Nice n Easy - 1960

 
 

By March of 1960, when Sinatra & Company (literally and figuratively) began work on what eventually became  Nice ‘n’ Easy, the rot had begun to set in.  Sinatra was openly shopping his services elsewhere (most publicly with Norman Granz’s Verve Records, which he sought to purchase outright), and he had greatly curtailed his recording activities at The Tower.  In fact, when Sinatra wrapped up No One Cares on May 14, 1959, he was not to grace the famous studios again for over nine months, returning for this album after recording some Can-Can tracks at 20th Century-Fox, a Capitol-studios break that would have been previously unheard of under normal circumstances.


Nevertheless (see what I did there.....), Sinatra and Riddle re-teamed to create an album made up of updated versions of songs Mr. Sinatra made famous during his tenure at Columbia Records, the second time that such an album appears to have been attempted during Sinatra’s Capitol years, the other being an aborted project that eventually comprised nearly half (seven tracks) of This is Sinatra, Volume Two. This second time around, after twelve tracks were recorded, a track that was intended as a single-only release, “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” (see here) also recorded with Riddle, was added to the all-remakes album, becoming the title track, replacing one of the original twelve recordings, “The Nearness of You,” which would remain unreleased until 1962.  Despite that re-thought release history, the album “Nice ‘n’ Easy” has stood the test of time more-or-less as well as many of the earlier Sinatra/Riddle collaborations, an album that is often praised for its high-quality sonics as much as its high-quality music, an album that Mobile Fidelity has seen fit to release (using the original stereo mix) in multiple audiophile editions: A single-disc LP release around 1982, a cassette around the same time, within the Sinatra 16-LP box set in 1983, on gold CD in 2008, and on single-disc LP again in 2009.  (I can think of only two other 2-track masters to get the deluxe MFSL treatment so often: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.)  A personal aside:  I do not align myself with those who praise the sonic qualities of this album where most releases are concerned.  More on this later in this survey.


Audio Clips - “Nice ‘n’ Easy” (title track from the album)

Click photos below to hear audio clips.


This song was recorded for release as a single at a different session than the other eleven songs on the LP. 

The tracks of the 3-track tape were used differently than on the other songs on the album:


Track 1*: Trumpets, trombones, rhythm section (except celeste)

Track 2: Sinatra

Track 3*: Saxes, French Horns, Strings, Harp, Celeste

(*or vice-versa)


NOTE: all clips pictured come from releases that contain the complete NICE ‘n’ EASY album.  This song, also released as a single, has appeared in many compilations, which are sampled on this song’s dedicated “singles” page.

recording dates

March 1-3, April 13, 1960

Producer

Dave Cavanaugh

Arranger/Conductor

Nelson Riddle


Release date

SAMPLE AUDIO CLIPS


All clips posted here mirror those freely available via itunes.  To access the 90-second iTunes clip, click VIEW, then “VIEW IN ITUNES” when prompted.

Above: N2 USA LP, courtesy SHTV’s “stevelucille” (cut in NYC from tape dub of mono master tape)

Above: Original German LP (poor condition - cut from tape dub of mono master tape)

Above: Original UK LP, courtesy SHTV’s “Rangerjohn” (cut from tape dub of mono master tape)

Above: Original D14 USA LP (Original stereo mix, cut from original stereo master)

Above: ST-series X34 stereo LP, courtesy Martin Melucci (cut in NYC from tape dub of original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1961 7.5 IPS reel-to-reel tape (Original stereo mix, probably dubbed at 16x speed from 3rd generation dub of original stereo master)

Above: c. 1971 Dutch LP from The Frank Sinatra Story series (cut from tape dub of original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1972 UK Music for Pleasure -1 LP, with alternate cover art, courtesyJohn Mahan (cut from tape dub of original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1975 SM Series J23 LP (cut on Scully lathe from original stereo master tape by Maurice Long)

Above: c. 1980 SN Series G24 LP (cut on Neumann lathe from original stereo master tape by John LeMay)

Above: 1982 MFSL LP, mastered by Stan Ricker (cut on the Ortofon System from original stereo master tape)

Above: 1984 UK LP (remastered from digital dub of the original USA stereo master tape)

Above: 1984 Dutch DMM LP (remastered on Neumann VMS-80-series lathe from digital dub of the original USA stereo master tape)

Above: 1988 12-song CD (1988 digital remix from 3-track session tapes); reused in 1989 Japanese 13-song CD.  Mix is officially uncredited; likely the work of Larry Walsh

Above: 1991 16-song CD (1991 digital remix by Larry Walsh from 3-track session tapes)

Above: 1998 UK boxed set CD (original stereo mix, likely sourced from existing UK tape dub, possibly the same one used for the 1972 LP, above left)

Above: 1999 Concepts box CD (1999 stereo remix), re-mastered by Robert Norberg (reissued as single disc in 2002)

Above: 2008 MFSL CD (original stereo mix - remastered by Shawn Britton from the original stereo master tapes)

Above: 2009 MFSL LP, courtesy SHTV’s “floweringtoilet” (original stereo mix - remastered by Shawn Britton from the original stereo master tapes)

Above: 1988 Australian Axis/EMI CD (poorly sourced dub of original stereo mix); reused in at least one Australian Capitol/EMI release, including this one

Above: 1984 Dutch DMM MONO LP, courtesy SHTV’s “roda12” (remastered on Neumann VMS-80-series lathe, likely from digital dub of the original USA mono master tape)

MONO

STEREO

Audio Clips - “Nevertheless”

Click photos below to hear audio clips.


This song follows this recording layout:


Track 1*: Saxes, brass (except solos), rhythm section 

Track 2: Sinatra (and strings during trumpet solo?)

Track 3*: Strings (except during trumpet solo), Harp, trumpet solo (when present)

(*or vice-versa)

SAMPLE AUDIO CLIPS


All clips posted here mirror those freely available via itunes.  To access the 90-second iTunes clip, click VIEW, then “VIEW IN ITUNES” when prompted.

Above: N1 USA LP, courtesy SHTV’s “stevelucille” (cut in NYC from tape dub of mono master tape)

Above: Original UK LP, courtesy SHTV’s “Rangerjohn” (cut from tape dub of mono master tape)

Above: 1984 Dutch DMM MONO LP, courtesy SHTV’s “roda12” (remastered on Neumann VMS-80-series lathe, likely from digital dub of the original USA mono master tape)

MONO

Above: ST-series N35 stereo LP, courtesy Martin Melucci (cut in NYC from tape dub of original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1961 7.5 IPS reel-to-reel tape (Original stereo mix, probably dubbed at 16x speed from 3rd generation dub of original stereo master)

STEREO

Above: Original D15 USA LP (Original stereo mix, cut from original stereo master)

Above: c. 1971 Dutch LP from The Frank Sinatra Story series (cut from tape dub of original stereo master tape)

Above: Original D21 USA LP (Original stereo mix, cut from original stereo master)

Above: c. 1972 UK Music for Pleasure B23 LP, with alternate cover art, courtesyJohn Mahan (cut on Scully lathe from original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1975 SM Series J30 LP (cut on Scully lathe from original stereo master tape)

Above: c. 1980 SN Series G31 LP (cut on Neumann lathe from original stereo master tape)

Above: 1982 MFSL LP, mastered by Stan Ricker (cut on the Ortofon System from original stereo master tape)

Above: 1984 UK LP (remastered from digital dub of the original USA stereo master tape)

Above: 1984 Dutch DMM LP (remastered on Neumann VMS-80-series lathe from digital dub of the original USA stereo master tape)

Above: 1988 12-song CD (1988 digital remix from 3-track session tapes); reused in 1989 Japanese 13-song CD and 1991 16-song CD.  Mix is officially uncredited; likely the work of Larry Walsh

Above: 1998 UK boxed set CD (original stereo mix, likely sourced from existing UK tape dub, possibly the same one used for the 1972 LP, above left)

Above: 1988 Australian Axis/EMI CD (poorly sourced dub of original stereo mix); reused in at least one Australian Capitol/EMI release, including this one

Above: 1999 Concepts box CD (1999 stereo remix), re-mastered by Robert Norberg (reissued as single disc in 2002)

Above: 2008 MFSL CD (original stereo mix - remastered by Shawn Britton from the original stereo master tapes)

Above: 2009 MFSL LP, courtesy SHTV’s “loud listener” (original stereo mix - remastered by Shawn Britton from the original stereo master tapes)