Posted on 12/19/2012 15:14
Since it has been exactly one year, I hope ya don't mind if I give this topic a little bump.
Posted on 11/20/2012 11:27
Hey, thanks for the info, Chip! I was glad to get this record in any case, but knowing it's from the last pressing ever makes it a little more special to me.
You know, I always enjoyed the smell of a new LP and I wonder if it'll be the same in the case of a record that has been sealed for almost 30 years. I'll find out soon enough. Edit
: I should have written "last pressing to date"
because you never know what might happen in the future. After all, Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas
(my favorite Christmas album of all) was just reissued on vinyl - green vinyl at that!
Posted on 11/19/2012 20:11
I've never seen such a thing. But if you can supply a high-resolution JPG of your favorite album cover, any good t-shirt shop should be able to put it on a t-shirt for you. I don't think copyright is really an issue if it's a one-off for your personal use.
I did something like this with a graphic I created and the shirt cost me around ten bucks.
Posted on 11/19/2012 16:56
Ah, I see. I ran a search on the keyword "Ventures" and didn't come up with any results.
Posted on 11/19/2012 12:59
Just thought it'd be a fun topic for discussion.
I'm guessing most of us are from the Northeast.
Posted on 11/19/2012 10:48
I searched the forum and was surprised to find no mention of this gem from 1965.
I happened across this album in a little record store on the Lower East Side one Christmas Eve. I bought it because it was a very affordable sealed copy and I always liked the Ventures, so why not?. I figured it would be decent, at least, but it quickly became one of my favorite Christmas albums. Every track is great but "Silver Bells" is a standout, definitely among my top two or three versions of the song.
Posted on 11/19/2012 10:08
Oh, I had no illusions about my copy being an original pressing. It says right on the front cover (lower left corner) "Re-released by popular demand." It may have been stamped from the same metal parts as the original run, though, or maybe not. At any rate, I'm sure it'll sound better than the CD.
A sealed LP from the late '50s or early '60s would be a rare bird indeed and certainly would've cost more than the 8 bucks I paid for this. Seeing as someone bought it from the cut-out bin for two bucks, they still made a tidy $6 profit off me, but I don't mind. It's worth it to me.
Here's an explanation of the whole cut-out thing, by the way: Cut-out (recording industry)
Chip, I figured I was in the minority here when it comes to when I listen to Christmas music. The fact that it belongs to a particular season is part of what makes it special to me, and I think some of that would be lost if I started listening to it out-of-season. But it's such a personal thing, like everything else having to do with music.
Posted on 11/18/2012 12:14
My sealed copy of MoC arrived yesterday. It's been a long time since I opened the shrink wrap on a mint LP and I look forward to that little ritual when the time comes. (I don't play Christmas music before December).
Posted on 11/17/2012 17:07
Susan, it's true that some of the old Honeymooners episodes don't look as good as the others, but it has less to do with neglect or loss of original source material than it does with a difference in technology.
The "Classic 39" episodes you see (or at least used to see) on TV all the time were filmed using the DuMont Electronicam system that used a beam splitter inside the camera to record directly to film while the image was also captured by a camera tube for the live broadcast. The film from the cameras was edited together later to correspond to the transitions that were made during the broadcast and the end result was very high quality. The pre-Electronicam Honeymooners sketches were filmed with the old kinescope method using a film camera pointed at a video monitor, much lower quality compared to filming the action directly.
Posted on 11/16/2012 08:46
Two years and seven days later and I haven't gotten around to doing the experiment I mentioned in the last post. However, I did score a sealed LP of Music of Christmas (1959 stereo version) and I think I'm going to make a digital transfer of it on its first play. I suppose I could also buy one of the many cheap used copies that are floating around and play that while saving the sealed LP. Playing the record isn't an inconvenience for me because I only listen to MoC at home. It's WAY too relaxing to enjoy while driving!
Still, I wish Sony would get it together and give this beloved record the high-fidelity reissue it deserves. Thing is, do we know that the original master tapes still exist? You'd be surprised at what can happen; check out this article:PDF
Posted on 11/15/2012 15:30
Christmas is an inherently nostalgic holiday for most of us over a certain age. Nothing is ever going to sound as good to us as the music we heard growing up.
Besides the high caliber of performers, conductors and arrangers (and recording engineers and producers), I believe one reason the '50s and '60s represent the "golden age" of Christmas records is that vacuum tube-based recording technology reached its zenith during this time. Good microphones and tape machines started to become available after WWII and were developed to a high degree by the 1950s. Also, recording spaces tended to be larger and more "live" than the smaller, acoustically-deadened studios that began to predominate in the '70s. Recordings produced in the better studios during the '50s and '60s have a sonic quality that has not really been replicated since.
There's a few things about modern mainstream Christmas music (i.e., the stuff you hear in the shopping malls) that I really can't stand. Here are the top five that come to mind:
1. The overwrought, overly melismatic style of singing. Someone used the term "caterwauling" and I'd say that's pretty apt.
3. Cliched production (e.g., lifeless synth and canned drum sounds and those stupid "shimmering bells" you hear on every so-called R&B ballad).
4. Overly-compressed, bright and harsh sound.
5. A lack of taste, subtlety and... I dunno, sincerity?
So that's the mainstream stuff. But there are good modern Christmas records if you take the time to seek them out. You won't hear them in Target or on your local "Today's Hot Hits" station.
Posted on 11/15/2012 09:11
The setup I use at home isn't impressive - an old Sansui integrated amp and tuner, Technics turntable, cassette deck and CD player and Cambridge 3-way floor speakers. But as an electronics technician/audio engineer for many years, I've accumulated some good stuff which is currently in storage but which I hope to refurbish someday and put into service. The system I have planned is a Dynaco ST-70 amplifier and PAS-3 preamp and Ampex 960 1/4" tape deck. These are all tube and represent a typical "higher end but not highest-end" home stereo system of the '60s. I'll probably retain the Technics turntable and Cambridge speakers since they work well.
I also have a few smaller tube integrated amps (e.g., Dynaco SCA-35, Eico HF-81, et. al.) which would work well as the basis of a smaller "bookshelf"-type system.
Posted on 11/15/2012 08:55
Hello again, everyone! 2012 went by pretty fast and it's hard to believe the holiday season is less than a month away. I hope you all had a good year.
I just wanted to tell you about a Facebook page I created that some of you might enjoy:
Old-School Christmas Lights
(You should be able to view the page even if you don't have a Facebook account).
The focus is on vintage or vintage-style lights and decorations but other aspects of "Christmas nostalgia" are sometimes featured as well.
This is purely for fun and I'm not trying to sell anything.
Thanks for checking it out!
Posted on 12/24/2011 18:00
We weren't really going for a Skynyrd vibe but hey, I'm glad you like it! Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Posted on 12/09/2010 15:04
I've been flipping around Sirius's Christmas offerings on my way to/from work and once again, Holiday Pops is the best of the bunch. Just be careful if listening while driving; it can get VERY mellow sometimes. Sometimes I need to switch back to Underground Garage (my default channel) just to wake myself up :)
Posted on 11/19/2010 14:18
I may be a middle-aged punk rocker, but every year around this time I miss the old Easy Listening (aka "Beautiful Music") radio format. They played the '50s/early-'60s Christmas classics pretty much non-stop in season. I credit them (and the Yule Log show, of course) with shaping my idea of what constitutes "real" Christmas music. For the most part, I can't stand the contemporary stuff. The performances are so overwrought and insincere, and more often than not the singers sound like they're taking a painful dump (excessive melisma).
Like Chip, I found Sirius' Holiday Traditions channel a bit of a disappointment last year, too much bias toward the '40s. I ended up listening to Holiday Pops more often (great choral stuff, including some very old classics that have fallen out of the modern repertoire for the most part). But of course, I'll give Holiday Traditions another chance this year.
Posted on 11/09/2010 13:31
That's an interesting thread over at the Steve Hoffman mastering forum; thanks for the link. So, if the CD is indeed a flat transfer of the 2-channel dub used for the stereo LP pressings, then (in THEORY) you should be able to get something closer to "correct" by using an RIAA playback curve. At any rate, the CD would sound more pleasant with some shelving low boost/treble cut even if it's not to the extremes called for in the RIAA spec.
Sometime soon, I'll extract a song from the CD into Adobe Audition and will give it a try.
Posted on 10/23/2009 14:09
What a great idea! I taped the Log last year, just for the heck of it, but playing it back on Christmas Eve didn't even occur to me. I agree, it was definitely better on Christmas Eve night - but I'm just glad that it's on the air, period.