The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An excellent pressing of Sinatra’s Reprise swan song with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
- It’s richer, warmer and more natural than most of the other copies we played, with wonderful transparency and plenty of studio ambience, especially considering this is a recording from 1981, not 1961
- "A thought-provoking set of torch songs with soaring strings, lyrics fraught with loss and regret, and heart-rending, world-weary vocals"
- "She Shot Me Down is Frank Sinatra’s last great album, a dark, brooding record of saloon songs delivered with an understated authority… It’s a dense, moody record that works spectacularly — Sinatra’s vocals are more alive and rich in detail than on Trilogy, and the concept is more concise and well-executed."
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This vintage Reprise 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 She Shot Me Down 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 even as late as 1981
- 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.
We want to give a special shoutout here to conductor/arranger Gordon Jenkins, who also handled the same duties on Nilsson’s Must Own classic 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 She Shot Me Down
- 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 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.
- Good Thing Going
- Hey Look, No Crying
- Thanks For The Memory
- Long Night
- Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)
- Monday Morning Quarterback
- South – To A Warmer Place
- I Loved Her
- The Gal That Got Away/It Never Entered My Mind (Medley)
She Shot Me Down is Frank Sinatra's last great album, a dark, brooding record of saloon songs delivered with an understated authority by Sinatra. Arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins and produced by Don Costa, the record largely consists of contemporary material, including five that were basically tailored for Sinatra.
It's a dense, moody record that works spectacularly -- Sinatra's vocals are more alive and rich in detail than on Trilogy, and the concept is more concise and well-executed. She Shot Me Down might not consist of the classic saloon songs, but it has that feeling more than any of his other albums.