Genre – Vocals – Male

Nat King Cole – Nat King Cole Sings/ George Shearing Plays

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Excellent sound on both sides! We picked up a bunch of pressings of this great collaboration album featuring the vocals of Nat King Cole and the piano work of George Shearing. The better pressings like this one are wonderful sonically, putting Cole’s voice right up front with lots of breath and texture. It’s very tough to find great sound for Nat King Cole, so here’s a rare chance to hear what he can sound like on a strong pressing.

We played a bunch of these and most of them were pretty mediocre. The mono copies were uniformly awful — small, congested and gritty. The Hot Stamper copies give you fuller vocals, more transparency, more weight to the piano and lots of tubey warmth. (more…)

Perry Como – The Songs I Love

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  • KILLER sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • The overall sound here is incredibly big, rich and Tubey Magical with wonderfully sweet and breathy vocals
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • “The leadoff track, “The Songs I Love,” sets the tone for everything that follows, and, not surprisingly, it turns out that pop standards are the songs Como loves. The Songs I Love was a commercially successful album aimed at fans of The Perry Como Show, to whom it is recommended.” – All Music

This vintage RCA pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Count Basie & Joe Williams – Memories Ad-Lib

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  • A vintage stereo pressing of Joe Williams right at his peak in 1959, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl 
  • This is one of the few Joe Williams records we’ve been able to find with audiophile sound and surfaces – it’s taken us years to get even one shootout going, but it produced this great copy, so we think it was worth it!
  • “Williams’ vocals seem effortless throughout the date… highlights include the easygoing swinger “The One I Love (Belongs to Somebody Else)” and a foot-tapping “Honeysuckle Rose.”

This vintage LP 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. (more…)

Ray Charles – Have a Smile With Me

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  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • The richness in the vocals and the wonderfully Tubey Magical sound makes this copy especially impressive
  • It’s not easy to find a Ray Charles record from the Sixties that plays this quietly: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • AMG writes, “…He elevates the material with soulful vocals and good arrangements, particularly when the Raeletts back him up (as they do on half the tracks).”

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top (to keep the female backup singers, the Raelets. sweet and clear) 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 hear practically all of them whenever we sit down to do one of these shootouts. (more…)

Bobby Darin – From Hello Dolly To Goodbye Charlie

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  • This original Capitol rainbow label LP has excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Having played a good dozen or more vintage Bobby Darin albums, we can tell you that finding sound as good as this is a lot harder than we thought it would be
  • Like the recordings of Nat King Cole, many Darin records are ruined by the heavy-handed use of reverb, but every once in a while you find one like this with the glorious sound of ’60s All Tube Analog in its grooves
  • “Darin focused on standards done with jazzy arrangements on this 1964 album… “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Call Me Irresponsible,” “Once in a Lifetime,” “Sunday in New York,” and of course “Hello, Dolly!” and “Goodbye, Charlie” are all on board.”

This vintage Capitol stereo 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. (more…)

Tony Bennett – I’ve Gotta Be Me

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I’ve Gotta Be Me

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  • KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish for this original 360 label Columbia pressing
  • Both sides here wonderfully rich, full-bodied, and as Tubey Magical as you would expect from Columbia in 1969 
  • Brilliant engineering by Frank Laico, the man who recorded I Left My Heart In San Francisco and Sketches of Spain, among others
  • Tony Bennett was in fine form and still able to sing the hell out of these songs in 1969 – when you hear the quality of his voice on this very album you will perhaps appreciate the toll this century has taken on him
  • Vintage record guys with top quality turntables – like us – get to hear Tony the way he should be heard, with his voice at the peak of its powers.

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Tony Bennett – The Many Moods Of Tony

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  • Both sides of this vintage Black Print 360 pressing earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for their superb sound – exceptionally quiet vinyl too 
  • Everything that’s good about All Tube Vocal Recordings from the ’50s and ’60s is precisely what’s good about the sound of this record 
  • “The moods vary from a wild Caravan, introduced with a drum solo by Chico Hamilton joined by flute and bass and seemingly held together by Tony’s voice alone, to Don Costa’s almost cinematic big orchestra styling of Spring in Manhattan as well as the lightly melancholy moods of When Joanna Loved Me and Don’t Wait Too Long. Throughout the album, Tony’s effortlessly soaring voice gives meaning to every number.”

Albums such as this live and die by the quality of their vocal reproduction. On this record Mr. Tony Bennett himself will appear to be standing right in your listening room, along with the other other musicians from theses sessions.

Transparency and Tubey Magic are critical to the sound of the orchestra and you will find both in abundance on these sides. (more…)

Mel Torme With The Marty Paich Dek-tette

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  • A KILLER copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Both sides here are incredibly rich and smooth with wonderfully breathy vocals and a solid bottom end
  • “Mel Tormé with the Marty Paich Dek-tette is a vocal masterpiece, an extremely satisfying record achieved only by a fusion of an excellent voice, an excellent band, and excellent material.” – All Music, 5 Stars

This vintage Bethlehem pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Mel Torme – Songs of New York

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  • This surprisingly good sounding pressing of Mel Torme’s 1963 album earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • Like many of the best Mel Torme recordings from back in the day, the sound here is rich, warm and smooth, with Vintage Analog Tubey Magic to die for
  • Turn it up and The Velvet Fog will be standing right between your speakers, putting his heart and soul into these American standards
  • “This thematic recording, with songs all relating to New York City, has vocalist Mel Tormé singing in fine fashion… done with the heartfelt passion of a man who has lived in the Big Apple and has many tales to tell.”

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These Atlantic pressings 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.

This vintage stereo pressing has the kind of Midrange Magic that modern records barely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it ain’t coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with Mel, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage Analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)