Best Albums of the 70s – #9
Watertown – Frank Sinatra (1970)
Frank Sinatra’s broken-heart concept album Watertown is one of only two albums that I’ve represented in their entirety on this blog. You can read my track-by-track analysis of the project here.
I wrote more about the lasting emotional power of Watertown in those 11 posts than I could hope to convey again here, so suffice it to say that the record may be the last transcendent moment Sinatra committed to tape and it works both for that reason and because it is a marvelous bit of theatrical storytelling.
Track Five of Frank Sinatra’s Watertown is the concluding song of Side One (or Part One, as it is labelled on the packaging). Remember when albums had sides?
The segmentation is appropriate on an album like this one. You can even look at the the two sides as separate acts in a play, with the flipping of your vinyl record playing the role of intermission. I believe the composers plotted and sequenced the album with exactly that in mind.
This concluding song of Part One has our protagonist looking back at the events that have led him to this point and deciding that he wouldn’t trade the past for a better present.