- This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl for a vintage Capitol pressing as well
- This copy is rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical – we’re dealing with an All Tube Analog recording chain from 1963 after all – with present, sweet, breathy vocals, the kind that practically no modern Heavy Vinyl record can offer
- Stick with stereo on this album. The Mono pressings — at least the ones we’ve played — aren’t worth anybody’s time (scratch that: any audiophile’s time)
- “… 12 quality performances from a highly identifiable singer who is not shy about taking other people’s material and re-imagining it or about coming up with her own vehicles.”
This ’60s LP 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 Peggy Lee 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 56 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 on In Love Again! 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 1964
- 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’re Listening For on In Love Again!
- 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.
A Lot Of Livin’ To Do
I’ve Got Your Number
Little By Little
Got That Magic
The Moment Of Truth
That’s My Style
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Once (Ils S’aimaient)
(I’m) In Love Again
I Got Lost In His Arms
How Insensative (Insensatez)
To say, as the unsigned liner notes to Peggy Lee’s LP In Love Again! do, that the album has a theme and that theme is love is to say it has no theme at all, really. Virtually every song sung by a pop singer like Lee is a love song. It might be more accurate to suggest that the album represents a veteran performer taking account of current trends in popular music and bending them to her own viewpoint. That Lee is intent in recasting material becomes clear immediately, as she leads off side one with “A Lot of Livin’ to Do.” The song’s writers, Lee Adams and Charles Strouse, intended it as a parody of rock & roll when they wrote it for their Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie, in which it was sung by Conrad Birdie, the Elvis Presley stand-in they were making fun of. But Lee takes the song at face value and uses it to start off a side’s worth of uptempo material that also includes “Got That Magic,” the first of three songs she co-wrote, which is nearly a rock & roll number itself, boasting electric guitar and a honking saxophone. Rock isn’t really Lee’s forte, of course, though she keeps up with the beat valiantly. More her speed is her other contribution on the first side, “That’s My Style,” with music by Cy Coleman. Side two is the slow side, and it begins with “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” But unlike Ray Charles, who gave the country song soul, Lee presents it with her usual cool, thus claiming it for her own. Similarly, she doesn’t seem to care that “Unforgettable” is a Nat King Cole signature song; she just renders it with her characteristic precision. The title song, another Lee/Coleman composition, is her best original on the set, and elsewhere she takes account of Latin styles, notably on her cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “How Insensitive” (“Insensatez”). There’s nothing revelatory on In Love Again!, just 12 quality performances from a highly identifiable singer who is not shy about taking other people’s material and re-imagining it or about coming up with her own vehicles.