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 Posted:   Nov 19, 2014 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

The 9 Disc Mancini set pictured above is available today only at popmarket for $67.99 only 2 and a half hours left on that deal.

 
 Posted:   Nov 23, 2014 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

At this point, the main unknown is whether any of the previously available material will be remastered (and if it is, whether there is a noticeable improvement in the sound).

I would very much like to know who did the digital transfers (Mike Hartry?) and the audio restoration (Bill Lacey)? These gentlemen and compilation producer Paul Williams have done excellent remasterings for RCA/BMG in the past.

 
 Posted:   Nov 23, 2014 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

Never mind, I just discovered from theseconddisc.com that the whole set has been newly remastered by Mark Wilder, and produced by Didier Deutsch.

Here's a list of all the bonus tracks from RCA and Columbia vaults:

CD 1:
Meglio Stasera (It Had Better Be Tonight) – Fran Jeffries (from the MGM film “The Pink Panther”)
The Pink Panther – James Galway & The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink (RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)

CD 2:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – James Galway & The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink (RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
Charade – Henry Mancini (from The Mancini Generation, RCA LSP-4689, 1972)

CD 3:
Just for Tonight (Vocal) – Henry Mancini and His Orchestra (rec. 12/61)
Baby Elephant Walk (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink, RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)

CD 4:
In the Arms of Love – Andy Williams (from In the Arms of Love, Columbia CS 9333, 1966)
The Second Time Around – Andy Williams (from Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes, Columbia CS 8609, 1962)

CD 5:
Whistling Away the Dark – Henry Mancini (from Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story, RCA LSP-4466, 1971)
Darling Lili – Johnny Mathis (from Close To You, Columbia C 30210, 1970)

CD 6:
A Bluish Bag – Henry Mancini (from The Mancini Generation, RCA LSP-4689, 1972)
Dreamsville – Lola Albright with orchestra conducted by Henry Mancini (from Dreamsville, Columbia CS 8133, 1959)

CD 7:
Two for the Road – Henry Mancini and His Orchestra (from Six Hours Past Sunset, RCA LSP-4239, 1969)

CD 8:
Pie in the Face Polka (from James Galway & Henry Mancini: In the Pink, RCA RCD1-5315, 1984)
The Sweetheart Tree- Johnny Mathis (from The Sweetheart Tree, Mercury SR 21041, 1965)
Natalie – Henry Mancini (from Six Hours Past Sunset, RCA LSP-4239, 1969)

CD 9 –
Nothing to Lose – Julie Andrews (recorded 1969, previously unreleased)

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 11:19 AM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

I received this in the mail from the UK and listened to some of the discs yesterday.

The discs were pressed in Germany, and the booklet is superb. The box was done with the participation of the Mancini family, with Hank's son Chris involved in the art direction (the dog-and-horn Nipper logo of "His Master's Voice" fame has been removed from all of the RCA covers, except, oddly enough, for the mini covers embossed on the back of the box). The disc mastering was done by Mark Wilder (as mentioned above) and Maria Triana (she worked on remastering some of the recent Gerhardt Classic Film Scores CDs) from Battery Mastering Studios in NY.

The sound quality is very good (I compared it to the 3-disc "Days of Wine and Roses" box set released about 15 years ago, which was also done in cooperation with Mancini's widow and daughters); they seem to sound identical although the Collection is about 2-3 db louder that the "Wine and Roses" set, which is the current trend in the so-called "loudness wars" among engineers.

The tight packaging is excellent and everything fits compactly, the miniature disc covers are slightly laminated inside and outside. You still have to be careful about the discs falling out; I don't know why the covers couldn't have inside paper liners, just like in the old LP days, to prevent the CDs from accidentally slipping out. My copy of the set arrived safely from the UK sealed and in a bubble wrap paper mailer, yet the corners were intact and the set pristine, as if right off the press.

For under $50, p&h included, no tax, no duty, and with the equivalent of 18 soundtrack LPs, plus a dozen or so bonus tracks (the Meglio Stasera is lifted from the DVD), the set is truly a bargain, had it not been for the fact that 17 of these were previously available, mostly from RCA Spain. Had the set been released 15 years ago it would truly have been a bargain.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   mortenbond   (Member)

"What kind of "bump" was it?"

The repeating kind: When will we see the release, or at least some news about the EXPANDED Pink Panther?

It had better be tonight.....or at least this year!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

GEORGE KOMAR:

How does the audio quality of TWO FOR THE ROAD in the new set compare to the audio quality of the RCA Spain cd of TWO FOR THE ROAD released in 1998?

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 8:04 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

How does the audio quality of TWO FOR THE ROAD in the new set compare to the audio quality of the RCA Spain cd of TWO FOR THE ROAD released in 1998?

I'll give it a comparison when I have time, and get back to you in a day or two.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 9:25 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

I just got my set from a seller on Amazon at about half the list price. I basically only needed ME, NATALIE which I had previously transferred from LP to CD.

I am not sure of their source for ME, NATALIE but it may have been an LP. It could sound better to my ears.

Also I was really disappointed they doubled all the scores up into 9 CDs. For some reason I was under the impression they were all separate CDs.

Add to that the fact my box came a bit banged up in shipping and the whole thing feels a bit of a let down.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 9:48 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

I just got my set from a seller on Amazon at about half the list price. I basically only needed ME, NATALIE which I had previously transferred from LP to CD.

I am not sure of their source for ME, NATALIE but it may have been an LP. It could sound better to my ears.

Also I was really disappointed they doubled all the scores up into 9 CDs. For some reason I was under the impression they were all separate CDs.

Add to that the fact my box came a bit banged up in shipping and the whole thing feels a bit of a let down.


Revising my opinion on ME, NATALIE. Perhaps it isn't from a LP. I don't know. I feel like I hear LP surface noise on some tracks but not others. I'd appreciate anyone with a second opinion to offer.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2014 - 9:59 PM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

Are sound samples available for this set?

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2014 - 12:40 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

How does the audio quality of TWO FOR THE ROAD in the new set compare to the audio quality of the RCA Spain cd of TWO FOR THE ROAD released in 1998?

The audio quality of the RCA Spain TWO FOR THE ROAD and the new release sound virtually identical (I compared the opening 30 seconds of several tracks). The new mastering is about 1 or 2 db quieter, and is ever so slightly dryer, leaner (less reverb perhaps). If you were going to buy the new set simply for an upgrade of TWO FOR THE ROAD, I wouldn't bother.

 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2014 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

"What kind of "bump" was it?"

"It was a beump on the head!"

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 8, 2014 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

GEORGE KOMAR:

Thanks for the reply.
I'm going to buy the set anyway because I want the other albums. I already have the 1998 RCA TWO FOR THE ROAD and have never been real happy with the audio quality, but having the other albums in the set will make the purchase worthwhile.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 30, 2014 - 7:29 PM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

Just to confirm what George Komar posted, he's right on in his assessment of 'Two For the Road'. I'm working my way meticulously through the Mancini box and a/b'ing track by track with the Spanish releases plus the Japanese 'Great Race', the French 'Hatari' and 'Charade' and the Varese 'Who is Killiing...?'. I'm disappointed. I was hoping for a sizeable jump in audio quality from the Spanish releases but it looks like I won't be disposing of them yet. In fact several titles ('Darling Lili' and 'Gunn') fare much better in the Spanish releases. EQ on bass/mid/highs are almost identical on both releases with a few titles having a little more oomph on the new version (I emphasize 'little'). What's clear from some of the shrillness in the high end and the distortion present at times is that, I believe, the source for both the Spanish and new release are the same. I was hoping that there were some pristine American masters which had been sourced for the box. Looks like I'll be looking for the rest of the Japanese releases. I still have two more discs to go (four albums) and then I'll post again. Oh yes, and the track order and titles on 'Oklahoma Crude' are completely botched on the new release. I believe the Spanish track and title order is correct to the vinyl (although I no longer have the vinyl to confirm) but the new release has the titles listed in the same order - only DIFFERENT TRACKS in the wrong places! Also, the Buddha 'Pink Panther' release still has the best audio quality I've heard of any release. Those Euro-2-fers (Camden Deluxe series) sound inferior all round and the two French titles mentioned above are absolutely gorgeous. The Varese 'Who Is Killing...' is a DB or two punchier than the new release. The trouble with 'comps' is that those making them feel obliged to go for a 'uniform sound' so that nothing jumps out jarringly - I don't like this approach. I'd rather have each track or project pristine in it's original approach. It can be very crazy - i.e. on the Mancini box, the disc with 'Gunn' (1968) is coupled with 'Who is Killing...' (1975). 'Gunn' is a tough big band and combo sound while 'Killing' is fully symphonic and the scores were recorded 7 years apart with major changes in sound recording between - so rather than present each album in it's original glory, both are toned down in the interest of flowing together.


On the plus side, because the quality (while almost identical to the Spanish releases) is acceptable this set is still a great deal (at a great price) for anyone who doesn't have any or many of these titles.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2014 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

BOB BRYDEN:

Thanks for the reviews. I hope you post your reviews on the rest of the new cd set

As for the new set's audio quality compared to the older versions, I'm disappointed. I thought that Sony, with its vast experience in cd and digital technology, and because of the latest technology improvements since the older cds were released, would release the new Mancini set with improved audio quality.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2014 - 10:26 AM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

BOB BRYDEN:

Thanks for the reviews. I hope you post your reviews on the rest of the new cd set

As for the new set's audio quality compared to the older versions, I'm disappointed. I thought that Sony, with its vast experience in cd and digital technology, and because of the latest technology improvements since the older cds were released, would release the new Mancini set with improved audio quality.


I've said it many times before - but I'm very badly burned by 'the re-master industry'. It's to the point now where perhaps one in five 're-masters' is any kind of real improvement. It amazes me that the people involved don't have copies of previous releases constantly cued right up in the studio to compare - or worse - they don't care to do so. This is sheer arrogance. And for all of you/us out here, it bothers me that these powers-that-be disrespect us so. It should be clear by now that some of us are actually paying attention. I'll reiterate though, the Mancini Classic Soundtrack Collection is still a great deal for those who have little or nothing on it. Just don't expect any significant improvement over the Spanish releases.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2014 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   dragon53   (Member)

BOB BRYDEN:

I agree about recent remasters. I'm not going to mention titles, but I compared a just-released remastered soundtrack and compared it to a compilation cd with the same tracks released in 2004. I was disappointed that the 2014 version has inferior audio quality compared to the 2004 compilation. The only plus for the 2014 remastered cd is that it has the entire soundtrack, but the compilation cd only has five tracks from the soundtrack.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2014 - 2:14 PM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

On the last two discs: 'The Great Race' is fine on the new set but no match for the stunning 1991 Japanese CD Club release. It astounds me that as early as that the Japanese were so far ahead in their full and bold usage of the full spectrum of frequencies available with the CD format. (They make everyone else look timid). As for 'Me, Natalie', one of Mancini's most subdued scores, it fairs very well in it's first CD release. I always found the album boring but the new disc brings out some things I hadn't noticed before (but nothing can salvage the dismal Rod McKuen vocals). The last disc 'The Party' and 'Visions of 8' is a mixed bag. 'Party' may be (strangely) the worst recorded Mancini album ever - and the Spanish CD goes a little ways in making it a little rounder and fuller while the Sony release is merely adequate. 'Visions of 8' sounds better on the Spanish as well but the Sony disc is acceptable.

I had always assumed that the Spanish discs were mastered from 2nd generation masters sent to Spain from the States - hence the distortion and other anomalies. Now I'm not so sure. The Sony discs sound so similar to the Spanish BMG releases - generally mastered a little quieter. Perhaps these are the best masters extant. In which case, rounding up those Japanese editions may be the only way to get these albums in the glorious stereo sound they originally had. (The Jap CD's presently go on Ebay for between $120.00 and $150.00 each!!!)

Of course, what I'm most interested in are the original soundtracks and not Mancini's re-recorded versions anyway, so let's just hope and pray that those labels which have begun to curate and release the original tracks will continue to do so.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 31, 2014 - 2:46 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

I sold my Japanese (RCA) and Spanish editions (the Japanese went for a great deal less than $120!) in favour of this beautifully packaged and space-friendly boxed set. I did some side-by-side comparisons myself and didn't hear much of a difference. Certainly nothing show-stopping.

My biggest concern is around Oklahoma Crude. I've never had this on any previous format and I'm curious to know what's up with the sequencing...?

 
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