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Rockstars writing for Frank

By Mahnuel Muñoz

During the 1960s and 1970s Frank Sinatra became interested in the work of young pop musicians and recorded and included in his concerts a respectable number of songs by these artists; In turn, several big names in music from that time composed songs designed for The Voice.

Let’s look at some of the latter. Not all the songs that were proposed to Sinatra came to light in his voice, and it is a shame because there is interesting material. In the comments of the post he left you links to the songs.


Paul McCartney wrote “Suicide” in 1956, when he was only fourteen years old. Very confident in his abilities even at that age, he seriously considered offering her to Frank Sinatra. “He felt that, if he was ever going to be a songwriter, the pinnacle was Sinatra,” McCartney said.

Paul recorded it in 1970 for his first solo album, although in a reduced version and without any record of his presence in the album folder. In 1974 he recorded a complete demo and, fulfilling his youthful dream, he sent it to Sinatra, who rejected it.


Frank admired Elton John‘s “Blue Moves” album, released in 1976. A piece from it, “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” had so impressed Sinatra that he had Charles Calello write an orchestral arrangement for it.

On February 28, 1977, Sinatra arrived in London, where he completed a triumphant week of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, and “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” was part of the set repertoire of his performances. Elton John and Bernie Taupin attended the second concert of the night at the Royal Albert Hall on March 4, 1977.

After the show, Sinatra and Elton met backstage, and Frank expressed the wish that they would write a song especially for him. Of course, Elton John, who has admired Sinatra’s music since his earliest youth, did not hesitate for a second.

Remember” was the song that John and Taupin wrote for Sinatra, a melancholic ballad in the style of the album “Blue Moves“, with lyrics adapted to typical Sinatra phrases. Frank was delighted to have Don Costa orchestrate the piece, and from May 1978 he began to regularly incorporate it into his concert programs.

In mid-July 1978, Sinatra (for the first time in over a year) returned to the recording studio to record three songs for Reprise Records. One of the three was “Remember“, but unfortunately all three pieces are officially unreleased until today. And while Sinatra re-recorded the other two songs (namely “You And Me” and “That’s What God Looks Like“) a year later in the summer of 1979 for his album “Trilogy” (1980), the same did not happen. with “Remember.”

In late 1978, Sinatra performed “Remember” regularly in his concerts, including in London, again, in his recital series at the Royal Festival Hall in mid-September 1978, where the piece was acclaimed, and a month later, at mid-October, during Sinatra’s legendary performance at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Both concerts feature professional (although officially unreleased) stereo recordings that give a good impression of Sinatra’s precise interpretation of the song and Don Costa’s beautiful arrangement.

From the beginning of 1979 the song will be sporadic in the repertoire. Sinatra last sang the song in the spring of 1979, in the sessions for the triple album “Trilogy,” on which he also recorded a full set of contemporary tunes (for “The Present“).

The 1978 studio recording (Master WCA 8130) exists, as confirmed by Nancy Sinatra in 2004.
In the meantime, we must wait for a publication or settle for unofficial recordings.

The song saw the light in another voice. In the summer of 1981, Elton John met Italian singer Donatella Rettore in London and offered to record “Remember” for one of her albums. Rettore’s recording later appeared on her LP “Estasi Clamorosa


In the mid-1970s, the leader of the Beach Boys composed two songs with Sinatra in mind, which he discarded, much to Wilson’s dejection. In my opinion, it is the saddest example, since these are two extraordinary pieces, of great lyrical and instrumental complexity, which Frank could have praised with his Voice on an album like “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back.” . The songs were included on an officially unreleased Beach Boys LP, “Adult/Child“, although luckily, they can be found on several compilation albums, both by the Californian band and its leader.


This song was sung by Bono, the leader of U2, during Frank Sinatra’s 80th birthday television special. “I’ll send you this song anyway,” Bono said at the event. “It’s a song I’ve offered you about 80 times. Maybe now that I’ve gotten your full attention, you’ll listen to it again.”

Several U2 books mention Bono’s attempts to get Frank to record the song, especially when Bono was recording his part of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” for “Duets.” But Frank retired permanently in that same year, 1995.

This song was released in December 1997 as the B-side to “If God Will Send His Angels“. In 2004, Nancy Sinatra recorded it for the album named after her.

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