FRANK SINATRA’S DEMO OF BILLY STRAYHORN’S “LUSH LIFE” RELEASED AFTER 60 YEARS
Recounted as “the one that got away,” Frank Sinatra’s take on Billy Strayhorn’s elegant “Lush Life” had not seen the light of day outside of recording studio archives – until now. On October 11th, Capital Records premiered the lyric video of Sinatra’s demo recording of Strayhorn’s composition, which was ultimately left incomplete in apparent dissatisfaction with his own performance. “Put this aside for a minute,” the session conductor says, followed by Sinatra’s retort, “Put it aside for about a year!” The demo recording is now available as part of the deluxe reissue of the crooner’s 1958 album Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely.
“The Billy Strayhorn composition is a tricky standard, by any standard,” notes Variety, “but not so esoteric in its demands that it hasn’t been wrestled into submission by dozens of name singers over the years, from Cole to Donna Summer…Most recently, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett cut it as a duet.” The Strayhorn classic “Lush Life” has remained an “object of fascination” to music enthusiasts for decades, and Frank Sinatra’s reluctance to complete it will surely hold its spot as one of the music industry’s most notable mysteries.
Stream the session take of “Lush Life” below: