- This orchestrated album of ballads boasts superb 1959 Sinatra All Tube Analog sound
- This early pressing has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the later reissues we’ve played – it gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is right in the room with you
- These two exceptionally good sounding sides have two very important qualities – both the breath, and the front and center immediacy, of Sinatra’s vocals, with Jenkins’ tubey rich orchestral arrangements in support
- 4 1/2 stars: “Jenkins gives the songs a subtly tragic treatment, and Sinatra responds with a wrenching performance.”
- If you’re a fan of the man, and what right-minded audiophile wouldn’t be, this superb All Tube Recording from 1959 belongs in your collection.
- The complete list of titles from 1959 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
This original Capitol 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 Frank Sinatra 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 62 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 The Best Sides of No One Cares 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 1959
- 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.
Finding The Best Copies
Most copies suffer from a serious lack of immediacy, and what fun is that? Hot Stamper copies put Frank right up front, with the presence needed to carry his vocals out in front of the orchestra. Even the copies that get the voice right often run into problems with the strings of the orchestra, but the Hot Stamper sides do a much better job of dealing with the various issues presented by the recording.
Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top (to keep the strings from becoming shrill) did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we heard them all.
And we know a fair bit about the man’s recordings at this point. As of today, we’ve done commentaries for more than 20 or so different Sinatra shootouts, and that’s not counting at least another ten titles that either bombed or were sold off years ago.
What We’re Listening For on Where Are You?
- 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.
We want to give a special shoutout here to conductor/arranger Gordon Jenkins, who also handled the same duties very capably on Nilsson’s great A Little Touch Of Schmillson In The Night, another male vocal album that can sound amazing and deserves a place in any audiophile record collection.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
Ralph J Gleason closes his notes with this parting thought:
If I had my way (and the Comstock Lode to pay the bill), I would have Frank Sinatra record every song I have ever liked. I wouldn’t care how he did it, with what accompaniment, with what interpolations or changes in tempo. I know I would like it. The fact that Capitol is gradually, through its series of Sinatra recordings, accomplishing this for me, I count as one of the greatest blessings of the decade.
When No One Cares
A Cottage for Sale
Where Do You Go?
I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You
Here’s That Rainy Day
I Can’t Get Started
Why Try to Change Me Now?
I’ll Never Smile Again
None But the Lonely Heart
Frank Sinatra’s second set of torch songs recorded with Gordon Jenkins, No One Cares was nearly as good as its predecessor Where Are You? Expanding the melancholy tone of the duo’s previous collaboration, No One Cares consists of nothing but brooding, lonely songs. Jenkins gives the songs a subtly tragic treatment, and Sinatra responds with a wrenching performance. It lacks the grandiose melancholy of Only the Lonely, nor is it as lush as Where Are You?, but in its slow, bluesy tempos and heartbreaking little flourishes, it is every bit as moving.