Capitol Scorecard


Stereo Recording: Better tone; technically flawed on some cuts

Mono mix: fold-down.*

Mono and stereo both seem a bit dull here.

2012 MFSL is the clear winner

*Mono note on those last two LPs:

Both are effectively fold-downs.  Whether there physically exists a separate mono mix and production reel or not, the sonic end result is that of a fold-down, with all the same edits, mixing moves, and balances as on the stereo LP summed to mono.  (I have not thoroughly investigated, but I suspect the same is also true of Nice ‘n’ Easy and Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session.)

Mono: compressed fold-down.*

MFSL 2013

“D” stereos are good.




3.75 IPS.  Surpris-
ingly good, but com-pressed

Oddly, least dynamic of all CD versions. Best CD in terms of tone and warmth.  (LP similar)

LP is best LP version.  CD has warm tone, but less top end than UK CD.

Over the years, there have been so many poor-sounding issues and reissues of the Sinatra/Capitol catalog that it’s quite hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.  The ongoing review pages that have been prepared with the assistance of friends at the Steve Hoffman Music Forum and Sinatra Family Forum are meant as a way to find some sort of direction in the overgrown forest of sub-par editions of these landmark albums.  In the process, the review pages themselves have become a little challenging to navigate, so below is a quick-reference scorecard.

*NOTE: Regarding original LPs, you will see that many are described as “typical,” which is not a put down.  The original D-cut USA Capitol LPs routinely exhibit certain characteristics: tasteful-yet-audible compression, “soft” or gently rolled-off treble, and a pleasant warmth of tone, all of which add up to a good-sounding record overall.  These LPs are typically as good a place to start as any, although I would rarely assign them the title “absolute best pick.”  They are almost always “very good” LPs.

Comparative audio clips for many albums and singles are available at

Note:  The titles above have been updated  as of 2016.  The titles below, however, are from earlier surveys, are less complete, and should therefore be taken with a slight grain of salt.  They will be updated in the months ahead.


THIS IS SINATRA compilation albums: click album covers for details.


VOLUME TWO compilation album: click album cover for details.