Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Chet Atkins in Hollywood
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop
This is guitar legend Chet Atkins in front of full, lush string arrangements by Dennis Farnon and his Orchestra. This session from 1958 was recorded direct to two track tape in Hollywood. Chet is amazing and this recording... more »
This is guitar legend Chet Atkins in front of full, lush string arrangements by Dennis Farnon and his Orchestra. This session from 1958 was recorded direct to two track tape in Hollywood. Chet is amazing and this recording will prove it...twelve tunes with something for everyone.
Get the Original version from Classic Records
Mark Blackburn | Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada | 02/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The previous reviewer will be pleased to learn that the version he enjoyed so much when he was young is the other one ("limited availability") here at Amazon.com--- produced by Classic Records (24 K gold) with the original album cover, featuring not the gorgeous woman shown here, but the best-looking Chet Atkins Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar ever made, superimposed over a night time Hollywood skyline. And the information source at JVC mentioned in the previous review, is confused about which recording came first. As a fan who first treasured this album on its release more than 40 years ago (it was recorded October 23, 1958) I can assure any would-be purchasers that the Classic Records version (which costs a bit less I see) is far-and-away the best of the two. I've been listening to the samples offered for the JVC version and sure enough it's the later recording released in 1961. Chet took the tapes of the Hollywood studio orchestra (arranged by Dennis Farnon) back to his home studio in Nashville and three years later re-did his guitar work---not at all successfully in my opinion, and I believe my view would be shared by most musicians who compare the two versions. Now this is odd: Previously, whenever Chet re-recorded something, the subsequent version had better sound quality and---more importantly---featured better 'licks.' A prime example is his own composition "Country Gentleman." The original recording featured Jethro Burns on mandolin, and wasn't bad, but the next version (he did three, the last with the Boston Pops orchestra) his second rendering for the terrific "Mr. Guitar" album was both better recorded and featured much more sophisticated picking---intelligent, humorous, simply wonderful. So what happened in the case of this, my favorite of his albums "In Hollywood"? On the second recording (offered here on JVC) the guitar track was much less inspired, thin sounding, lackluster---downright insipid in many spots. On the original, 1958 recording (again the one offered by Classic Records) the picking is, I think, the most beautiful work Chet ever accomplished. He used techniques the likes of which I've not heard since (and I have virtually every record he ever produced). For those who have both versions: Listen to the meaty, sweeping sound of his chords near the middle of "Meet Mr. Callaghan" or the sprightly inventiveness to the original improvisations and the ending on "Armen's Theme" (written incidentally by Ross Bagdasarian of "The Chipmunks" fame). Or notice the galloping triple-note picking that ends the earlier version of "Let It Be Me"---joyful, sparkling, brilliant! To paraphrase the wonderful liner notes by George Barker, then of the Nashville Tennessean, great music never dies; it just keeps on producing goose pimples. A guitar expert friend of mine at Funky Junk in Georgia informed me that Chet switched to a lighter guage of strings for the 1961 re-recording. Which would explain at least why the "masculine" meaty sound of the original went missing in the follow-up version. Make no mistake: If you never heard the original, you would cherish 'version B' I'm sure. But then, you'd never know what you'd missed. If you want to hear an electric guitar laugh, weep, and transport you to world that's gone with the wind----listen to what Chet accomplished that October day in 1958 with an all-star orchestra. In fairness to the JVC version, they probably provided the names of all the musicians, which I saw this week for the first time ever--listed at another Internet site. These talented musicians all went on to record with a 'Who's Who' of America's greatest artists, everyone from Frank Sinatra and Ella, to Bill Evans, (and even Frank Zappa!) If it turns out JVC is responsible for making that musicians' list available, I'll wind up purchasing their version of this album, if only as a 'thank you.' The original vinyl album also listed the composers of each song, including Fats Waller (Jitterbug Waltz), Charlie Chaplin (Limelight Theme, also called Eternally) and the great South American Manuel Ponce (Estrellita). Regrettably the Classic records version did not have that listing----a disservice to composers and lyric writers who wrote these great songs. Or these days does no one care enough any more to ask "Who wrote that Song?" Mark Blackburn
Reliving my childhood
D. Yamasaki | Torrance, CA USA | 09/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 1960's I grew up listening to this album on my father's hi fi. I had looked forward to the release of this album on CD for many many years, and I was both surprised and delighted when I finally got my hands on it.When I cued up the first track, it was obvious this wasn't the same album I knew so well for all these years. Apparently, Mr. Atkins had recorded this album twice. Originally in 1958, and once again in 1961. I became aware of this possibility last year when I purchased another copy of this LP through an auction on eBay. My father and I were shocked that his old copy and the one I had just purchased sounded so different. The newly acquired copy featured arrangements that included more instrumentation and production. My father's 1961 copy on the other hand had simpler, more intimate arrangements mostly highlighting Chet's smooth guitar playing. We were mystified.This brand new XRCD version features the more orchestrated arrangements. After contacting JVC, I was informed that BMG - who owns the masters - is aware of another recording session that took place in the early 60's. This XRCD was made from the original 1958 session. I'm told that the later master may be lost. My dream of obtaining a CD copy of the 1961 recording session may be hopeless, but all is not lost.JVC has done an incredible job with this reissue. None of the pops and clicks of my Dad's old LP. And it doesn't sound like a CD. None of the false detail and over emphasizing of certain frequencies in mastering to make people think that detail exists which wasn't there in the first place. The sound is natural and musical.Chet's guitar playing is so soothing and haunting, unlike the wilder, stylings of guitarists that would follow him. Even this overly produced version is very intimate. Almost as if you're sitting in front of him as he plays just for you. From begining to end this is a wonderful CD. MY favorites though are "Theme from a Dream" and "The Three Bells".If you are an audiophile but love to enjoy music without analyzing it, you'll love this CD. Or if you just love guitar, I think you'll feel the same. So sit back and relax in a comfortable chair, and let Mr. Guitar transport you away on his floating rhythms."
In Hollywood.........Chet Atkins
John H. Sandacz | 07/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a young person some 30 years ago I first heard this album by Chet. There was something about the sound, timing and an easy smoothness that totally captivated me. If you want to relax your body and mind, just listen to this CD, it's well worth it."