Sinatra / Reprise Sound Quality, artwork, etc.: "All Alone" - 1962

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Tina_UK

    Tina_UK Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    ;)
    Bob's still "All Alone" on this one. "If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words Then.....Why Doesn't It Have The Answer ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
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  2. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    I'd pick the A1 (which is quite a bit better vs. the A4 to my ears) "R" mono as best overall. A1 "R9" stereo next, though I prefer the mix on the mono. Really "speaks" better with the way it's balanced, etc. The CD isn't bad, and maybe my third choice overall...

    Re that "Waltz" mix on the JPN LP - I'll let Frank Costanza weigh in (six seconds in):

     
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  3. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    What surprises me is that the A1 mono LP is the one that I bought as a sealed cutout not long ago. The fact that an A1 cut made it to the cutout bin tells me that they pressed way too many mono LPs, anticipating higher sales.

    I'll try to get some more clips posted in the next few days, but I've got JURY DUTY starting tomorrow, so my free time is up in the air.

    "Serenity now!"
     
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  4. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    I completely missed this thread. I have A LOT of catching up to do.
     
  5. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Great analysis, Matt.

    I had the same reaction to the soprano inclusions: at first they seemed weird, even embarrassing, but now i think that they bookend the album beautifully. Poignant, to be sure, but almost frightening in the depth of emotion they provide in counterpoint to Sinatra's vocals.

    On "Girl": I tend to think of it as a memory. An older man thinks back on an adolescent crush that increases rather than diminishes in the span of time. Maybe it became a fully realized affair, maybe it didn't. But harkening back to the initial feelings of longing invokes a different kind of sadness than the rest of the songs on the album.

    Its also one of FS's most perfect vocal performances; one where he takes his 60's voice and does something different from but equally magnificent to an earlier Capitol rendition. "Devil Moon" and "New Kind of Love" are similar in this regard, for me, but they are not ballads. That this is a ballad, and remains so powerful, is really impressive.

    I also wonder if the "waltz" sub-theme gives a coherence to the mood of the album that the themes of the individual songs do not. True, they're not all wrist-slashers, so there's thematic variation. But the waltz, as a not inherently sad or depressing genre permits such diversity in theme yet still keeps the album together.

    I think that AA contains Jenkins' very best arranging efforts for FS, just beating out WAY?
     
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  6. JimSav

    JimSav Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYS
    Except WAY has Lonely Town, so IMO that's a TKO.

    I agree though that Jenkins' arrangements are outstanding--the dynamics are incredible, and Sinatra seems to go to another emotional state when singing with his arrangements. I'm not altogether crazy about one or two of the songs (hint: they all have one word titles), and I'm not sold on the soprano despite Matt's usually persuasive ruminations, but his singing is just majestic.

    I find that early Reprise period fascinating for Frank's choices now that he was officially Chairman. The song selections are largely from the deep past.
     
  7. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

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    Marysville, WA
    The soprano thing definitely had to grow on me. Very off-putting initially.
     
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  8. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    Lodi, New Jersey
    Agree. She's not living "next door" at this point. He's looking back, with her still in his mind/heart.

    Re the vapor voice...like Matt has written about, it's treatment is much different in the mono version, and more effective there. The stereo version has it treated almost like another lead/duet partner....
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  9. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Hmmmm....I'd never thought of that idea, but I can see where you're coming from. It does fit a little better that way.
     
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  10. JimSav

    JimSav Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYS
    I totally get that, I do---and the point about the mono version is well taken. But I've never needed an aural manifestation of the ghost in Frank Sinatra's mind---he's always supplied it. It's just too on the nose--particularly on All Alone. That is a spectacular vocal and then she comes in literally "Rememmmmmber meeeeeeeee......I looooooved you I looooooved you." But I already knew that from the purity and desolation of his vocal. Different strokes for different follllllllllkssssssssss.
     
  11. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    Lodi, New Jersey
    This version is wistful...both Frank's performance and Gordon's arrangement. Same for the version he did on TV in '65, as part of a medley.
     
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  12. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    Lodi, New Jersey
    Agree. I don't feel the vapor voice was necessary. As it's there, it works better for me as heard in the mono version.
     
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  13. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    And as for "Girl Next Door" being slightly out of step thematically and emotionally for the album, the same could be said for "Last Night" and "Ebb Tide" on ITWSH and OTL, and neither of those are considered to diminish the overall effect of those albums, respectively.
     
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  14. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
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  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I think these photos are from 1962:
    Screen shot 2015-03-01 at 9.19.40 PM.png 01e62b5a2c2f48037222ad7eb65f827d.jpg b0f81d27b1ad081c72d5134fa0f784d8.jpg
    Anybody know the details? Some from CTS?
     
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  16. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    Lodi, New Jersey
    The one where Frank's drinking from a non-paper cup ;) looks like CTS. The others appear to be United Studio A - the color one for sure.
     
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  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I've been listening and re-listening to the assorted versions, and I think I'm leaning this way, in terms of sonics:

    •The mono version definitely handles the 'vapor voice' on the first and last tracks in a way that is more effective than on the stereo version.
    •On the whole, the mono is very "meh." The tone is a little duller than on the stereo masterings I've heard, and when there's AME crunch distortion, it's always smeered over the entire sound, rather than being (often) only left or only right in stereo.
    •Where the mono errs a bit on having a carpet that's too plush, the stereo mix leans more toward being a hardwood floor. It would be nice to have a sound that's just a pleasant, soft carpet, without getting into a mushy 3" shag affair. The mono's a little too low-end kooshy.
    •I guess on the whole, the mono is "pleasant enough" with a couple of spots that are superior.
    •Really, the stereo versions are not much more than "okay," but they do sound a little more free/open/bright (often too bright) than the mono versions.
    •The Japanese LP has the bass somewhat panned in, narrowing the image a bit.
    •All things considered, I think I'd put the mono at a 6 out of 10 for sound, stereo LPs a 6.5, and the CD version at about 7. The thing that puts the CD above the others for me is the clarity of the bass and the stone-quiet background, which is played to good effect. The bass doesn't sound goosed or artificial, it just sounds appropriately full to me, and helps to warm to tone a bit.
    •Like Swing Along with Me, this title could really benefit from a remix done by somebody with good ears and sensitivity to the style of music.

    Another release that was not served well by the United recording style, which is too bad, as it's a beautiful album, musically.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  18. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    The CD version doesn't offend. I'd choose it or the original R9 for stereo.

    I find the mono version is more nicely balanced and serves the music well. However, you really need a good cut of it. My A4 "R" mono is a little bit low-fi (your A1 seems a little better). Something doesn't quite "work" in the stereo mix to me, like the balances of the various strings don't carry the music along just so. A *good* remix (mastered well), balanced more like the mono, could be definitive...

    Interestingly, the stereo version of this and the original stereo mix of NO ONE CARES are left channel heavy in the orchestra, owing partially to each's arrangements. However, with NO ONE CARES, I don't even think of it, beyond acknowledgement. Here, my attention gets drawn to it more...
     
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  19. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I think it's because on NO ONE CARES, the high strings are left, and woodwinds are on the right, while on ALL ALONE, the high strings AND the woodwinds are on the left, so the "star roles" are all on the left, and the "supporting roles" are on the right, by and large.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  20. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

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    Could be. I was chalking it up to engineering quirks, though it's possibly a bit of both.
     
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  21. SBC

    SBC Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Just found a mint mono lp today and, in my opinion, it blows the stereo cd away. For some reason, the stereo cd always sounded to me like it was under a thin haze of something sonically. The mono is crystal clear with much detail to the orchestra and to Sinatra's voice. I was really shocked. It will be my 'go-to' version from now on.
     
  22. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Always looking for more clips for the sample page, so if you can send a clip my way, please send a PM and we can work out the logistics. Thanks!
     
  23. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Found this on Ebay, and I assume this is the original cassette release, or close to it?
    $_57-2.JPG
     
  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I picked up a stereo LP of All Alone that is a cutout, which I think would place this around 1986 or so (????), and it's non-gatefold and pressed at Capitol's Winchester plant. I haven't done any sort of head-to-head comparisons, but just on its own terms, it sounds very nice (and I realize that there are still problems that are inherent within the recording itself). The vinyl is very quiet, too.

    :righton:
     
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  25. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Does it have that translucent inner sleeve, listing other Sinatra/Reprise LPs?
     

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