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From New York to Mars with the Chairman of the Board
June 26, 2014 9:23 PM   Subscribe

The Grammy nominated, golden record album from Frank Sinatra that nobody has heard of. Despite featuring one of Frank Sinatra's more iconic songs, this little known three part concept album known as the Trilogy: Past, Present, and Future was meant to be a reflection of Frank Sinatra's career, starting with the Past which included many of his classic numbers, and then going into the Present, which mostly consisted of covers like those of The Beatles and Elvis, but where it gets really interesting is in the Future.

The Future is a highly ambitious musical suite. Sinatra collaborated with Gordon Jenkins, and the result is a bizarre introspective look at Sinatra as he tours space and envisions a more peaceful world.

Jonathan Schwartz, old time Manhattan DJ and huge fan of Sinatra, panned the album, calling it "narcissistic" and "a shocking embarrassment." These comments lead to Sinatra complaining to the station which lead to Schwartz's Suspension

If you want to learn more, I suggest checking out the podcast You Must Remember This's excellent episode, Frank Sinatra in Outer Space which delves into more detail about Sinatra's collaboration with Jenkins, as well as the album's legacy (or lack thereof). And if you want to pick the album up it is available on iTunes.
posted by KernalM (13 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Sinatra. I own most everything he put out and listen to it somewhat frequently. I remember being 13 and writing in my little kid journal year end recap that the most significant event of the year was Sinatra dying. But those post rock era Beatles/Elvis/etc. covers are dreadful. You can tell he really didn't want to be doing it and his versions never fit the songs very well and it all added up to just bad covers that weren't worthy of Sinatra or The Beatles.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:49 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


I'm wondering what covers got rejected. "David Watts"? "Lucifer Sam"? "The End"?
posted by thelonius at 11:22 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]


Sinatra did have form: Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone: Poems of Color. It's still one of the strangest records I can recall hearing. My uncle is Sinatra-obsessed (he taught himself English to understand the lyrics and then to correspond with other Sinatra obsessives around the globe; keeps a database of recordings; owns more than 6,000 Sinatra-related albums) and even he admits that he has no idea what the Poems of Colors album is all about.
posted by kariebookish at 2:07 AM on June 27 [6 favorites]


With the colon there, that becomes a very confusing title.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:01 AM on June 27


Listening to "What Time Does The Next Miracle Leave" right now. It's very odd and somewhat embarrassing.
posted by octothorpe at 4:57 AM on June 27


And if you want to pick the album up it is available on iTunes.

It's also on Spotify, as well as the Tone Poems of Color album that Kariebookish mentioned. Know what I'm listening to today!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:23 AM on June 27


You Must Remember This is the best new podcast going; just go ahead and subscribe/download them all while you're there. Other topics Karina Longworth has covered on it include the career of Val Lewton, the bullshit Kim Novak has always had to deal with about her body, and (part of a series on) Howard Hughes through the lens of his love life that is more coherent and fascinating than any 30 minutes of The Aviator. The episodes are well produced and so far every episode clocks in around half an hour--no podcast bloat.

After living for decades in a stew of opinion on Trilogy that pretty much mirrors Schwartz, it was refreshing to hear Longworth's apologia for "The Future." It didn't make me like it any more, but it did remind me that Will Friedwald isn't the final word on enjoying Sinatra.
posted by Kylio at 5:47 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


With the colon there, that becomes a very confusing title.

Yes well, punctuation in record albums wasn't standardized until 1963.
posted by goethean at 6:11 AM on June 27


Forget this. Listen to Watertown. No, seriously. Listen to Watertown.
posted by unliteral at 9:01 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Jonathan Schwartz, old time Manhattan DJ and huge fan of Sinatra, panned the album, calling it "narcissistic" and "a shocking embarrassment." These comments lead to Sinatra complaining to the station which lead to Schwartz's Suspension

I used to love Sinatra. Then I found out about his mob connections, and began to hate him. Then I learned that pretty much everybody (except a very few, thank you James Earl Ray and Mohatma...) I admired had a dark side, too... and after some time decided I could separate the art from the artist, to some degree.

I'd still rather not see child-drugging-and-raping Polanski honored in his lifetime, but I'm OK with enjoying the works of long-dead artists who have done as bad or worse.

Which brings me back to Sinatra... he's a douchebag of the first order, and at the same time a helluva force for good. He and Dino flexed their power (and let's face it: his power was greater, and needed) to integrate Las Vegas stages, and then club audiences. OTOH, the stories of his douchebaggery are easy to find.

So, he's like LBJ to me now: a complete and utter asshole, insecure and power-mongering... who did wonderful things, and fortunately was largely on the side of Good. LBJ bullying other lawmakers? Not cool. ... into voting for the Civil Right Act, despite their personal racial bigotry? Pretty damn useful.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:36 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


nobody has heard of, my ass

[I haven't listened to it in 25 years.]
posted by neuron at 11:54 AM on June 27 [1 favorite]


also
posted by neuron at 11:55 AM on June 27


You Must Remember This is the best new podcast going
Agreed, listening to all the episodes right now.
posted by unliteral at 9:42 PM on June 27


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