Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- Two outstanding sides each earning Double Plus (A++) grades, and playing about as quietly as any early Rainbow Label Capitol stereo pressing can
- This Capitol LP has the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from the later reissues, which, to our way of thinking, are not worth buying at any price. It gives you the sense that Frank Sinatra is standing right in front of you, and that's exactly the way we like to hear him
- Somehow the man managed to record and release six studio albums in 1962, with this compilation making a total of seven for the year. Even more remarkable, all seven of them made the Top Ten of the pop charts
- The music is excellent, as one can see from the track listing. It's hard to go wrong with these later Capitol Sinatra records. They're almost always a fun listen
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This album comprises the last group of singles Capitol released of Sinatra's music. Reprise had started in 1960 and the rest of Sinatra's music would come out on his own label.
On the better pressings Sinatra is no longer a recording -- he's a living, breathing person. We call that "the breath of life," and this record has it in spades. His voice is rich, sweet, and free of any artificiality. You immediately find yourself lost in the music, because there's no "sound" to distract you.
This copy was simply fuller, richer, clearer, more tonally correct, more transparent, bigger, livelier and more involving than any other we played. It's the very definition of a Hot Stamper, and in this case, since it sounded just right and nothing could beat it.
We know a fair bit about the man's recordings at this point. As of today, we've done commentaries for 30 different Sinatra shootouts, and that's not even counting the other titles that either bombed or were sold off years ago.
What these amazing sides of Sings... of Love and Things 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 1962
- 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, of course, the only way to hear all of the above.
If you have five or ten copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what's right and what's wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the others do not do as well, using a few specific passages of music, it will quickly become obvious how well any given pressing reproduces those passages.
The process is simple enough. First, you go deep into the sound. There you find something special, something you can't find on most copies. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.
What We're Listening For on Sings... of Love and Things
- 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 musicians 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 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.
The Nearness of You
The Moon Was Yellow
I Love Paris
Monique (song from "Kings Go Forth")
Love Looks So Well on You
They Came to Cordura
I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
Something Wonderful Happens in Summer