The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)*
- An original copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, pressed on fairly quiet vinyl too - this bad boy is a big step up from any Perez Prado record you have ever heard, guaranteed or your money back
- This Living Stereo pressing is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience - here is the Tubey Magical Stereoscopic presentation these kinds of recordings are famous for
- The driving, syncopated, heavily percussive arrangements add immensely to the fun, with the timbre of every scratcher and drum rendered in glorious Technicolor sound
- This is Vintage All Tube Analog at its best - the magic hidden in the grooves of the record really comes through on this Hot Stamper pressing
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*NOTE: There is a mark that plays 5 times at a moderate level about 1/2 way into track 3 on side 2, "Leo's Special." There is also a dimple in the vinyl a few rotations into track 4, "Come Back to Sorrento (Torna a Sorrento)," that plays as 4 light thuds.
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
This superb sounding copy of Prez has a lot in common with the other Living Stereo / Exotica titles we've listed over the years, albums by the likes of Henry Mancini, Esquivel, Arthur Lyman, Dick Schory, Edmundo Ros, Ted Heath, Martin Denny and a handful of others. Talk about making your speakers disappear, these records will do it!
An album like this is all about Tubey Magical Stereoscopic presentation. And of course the driving, syncopated, heavily percussive arrangements add immensely to the fun, with the timbre of every scratcher and drum rendered in glorious Technicolor sound. (If only Airto had been around in the 50s!)
For us audiophiles, both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be, this superb copy may be just the record for you!
This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.
If you like the sound of percussion instruments of every possible flavor, including some you have never tasted before, you will have a hard time finding a more magical recording of them than this.
Glorious Living Stereo Sound
What a record: big and spacious, yet clear, dynamic and energetic. The brass is never "blary" the way it can be on so many Big Band or Dance Band records from the 50s and 60s. (Basie's Roulette records tend to have a bad case of blary brass as a rule.)
Sharp transients and correct tonality and timbres, powerful brass -- it's all here.
Play tracks one and two to hear side two at its best. Track two has crazy wild trombones you have to hear to believe. Very James Bond (well before there was a soundtrack for 007's exploits).
This IS the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There actually IS a CD of this album, and youtube videos of it too, but those of us in possession of a working turntable could care less.
Truly a Spectacular Demo Disc in its own right.
What The Best Sides Of Prez 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
- 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.
What We're Listening For On Prez
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. (Full sound is especially critical to the horns; any blare, leanness or squawk ruins much of the fun, certainly, at the loud levels the record should be playing at.)
Which brings up a point that needs making. The tonality of this record is correct when it is playing loud. The trumpets do not get harsh at loud volumes the way they will on, say, a Chicago record. The timbre of the instruments is correct when loud, which means that it was mixed loud to sound correct when loud.
The frequency extremes (on the better copies) are not boosted in any way. When you play this record quietly, the bottom and top will disappear (due to the way the ear handles quieter sounds as described by the Fletcher-Munson curve).
Most records (like most audiophile stereos) are designed to sound correct at moderate levels. Not this album. It wants you to turn it up. Then, and only then, will everything sound completely right from top to bottom.
On Prez, two sides of the fabulous "King of the Mambo" are presented. One features Prado interpreting Latin rhythms as only he and his musical aggregation can. The other side of Prado is not as familiarly known but is sure to be equally appreciated, for it reveals that Perez Prado is a jazz impresario of the first order.
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 later 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 originals.
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.
- Maria Bonita
- Cu-Cu-Rru-Cu-Cu Paloma
- La Borrachita (I'll Never Love Again)
- Adios Mi Chaparrita (Goodbye My Little Angel)
AMG 4 1/2 Star Review
Prez was the album that brought Perez Prado, the King of the Mambo, into the American mainstream. Here he rearranged pop hits to fit the Latin dance idiom, adding a few genuine mambos for good measure. Though the album wasn't pure mambo, it was simply delightful music and it illustrated how to bring world music to a broader, popular audience.