Awesome Album Covers: Frank Sinatra’s “Songs For Young Lovers”
Considered the very first pop concept album, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Frank Sinatra[/lastfm]’s Songs for Young Lovers was his debut on Capitol Records. In keeping with his fresh start on a new label, the cover artwork portrayed Sinatra in a new light.
Until the time Sinatra released Songs for Young Lovers in 1954, he had been portrayed as the skinny kid, the pop idol that made the young girls swoon. This record, with sleeve design by Rothschild, photography by Ken Veeder and art direction provided by Blue Eyes himself, portrayed Frank in a much more adult setting, alone on the street as young lovers pass, smoking a cigarette, leaning against the streetlight. In many ways, it would foreshadow his portrayal of the gambler, Nathan Detroit, in the following year’s film release, Guys and Dolls.
Musically, the title of the album defines what was found on the inside: a set of 8 songs — being that the original 10″ album format could hold only 14 minutes per side — that were about “The Girl Next Door,” his desire for “Someone to Watch Over (Him)” and to find his “One and Only Love.”
Along with being the first pop concept album, it was also the first album wherein Sinatra had full artistic control — something he chose over a large advance — and launched his long time partnership with arranger [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Nelson Riddle.[/lastfm]
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