December 4, 2012 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I have this on vinyl, bought for no reason other than the color of the sleeve and I maybe heard it once. I put it away for a few years, experienced the greatest pain I've ever known and then one night listened to it once all in one sitting with a glass of bourbon. I wouldn't recommend that. I'm not even sure I'd recommended listening to this record. But I'm glad I did.

This blog has a good analysis and some more history of the making of the album.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:40 PM on December 4, 2012 [5 favorites]

To do is to be. -Socrates
To be is to do. -Sarte
Doobey doobey do. -Sinatra

old, I know, but I still love it
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've never heard of this, but it sounds fantastic (for certain definitions of "fantastic"). Thanks for posting this.
posted by scody at 4:03 PM on December 4, 2012

I know Sinatra went into a brief retirement after this album and always assumed it was because the record wasn't a hit. I wonder what he thought about this album? Did he view it as Groucho Marx viewed Duck Soup - as an embarrassing flop? Or did he recognize that it was a top notch work that just didn't get the respect it deserved?
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:05 PM on December 4, 2012

Interesting, thanks! I'd never heard of this album.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:07 PM on December 4, 2012

Had it on vinyl many years ago. At the time it didn't do anything for me, partly because it seemed to create such a dreary and depressing atmosphere,. I was probably much to young to appreciate it. Time for a fresh listen.
posted by Longtime Listener at 4:12 PM on December 4, 2012

Oh, so perfect. I have just spent the last hour looking for a sound just like this. Is there anything MetaFilter can't solve for me?
posted by iamkimiam at 4:28 PM on December 4, 2012

the post contains a sentence i'd like clarified, if anyone is up to it. specifically, "As revealed by Bob Gaudio, the album was supposed to be launched with a television special, but due to Sinatra’s unhappiness with his signing, the special never materialized, and the album was released with little fanfare".

what signing is being referred to? or is that a typo that should read "singing" instead?
posted by radiosilents at 4:38 PM on December 4, 2012

Are you saying that this record is more depressing than Only The Lonely? Because that was depressing enough, thank you.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:47 PM on December 4, 2012

I just started with Goodbye (She Quietly Says). Wow.
posted by inigo2 at 4:48 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Singing was the intended word. Sinatra felt his voice was not up to snuff during this period.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:50 PM on December 4, 2012

Seconded. Watertown is amazing. It's up there, in this Sinatra Fanatic's opinion, with "Where Are You?"
posted by THAT William Mize at 4:52 PM on December 4, 2012

My mother loves Sinatra. Whenever we go to her house the odds are that Sinatra is playing. I won't be introducing her to this though.
posted by Splunge at 5:16 PM on December 4, 2012

Written by a Four Season and sung by Sinatra? That sounds awesome. Thanks for the post.
posted by yerfatma at 5:58 PM on December 4, 2012

Thank you for posting this. (Currently listening to it on Spotify.)
posted by mrhappy at 6:44 PM on December 4, 2012

I have always loved In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning. Mrs. MLS claims it is trite. She likes this one though, and so do I.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:05 PM on December 4, 2012

Sinatra may not have liked his voice on these tracks but if anything, the imperfection magnifies the poignancy, like Johnny Cash's ruined rumble on the American series.

Never really got into Frank, way too pretty. This is the first stuff of his I've heard that I actually feel from.
posted by tspae at 10:07 PM on December 4, 2012

IMO,"Only the Lonely" is the saddest song Sinatra ever did. The arrangement itself is a masterpiece, the melody and lyrics are exquisite and Frank's vocal is one of his most touching ever. I don't get that feeling from anything on "Watertown". He is obviously not in top-notch form, if you're familiar with his catalog. He just sounds old and a bit raggedy. I'm just saying.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 11:20 PM on December 4, 2012

I have worn out my copies of "Wee Small Hours" and "September of My Years," but somehow never got this one. That changes today ... thanks for this post!
posted by jbickers at 6:32 AM on December 5, 2012

The blog post seems to hint it is difficult to find and expensive if you do, on amazon.co.uk it is less than £10.
posted by epo at 6:33 AM on December 5, 2012

After listening through the tracks again, it still doesn't quite grab me. I can appreciate the lyrics a lot more than in my youth, but something still seems missing. I'm about to say something heretical, but this version of "Michael and Peter," makes me think Sinatra might not have been the best artist for the material.
posted by Longtime Listener at 10:38 AM on December 5, 2012

Summer Wind was my go to sad for Sinatra in the past. I have new material. What a fantastic album. Never heard of it before today, so thanks latkes.
posted by unliteral at 7:06 PM on December 5, 2012

I'm just listening to this over and over, it's wonderful. I love it.
posted by unliteral at 2:34 AM on December 6, 2012

Reminded of the pogniant 'It was a very good year' too.
posted by unliteral at 2:51 AM on December 6, 2012

I haven't had much exposure to Sinatra, so I'm coming in really fresh to this album, but the first thing that leaps out at me is that there's no way this album wasn't a huge influence on Tom Waits.
posted by jason_steakums at 8:13 AM on December 13, 2012

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