The Wonderful Sounds of Male Vocals

Analogue Productions returns with another in its very popular “Wonderful Sounds” series that began with a Christmas compilation and followed up in 2018 with a female vocalist assemblage.

Like those two, AP’s Chad Kassem selected the tunes from among titles he’s licensed over the years for whole album reissues on SACD and AAA vinyl. And like those two, this vinyl compilation, of necessity, is sourced from DSD files and mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound and pressed on 200g vinyl at QRP (I think the first run may be sold out and further pressings will be at 180g but not certain). The master tapes were long ago returned to sender. Few all-analog “greatest hits” albums on vinyl come sonically close to the originals (though I can name a few good ones like Steely Dan Greatest Hits). And while I’m at it, for those of you absolutely opposed to buying anything on vinyl cut from a digital source, please read this article written by mastering engineer Dave McNair that I wish we’d first published. That said, you can be sure if you buy the all-analog full albums, they will sound even better.

And like the female vocal compilation, I was asked to create the 4 side, 20 song track order and write the annotation. Sometimes you cringe when you look back at something you’ve written many months earlier, but not this time! I’m quite happy with both the way I arranged the tunes to tell a story and the well-researched notes I wrote (if I do say so myself, and I just did).

Use this compilation as a “listening booth” to discover unfamiliar music or just enjoy song after great well-recorded “demo quality” song. While some like Aaron Neville’s cover of John Hiatt’s “Feels Like Rain” and The Beach Boys’ “In My Room” will be familiar others probably won’t be— like Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Sympathy for a Train”, Willy DeVille’s “Spanish Jack” and perhaps JD Souther’s “Silver Blue” (with Stanley Clarke on bsss). Many fans of Belafonte at Carnegie Hall have never heard the encore “Scarlet Ribbons,” which is here too. I’m not going to list them all because there’s a complete track listing in the MusicDirect link at the bottom.

Recently, British journalist and Beatles historian Kevin Howlett (who also wrote Ortofon: A Century in Sound: 100 Anniversary Book) got “hooked” on Analogue Productions records through the The Wonderful Sounds of Female Vocals compilation. Howlett recently produced a podcast with Chad Kassem in which he says this male vocalist compilation is his “album of the year” and digs deeply into the tracks. Chad explains how he discovered Dream With Dean and discusses with Mr. Howlett other songs on this compilation. It’s a discussion you are sure to enjoy, :

Kevin Howlett And Chad Kassem discuss The Wonderful Sounds of Female Vocals

Music Direct Buy It Now

Chemguy's picture

...Especially In My Room. I’m sure you were wowed the first time you heard the AP treatment on Surfer Girl. It’s my favourite analogue, audiophile reissue moment.

Michael Fremer's picture
The song choices were Chad's. He shares your and my enthusiasm for the track and album....
Chemguy's picture

...picked Lost and Lookin’ by Sam Cooke off of his marvellous treatment of Night Beat. Maybe that’s for Volume 2!...

Michael Fremer's picture
You listen to the Podcast, you might get the answer!
Steelhead's picture

Amen my chemical bro

I ordered Surfs Up from my local record dealer and he ordered Surfer Girl on AP so said what the hell and bought it. Thank God!!!!

Freaking fantastic and it just oozes depth and detail from my rig. Demo show off quality. A fantastic record.

mraudioguru's picture

...still has the 200 gram version. I just bought one. I already have the other (2) "Wonderful Sounds".

vinyl listener's picture

My copy sounded worse than the CD.
The Greatest Hits double was a superb sounding compilation.

Michael Fremer's picture
I meant "Greatest Hits"
Chemguy's picture

...a 4 sided RL pressing. Mine is killer!

Michael Fremer's picture
vinyl listener's picture

... is pretty good too :)

Michael Fremer's picture
When that happens. I didn't look. You know why? Too busy cleaning SPAM off of this site rn. Coming from India. So damn annoying.