Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
- You'll find superb Double Plus (A++) sound throughout this vintage Verve Stereo pressing
- These two sides are big and rich, yet clean, clear and present, with virtually none of the midrange edginess that plagues so many copies
- If you were buying records in the 90s, you might have picked up the Classic Records pressing, and if you did, we guarantee this Verve reissue (the first pictured) is dramatically superior in every way
- “Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time.”
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*NOTE: Side two of this record was not noisy enough to rate our M-- to EX++ grade, but it's not quite up to our standards for Mint Minus Minus either. If you're looking for quiet vinyl, this is probably not the best copy for you.
Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
I first heard this album on the wonderful Classic Records pressing from the 90s. I remember really enjoying the music and liking the sound of Bernie Grundman’s remaster very much. We reviewed and recommended the album (along with Under the Stars) in our old paper catalogs.
I have no idea what I would think of their version these days -- well, to be honest I do have some idea of what I would think of it -- but their version is at least good enough to make the case that Russell Garcia’s orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong’s sublime skills interpreting The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven.
You may have seen Russell Garcia’s name on one of the landmark recordings of the 50s: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s recording of Porgy and Bess for Verve in the previous year, 1959.
This vintage Verve 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 I've Got The World On A String 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 1960
- 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.
Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top 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've heard them all.
Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.
Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.
What We're Listening For On I've Got The World On A String
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- 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 note-like 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.
- When Your Lover Has Gone
- You're The Top
- You Turned The Tables On Me
- Don't Get Around Much Anymore
- Little Girl Blue
- Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
- We'll Be Together Again
- I've Got The World On A String
- Do Nothing 'til You Hear From Me
- I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
… prime samplings from the autumn of Armstrong’s recording career. Even in the pressure cooker of a marathon session, even when confronted with standards not often associated with him, Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time.
In particular, “When Your Lover Is Gone” is sublime, with its signature riff of blasé, sighing horns and responding, rising string tremolos… a seductive nighttime ambience that’ll draw you in every time.