Back to Mono

Do talk back
User avatar
GoogaMooga
custodian of oldies
Posts: 30281
Joined: 28 Sep 2010, 05:23
Location: Denmark

Back to Mono

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 Jan 2024, 01:05

***BACK TO MONO***

It's that time of year again. Time to trawl through the Phil Spector Back to Mono box. I've cranked the volume to 24, where I normally would have it on 20.

Mono can take a bit more volume, and besides, it's New Year's Eve, which means a general amnesty for noisemakers like me!

I'm on disc one now, it kicks off with his first numero uno, "To Know Him Is to Love Him". That was done with the Teddy Bears, Phil's first group and the only time he recorded with a group in which he himself was a member.

The title Phil took from his father's gravestone, it was his father's epitaph. Phil's father committed suicide and it had a profound effect on Phil.

Soon Phil would take the producer's chair and devote himself to producing records only. Hit after hit, he was a millionaire at the age of 21.

Tom Wolfe called him "the first tycoon of teen", and I think that aptly describes the power that Phil wielded and also his creative and marketing genius.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

User avatar
robertff
Posts: 11899
Joined: 20 Jul 2003, 06:59

Re: Back to Mono

Postby robertff » 01 Jan 2024, 11:20

I've got that box.

Occasionally I play the CDs but every Christmas you know what gets at least one play.


.

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 01 Jan 2024, 17:17

I played the hell out of that box when I got it in '91, and for years after. The sound is muddy, and I prefer how the Phillies Album Collection sounds, but in terms of the song selection, Back to Mono can't be beat.

Now when is someone going to unearth the '66 mono tapes of the Ike & Tina Turner album? The only CDs are from the '69 stereo tapes.

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 01 Jan 2024, 17:22

Even though I said the sound isn't all that, when I'm using those songs on compilations that I make, sometimes the Back to Mono box is the way to go. Take the Righteous Bros stuff for instance. Their cuts on the box sound better than any other CDs I own. I have the Japanese mono discs of You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling, Back to Back, and Just Once in My Life. None of the tracks on Back to Mono are bettered on the Japanese CDs. Also, Rhino did a two-disc anthology decades ago that I own, where they actually used stereo masters for some of the hits, so forget that.

User avatar
GoogaMooga
custodian of oldies
Posts: 30281
Joined: 28 Sep 2010, 05:23
Location: Denmark

Re: Back to Mono

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 Jan 2024, 17:45

Yes, the Back to Mono box is better than its reputation. I own all three Spector boxes, incl. the Japanese one that was withdrawn from the market, and it's Back to Mono that I always return to.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

User avatar
GoogaMooga
custodian of oldies
Posts: 30281
Joined: 28 Sep 2010, 05:23
Location: Denmark

Re: Back to Mono

Postby GoogaMooga » 01 Jan 2024, 17:47

Matt Wilson wrote:I played the hell out of that box when I got it in '91, and for years after. The sound is muddy, and I prefer how the Phillies Album Collection sounds, but in terms of the song selection, Back to Mono can't be beat.

Now when is someone going to unearth the '66 mono tapes of the Ike & Tina Turner album? The only CDs are from the '69 stereo tapes.


There was a Mobile Fidelity gold disc around 1989-1990. Could that have been in mono? Extremely hard to find, I have sort of given up on ever finding it.
"When the desert comes, people will be sad; just as Cannery Row was sad when all the pilchards were caught and canned and eaten." - John Steinbeck

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 01 Jan 2024, 19:07

GoogaMooga wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:I played the hell out of that box when I got it in '91, and for years after. The sound is muddy, and I prefer how the Phillies Album Collection sounds, but in terms of the song selection, Back to Mono can't be beat.

Now when is someone going to unearth the '66 mono tapes of the Ike & Tina Turner album? The only CDs are from the '69 stereo tapes.


There was a Mobile Fidelity gold disc around 1989-1990. Could that have been in mono? Extremely hard to find, I have sort of given up on ever finding it.


Nope, 1969 stereo tapes.

User avatar
frimley_greener
Posts: 1585
Joined: 10 Apr 2010, 10:00
Location: frimley green..and it ain't easy being green...

Re: Back to Mono

Postby frimley_greener » 06 Jan 2024, 11:09

Not sure about the "mono" thing in general....but I do know the Fab's "Sgt Peppers" mono version blows the stereo mix out of the water.....
You wanna be a big cop in a small town? Fuck off up the model village.

User avatar
Moleskin
Posts: 14607
Joined: 18 Feb 2004, 12:38
Location: We began to notice that we could be free, And we moved together to the West.

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Moleskin » 19 Jan 2024, 17:33

frimley_greener wrote:Not sure about the "mono" thing in general....but I do know the Fab's "Sgt Peppers" mono version blows the stereo mix out of the water.....


All the Beatles mono kills the contemporaneous stereo mix. And frankly, mono is the way to go for all pre-68 rock&roll albums.
@hewsim
-the artist formerly known as comrade moleskin-
-the unforgettable waldo jeffers-

Jug Band Music
my own music

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 19 Jan 2024, 18:16

I wouldn't say "all" pre-68 LPs. Depends on the mix.

User avatar
Moleskin
Posts: 14607
Joined: 18 Feb 2004, 12:38
Location: We began to notice that we could be free, And we moved together to the West.

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Moleskin » 21 Jan 2024, 13:51

Maybe. It's really about which was the artistic priority though. As we all well know, the Beatles and George Martin were there for the mono mix sessions, and the stereo mix was done sans Fabs and sometimes GM by A.N. Other from GM's notes. i wouldn't be at all surprised that the case was similar for most acts at the time.
@hewsim
-the artist formerly known as comrade moleskin-
-the unforgettable waldo jeffers-

Jug Band Music
my own music

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Jan 2024, 16:09

I do prefer mono more often than not pre '68. But there are exceptions. Axis Bold as Love, The Doors, Strange Days, I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die, etc. The White Album and Saucerful of Secrets are probably better in stereo too, though the mono mixes are very interesting.

User avatar
mudshark
Posts: 2124
Joined: 25 Jul 2003, 03:51

Re: Back to Mono

Postby mudshark » 22 Jan 2024, 18:14

I have Saucerful in mono and stereo, and prefer the former by a country mile.
There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 32465
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: Back to Mono

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Jan 2024, 18:21

Interesting that you say that. All I have is a mono vinyl transfer on CD-R of Saucerful. That's one of the titles I'd most like to have issued on CD in mono. That, and Jefferson Airplane's After Bathing at Baxters.


Return to “Yakety Yak”