Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound for both sides of this wonderful Living Stereo album – as you would expect, the Tubey Magic is off the charts
Both sides are big, lively and present with lovely breathy vocals from the two principals (who sing solo on all but two of the tracks)
A brilliant Living Stereo recording from 1959, which plays as quietly as we can find them – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
“The first of Belafonte’s duet albums with female performers, this one paired two attractive black American singers at the peak of their respective talents.”
A Living Stereo knockout! We often forget to spend time with records like this when there are Zeppelin and Floyd records to play. We’ve always enjoyed Belafonte At Carnegie Hall, but when we’ve dug further into his catalog we’ve been left cold more often than not. However, when we finally got around to dropping the needle on a few of these we were very impressed by the music and BLOWN AWAY by the sound on the better pressings.
It’s yet another remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording Technology. If you’re a Harry Belafonte fan, a Lena Horne fan, a Gershwin fan, or just somebody who enjoys classic material performed with gusto and soul, this is a record that belongs in your collection.
About The Blues with KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last; we rarely have this title on the site
Julie’s lilting vocals are clear, breathy, Tubey Magical, and sweet, like practically nothing you’ve ever heard
This copy is about as quiet as we can find these 1957 Turquoise original mono pressings, Mint Minus Minus* throughout
4 stars: “About the Blues … may just be her best orchestral session. Since downbeat torch songs were London’s specialty, the album features an excellent selection of nocturnal but classy blues songs that play to her subtle strengths…”
Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here. (more…)
With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this original Bow Tie Verve Stereo pressing is going to be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
Lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by one of our favorite arrangers, Marty Paich
Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo – these were the days when Ella was on top of the world
“The bright, sunny optimism of Fitzgerald’s style comes through in several tracks, including ‘If I Were a Bell’ (which also includes several remarkable variations on the melody), and ‘Teardrops From My Eyes’ (which alternates between rock and jazz beats—not a big leap back then!)”
When you are lucky enough to find an album chock full of standards from the Great American Songbook, you cannot help but recognize that this era for Ella will never be equaled, by her or anyone else.
The recording is excellent, with space and midrange richness that might just take your breath away.(more…)
With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides, this is a killer copy of one of Billie’s best
Not only that, but this pressing plays as quietly as any we can find – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
A superb recording of jazz standards with a great lineup and Billie in top form, as well as Tubey Magical sound, with especially breathy vocals
Great versions (and lovely sound) for It Had to Be You, Come Rain or Come Shine, A Fine Romance, and too many more to list
“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?” — Allmusic
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.(more…)
Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the 2003 when this record came out, but here it is anyway.
The Record of the Year for 2003. I know how crazy that sounds, but it’s true! If you don’t have a smile on your face fifteen seconds after playing track one, you better check your pulse, cuz, as the famous song has it: Jack, You Dead. Amazingly good sound, courtesy of a fabulous and painstakingly difficult remix by the mastering guru himself, Steve Hoffman. This is popular music for the previous generation — but why should we be denied these long forgotten treasures?(more…)
The first “Triple Triple” MONO copy to ever hit the site — A+++ from start to finish. Our knockout mono pressing here was fuller, more natural and more involving than any copy we heard in our shootout. with immediacy to put Ella practically in the room with you, it’s her performance that really comes to life. It’s our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year.
Check out what the lucky owner of this copy had to say about it.
As you probably know, I own superb copies of the stereo. They both fade into pastel in comparison with this mono.(more…)
Casino Royale under the sway of Bernie’s penchant for bright, gritty, ambience-challenged sound? Not such a good match. There is no reissue, and there will never be a reissue, that will sound as good as a good 3s original. (And I hope it would go without saying that most copies cannot begin to do what a real Hot Stamper original can.)
As is often the case, the Classic Heavy Vinyl Reissue is simply a disgrace.
These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we’ve auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.
A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.
You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on this vintage stereo pressing – it’s the first truly Hot Stamper to EVER hit the site
This 1961 release showcases two of the most soulful singers to ever share a microphone, both at the height of their powers
Includes the still-popular “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (no one has ever recorded it quite like these two), People Will Say We’re In Love, Side By Side, and many more
4 stars: “There is certainly a powerful, often sexy rapport between the two — Charles in his sweet balladeering mode, Carter with her uniquely keening, drifting high register — and they definitely create sparks in the justly famous rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.””
It’s EXTREMELY rare to find a stereo copy of Ray Charles & Betty Carter in anything but beat condition, but here’s one that not only sounds great, but plays exceptionally quietly for an album from this era.
We’ve raved about the DCC pressing in the past. If you own that one, this very record will show you what you’ve been missing.(more…)