Release Date: 2022
- 1 Watertown
- 2 Goodbye (She Quietly Says)
- 3 For a While
- 4 Michael & Peter
- 5 I Would Be in Love (Anyway)
- 6 Elizabeth
- 7 What a Funny Girl (You Used to Be)
- 8 What’s Now Is Now
- 9 She Says
- 10 The Train
- 11 Lady Day
- 12 Lady Day (11/7/69)
- 13 Watertown (Session Take)
- 14 Goodbye (Session Take)
- 15 The Train (Session Take)
- 16 Lady Day (11/7/69) (Session Take)
- 17 1970 Reprise Radio Promo #1
- 18 1970 Reprise Radio Promo #2
The legacy of Frank Sinatra – one of the world’s most enduring singers – includes a studio album no one anticipated: Watertown. Recorded in 1969 and released in 1970, the concept of Watertown unfolds as a personal tragedy about a working man with children whose wife suddenly leaves him. Sinatra’s performance elicits sadness, defeat and forlornness. Ultimately, as Sinatra so wonderfully expresses, it’s also a story about one man’s resilience.
On June 3, Frank Sinatra Enterprises and UMe present Watertown, newly mixed and remastered from the original Reprise session tapes resulting in superior sound quality. The original album sequence will be available on vinyl, while the CD and digital editions will feature eight bonus tracks, including alternate takes from the recording sessions, two radio ads and “Lady Day,” which was not part of the Watertown concept. Charles Pignone produced the updated edition from the new mixes created by longtime Sinatra engineer Larry Walsh – the team behind recent FSE/UMe releases Sings for Only the Lonely and Nice ‘N’ Easy.
Now appreciated as a masterpiece of drama and heartbreak, Watertown will also feature, in addition to a recreation of the original packaging, new liner notes, a track-by-track breakdown from songwriter and album producer Bob Gaudio, quotes from Sinatra, plus essays by Frankie Valli, co-writer Jake Holmes, among others who were involved in the original project.
Upon Watertown’s release, fans and critics alike simply weren’t prepared for such a radical stylistic departure from Sinatra. But the album has shown resilience: Despite the initial lukewarm response, in the decades since the album has had a re-evaluation and, in 2007, The Guardian declared Watertown “one of [Sinatra’s] greatest masterpieces” and in 2015, The Observer noted that “it made some sense that Sinatra would attempt a story-driven concept album, considering he had helped pioneer the thematic concept LP in the 1950s. But on Watertown, Sinatra did something truly risky: he told an entire album-length story from the point of view of [a] character that is most definitely not Frank Sinatra.” Gaudio’s essay explains that Sinatra, with a level of empathy only he could achieve, was “reaching down into a man’s soul and feeling his pain and still finding hope.”