Music like this taxes the limits of LP playback itself, with deep organ notes (listen for the famous Decca rumble accompanying the organ if you have the deep bass reproduction to hear it); incredible dynamics from every area of the stage; masses of strings playing at the top of their registers with abandon; huge drums; powerful brass effects everywhere — every sound an orchestra can produce is found on this record, and then some. (You will hear plenty of sounds that defy description, that’s for sure. Some of the time I can’t even imagine what instrument could possibly make such a sound!)
Journey to the Center of the Earth
All those lovely harps! You can practically feel the cool air of the cave as you descend into the blackness.
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
Side one boasts some wonderful material from Jason and the Argonauts, including the fight with the skeletons that we all remember from our Saturday matinee movie days. Who else could have orchestrated such a film?
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Astonishingly powerful deep bass and drum sounds!
One of our key tests for side two is the string tone on the Fire Engine sequence here. The best copies had wonderfully textured and tonally correct strings, with just the right amount of sheen — not glossy, not gritty, not blurry, but just right.
Any orchestral recording without good string tone is a lost cause. (Almost all Classic Records fail miserably in this regard. They may be on the TAS List but that sure doesn’t mean they sound any good!)