3. “You’d Be So Easy To Love”
(click title to listen)
From Ring-a-Ding-Ding! (Reprise, 1961)
As many torch songs and albums as Frank commandeered throughout the 1950s, it’s kind of interesting that one of the most heartbreaking tracks he ever recorded (for me, at least) falls dead center on a party album, Ring-a-Ding-Ding! It’s the debut release on his own Reprise Records label.
It’s a charming album, but it’s also goofy as hell. Whenever “The Coffee Song” comes up on my iPod during a shuffle, I always spend the duration of the song wondering if it’s actually fun or just flat out stupid, but that doesn’t change the fact that I elected to put the song on my iPod in the first place, and I’m singing along in my very bad “swaggery Frank” impression the whole time.
A few years ago, there was a deluxe edition of the album released that included this long outtake of “Have You Met Miss Jones?” It had a very mellow, almost torch-y arrangement to it. And during the recording, you can hear Frank kind of admonishing the assembled team in the studio (“Maybe you got the wrong arrangement? … This sounds like the wrong album. This is for an album called Ring-a-Ding-Ding!?”)
Certainly the version of “You’d Be So Easy To Love” has a little more pep in its step, but it’s still thoroughly heartbreaking (Cole Porter knew how to write those kinds of tunes), and it seems out of place following things like “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” and the bombastic title track. But it’s also an inspired inclusion, because this track alone gives the album its beauty.
The first minute is autumnal, the second minute gives way to a bit more swing and, er, ring-a-ding-ding, but still, the way Frank’s voice turns that “it does seem a shame that you can’t see your fuuuuuuuuuture with me” bit. Amazing.
Such regret and disappointment in the way he says “future.” The complete antithesis of ring-a-ding-ding, no matter what the music says. But it works brilliantly.
This post was authored by Paul Snyder.