February 10, 2011
"If I Had You"
One of my overall favorite Frank Sinatra recordings would have to be a track off of Great Songs from Great Britain (1962), "If I Had You." There's a really beautiful part of this song around the 1:50 to 1:52 mark when it (the orchestra, the arrangement, the song, and obviously Frank) all comes together. That's the magic of Sinatra right there, baby. It's a song he'd recorded twice before - in 1947 while at Columbia Records on The Voice of Frank Sinatra and during his Capitol period, 1957's A Swingin' Affair!.
One of the standout qualities about this track happened by accident. According to Sinatra's pianist, Bill Miller, about the piano he was supposed to be playing: "someone forgot to tune the goddamn thing, which was unheard of." It occurred to Sinatra to ask if a celesta might be handy. It's hard to imagine this without it:
Sinatra personally selected this recording (out of the 140 or so "official" Reprise Records recordings he'd done) to go on the excellent compilation album, and one of the last things he was personally involved with, Everything Happens to Me (1996).