SH Spotlight "For My Dad" Frank & Nancy Sinatra DCC Compact Classics CD - "Something Stupid" with studio chatter

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by batdude98, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    @Steve Hoffman @Bob F @MMM

    I just picked up a digital copy of the For My Dad maxi-single originally released on DCC here:

    For My Dad (1998) | Nancy Sinatra | MP3 Downloads | 7digital United States

    I was wondering if anyone knows whether this replicates Steve's mastering?

    "Somethin' Stupid" has the minute or so of the "trick of the record" chatter on it.

    I love how the lower guitar comes in with a bass counterpoint after the lead guitar starts the riff until they join in unison just before the vocal...
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  2. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    I love the chatter before "Somethin' Stupid" here -- Nancy playfully scolding "Daddy...", Frank's quiet "sorry", asking if there's a "good feeling there?" - showing that the Sinatra class extended to the whole family's work - her checking with Barton in the control room, a pass on the guitars, and then...magic.
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  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    That chatter was about 1/2 hours worth. Many takes, some funny, some serious. Nothing made the final cut except the song and one minute but perhaps it's for the best. BTW, that last take (the issued version) is live, no overdubs, straight, no edits, just one take from beginning to end. I find that impressive, the words are not easy and it must have been weird for the musicians having both dad and daughter there.

    As I recall, same session as some Jobim songs, right? And "Drinking Again"?

    At any rate, I have no idea what you're listening to, but at least it's out there.. Also on YouTube..
  4. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    Yes, same day, new session - I think "Drinking Again" is one of his masterpiece songs.

    According to the sessionography, that's Al Casey and Glen Campbell on the dueling guitars, Carol Kaye on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, and other Wrecking Crew members plus orchestra. I knew the Wrecking Crew was on it, but not who played what.

    Was there any chat between Frank, Nancy, Lee, the musicians that you wish you could have included? I love hearing Frank work in the studio, just like most studio chatter tagged on to records...unedited sessions? Only a few artists...surprisingly not Frank, even though he's my favorite artist. He's too much of a perfectionist - reminds me of me! I recall your story about "There Are Such Things" at Radio Recorders being kind of a drag...

    Glad it's out there, Steve! Thanks for pushing for it with Nancy! Great Private Stock single too -- makes me think of my Dad...
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  5. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    The original you were looking for in the last thread on this:

  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Nancy didn't want any chatter, no "Piercing the veil" and I can understand that. Keep the mystery intact but she did like the 6 snippets of chatter I picked out for her, and, to my surprise and delight, chose two. That was fine with me, better than none.

    Studio interaction in the recording process for this song was unique in Sinatra's catalog:

    The first takes were very different musically. Kind of like the sound of "Walk On By" by Dionne W. Guitar beat on the 2 and 3 1/2. The opening guitar note solo was there but the acoustic strumming guitars were missing. Just kind of an electric chime and the drums and bass. A bit empty sounding.

    They did several takes like that and then Billy said "Let's try something else" and on the spot, with Frank & Daughter looking on, the guitars became acoustic and that strummy pattern was improvised. That's when Frank caught it and said, Let's go with that sound," and they did.

    Bowen liked that strummy guitar rhythm which was just Billy Strange's idea to fill in the silence between the two electric hits per bar; lost on the final arrangement. The record went from having a typical early 1960's sound to a much better, folkier tone. Frank's "Trick of the Record."

    On the original Kapp recording of the song you can hear the short electric guitar bursts in the background that Strange originally copied. Glad he got rid of them..

    Note: Frank's "trick of the record" is much better on the original mono hit 45 single. Just a bit more pronounced than the weaker stereo mix (IMO.)
  7. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    Awesome story! Glad Nancy seems nice to have worked with!

    I love Strange and Hazlewood's arrangements on Nancy's records -- real pop spun gold.

    I think you also referenced this record by Peggy March:

    I can kind of hear it -- just a rhythmic chunking...nice change in the end.

    What I wouldn't give to hear the other 4 pieces of tape you chose...listening to session tapes seems like it can be fascinating...
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  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Yes, same type of guitar. Works on that, not so much on STUPID.
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  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    For those of you who wonder what the heck we are talking about, here is the version of SOMETHING STUPID with a minute of chatter at the beginning. Note that Frank and Nancy's vocal tracks are already heavily processed with reverb and slap echo, right on the multi and you can hear it when they talk. United/Western's weird way of doing things.

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  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    One gets tired of that stuff very quickly, trust me. Better to enjoy the hot dog than to see how it's made..
  11. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    I'm sure -- some of the officially released sessions for people gets tiring -- tho I'm a Beatle freak, too, and love hearing all of that...

    Steve, if you don't mind me asking, how were the masters chosen for the EP stored?:


    Was STUPID on the master for (the) THE WORLD WE KNEW album? Did you get to hear any of that?

    Was SOME ENCHANTED EVENING really swung up to dig at Richard Rodgers for being particular about interpretations of his songs?

    I know this was a long time ago...1997? One year older than me!
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    U/W stored singles on misc. singles reels. Stereo mixes not on albums on separate reels and on session mix reels (A and B versions of the same song). STUPID in stereo is stored in three places, the WORLD Stereo LP reel, the misc stereo reel (the "B" version which I used, less wear on the tape) and an alternate stereo mix on a separate reel. The mono mixes are on separate A & B reels or session a and edited B. Make sense?

    This was in the 1990's. Hopefully nothing has changed..

    I did a modern remix of STUPID and played it for Nancy. She didn't like it and we agreed that the old stereo mix was best.
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    I think what Nancy didn't like about my remix is that it left her too exposed. She's her own worst critic, I thought it sounded charming with their voices separated but understood her fear (of someone just isolating her harmony alone). She was right, there are dickwads in this world who would do that.
  14. sixtiesstereo

    sixtiesstereo Senior Member

    I found this video a while back, and posted it on another forum. However, it fits here.
    A terrific slideshow of Frank and Nancy in the studio while recording "Somethin' Stupid".
    Some really great images...
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  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Very nice, and not a pair of headphones in sight.
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  16. warren

    warren Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    You're probably right, and some might do so to try to find fault, which is a reflection on how absurd some people can be. Me, I was just now listening to her harmony intently on the video in your post #9 above, and found myself marveling at how impressive it was. I've briefly tried singing a harmony part like that once or twice. What's she's doing here is insanely good.
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  17. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Her vocal IS insanely good. She's not a strong singer but her sense of timing is always spot on. It might be interesting to note that take ONE of the session started out fine and then a few goofs later it ended up with both of them just laughing and goofing off all the way to the fade out. That got the giggles out of them and the rest of the takes were just perfecting the arrangement, etc.

    My point being that even on take one they had their vocals down, her harmony and his lead, just like the final master take. They must have practiced at home beforehand, something I find quite sweet..
  18. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    So...if I'm reading you right...

    Feb. 1st, 1967: Frank & Nancy record SOMETHIN' STUPID at U/W

    Mid-1967: STUPID is mixed to mono from MONO SESSION A REEL onto MONO B REEL. It is mixed to stereo from STEREO SESSION A REEL onto STEREO C REEL (Alternate Mix)

    Early summer 1967: STUPID MONO B REEL is released as a single.

    July 1967: As THE WORLD WE KNEW is being prepared for release, STUPID is mixed to stereo from STEREO SESSION A and included on the WORLD STEREO REEL. It is copied to the MISC STEREO REEL. The mono LP uses the aforementioned MONO B REEL mix.

    August 1967: THE WORLD WE KNEW is released in mono and stereo.

    ~~flash forward~~

    Late 1990s: DCC enters into a licensing agreement with the Sinatra Family.

    1996-7: Steve pulls STEREO SESSION A and the MISC STEREO REEL.

    Then - Steve creates a STUPID REMIX from STEREO SESSION A for Nancy, which she rejects due to a more noticeable vocal.

    Finally - Steve edits six sections of chatter from STEREO SESSION A for Nancy - she chooses two, totaling 0:57.

    Steve splices these onto the MISC STEREO REEL copy of the original mix, and "masters it for compact disc".

    1998: FOR MY DAD is released on DCC.

    2021: SHF Thread on it spins out of control...
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    When you put it that way, soooo boring!

    Look, here's how it was done at United/Western for an orchestra session (like Frank, Dean, or Sammy Davis Jr.):

    In the studio there are two three-track machines (or 4-track after 1966) and two mono machines. So, four tape machines running on each song.

    After the session, one of the three tracks is stored as a complete session (all of the takes and false starts). The OTHER three track version of the same song is edited and put on to a comp. reel. So the session is preserved, and an edited version of the final song is preserved.

    After the session one of the monos is stored as a complete session. The OTHER mono is edited and put on to a comp. reel. Same deal, one complete session, one edited final master.

    After the session, the complete multi-track session is "reduced" to two channel on two machines, one is stored as a complete session, the other master take song is edited and put on a comp. reel.

    With me so far? For just one song you now have a complete (all the takes) on a three track A reel, the B reel is edited up. Same thing for the two mono reels and eventually for the stereo reduction reels. That is 6 versions of the same master take of the song, four of which are first generation. All stored, waiting for album or single release.

    If an album is created, the B three-track songs are put in album order, the B two track reductions are put in album order and the B monos are put in album order.

    We realize of course that this is a lot of tape for just one song. Most of it has survived over the years though..
    So think of everything being recorded or mixed in terms of twos. Two machines going at once, always. If one breaks down, the other catches it.. So two mono machines, multi-track machines recording. And later for the stereo reduction mix, two stereo machines going at once.

    Not only at United/Western but RCA-Victor, Capitol, etc. They all recorded in twos..
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    An example of a machine breaking down? I have a doozy. The session in 1964 that Frank recorded "My Kind Of Town" for the "Robin And The Seven Hoods" album.

    The first three-track machine malfunctioned right in the middle of the master take, just turned to noise and distortion. The B machine caught the master take, no problem.

    When they played the A back and discovered it was no good, they quickly dubbed the B complete take to a safety three-track tape so they would still have two. They didn't **** around. After all, it was FRANK.

    They did multi-track protection on a few Frank albums, not for problems, but if a 1/2" four track tape (like the SINATRA/JOBIM) had a lot of edits in it, they made a four-track protection copy of the edited version and stored it, just in case. They didn't want to have to go and edit up the A version in case the B got mangled in the machine or something. They were vary careful..

    Neat, eh?
  21. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    Tapes #1 and 2: Multi stereo session + stereo song edited
    Tapes #3 and 4: Multi mono session + mono song edited
    Tapes #5 and 6: Stereo reduction session + stereo reduction song edited.

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  22. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    Sorry Steve,

    I could read you talking about Frank all should do a speaking tour or something (stupid?) when the world (we knew) is safer...
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  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Yes. That's how the studios did it in those days. Of course, the minute the pop groups came in and started overdubbing, that all went out the window. The stereo and mono mixes were created from the final multi-track. It was no longer possible to record live with these teen bands. :^)
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  24. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    "oh, daddy"

    classic lol
    batdude98 likes this.
  25. batdude98

    batdude98 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Dunstable, MA
    Seems frustrating that SINATRA/JOBIM is always a remix on CD with the charming "chings", then...

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