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 London Stereo pressing with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - fairly quiet vinyl too
- Side two was very close in sound to our Shootout Winner - you will be amazed at how big and lively and tubey the sound is
- This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience — talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
- These sides are simply bigger, clearer, richer, more dynamic, transparent and energetic than most of what we played
100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers
FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $150
*NOTE: There is a mark that plays 10 times lightly at the start of track 1 on side 1, "Spanish Gypsy Dance (Paso Doble)."
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
It’s unfortunate that Edmundo Ros and his orchestra command so little respect these days from the record buying public. As for audiophiles, it’s doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. We at Better Records are doing our best to change all that!
This vintage London 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 Rhythms of the South 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.
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.
A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of Space
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it’s an entirely different listening experience.
What We're Listening For On Rhythms of the South
- 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.
- Spanish Gypsy Dance (Paso Doble)
- The Blue Danube (Valse Creole)
- Barcarolle (Baiao)
- La Machiche (Marcha)
- Capullito De Aleli (Son Rumba)
- Siboney (Mambo)
- Isle Of Capri (Cha-Cha-Cha)
- Colonel Bogey (Merengue)
- Elizabeth (Samba)
- Caminito (Tango)
- Marta (Bolero)
- Cachita (Guaracha)
All Music Guide
Bandleader Edmundo Ros was the living embodiment of Latin music in World War II-era Britain. The toast of London’s high society, he effectively introduced the rhumba and samba to the U.K. shores.
After scoring a hit with 1941’s Parlophone release “Los Hijos de Buda,” Ros became a sensation, attracting the cream of London society to his appearances at the lavish Coconut Grove. When the defendant in a high-profile divorce case implicated Ros as a catalyst for his marriage’s demise, the bandleader made national headlines, and the sex scandal only made him more popular, and he even taught then-Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret to dance.
After a long residency at the West End club the Bagatelle, Ros in 1951 acquired the former Coconut Grove site on Regent Street and renamed the venue Edmundo Ros’ Dinner and Supper Club. He also made regular appearances on BBC radio, and his albums for the London label’s Phase 4 imprint (including the space age pop classics Rhythms of the South and Arriba!) sold briskly.
His biggest hit, “The Wedding Samba,” even crossed over to the U.S. Top Five, selling three million copies in the process. After Parliament legalized gambling in 1965, attendance at Ros’ club quickly nosedived, and he sold the business as soon as possible. He retired to Alicante, Spain, a decade later, returning to London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on January 8, 1994, for one final farewell performance leading the BBC Big Band with Strings. Ros was also awarded the Order of the British Empire in the 2000 New Year’s Honours List.
The Edmundo Ros Club
In 1951 Edmundo Ros bought a club in Regent Street, the Coconut Grove, which was very popular during the war. The address, 100 Regent Street was not quite right because the in-clubs at that time were in Mayfair. Ros changed names , and when it was finally Edmundo Ros’ Dinner and Supper Club, the stream of the right people and the Rolls-Royces turned there. Along came the BBC and the club became world famous.
Standards at the club were kept extremely high. Edmundo’s notebook included all the names of the British Royal Family, the nobility, the counts, the pears and dukes. These people and those mentioned in “Who’s Who” could get membership in to the club. The guests had also to be properly dressed. The Ladies coming from the tea party in Buckingham Palace were not allowed to wear their broad hats. When women began to wear trousers like men, Ros decided not to accept them
“Once a very well-known madame, the wife of Sir Cecil Hardwick, tried to enter the club dressed in pants. My reception had their orders, and she went to another night club very cross and hurt. She told everybody what an idiot Edmundo Ros was! There was a newspaper reporter listening and I got the biggest publicity you can think of:: a photo of her and the words: “Edmundo did not allow in…..marvellous! ” King Hussein of Jordan, a Latin music aficionado, with his party was denied entrance because one of his party, film star Peter O’Toole, was not properly dressed and did not accept the tie offered to him.” Regular royal guests during the Club Era were Princess Margaret, Monaco’s Prince Rainier and Prince Bertil of Sweden.
The club had 24 musicians and 53 employees, one of which had polishing the silver as his sole job. Ros says that all those details–you could not smoke the pipe before twelve o’clock–made the difference, and it was terribly important in England. The business was excellent until 1965 when gambling became legal in England. Ros noticed the difference immediately in the takings and sold the club.
From the Edmundo Ros website