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SUMMERTIME White Label Promo

Discussion in 'The Beat of The Brass: Herb Alpert/Tijuana Brass' started by Harry, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I saw this on ebay and did a double-take as I'd never run across one like this:


    I've seen stereo WLP's of this album before, but this one's a mono. I've not found any mention of it in our forums, so I went ahead and sprang for it. We'll see what it's like when it gets here. I've been fascinated with some of my other recent mono finds like the Pete Jolly, FOOL ON THE HILL, TjB's CHRISTMAS ALBUM. They always seem to have a surprise or two.
    Bobberman likes this.
  2. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    Interesting. These all seem to fall on the cusp of the changeover from mono to stereo.
  3. I (had) thought the mono DJ copy of Paul McCartney's RAM album (coincidentally, from the same year) was the "latest" mono album (since they would've been gone from the mainstream -at least- THREE years earlier).
  4. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Wow Good Luck on Your Rare Find. If its a True Dedicated Mono issue " You will have another Extreme rarity.
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Would you believe that I just turned up yet another one? YOU SMILE-THE SONG BEGINS for AM Radio Play only.

    The mono gods must be smiling on me...
    DeeInKY and Bobberman like this.
  6. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    My oh My You are on a Roll My Friend. You must feel like a kid let loose in a candy store.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    My promo of that album has a mono label on one side and stereo on the other. So I have no clue what I have here! :laugh: The stereo mix on that album was pretty narrow to begin with, so it was always hard to tell what I had. But it didn't sound exaggerated like a fold-down can, so it may have been stereo on both sides. The jacket mentioned nothing about AM radio use--it just has the promo sticker.

    I'd look at the matrix but it's packed away in a box.
  8. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    It appears that they made both mono promos and stereo promos. This eBay ad shows the label for the stereo version:
    HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS "You Smile – The Song Begins" WHITE LABEL PROMO | eBay »

    It appears the only difference is the word "mono" or "stereo" at the bottom, and a matrix of either (3639) or (SP-3639). And the mono jacket has an extra sticker (AM Radio Play Only), while the stereo only has one (Promotional - Not For Sale).
  9. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    I have a copy of that as well. Found it at a record show a few years back.
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Anything remarkable on it?
  11. Captain Bacardi

    Captain Bacardi Well-Known Member Moderator

    Not that I recall, other than the usual compression. I think I only played it once and didn't notice any real differences.
  12. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I'm thinking of the numbers written or stamped in the runoff area. My jacket did not specify AM radio play, but it does have a promo sticker, mono label on one side and stereo on the other, and with labels sometimes getting mixed up during the pressing process (like my Roger Nichols with the same label on both sides), it makes me wonder what I have. If I dig it out later this year, I'll have to compare it. My guess is that it is stereo with the wrong label on one side.
  13. Mahanusafa02

    Mahanusafa02 New Member

    Think I was just talking to you on another forum, but I could be mistaken...anyway, this Summertime mono promo you've found--it's got to be a fold down, right? I mean, do we know of any mono promos whatsoever of Warm or The Brass Are Comin', whether dedicated or not?
  14. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Yes, that's me on the other forum too, and no, I've never run into any mono albums of WARM or THE BRASS ARE COMIN'. There are some mono singles from those albums, however, and one of the most remarkable mono recordings I've ever run into is WARM's "Without Her". It's compressed the sound so that the loud and soft passages aren't nearly as drastic, and added a bit of reverb to Herb's vocal. I believe it was originally made for a mono promo 45, though I haven't actually found one of those. I found it on the mono promo version of SOLID BRASS:

  15. Mahanusafa02

    Mahanusafa02 New Member

    Can you tell me what is the catalogue number for the proper mono mix of the "Without Her" 45? I've found 2 numbers so far, on both stock and promo 45s. Thanks!
  16. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    As I mentioned above, I can only theorize that there was a 45 issued with the compressed mono mix as heard in the above video. The reason I'm theorizing is that I remember hearing it on AM radio at the time it was a hit song for Herb and wondered why my copy of WARM didn't sound that way. It never occurred to me that record companies would put out special mixes for radio.

    It wasn't until many years later - while working in a radio station - that I found this mix on a white label mono-for-AM-radio album of SOLID BRASS. That album wasn't released until 1972, three years after "Without Her" had been a hit, so what I remember from radio *must* have been issued to stations on either a special single or a special mono version of WARM - *neither* of which I've ever found or seen.

    Other than that SOLID BRASS appearance, I have a number of copies of various 45s of "Without Her" with the standard mix. They include:

    Without Her - white label promo single, standard uncompressed mono sound, AM 1065. Dead wax reads A&M 1725 (RE-1) - 16 - DJ circle MR delta 76391. The other side has an 18 instead of a 16. Label states that it's from "WARM".

    Without Her - stock label, standard uncompressed mono sound, AM 1065, b-side is "Sandbox". Dead wax A&M 1725-7 and an upside-down T1.

    Without Her - stock label, standard uncompressed mono sound, AM 1065, b-side is "Sandbox". Dead wax A&M 1725-1.

    Without Her - stock label, standard uncompressed mono sound, AM 1065, b-side is "Sandbox". Dead wax A&M 1725-8 and an upside-down T1.

    Without Her - stock label, standard uncompressed mono sound, AM 1337, b-side is "Zazueira". Dead wax reads A&M 1725 (RE-1) - 16 - DJ circle MR delta 76391. This one states that "Without Her" is from SOLID BRASS.

    *All* of the above 45s sound like the album version, uncompressed - soft vocals, loud orchestral explosions. The only actual mono compressed version I have again is from the mono-for-AM SOLID BRASS. It's got a white label, reads SP-4341. Dead wax: A&M MP 4582-M1, circle MR, delta 17045-X (1).
    Bobberman likes this.
  17. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Harry, was "Without Her" ever released on 45 in stereo? Was it normal practice as late as 1969, for A&M to issue stock 45s in mono only?
  18. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    The stock 45s were mono up until sometime in 1970. The first A&M stereo single I ever recall seeing for public consumption was Carpenters "Close To You". But they did issue special stereo white label singles to FM radio stations a year or two earlier. I have the Larry Marks white label stereo of "L.A. Break Down" where the stock version was mono. This was from 1969, but there are a couple of earlier examples.

    Murray likes this.
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    My other favorite is a stereo single of "Fool On The Hill" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (stereo single 961-S, only issued to radio). It's stereo, but does NOT have the CSG processing that the album was lathered with.
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  20. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Thanks Harry. I always wondered why Carpenters "Ticket To Ride" 45 was in mono. I wasn't aware that A&M hadn't yet made the switch to stereo singles.

    Wasn't the whole purpose of CSG, to make a stereo record sound "better" in mono on AM radio? Yet the radio promo single lacks the CSG, while the album has it? Very odd!
  21. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    That's pretty much it--the stereo had one channel phase shifted by 90 degrees, so that when the left and right channels were summed, the "center" of the soundstage (left + right) was lower in volume, bringing it into balance with the left and right sides. Otherwise, summing the channels (some call it a "fold down") ends up pushing the center (left + right) to too high of a volume.

    But of course, CSG made mono sound better, but made stereo sound worse. The phase shift makes you feel like you're listening to music with a bad head cold...
    Murray likes this.
  22. Harry

    Harry Charter Member Moderator Thread Starter

    There was a far worse effect from standard stereo records when summed to mono and that's the phasing effect created whenever two sets of tape heads are just slightly out of alignment with each other - the high frequencies on the center track can get dulled, depending on the degree of phase misaligment.

    Here's how the phenomenon manifests itself:

    A stereo record, perfectly in phase, comes into the radio station and is to be played on air. Rather than play the actual record on a turntable on the air, the record is to be dubbed onto a continuous loop cartridge.

    Continuous loop cartridge. Tap winds around from the center hub, past the heads, then feeds to the outer loop.

    In order to be recorded onto cartridge, you have to have a cartridge recorder, right? It has stereo heads that have some kind of vertical alignment. Theoretically, they are in perfect vertical alignment, but in reality can slip in one direction or another.

    This cartridge is then played on another machine on air. That machine also has stereo heads that also have some kind of vertical alignment. Again, assuming perfect alignment, all sounds fine. But if that machine is even slightly misaligned from the one that the cartridge was recorded on, trouble ensues.

    Actually, anyone listening to this cart play on air in stereo will hear everything sounding pretty much OK. That includes the DJ on air and the listener at home with his FM stereo radio. But for the listener with a mono radio - and there were many, and there still are - the sound could be dulled. The center vocals, arguably the most important part of a recording, ended up with high frequencies cancelling each other out, dulling the sound on those mono radios.

    It was a constant challenge for the radio station engineers to keep the recorders and the many players in alignment, or in phase, at the same time. Chances are, the station had a couple, two, three, recorders, and maybe dozens of playback decks, depending on the type of operation it was. Automated stations had many playback decks, whereas a live operation maybe only needed five or half a dozen playback machines. Add to that any reel-to-reel recording and playback - some stations would have a giant reel of tape ready at a moment's notice to kick in if something happened with the main cart equipment, or it could have just been a beautiful music station with whole segments recorded onto reels.

    So, in FM stereo, it wasn't the stereo listeners that suffered, it was the mono people. They heard the dulled sound - and were just as valuable as audience as anyone else. Programmers never wanted a listener to have any reason to tune out. Well, if your favorite record sounded like crap because of phasing on station A, you'd be happy to push the button and hear it correctly phased on station B.

    Record company to the rescue!

    This is where the invention of CSG comes in. By shifting the phase of one channel 90 degrees, it solved all of the above problems. The radio station didn't need to have such precise alignment on its tape heads for these records, so the theory was, let's make EVERY record this way and everyone will be happy. The mono listener never heard anything odd on those encoded records, and the theory was that the stereo listeners wouldn't hear anything odd either. And on standard stereo speakers, it was only slightly noticeable. A&M, WB, and other labels signed on to this CSG processing for stereo records, but it didn't go far enough. Not all were done that way, to the phasing problem remained, and ultimately, the system faded away.

    Each record company had its own way of doing things. A&M issued whole albums in CSG stereo: THE BRASS ARE COMIN', FOOL ON THE HILL, most of the GREATEST HITS series, BOSSA RIO, BUTCH CASSIDY soundtrack, etc., and many more. After a time, they stopped doing the albums that way and just issued CSG singles. Many of the Carpenters singles have CSG processing on the stereo side of promo records. Stock records began to be un-processed.

    Early on, there was a changeover period where some singles got processing, some didn't. And it may have depended on the fact that AM radio was ALL mono - but some of those used stereo equipment anyway! All very complicated. Those were interesting times at radio.

    So I'd guess that while Sergio's full album of FOOL ON THE HILL got the CSG treatment, there were two instances where it wasn't applied. One was the rarer mono promo (LPX-4160), and the other was this white-label stereo promo single of the title track without processing mentioned above.
    Bobberman and Murray like this.
  23. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Great educational info Harry and I too remember those old radio carts when I started in radio in 1996 we had tons of these which had everything from legal id's to sound effects and even whole songs and then we got minidiscs in 2000 and they transfered all the carts to them and sadly minidiscs were abandoned and the Public service announcements were relegated to CDR OR computer. Nevertheless now I understand more about why The dreaded CSG was used I personally think it was meant more for radio at the time given what I know nowadays it seems to make more sense in a broadcasting context and it should never have been used for any other purpose And Especially NOT FOR CONSUMER STOCK RECORDS in my opinion
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  24. Here in the UK, the commercial broadcasting authority (the IBA) mandated that carts weren't to be used for playing 'featured' music from but were only to be used for jingles, commercials and spot idents. In stations I worked, they were always the weakest link in the audio chain - the main failings being a sudden inability to read the 'stop' cue; and tape dragging causing audible 'wow'. (The recording tape used in these cartridges was coated with a lubricant backing to allow the tape to constantly slip, but the cartridges were always mechanically rather dubious.) The switch to minidisk for playout of short items was a huge relief.
    Bobberman likes this.
  25. Mahanusafa02

    Mahanusafa02 New Member

    Harry, can you tell if these are dedicated mono mixes on this LP?

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