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"Watertown" sold poorly (only getting to 101 on the Billboard charts) and dissapeared quickly.
Warner Brothers reissued "Watertown" on CD in 1994, but that too is now out of print.
"Watertown" remains to me one of the all time great (and underrated) Sinatra albums.
Written by Bob Gaudio (of 4 Seasons fame) and Jake Holmes, "Watertown's" seamless collection of songs tells the everyday story of a small town railroad worker whose wife leaves him and their two kids to make a life for herself in the big city.
It's hard to put into words the pain that Sinatra's superb singing and phrasing evoke in this album.
For example in "Michael and Peter," a song written in letter form, from husband to wife ,Sinatra sings the line
"John Henry came to cut the lawn again he asked me 'where you'd gone' Can't tell you all the times he's been told-- But he's so old..."
And Sinatra's voice almost cracks with anguish.
To the general public "Watertwon" is unknown. To Sinatra afficiandos, it remains a rare work of art and in many ways the bleakest album of Sinatra's career (even considering "Only The Lonely").
I notice that Amazon is selling a British import issue of "Watertown"
Do yourself a favor, order it and give yourself a musical experience.
The result is what would be termed a song-cycle (originally conceived as a TV special/album tie-in) about a middle-aged man living in a small town dealing with the fact his wife has just left him with the kids. He loves the small town (Gaudio picked Watertown from a map of New York state), but she wants more and abandons her family for an attempt at a career. As with the saloon songs that marked the mature Sinatra a decade earlier, these are songs of loneliness. However, this time there is much more of a sense of dispair, heightened by the sad melodies and sweeping orchestration along with the modern rock sounds.Read more ›
The lyrics on this album are not up there with the standards he sang before this .
The listener should make the effort to forget all they have previously heard from Frank automatically , as soon as the album has begun - if one can do that , then this album is waiting to be enjoyed .
The above shows the problem with being a legendary singer - people are often not musically open minded to try an album such as 'Watertown' - it may not be your thing .
Frank's estate certainly do not promote the 'non standard type' of his music .
Frank is known as an icon of urban cool, but this is Frank's suburban album , if that makes sense .
I say that because of the subject matter of the songs .
This is a small scale album from a man who is better known for singing things like 'My Way' .
Try it .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting piece of Sinatra history but the songs do NOT swing at all and are nice but not great tunes.Published 5 months ago by Sartre Was Right
My personal favorite Sinatra album thanks to nice melodic story songs by Bob Gaudio; the 2010 version claims to have been remastered in 1998 but sounds only very slightly better... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert Wright
this is not a review.I looked at some of the reviews and felt proud that there are people who cherish this singing achievement. Read morePublished 6 months ago by remove
Beyond a touching album. It only sold 30k, but I bought three of them! Love the story, wish it ended better.Published 6 months ago by Deborah C
I have been a fan of Frank Sinatra for quite a long time. When this album was made, I finally bought it around 1970. I can't say how many times I have listened to it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jeffrey C. Rank
I have adored this album from the day I first heard it. Its often overlooked, even derided somewhat because of the popular sound and the way in which it was recorded which as a... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Pete