I never knew that Frank Sinatra recorded this John Denver song. I found out quite by accident – I was looking for another Sinatra song on Spotify and as I stepped out of the room the next suggested song played. I was stunned to hear this version. After all this time, why am I still “discovering” Sinatra songs I had never heard before?
It was certainly love at first listen for me, as my Spotify Wrapped informed me.
Sinatra recorded this for his 1971 album Sinatra & Company. I knew of the original and I thought it was okay, but Sinatra’s version resonated with me. It’s sped up and horns are prominently added, but it somehow evokes the loneliness of the song even more, as if the singer is trying to put on a brave face. Sinatra’s voice in later years became deeper and fuller and really showed the effects of the life he led. But this is precisely what makes his recording more poignant. Somehow he makes me feel sad for a memory I don’t even have, and that’s why he is unmatched.