Care Less" for the first time on the The Capitol Years "Best Of" CD set. His performance is particularly moving during the repeat of the lyric "For without the warmth or your caress, it's a cold and dreary world I guess" -- that's athleticism in singing is what that is. The tune is one of many written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen Sinatra recorded over his long career. The internal rhyme in this one is particularly nice, so thank you Sammy Cahn. I like it, I like it a lot. Recorded on October 15, 1958, but not released commercially until 1973 (even then with a limited release), here's "I Couldn't Care Less":

Based on the heavy use of flutes, I'd say this is a Nelson Riddle arrangement.

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