Frank Sinatra's Watertown

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24 Responses to “Frank Sinatra's Watertown”

  1. Wigwam Jones says:

    Been there, done that, got the bounced checks over ten states to pay for. And yes, her mother thought I should move on. Even that. Mine wasn’t dead, I just wished she was. Unlike Frankie’s protagonist, I didn’t want her back, I just wanted my checkbook back.

    However, I’m a Sinatra fan and I never heard of this album. Now I gotta find it. Thanks!

  2. melvillain says:

    Since I respect the venerability of BoingBoing, I would like to point out that I also posted this album about two months ago at The Melvillain Blog. Links for an MP3 version are still good, for now. Thanks for posting Rich. It is Frank’s Berlin and an amazing album.

  3. Antinous says:

    Did he adopt a new look for the album?

  4. melvillain says:

    Sorry Rich, I just read you hate MP3s. For the rest of you the offer still stands. It’s free, why not?

  5. peregrine81 says:

    I created an account just to say this. I like Sinatra, its a good listen and is always pleasing.

    But I love this album. I knew Frank had some darker CD’s but this is it. I love this Sinatra. He to me never seemed a happy person, at least it always seemed he had some dark past.

    Thanks :)

  6. Sputnik says:

    Firstly, she has not only abandoned him but also the two kids – I know this DOES happen but is not exactly common behaviour amongst women. Secondly, he mentions that her Mother still comes by to help with the children and along with other friends they encourage him to move on and find a new love. Surely any Mother would concentrate on getting her wayward Daughter back on track and try to orchestrate a reconciliation?

    This happens more than you’d think, especially now.
    In the early 90′s my wife split, leaving me with a very active toddler. Her mom, sizing up the situation decided that I was the best parent for my son, acted accordingly, and never looked back.
    Search “custodial dads”

  7. Anonymous says:

    I believe Sinatra himself said it was an allegory about his fans or record buying public. Which did turn out to be dead when nobody bought this album.

  8. slywy says:

    #1 is right. It happens. It didn’t strike me as odd at all.

  9. Sekino says:

    Lastly I just don’t get why she would say that she is coming back and then just not turn up, breaking his heart a second time.

    I had a friend who’s mom just took off when he was a little kid. One day, when he was a teenager, she told them (the dad and the kid) that she wanted to see him. He waited but she chickened out at the last minute. He never did see her and, after that, he was so disappointed and disgusted he never tried to seek her out later. So, unfortunately, it does happen.

    However, I agree that the album can also be interpretated as the woman being dead. It works. Perhaps Sinatra left it open for people to imagine the details themselves (or is it revealed in the end?).

    Either way, it sounds like a very haunting story.

  10. Richard XXIII says:

    Damn!
    I was hoping it was a concept album along the lines of Kevin Kostner’s Waterworld.
    Still sounds weird, in a Lee Hazelwood kind of way, though.
    He also had a mega-weird song called World War None that I used to habitually play in mixes all the time. Worth checking out.

  11. Tom Hale says:

    She’s not coming back because she’s dead.

    I thought of that just a few seconds before I read the line. Do any of the songs allude to her death other than the inconsistencies of her actions? I gather that they don’t, which makes the album even sadder in that the husband never comes to grips with the reality of his wife’s death.

    Who’d have thought that Ol’ Blue Eyes could be so deep?

  12. wolfiesma says:

    I love albums with train tracks on the cover. Here are two of my favorites:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Train_Coming

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbleweed_Connection

    Welcome, Richard. Looking forward to your cultural gleanings.

  13. peregrine81 says:

    I’ve listened to the whole album start to finish. I don’t know if she died. I think she just left.

    This album is just amazing it makes me feel like a human. Everything online is made to stimulate you and most is for laughs, smiles, or shocks. There is very little true remorse or sad feelings. There is so much of frank in his singing that you just don’t find these days.

  14. BattyMcDougall says:

    Holy. Crap.
    First Rushkoff. Then Metzger. Thank you Boingboing. Thank you.

  15. mscherie says:

    I have this on vinyl… and I must admit that it is my favorite Sinatra album ever… his character is so real and his words are so vulnerable like someone begging, pleading, denying that this has happened…that she would leave them to sweep up the dirt and hold tissues to the snuffling children’s noses. There are songs on there that I can not help but cry and others makes me sob. It is a collections of songs that asks the listener to be vulnerable and open and feel everything going on inside your own guts. You leave a different person after having listening just as after someone leaves you.

  16. batu b says:

    look forward to listening to it…my first tangential thought was Lee Hazlewood’s Trouble is a Lonesome Town. Also a must have for storymusic seekers. My current favorite Sinatra album is Sinatra and Jobim http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Albert_Sinatra_%26_Antonio_Carlos_Jobim
    which is a narcotic delight.

  17. theobese_sk8r says:

    I actually have the album on record. It’s definitely worth having if you’re into concept/themed album collecting. It should be fairly inexpensive and easy to locate in a thrift shop. I paid four bucks for mine in very good condition.
    In regards to the album, it reminds me of Dream Theater’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory with its multiple interpretations.

  18. TJ S says:

    @6:
    A little offtopic, but maybe you’d like this for use as a wallpaper? (Warning: very larget image size (2 or 3MB)
    I took this (and the other pics in that directory) near my apartment.

  19. Anonymous says:

    One of Franks finest!! It should be put in a time capsule to capture this cultures problems with relationships. Lady Day is a very important song as it shows him seeing the relationship through her eyes instead of himself as victim!! Sinatras voice is not “A” bt his interpreting skills were never better—-GREAT ALBUM!!

  20. powermatic says:

    CD’s aren’t the only medium on which music has been recorded. Ebay, at this moment, has about twenty of these for sale, starting at .01. And if my experience is any indication, they’ll sound better than the digital copy as well.

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38.l1313&_nkw=frank+sinatra%2C+watertown%2C+lp&_sacat=See-All-Categories

  21. Godzilla says:

    good call on that ebay link

    Vinyl > CD > MP3

  22. buddy66 says:

    There’s a piece of film of Sinatra doing a one-take studio version of “It Was A Very Good Year” that is uncanny and quite wonderful. His body language ages as his narrator voice ages. I think he does it sitting down. His professionalism and mastery is absolutely stunning.

    MSCHERIE, I know how you feel. Catharsis.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Watertown is easily Sinatra’s most unusual album. When I found this CD in a sale bin at a record store that was going out of business, I thought it must be some sort of joke. It isn’t.

    It isn’t for the timid or people who want to hear Sinatra sing songs like Ring-a-Ding-Ding or New York, New York. This is music for people who are die-hard Sinatra fans, singers who understand singing or collectors of the unusual.

    I love this music.

  24. w000t says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but whenever the topic of concept albums comes up, I feel compelled to mention The Coolies. They released only two albums (they were basically just a side project), but they were both gems. dig? came first and is a collection of eclectic, frequently hard rock, covers of Simon & Garfunkel covers (plus a Paul Anka bonus track). They followed with Doug, a cult classic rock opera that never fails to surprise and entertain. Here is a good little write-up of on The Coolies.

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