Rosemary Clooney – Rosie Solves The Swingin’ Riddle!

More Rosemary Clooney

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  • An outstanding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first
  • These sides are rich, sweet and Tubey Magical with wonderfully breathy vocals and lots of space around all of the players
  • “The pair made the most of their first collaboration, devising a program of 12 standards that combined Riddle’s pugnacious yet intricate arrangements with Clooney’s warm, grand vocals to create a swing record with feeling… Vocalist fits together with orchestra like hand in glove…” – All Music

This Living Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely 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 Rosemary Clooney 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 58 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.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1961
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We Listen For on Rosie Solves The Swingin’ Riddle

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Get Me To The Church On Time
Angry
I Get Along Without You Very Well
How Am I To Know?
You Took Advantage Of Me
April In Paris

Side Two

I Ain’t Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares For Me)
Some Of These Days
By Myself
Shine On Harvest Moon
Cabin In The Sky
Limehouse Blues

AMG  Review

Although Rosemary Clooney worked with Nelson Riddle nearly every week for her ’50s radio show, they were together for full LPs much less often — only this record from 1961 and a 1963 follow-up titled Love. The pair made the most of their first collaboration, devising a program of 12 standards that combined Riddle’s pugnacious yet intricate arrangements with Clooney’s warm, grand vocals to create a swing record with feeling. Riddle’s orchestra roars through his breakneck arrangements for “April in Paris” and “Cabin in the Sky,” but Clooney weathers the storm with an elegance that borders on the untroubled. Vocalist fits together with orchestra like hand in glove, since nearly all of the musicians were veterans of her show. [A Bluebird reissue from 2004 added two bonus tracks, “Without Love” and “The Wonderful Season of Love” (the latter was the theme from Return to Peyton Place, directed by her husband, José Ferrer).