On this London LP, even though it says the record is electronically re-processed into stereo, the songs we heard on side one were dead mono.
So much for believing what you read on album covers. (more…)
*A mark makes 9 medium then 7 medium-light pops at the end of track 1, There’s A Lull In My Life
**A mark makes 20 very light pops near the end of track 5, What’s New
Take it from an Ella fan, you can’t go wrong with this one, assuming you can put up with some ticky vinyl. This is about as quiet as we can find them. Like Someone in Love is five times rarer than Clap Hands, and twice as likely to be noisy.
The sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a record this good, but what you would really be demonstrating is music that the listener probably hasn’t heard, and that’s the best reason to demonstrate a stereo!
The space is huge and the sound so rich. The vocals have dramatically less hardness and the orchestra — especially on side two — is not brash for once.
Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD. (more…)
A wonderful copy of Nat’s classic 1957 release. It’s taken us a long time to pull together enough clean copies to make the shootout happen. Boy, was it worth all the trouble.
The presence and immediacy of Nat King Cole’s vocals here are ’50s Capitol Recording Magic at its best. Set the volume right and Nat is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. The selection of material and the contributions of all involved (Nelson Riddle among them) are hard to fault.
The sound is big, open, rich and full, with loads of Tubey Magic. The highs are extended and silky sweet.
What the best sides of This is Nat King Cole have to offer is not hard to hear:
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does. (more…)
There have been a great many versions of Pet Sounds released on vinyl over the years, and most of them in our opinion are awful. (The DCC is acceptable at best.) We’re not going to give away what pressing this is, mostly because it took us many years, a huge amount of effort, and quite a large supply of expensive, ultimately rejected pressings in order to finally figure out what version of Pet Sounds sounds the best.
In short, we ask that you please not order this copy of Pet Sounds expecting to receive an original pressing. We’ve never heard an original that sounded better than tolerable, and tolerable is simply not going to cut it for a Hot Stamper, not at these prices anyway.
What you will receive is the only version of the material that has ever sounded right to us, and naturally that means it will be made from the original mono mix. We would be very surprised to discover another pressing that can compete with it. As per our policy, if for any reason you are not happy with the sound of the album we send you (or the condition, or the cover, or absolutely anything else, that’s our policy and always has been), feel free to return it for a full refund. (more…)
*NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 8 light ticks at the end of Track 2, Come Rain or Come Shine.
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. (more…)
*NOTE: On sides one and two, a bubble makes 6 very soft thumps on Track 1, It Never Entered My Mind (side one), and Trane’s Blues (side two). On side four, a mark makes 15 light stitches at the beginning of Track 3, When I Fall In Love.
You might be surprised that a reissue can beat the originals, but one play of this pressing should be enough to remove all doubt.
To the Jazz Fans of the World, we here present one of the BEST sounding jazz recordings we have ever had the PRIVILEGE to place on a turntable. I cannot ever recall hearing a better sounding Rudy Van Gelder recording, and I have a theory as to why this tape is as good as it is: it’s MONO. It also sounds like it’s recorded completely LIVE in the studio, direct to one track you might say. As good a recording as Kind of Blue is, I think the best parts of this album are more immediate and more real than anything on KOB. (more…)
This is one of the few Mono albums that really justifies the claims made for the superiority of mono in general. Just listen to the vocals on side one: they’re right up front and centered the way they should be on any good pop song. On the stereo version, they’re off to the left and way down in level. They have no power over there! It robs the song of its focus.
Even worse, the stereo remaster by Edsel has no bass. It’s a joke next to the mono. It’s doubtful we would ever buy one again. What a waste of good import vinyl.
Edsel did a great remastering job of the mono mix here. What do we hear on this pressing that’s different from most of the early pressings? A smoother, sweeter, lower distortion midrange and top end. And really punchy solid super low distortion bass. The transparency of this pressing is clearly superior to anything we have ever played. (more…)