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Sinatra Sings Joe Raposo (2)

By Mahnuel Muñoz

After a brief retirement in 1971, which did not last even two years, Frank Sinatra found the answers to many of his existential questions by singing live for faithful followers from all corners of the world. Soon the recordings would take a backseat, but in the scorching summer of 1973, a few months before embarking on a practically uninterrupted tour until his final goodbye in 1995, he completed “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back“, an album that is almost a songbook by Joe Raposo; Four of the nine cuts on the album bear his signature and there was a fifth, extraordinary, that was incomprehensibly left out. With the exception of the biblical-ecologist hymn “Noah“, Raposo’s material is written with the inks of longing for the past and stupor at the present. I do not doubt that there was better material for Sinatra, but he is, above the title of bulwark of the American Songbook, chronicler of his generation, and I believe that at that moment he gave voice to the men and women of his generation, immersed in the same nostalgia and confusion.

By using “You Will Be My Music” as the opening track of the album “Ol’Blue Eyes Is Back,” Sinatra exposed his soul and addressed directly those who had followed him from the beginning:

When all the songs are out of tune
And all the rhymes ring so untrue
When I can’t find the words
To say the thoughts I long to bring to you,
When I hear lonely singers,
Who are just as lost as me
Making noise, not melodies…
You will be my music, you will be my song…

Gordon Jenkins’ unmistakable dense and melancholic signature in the arrangements enhances the bittersweet poetry of the lyrics, performed by Frank with deep emotion.

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