"Camelot" was superbly done, as was "Subways Are For Sleeping," "All American" and others. In fact, some of those Lp versions sound better than their CD editions. When "Subways" was finally released on CD, producer Bruce Kimmel said the master tapes were in incredible condition and he had to do little or no tweaking. That CD edition is magnificent.
All cast recordings are compromised efforts: recorded in one day, sometimes mastered in two days, pressed and on the shelves within a week. In the 1960s the major players were Columbia, RCA Victor, Capitol and Decca. None of the other three majors came close to that beautiful Columbia sound. Capitol was perhaps close, but their cast recording output was meager compared to Victor and Columbia.
Victor's output, in particular, is quite gruesome: pushing levels to the limit, distortion galore. Just give a listen to "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," one of the worst Victor did.
The Columbia physical pressings in those days were also great: quiet surfaces, and flat as a pancake.
On Sep 27, 2012, at 4:17 AM, Don Cox wrote:
> On 27/09/2012, Stewart Gooderman wrote:
>> Mr Fine,
>> Could that "dullness" been the fault of the producer rather than the
>> technical staffs?
>> My experience is more with theatre recordings than anything else, and
>> overall, Columbia did *the* best job in creating show albums, both in
>> sound and concept. Most of them were produced by Goddard Lieberson and
>> his recordings are still treasured for both his recording technique,
>> as well as the quality of sound. And the early stereos were especially
> "West Side Story" (broadway cast) and "Anything Goes" are both good
> strong recordings. Any others in particular?
> I think the mastering and pressing were both poor. Columbia LPs in the
> 60s sounded sour and congested, yet when we get a good new CD transfer
> the sound is perfectly OK. I have a good heap of the Bernstein Century
> issues, for instance, and the sound is fine - which it was not on the
> LPs that I bought at the time.
> The most recent DSD transfer of Boulez' Debussy recordings has excellent
> sound. The LP was a pain to listen to.
> Don Cox
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