Monday, December 04, 2006

Dazed and Confused, Baby

Watertown - Frank Sinatra

Add Frank Sinatra and the guy that wrote Dazed and Confused, and what do you get? The worst selling album of the great one's career. And a stone masterpiece.

Jake Holmes was maybe a surprising choice to write a whole song-cycle for Sinatra. Yeah, he'd had a couple of records out on Tower, but neither of them sold (they're genius, though, and finally back in print). He had also done the Genuine Imitation Life record for the Four Seasons, but they weren't Sinatra, for goshsakes.

I've heard this described as Sinatra's "rock" album, but this is no rock. Much more folk. Well orchestrated, as usual. Almost every song on here is a blockbuster. And none of them feel like a big stretch for Frank to sing. Think of it like Frank's Blood on the Tracks.

I'm amazed that this is out of print currently. For me, it's the best Sinatra record from top to bottom that I've heard. I'm particularly a fan of "What a Funny Girl (You Used to Be)". Leave a comment on this one. I'm curious if others love this one like I do.

Excellent !!!

I always liked "September Of My Years" but this one's
just as good, if not better!!!

Frank was always hip, I'm sure he didn't need Holmes or Gaudio to prove it, but they do make quite a team here. Dig those special effects!!! (Choo, Choo)
"The Train" is a very good one too. Watertown is also my favorite Sinatra album !
I like this album, but it is difficult to describe. Anyone who loves the old 50's masterpieces with Nelson Riddle, Songs for Swingin' Lovers etc (the first concept albums) can hear straight away that Frank sounds uncomfortable singing on Watertown. He's not into the rhythms, they don't swing (because they rock!).

BUT it works, probably because this IS an album about alienation, and Frank's awkward alienated vocalising just fits the bleak words.

It also works because many younger generation listeners heard their parents playing Frank's older work, 'fuddy-duddy' stuff, but in Watertown he's as close to a 60's swinger as he ever got. It's like hearing your old man rocking out, in his own unique way, with enormous pathos and talent which he brings from an older era.

It's a very moving album. Thanks for bringing it back to us.
Fab. Totally freaking fab. I HAVE been looking for this one for years!!!

Good stuff on the album here:
from marcus
sorry, i can't download this masterpiece...i haven't got my internet provider...i hope i will find the link working until the beginning of january 2007...
I knew this lp from long, I have the original vinyl record. you're right, this is a very unknown record from frank but I like it. something new from blue eyes and, as usual, something great!

a couple things to compare this with Lou Reed's 'Berlin' lp, as pointed out to me by my friend Dave:
1.) both albums deal with love lost and similarly the loss of an ideal (read as "the end of the sixties"), although in quite different ways, admittedly;
2.) as regarding the ill-fated TV show for these recordings, wasn't it Bob Ezrin who said 'Berlin' was also intended "as a movie for the ears"?;
3.) Sinatra even recorded a song called "Lady Day" for this cycle which was unreleased until the CD reissue.
coincidences? i'd say Lou just has good ears and knows a good idea.
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C'mon, for this era Scott Walker has aged so much better then this. This record is capitol SQUARE. In my movie, the stalker hears music like this head, driving him to stare obscenely at all passers by.
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