🎵 Classic AOTW Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - FOOL ON THE HILL SP-4160

What is your favorite track?

  • Fool On The Hill

    Votes: 5 17.9%
  • Festa

    Votes: 4 14.3%
  • Casa Forte

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • Canto Triste

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • Upa, Neguinho

    Votes: 2 7.1%
  • Lapinha

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • Scarborough Fair

    Votes: 3 10.7%
  • When Summer Turns To Snow

    Votes: 1 3.6%
  • Laia Ladaia (Reza)

    Votes: 5 17.9%

  • Total voters
    28

Rudy

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I do have two extra copies on CD. One is the Verve release and the other is a Japanese import from before the Verve releases on CD.
I also have a few copies of the lp as well.
A&M I believe released this at some point in the mid to late 80s, and I never did grab a copy of that one. When I saw the Rebound reissue, I grabbed it. And later when a third version came along, I picked that one up also, hoping for better sound (it wasn't any different that I could tell), and better packaging than the generic Rebound packaging. I have one LP copy of it that is in fine condition, so I haven't been pressed to upgrade it at all.

Since it is so simple now to remove the CSG processing (a 90° phase shift on one channel corrects the problem), I don't know why they haven't reissued it yet that way.
 

Harry

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I had a similar pattern in buying FOOL ON THE HILL copies.

First of course was the original pressing LP, SPX 4160 with the gatefold. Sometime later, I think I picked up a non-gatefold issue just to update the semi-worn vinyl.

When CDs came along, I jumped at CD 3108 which looks like it was issued in 1988 in the big A&M album issuing at that time. It sounded OK, but a little on the muddy side, probably mostly caused by the CSG processing, so it was a little disappointing in that respect.

When I logged onto A&M Corner, there were old discussions about whether the PolyGram Rebound re-issue that was out there was better or worse than CD 3108. I found one cheap and did some comparisons, hearing absolutely no difference between the two. The Rebound issue was dated 1995 and had a catalog number of 314 520 296-2.

Next up was a Japanese release, UICY 3704 that looks like it was issued around 2002. This one has an obi that states that it had "Rubidium Atomic Clock Mastering" an 24-bit. But it still had CSG, and it still sounds muddier than other B66 discs.

Thus far, none of the CDs had any packaging like the gatefold with its controversial rear cover.

Then came the Verve digipak in 2004, and this one DID have the gatefold cover, plus an insert with all of the interior pictures, but in black & white, not color like the original gatefold. Verve B0002691-02. CSG was still there, and it still sounded a bit muddy. If I had to pick one of these, I think the Verve is probably the best, but the edge is very, very slight.

Then our leader Rudy figured a way to defeat the CSG processing, rendering all of the above CDs pretty much null and void as far as I'm concerned.

Sometime in the past couple of years, I've finally located a mono copy of the album. One of the reasons I wanted that is that mono, by definition, wouldn't be plagued with CSG processing, and it could be the definitive version of the album in that respect. It's a close toss-up between the de-CSG tracks and the mono tracks. The mono album came in two different iterations apparently. Some were given a catalog number of LPX-4160 printed on the cover. Then there's the issue I have with LPX-160 on the white promo label, but it came in a standard SPX-4160 cover with a "PROMOTIONAL COPY monaural NOT FOR SALE" sticker.

That's all of my copies of the album, but there's one additional item of interest that I found. It's a 45 of "Fool On The Hill" as a white-label promo with a catalog number of 961-S. It's stereo, and DOES NOT have the CSG processing applied. Since finding that, I've wondered if perhaps "Scarborough Fair" might've gotten the same treatment, but haven't seen any signs so far. Unfortunately, "Fool On The Hill's" b-side was "So Many Stars", a song easily obtainable without CSG.
 

beatcomber

Active Member
Anyway, there are a few minor sonic differences, and the mono gives the album a bit of a punch that it lacks in stereo. Of course it also collapses all of the sound into one channel so your lose the spaciousness that stereo can bring. The biggest difference I can hear between the mono and the stereo occurs on "Upa, Neguinho". Toward the end of the male/female call and response section at about 1:10-1:20, the ladies split into harmony. That is not as obvious on the stereo version, but kind of fades into the heavy string/brass arrangement at that point. On the mono, the ladies' harmonies are more clearly audible. It's just more out front and noticeable.

I have a mono pressing and was wondering if it was a dedicated mix or not. I glad to learn that it is!

I also have a 7.5 ips reel of the album. Does that version also have the CSG added to it?

The mono version could still have been of use to buyers who had old equipment that used monaural cartridges, on which the stylus can only move in the lateral direction. Mono phonographs could be refitted with a stereo cartridge (with the sides wired in parallel) so that they could play stereo LPs without damage, as stereo cartridges can move in both lateral and vertical directions. This was probably pressed in a brief transition era where they considered trying to make stereo compatible for mono players that could play them, while still keeping a mono version for the older phonographs (and of course, broadcast use).

Of course, the CSG sucked worse than the "effect" when playing it in mono. :laugh:

Curiously, even the mono pressing references the CSG processing on the inside of the gatefold, probably in error.
 

Rudy

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Curiously, even the mono pressing references the CSG processing on the inside of the gatefold, probably in error.
For the small run of monaural records, they likely weren't going to print separate inner gatefold art for it.

The cover slicks for A&M in the early days were kind of neat though--if they were glued on in one position, the monaural numbering would appear at the bottom. But shifted down, the monaural part would "roll off" the bottom and the stereo numbering would appear at the top.
 

Harry

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There were at least two different iterations of the FOOL ON THE HILL mono album. One jacket was printed with the LPX designation in the upper left corner, while the other type used a stereo jacket with a monaural sticker.

Record-wise, it exists as both a promo and a stock mono. I believe that the stock mono, ochre label, LPX cover is probably the rarest form, while the white label promo with sticker is likely the easier to find.

I have no idea about the stereo tapes, but suspect that they all had the CSG master used.
 

beatcomber

Active Member
For the small run of monaural records, they likely weren't going to print separate inner gatefold art for it.

But they did... the inside cover slick has the mono catalog number LPX 160 printed on it.



The cover slicks for A&M in the early days were kind of neat though--if they were glued on in one position, the monaural numbering would appear at the bottom. But shifted down, the monaural part would "roll off" the bottom and the stereo numbering would appear at the top.

That was a pretty common cost-cutting measure, doing one printrun for the front cover slicks, with stereo at the top and mono at the bottom. RCA, Atlantic, MCA, Columbia and a few other labels did the same thing.

There were at least two different iterations of the FOOL ON THE HILL mono album. One jacket was printed with the LPX designation in the upper left corner, while the other type used a stereo jacket with a monaural sticker.

Record-wise, it exists as both a promo and a stock mono. I believe that the stock mono, ochre label, LPX cover is probably the rarest form, while the white label promo with sticker is likely the easier to find.

The stock version with the mono cover must be pretty darn rare if the WLP is the more common variation! (Mine is a stock copy.)
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I have a question For You Harry i would like your personal Opinion on the CD Versions of Fool on the hill CSG not Withstanding "Which CD version do you think is the best given the circumstances sound wise as well as overall faithfulness to the vinyl version?" I own only the Rebound Version (which is the same as the A&M CD from 1988 just slightly repackaged ) and I didnt buy the reissued Verve version from the mid 2000s because I didnt think there was going to be any big difference in overall sound so I passed on it and I only needed one copy of each album anyway unlike other artists I collected over the years
 

Harry

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As I recall, the Verve had an ever-so-slight edge in sound quality, at least to my ears. It also had the advantage of correctly packaging the disc with all of the original gatefold imaging.

Just don't expect any miracles, soundwise. It's still a muddy affair, but the Verve disc had a tiny bit more brightness.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
As I recall, the Verve had an ever-so-slight edge in sound quality, at least to my ears. It also had the advantage of correctly packaging the disc with all of the original gatefold imaging.

Just don't expect any miracles, soundwise. It's still a muddy affair, but the Verve disc had a tiny bit more brightness.
Thank you for your honest opinion Harry the Rebound version to my ears sounded fine ( since I had the original vinyl long before that and wore it out completely ) but mine is still functional and in pristine condition
 

Rudy

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Just don't expect any miracles, soundwise. It's still a muddy affair, but the Verve disc had a tiny bit more brightness.
As I recall, Bob Irwin (of Sundazed) mastered the Verve reissue. I never got around to asking him why he didn't find a way to circumvent the CSG processing, but that is not his thing--Sundazed does mono and stereo reissues of late 50s/early 60s rock, surf, etc., so he's more of an analog guy. Sundazed has quite the following among fans of the music he reissues, some of them obscurities. He's in the rare position of running a label both as a music fan and as an engineer.
 

Harry

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As I recall, Bob Irwin (of Sundazed) mastered the Verve reissue.

I've just looked and can find no mastering credit, not that that means anything.

It does say: " 96khz, 24-bit digital transfer" on the Verve obi.

1596233022247.png
 

beatcomber

Active Member
As I recall, Bob Irwin (of Sundazed) mastered the Verve reissue. I never got around to asking him why he didn't find a way to circumvent the CSG processing, but that is not his thing--Sundazed does mono and stereo reissues of late 50s/early 60s rock, surf, etc., so he's more of an analog guy. Sundazed has quite the following among fans of the music he reissues, some of them obscurities. He's in the rare position of running a label both as a music fan and as an engineer.

Aside from his own Sundazed and Modern Harmonic releases, I've only ever seen a mastering credit for Bob Irwin on Sony-related reissue projects (ie: Columbia).

If we can confirm his involvement with the B66 reissue, I can contact him about it. (He readily responds to questions on Facebook.)
 

Rudy

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I remember reading it somewhere in credits, and have mentioned it a few times here over the years....yet now, I can't find his name in the credits.
 

Rudy

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I know it's not another Fool On The Hill CD since the only other one I've owned is the Rebound version. A Google search turns up Bob's name in a few places, associated with some Brasil '66 CDs. Not specifically this one (yet) although I don't have time to do a more thorough search.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Here is a question for the A&M afficianodos. Fool On The Hill was the first to have the X designation in the catalog number to denote the higher suggested retail price. It seems to me that it is also the first in the label to have a fold open cover. I have not seen any earlier A&M releases with a fold open cover.
 

Harry

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No, the honor of the first gatefold for A&M in their regular album series goes to THE BEAT OF THE BRASS. (SP-4146).

1606584492999.png1606584512171.png

Around that same time, the CTi series got started. I'm not sure which came first, SP-4146 or SP-3001.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I've got the pre-recorded REEL-TO-REEL of OR-4160 (black reel with yellow label).
I think, THIS was the first album recorded at A&M Studios "proper", and...mastered on 8-track.
This, also, sounds like the first Brasil '66 album to "mature" and break-away from that (earlier) cocktail lounge/"Mad Men"-type style (which predated the oncoming hippie "consciousness" in full-swing by 1968); where: Sergio started bringing World Music into the fold (for an American audience).
The HAECO (almost) kills it, though --- it IS just so darned "boxy" in the midrange that the vocals get diluted to feel any sense of intimacy (STILLNESS has HAECO on it as well...but, they must've "moderated" it before they got rid of it for good; so it doesn't ruin THAT one like it does FOOL).
However, just listening to the LEFT CHANNEL: the effect is not noticeable. The RIGHT CHANNEL is where you notice the "cloud" around the split signal; because, not *only* is the soloist (vocal or instrument) centered, BUT -- the stereo image is BLURRED.
I was looking at my copy of Stillness. It does not mention HAECO-CSG.
 

Harry

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STILLNESS does not have HAECO-CSG in any format. Acapulco above was wrong. Sergio's other HAECO albums were YE-ME-LE and the green GREATEST HITS.
 

rockdoctor

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I always wondered if maybe they hurt sales a little bit on this album be being "too" Brasilian. There are only 3 English-titled songs out of the 9 on the album, so that might have put off first-time fans who had liked the singles, but might have been turned off by all those Brasilian titles. Of course now we know some of those are the best things on that record!
Here is something to think about with Brazilian versus English titles. The three previous albums had more English titles and two made it to the top ten in album sales. Equinox stalled at around number 24 if I remember right. Crystal Illusions had eight English titles, counting Viola, but the buyers of Fool On The Hill did not go after CI so maybe they likes the more Brazilian titles and tunes.
 

Rudy

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STILLNESS does not have HAECO-CSG in any format. Acapulco above was wrong. Sergio's other HAECO albums were YE-ME-LE and the green GREATEST HITS.
I just deleted that turd's post from the thread.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Here is another question. What other A&M albums, if any, had HAECO-CSG and does anyone know what it stands for?
I have looked at some of my A&M records and do not see it. I thought that since the Brasil'66 Greatest Hits had ti that the TJB Greatest would as well but it does not state it. The closest catalog number to Fool On The Hill that I have is Claudine Longet Colours and it does not have it.
 
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Harry

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For a full description of HAECO-CSG, check out the article and information in this thread:

A&M albums that were processed with it include
FOOL ON THE HILL - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID - Burt Bacharach
BOSSA RIO - Bossa Rio
THE BRASS ARE COMIN' - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
YE-ME-LE - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

"GREATEST HITS" albums from:
SERGIO MENDES
WES MONTGOMERY
BAJA MARIMBA BAND
SANDPIPERS
(Herb's was not)

Many promotional singles in the early 70s used it too, while the stock singles were not processed that way.
 
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