Good Transfers of Two Classic Albums
Mike | 10/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a reissue of two of the four RCA LPs recorded by Gogi Grant for RCA. Three of the four were recorded in stereo, including the two in this reissue: Welcome to My Heart, and Torch Time from 1958 and 1959 respectively. Mad about the Boy includes, in stereo, all of the songs of the two LPs with the exception of two songs from Torch Time: "Summertime" and "Young and Foolish." There just wasn't room for them all. As it is, the CD runs 78 minutes.
Welcome to My Heart (tracks 1-12) is accompanied by a muffled sounding orchestra conducted by Dennis Farnon. After this review was first posted , headphone listening suggested that Flare's reissue of Welcome to My Heart may have been transferred from an LP. There are faint clocks and occasional breakup on vocal peaks that are not on the 1996 BMG Spain reissue. After still more listening and comparison with the BMG Spain reissue, it also is apparent that in the recording session her vocal was overdubbed on pre-recorded orchestral accompaniment. How else to explain the stereophonic clarity of her voice contrasted with the Muzak-like (and suspiciously monophonic ) sound of the accompaniment? Nonetheless, the sound issues do not prevent one from enjoying Gogi Grant's beautiful vocals.
If Torch Time (tracks 13-22) also was transferred from an LP, it was in better shape. The overall sound is much brighter and the orchestra (conducted by Henri Rene) seems better recorded and more prominent in the mix.
Needless to add, Gogi Grant is at her emotive best on all of the songs. As Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot might say, she is the torch singer most extraordinaire. This Flare CD is the most economical way to buy the two albums and you may not notice anything amiss with the sound unless you listen on headphones.
If you hanker to hear those other two songs from Torch Time not on the Flare CD, try the excellent Taragon cassette of Torch Time, which is inexpensive and has very good sound that justifies playing it on a decent tape deck. Otherwise the out-of-print Taragon CD is still available, though scarcer as time goes on. BMG Spain reissued it in 2004, not auditioned. My experience with BMG Spain reissues is mixed, because of a few stereo albums they reissued in monophonic sound.
Other Gogi Grant RCA CDs: in 2008 Flare also reissued The Helen Morgan Story (mono) LP as a CD with many bonus tracks. (Just auditioned it, and it sounds great!) In 2002 BMG Japan reissued her 1959 RCA LP, Granted, It's Gogi, in lush 24-bit-mastered stereo sound similar to that of Torch Time. It is misspelled as "Granted It's Goki" in the Amazon listings, and listed as a 2008 reissue that is perhaps identical to the 2002 CD, but the important fact is that it is still in print and reasonably priced direct from Amazon.com. (The 2002 listing is still there, at much higher marketplace prices.)
If you want her earlier recordings from 1951-1957 there is the 2008 Flare CD More Than Forever and the 2004 P&S Spain reissue of her 1957 Era LP Suddenly There's Gogi Grant. The two CDs have almost no overlap. Completists will want her 1959 Liberty LP If You Want to Get to Heaven, Shout (not yet reissued) and her 1964 country album City Girl in the Country, reissued in 2004 by the Original Cast Record label.