For those of you who love and collect versions of Ella's first groundbreaking album for Verve Records, I have some info for you and hopefully you have some info for me.
The double album (8 songs a side, almost 1/2 hour each, four sides, a massive undertaking) was recorded Feb. and March of 1956 at Capitol, Melrose (KHJ Studios), engineer Val Valentin.
I don't have the original take numbers, do you? I have master numbers if anyone cares.
The 2 hour album was assembled on 4-9-56 (not sure why the long wait). The four sides were also mastered at Capitol on that same day and shipped to RCA, Rockaway, NJ for pressing.
That was the first press.
About a year later, for whatever reason (probably consumer complaints that their records skipped) there was a massive redo of this (now famous) double album.
I don't mean they recorded it over, I do mean they REDUBBED all four sides.
This is what they did.
On Feb. 7, 1957 at Radio Recorders, Hollywood, the four Capitol Studio tapes were redubbed using the Radio Recorders "Cinema EQ" which was (for whatever reason), losing all info below 55 cycles, boosting the 5k range by +4 and killing all top end over 10k with the limiter set on stun (4:1). These new reels were marked "Master" and the old Capitol reels marked (guess what?) NFM (Not For Master).
On that same day, parts were recut using the new "easy play" tapes. Ami Hadani cut the new mono parts boosting the midband (for whatever reason) another 2 db at 3kc and reducing the bass -2 at 150 cycles.
So, you vinyl collectors, there should be a big sound discrepancy between the 1956 pressings and all other pressings made after the start of 1957.
Now, I was told, by who I cannot remember, that when they broke the album apart and changed artwork (what year was that, late 1950's?) some of the recuts on THOSE versions might have gone back to the original Capitol tapes for cutting since the mastering gear had become more sophisticated by then. They think that is possible because those LP versions seem to have more bass, but it could be just a better cutting system in place. I have not played any so I have no idea if this is true or not.
That is all the info I have on this great album of a technical nature. If YOU have more, please add to this thread.
BTW, the DCC Gold CD version of ELLA FITZGERALD SINGS THE COLE PORTER SONGBOOK uses the proper 2/56 Capitol Studio full track mono masters. I have no idea what was used on other CD versions of this. Hopefully they did the same and were not swayed by the "Master" markings on the radical EQ dubs.