Music Article

Doing It His Way

Frank Sinatra's best albums -- See what we thought of ''September of My Years,'' She Shot Me Down,'' and ''Songs for Swingin' Lovers''

Frank Sinatra's best albums

Frank Sinatra, who turns 75 on Dec. 12, is surely the most enduring figure of the World War II generation. He rose to prominence during the war as a home- front surrogate for soldiers overseas. He jetted through the postwar age as the personification of America, the gutsy boss of the world. And as the American Century winds down, Sinatra — a world-weary lion — hangs on as a living symbol of the era he helped define.

Here are a few of his best albums, all of them graded A+:

Songs for Swingin' Lovers (1956)
The swingin'est Sinatra, recorded at the prime of his powers.

(Frank Sinatra Sings for) Only the Lonely (1958)
A quiet counterpart to Swingin' Lovers, unmatched as a statement of postwar macho-man angst.

September of My Years (1965)
Sinatra's most mature achievement, a brooding, somber album about aging.

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967)
A startlingly lovely sweet-and-sour pairing — Sinatra with the lyrical Brazilian composer of ''Quiet Night of Quiet Stars.''

She Shot Me Down (1981)
Sinatra's last great album, a collection of songs about loss, with the loss of the Voice's own voice its unstated theme.

Originally posted Dec 14, 1990 Published in issue #44 Dec 14, 1990 Order article reprints