Top Artists – Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett & Count Basie – Strike Up The Band

More Tony Bennett

More Count Basie

  • You’ll find INSANELY GOOD Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout this Roulette stereo pressing
  • So hugely spacious and three-dimensional, yet with a natural sounding Tony – this is the best way to hear it
  • The Roulette pressings tend to be gritty, edgy and bright, but we found a good one here, and it won the shootout
  • Richness, transparency and Tubey Magic are key to the sound of Basie’s orchestra and you will find all three in abundance on these two sides
  • 4 1/2 stars: “The band raves through tunes like ‘With Plenty Of Money And You,’ and Bennett matches them, drawing strength from the bravura arrangements, while band and singer achieve a knowing tenderness on ‘Growing Pains’…This is an album well worth owning.”

(more…)

Tony Bennett – Who Can I Turn To

More Tony Bennett

More Vintage Columbia Pressings

  • This early Columbia 360 label pressing gives Tony the sound he deserves, earning outstanding grades on both of these stereo sides
  • Transparency and Tubey Magic are key to the sound of the orchestra and you will find both in abundance here
  • Made up mostly of ballads, this is an album for quiet moods – the title track is especially good in that respect, with Bennett’s voice carrying the song, the arrangement understated and well in the background
  • “..[T]he match of singer and arranger made for a consistent and effective album.”
  • If you’re a fan of Tony’s, this 1964 release belongs in your collection

Everything that’s good about Vocal Recordings from the ’50s and ’60s is precisely what’s good about the sound of this record.

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! The space of your stereo room will seem to expand in all directions in order to accommodate them, an illusion of course, but nevertheless a remarkably convincing one.

Like so many others you may have read about on the site, the right amount of Tubey Magic — and by that we mean a very healthy amount — makes all the difference.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Tony Bennett singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now 57 years old), I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we’ve played can serve as a guide.

(more…)

Tony Bennett – For Once In My Life

More Tony Bennett

  • This vintage Columbia 360 label pressing gives Tony the sound he deserves, with Double (A++) grades on both of these early stereo sides
  • Amazing vocal reproduction courtesy of the brilliant engineering of Frank Laico at his favorite studio (and ours), Columbia 30th Street studios
  • We are not big soundstage guys here at Better Records, but we can’t deny the appeal of the space to be found on a record as good as this

Everything that’s good about Vocal Recordings from the ’50s and ’60s is precisely what’s good about the sound of this record.

The huge studio the music was recorded in is captured faithfully here. The height, width and depth of the staging here are extraordinary. We are not big soundstage guys here at Better Records, but we can’t deny the appeal of the space to be found on a record as good as this.

Transparency and Tubey Magic are key to the sound of the orchestra and you will find both in abundance on these two sides.

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! The space of your stereo room will seem to expand in all directions in order to accommodate them, an illusion of course, but nevertheless a remarkably convincing one.

On this record, like so many others you may have read about on the site, the right amount of Tubey Magic — and by that we mean a very healthy amount — makes all the difference. (more…)

Tony Bennett – I’ve Gotta Be Me

More of the Music of Tony Bennett

More Vintage Columbia Hot Stamper Pressings

  • This vintage Columbia 360 label pressing gives Tony the sound he deserves, with Double Plus (A++) grades on both of these early stereo sides
  • 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

(more…)

Tony Bennett – If I Ruled The World / Songs For The Jet Set

More Tony Bennett

More Pop and Jazz Vocal Albums

  • Bennett’s wonderful 1965 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • These sides are exceptionally spacious and three-dimensional, as well as relaxed and full-bodied – Tony is right in the room with you on this one
  • “Employing Sinatra arranger Don Costa, Tony Bennett put together a concept album similar to Sinatra’s Come Fly with Me.”

(more…)

Bennett and Evans – The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

More Bill Evans

  • A wonderful early pressing of this classic collaboration, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to here finish and vinyl that is hard to find any quieter
  • When heard on our best Hot Stamper pressings, the album clearly belongs near the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Records
  • Waltz for Debby is the best thing here. You want to hear the Bennett-Evans Magic? Go right to that track
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… one of the best albums of either’s career… an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage.”

If you like sophisticated vocal jazz I don’t think you can do much better than this record, especially when it sounds like this. Tony Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

The soundstage is open and spacious, the piano full-bodied and clear, and the vocals have the clarity and fullness missing from most pressings. It’s incredible to hear these two top-notch musicians interacting and responding to each other in this kind of huge, open and natural space. (more…)

Tony Bennett & Count Basie – In Person!

More of the Music of Tony Bennett

More Vintage Columbia Hot Stamper Pressings

  • 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

(more…)

Tony Bennett – The Movie Song Album

More Tony Bennett

More Vintage Hot Stamper Pressings on Columbia

  • Tony Bennett’s 1966 album of movie songs arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound on this superb pressing is full-bodied and lively, with the kind of Tubey Magic Columbia still knew how to get on analog tape
  • Musical Director Johnny Mandel partnered with Neal Hefti and Quincy Jones, arranging and conducting their own compositions, including “Girl Talk,” from Harlow, and “Emily,” from The Americanization of Emily
  • Some of the songs that Bennett could hardly have sung any better are “Days Of Wine And Roses,” “The Shadow Of Your Smile” and “The Second Time Around,” the last two previously recorded by Frank Sinatra, and we leave it to you to judge who comes off better

(more…)

Tony Bennett – I Wanna Be Around…

More Tony Bennett

More Hot Stamper Pressings on Columbia

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better sounding copies we played in our recent shootout  
  • This is an excellent vintage 360 stereo pressing, with the all important midrange magic that’s surely missing from whatever 180g reissue has been made from the tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • “As the studio album followup to Tony Bennett’s breakthrough record, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, I Wanna Be Around had a lot to live up to, but since San Francisco was a culmination of Bennett’s development, and not a fluke, I Wanna Be Around turned out to be almost on a par with its predecessor… A worthy successor.”

(more…)

Tony Bennett – At Carnegie Hall

More Tony Bennett

More Vintage Hot Stamper Pressings on Columbia

  • This superb LIVE double album debuts with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side three, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on the others
  • Our exceptional 360 stereo pressing here will bring this definitive Tony Bennett concert performance right into your very own listening room
  • Plenty of analog richness, space, smoothness and Tubey Magic, all absolutely essential if you want the ’60s to sound like the ’60s
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Recorded one week before the release of the I Left My Heart in San Francisco album that would catapult Tony Bennett’s career into the stratosphere, this album effectively sums up his accomplishments so far… it gives a broad sense of Bennett’s work, and it does so in the format with which he’s most comfortable — live in concert.”

(more…)