More Marty Robbins
More Vintage Columbia Pressings
- With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a side two that’s very respectable in its own right, this copy has the rich, sweet, sound we love
- This kind of Tubey Magical, tonally correct, spacious sound on this stereo 360 pressing is nothing less than a THRILL
- The only other Robbins record that can hold a candle to this one is Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs
- “Robbins performs beautifully, creating a breezy mood that marks one of pop music’s better attempts at the genre.”
Fairly quiet vinyl too!
The Analog sound of this pressing makes a mockery of even the most advanced digital playback systems, including the ones that haven’t been invented yet. I’d love to play this for Neil Young so he can see what he’s up against. Good Luck, Neil, you’re going to need it.
We’ve been through dozens of Columbia albums from the ’60s since we discovered how good the Marty Robbins titles on Columbia can sound. Most of the popular vocal and country albums we play have an overall distorted sound, are swimming in reverb, and come with hard, edgy, smeary vocals to boot.
To find an album with freakishly good sound such as this involves a healthy dose of pure luck. You will need to dig through an awfully big pile of vinyl to uncover a gem of this beauty.
Vocals Are Key
Like any good Elvis or Nat “King” Cole record, the vocal quality that is far and away the most important is that they must be full-bodied, rich and smooth. Without that sound, you might as well be playing a CD. This is precisely what both sides here give you – Tubey Magical Richness in spades.
Note that the heavy reverb not only sounds right for this music and this era but actually sounds great, the very opposite of the hard, sour, metallic digital reverb that replaced it decades later.
Old and New
This ’60s LP has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings cannot BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.
Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real person singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now 44 years old), I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we’ve played can serve as a guide.
Skip the Mono
Stick with stereo on this title; the monos aren’t worth anybody’s time (scratch that: any audiophile’s time). If you see one for a buck at a garage sale, pick it up for the music, and then be on the lookout for a nice stereo original to enjoy for the sound.
Lovely Hula Hands
The Sea and Me
The Night I Came Ashore
Kuu ipo Lani (My Sweetheart, Lani)
Beyond the Reef
The Hawaiian Wedding Song
Drowsy Waters (Wailana)
My Wonderful One
Hawaii’s Calling Me
The Hawaiian Wedding Song
Marty Robbins clearly felt great affinity for the music of Hawaii, and the 28 tracks on this collection contain some of his finest and most evocative singing. Although the venture wasn’t commercially successful, and the music occasionally suffers the intrusion of schmaltzy Nashville production, Robbins performs beautifully, creating a breezy mood that marks one of pop music’s better attempts at the genre.
STEREO “360 SOUND”
Stereo “360 SOUND” represents the ultimate in listening enjoyment. Every aspect of recording activity has been carefully supervised by Columbia’s engineers and craftsmen, using the very latest electronic equipment. Stereo “360 SOUND” creates the effect of surrounding the listener with glorious, true-to-life active sound. It is as if one were sitting in the first row center at an actual performance.
Columbia’s studios have been designed with uniform sound characteristics and are equipped with sixteen-channel consoles and custom-calibrated multi-track tape machines engineered and built to Columbia’s own specifications. The microphones used are chosen for their individual sound properties depending upon the orchestration, the artist and the concept of the producer of the recording. Some of the microphones are: the Sony C37A; Telefunken-Neumann’s U67, U47, M49B, KM54A, KM56; the AKG’s C60, C12 and Electro Voice 655C. Only high-output tape affording maximum signal to noise ratio is used. Such tape, of great tensile strength and thickness, additionally aids in the elimination of print-through and reduction of distortion and hiss.
The reduction of the original multi-track tape to the final master tape is performed on editing consoles hand-tooled by Columbia’s engineering staff to accommodate any number of channels. The transfer of master tape to master lacquer is made via a Westrex or Ortofon cutter installed on a Scully lathe equipped with automatic variable pitch and electronic depth controls. Before production is begun, a master pressing is compared to the final tape (A-B checked). It is only after the recording has passed this critical test that Columbia’s engineers give the final approval for manufacture, secure in the knowledge that each Stereo “360 SOUND” disc will have the same full-bodied, multi-dimensional sound as that originally recorded in the studio.