domingo, 6 de novembro de 2016

DAY BY DAY AND DAY BY NIGHT

Original released on LP Columbia CL-942
(US 1956, December 17)



By the winter of 1956-1957, Doris Day had become a respectable, even spectacular record seller, as long as her recordings were tied into her film projects. Her soundtrack album of songs from her film "Love Me or Leave Me", a biopic about Ruth Etting, had been the longest-running number one hit of 1955 and "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," the theme from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "The Man Who Knew Too Much", in which she starred, was a gold-selling Top Five hit in 1956. But Day's non-film recordings were less assured of a commercial reception. "Day by Day", an LP without a movie tie-in, was her attempt to change that, and it was largely successful. Frank Sinatra had demonstrated the possibilities of the concept album, in which a single mood was sustained throughout an entire LP, and Day and her conductor, Paul Weston, tried out the idea on "Day by Day", assembling a group of love songs mostly from the 1930s and '40s (the only exception being "Autumn Leaves") and giving them all intimate, small-band arrangements. Day's convincing, conversational tone was perfect for the approach, at least to the extent that she conveyed warmth and understanding of the lyrics. Unlike, say, Sinatra, however, she did not take the opportunity to plumb the depths of those words; when she sang Gershwin & Gershwin's "But Not for Me," for example, she stayed on the surface, never exploring the heartbreak that the song wittily detailed. That was the way a band singer of the '40s would do it, and Day was a band singer of the '40s. So was Sinatra, but he had found reason to change, while Day had not. Nevertheless, "Day by Day" made the Top Ten, demonstrating that Day could sell records without a cinematic association. (William Ruhlmann in AllMusic)

Original released on LP Columbia CL-1053
(US 1957, November 11)

Doris Day had considerable success for a non-film project with "Day by Day", an album of interwar ballads conducted by Paul Weston, in 1956. Naturally enough, she re-teamed with Weston for the following year's "Day by Night", another thematic album, this one a "program of night songs," as the liner notes put it. Day and Weston were mostly concerned with night as it was discussed in the lyrics of the 1930s, when nine of the 12 songs were copyrighted. Instead of the small-band arrangements that had characterized "Day by Day", Weston this time used horns and reeds for a big band accompaniment, as in the 1932 hit "Close Your Eyes," or more often employed a full string section. The focus always remained on Day, however, and she turned in typically knowing, conversational performances. The dreamy theme was just right for a singer who had come up in the warm-but-not-too-warm style of 1940s band singing; Day was able to bring these songs a sense of familiarity that never threatened to break through to real feeling. She was just right for "The Night We Called It a Day," a song introduced by the young Frank Sinatra in 1942 long before he turned serious, and she also made a good distaff alternative to the nonchalance of Bing Crosby on "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (And Dream Your Troubles Away)." Unfortunately, her chaste approach may have been out of step for the album market of the late '50s; while her movie career continued to go great guns and she even scored a Top Ten single with the near-rock of "Everybody Loves a Lover," "Day by Night" did not sell well enough to reach the charts. (William Ruhlmann in AllMusic)

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