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)
- Sinatra's swingin' 1958 release finally arrives on the site with KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound of both sides of this 6 Eye mono pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl for a vintage pressing too
- If you're trying recreate a solid, living, breathing Frank Sinatra singing right there in your listening room, these Hot Stamper sides will let you do that in a way that nothing else can
- 4 stars: "All of the cuts are archetypal Sinatra, parading his perfect pitch, phrasing, and timing, and is further evidence of his ability to make virtually anything he sang sound extraordinary, as if any additional evidence were needed."
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This vintage Columbia Six-Eye Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back.
Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.).
Hot Stamper sound is rarely about the details of a given recording. In the case of this album, more than anything else a Hot Stamper must succeed at recreating a solid, palpable, real Frank Sinatra singing live in your listening room. The better copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we've played over the years can serve as a guide.
What the best sides of Love Is A Kick 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 1976
- 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 space of the studio
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.
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 just plain rock harder. When you hear a copy that does all that, it's an entirely different listening experience.
What We're Listening For on Love Is A Kick
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
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 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 that is a key part of the appeal 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.
You Do Something To Me
Bim Bam Baby
My Blue Heaven
When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles With You)
Saturday Night (Is The Lonelist Night In The Week)
Bye Bye Baby
The Continental (You Kiss While You're Dancing)
American Beauty Rose
Five Minutes More
Farewell, Farewell To Love
The music on this Frank Sinatra LP comes from recordings made for the Columbia label beginning in 1944 and running through 1952. Five of the cuts are from two sessions in April of 1950 with an orchestra led by George Siravo...
...The other cuts are led and arranged by the likes of Hugo Winterhalter, Mitch Miller, and Axel Stordahl. Virtually all the material is upbeat, displaying Sinatra's considerable proclivities for swing. There are also examples of Sinatra's fondness for fooling around with the lyrics, such as with "Bim Bam Baby." The program includes tunes that he was to record again during his career, "Five Minutes More" among them.
Throughout his long career, Sinatra was able to attract the best in studio musicians and these cuts are no exceptions. In addition to the James orchestra, Billy Butterfield, Herman Shertzer, Jerry Jerome, and others of equally high caliber are part of these recordings. Sinatra also demanded and got arrangements which were way above the level of stock charts.
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