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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music The Versatile Henry Mancini...Mono Or Stereo?
The Versatile Henry Mancini...Mono Or Stereo?
DejaVoodoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 138
From: Woodbridge, NJ
Posted: 2010-06-09 9:22 pm   Permalink

I know "The Versatile Henry Mancini" isn't technically an Exotica album, however it does feature some soothing arrangements of Polynesian pop classics, complete with wordless vocals! That said, El Records, a division of Cherry Red Records in the UK, recently reissued the album in its complete mono and stereo incarnations, with some choice bonus tracks. My question to all of you, though, is: when did "The Versatile Henry Mancini" become "THE Versatile Henry Mancini"? Was it when the record was reissued in stereo and the cover art was changed from the original one with the black and white photo of the girl (mono pressing) to a rather odd portrait painting of Henry Mancini set against a moonlit tropical seascape? Is that the moment when the album was marketed in the Exotica market as opposed to just another album by a budding, and relatively unknown, composer?

 
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I, Zombie
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 14, 2003
Posts: 539
From: the Les Baxter Grotto (Minneapolis)
Posted: 2010-06-10 11:41 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-06-09 21:22, DejaVoodoo wrote:
... when did "The Versatile Henry Mancini" become "THE Versatile Henry Mancini"?



Great post DejaVoodoo,

For me, it's the one with the illustration of Henry on the cover - though I think I have mono and stereo copies of that version. I must have 4 or 5 of those and have given away a bunch. Seems like that later version shows up all the time in thrifts - to this day! And I'm not much of a purist. I definitely think of it as an Exotica LP. I think I got my first copy in 1991 and I wore the hell out of it.

And you know, I'm not sure if its a mono vs stereo thing, but I have a couple of copies that have really weird mixes. It's been awhile since I listened to them, but I think I have a couple copies where a guitar is mixed really loudly on a few songs and other instruments just seem to drop out. Very strange.

I,Z





 
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DejaVoodoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 138
From: Woodbridge, NJ
Posted: 2010-06-10 4:15 pm   Permalink

Ok then, so "The Versatile Henry Mancini" was reissued in both mono and stereo with the illustration of Henry on the cover. Good to know. With that out of the way, which version do YOU prefer? To my ears, the mono mix sounds more present and better balanced. It's not a loud recording but the essence/mood of the songs/arrangements shines through a little stronger on the mono mix.

To my ears, again, the stereo version is a bit of a let down. A wider soundstage and quirky interplay between the left and right channels could have made "The Versatile Henry Mancini" even more atmospheric and exotic. Sadly, it just sounds quiet and uninteresting, with previously prominent instruments buried in the mix and, at times, practically inaudible! The late night intimacy of the album is lost in the stereo version and so I prefer the mono mix.

It may not be Exotica by any classic definition of the word but it sure is dreamy and relaxing!:)


 
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lucas vigor
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Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-06-10 4:58 pm   Permalink

I just ordered the 2007 CD off Amazon. It says it has both the mono and stereo recrodings. Is this not the same one you are talking about?

 
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DejaVoodoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 138
From: Woodbridge, NJ
Posted: 2010-06-10 6:47 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2010-06-10 16:58, lucas vigor wrote:
I just ordered the 2007 CD off Amazon. It says it has both the mono and stereo recrodings. Is this not the same one you are talking about?


Perhaps. This is the one I am referring to:
http://www.amazon.com/Versatile-Henry-Mancini/dp/B001E2N5IC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1276220696&sr=1-1 I think we're talking about the same CD reissue. It's quite good, although judging by the CD only, I think I prefer the mono mix of the album. When you get your copy you'll hopefully hear what I mean. The stereo version just sounds washed out and distant. The mono mix is more present and much more dynamic.

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DejaVoodoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 07, 2008
Posts: 138
From: Woodbridge, NJ
Posted: 2010-06-10 7:15 pm   Permalink

OK, so I'm doing some A & B comparisons of songs from "The Versatile Henry Mancini" in mono and stereo and...I take back what I said before about the mono version of the album being superior. With headphones, the stereo album really comes to life: everything is nicely spread out and each instrument has ample room to shine and breathe. In contrast, the mono album sounds a little muddy. Sure, certain instruments feature a bit more prominently in the mix on the mono version, but as a whole, I think I've switched my initial opinion and am fully proclaiming my joy in listening to the stereo version of "The Versatile Henry Mancini."

Those of you that own this album on LP or CD, which version do YOU like better?


 
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lucas vigor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 12, 2004
Posts: 3985
From: SOCAL
Posted: 2010-06-10 10:28 pm   Permalink

Well, I can't wait to hear it! HUGE Mancini fan overe here, and I can't believe I did not already have this album!

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[ This Message was edited by: lucas vigor 2010-06-10 22:30 ]


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