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…)
Stunning sound throughout with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grade on the second side and a solid Double Plus (A++) grade on the first
This vintage Capitol stereo pressing is rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical – we’re talking All Tube Analog from 1961 after all – with wonderfully sweet and breathy vocals
“… the man writing the charts here is Quincy Jones, and he is only occasionally interested in underscoring the heartbreak with suitably sad music… Lee responds to the music with a world-weary tone, but an occasional swing in her step, as if this is not her first romance, nor her first one to go wrong.”
This vintage Capitol 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…)
There is some edge on Sinatra’s voice on every side of every copy; it’s so common it’s got to be on the tape. Those copies with less edge and grit on the vocals which are not overly smooth or dull tend to do very well in our shootouts.
Also, richness is very important. We look for a combination of rich, Tubey Magical sound that still maintains a fair amount of space, clarity, transparency and freedom from smear.
The original label pressings (always in stereo; the monos are really a joke) are richer and thicker as a rule.
The pressings with the orange two-tone labels tend to be thinner and clearer. A high percentage of them are much too modern sounding, bright and gritty, and when they are we throw them right in the trade-in pile.(more…)
One of the few copies to ever hit the site and boy is it KILLER — Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
The sound is incredibly rich, full and Tubey Magical with tons of energy and a nice extended top end
Robert Christgau noted that “Charles tried many times, but except for Modern Sounds, he never again assembled such a consistent album in this mode.”
“Charles’ voice is heard throughout in peak form, giving soul to even the veteran standards.”
Tom Dowd engineered on Ampex 3 Track through an All Tube chain (this is 1959 after all), Quincy Jones did the arrangements, and Ray sang the hell out of this great batch of songs — all the ingredients in a recipe for soul are here.
Top tracks on the first side: Let The Good Times Roll, It Had To Be You and When Your Lover Has Gone.(more…)
This superb 2 LP set boasts excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all four sides!
Truly one of the greatest live albums of all time, recorded late at night in the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas
This is Basie and Sinatra in their natural habitat and in their prime, putting on the show of a lifetime – quiet vinyl too
“Basie and the orchestra are swinging and dynamic, inspiring a textured, dramatic, and thoroughly enjoyable performance from Sinatra … the definitive portrait of Frank Sinatra in the ’60s.” – AMG
This double album presents Sinatra and Basie at the height of their powers, in a setting especially conducive to both men’s music, the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas. If you missed it — and I’m sure most all of us did — here’s your chance to go back in time and be seated with the beautiful people front row center. This two disc all tube-mastered analog set is practically the only way you’ll ever be able to hear the greatest vocalist of his generation — in his prime no less — fronting one of the swingingest big bands of the time.
You Are There
The presence and immediacy here are staggering. Turn it up and Frank is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime.(more…)