Frank Sinatra – Trilogy (1980)

From the Thrifty Vinyl 80s Archives SAM_0396SINATRA’S TRILOGY LAUDED AS TRIPLE ALBUM

(New York City, New York) — Critics and fans alike were yesterday hailing veteran crooner Frank Sinatra’s new release, Trilogy, as a 3-album set.

“Yeah, he really did it there on a whole three records,” explained one music writer. “All three of which were capable of electrically reproducing the sound of Sinatra’s singing when played on a turntable hooked up to an amplifier and speaker system.”

Music lovers on the other side pond have also been quick to celebrate Ol’ Blue Eyes’ first record in nearly six years, with at least one Brit calling it a “treble album”.

Others have heaped praise on Sinatra’s Reprise Records “comeback” as containing a full complement of songs and music commensurate with the vinyl triad included in the collection.

“What can I say?” gushed another fan. “Literally a trio of 33rpm discs!”

“Amazing!” she added.

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SAM_0397Editor’s Note:  As if in answer to an earlier question, The Clash and Frank Sinatra. A pair highly unlikely in 1980 to make ambitious, indulgent 3x Lps, but it happened. Both were seen as “events” at the time, both merited lead, if mixed, reviews in Rolling Stone, but only one was listened to by me and a Senior year girlfriend on 8-Track during afternoons after school at her place.

There were at least 20 Frankie records in Demelza House today, mostly the Capitol sides, which I don’t really love. However, I was intrigued to re-hear Trilogy. Coming in a sleeve heavy and wide enough to accommodate not only the discs themselves, but three inner sleeves thicker than most 12″ single sleeves, three normal inner paper sleeves with in-depth liner notes and a further paper insert detailing the scores of musicians who played on the records, it was quite the deluxe piece of self-mythology.

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Published in: on May 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. this looks like a compilation rather than a release of original material, the like of which sinatra’s record companies released more than once over the years. i seem to recall reading that due to the gamble of a band releasing a triple-album’s worth of previously-unreleased recordings, the clash had to agree to forego royalties of any kind until a certain amount had been sold. i’ve never listened to the album myself, but i have to ask: is any act really that productive that they believe they have three album’s worth of quality and listenable material in the can? it suggests a certain amount of self-indulgence to me. the beatles’ “white” album is only a double, but even that sounded like half of it was unfinished ideas and jams thrown in to make up the numbers…

    by the way, when does a triple become a treble?

    • Trilogy is a concept album of ‘Past’ (aka ‘Collectibles of the Early Years’) ‘Present’ (aka ‘Some Very Good Years’) and ‘Future’ (aka Reflections on the Future in Three Tenses’). Simply, they are all-new recordings of, in the first and second cases, of older (e.g. ‘Let’s Face the Music And Dance’) and newish songs (‘Just The Way You Are’) respectively, some of which Sinatra had recorded previously. The ‘Future’ album is an odd, pretentious song-cycle (with titles like ‘What Time Does the Next Miracle Leave’, ‘Song Without Words’ and ‘World War None’) composed especially for the project by Gordon Jenkins.

      In my understanding, the Clash forewent royalties in order to keep the price down for their loyal fans. No doubt, there was some awful stuff on Sandinista! but I was (and am) in thrall to the band. I even made a cassette of ‘The Worst of Sandinista!’ which included the album’s pot befuddled experiments and remixes/b-sides. I ain’t even sorry. For himself, Strummer made no apologies for the indulgence, reckoning that was where the band’s collective head was at the time.

      ‘Treble’ is, I think, an Anglo expression and, as such, is practically interchangeable with ‘triple’, though less common.

      • would sinatra fans be happy to buy “new recordings” of some old favourites (presumably using the same arrangements – frank was one of the few who seemed to resist the temptation to jump on the disco bandwagon)? i would say unlikely. therefore with regard to the added temptation of some “new” material that’s been chucked in with the tried and tested, this could be seen as a prototype for the now-obligatory “greatest hits album featuring a couple of previously unreleased tracks” marketing technique/scam (delete as appropriate)!

        regarding the great treble vs triple debate: manchester united’s feat a few years back of winning the premier league, FA cup and champions’ league in the same season is always referred to as “the treble”…

      • In jazz, which is really the tradition Frank comes from having cut his teeth with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey in the 40s, it’s not uncommon to re-record songs several times over the years using different sidemen and arrangements.

        Whatever its merits or faults, Trilogy was not a greatest hits but was conceived as a stand-alone, rather epic, gesture and features new Big Band-style arrangement by Billy May, Don Costa and Gordon Jenkins; so not Disco remakes, more revisits in the traditional style.

        And it marks the first appearance of his final signature tune, “Theme from New York, New York”.

      • BTW, four of the 20 songs on the first two albums have been recorded by FS previous to Trilogy. That’s enough Frank now.

  2. just by coincidence have just listened to an album by frank sinatra jr – although his pleasant enough in a bobby vee way he’s no sinatra (oh hang on, he is!)


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