- This is Sinatra, Volume 2, finally arrives on the site with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) mono sound from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl for a Black Label Capitol pressing
- The sound is gloriously ANALOG – smooth, relaxed and full-bodied – no other copy in our shootout had this kind of exceptionally natural sound
- Credit must also go to the extraordinarily inventive arrangements of Nelson Riddle
- “… a selection of wonderful recordings, made over a period (the mid 1950’s) during which Sinatra’s voice, and his talent for song interpretation were undeniably at their peak.”
- On side one, a mark makes 10 light ticks at the end of Track 3, I Believe.
Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Frank Sinatra music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.
This vintage Capitol pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely 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.).
Hot Stamper sound is rarely about the details of a given recording. In the case of this album, more than anything else a Hot Stamper must succeed at recreating a solid, palpable, real Frank Sinatra singing live in your listening room. The better copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, 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 over the years can serve as a guide.
What the best sides of This is Sinatra, Vol. 2 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 1958
- 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 space of the studio
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.
Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top 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’ve heard them all.
Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.
Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.
What We’re Listening For on This is Sinatra, Vol. 2
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Hey! Jealous Lover
Everybody Loves Somebody
Put Your Dreams Away
Something Wonderful Happens In Summer
Half As Lovely Twice As True
So Long, My Love
It’s The Same Old Dream
You’re Cheatin’ Yourself
You’ll Always Be The One I Love
Wait For Me (“Johnny Concho” Theme)
If You Are But A Dream
You Forgot All The Words
How Little We Know
Time After Time
Amazon Rave Review
[This is Sinatra, Volume 2] contains a selection of wonderful recordings, made over a period (the mid 1950’s) during which Sinatra’s voice,and his talent for song interpretation were undeniably at their peak.
In 1956 Capitol records had issued ‘This is Sinatra!’ a compilation album of his hit singles to date for the label. Following immediately on from the massively successful ‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’; ‘This is Sinatra’ sold like the proverbial hot cakes.
… [Volume 2] contained a large number of the ‘B sides’ from the hit singles featured on ‘This is Sinatra’. However; many of these recordings are brilliant in their own right; frequently(in my view) eclipsing the ‘A sides’ that they accompanied.
I bought my copy of the album in 1959, fortunately before it vanished into obscurity. It has always remained one of my favourite Frank Sinatra albums. As had previously occurred following his departure from Columbia records; Sinatra, after starting his own Reprise label, re-recorded much of his previous hit material.
He also used his influence to restrict the availability of many of the definitive recordings from his Capitol back catalog; including those tracks featured on this album. As far as I am aware from my researches, six of the album’s sixteen tracks were originally recorded by Capitol as stereo recordings. However, the album it’s self was only ever issued in Mono!
— HuddyBolly, Amazon Reviewer