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Super Hot Stamper - Nat King Cole - The Very Thought Of You

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Super Hot Stamper

Nat King Cole
The Very Thought Of You

Capitol Records
Regular price
$199.99
Regular price
Sale price
$199.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • An outstanding early pressing on the rainbow label with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • Both sides here are BIG, rich and Tubey Magical, yet clear and not the least bit thick or opaque
  • Turn down the lights and drop the needle to hear a living breathing Nat King Cole right in the room with you
  • 4 stars: "Highlights include 'The Very Thought of You,' 'But Beautiful,' 'This Is All I Ask,' 'For All We Know,' and 'The More I See You.'"
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We are HUGE fans of the album at Better Records, but 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 here of Nat King Cole's vocals 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 are hard to fault.

The sound is big, open, rich and full, with loads of Tubey Magic. The highs are extended and silky sweet. The bass is tight and punchy.

What the best sides of The Very Thought of You 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 1958
  • 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.

Midrange Magic to Die For

This Rainbow Label Capitol LP also has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the DCC reissue (and no doubt any others that will be coming down the pike). As good as some think that pressing is, this one is dramatically more REAL sounding.

Nat's voice is sounds so right -- not necessarily natural, but correct for the vocal style of the era -- you immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there's really nothing to distract you.

If you're like me, this copy sounds the way you want it to sound. Click on the Other Pressings tab above to read more on the subject.

Gordon Jenkins

We want to give a special shoutout here to conductor/arranger Gordon Jenkins, who also handled the same duties on Nilsson's classic Must Own A Little Touch Of Schmillson in The Night. It's yet another wonderfully well-produced album of standards that deserves a place in any serious record collection.

Jenkins worked with Nat King Cole on four albums for Capitol: Love Is the Thing (1957), The Very Thought of You (1958), Every Time I Feel the Spirit (1960) and Where Did Everyone Go? (1963).

He did three albums with Sinatra for Capitol: A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra (1957), Where Are You? (1957) and No One Cares (1959), and five more after Sinatra moved to Reprise: All Alone (1962), September of My Years (1965), Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back (1973), "Future" suite – Trilogy: Past Present Future (1980) and She Shot Me Down (1981).

What We're Listening For on The Very Thought of You

  • 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 punchy 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.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus 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.


Side One

The Very Thought of You
But Beautiful
Impossible
I Wish I Knew The Way To Your Heart (Notorious)
I Found a Million Dollar Baby (In a Five and Ten Cent Store)
Magnificent Obsession
My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?)

Side Two

Paradise
This Is All I Ask
Cherie I Love You
Making Believe You're Here
Cherchez La Femme
For All We Know
The More I See You

AMG 4 Star Review

Nat King Cole possessed one of the most accessible and appealing voices of any singer in the 1950s. This ballad-oriented set puts the emphasis completely on his voice (there is no piano playing or any hint of his jazz-oriented past) and features Cole accompanied by Gordon Jenkins' sweet arrangements for a string orchestra.

Many other singers might find it difficult to overcome, much less uplift this type of accompaniment, but Cole's basic and honest delivery works quite well in this setting. Highlights include "The Very Thought of You," "But Beautiful," "This Is All I Ask," "For All We Know," and "The More I See You."