Come Swing with Me - 1961

Album Index     Mono     Stereo


My major peeve with the stereo mix of 1959’s similarly-titled Come Dance with Me was two-fold:  1.) There is a pronounced “ping-pong” stereo effect; and 2.) Said effect is greatly out of balance, with brass dominating and overshadowing the saxes and making the album quite “right heavy.”  Perhaps the good folks at Capitol heard my cries, as with 1961’s Come Swing with Me album, we have a ping-pong effect that is every bit as pronounced, but this time the two sides are more-or-less armed with equal firepower.  Furthermore, the recording is of the new style introduced on the Swingin’ Session album, with more mics (probably 12 again here, as opposed to the earlier 7-mic albums) and a very wide stereo spread, with brilliant presence on virtually each instrument or section.  On the album at hand, the cherry on the sundae is, to my ears, the sound of the mallet percussion and harp, sections that really “make” several tracks with both brilliant playing and exquisitely clear reproduction.

Let’s listen to some stereo samples that highlight mallets and harp, in this order, all courtesy of SH.TV member “stevelucille,” unless otherwise noted:  1.) A USA N5 Scranton pressing; 2). An Australian pressing using USA N6 stampers; 3.) An early German 9:00 “points” pressing; 4.) A 1980’s H14 blue-label pressing; 5.) 1983 MFSL pressing, from my collection; and 6.) 1984 UK Alan Dell series pressing, courtesy SH.TV member “Scott1234.” This particular clip is not available via iTunes or Amazon, so is available only to those who have contributed materials to these comparison/discussion pages.  Click here, then enter your password to hear the clip. (Other clips, below, align with the iTunes/Amazon clips, and are publicly available.)

Stereo versions: Tennis anyone?  Maybe some Ping-Pong?

(Clearly, Robert Walker is a mono man.)

Since this is a vocal album, we should check out some vocals, no? Click on the photos below to hear the audio samples, all of which align to the clips freely available at iTunes. 

Stereo LP Clips:

How about the Capitol 7.5 ips 4-track reel-to-reel tape?

Click photo above to hear:

D3 pressing

Click photo above to hear: N5 pressing, courtesy “stevelucille”

Click photo above to hear: 1983 MFSL pressing, mastered by Stan Ricker.

Click photo above to hear:

1984 “Alan Dell” reissue pressing, courtesy “scott1234”

Click photo above to hear: Aussie N6 pressing, courtesy “stevelucille”

Click photo above to hear: 9:00 rainbow German pressing, courtesy “stevelucille”

Click photo above to hear: H14 SM-series abridged pressing, courtesy “stevelucille”

Click the tape box photo to hear the sample.

Come swing with me!

CD Comparisons!

The Usual Suspects

As we have seen so many times with the Capitol titles, there are three available versions on CD:  1.) 1991, Remixed by Larry Walsh; 2.) 1998 UK boxed set, original mix; 3.) 1998 Bob Norberg, original mix, heavily processed.  (My thanks to SH.TV members Bob F, shicorp, and MMM for sharing CD samples.)  Let’s hear some clips, the same free sample passages that are readily available at iTunes, as linked above right.  Click the images below to hear the 30-second sample from the CD masterings.


Larry Walsh (remix) - 1991

UK Boxed Set - 1998

Bob Norberg - 1998

Upon listening to the Walsh and UK discs “on the whole,” what strikes me is the tape damage on both of these releases.  On the Walsh disc, there are audible dropouts in the right channel, but they are subtle and, since I own this disc, I can say that they are fleeting.  On the other hand, left-channel edge damage runs through just about the entire length of some tracks on  on the UK disc, which also sounds a little thin, maybe coming from a higher-generation master tape.  (As I listen to the UK tracks, I can visualize the take-up reel dutifully spinning away as the tape brushes against the edge of the reel with each revolution.)  The Norberg, at least on this brief clip, does not sound as bad as some of his work, but it’s still no great shakes.

Let’s move on to choose a “winner” for this title.  Please click here.