More Ted Heath
This is a WONDERFUL SOUNDING, VERY LIVELY big band record, ostensibly under the direction of Ted Heath. I suspect he had nothing to do with this album though. What it sounds like is top studio musicians playing fun, clever arrangements of the pop songs that were current at the time. It reminds me of what Lincoln Mayorga and his buddies were doing direct-to-disc over at Sheffield. (The sound is as almost as good too.)
An album like this lives or dies by the quality of its musical ideas, since we know these songs so well. To me the album works because these musicians are having a ball with this pop fluff. I’m a big fan of what Lincoln Mayorga was doing on those first three Sheffield records, and if you are too, you should get a kick out of this album.
Great drumming by the way.
“The posthumously released The Big Ones captures eccentric British bandleader Ted Heath at the peak of his alchemical powers, transforming the biggest charts hits of the flower-power era to create singularly outré space-age jazz far freakier than anything produced under the influence of psychedelics… Even the songs you never wanted to hear again in any format — “Spinning Wheel” and “In the Year 2525″ — seem fresh and exciting all over again, albeit completely unfamiliar in Heath’s expert hands.” – AMG
This is an Older Classical/Orchestral Review
Most of the older reviews you see are for records that did not go through the shootout process, the revolutionary approach to finding better sounding pressings we started developing in the early 2000s and have since turned into a veritable science.
We found the records you see in these older listings by cleaning and playing a pressing or two of the album, which we then described and priced based on how good the sound and surfaces were. (For out Hot Stamper listings, the Sonic Grades and Vinyl Playgrades are listed separately.)
We were often wrong back in those days, something we have no reason to hide. Audio equipment and record cleaning technologies have come a long way since those darker days, a subject we discuss here.
Currently, 99% (or more!) of the records we sell are cleaned, then auditioned under rigorously controlled conditions, up against a number of other pressings. We award them sonic grades, and then condition check them for surface noise.
As you may imagine, this approach requires a great deal of time, effort and skill, which is why we currently have a highly trained staff of about ten. No individual or business without the aid of such a committed group could possibly dig as deep into the sound of records as we have, and it is unlikely that anyone besides us could ever come along to do the kind of work we do.
The term “Hot Stampers” gets thrown around a lot these days, but to us it means only one thing: a record that has been through the shootout process and found to be of exceptionally high quality.
The result of our labor is the hundreds of titles seen here, every one of which is unique and guaranteed to be the best sounding copy of the album you have ever heard or you get your money back.
What Exactly Are Hot Stamper Pressings?
Reviews and Commentaries for Other Recordings by Decca
Basic Concepts and Realities Explained
Important Lessons We Learned from Record Experiments