The song of the day for Saturday, February 23, 2013 is The Party’s Over.
About The Party’s Over
It’s pretty hard to beat any song composed by the great Jule Styne with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. And that definitely includes The Party’s Over, from the 1956 musical Bells Are Ringing, with Judy Holliday. The song immediately became popular, with recordings by Nat King Cole, Shirley Bassey and even Leslie Gore in 1963.
About This Version
The Party’s Over is the last song on Tony Bennett’s glorious 1959 album Hometown, My Town. One of the earliest “concept” albums, this album is, for me, one of his best (if relatively unknown) jazz albums. And, in spite of fact that we are presenting a single song as the song of the day, the album should be listened to in full to hear the story that Bennett is singing for us. It is the story of young man living in Manhattan, yearning for love, finding it and losing it in the end. But it is never trite and is beautifully sung. The album was wonderfully arranged by Ralph Burns.
I have loved this album from the moment I discovered it. I find that it’s an interesting bookend to Bennett’s 1990 Astoria: The Portrait of the Artist, where he looks back at his life in Astoria after returning home from World War II. If you can find time this weekend, do yourself a favor and listen to both these albums, preferably in a single sitting. Both are intensely personal autobiographies of a young man from the viewpoint of that very young man and the adult looking back. And it’s really, really good music.
The Party’s Over, as well as the full Hometown, My Town album, is available from iTunes.