Frank Sinatra’s influence on Rock and Roll Hall of Famers: 10 videos



Yesterday, created a Facebook page designed to encourage the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to honor Frank Sinatra as an Early Influence. (2023 UPDATE: That page is no longer active.) Today, we offer some musical evidence: 10 videos by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers that show Sinatra’s clear influence.

Sinatra wasn’t a songwriter, of course, but these are all songs associated with him, or performed in his style.

The list could have been much longer, of course, but it’s a start:

Van Morrison: “That’s Life.” A live version of one of Sinatra’s signature songs, from 2001.

Bono: “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” From an 80th birthday celebration for Sinatra collaborator Quincy Jones.

Bruce Springsteen: “Angel Eyes.” From a 1995 Sinatra tribute concert. “He is the patron saint of New Jersey,” said Springsteen in his introduction, “and since his rise from the streets of Hoboken, Frank has basically owned the place. But he has been gracious enough to loan me a small piece of it by the beach.”

Steven Van Zandt: “My Kind of Town (Chicago Is).” The E Street Band swings in this 2014 concert performance.

Bob Dylan: “Full Moon and Empty Arms.” Dylan’s February album Shadows in the Night, which included this song, was recorded in homage to Sinatra. “When you start doing these songs,” Dylan said in an interview about the album, “Frank’s got to be on your mind. Because he is the mountain. That’s the mountain you have to climb, even if you only get part of the way there. … He had this ability to get inside of the song in a sort of a conversational way. Frank sang to you — not at you. I never wanted to be a singer that sings at somebody. I’ve always wanted to sing to somebody.”

Elvis Costello. “I’m in the Mood Again.” An original Costello song, but one you could easily imagine Sinatra singing.

Diana Ross and the Supremes: “The Lady Is a Tramp.” A 1968 television performance.

Marvin Gaye: “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road).” From his 1966 album, Moods of Marvin Gaye.

Elvis Presley: “My Way.” Even the King himself paid homage to Sinatra.

Sid Vicious: “My Way.” This may be a joke, but the lyrics still work pretty well in a punk context.

Bonus track: Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop, “Well, Did You Evah!” The latter once said, “When I was five or six, my parents asked me what I wanted to be in life. And I just said: ‘I wanna be a singer!’ That was Frank’s fault.”


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