Harry Belafonte – Jump Up Calypso – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this Living Stereo pressing that should easily beat your DCC version — or your money back! We played a big stack of these recently and are happy to report that the best copies deliver that old-school RCA tubey magic that brings out the best in Belafonte’s music. The sound here is big, lively, rich and full. Only the better copies like this one really brought out the FUN in the music, an essential quality for this material.

Unfortunately, the big hit “Jump In The Line” is not one of the better sounding tracks on this album. It has a bit of radio EQ, meaning it’s a little brighter and leaner in a way that’s designed to jump out of your AM radio, but not the best effect on a high resolution audiophile system. Still, on a copy like this it’s still musical and enjoyable; on many copies we played it was absolutely painful.

Side one, at A++, has big time presence and tons of energy! Silky, smooth and sweet, this side really blows away the typical pressing.

At A+ to A++, side two is nearly as good! Much easier on the ears than the typical bright, edgy copy, if this side had just a bit more weight down low it would be right there with side one.

Play it against your DCC version and you’ll see what we’re talking about, or just drop the needle on it and enjoy very good sound for what the All Music Guide calls “one of his most energetic albums”.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Sweetheart from Venezuela 
Go Down Emanuel Road 
The Baby Boy 
Gloria 
Land of the Sea and Sun 
Goin’ Down Jordan

Side Two

Jump in the Line 
Kingston Market 
Monkey 
These Are the Times 
Bally Mena 
Angelina

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Belafonte was an established all-around entertainer and actor by the time of this album, so it could be seen in a sense as a return to “roots” styles. In any case, it’s all-out calypso, with backing by the Trinidad Steel Band, and qualifies as one of his most energetic albums, even getting rambunctious at times.