August 17, 2009 – 4:06 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Capitol Outtakes [no label, 1CD]

Rehearsal takes, alternatives and outtakes between 1955 and 1960.

One may think of Frank Sinatra as a crooner with an easy style and, listening to him, one is constantly amazed with the seemingly effortless manner he delivered his songs. But that didn’t mean the songs were effortlessly recorded as well.

Sinatra was no slacker in the studio - while stopping after a few bars was not uncommon (for example Willow Weep For Me, Where Or When), Sinatra was not over-awed by conductor Nelson Riddle that the singer won’t stop Riddle right in the middle of the take if he felt it wasn’t going well. Even the popular I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ proved to be quite a challenge. And there are some humorous moments as well - on She’s Funny That Way, after singing “I got a woman, crazy for me/She’s funny that way,” Sinatra ad-libs: “She’s nuts!” And in another take, he adds: “She’s a lot of laughs!”

Perhaps an interesting or a well-known anecdote regarding Sinatra in the studio is the one related by Will Friedwald in his book, Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer’s Art.

Sinatra’s attempt at Strayhorn’s best-known vocal ballad, Lush Life… was at once marked for greatness and failure. The first came in Nelson Riddle’s masterful arrangement, which juxtaposes a deliberately out-of-tune piano against a Coplandesque string section. The second in that, as Bill Miller recalled, Sinatra “didn’t take the trouble to learn it” correctly and tried it at an already overbooked date.

Although he turned in a stunning tune number eight, Willow, Weep for Me, he didn’t have the physical fortitude to make it through number seven, Strayhorn’s ambitious air. “It’s a rather complicated song, and I think Frank would have been momentarily put off by all the changes that had to go on,” said Riddle. “Not that he couldn’t have sung it with ease and beautifully had he tried a couple of more times.” On the sole circulating partial take of the three allegedly recorded, Sinatra gets through the out-of-tempo “verse” section but breaks down in the refrain. After a characteristic Kingfish impression, he resolves to “put it aside for about a year.” Sinatra later told Miller that he had decided to “leave that one for Nat Cole.”

Here, at the end of the take, you can hear Sinatra say those memorable words, “put it aside for about a year.” Unfortunately he never did return to the song.

Thanks to theholyandthedivine for sharing these outtakes on the internet.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. What Is This Thing Called Love? - alt. (2.16.55) (9.3MB)
Track 02. What Is This Thing Called Love? - alt. (2.16.55) (3.7MB)
Track 03. The Tender Trap - alt. (9.13.55) (6.0MB)
Track 04. I Thought About You - alt. (6.30.55) (3.8MB)
Track 05. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ - alt. (11.15.56) (10.6MB)
Track 06. Stars Fell On Alabama - alt. (11.15.56) (11.1MB)
Track 07. Moonlight In Vermont - alt. (10.3.57) (13.8MB)
Track 08. Willow Weep For Me - alt. (5.29.58) (8.2MB)
Track 09. Lush Life - alt: there is no complete master (5.29.58) (5.4MB)
Track 10. Gone With The Wind - alt. (6.24.58) (6.2MB)
Track 11. Where Or When - alt. (9.11.58) (7.0MB)
Track 12. She’s Funny That Way - alt. (3.2.60) (11.2MB)
Track 13. How Deep Is The Ocean - alt. (3.3.60) (6.0MB)
Track 14. Nice ‘N’ Easy - alt. (4.13.60) (13.4MB)

Arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle (all tracks, except Moonlight In Vermont, by Billy May).

Those interested to pursue further can check out Sinatra’s Capitol Years three-CD boxset. Buy it here.

  1. 21 Responses to “FRANK SINATRA - STUDIO OUTTAKES”

  2. A rare listen-hear to an imperfect Sinatra. It’s always refreshing to hear the unpolished, raw non-over-produced great ones. This is for sure a wonderful exacting of tempering The Voice. Thanx so much!

    By Timmy on Aug 18, 2009


    By dave morrell on Aug 19, 2009

  4. Thank you for another amazing post from Sinatra - always fascinating to hear the studio sessions and how the classic performances we now know came to be. Still hoping for “Alone In The Studio”, “That’s Life” Album Sessions and especially the 1967 sessions with Jobim and “The World We Know”. Deeply appreciated.

    By Erik Dias on Aug 21, 2009

  5. Get all of your Frank Sinatra memorabilia @

    promo code - hollymega

    By taaalky on Oct 3, 2009

  6. I ´ve been asking for all those Reprise recordings inthe vault. There´re many, especially My funny valentine, Moonlight in Vermont, the 1978 recordings, even the almost finished Evergreen. Let ´s hpoe for!

    By alex on Apr 3, 2010

  7. Absolutely awesome! I especially love to hear his off the cuff comments. Even the “clams” are special when Francis sings them!

    By Dina on Apr 7, 2010

  8. its inspiring, I listen to it during my writing :D

    By L-Man on Sep 27, 2010

  9. Great one but Track 2 & 12 not available :/

    By Mary on Jul 17, 2011

  10. Listening to Lush Life outake, it could have been another Sinatra masterpiece, unfortunatly, never completed and never attemped again, sort of sad, Sinatra sounded great and the arrangement was fabulous. Too bad, I’ve must have played that at least a dozen times.

    By Alex Nisivaco on Aug 16, 2012

  11. i hope the author can reupload this with higher format such as flac or wav.

    By deribard on Sep 22, 2012

  12. like finding buried treasure

    By tomz on Jul 24, 2013

  13. always great to listen to

    By tomz on Aug 30, 2013

  14. Really a gem of a find and thanks. I have heard a few of these on YouTube, but this rises well above that.
    Sinatra my mentor and the ultimate interpreter of a songs mood and feel.
    Here you can feel the song being carved out for the final take.
    I have to say many singers would do well to listen as even Frank’s work in progress versions eclipse what many try to copy!

    By Kim on Jan 28, 2015

  15. What were the errors of Sinatra while singed Lush Life? What errors he commited?

    By Matheus Bezerra de Lima on Jun 8, 2016

  16. On may 29 1958 , during a recording session of the album “Sings for only the lonely” at the studio of Capitol Records , Frank Sinatra quit “Lush life”" . This is on the chapter 9 of Sinatra´s biography The Chairman (by James Kaplan).
    I was curious on how it sounded with Sinatra singing and that´s the reason I searched for and found this studio outtake.
    This beautiful but tricky song would have required more patience, rehearsal and not to give up on the 2nd or 3rd time he or Riddle´s musician hit the clam.

    By Ron Wolpa on Aug 28, 2016

  17. Cannot download Lush Life Track 09

    By John on Feb 9, 2017

  18. Track 14 doesn’t download.

    But thanx for the rest!!!

    By leesa on May 19, 2017

  19. Almost All links are broken! Please, fix!

    By Matheus Bezerra de Lima on Aug 23, 2018

  20. Many years ago I heard and got an audio recording,(since lost!), of a never released Sinatra recording of What Is This Thing Called Love. It features a long clarinet solo and Sinatra’s singing is overwhelmingly langorous. Like someone rendered helpless under the spell. Astonishing performance! Does anyone out there know where I can go to hear it again? If yes, lease let me know.
    Many thanks in advance.

    By Ralph DeVito on Oct 14, 2018

  21. Rumor has it Frank had a big un

    By U L E on Oct 14, 2018

  22. I’m fairly new to Sinatra - started going deep 2 years ago - and would so love to hear these recordings, but the links don’t seem to work anymore. Can anyone help? Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram; I’m a singer/pianist myself.

    By Henry Tozer on Jul 12, 2022

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