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Thread: Frank Sinatra : Album Of The Month Club #14 (Oct 2008) "Cycles"

  1. #21

    Post

    Great post and choice Dan.
    All the songs are favorites.
    I remember that i used to cry listening "Rain in my heart" because of a girlfriend.
    S V Peluzio Jr

  2. #22
    I can say the same thing about 'Pretty Colors' and 'Wandering'

    Thanks S V And Lee!
    Each unique recording from this album brings a different meaning to my life past and present and maybe even in the future.
    I think all FS albums do that for me.

  3. THIS IS A WONDERFUL LP. I ALWAYS LISTEN TO CYCLES. ITS VERY UNDERRATED
    "You gotta love livin, Cuz dyin's a pain in the a**" - Francis Albert Sinatra.

  4. #24
    This one has grown on me over the years. I used to think the title track was the only tune worth listening to, but I've grown to enjoy several over the years. I think I had to get used to the different insturmentation backing FS on this album.
    Rob

  5. #25
    I can't agree that this is a masterpiece in the category of "Only the Lonely" or "In the Wee Small Hours", but it does contain some fine singing and it's not like any other Sinatra album, thanks to the songs and Don Costa's charts.
    I've come to consider "Wandering" my favorite song here, along with the title track.
    Bob will surely provide the correct answer, but somewhere in the middle/late '60's, the record companies quit issuing both mono and stereo versions of albums. When this album came out, at the bottom of the liner notes it said "This recording employes the Haeco CSG System and is playable on mono phonographs." The audio quality on this album isn't as clear as on the "My Way" album, nor nearly as good as "Star" and "Blue Lace", recorded the night before several of the Cycle songs.; I don't whether to blame Haeco but it's just a bit muddy, as is Sammy Davis's "I Gotta Be Me" album, which also boasts of the Haeco system.
    The Cycles songs don't get any improved sound on the suitcase set either. Hopefully, someday this album will get a proper remastering so all the guitar and harpsichord sounds truly glisten.

  6. #26
    I'm very intrigued by this album.... because it's so rare. I love the title track which I have on GHV2.Beautiful song. I hope someday albums for this time peroid get re released .

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich K View Post
    Bob will surely provide the correct answer, but somewhere in the middle/late '60's, the record companies quit issuing both mono and stereo versions of albums. When this album came out, at the bottom of the liner notes it said "This recording employes the Haeco CSG System and is playable on mono phonographs." The audio quality on this album isn't as clear as on the "My Way" album, nor nearly as good as "Star" and "Blue Lace", recorded the night before several of the Cycle songs.; I don't whether to blame Haeco but it's just a bit muddy, as is Sammy Davis's "I Gotta Be Me" album, which also boasts of the Haeco system.
    The Cycles songs don't get any improved sound on the suitcase set either. Hopefully, someday this album will get a proper remastering so all the guitar and harpsichord sounds truly glisten.
    The Haeco processing was something that was used by some producers/engineers around 1968 when mono LP's were phased out in the U.S. at that time. When a stereo recording is folded down to mono, whatever was originally in the mix either hard left or hard right will end up dropping in level appx. 3db relative to the dead center signal, compared to playing it back in stereo. This wasn't much of a problem when a seperate, real mono mix was made for a mono LP, but with mono versions of LP's not being produced, it was a concern at the time. Due to this, the Haeco system was devised as mono compatibility processing for stereo mixes. The Haeco system would put things somewhat out of phase to help with better keeping the intended balances in a stereo mix if it got folded down to mono. However, as you hear, it screws up the resulting sound, leaving an unfocused, relatively indistinct and smeared result so that it ends up not sounding right played back in stereo or collapsing it to mono. Compromise either way, and Haeco turned out to not be such a great idea, and ended up not being used for long.

    Cycles has this problem on CD because it uses the original Haeco'd stereo mix. The good news is that a new mix from the 8 track multis could be made without the processing. As it is, I find the mastering better overall on the LP's of this album I have vs. the tracks n the 20CD set (I've never heard the individual album CD). The Haeco'd mix is the same...

  8. #28
    Thanks Martin,
    It's great to have some really knowledgeable people on this site.

  9. #29
    Guest
    One of Franks better albums of pop material in the 60s has always been a favorite of mine.

    I dont think anyone did By the Time I Get To Phoenix better than Frank. I always tend to prefer Franks covers to the original artists. I guess that is the genius of Frank Sinatra.

    I would have loved to hear the song Wait By The Fire... too bad he never recorded it.

  10. #30
    You got that right Frank.
    It was this masterpiece and The September Of My Years Album that really started it all off for me, and for me becoming a major league FS fan. Becoming A Nancy Sinatra fan started a little bit later, but Nancy's albums were played quite often too,
    and I remember hearing them over and over again in my household in the late 60's during this start off time.
    Considering I was born in 1964, this is a pretty damn good start!!

  11. #31
    Guest

    Nancy and "Cycles"

    I don't think it's been mentioned that Nancy was the producer of the title song. It doesn't appear in the Today in FS History thread until next month, but this is Nancy's book entry for the album:

    NOVEMBER 1114, 1968: Back in the studio, this time with Don Costa arranging, Dad recorded Cycles, an album of contemporary hits, including "Little Green Apples," Gentle on My Mind " and " By the Time I Get to Phoenix." The title song was rerecorded in New York and I had the great pleasure of "producing" it at my dad's request "so that Don can be in the room with me." What an honor. From the liner notes by Hal Halverstadt: "Like the great American buffalo, the Sinatra brand of recording is diminishing. What's special to the spectator is the speed, utter professionalism, finesse and general excitement of a Sinatra session."
    (As mentioned earlier, the New York session for the title track actually took place July 25, 1968.)

    Also worth noting: In the very recent remastered release of Cycles in Europe (see Reprise Album Reissues in Portugal), there is an 18-page chapter in the accompanying book devoted to Nancy. The Portuguese section title is "A princesa Sinatra" ("The Princess Sinatra").

  12. #32
    Guest

    Session Photos

    Also included in the new Cycles book-CD from Europe is a two-page spread showing the photo of FS with George Harrison and wife Pattie Boyd, as well as another studio shot similar to the one in the lead post with Don Costa.

    Here are additonal views of various studio photos, all taken by Ed Thrasher at the Reprise recording sessions in Hollywood in November 1968:


    [Photos courtesy of MPTV; click photos for image preview pages.]

  13. #33
    THANKS so much Bob for posting this great additional information and some new fabulous photographs from the album!!
    Nancy did a fantastic job on producing the title track.

    That FS/Tiny Tim photo is so great!!

  14. #34
    Thanks for the photos, Bob!

    I know it must have been a memorable experience for anyone who was at a Sinatra recording session.
    Allen
    "Could start for the corner... turn up in Spain... why try to change me now..."

  15. #35
    Guest
    Thank you Bob and yes Nancy did a fabulous job as usual.

  16. #36
    Thank You all for your terrific comments and reflections on this Masterpiece album of the month for October!
    Keep on listening to this Gem, and your life will be better in so many ways, and your character will be of quality, you will live a long and prosperous life.!
    All you need to do is listen to this great album all the time as much as you can for the rest of your very long and happy go lucky life!


  17. #37

    40th Anniversary!

    Congratulations to the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of this masterpiece by Frank!

  18. #38

    Thumbs up Thanks Dan for the great thread!

    I really have enjoyed this thread. This is the period of my life when I became a fan and this is a favorite album. I of course love the Columbia, and Capital years. My personal collection boost of this. That being said, I have to share that it is this period that I really enjoy. It got me started and my memories lie here. I think more than any period of his career to date was trying new stuff. He had already recorded his traditional music (some songs across three different labels). I think the Reprise stuff is the best. He takes songs that were hit music for others to new heights. Again he demonstrates to us here that his phrasing and breath control, plus a more mature voice reaches our emotions like no other period. The musical feeling comes through in new ways. His voice during the latter part of the sixties starts to show age, and this does nothing more than to enhance his music. Bob what you add to these threads is priceless. Thank you!
    The Best is Yet to Come!

  19. #39
    Forgive me in advance if this post seems like blasphemy.

    In 1968, I was working in Vancouver, and nearly complete on the FS material that was easily available through the record stores. Recent Reprise albums had been a bit uneven, and The Voice of the 40's and early 50's was all but gone. So, to avoid dissappointment, I determined NOT to purchase this album. It would be the first new album that I did not purchase. I did , however, get a copy for Christmas, and soon realized that I had made a major mistake.

    I liked 2 songs on the record immediately, and most of the rest of it grew on me. Same story for MY WAY. I did not buy it until I heard the rendition of Watch What Happens.

    I then became convinced that I should never let FS compete with himself. Also, I found it disconcerting to hear early Columbia recordings mixed in with later Reprise takes. They all have something to offer, yet comparisons are inevitable in this format, and they are far from flattering.

    FS started out with a voice like no other, (in the 1940's) added a reading of the lyrics which was unsurpassed in the early 1950's, put them together for the classic recordings at Capitol in a way that had male and female singers imitating him to this day. As his voice began to age and fail in the late 1960's and throughout the balance of his career, he had moments of brilliance and concerts that were strained.

    Many fans prefer the elder FS. I understand this just as I understand those fans who prefer the Lady In Satin album that Billie Holiday made with the JATP backing late in her career. Nevertheless, her uncertain, quavering voice on these late recordings give a totally false impression of her sound back in the Columbia days.

    And so it is with Frank Sinatra. The early years at Capitol may be regarded as his most brilliant period, yet The Columbia and RCA recordings demonstrate just as much vocal brilliance.

    Reprise-only and Capitol-only snobs take note: There are hundreds of tracks you are missing. And each one, in its way, led to the material that you revere.
    NICK
    Old School Teacher

  20. #40
    Guest
    << Reprise-only and Capitol-only snobs take note: There are hundreds of tracks you are missing. And each one, in its way, led to the material that you revere. >>

    Nick - I don't think it's so much as snobbery that moves "newer" fans towards these two eras, it's more the accessibility ...the songs that we hear on the Radio, TV, Films etc BUT we eventually "get there" to the other wonderful eras and believe me we fall in love ALL over again.

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