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1984 Frank Sinatra concert

1984 Frank Sinatra concert

Nov. 14, 1984: Frank Sinatra in concert at the Universal Amphitheatre.

Leonard Feather reported in the Nov. 16, 1984 Los Angeles Times:

The line forms to the right, folks; Ol’ Blue Eyes is back in town.

Wednesday evening at the Universal Amphitheatre, suspense hung heavy in the air as one wondered how Frank Sinatra would follow up his much-debated “L.A. Is My Lady” album, produced by Quincy Jones.

For the last two or three years the attitudes toward Sinatra have split into clearly divided camps. On the one hand there are the diehards who will proclaim from now until 1999 that Sinatra can do no wrong. In the other camp are the carpers, the nit-pickers, the self-appointed Chairman of the Bored who clutch in the air grasping at every slight vocal flaw.

Both sides, of course, are off base; the truth lies in a gray area between these two extremes.

There are moments during Wednesday’s hourlong set when the most loyal of Sinatraphiles did not want to believe what they heard: for example, a hoarse, strained quality, one note almost missed, another a hair off, during “It’s All Right With Me,” early in the show. Curiously, this was one of only three numbers he sang out of the 11 in the new album; the others were his opener, “L.A. Is My Lady” (a bone of contention in its own right) and the closing “Mack the Knife,” performed mainly for laughs but with immense spirit and rhythmic abandon.

That his control and range are not what they once were must now be admitted. Still a month shy of his 69th birthday, Sinatra has retained more of his idiosyncratic virtues – the phrasing, the touches of throwaway humor, a singular poignancy in the best ballads – than most singers have achieved at any age….

This photo by staff photographer Gary Friedman accompanied Feather’s article in the Nov. 16, 1984 Los Angeles Times. If the photo looks familiar, it was also used on the cover of Frank Sinatra’s 1995 album “Sinatra 80th: Live in Concert.”

1 Comment

  1. September 27, 2013, 11:03 am

    Sinatra was simply the best. I wonder what he would say today about the rap crap that passes for music.


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