The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This surprisingly good sounding pressing of Mel Tormé’s 1963 album boasts superb Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them on both sides
- Like many of the best Mel Tormé recordings from the '50s and early-'60s, the sound here is rich, warm and smooth, with Vintage Analog Tubey Magic to die for (particularly on side one)
- Turn it up and The Velvet Fog will be standing right between your speakers, putting his heart and soul into these American standards
- We freely admit that the originals are potentially better sounding - the only ones we ever find on the early label are much too noisy to enjoy
- However, the best of them make great reference copies, so we keep them around and compare them to these reasonably quiet and very good sounding reissues
- “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.”
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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 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.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, 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 maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of Songs Of New York Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1963
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
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.
Standard Operating Procedures
What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.
When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of "contender." Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.
Record shootouts may not be rocket science, but they're a science of a kind, one with strict protocols developed over the course of many years to ensure that the sonic grades we assign to our Hot Stampers are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.
What We're Listening For On Songs Of New York
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight, full-bodied bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
- Sunday In New York
- Autumn In New York
- Lullaby Of Birdland
- The Brooklyn Bridge
- Let Me Off Uptown
- 42nd Street
- Sidewalks Of New York
- Harlem Nocturne
- New York, New York
- There's A Broken Heart For Every Light On Broadway
- My Time Of Day
This thematic recording, with songs all relating to New York City, has vocalist Mel Tormé singing in fine fashion. Some of the familiar numbers are swingy, some stringy, but all are done with the heartfelt passion of a man who has lived in the Big Apple and has many tales to tell.
Among some of the favorites are "Autumn in New York" with its ever poignant and heartbreaking lyric, the jumping "Let Me Off Uptown," a classic rendition of "Harlem Nocturne," and the obligatory "New York, New York." These sessions, reissued from Atlantic label recordings of 1963, have a disclaimer regarding the transfer from analog to digital, in that quality may be lost in spots. Don't let that dissuade you, as any dropouts are minimal. These are well done and worthwhile offerings from Tormé and friends.