Sinatra / Reprise Sound Quality & General Discussion: "Swing Along With Me" (1961)*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    For my fellow Sinatra nuts, a little different start to this one:

    I've just posted a few clips that I already own, and if anybody can contribute further samples, please contact me, and I'll be happy to get your clips posted, with credit, of course.

    The link is here: http://www.11fifty.com/Site_108/1961_-_Swing_Along_with_Me.html and I have three samples already posted: 1.) The early Ampex 7.5 ips reel-to-reel; 2.) The "suitcase" CD; and 3.) The 2011 MFSL LP.

    I also have the first CD mastering, but it's out in my car, and I'm posting this at 4:30 AM my time, and not feeling like walking out to get it right now. :)

    Unlike some titles where I might have 10 pressings, all I own on this one are the three versions already posted, plus that first-issue CD. I'm hoping that others can chime in so we can get more goodies posted on this one. (I'm talking to YOU, SH.TV Sinatra nuts!) Aside from whatever stereo or mono LP pressings you may have, I'm also interested in posting the EOTC CD mastering and the later StereoTape reel, assuming there is one, plus any other oddities that may be out there of which I have no knowledge.

    Thanks as always,
    Matt Lutthans

    PS - I know that "Granada" has a bit of a story behind it, with different edits appearing on different releases. Can somebody fill in that history a bit? Might make for a good discussion starter. "Talk amongst yourselves...."
    [​IMG]
     
  2. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Here's part of a post by our friend Bernhard from over in the SinatraFamily.com forum:
    and
    So, an additional, partial take was done, and the intercut was lifted from that version?

    For what it's worth, I think the phrasing on the mono version is really awkward compared to the stereo releases.

    Sounds great at 78 RPM
    SinatraGranadaArgentinian78!.jpg
     
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  3. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    This is great, Matt! Looking forward to your analysis of this LP!
     
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  4. jtaylor

    jtaylor Forum Resident

    Location:
    RVA
    Matt: You ever find out if Billy May farmed out any of the charts for this one?
     
  5. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I asked, but never got a reply. That said, I'd be surprised if these are all legit May charts.

    Matt
     
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    I remixed this album but I dislike it so I can't remember much, sorry. There were many different three-tracks of these songs with different edit points but I used the assembled three-track reel. Had all that echo and limiting distortion right on there, sad to say.

    I felt the songs were too fast, the keys too high, the compression too much. However, I love "Love Walked In" the old Gershwin song.

    Remember when Dean and Frank sang it? "Love, walked right in and scared the shhhadows away..."
     
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  7. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    IMO, this one definitely suffers from sub-par sound all around. Having the original mix on an MFSL LP strikes me as trying to polish a turd to some degree.
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    The original stereo mix is pretty rank. The worst sound tendencies of United Recording in one album.
     
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  9. David m bond

    David m bond Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I can't really give you samples, my computer is nowhere near my record player anymore, but I can tell you what copies I have. I have an R 1002 with the green bottom half, probably because it is the changed title version to Sinatra Swings dist by PYE in the UK. It's mono so probably uses the mono version explained above.
    The second is from an Lp, 2 originals by Frank Sinatra K84004 from 1976 paired up with Ring A Ding. The R A D is the slap back version so SS might be the same, I can't play it at the moment to find out. It states it combines K44187 and K44188 so I presume SS is the latter. Not sure this helps at all.
     
  10. David m bond

    David m bond Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Just listening to the clips the album really does have sound that compares to what everybody complains about on the stereo version of Come Fly With Me. Just oodles of echo, the album should be changed to Come Swim with Me it's so wet!
     
  11. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    This album -- IMO -- is miles behind the stereo COME FLY WITH ME in terms of SQ.
     
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  12. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    This album has its musical moments, but it always sounded very harsh to me. I have three vinyl copies with the original title:

    All with "scowling Frank" deep groove labels, and handwritten deadwax


    MONO
    -A-5-2
    -B-6

    STEREO
    -A-6
    -B-4

    STEREO
    -A-4
    -B-4


    Wonder if the Mofi LP is an improvement?
     
  13. TLMusic

    TLMusic Musician & record collector

    Just threw on the mono LP. My, this is a serious sonic downgrade from Swingin' Session, a similarly themed album recorded only a year before. Lots of fun uptempo swing numbers on both records.

    While Swingin' Session has demo quality sound, Swing Along With Me has unfortunate gnarly distortion every time the orchestra 'hits it'. Wow, the violins are quite strident. The dynamics are weird, too. Sinatra himself seems oddly detached from the proceedings. Even the 'verb sounds distorted to my ears. So, the stereo mix is worse? No wonder it's been years since I listened to it.
     
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  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    'Bout the same.
     
  15. AJH

    AJH Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA Northern Tier
    Matt,

    I had the original stereo LP, the first CD release, and I have the songs in the suitcase and I too must confess I never liked the sound quality of these recordings- for me, they are almost painful to listen to.

    AJH
     
  16. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    What sticks out to me along those lines is that it's not "crankable," and that fact is most noticeable in stereo, because the left track tends to sound okay (maybe a hair razor-y in the saxes now and then), but the right track has the trumpets, which are really shrill, especially if I turn the volume up. For instance: My wife's car has a JBL system which I would describe as very "mellow" and "warm" sounding (almost to a fault), so if a recording comes across as shrill in her car, it's a SHRILL recording, and I can't play this album loud in her car. Then there's the vocal tone....

    More samples coming, so hopefully we'll find a "best" version on this one. :)

    Thanks to rangerjohn and Bferr1 for clips, and if anybody else can throw some my way, please PM me.

    Matt
     
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  17. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    This is the #K44188 UK pressing, right? That's from when Kinney Records was in charge of the Reprise catalog for the UK, and let's just say Kinney did not concern themselves with audiophile quality. (Their stereo pressing of "September of My Years" is by far the worst I've heard, so I'd not be surprised that their re-issue of SWING ALONG WITH ME would get low marks.)

    Matt
     
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  18. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    This is how I once summarized the different released versions of "Granada"...

    Discographically, "Granada" is one of the more interesting, if not confusing, tracks on this album. There have been three different versions released on compact disc.

    Originally, the song was shortened considerably for its single release, and combined with an intercut that changes part of the lyric, and that shorter version (2:50) was also used on the stereo issue of the LP. In contrast, the unedited mono LP version was nearly a minute longer (3:38).

    The first CD issue (1989) contained the original (short) stereo/single version. The later remastered CD (1999), also recently reissued by Universal (2009), contains the full unedited take as it appeared on the mono album (albeit in stereo, of course). But the long version in the Complete Reprise box sets (1995 and 1998) was the original stereo master, with its intercut, but before it was shortened for the single and stereo LP.
     
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  19. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    TLMusic will be sending these clips:
    MONO
    -A-5-2
    -B-6

    STEREO
    -A-6
    -B-4

    STEREO
    -A-4
    -B-4

    Rangerjohn has provided the EOTC remaster cd clip.

    Thanks, fellas! Anybody else?
     
  20. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Arkoffs has sent clips from his A-5-2 mono pressing and A-4 stereo pressing. Thanks! (I'll post these after a couple of other LP clips float in....)

    Does anybody have the Reprise/Stereotape reel-to-reel? I've got the earlier Reprise/Ampex, and it's not bad, but would like to add a clip from the more-common Stereotape version, if anybody has that:
    140661771922.jpg

    Thanks, as always, and as I've said before: These comparisons could not happen without the contributions from the guys on this forum. :agree: I consider myself a fan and a collector, but I don't have umpteen copies of every title.
     
  21. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
  22. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    You beat me to it, Matt. :) I was going to repost here in the forum.

    I always think of this album as "Swing Along With Me" because that's how the LP copy I owned was titled. I've never gotten used to "Sinatra Swings" which always sounds to me like a cheap imitation. With regard to those articles in Billboard, I really love the final sentence in this excerpt. It shows how silly the whole legal wrangle really was:
    Reprise-Billboard-Ad.jpg
     
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  23. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    IMO, it was pretty questionable of FS to record (assumedly in good faith, even though there was not any love lost between FS and Capitol at that point) an album with Billy May in March of '61 for Capitol, then record an album with Billy May in May of '61 for his own company, use a very similar title, rush release the Reprise album (7-week turnaround time on this one, compared to about 12 weeks for Ring-A-Ding Ding, and remember that I Remember Tommy was already in the can and held back [assumedly] to get this one in the release pipeline first) to beat Capitol to the punch. I think the court made the correct ruling. (I also think the Capitol album is the superior album.)
     
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  24. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Totally agree. I seldom played the Reprise LP, although in retrospect, I think that had more to do with the relative sonics than the performances and material.
     
  25. MLutthans

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

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I think that "Moonlight on the Ganges" is one of the coolest things Billy May ever did, just in terms of the humor and variety of the arrangement. It strikes me very much as "On the Road to Mandalay, Part 2," and I mean that as a compliment.
     
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