Shown above is the track listing, and accompanying fine print, from the rear cover of the Japanese 1985 Reprise/Warner-Pioneer LP reissue of Sinatra & Strings, with bonus tracks near the end of each side.  Yasuo Sangu is an executive at Fujitsu, and has been the president of the Sinatra Society of Japan since 1983.

“As You Desire Me,” the first song recorded for the Sinatra & Strings project, has only been released in two versions: Once on this Japanese LP, and again in the mastering found in “the suitcase” and the original Sinatra & Strings CD.  “Don’t Take Your Love from Me” appears on those releases, along with a unique mastering in the 1990 set, The Reprise Collection.

The Japanese LP is strange.  The 10 regular album tracks all appear in their “stereo mix #2” form (this album has received FOUR stereo mixes, as you may recall: two in the LP era, and two for CD), and so is quite soupy, with very wide stereo.  The bonus tracks, however, feature a pleasantly dry vocal quality, with very warm tone, and a severely narrowed stereo image.  Even stranger, the vocal is somewhat buried in the mix, making Sinatra sound like he’s competing for space with the orchestra, which is simply too prominent here.

The CD mixes are more standard fare, with the vocal track receiving a tasteful amount of reverb, and wide, wide stereo separation.

AS YOU DESIRE ME - Click for audio: AsYouDesireMeIntroLP-IntroCD-LP-CD.wav

For AS YOU DESIRE ME, we’ll hear four very brief clips, in this order:

•String intro, Japanese LP, :05 seconds (very narrow stereo)

•Same string intro, “suitcase” CD (wide stereo)

•Vocal passage, Japanese LP,  :19 seconds (very narrow stereo, voice buried -- but with excellent tone, and little reverb added)

•Same vocal passage, suitcase CD (wide stereo, heavier reverb)


JAPANESE LP sample: DontTakeLPClip-GAIN_01.wav

THE REPRISE COLLECTION CD sample: DontTakeCollclip-NORM_01.wav

SUITCASE CD sample: DontTakeSuitcaseClip-GAIN_01.wav

I’m pretty sure that the two CD clips use different mixes.  Listen carefully to the prominence of the vocal on the words “from me.”  In the following clip, that’s the Reprise Collection first, and suitcase version second: LoveFromCollection-Suitcase.wav

Bottom line?  Too bad the Japanese LP is so flawed in terms of stereo spread and vocal levels, as tonally it’s nearly perfect.  Top choice?  The suitcase tracks.

Thank you, Mr.Sangu and associates!