Frank Sinatra

The Way You Look Tonight

Composed by Dorothy Fields / Jerome Kern

Song Review by

Stephen Holden's 1997 liner notes inside The Very Best of Frank Sinatra claim he recorded this title for the first time for Reprise ) though there's an original "wartime" recording by the singer in the forties released on Columbia/Legacy's The V Tapes:The Columbia Years 1943-1945. This three minute and twenty-two second Nelson Riddle arrangement was put to tape in a Los Angeles recording studio, January 27, 1964.

Riddle certainly had more than a grasp of what Frank Sinatra needed in accompaniment and the voice glides over the subdued but stunningly beautiful orchestration effortlessly. Covered by so many from Fred Astaire to Art Blakely and Dave Brubeck, there's more than just the cache of being in the Frank Sinatra repertoire for a song, it's the everyman charm he brings a title, vocalizing with an ease that makes common folk think they can copy him when they dare not approach the skills of a Nina Simone or an Ella Fitzgerald. But that's where Sinatra surprises because his unique style is more difficult than it sounds to those singing along, and the instrumentation is always worth a million bucks. A Linda Ronstadt's work with Nelson Riddle is a good singer re-creating memories. Frank Sinatra sets a different standard, the bassline creating a foundation for him to start the song off nonchalantly while building a full bodied vocal workout. It's not the passion of Cole Porter's"Night And Day", it's more a recognition of the sublime and tender acknowledgment of the object of one's affection. Nelson Riddle accurately sets the tone and that's all Sinatra needs to make his point with this Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields composition.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Voice 1955 Classic Jazz Archive / Membran International 2:39
Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and Other Academy Award Winners 1964 Signature Sinatra / Universal 3:22
The Reprise Collection 1990 Reprise 3:22
Sinatra Reprise: The Very Good Years 1991 Reprise 3:22
The V-Discs: Columbia Years: 1943-45 1994 Sony Music Distribution 2:40
The Best of the Columbia Years: 1943-1952 1995 Sony Music Distribution
The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings 1995 Warner Bros. 3:22
The Very Best of Frank Sinatra 1997 Reprise 3:22
My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra [2 CD] 1997 DJ Specialist 3:23
Blue Skies: 20 Great Standards 1998 Documents / Membran 2:38
Greatest Love Songs 2002 Reprise / Warner Bros. 3:23
A Romance: The Love Songs 2002 Rhino 3:22
Frank Sinatra [Music Digital] 2002 Membran 2:39
Romance [Box Set] 2002 Reprise 3:22
No Image 2002
Various Artists
3:24
No Image 2003 Warner Bros.
Born in the U.S.A. 2004 Trilogie 2:41
There's No Business Like Show Business [Legacy Box] 2005 Legacy 2:37
The Man and the Music 2005 Legacy 2:39
Fly Me to the Moon: Opus Collection 2005 Live More Musically/Hear Music/Rh 3:24
Definitive Gold 2006 Deja Vu
Nothing But the Best: The Frank Sinatra Collection 2008 Frank Sinatra Enterprises / Universal Music 3:22
Sinatra Sings 2009 Frank Sinatra Enterprises 3:24
Sinatra: Best of the Best 2011 Capitol 3:22
Sinatra, With Love 2014 Frank Sinatra Digital Reprise / Signature Sinatra / Universal 3:21
Ultimate Sinatra: The Centennial Collection 2015 Capitol 3:22
I Only Have Eyes for You History 2:39
Sinatra [Air] Air
blue highlight denotes editor's pick