Chat Board Archives: August, 1997

This page contains all the messages put onto the BSN Stereo Chat Board during August, 1997. They are in chronological order from first to last. To search for specific topics, use the "find" utility on your browser. For a search of the complete archives, please go to the Stereo Chat Board Archives Main Page.

Name: Paul Stoddard
From: Boston, MA
Time: 1997-08-01 08:43:00
Comments: Here's a little additional information on the new Varese Sunshine Days series that came out this week. The overall sound quality is good and there are a few tracks that are making their CD debut. On the negative side, there's a lot of mono and it's on tracks that are from major labels and that have been previously released in stereo. On volume 1: "Love Can Make You Happy" - Mercy, "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" - Spanky & Our Gang, "You Showed Me" - The Turtles, "A Symphony For Susan" - The Arbors, and "Mr Dieingly Sad" - The Critters are all in mono. On volume 2: "Don't You Care" - The Buckinghams, "98.6" - Keith, "Distant Shores" - Chad & Jeremy, and "Younger Girl" - Critters are all in mono. On volume 3: "Over You" - Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind" - The Lovin' Spoonful are both in mono. It looks like mono-itis is spreading. This is very disappointing. I intend to write to Varese and let them know that I don't appreciate their gratuitous inclusion of mono versions. Personally, I keep buying these oldies compilation packages to get the benefit of the remastering with the latest equipment, not to listen to dull, flat, boring mono. Do I need to add Varese to the "do not buy from these people" list?

[ -- Let us know what they say. -- MC]

Name: Christopher Dolmetsch
From: Hurricane, WV/USA
Time: 1997-08-01 10:13:00
Comments: I can't recall having seen much written about Travis Klein's small ITZY label out of Pittsburgh, but Travis has reissued his "Pittsburgh's Greatest Hits Vols. 1-9" on CD and continued his catalogue with volumes with titles like "At The Hop" and "For Lovers." These are admittedly remastered off vinyl (in mono), although the sound (thanks to Cedar processing) tends to be reasonable for the most part, especially given the rarity of some, but not all tracks. They are a must for anyone trying to find the rare Colpix and Viscount singles by Jimmy Beaumont and the Skyliners, or very early recordings by Lou Christi or the Vogues. Travis maintains his own ITZY website and sells his discs directly out of his home. They are hard to find (and often out-of-stock) at internet and mail-order music stores.

[ -- I recently purchased Itzy 5003, At The Hop II. For songs cleaned up from records, they didn't do a bad job. There is occasional noise, but by and large, the songs sound pretty clean. There is one problem, though. Every song has had reverb added, so they all sound like they're in a big dance hall. I suppose the reissuer wanted them to sound that way, but I'd much rather add the reverb myself if I want it, rather than getting his idea of how the song should be doctored. I'd rate it a C overall because of the reverb, but the sound quality might scrape into the low "B" range. -- MC]

Name: Joel Goldenberg
From: Montreal
Time: 1997-08-03 16:13:00
Comments: Mike, I know you surveyed the Shangri-Las in stereo a while ago. To my knowledge, Remember (Walking In The Sand), Leader of the Pack, Give Him A Great Big Kiss (in what sounds like an extremely early mix), The Train From Kansas City and Give Us Your Blessings,have been released in stereo, albeit with different mixes in most cases. Have I missed anything, and is there anything new in stereo? Thanks

[ -- That's about it so far, but look for some new stereo on the Shangs within a few months. -- MC]

Name: Paul
From: Floida
Time: 1997-08-05 20:53:00
Comments: I just purchased The Beach Boys Pet Sounds Sampler in STEREO and it's great! I also purchased the Complete Hollywood Bowl Concerts by The Beatles in STEREO and it's great too! To bad Capitol is dragging its feet again... I never knew that the Shangra Las recordings were in stereo on CD; which disc are we talking about? Is there going to be any stereo on the NEW disc from Taragon Records?

[ -- The stereo we were talking about was on vinyl. They are listed in the "LP Discographies" section of the BSN web page under "Red Bird" (or you can get there directly at I assume we will hear new stereo on the Taragon Records CD(s). -- MC]

Name: Paul Stoddard
From: Boston, MA
Time: 1997-08-06 18:52:00
Comments: I received a very cordial e-mail message from Cary Mansfield, who runs the show at Varese Vintage. He explained that the mono versions on their new Sunshine Days CDs were included on purpose, since the mixes are different from the stereo. Although I'm not convinced that anyone with 2 ears even cares about old AM radio single mixes anymore, I do appreciate Mr. Mansfield's reply and, particularly, its tone. Varese Vintage obviously values their customers more than certain other reissue labels! I replied to Mr. Mansfield that Varese Vintage should consider starting a "stereo only" series. I'm sure that the subscribers of BSN would be more than happy to assist with track selection if they were asked.

[ -- I'm not surprised at the response. Cary Mansfield has always paid more attention to his customers than the average record company reissue producer. And reissue producers are *way* above the average 22-year-old record company PR slug that answers (or ignores) mail at many of the labels. -- MC]

Name: Jerry Griffith
From: Regina, Sk. Canada
Time: 1997-08-07 02:13:00
Comments: Just a question on a single I've been looking for on CD for a very long time: "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet" by the Reflections, originally on Golden World. Does this title exist on CD? In stereo? I'd really like to locate a source. Can anyone help me?

[ -- Cary Mansfield of Varese tells me that they're now working on a multi-CD project with Dick Bartley. These new CDs will have radio versions of hits, things not on CD before, etc. Included will be some new true stereo, and "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet" will be on the series in stereo for the first time. It should be out within a few months. -- MC]

Name: Ken Garland
Time: 1997-08-10 00:24:00
Comments: Jerry: I have the Reflections' "Romeo and Juliet" on Michigan Memories and Time Life's 1964 The Beat Goes On from the Classic Rock series.

[ But not in stereo... MC]

Name: Joel Goldenberg
From: Montreal
Time: 1997-08-10 17:30:00
Comments: James Brown is the Charlie Chaplin of music. Just as Chaplin stayed with silents until the end of the 1930s, Brown went mono-only on songs like "There It Is" (1972), "Stoned to the Bone" (1973), "Mama Feelgood" by Lyn Collins (1973), "Funky President" (at least on single) (1974), and the JBs' "Doing It To Death" (1973). Does anyone here know why, and if there are any plans to release these titles in stereo? After all, "Soul Power," and "Get Up, Get Into It and Get Involved" were released in stereo on the '91 box set. Thanks.

Name: Michael R. Fiedler
Time: 1997-08-12 06:37:00
Comments: Mike: I know from the credits you had a hand in the two CDs that came out from Eric records. Saleswise, how are these CDs doing? Have they passed the break-even point yet? Is Eric considering releasing any more material? Are you going to be part of any future projects they do? I enjoyed the two CDs and felt they were well done for the most part. Mike Fiedler

[ -- See next post, above. -- MC]

Name: Bill Buster
From: Eric Records
Time: 1997-08-12 05:34:00
Comments: Regarding sales of the two Eric Hard-To-Find 45s on CD volumes, they are doing great! So well, in fact, that Eric is about to begin licensing four more volumes in this series, probably distributed by a major national label. The four volumes are broken in thematic categories, tentatively entitled "Orchestral," "Guitar/Sax," "Soul/Jazz," and a hard-to-define eclectic volume of instumentals that don't fit into any of the other categories. The time frame is basically 1950 to mid 60s with a couple of exceptions. This would be a great time to e-mail me with your suggestions for "hard-to-find" instrumentals you've tried to find on CD and couldn't or the quality was poor or you just didn't want to buy a whole CD for one song! Remember, "hard-to-find" in this case doesn't include records that were only popular locally. In fact, to qualify for these CDs, just about every song had to chart above #80 nationally (Hot 100) or be a real classic in its field otherwise. Of course, these CDs will have the true stereo versions wherever possible or the true mono if that's all there was (like Autumn Leaves by Roger Williams will be mono as will Near You by Francis Craig (the Bullet version). But you know anything on Eric would only be the original!! I'd like e-mail (or suggestions on this chat board) on these or any other topics regarding ideas for other "Hard-To-Find" CDs, either compilations, or single or multiple artists. E-mail at

Name: Christopher Dolmetsch
From: Hurricane [Huntington], WV/USA
Time: 1997-08-12 22:21:00
Comments: Does anyone have any information on the different recorded versions of the Harptones' "On Sunday Afternoon" that have appeared on CD? On the Collectibles compilation of Goldner sessions, supposedly the 1956 Rama single version was included. There is no mention of any other version in the reference works I have consulted, and yet on the Ace/UK disc Randall Lee Rose's Doo Wop Shop collection there is a decidedly different (and shorter) version of the song...which to these ears anyway, seems to predate the Goldner/Rama session version. I also have a version on an Instant [UK] compilation which could be a remix of the Goldner/Rama single. It has reverb missing from the Collectibles version.

Name: don
From: memphis
Time: 1997-08-12 14:53:00
Comments: Just heard the EMI "Mono Edition" release of Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. It's marvelous, and one of the few cases in which I'm happy to have mono over stereo! The other would be a mono Sgt. Pepper; since this would also be an EMI product, perhaps they might do a mono edition of that, some day!

Name: David Clark
From: Ottawa, Canada
Time: 1997-08-13 19:20:00
Comments: Just came across an excellent series of CDs: Treasured Tunes (six individual volumes) from Stardust here in Canada (produced in 1995 and 1996). They contain excellent sounding versions of tunes that have appeared elsewhere on CD, as well as tunes that have not yet turned up on CD or that are rare on CD (which is why they are so great!). The stereo ones include Sandy Posey - "Born A Woman" and "Single Girl," Steve Lawrence - "Pretty Blue Eyes" and "Footsteps;" Damita Jo - "I'll Save The Last Dance For You;" Echos - "Baby Blue;" Belmonts - "Come On Little Angel" and "Tell Me Why;" Ray Charles Singers - "Al Di La" and "Love Me With All Your Heart (Cuando Calienta El Sol);" Lou Christie - "Beyond The Blue Horizon;" Bachelors - "Diane;" Johnny Nash - "Cupid" and "Hold Me Tight;" Tony Orlando - "Bless You" and "Halfway To Paradise;" Spyder Turner - "Stand By Me;" and Anita Bryant - "Paper Roses." There’s lots of clean, flat mono too, like Toni Fisher - "West Of The Wall;" Jackie deShannon - "Buddy;" and Billy Ward & His Dominoes - "Star Dust." Care was obvious in the choice of masters (maybe other CDs at times)! Any Top 40 (or Top 100) collector would love these - I hope they keep these up!

[ -- "Paper Roses" is the Columbia remake, not the original Carlton version, if I remember correctly. These six CDs were all reviewed in various issues of BSN. -- MC]

Name: David Clark
From: Ottawa, Canada
Time: 1997-08-15 11:40:00
Comments: Yep, you did! I can't believe I missed these when I checked to see if you had - I should've used the index, and I missed #5 and #6 from the imports section of BSNSN #42 (I'm from Canada, you see!)! In your review of TT 6, you don't mention that Paper Roses is a remake and you have it as E. It seems true stereo to me, as the backing track is slightly off-centre from the rest. The song does sound echoey though. Actually, this was the first time I ever heard Anita's version (I am in the Marie Osmond version age-group!), so I appreciate the remake the original on CD anywhere? ...thanks

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Massachusetts
Time: 1997-08-15 15:37:00
Comments: When are they gonna get it right? Every CD issue of any of the Chiffons hits I've encountered are muffled, muddy, or scratchy! "Sweet Talkin' Guy" keeps turning up mono, and "Nobody Knows What's Going On" is always rechannelled! Where the devil are the session tapes, or at least a low-generation master? Doesn't Laurie have the masters to ANYTHING they recorded? Even some early 70s vinyl reissues were mastered from records! Mike, you reported hum in a stereo issue of "Sweet Talkin' Guy." That's not hum, that's RUMBLE!!!! Does anyone know if Laurie is still in business? I haven't seen any of their discs in browsers anywhere for quite awhile. BMG or Columbia House still pops up with one from time to time, but very infrequently.

[ -- Laurie is not still in business. They were bought by EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets in 1992 or so. For more information, please see the Laurie discography elsewhere on this web page ( -- MC]

Name: Dave Mack
Website: Dave Mack's Home Page
From: Salem, MA (USA)
Time: 1997-08-15 23:31:00
Comments: I was refered to you by Tom Daly. He and I have collaborated on putting together stereo oldies. I have looked at you book which he has and it IS impressive. I'm interested in locating several STEREO not the least of which is "Just Like Romeo & Juliet". I will believe it's stereo when I hear it! Also looking for "Walking My Cat Named Dog" by Norma Tanega. Does it exist? Also I am about to trasfer from vinyl to CD Phil Spector's Christmas LP in STEREO! If he had done it I wouldn't have to... I have pristene vinyl and it cries out to be mastered to CD. Hope to chat with you and other people soon... -- Dave

[ -- "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" was true stereo on the original vinyl LP, although it was hard to find a copy of the LP in stereo. "Romeo & Juliet" is being mastered from the original multi-tracks, or so I hear, so I would expect it to sound pretty nifty. -- MC]

Name: Paul Stoddard
From: Boston, MA
Time: 1997-08-17 13:53:00
Comments: Rhino has a new super-budget series called Flashback. The CDs are selling in the $4.99 to $6.99 range at places like Circuit City. Many of the packages look very much like the Rhino Special Editions packages, with some slight track rearrangement. However, be careful of the Tommy James & The Shondells package that contains "I Think We're Alone Now": it's not the stereo version that was on the original Special Editions package, but the mono single version. Also. most of the various artists packages in the Flashback series are still using mono for the Atlantic/Atco songs from the 50's and 60's. On a totally different topic, during the past couple of weeks, I've had the opportunity to speak in-person with 3 reissue producers. I won't name them, but you probably have CDs in your collection with their names on them. The main points that came out of these conversations are: 1) reissue packages must be able to sell at least 10000 copies for them to even be considered, 2) despite all of the talk about the "integrity of the music", the personal tastes and agenda of the producer count the most in the decisions about what format, i.e. mono or stereo, is used, and 3) collectors should not expect whole volumes of deep-catalog titles since they are not marketable to the general public: you'll have to be satisfied with the 3-5 "collector's items" per package. So, the bottom line is, if you want collections that conform more to your own personal tastes, you'll need to get a job as a reissue producer or start your own reissue label!

Name: Steve Elders
From: Orange, CA
Time: 1997-08-18 21:50:00
Comments: OK, so now that our appetites are whetted by the promise of getting "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet" in true stereo, what OTHER cuts are coming on the new Dick Bartley volumes from Varese?

Name: Bill Buster / Eric Records
From: San Leandro, CA
Time: 1997-08-19 18:33:00
Comments: With Mike's kind permission, I would like to let any of you in the oldies field who might be interested know that I have a unique business/employment opportunity available: My Oakland, CA area mail-order business is looking for a seasoned oldies veteran with extensive knowledge of 45 RPM singles to run the business. Required: knowledge and experience with PCs in order to maintain a large inventory data base (over 15,000 line items and over half a million singles) and to publish a catalog of same (graphics experience helpful but not necessary). This is almost an "entrepreneurial" position where initially the love of the job and the music would need to be paramount over income. But don't let that scare you. You would have a great deal of freedom to run things the way you see fit as long as profits resulted. Everything but you is already in place including the customer base (4000+ recent buyers). If you're interested (or know anyone who may be), please contact me by phone AFTER 3PM Pacific time at 1-510-351-2122 or e-mail at

[ -- For years, I've heard collectors tell me they'd love to get a chance to do things "right." It ought to be interesting to see how many will take the opportunity. -- MC]

Name: Christopher Dolmetsch
From: Hurricane/Huntington, WV-USA
Time: 1997-08-19 22:09:00
Comments: RE: Laurie session tapes (Chiffons, Randy & the Rainbows, etc.). Some years ago, in a UK magazine I read about the difficulty of remastering Laurie product for CD reissues owing to the fact that their studio tapes from the late 50s and 60s had been stored in an Indianapolis, Indiana warehouse which had been seriously damaged (I believe they said it was flooding, but it may have been fire). Some tapes, including those of Dion, were apparently saved, but many others were not. Hence, the report stated, the only available backup copies seemed to be already mixed versions (used to master vinyl albums) that were still being kept in the New York City area. Is this true? I don't know. However, it might explain the difficulty in getting reissued Laurie material from session masters. The Ace/UK Dion reissues were indeed crystal clear.

[ -- I don't know if it's true, but it sounds like the story of the Atlantic fire is getting mixed in here. As you know, for Atlantic, they have said they only have the finished 45 and LP masters left, no multi-tracks, although that isn't 100% true. For Laurie, I know that Ace worked on Dion, Jarmels, Mystics, and other masters and had multitracks to work from. For that reason, I don't think the story about all Laurie tapes being lost except finished masters was true. I know that Laurie didn't like to go back to the studio to remaster for stereo (see Gene Schwartz comment on Laurie Story on the discography page -- I know that most of their masters were stored at RCA and not handy. I also know that some Laurie songs are even now being remixed for stereo, for instance "Party Girl" by Bernadette Carroll. All in all, there may have been some damage, but it doesn't appear to have been as catastrophic as the Atlantic "mishap." On the other hand, I haven't seen any new Chiffons or R&R stereo lately.... -- MC]

Name: curt lundgren
From: Suburban Mpls/St. Paul
Time: 1997-08-19 12:48:00
Comments: Regarding the appearance of true stereo Laurie material, CCM (Collector's Choice Music) has an in-house CD titled "I Wish I Were A Princess: The Great Lost Female Teen Idols" in their current catalog. 24 tracks, including TS "Party Girl"/Bernadette Carroll, "Let's Get Together"/Haley Mills, "I'll Save The Last Dance For You"/Damita Jo, "Please Don't Talk To The Lifeguard"/ Diane Ray and (the track I'm buying the CD for) "Remember Me"/ Rita Pavone. There's also a companion male Teen Idol CD. I've had an on-going email conversation with Gordon Anderson ( of their merchandisng department, and he has been most forthcoming with me on originality, true stereo mixes, etc. I don't mean for this to be a plug for the company, but they do seem to care. Website just opened at

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-19 21:11:00
Comments: Speaking of Rita Pavone, "Remember Me" was the designated "A" side of an RCA Victor 45. The "B" side was a big hit in Boston, called "Just Once More." If I remember correctly, the "B" side received double the airplay in Boston than the "A" side received! Does anyone know of a CD issue of that track?

Name: John Sellards/VanMeter Recordings
Website: VanMeter
From: Beckley, WV
Time: 1997-08-20 21:37:00
Comments: RE: Chiffons In the process of getting our recent Fleetwoods CD ready, I asked about Chiffons tapes. I was told that the Tokens stored the tapes in New York at Capitol's facilities there (NOT at Laurie) and now nobody can find the tapes... John Sellards

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-20 11:16:00
Comments: Does anyone know of a CD, probably on RCA, that has Harry Nilsson's "Without You" without all that godawful hiss? Has it ever been digitally remixed from the session tapes? I know RCA has a clean tape without the hiss because it appeared on Quad vinyl copies of the NILSSON SCHMILSSON album. Every copy I've found so far on CD is saturated in hiss.

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-20 12:30:00
Comments: Here's one I just found out: Dee Dee Sharp recorded "Mashed Potato Time" on the same day and in the same studio as "Slow Twistin'" with Chubby Checker. The latter has been released in stereo on Chubby's LP, For Teen Twisters Only, but the Dee Dee Sharp solo recordings have never appeared in stereo. Wonder if Allen Klein has the session tapes? If so, we'll probably never get to hear them. (grimace)

Name: Joel Goldenberg
From: Montreal
Time: 1997-08-22 09:09:00
Comments: Here's a taboo question.Is there any sort of reprocessed stereo that actually improved, or at least didn't ruin, a mono recording? Some not-bad fake stereo, in my opinion, has included early Rolling Stones LPs, some (not all) entries in Atlantic's History of Rhythm and Blues, early Platters hits (with the echo on a separate speaker), and at least one pressing of Elvis's A Date With Elvis and For LP Fans Only. By the way, I have a horrid fake stereo version of a beautiful song, The Impressions' "Choice of Colors," but I don't have Rhino's Very Best of the Impressions. Please don't tell me this track is only available in mono or fake stereo!

[ -- What? How dare you!! ... Actually, I've always liked the trashcan reverb sound of the rechanneled "Little Darlin" by the Diamonds. -- MC]

Name: Michael Fiedler
From: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 1997-08-22 10:52:00
Comments: Do anyone, including you Mike, have any information on the Atlantic/Curb releases of the Four Seasons Gold Vault of Hits and 2nd Gold Vault of Hits? Do they sound better than the Rhino 3CD set of about 10 years ago? Also, has anyone purchased the Sundazed Sagitarius album yet? Does it have the full single version of "My World Fell Down" on it (including the sound effects interlude)? You can post here or e-mail me. Thanks. -- Mike Fiedler

[ -- The two Gold Vault CDs on Curb are the original lineups for the two albums, in the same stereo format as the original vinyl, except "Rag Doll" is stereo on the CD whereas it was rechanneled on vinyl. As far as sound quality, the sound is excellent but the hiss level is high. Without actually sitting down to rate them (as I will do in Issue #45), I'd say they sound like about a "C" or high "C." -- MC]

Name: Charlie Brown
Time: 1997-08-22 17:58:00
Comments: Hello Mike.I want to share some bad but not unexpected news with everyone who is looking for the WB 2 CD set titled "Lost Hits Of The Sixties". I recently received a snail mail answer to recent inquiries I made to WB regarding the availabilty of this set. Elane Geller of WB customer relations states the CD is deleted and no longer available from WB . She suggests looking in cut out bins or used music stores. Sigh. Another short lived CD bites the dust before I really knew it existed. Hopefully Varese or some other re-issue label will pick up some of the songs on this set. I would like to see a stereo "Last Plane To London" by The Rose Garden on a comp soon.

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-23 06:12:00
Comments: RE: Stardust CDs. This is the Underground label for reissue 45s. While I suspect SOME of their CD tracks are lifted from other CDs, many are vinyl transfers and SOUND like records. On Treasured Tunes 4, Domenico Modugno's "Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu (Volare)" has an excess of noise, with the highs filtered out. My Decca 45 sounds better! They list things on the packaging ("Asia Minor" by Kokomo) as being stereo when it isn't (Vintage Instrumentals, Volume One ), and really don't put much quality control in what they're doing. Mike Callahan gave these "C" or "B" ratings. I give them a "D." The Best of Jack Scott disc is awful for the stereo Carlton material, admittedly from vinyl, and the disc was reportedly produced by Stardust and Jack Scott. Who the hell engineered the reissue, Mickey Mouse? Bill Inglot and Ron Furmanek, where are you?

Name: Dave Sampson
From: Ottawa, Canada
Time: 1997-08-22 19:34:00
Comments: Re: Tom Daly and Stardust CDs. Actually, though it is true that the label is known for lifting songs off of other CDs-the Newer volumes of the Stardust series have been quite a bit better(using better source CDs) As for the Jack Scott stardust disc-you can blame Bear Family for this-as the Stardust disc was apparently mastered from the Jack Scott Bear Family box. Although the stereo cuts sound lousy on the stardust disc-I would have been considerably more upset had I paid the full price of the Bear family box set and found they sounded that bad. BTW-Mike, love the website! this info page is a great idea and will help keep us all up to date on the latest Stereo news.

Name: Dan Strode
From: Bellingham WA
Time: 1997-08-23 08:29:00
Comments: Sundazed Sagitarius album has both the full single version of "My World Fell Down" on it (including the sound effects interlude) and the lp version. Sundazed web site is at

Name: John Mahoney
From: Central Valley, NY
Time: 1997-08-23 00:32:00
Comments: Hi Mike & Brenda, Congratulations on a terrific new site. I've been scanning the web for months hoping this type of exchange would turn up! I've been following all the postings for some time now and although I really don't have much to report thus far, I still wanted to say thanks for the new avenue of correspondence and thank you for one super newsletter. BTW, I am addressing the issue of compiling a listing of alternate versions one which I think you'll enjoy and it would be my great pleasure to pass this info along to all as soon as I iron out the rough spots. Thanks again and don't stop now.

[ -- Thanks, John. I put up a format for things like lists of 45 edits, etc. hoping someone would pick up the ball and send in something we could all benefit from. I have info on those topics, but haven't got around to doing anything with those lists. The discography section has really taken off, as we get updates and corrections every day... some are really substantial additions. David Edwards, for instance, has been sending his years of research in, which prods me to add whatever I can and get it on the page. Dennis Dioguardi has been sending tons of material for the Laurie discography. I'm really pleased that the "BSN Family" who have been with me for so many years are pitching in to make this the kind of site we would all want. Thanks to everybody, even those who sent in information on just one LP.... every little bit helps. -- MC]

Name: Paul Stoddard
From: Boston, MA
Time: 1997-08-23 18:35:00
Comments: I just received a pre-order notice from one of my import suppliers that the Four Seasons' Edizione d'Oro package is going to be reissued on CD. I'm assuming that this is coming from Ace Records, U.K. and I'm hoping that they'll include the stereo versions of "Let's Hang On" and "Dawn", even though they have different intros, since this is how the original Philips LP package was released.

Name: Don Ciccone
From: san francisco
Time: 1997-08-24 03:52:00
Comments: I've just been introduced to you guys and while I find your sample reviews interesting I seem to perceive a rather distasteful inclination on your part to remixed cd's. Personally I find this mania for remixing material that was originally mixed in mono and intended to be heard in mono absolutely horrible. It is nothing less than the colorization of music and is just as reprehensible as the colorization of classic films. I can't for the life of me understand how serious collectors would prefer modern remixes of songs from the '50's and '60's. It is an insult to the artist and to the original record producer and I predict that say 10 years from now the very same songs will be "restored" to their original mixes. In your explanation of recording terms you mentioned 2 track recording and said that "technically it was stereo". 2 track recording was no more "technically stereo" than 4-track recording was "technically quadrophonic". The first Beatles album for instance was never intended to be heard in its Pre-mixed 2 track state.(and EMI is to be congratulated for the mono Beatles cd's) For that matter SGT. PEPPER as we all now know was mixed in mono and the stereo mixes were done afterwards (without the Beatles present). As a musician I admit it is interesting to hear these things in stereo--it's often quite revealing. But again, as a musician I know that I sure wouldn't want anyone remixing my old mono mixes (not that anyone would want to). And I dig the great separation presented by CD over wax as much as the next guy. But let's not mess with the producer's intention. Ron Fumanek is as bad as Ted Turner in my book! - Don Ciccone

[ -- Thanks for your comments. At the very least, they brought a smile. While this topic has been beaten to death in issues of the Both Sides Now Stereo Newsletter, and I don't want to get into another long discussion, some of your points seem to call for a few extra words from us.

The idea that releasing the first four Beatles albums in stereo (or any other LPs once issued in stereo) is somehow messing around with history is kind of silly. The LPs were stereo when they were released, as were many of the songs that certain mono lovers in the record business are currently giving us on CD in mono only. That particular argument doesn't wash. If it was out in stereo before, I'm sorry, but the cat is out of the bag.

Many artists/producers of the old material are today saying they want the material in mono on CD. That's their right, I suppose, and we all agree with an argument about "artistic integrity" to some extent. But not every producer felt that way, and artists and producers can disagree among themselves as to issues like stereo mixes. As to the reissue producers, what makes some reissue producer that had nothing to do with the original recording "correct" to make the decision that mono is the only way, especially if the song was released in stereo originally? What makes one reissue producer "right" to issue things in mono while another producer is "wrong" to reissue in stereo? THAT argument, in my (humble?) opinion, is rewriting history to conform to one's current biases. Kind of reminds me of "politically correct."

You say you don't understand why we like these remixed stereo hits. But we like what we like, and we DO understand why we like it; telling us we shouldn't like it won't accomplish much. By the same token, I can't imagine anyone who hears Bob Irwin's stereo mix of Chad & Jeremy's "Distant Shores" objecting to it; it's stunning. It's how the song should have sounded back then if they hadn't misplaced the tape. But if you don't like it, or you think that remixing it to stereo is somehow a violation of some unwritten code, then go for it. And stereo versions that came out in the 1960s were just as "legit" as mono versions, current revisionism notwithstanding.

As to the argument about two-track, you can call multi-tracks (including two-track) "unfinished or pre-mix masters," but when albums come out in two track stereo, nobody calls them mono. And I don't recall anyone here ever making the argument that a four-track is "technically a quad recording," either. [Nor do I recall any talk about technical octophonic recordings.] :-)

As to the supposition that things will all be "restored" to their original mixes 10 years from now, we'll see. If history is any indication, we should have been rid of the rerecorded versions of the Everly Brothers' hits, the Little Richard remakes, etc. long ago. And we should have been rid of all those pesky bogus re-recordings from Key-7 and Gusto by now, if your theory holds.

Thanks again for your views; even though we don't agree, it's good to hear from you. -- MC]

Name: Paul Stoddard
From: Boston, MA
Time: 1997-08-24 16:37:00
Comments: With respect to Mr. Ciccone's posting railing against new remixes of previously-mono tracks, I'd like to say that I doubt he is going to garner any support for, or converts to, his position here. Personally, I think the current round of remixing is great and sincerely hope that it continues. I refuse to buy mono reissues from Rhino, Motown, Atlantic/Atco, or any other label. I've got 2 ears. My stereo has 2 speakers. I'd rather hear stereo than boring, flat mono any day. And, any label that is willing to issue new stereo will get my business. So, kudos to CCM, Taragon, and Sundazed, and a long, healthy Bronx cheer to Rhino, Atlantic/Atco, and Motown. Similarly, kudos to Ron Furmanek, Steve Hoffman, and Elliot Goshman for realizing that we are living in the '90s and that technology has advanced way beyond a tinny 3" speaker in a transistor radio, which is what most of these mono reissues sound like. (By the way, I've read that EMI has privately admitted several times that putting out the first 4 Beatles' albums in mono was a bad mistake.) With respect to the "integrity of the music", that's an unbelievable statement to make in light of the facts. Rock 'n' roll was put out to make a fast buck and then forgotten. The term that you're looking for is not "integrity" but "expediency". Whatever would get the record out the fastest was used. If multitrack equipment was available at the right price, it was used. If the mixing phase got too expensive or took too long, then the record came out in mono. Oh yes, I happen to like colorized movies, too! :-)

Name: Mike Arcidiacono
From: New York
Time: 1997-08-24 22:49:00
Comments: As I read Don Ciccone's message, then Paul's reply, I kind of felt I had to put my two cents in. First off, am I right in assuming that Don is the Don Ciccone formerly of The Critters? I thought he was, after his comments about "his old mono mixes". Perhaps someone can verify this.

[He is NOT the Don Ciccone of the Critters, although he has the same name. -- MC]

Secondly, Don's comments about "colorization" of the music are, to me, somewhat one sided. Paul is absolutely right that rock and roll was sold to make quick bucks, then forgotten. That's why so many great songs from the '60s were recorded in mono, in old studios that had old equipment that other studios traded in. Stuff like "Louie Louie" was recorded with ONE microphone hanging from the ceiling, picking everything up. And this was 1963!! They did it because it was cheap, fast and the kids were going to play it on cheap mono record players anyway. Also, radio was 100% mono at the time. However, as The Monkees say, that was then, this is now. Today, everybody listens to radio on STEREO walkmans. Everybody's home sound system is STEREO. The point to remember is that there is no reason, if stereo masters or multitrack tapes exist, why oldies material shouldn't be available in BOTH forms. No reason at all. I would agree with Don that there are some songs where the mono mix is just super, and is better than the stereo. "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" comes to mind. But I would totally disagree with his comments about The Beatles. For one, the OVERWHELMING opinion of the buying public is that EMI should NOT have issued the first four Beatles CDs in mono. In fact, it was George Martin, that old fuddy duddy, who made that decision. Also, the comments about Sgt. Pepper are really strange----a BIG part of the allure of that LP was the stereo imaging and sound stage flying from left to right, especially mixed to be listened to IN STEREO with headphones. The Beatles themselves, and especially John Lennon, mandated this. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a long lost or new stereo mix of and old classic, and felt like I was hearing it for the first's a thrill for oldies lovers. I recently got the tape of The Vogues' "5 O'clock World" in stereo (no, not the 1968 strings version), and I flipped!! Another very important point is that, remixing from the multitracks right to digital tape has so much better sonics than the master mix, down one generation. I hear a REAL difference here. Just check out The Ventures "In Space" remix, or better yet, Gary Lewis " Everybody Loves A Clown" remix to hear what I'm talking about. Essesntially, we are hearing the sound quality of the multitrack master!! This is reason ENOUGH to remix--to give the money spending listener good value for our dollar. The point I'm making is that technology is here to make our lives better....oldies music should be no exception. Wait until 5 years from now, when mono tracks will be made stereo by software analysis....this is something the larger labels are looking into, and personally, I can't wait!! Rock on, everybody.

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-25 15:54:00
Comments: If I could put my two cents in about all this stereo remix difference of opinion, I will. I love many of the recent stereo remixes of certain songs that had not previously appeared in stereo. I also dislike some. I've never liked "two-track" recordings with vocals on one channel and instrumentation on the other. To me, that's as phony a stereo spectrum as rechannelling. I also dislike the new remixes of Dusty Springfield's Philips albums. The vocals aren't mixed "hot" enough, and Dusty's voice is too "wet" with digital reverb. A botched job, to be sure. On the other hand, I agree with Mike Callahan that Bob Irwin's remix of "Distant Shores" is absolutely breathtaking. My overall opinion is this: If it's possible to accurately remix a session tape to stereo without compromising the flavor or the integrity of the original mixes, then go for it. If it's not possible without compromise, leave things alone. This would include cases where crucial overdubs are missing from remixes. I heard a two-track remix of Doris Day's "Everybody Loves a Lover." The reverb was missing, as was the vocal overdub. That should NEVER have been issued. It's an "unfinished production," and an embarrassment to the artist, and on top of that, it was Columbia/Collectables that issued it on a 45! If they could have mixed it to stereo with the vocal overdub and the reverb intact, then OK. What they issued was a travesty. -- Tom

Name: Randy Price
From: New York, NY
Time: 1997-08-26 23:49:00
Comments: Just picked up the excellent new 2-CD Chess soul anthology on MCA. A good mixture of big hits and relative obscurities, and about 75% stereo--including the mid-1965 hits "Love Is A Five Letter Word" by James Phelps and "Temptation 'Bout To Get Me" by the Knight Brothers (which also recently turned up in stereo on the mostly-mono Rhino '60s soul box).

Name: curt lundgren
Time: 1997-08-27 18:03:00
Comments: Mike: The label discographies are terrific. Now a suggestion. How about listing the CDs comprising label history such as EMI's "Legendary Masters" series, or the "Capitol Collector's" issues? Apparently, these two are either in hiatus or history. I'm still finding the occasional odd title (ie Jackie DeShannon "The Definitive Collection") in used CD stores which makes me wonder exactly what's been issued. If not on the site, maybe as a feature in the next revision of Oldies On Compact Disc? Curt

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-27 18:59:00
Comments: OK... I wasn't going to do this, but it seems like a good idea. Know all those out-of-print rarities on vinyl in your libraries? Skyline Productions will transfer your old vinyl to CD-R for you. The rules are simple: rather than sending us the records, we'd prefer a DAT. We'll then digitally remove as much surface noise as possible without coloring the audio. We do not use frequency filters to "roll-off the highs." If you MUST send us the records, our turntables are not "rumblemasters," and we use Audio Technica AT-155LC pickups with Shibata styli (some people DO send us CD-4 Quad pressings). If you are interested in having us transfer some of your vinyl to CD-R, feel free to email us at for an estimate. -- Tom Daly

Name: Dave Mack
Website: Welcome to Dave Mack's HomePage
From: Salem MA
Time: 1997-08-27 22:01:00
Comments: I have read with interest the bantering about stereo oldies. Allow me to put my nickel in. I am an audiophile. I am a stereo oldies sleuth. I was blown away at the work done to mix "Hang on Sloopy" by The McCoys to stereo. It was fabulous (and they did the full LP version). As the liner notes indicate, it was mixed to have "THE SAME MIGHTY WALLOP AS THE ORIGINAL MONO". Believe me, it does. A lot of songs were mixed for stereo and did turn up on LPs, some even in the '50s. We now have the technology to "fix" the past. If the original studio unmixed master exists, let's do it! Not only does it give the song new life, it makes it sound great! Care MUST be taken to preserve the original "mighty wallop" as it sounded on the monaural 45, but IF it exists, let's have it. Many songs were never released in stereo for a couple of reasons. One: The artist/group never cut an LP. Two: Singles then were only mixed in mono since kids played them mostly on mono record players (dare I say a phonograph)! At that time, no one really cared. All radio was mono till the early '60s. With the advent of FM stereo (and later AM stereo), people wanted to hear them in better fidelity. Labels like Rhino at first did us a service by finding and releasing the stereo versions. Then came CDs. And with their almost studio quality AND the advent of digital, we can take what was at best a poor recording, clean it up, and make it sound great while still preserving the original sound. I guess what I'm trying to say here is everyone has differing views. As for me: IF it exists in true stereo (even 2-track IS stereo), let ME have the choce to have it in stereo or mono.

Name: John Sellards/VanMeter Recordings
Website: VanMeter Recordings
From: Beckley, WV
Time: 1997-08-28 10:19:00
Comments: Regarding Dave Mack's message and his comment that he should have the right to decide if he wants to listen in mono or stereo: I get the feeling, but I may be wrong, and apologize ahead of time if I am wrong, that he is falling victim to a common misconception-that a mono mix is nothing more than a "combined stereo mix". While in some cases this is true, in many it is not. This is especially true during the early days of two-track recording, when a mixdown was often done to mono, then extra instrumentation was added to that master. If the stereo version does not contain all of the instrumentation (i.e., "Creeque Alley"), then it is not the same as the "hit version" of the song, and both versions should be available!

[ -- I agree. One of the primary justifications for a song in mono on CD is that the mono 45 master was "different" from the stereo. This happens quite a bit. As much as I like stereo, I also like to hear the versions I heard on the radio, therefore sometimes mono is the only way to do that. That said, however, I DO object to the position that everything should be mono because 45s were mono, and that stereo has no legitimacy: that's just narrow mindedness, IMHO. As much as I love the stereo version of Ral Donner's "(What A Sad Way) To Love Someone," for example, it's not the take they used for the 45. And I miss Andy Williams' overdubbed voice on the stereo version of "Lonely Street." But I enjoy listening to the stereo versions of these songs anyway. In these cases, I agree that we absolutely need the mono 45 version to be somewhere on CD. The position that EVERYTHING should be "restored to mono" is strictly a personal preference on certain people's part. They are free to prefer that, but spare the rest of us the attempts at justifying that position for everyone. -- MC]

Name: Tom Daly
Website: Skyline Productions
From: Malden, MA
Time: 1997-08-29 07:35:00
Comments: I would have to agree if there's a difference between the mono and stereo mixes, as in the cases of the Beatles' material, both mono and stereo versions should be available. I particularly like the mono mix of the Cowsills' "The Rain, The Park and Other Things" found on Dennis Drake's compilation, 45s on CD, Volume III It's cleaner and less cluttered, with the vocals mixed much hotter than on the stereo mix. I can't say I agree with the concept of going back to session tapes and remixing them to mono though, as in the case of many Motown reissues. If someone's going to go to all that bother, I'd say they should try to accurately recreate the mono mix across the stereo sound stage. Tom Daly

Name: Dave Mack
Website: Dave Mack's Web page
From: The WITCH City , Salem (ma).
Time: 1997-08-31 00:28:00
Comments: I see a lot of Boston area people post here so maybe one of them can help. Does anyone have the stereo version of Nat "King" Cole's "Let Me Tell You, Babe"? It was a top 5 hit in Boston in 1966. My compadre Tom Daly at "Skyline Records" has a very clean mono but he too can't locate it in stereo.. Any one have it??? Also am I right that "Sweet Soul Music" by Arthur Conley has never turned up in anything but flat mono? How about Norma Tanega's "Walking My Cat Named Dog?" Anyone have the LP in stereo? Lastly I for one am waiting anxiously for The Reflections. I always felt it must exist as you can hear the layering in the song. Thanks all..

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