Just two years shy of fifty years ago today, in 1966 Frank Sinatra returned to Number 1 on the US album chart for “Strangers In The Night.” The title track of the album became a hit single, reaching number 1 on the pop single charts, while the other single off the album “Summer Wind” also became a classic hit of Sinatra’s, it was “Strangers In The Night” that revitalized his career, earning him two Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best Male Vocal Performance. The album was certified Platinum for 1 million copies sold in the U.S., the only non-compilation or non-duet albums of Sinatra to achieve this level of grandeur.
What really makes this hit single unique is the fact that Sinatra apparently hated it, which makes us wonder why he would have agreed to record it. Legend has it that Engelbert Humperdinck’s record company and Sinatra’s record company were racing each other to see which could record and release the track first. Supposedly, in his classic intimidating way, Sinatra called up Humperdinck, and strongly suggested that Humperdink not record the song before he did. Regardless of what was really going on, Sinatra recorded the track in one day, released it first, and “Strangers In The Night” reached the top of the charts within two months.
Despite his negative feelings towards the song, Sinatra did an amazing job pulling it off. The swinging, pop instrumentation (courtesy of Nelson Riddle and Ernie Freeman) appealed to the mainstream radio audiences at that time, but Sinatra’s typical big band sound coupled with his jazzy vocal stylings, his staple sound, were still present on the track. People loved it and Sinatra was back on the market. Just listen to the closing lyrics: “Doodee doobee doo… ” They can’t help but bring an involuntary smile to your face.
Listen to the single hit and title track of the album “Strangers in the Night” here. The album was re-released as a “Deluxe Edition” in 2010, which included three bonus tracks. Both editions of “Strangers In The Night” are available for purchase on the Sinatra family website and on Amazon.
Check out the album’s track listing below:
- “Strangers in the Night”
- “Summer Wind”
- “All or Nothing at All”
- “Call Me”
- “You’re Driving Me Crazy!”
- “On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)”
- “My Baby Just Cares for Me”
- “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby”
- “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”
Bonus tracks included on the 2010 re-release:
- “Strangers in the Night” (Live at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan, April 18, 1985)
- “All or Nothing at All” (Live at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan, April 18, 1985)
- “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” (Alternate take)