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Eephus

Frank Sinatra, A Man & His Dog: Rest in peace Bosley (2005-2020)

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Posted (edited)

I don't remember there ever being a Sinatra thread on this board and the infallible FBG search engine bears that out.  I guess that figures.  He's outside the chronological wheelhouse of most of us; his music spoke to our parents or grandparents.  Most of Sinatra's current airplay probably happens around Christmastime.

I've heard his hits and I've heard a lot of singers imitate him, either intentionally or not.  But I've only listened to a handful of his 59 studio albums.  His career spanned the entire history of the LP record.  Sinatra was already a big star when the LP replaced a booklet of 78s and he continued to record through the early 90s when the CD had vanquished vinyl.  More importantly, he was a pioneering artist in the creation of the concept album where songs were chosen and sequenced to tell a story. 

It looks like most of his albums are on Spotify so I'll listen to them while walking the dog .  This is a continuation of the Bob Dylan thread I hijacked from @rockaction and will probably follow a similar format.  I listen to an album in non-chronological order, write up some impressions about the man and his music and spotlight a song that is stands out or epitomizes the album.  I'm not going to grade or rank them since Sinatra still has connections if you catch my drift.

The thread is also to document the life and times of our dog Bosley.  He's 14 and in failing health but our slow walks through the neighborhood are suited for discovering the catalogs of the giants of Pop music.

 

 

 

Edited by Eephus
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Any Sinatra related opinions and memories welcome of course.

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1 minute ago, Eephus said:

I don't remember there ever being a Sinatra thread on this board and the infallible FBG search engine bears that out.  I guess that figures.  He's outside the chronological wheelhouse of most of us; his music spoke to our parents or grandparents.  Most of Sinatra's current airplay probably happens around Christmastime.

I've heard his hits and I've heard a lot of singers imitate him, either intentionally or not.  But I've only listened to a handful of his 59 studio albums.  His career spanned the entire history of the LP record.  Sinatra was already a big star when the LP replaced a booklet of 78s and he continued to record through the early 90s when the CD had vanquished vinyl.  More importantly, he was a pioneering artist in the creation of the concept album where songs were chosen and sequenced to tell a story. 

It looks like most of his albums are on Spotify so I'll listen to them while walking the dog .  This is a continuation of the Bob Dylan thread I hijacked from @rockaction and will probably follow a similar format.  I listen to an album in non-chronological order, write up some impressions about the man and his music and spotlight a song that is stands out or epitomizes the album.  I'm not going to grade or rank them since Sinatra still has connections if you catch my drift.

The thread is also to document the life and times of our dog Bosley.  He's 14 and in failing health but our slow walks through the neighborhood are suited for discovering the catalogs of the giants of Pop music.

Good luck, my man. :blackdot:

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Sinatra has eight albums with references to the word "Swing" in the title.  He also has four Christmas albums which go to the bottom of the stack.

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30 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Any Sinatra related opinions and memories welcome of course.

Frank was a man. I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, but I will endeavor to share my memories of him here - in 2020. 

In. 

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9 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:
42 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Any Sinatra related opinions and memories welcome of course.

Frank was a man. I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, but I will endeavor to share my memories of him here - in 2020. 

I was more interested if somebody's grandma here slept with him but OK.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Eephus said:

I was more interested if somebody's grandma here slept with him but OK.

Grandma? 

I was talking bout me. 

 

Edit: Oh, I think we're on the same page. Sorry. 

Edited by Man of Constant Sorrow
I Lov frank

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Oh - and as much as I love Sinatra that abomination that is Seriously Sinatra on Sirius is unlistenable most of the time. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Interesting article that has nothing to do with his music but says something about the man.

http://barrybradford.com/frank-sinatra-and-civil-rights/

Was going to add something similar to that here too Leroy. Thanks!

Edited by BroncoFreak_2K3
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Big fan, any idea where you are starting?

In the Wee Small Hours and September of my Year might be my favorites though both are a bit of downers. 

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1 hour ago, Eephus said:

I was more interested if somebody's grandma here slept with him but OK.

My aunt was a massive bobbysox sinatra fan who would chase rumors of his appearances around NYC as a young teen. I think saw him a handful of times coming out of restaurants and such along with seeing him live whenever she could scrape the money together. And banged him.

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Posted (edited)

I was a fan when I saw Joe Jackson open his Night and Day tour with simatras version of night and day during Jackson's own and obvious night and day homage tour. One specific recording of that tune (that starts with sinatra simg-sayimg "like the best beat beat of the Tom Tom") is one of my all time faves and my go to karaoke tune.

Eta...and it helped that my parents had all of his albums

Edited by El Floppo

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2 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

My aunt was a massive bobbysox sinatra fan who would chase rumors of his appearances around NYC as a young teen. I think saw him a handful of times coming out of restaurants and such along with seeing him live whenever she could scrape the money together. And banged him.

So, this is why Frank always asked me to wear those massive socks? 

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13 minutes ago, Encyclopedia Brown said:

One of the best articles written about him was an Esquire piece written by Gay Talese in the 1960's.

(Long read): https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a638/frank-sinatra-has-a-cold-gay-talese/

I was a huge fan of the long form New Journalism back in my twenties. I remember this piece as fairly damning, IIRC. You've jogged my memory back to Saturday nights and office spaces and libraries in D.C.

Cool. 

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44 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Big fan, any idea where you are starting?

In the Wee Small Hours and September of my Year might be my favorites though both are a bit of downers. 

Those are two of the handful of Sinatra albums I own. 

I really don't know what I'm getting into.  Sinatra isn't a songwriter but I think he's generally shown good taste in selecting material that suited his voice and persona.  I hope there aren't any 70s albums lurking where he's singing the equivalent of a green leisure suit but I guess I'll find out.  I will report on the status of his combover/toupee where relevant.

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3 hours ago, Eephus said:

The thread is also to document the life and times of our dog Bosley.  He's 14 and in failing health but our slow walks through the neighborhood are suited for discovering the catalogs of the giants of Pop music.

I’m a Dean Martin guy but more importantly how  did Bosley get his name? Hair implants , Tom Bosley , Charlie’s Angels ?

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17 minutes ago, rockaction said:
32 minutes ago, Encyclopedia Brown said:

One of the best articles written about him was an Esquire piece written by Gay Talese in the 1960's.

(Long read): https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a638/frank-sinatra-has-a-cold-gay-talese/

I was a huge fan of the long form New Journalism back in my twenties. I remember this piece as fairly damning, IIRC. You've jogged my memory back to Saturday nights and office spaces and libraries in D.C.

It's been a while since I read that article.  I remember being sort of disappointed after it had been built up as such a great profile.  It's important for launching a new style of journalism but I don't recall it being terribly revealing about the artist.  That style with the writer as an active character has been widely imitated over the years so what was groundbreaking for Talese is old hat now.

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1 minute ago, HellToupee said:

I’m a Dean Martin guy but more importantly how  did Bosley get his name? Hair implants , Tom Bosley , Charlie’s Angels ?

We got him used as a one year old.  It seemed to fit him and he answered to it.  I also doubt the four of us could ever agree on a new name for him.

 

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9 minutes ago, Eephus said:

It's been a while since I read that article.  I remember being sort of disappointed after it had been built up as such a great profile.  It's important for launching a new style of journalism but I don't recall it being terribly revealing about the artist.  That style with the writer as an active character has been widely imitated over the years so what was groundbreaking for Talese is old hat now.

It is a good piece in the context of the times. Sinatra was a few months away from turning fifty when Talese started working on the piece. Elvis, the Beatles and Motown had pushed him to the sidelines, he had two consecutive albums that had failed to chart, one of them selling only thirty-two thousand copies. His movie career had waned, and there was not going to be another From Here To Eternity to kickstart a comeback. 

This was about the time Sinatra realized that he was never again going to be at the center of the culture, and that he had become a nostalgia act from a prehistoric era. 

 

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and speaking of a nostalgia act from a prehistoric era

She Shot Me Down (1981)

Regarded by some as his last great album, She Shot Me Down captures Sinatra at age 66 about to leave the record company he had founded.  It was his last album for Reprise and he's brought along familiar arrangers in Gordon Jenkins Don Costa and Nelson Riddle.  Sinatra sticks mostly to downbeat saloon songs where loss and lost love are the recurring themes.  The musical arrangements are much more strings than winds.  The percussion section sits out most of the record and really only gets to swing on the closing medley of "The Gal that Got Away" and "It Never Entered My Mind". 

There are a number of songs that seem to have been written with the singer in mind.  My favorite was A Long Night with its melodramatic strings and the way Sinatra stretches out syllables for effect.  I'm early on my Sinatra journey so I don't have a point of reference for the quality of his voice here.  It sounds kind of lived in with an occasional crack.  There aren't many high notes to hit but his upper register still shows brilliance.  There weren't any huge clunkers but I could have done without the updated lyrics on his version of Bob Hope's signature song "Thanks For the Memory".  Yes, the title track is a cover of the Sonny & Cher number but Sinatra makes it work.

Bosley has had a pretty quiet day.  His oral infection seems to be responding to the antibiotics.  Boz takes his pills like a champ.  Not like our last dog Charlie who had a knack for eating the food surrounding the pill and spitting the foreign object on the floor.  On our evening walk, some little kid on Hayes Street asked how much we paid for Bosley.  I honestly don't remember the up front cost but it's always the maintenance that gets you.

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My mother and her bff were bobbysoxers (for anybody under 100 - the first gen of screamy fans) and, when young Frankie was announced to be coming to Boston's RKO Keith Theatre, they hatched a plan. They took vacations from Western Union, where they worked, but still took the subway into town early in the morning so their mothers wouldnt know and got in line at the theater instead of going to work.

In those days, even the biggest performers played several shows a day. Sinatra played five each day of his week-long engagement, with a movie in-between shows. Me Ma & her friend Joyce saw all 35 shows, hiding in toilet stalls when the crowds were filed out.

Once, when i was a teen, it was just me & Ma @ home, me down in my basement lair doing my hard drugs and listening to my rockadoodle on the Victrola, when i heard thunderous stomping & screaming upstairs. I ran up to see what the fuss was about and got to see the tail end of a crowd scene on a Sinatra TV history with Ma & Joyce in the front row hopping like moist kangaroos in their bobbysock rapture.

Now having just begun her 11th different decade on this planet, Ma can still recite along to The Falcon Out West, the movie she watched 35 times in between Sinatra shows 75 years ago. I tested her on it just a coupla years ago when it was on TCM.

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So Frankie was the "A" movie to an actual "B" movie?  My aunt told similar stories, but she was angry that "those same damn girls" would always hog all the good seats in the movie theater she saw Frank at.

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1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

So Frankie was the "A" movie to an actual "B" movie?  My aunt told similar stories, but she was angry that "those same damn girls" would always hog all the good seats in the movie theater she saw Frank at.

Ma's always been hoggy - probably why i grew up a snorter. She's always related her stories (she & the same friend crashed Harry Truman's Inaugural Ball) as ad hoc rather than fanclub kinda exploits.

 

 

I have one Frankie-related story that's personally important, but it's about the music and my own bff. When i moved from MetroBoston out to Salem @ 12yo, it was very definitely a two-sides-of-the-track town (though mostly white people). I lived on the fringes of the "hood", just like in Jamaica Plain, but this time i went to school with kids who lived in mansions w night-lit tennis courts and the whole Boston Brahmin/Mayflower heritage crap. My bff (Jeffrey) was probably 50 before i stopped calling him Regatta Boy.

Always one to play the angles, i lost my accent and learned the style of my "betters" so all my shark plays wouldn't be knocked back at me by class. It worked - i was always able & welcome to play in the fields of the horses&tennis girls.

There was only one person who really didn't buy it - my bff's patrician dad. It was bad enough thru school but, when i got into the rock biz shortly after HS and started to dress the part, well...  When Jeff tells of the huffs his ol man used to get into kicking me out his house, he usually includes this wardrobe description, "...floppy pimp hat, Elton John sunglasses, Charlie Chaplin tank top, black velvet pants w lightning bolts down the side (i had those made special), tweed duster, Puerto-Rican ####kickers (pointy high-heeled boots). "I almost kicked him out myself", he'd say. He then usually recounts sitting on the roof outside his bedroom window listening to his folks having cocktail hour on the lanai and his father constantly citing me as the exemplar of everything that was wrong with this world.

Fast forward 30 or so years. After a peripatetic lifestyle, Jeff & his wife settled into their own domicile in the Boston burbs, Their fixer-upper had an old carriage house on the grounds (which i eventually lived in after i went broke a decade ago) which Jeff, a good bass player, was turning into a home studio. Each time i'd visit, he'd invite musician friends over to jam. One guy he was in a band with was a freak for 60s singles-type stuff - Tommy James, Johnny Rivers, Down in the Boondocks kinda tunes - so we did a lot of them.

We were cleaning up the empties and wrapping things up when Jeff made a comment about my patience with the song selection. I said something to the effect that these days i was more "...quarter to three, no one in the place" than "i danced til quarter to three" (look em up). Jeff started the bass line to the former and i started to croon, my favorite kinda of singing, mostly because a have a bass voice and rock usually has me screeching when it's in my range at all.

Jeff liked it and we ended up doing about an hour of fooling around with standards. Every time i visited thereafter, our jams were more jazzish and we always did "One For My Baby". It was a shower song of mine - not only is it an easy sing, but the words are so evocative, they're almost onomatopoeic. You can actually bend the note for "beeending your ear", work up some anxiety for "anxious to close" make "dreamy & sad" sound dreamy & sad, and hyper-enunciate "soon...to...ex...plode", a lot of chances to emote without leaving the page. We ended up recording it on Jeff's li'l (pre-ProTools) Tascam 44.

Jeff's father, in his 80s and riddled w Parkinson's by then, was installed in a nearby nursing home. At a family get-together where he had the peeps over, Jeff played his dad some of his tapes. "One For My Baby" was among them.

"Whozat?!"

"That's your ol pal wikkid"

"You're kidding me. Play it again"

The old man listened to it several times, looked at his son, "Maybe i was wrong about that sonova#####. Anyone who can sing '..quarter to three' like that can't be all bad. Next time i visited Jeff brought me down to the home to see him for the first time in 40 yrs, we had a cordial visit and i sang that and "Summer Wind" (the only other Sinatra i know all the words to) and i believe he syncopated his Parkinsons headbob to my phrasings. Music is just the best thing.

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He had a very unique voice that seemed to work fantastic with some songs (My Way, New York New York) but was pretty awful on others (Luck Be A Lady, Love and Marriage).

So a mixed bag for me.

 

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Posted (edited)

"Quarter To Three," no look up. Gar(r)y U.S. Bonds. I can never remember how to spell his first name. All-time R&B/rock song.

Fetch paid. Lovely story. 

Edited by rockaction

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43 minutes ago, Mr. Mojo said:

He had a very unique voice that seemed to work fantastic with some songs (My Way, New York New York) but was pretty awful on others (Luck Be A Lady, Love and Marriage).

So a mixed bag for me.

 

He sang it better than Brando :shrug:

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I saw an interview with Marie Osmond not long ago, and she told a Frank story. She said back in the 70s, her brothers were opening in Vegas for Nancy Sinatra. They were rehearsing and Frank and his gang were watching. She said they were being loud and cussing, and it made her father mad. He walked over to Frank, and asked him if he and his group could quiet down and clean up their language. He said ok. The next night they were in their dressing room, and a guy came in and handed them an envelope. It was hand written apology from Frank and $5000. Donny says it was $1000, but Marie says $5,000. Whatever the amount, Mr. Osmond put the money in his pocket. 

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Culturally, i would place Sinatra behind only Louis Armstrong, ahead of Paul McCartney and Elvis and Bobby Planet and Aretha and Jagger and Ray Charles as the most important singer of modern popular music. Oddly, white people had largely been using the blues idiom to cheer themselves up during the depression and a coupla wars and the assbusting it took to make lives for themselves. Sinatra brought it back home, made melancholy, confusion, ardor and a wee hint of rage to reflect the places all people rise from to affect others. That emotional criteria was what opened things up for singer/songwriters to explore the fog between right and wrong.

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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

Culturally, i would place Sinatra behind only Louis Armstrong, ahead of Paul McCartney and Elvis and Bobby Planet and Aretha and Jagger and Ray Charles as the most important singer of modern popular music. Oddly, white people had largely been using the blues idiom to cheer themselves up during the depression and a coupla wars and the assbusting it took to make lives for themselves. Sinatra brought it back home, made melancholy, confusion, ardor and a wee hint of rage to reflect the places all people rise from to affect others. That emotional criteria was what opened things up for singer/songwriters to explore the fog between right and wrong.

Crosby belongs in there somewhere as the bridge between Armstrong and Sinatra.

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54 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Crosby belongs in there somewhere as the bridge between Armstrong and Sinatra.

Still the best crooner & pretty much the first crooner, tremendously important to me because i learned how to extend my register from him, but not all that important in the grand scheme. The way a lot of bandleaders were incredible and nudged things along, but in a form which ended up on the ash heap because swing and most pleasing music stopped mattering. Just as Mariah Carey don't matter and she's the biggest hitmaker ever or something. 

I'm a snob - i rank good artists over great entertainers. Good artists inspire me to argue with the gods. Great entertainers soothe my soul after i'm done arguing. We who've killed God must learn to pray in other ways or we stop reaching - the only true mandate of life. Art is a prayer and, therefore, never more valuable than in this godless time.

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2 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

Still the best crooner & pretty much the first crooner, tremendously important to me because i learned how to extend my register from him, but not all that important in the grand scheme. The way a lot of bandleaders were incredible and nudged things along, but in a form which ended up on the ash heap because swing and most pleasing music stopped mattering. Just as Mariah Carey don't matter and she's the biggest hitmaker ever or something. 

 

There's a big difference between Crosby and your garden variety crooners like Rudy Vallee and Whispering Jack Smith. 

Crosby was the first popular/Caucasian singer to adopt the syncopated rhythms of jazz in his early recordings with The Rhythm Boys and Paul Whiteman's Orchestra.  He also capitalized on improvements in microphone technology to develop a more intimate style of ballad singing.  Both of these innovations were aided by fortuitous timing but the fact remains that Bing was the one credited with creating a new style of popular singing.

This thread is about Sinatra but Crosby was the more historically significant artist.  Sinatra began as an imitator of Bing before finding his own style.

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Songs For Young Lovers (1954)

These early albums are so short Boz and I can knock one out on our daytime walk.  Songs For Young Lovers is only eight songs over 21 minutes so it barely qualifies as an album  by Desert Island Discs standards.  This was his first album that wasn't released on 78rpm format but a bigger changing of the guard was coming unbeknownst to Frank.  1954 would be the year Elvis, Scotty and Bill entered Sun Studios but for the moment, Sinatra was "A" number one, top of the heap.  A year earlier, he'd won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity and he'd changed record labels from Columbia to Capitol.

The album is a collection of standards arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle.  I think I'm going to be using that sentence a lot.  I couldn't find an underlying theme other than the title but the love songs are noticeably in the present tense compared to yesterday's old, sad Sinatra.  The set is ballad heavy but the band is allowed to swing a few times.  One of the times is on his first recording of what would become one of his many signature songs "I Get a Kick Out of You".   Sinatra has a lot of fun with the lyric on that one; he really exaggerates his timing on the verse.  Sinatra was 39 when this was recorded so he's already a mature singer.  The style of phrasing we all associate with Sinatra seems fully developed here.  And that voice could still make young girls swoon.  The song I think you should hear is A Foggy Day with its jazzy stop/start rhythms.

We made Bosley's followup appointment with the vet for next Thursday morning.  He had a busy day wandering but is sleeping now.  He fell asleep on me last night when I was watching television.  Boz was never a plump dog (which always caused me to question his presumed genealogy as a pug) but he's skin and bone in a lot of places now.

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Posted (edited)

I need a fresh angle for this thread.  Sinatra wasn't a songwriter and his voice didn't change as dramatically as Dylan's.  The old dog's life just isn't that interesting.  So I think I'm going to comment on his album covers

She Shot Me Down:  Frank is smoking and drinking a rocking a dark toupee.  1981 was the height of post-punk so he's wearing a leather jacket but the yellow crew neck sweater shows he's still a classy gent.  It looks like his right shoulder may be on fire.

Songs For Young Lovers:  Frank's wearing a hat and suit while leaning against the world's shortest lightpole.  He's smoking again and has something in his pocket.  There are young Caucasian couples in the foreground and background.  Frank's probably deciding which dame he's going to steal.

Edited by Eephus
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8 hours ago, Eephus said:

I need a fresh angle for this thread.  Sinatra wasn't a songwriter and his voice didn't change as dramatically as Dylan's.  The old dog's life just isn't that interesting.  So I think I'm going to comment on his album covers

She Shot Me Down:  Frank is smoking and drinking a rocking a dark toupee.  1981 was the height of post-punk so he's wearing a leather jacket but the yellow crew neck sweater shows he's still a classy gent.  It looks like his right shoulder may be on fire.

Songs For Young Lovers:  Frank's wearing a hat and suit while leaning against the world's shortest lightpole.  He's smoking again and has something in his pocket.  There are young Caucasian couples in the foreground and background.  Frank's probably deciding which dame he's going to steal.

These are great.  Really looks like a perv in the second one.

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4 hours ago, Leroy Hoard said:

These are great.  Really looks like a perv in the second one.

He reminds me of Barney Fife in that second one.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, simey said:

He reminds me of Barney Fife in that second one.

Surprised he could cause such commotion in that suit he's swimming in and ears ready for flight or transmission reception. But I've also been on both ends, so...

you know. 

Edited by rockaction
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Posted (edited)

The World We Knew (1967)

Middle age is never easy but it must have been especially hard in the 60s.  Sinatra was 52 when this album came out.  He was still capable of topping the Pop charts but he needed an assist from his daughter Nancy on the disturbingly incestuous "Something Stupid".  In real life, he'd gone out an married Mia Farrow who was younger than his daughter.  He presumably had a red sports car or two as well.

His material on this record is aiming at Pop crossover.  The songs are mostly from younger songwriters with the American Songbook standards relegated to side two.  There are more drums pushed forward in the mix than there were than the other records I've talked about.  It's not a bad record but seems rather unfocused.  On the more youth-oriented songs, I think Sinatra fares better when he stays closer to the script.  When he tries to combine his traditional swing for the fences approach with the new material like "Don't Sleep In The Subway", he comes off like a middle aged alien.

You could fill a jukebox with classic Sinatra saloon songs; "Drinking Again" is literally a saloon song and it's a pretty good one.  But the song I'm going to highlight is more symbolic of Sinatra's direction with this album.  This Town is a Lee Hazelwood tune set to a big brassy modern Pop arrangement by Billy Strange.  Backing comes from a host of Wrecking Crew veterans.  It's a cool song until it gets kind of weird in the last 25 seconds when Sinatra does some awkward vocal riffing over the fade.  The album cover is three black and white sketches of Sinatra on an orange/gold background.  He's smoking in one of them and wearing a hat in two.  It's rare for records to have liner notes on the front cover but some editions have this in script on the front placed unironically below the words Something Stupid:

Quote

The sun had plunged into the Pacific, somewhere southwest of Bel-Air. In Studio One, Sinatra, like the Pacific, makes his own waves. Fluorescent light turns the singer a slightly lighter shade of grey. And amid this neon's irreverent hum, the singer looks out into the plastic, humming world about him. He stands at the microphone, singing in depth. Doing his best thing... sharing. Sinatra's songs, soon to scatter worldwide the belongings of one man's soul. He tilts his voice into a microphone, just as he has for three decades. Decades spent in living, in recording, and in singing small but poignant truths about loving. This ambiguous man, with clear, touching insights. Sinatra at a microphone, nurturing a bouquet of emotions, then plucking them in full flower, without first checking for possible thorns.

In the Dylan thread, I remember saying Bosley had good days and bad days but I tried not to get too high or low accordingly.  He's at the point now where any day that isn't bad is a good day for Boz.  The sun is out, he's got his goggles on and is keeping up a decent pace.

Edited by Eephus
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Posted (edited)

Thought of another Sinatra-related story, this time involving my Mary. She had an unusual hobby by which she'd chase the lows of her bi-polar cycle. By force of two half-gram lines of dancing powder, she'd get herself out of the 3-day bed we manic-depressives know all too well, shower & powder & paint & primp and slide her size-14 feet into whichever 6-inch stilettos matched her sluttiest finery (and which brought her eyeline slightly above mine, and i'm 6' 4) and hop into her 280Z, heading to the lounge of Reno's finest non-casino restaurant, Rapscallion, about a mile from our house. She'd order a martini drier than a Nevada lake bed and a roll of quarters, with which she'd head to Rapscallion's all-Sinatra jukebox to play the soundtrack of her expedition. She'd have maybe a dozen martinis with Reno's finest collection of suits until she found one that was ALLLL doochbag. She'd play him right to the lean-in and then toss a full martini square in his face. Pushing off the vodka-moistened lapel of the fine suit of a leering jackhole to a Sinatra tune was a Roman moment to her, like raising high the beating heart of a vanquished foe. When she'd come home, i could tell by the smile we were about to enjoy the 3-4 days she felt human before it all went manic again, and i'd join her in play among the stars. Lord, how i miss that girl...

Edited by wikkidpissah
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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

Thought of another Sinatra-related story

:oldunsure:

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:59 PM, Eephus said:

Those are two of the handful of Sinatra albums I own. 

I really don't know what I'm getting into.  Sinatra isn't a songwriter but I think he's generally shown good taste in selecting material that suited his voice and persona.  I hope there aren't any 70s albums lurking where he's singing the equivalent of a green leisure suit but I guess I'll find out.  I will report on the status of his combover/toupee where relevant.

There is a regrettable cover of I Love You Just the Way You Are. 
 

Don’t go Changin’ ... Jack!

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53 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

There is a regrettable cover of I Love You Just the Way You Are. 
 

Don’t go Changin’ ... Jack!

That's off Trilogy: Past, Present, Future, Sinatra's Sandinista.  It's a three album set with one disc each dedicated to the Great American Songbook, songs by current songwriters (circa late 70s), and a futuristic science fiction song cycle written by Gordon Jenkins.  I own a vinyl copy of this album that I picked up in the dollar racks.  I don't recall "Just the Way You Are" being that bad; it's certainly no worse than his reading of "Don't Sleep in the Subway".

Trilogy clocks in at 1 hour 47 minutes so it would be a multi-day dog walking marathon but I might cherry pick the Future disc at some point because it was such a bizarre endeavor for Sinatra.

 

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More relevantly, I will reiterate that I am 100% here for all Frank songs with Billy Mays arrangements. Get those Nelson Riddle strings out of here and swing it with a kickass horn section. 

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Come Swing with Me  (1961)

@Ramsay Hunt Experience You ask for Billy Mays, you get Billy May.  This one is the last in series of three albums Sinatra cut as his contract with Capitol was running out: Come Fly with Me, Come Dance with Me and Come Swing with Me.  May wrote the charts for all of them and this one certainly bears his signature brash, brassy sound.  The string section is nowhere to be found, at least on the tracks from the original LP.  Like a lot of Sinatra albums, there's bonus material on the current digital release but I'm going to stick to the original sides in this thread.

This is the Rat Pack era Sinatra that a lot of people think of when they think of Sinatra today (except at Christmastime).  He's in great voice, brimming with swaggering confidence.  It's a fun listen but I think I'll run into a bunch of similar albums going forward.  One thing that sets this one apart is the conspicuously w-i-d-e soundstage of the recordings.  1961 was the early days of stereophonic sound and the engineer wanted to make sure listeners got their money's worth from their brand new home entertainment systems.  The artificiality of the production is obvious on headphones today.  Horns ping-pong from ear to ear and instruments move around during the course of a song. 

I'll spotlight American Beauty Rose, a song Sinatra also recorded in 1950.  I like lyrics that take the form of a list; in this one Sinatra mentions a bunch of flowers (no pun intended) in the verses but finally chooses an American Beauty Rose in the chorus.  The odd stereo effects are here but not as pronounced as on some other tracks.  The album cover is in the song link and it doesn't provide anything to be snarky about.  It's a headshot of happy Frank in the studio looking off to the right.  He's wearing a hat of course, this time a sharp Trilby that matches his jacket.  Probably the most notable thing is that Billy May gets an "arranged and conducted by" credit on the front cover.

I can hear Boz wandering up and down the hall.  I'll feed him after I post this and he'll probably find his spot in front of the heater and fall asleep after dinner.

 

 

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Good stuff @Eephus.  Any albums you'd recommend?

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

Good stuff @Eephus.  Any albums you'd recommend?

I'm not much of a rankings/ratings guy and all of the albums I've listened to so far have had their moments.  Most people think 1955-64 was his prime but we'll see if this holds true.

Songs for Swingin' Lovers, In the Wee Small Hours and September of My Years are among Sinatra's most highly regarded albums.  I'm pretty familiar with these records but I'm primarily trying to use this thread to discover new stuff.  I'll try to mix these in if Bosley's legs hold up.

 

ETA:  Sinatra was an interpreter of songs and arrangements by others.  That doesn't diminish him as an artist because he was among the very best at what he did.  But the way he made records afforded him a greater margin for error compared to a performer who writes his or her own material.  I don't expect to find any totally bad albums because Sinatra and his collaborators were too good to whiff completely but there are definitely some clunker songs in his catalog.

Edited by Eephus
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Watertown (1970)

Watertown may be the most unique album in Sinatra's large catalog.  He'd been one of the first artists to record concept albums using a selection of songs to fit a theme or mood but he takes it further with Watertown.  The collection is a true song cycle composed by Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio and commercial jingle writer Jake Holmes (his Wikipedia page is worth a look).  It's sung entirely in the first person with Sinatra playing an unnamed small town man whose wife Elizabeth leaves him and their two children to pursue a new life in the big city.

The songs reminded me of the Pop epics composed by Jimmy Webb during the same timeframe.  They haves a big LA 60s sound with little of the confident swing that Sinatra is known for.  Sinatra immerses himself in his cuckolded character and delivers vocals with a tenderness that conveys his enduring love.  I became invested in his story and the climax "The Train" delivers an emotional punch in the gut.  The current digital release tacks on a bonus track that serves as backstory for the wife but I like the original ending better.

Unfortunately the album was a commercial flop and Sinatra went back to recording material more in his traditional wheelhouse.  But its reputation has grown over the decades and it's definitely worth a 33 (or 37) minute spin to see a very different side of Sinatra.  To whet your appetite here's Michael & Peter which legitimately moved me.  The album cover is also special because Frank is nowhere to be seen..  It's a crappy sepiatone drawing the train station mentioned in the songs bookending the album.  I doubt the cover helped sales any.

If you listen to one album of the five so far, I'd recommend this one because it's so uncharacteristic of the singer.  Actually they've all been pretty decent.  The World We Knew was the least of them but it was still a hoot.  And there's always the voice.

Bosley was stumbling and bumbling today.  The first few steps after he wakes up are always tenuous but if he goes directly from in front of the heater to the sidewalk it's really an adventure.  We live on a hill so he usually lets gravity take over but he wasn't oriented the right way relative to the slope today.  He somehow managed to keep his balance.

 

 

 

Edited by Eephus
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43 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Watertown (1970)

Watertown may be the most unique album in Sinatra's large catalog.  He'd been one of the first artists to record concept albums using a selection of songs to fit a theme or mood but he takes it further with Watertown.  The collection is a true song cycle composed by Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio and commercial jingle writer Jake Holmes (his Wikipedia page is worth a look).  It's sung entirely in the first person with Sinatra playing an unnamed small town man whose wife Elizabeth leaves him and their two children to pursue a new life in the big city.

The songs reminded me of the Pop epics composed by Jimmy Webb during the same timeframe.  They haves a big la 60s sound with little of the confident swing that Sinatra is known for.  Sinatra immerses himself in his cuckolded character and delivers vocals with a tenderness that conveys his enduring love.  I became invested in his story and the climax "The Train" delivers an emotional punch in the gut.  The current digital release tacks on a bonus track that serves as backstory for the wife but I like the original ending better.

Unfortunately the album was a commercial flop and Sinatra went back to recording material more in his traditional wheelhouse.  But its reputation has grown over the decades and it's definitely worth a 33 (or 37) minute spin to see a very different side of Sinatra.  To whet your appetite here's Michael & Peter which legitimately moved me.  The album cover is also special because Frank is nowhere to be seen..  It's a crappy sepiatone drawing the train station mentioned in the songs bookending the album.  I doubt the cover helped sales any.

If you listen to one album of the five so far, I'd recommend this one because it's so uncharacteristic of the singer.  Actually they've all been pretty decent.  The World We Knew was the least of them but it was still a hoot.  And there's always the voice.

Bosley was stumbling and bumbling today.  The first few steps after he wakes up are always tenuous but if he goes directly from in front of the heater to the sidewalk it's really an adventure.  We live on a hill so he usually lets gravity take over but he wasn't oriented the right way relative to the slope today.  He somehow managed to keep his balance.

 

 

 

I had no idea this album existed, but will check it out. Very different for him as you said.

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