Genre – Vocals – Male

Frank Sinatra – All The Way

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

This vintage ’60s Capitol pressing was our clear winner, with Triple Plus sound on both sides. It has the all the Tubey Magic one could ask for, allowing Sinatra’s rich baritone to work its magic on every phrase. As you can well imagine, finding clean, scratch-free ’60s Sinatra records like this one, in stereo no less, is no walk in the park.

This group of singles and B-sides was recorded from 1957 to 1960 – it contain some of Sinatra’s better known songs arranged by Nelson Riddle. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – A Swingin’ Affair!

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This is a very nice looking original Capitol Grey/Black Label LP. As for sonics, the record starts off a little problematically but things really start cookin’ by track two when the sound becomes sweet and warm. By the way, this Capitol Label was only used from 1956 until 1957. This record plays Mint Minus Minus about as quiet as any early Capitol pressing you’re likely to ever hear.

The record was number one in the UK for 7 straight weeks! (more…)

Frank Sinatra – Nice and Easy – Our Shootout Winner from 2013

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

It’s been a long time coming but we’re pretty sure whoever takes this bad boy home will agree that it’s been worth the wait. Here’s the first White Hot Stamper of The Chairman’s classic Nice ‘n’ Easy to ever hit the site! This killer pressing has an A+++ side one, an A++ side two, and unusually quiet vinyl throughout. Take this one home and play it against the MoFi pressing for a good laugh — this thing will positively SMOKE whatever other version you might have in your collection, guaranteed. 

Definitely one of the most fun Sinatra albums, especially when it sounds like this!

It’s tough to find great sound for this album — most copies are pretty mediocre and the MoFi is godawful. That piece of garbage gets Frank’s voice completely wrong, thinning it out and boosting it at the top of his range. No one else besides MoFi ever managed to make Frank Sinatra’s voice sound this way, so what are the chances that they’re right and everybody else is wrong? (more…)

Frank Sinatra – Close To You – Sounds Great in Mono

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

This nice looking Capitol Rainbow Label pressing has SUPERB SINATRA SOUND! His voice is PERFECTION. Rich, sweet, and completely free of phony EQ (Mobile Fidelity take note!), this record will put a living, breathing Sinatra between your speakers. Normally I’m not a big fan of these slower, ballady Sinatra records, but he’s so good here, it’s difficult to find fault with music and sound like this. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – That’s Life

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This original Reprise LP has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the later reissues. It gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is right in front of you. 

He’s no longer a recording — he’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. His voice is rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality. You immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.

Reprise pressings — like every label’s pressings — are all over the map. When you find a good one, you can be pretty sure it’s the exception, not the rule. (more…)

Tony Bennett & Count Basie – In Person!

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  • This original Six-Eye stereo pressing has insanely good sound throughout with both sides earning shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • The sound here is incredibly big, rich and Tubey Magical yet still open, spacious and detailed with a lovely bottom end
  • “The drive of the Bennett vocals is excellently paced by the swingin’ Basie crew. Tunes are nicely paced and varied. It’s an exciting set that builds track after track” – Billboard

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Frank Sinatra – She Shot Me Down

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  • Sinatra’s Reprise swan song finally arrives on the site with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • It’s as rich, warm and natural as any copy we have ever heard, with wonderful transparency and plenty of studio ambience, especially considering this is a recording from 1981, not 1961
  • “A thought-provoking set of torch songs with soaring strings, lyrics fraught with loss and regret, and heart-rending, world-weary vocals”
  • “She Shot Me Down is Frank Sinatra’s last great album, a dark, brooding record of saloon songs delivered with an understated authority… It’s a dense, moody record that works spectacularly — Sinatra’s vocals are more alive and rich in detail than on Trilogy, and the concept is more concise and well-executed.”

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Frank Sinatra – Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session

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  • This Capitol stereo pressing has STUNNING Nearly Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout – a HUGE step up from most of what we’ve heard
  • These sides are rich, Tubey Magical, balanced and natural – exceptionally quiet vinyl too, one of the quietest copies we played all day
  • The tonality of Sinatra’s voice is right on the money, and the brass – so key to these big group sessions – is every bit as good
  • “Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session is a fast, driving album, the speediest and hardest swing collection Frank Sinatra ever recorded. Sinatra performed the songs twice as fast as was expected; consequently, it’s one of his jazziest swing sets, with the musicians spitting out energetic, forceful solos and providing tough, gutsy support.”

This is one of the more fun Sinatra albums we’ve had the pleasure of playing around here, and this is a copy that delivers big time. Nelson Riddle and his orchestra back Frank with wonderful arrangements, and a copy like this lets you appreciate everyone’s hard work. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – Point of No Return – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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This Capitol Rainbow Label pressing defeated most of the copies we threw up against it in a recent shootout. The overall sound is clean, clear and transparent with correct tonal balance.

We enjoyed the music on this one quite a bit, especially when we heard it on a good sounding copy like this one. Check out the AMG review for the story behind the album, which teams Frank up with his former collaborator Axel Stordahl, who arranged and conducted. The results are wonderful.

The orchestra on this copy sounds particularly good. We’ve heard copies in the past that were richer and fuller on the vocals. It’s not an easy album to come by (particularly when you require clean copies with the potential to sound good), so who’s to say if we’ll find one any better any time soon? This may not be the very best copy out there, but it’s a nice step up from the typical pressing and it plays darn quietly. (more…)

Mel Torme – Back in Town – Reviewed in 2011

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

This is a nice looking Verve LP with relatively quiet vinyl and surprisingly good sound. Natural, smooth and sweet, I doubt there are copies out there that sound much better. The music itself is great fun. Hearing Mel sing with the female vocalists is really a treat. (more…)