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Watertown

4.7 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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$20.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

* Released in 1969 on Reprise, Watertown is Frank Sinatra's most ambitious concept album and the only album he ever voiced over pre-recorded orchestral tracks. * It was produced and co-written by Bob Gaudio, one of four members of the 1960s pop vocal group the Four Seasons.
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 14, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B00O3RQI5W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,496 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Hans Castorp VINE VOICE on January 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This rare FS CD should not be rare! It tells the musical story of a factory man in a town where "nothing much happens", except that his wife has walked. It must be listened to track by track to tell the full story. It was an original concept album in 1969-70, all new songs, and these songs are all, for an unexplained reason, practically unknown today, along with the album itself. Starting out with the folk/rock sounding WATERTOWN, each track is part of the story. The best here are GOODBYE SHE SAYS, FOR A WHILE, ELIZABETH, SHE SAYS (sung along with the two sons that are part of the story,MICHAEL AND PETER). THE TRAIN, similar to Glenn Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind", but more sad, and the add on LADY DAY, which is about the best "extra" any CD has ever had. This CD is completely unique both in the Frank canon, and probably anywhere else. My only minor complaints to this as a total listening experience is that Frank's voice occasionally cracks,and I don't much care for WHAT'S NOW IS NOW, inexplicably on a FS GREATEST HITS collection. An essential in showing how Frank adjusted to the current (1969-70) sounds, and in that this holds up better than just about any other material of that or any time.
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By A Customer on July 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In March of 1970 Sinatra issued his first album of original material written especially for him and hardly anyone noticed.
"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.
Unfortunate.
"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.
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Format: Audio CD
The haunting narrative of a man whose wife has left him and their two sons in Watertown, NY. Sinatra interprets the pain, self-deception, self-transformation, and lack of ultimate redemption flawlessly. The album demands and richly rewards attentive listeners. My only complaint is that I wanted more -- more songs, more information about the family. But our imaginations fill in the blanks. In this relatively obscure album, Sinatra cements his reputation as our greatest stylist.
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Format: Audio CD
Frank Sinatra did a lot of concept albums in his career, especially during the 1950s and 1960s. But even within that context "Watertown" stands out as something unique and I have to believe that on some significant levels it was inspired by the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. Not because "Watertown" constitutes pop-rock more than any other Sinatra album, but because by offering an actual story told in song it upped the ante for Sinatra the way "Sgt. Pepper" did for the Beatles. The music was written by Bob Gaudio, who wrote most of the big hits for the Four Seasons ("Big Girls Don't Cry," "Rag Doll," "Walk Like a Man," etc.) with lyrics by Jake Holmes, whom, I am stunned to learn, is apparently the original composer of my favorite all time rock song, Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused."
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 ›
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Format: Audio CD
Many people think of Frank singing some of the greatest lyrics ever written , which he did so often in the mid to late 50's on his Capitol albums . On 'Watertown' , the songs place Frank in a role , something which he was used to playing .

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 .
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