Recorded January 27th and 28th 1953, August 23rd and 25th 1955
Released 1953 (10" LP, EP, 45s) and 1955 (12" LP)
Nat Cole - Vocals, Piano
Nelson Riddle - Arranger
Pete Rugolo - Arranger (12" track 11)
Lee Gillette - Producer
Capitol H-420 (10" LP), T-420 (12" LP), EAP-420 (EP), EBF-420 (45 set)
"Charm and elegance are exuded from every one of the songs, as though it were as natural to Nat and Nelson as breathing."
Nat King Cole the great ballad singer, accompanied by arranger extraordinaire Nelson Riddle, is given perhaps his finest and most popular showing on this, his first album of such material. Reflecting Nat's great pop singles of this era, Nat and Nelson's proclivity for varying the palette despite a fairly uniform context may be heard to fine effect through the album. Experiences range from heartbreak and longing to euphoric appreciation and exuberant joy, occasioned from the brightest of days to the depths of autumn. The set contains such exquisite examples of the popular music art as his Autumn Leaves, There Goes My Heart and the brisk, infectious Almost Like Being In Love.
Some of these songs have been recorded many times, such as Autumn Leaves and Tenderly, but no other recordings can be said to be superior. A majority of the songs aren't recorded often if at all, but most are no less memorable and none are clunkers. Charm and elegance are exuded from every one of the songs, as though it were as natural to Nat and Nelson as breathing.
Autumn Leaves features some marvelous colors from a majestic arrangement by Nelson Riddle, perfectly accompanying a vocal from Nat that is sensitive and grandly colored. There Goes My Heart showcases Nat's special way with simple, plaintive lyrics and features a particularly good example of Nelson's way with orchestrating to suit an emotional mood in the break. On the other end of the tempo, the exuberant Almost Like Being In Love features a persuasive glee and an instrumental break which could and should have gone on for about oh, 50 more bars.
Nelson Riddle's breakthrough hit arrangement, Mona Lisa, had been for Nat. Over the following years through the 1950's Nelson arranged scores of songs for Nat and many are among the best popular music work either would do. While they would be reunited primarily for album projects in the second half of the 1950's, in the first half of the decade they recorded songs primarily for singles, this vocal album and The Piano Style of Nat King Cole being the exceptions. Piano Style certainly has a clear concept. Sings For Two In Love on the other hand is not unlike some of Frank Sinatra's pioneering albums in the format, in having more of a uniform theme than any specific "concept," yet never the less has a place in the evolution of the "concept album."
This set was originally a 10" LP (Capitol H-420) in 1953, but with the industry wide transition to 12" LPs by 1955, the set was expanded with newly recorded songs and reissued in 12" form with the same title (Capitol T-420). In addition to being a 10" and 12" LP, Sings for Two In Love was also an EP set (Capitol EAP 420) and a 7" 45 rpm set (Capitol EDF-420). Not originally recorded for this set was You Stepped Out of a Dream, a Pete Rugolo-arranged single. A likely reason is the omission a song recorded at these sessions but which was ultimately left off the releases - Don't Hurt The Girl. The performance and arrangement of this song was excellent but alas the song is subpar, especially compared to the company it would be keeping on this album. You Stepped Out of a Dream was probably tossed in its place, but it works fine. Don't Hurt The Girl was finally released in 1991 in the massive Mosaic set, The Complete Capitol Recordings of The Nat King Cole Trio.