Wednesday, November 4, 2015



I've been wanting to post this for years but never seemed to find a presentable version...until now.

Frank Sinatra's version of "Angel Eyes" is untouchable. The great, New Orleans treasure James Booker handed in a stunning instrumental which can be found on his "Classified" record, but no vocalist, no matter how great, ever truly nailed the song the way Sinatra did on his album, "Frank Sings For Only The Lonely."

And then there's Bruce...

Bruce Springsteen's opening tribute to the Chairman Of The Board is something that I always refer to when discussing this performance from Frank's 80th birthday bash. Sharp and funny, the brief speech given by Springsteen is concise and still manages to speak a lifetime. I love it so much, I tend to forget that Bruce sang something, as well.

I freeze in my tracks at both the audacity and the subtle power of his delivery of "Angel Eyes."  I can't think of any other artist who could pull this off, especially with the man sitting 25 feet to his right.

11 comments:

JAYESSEMM said...

Wonderful!

iggy said...

This is fantastic, Sal. Thanks for showing me the door to yet another "rabbit hole" - this one named "Angel Eyes" - that I can dive into and get myself lost for a long while. Great credit to the Bruce of 20 years ago for the perfect tribute to the closest thing music had to a living god at the time. I've heard critics who didn't appreciate Bruce's effort with this song. Whaaaaat???

Iggyeyes

jeff said...

Shouldn't they just carve Bruce into Mt. Rushmore already? More important, welcome back. A morning without Sal is like a day with Anita Bryant.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Wow...never saw or heard that before. As you say, that takes some cojones...and he pulled it off! Very nice.

(Gratuitous snark at the expense of another artist: if you wanted to do Standards, Rod the Mod, THIS is what you could've done)

Finally, devotees of Angel Eyes should seek out Sweets Edison's version with Elvin Jones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaLbKUqqbzo

Or Kenny Burrell's version, or...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFmlezUQFQw


Regards,
RichD

buzzbabyjesus said...

That was something.

Robin said...

I could not agree more. It's not only a great respect shown to another artist, or a loving interpretation it's a deep tribute to Frank's interpretation, and to Frank's unmatched ability as a storyteller from another storyteller, a reckoning of sorts. It's really stunning. As if Bruce had written the song himself, and said "here take this from E-Street, I get it, but this is your soul stamp Frank". Of course Frank was singing about and to Ava Gardner on "Only the Lonely..." and a broken heart has never, ever yielded such depth, brilliance and reward from a singer for listeners (if not for Frankie). Thanks for sharing.

dogbreath said...

A very tasty treat, thank you. Forwarded it to a couple of mates - one a Springsteen fan not into Sinatra, the other a devotee of Old Blue Eyes who feigns disinterest in The Boss - and both were well taken with the obvious respect and admiration, not to mention the superb performance. (You did mention it - Ed). Cheers!

DaveF said...

This was jaw droppingly beautiful.
Thanks for sharing.

whattawino said...

Simply stunning.... Never heard this or knew about it either. Thank you, Burning Wood-man.

peabody nobis said...

Fabulous...Late to the party here, but glad I made it! Bruce took that song and made it his own, right in front of The Master.
Sinatra's "Only The Lonely" is indeed a superb album. As mentioned above, you can't help but think of Frank's longing for Ava throughout the album. And who wouldn't be broken hearted over losing that Goddess? Holy smokes!
Whatta Dame!

Michael Giltz said...

Well, now how did I never see THAT before? Very cool cover and damned if it doesn't make me wanna hear Springsteen do a standards album. (And why Sting never did one still escapes me.) Classy, well-written intro to. Sinatra owns "Angel Eyes" but I'm awfully partial as well to Ella Fitzgerald's take on her classic album "The Intimate Ella."