Amazing sound throughout this early 360 Stereo pressing, with both sides earning superb Double Plus (A++) grades
Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience (maybe too much ambience!), dead on correct tonality, and wonderfully breathy vocals – everything that we listen for in a great record is here
Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, along with boatloads of Tubey Magic – here’s a 30th Street recording from 1962 that demonstrates just how good Columbia’s engineers were back then
The title track became a gold-selling Top Ten hit that stayed on the charts for almost three years (!) and earned Bennett two Grammy Awards (Record of the Year and Best Solo Vocal Performance)
To hear the real Tony Bennett, play “Once Upon a Time” – it’s here and nobody sings it better
5 stars: “…Bennett had been searching for a … musical approach beyond his long-gone pop work…. With this album, [he] found the key, not only by happening across a signature song in the title track, but also in the approach to songs like ‘Once Upon a Time’…and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s ‘The Best Is Yet to Come,’ which Bennett helped make a standard.”
This vintage Capitol stereo pressing boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) grades throughout
An amazingly good sounding recording, easily one of his five best, and it would be hard to think of one that sounds better
We would love to find you some original stereo pressings from 1958 in audiophile playing condition, but we find about two or three over the course of five or ten years, so these early ’60s reissues are going to be the only game in town for the foreseeable future
Frank’s vocals sound present, breathy, and full, and not many copies can deliver that sound
According to John Rockwell’s book, Sinatra: An American Classic, when asked at a party in the mid-1970s if he had a favorite album among his recordings, without hesitation, Sinatra chose Only the Lonely
5 stars: “Sinatra never forces emotion out of the lyric, he lets everything flow naturally, with grace. It’s a heartbreaking record, the ideal late-night album.”
Boasting superb Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this vintage stereo pressing of Sinatra and Jobim’s sublime collaboration will be very hard to beat
The presence and three-dimensional space of the recording have the power to transport the Chairman of the Board and his Brazilian buddy right into your listening room
This is a magical album from start to finish, one of a handful of a Must Own Sinatra releases, and my personal favorite of all his recordings
4 1/2 stars: “After a few plays, the album begins to slowly work its way underneath a listener’s skin, and it emerges as one of his most rewarding albums of the ’60s.”
We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” with less of an accent on morbidity and more on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. This is a good example of a record audiophiles should make an effort to get to know better
This is, in our opinion, one of the two best sounding Sinatra album on Reprise (the other being September of My Years from 1965). The recording is so rich, sweet, and Tubey Magical you would think it was prime Capitol period Sinatra — but it’s not, obviously; it just sounds that way.(more…)
An original Turquoise Label Capital Mono LP with INCREDIBLE Shoutout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
Both sides here are wonderfully rich and sweet – it’s hard to imagine June sounding much better than she does here
All the top West Coast jazz guys are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
4 1/2 Stars: “… The Misty Miss Christy mostly stays on auto-stroll with a wealth of subtle and sophisticated orchestral charts. The jazz-pop environs come courtesy of longtime arranger Pete Rugolo and optimally frame the singer on highlights like “That’s All,” “I Didn’t Know About You,” and “Dearly Beloved.” Both an essential Christy title and one of the best vocal albums from the ’50s.”
If you’re a fan of Miss Christy’s, or vintage Pop and Jazz Vocals in general, this is a Top Title from 1956 that belongs in your collection.
The complete list of titles from 1956 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
Both sides of this ’50s All Tube Recorded and Mastered record are just as rich and relaxed as you would expect. The balance is correct, because the top is there as well as the bottom.
June is no longer a recording — she’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. Her voice is so rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality, you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.
Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These June Christy records are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here.
If you’re a fan of vintage female vocals –- the kind with no trace of digital reverb — you may get quite a kick out of this one. And unless I miss my guess, you’ll be the first and only person on your block to own it! (That’s not a bad thing considering the average person’s taste in music and sound these days.)
After many years, Gone For The Day is back on the original Capitol Turquoise Mono pressing, this time with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it on both sides
Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead on correct tonality, and wonderfully breathy vocals, not to mention boatloads of Capitol Tubey Magic- everything that we listen for in a great record is here
Side two had the most space, the richest brass, the most tonally correct and note-like bass, and virtually no vocal strain – this and more is the kind of sound that wins shootouts
Take this one home and play it against whatever audiophile pressings you own – it’s guaranteed to SMOKE any and all versions you have in your collection, or your money back
“One of June Christy’s two 1957 Capitol LPs, Gone for the Day boasts Pete Rugolo arrangements and a 12-piece group of mostly West Coast all-stars…includ[ing] trumpeter Don Fagerquist, trombonist Frank Rosolino, altoist Bud Shank, and Bob Cooper on tenor.”
Side two of this White Hot Stamper June Christy record on the original Capitol Turquoise label is AMAZING, both musically and sonically. It has all the TUBEY MAGIC we know these old records are famous for.
I can honestly say I have never heard any June Christy record sound as good as this copy does.
(We had a fantastic Something Cool a while back, but that was before we moved the system into our new, larger studio. The sound is better now than it was then, making comparisons all but meaningless.)
Musically this album is right up there with the best female vocal records we have ever played, the creme de la creme, albums on the level of Julie Is Her Name, Clap Hands and Something Cool. It really doesn’t get much better than this.
You’ll find very good Hot Stamper sound or BETTER on both sides of this early mono pressing – if only a record of this quality could be found on quieter vinyl!
One of the greatest duet albums of all time, if not THE GREATEST – a Desert Island Disc to beat them all
Problems in the vinyl is sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings – there simply is no way around it if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
4 1/2 Stars: “Ella and Louis is an inspired collaboration, masterminded by producer Norman Granz… Gentle and sincere, this is deserving of a place in every home.”
We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” but with less of an accent on morbidity and more on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. Ella and Louis is a good example of a record many audiophiles may not know well but should.
The complete list of titles from 1956 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
Click and pop counters might want to give this one a miss. It’s not as quiet as a modern pressing would be, but it’s as quiet as this title can be found on vintage ’50s Verve vinyl. If you have a top quality, heavily tweaked front end and a quiet cartridge, you might be good to go, but if you are picky about your surfaces, we recommend you give this one a miss.
Those of you looking for a cheaper, quieter alternative to spending hundreds of dollars on one of our Hot Stampers should look into the original Speakers Corner pressing or the CD, both of which we’ve played and both of which are quite good.(more…)
STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides of this vintage Capitol Stereo pressing
Classic Capitol big, full-bodied, Tubey Magical sound — Deano’s vocals are present and natural in the best tradition of rat-mate Frank Sinatra in the early ’60s
With Nelson Riddle arranging, you can be sure the album has plenty of swing all right — and the brass sounds amazing here
If you want to find your own copies and do your own shootout, be prepared for a lot of ebay heartache – the beat-up, thrift-store, trashy LPs that we regularly get sent are truly shocking
4 1/2 stars: “…an easy swinging collection…”
If you’re a fan of the Capitol Sinatra sound you’ll love this record. It’s an exceptionally difficult title to find in anything but trashed condition. I’ve been a fan of this record for many years but this is the first copy we’ve been able to find that’s clean enough to go up on the site with White Hot Stamper grades. (more…)
This superb pressing boasts Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
Exceptionally quiet vinyl for a vintage Blue Green original Reprise stereo pressing from the ’60s – how this one survived for so many years in such lovely playing condition is something we will never know
An especially Tubey Magical Male Vocal recording, but that sound can only found on the best properly cleaned pressings, like this one
Exceptionally spacious and three-dimensional, as well as relaxed and full-bodied – Frank is right in the room with you on this one
5 stars: (“One of Frank Sinatra’s triumphs of the ’60s”) and Grammy Album of the Year for 1966
If you’re a fan of the man, widely considered the greatest vocalist of the second half of the 20th century, this title from 1965 is clearly one of his best, and one of his best sounding
The complete list of titles from 1965 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
We’ve recently compiled a list of records we think every audiophile should get to know better, along the lines of “the 1001 records you need to hear before you die,” but with less of an accent on morbidity and more on the joy these amazing audiophile-quality recordings can bring to your life. This album is on that list.
This vintage Reprise pressing 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.
A superb recording of jazz standards with a great lineup and Billie in top form – plenty of Tubey Magical richness and naturally breathy vocals as well
Great performances for classics such as It Had to Be You, Come Rain or Come Shine, A Fine Romance and too many more to list
4 1/2 stars: “The overall feeling on this 1955 recording is strictly after-hours: the party is long over but a few close friends remain for nightcaps and, is that the sun peeking through the windows?”
You’d be hard pressed to find a female vocal album from the 1950s with sound comparable to this one. We just finished up a big shootout for the sublimely titled Music For Torching, and this lovely copy was clearly one of the better pressings we played. If you love smoky jazz standards the way only Lady Day can sing them, we think you’ll be blown away to hear her sound this warm, rich and present.
The formula is simple: Take one of the best female vocalists in the game, back her with a stellar crew of jazzmen and set them loose to knock out incredible versions of classic torch songs — It Had To Be You, A Fine Romance, Come Rain Or Come Shine and so forth.
The good news is that the performances turned out to be some of the best ever recorded by this extraordinary singer, and fortunately for us audiophiles, the mono sound turned out to be dramatically better than we would have expected from Norman Granz’s Verve label in 1955.
Both sides are blessed with the kind of mid-’50’s Tubey Magical Analog Sound that’s been lost to the world of recorded music for decades — decades I tell you!
Nobody can manage to get a recording to sound like this anymore and it seems as if no one can even remaster a recording like this anymore, if our direct experience with scores of such albums counts as any sort of evidence.