Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – Ye-Me-Le – our Shootout Winner from 2008


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

THE BEST SIDE ONE WE’VE HEARD! It’s big and bold, with dramatically less grit and grain than the average copies. This White Hot Ye-Me-Le has MINDBLOWING, YOU ARE THERE IMMEDIACY and MASTER TAPE SOUND on side one. The sound is punchy and lively with wonderful transparency. You can really hear the sound of the room around the musicians! Many of the tracks on this copy are DEMO DISC quality. 

Side one has virtually no strain, EXTENDED highs, and is overall fairly quiet. Listen to track two (a great version of Norweigan Wood)– it doesn’t get any better than that! Track one is so silky and sweet, it may become your favorite song to demonstrate your stereo. It’s certainly one of mine. Even the last track here, which almost never sounds good, is fairly sweet on this pressing.

Side two was the best we played in our shootout of about a dozen copies. It’s full-bodied, present, and lively with lots of extension both ways. None of the side twos we played blew our minds in the way side one of this copy did, so we topped off the grades at A+ – A++.

As I said about the last copy on the site, the average LP of this album is terrible. Today, after playing about a dozen pressings, both sides mind you, I discovered that there are also compressed versions, as well as overly smooth versions. Shrill, aggressive sound is the norm, but compression and too much smoothness are also problems you commonly find with this album. There’s a “strained” quality to the loud vocal passages on almost every copy you find. It’s probably the fault of the CSG mastering process, for the most part.

The first three tracks on side 1 are the reason to own this album, especially the first two, which are as good as anything this group ever did. As I’m a big fan, that’s high praise.

The record is Very Difficult to Reproduce. Do not attempt to play it using any but the best front ends. The vocals will tear your head off when they start to get loud , unless you are using a very good cartridge and arm. In a way, this is the perfect record to show how much progress you are making in audio. I remember playing these albums only a few years ago and hearing LOTS of harmonic distortion and other unpleasant qualities in the sound. With those very same pressings today, they sound DRAMATICALLY better.