Sunday, March 19, 2017
An Hour of
Lousy Sound Star Dust--Royale Concert Orchestra
The back jacket promises "full fidelity," which would normally be a good thing, but not when the label is Royale.
Royale, of course, was a member of the Record Corporation of America's stable of ultra-cheap labels, and An Hour of Star Dust is one of the least competently recorded and engineered fake-RCA releases of all--a horrifying charge, but true. It also contains some of the funnest music anywhere in the company's catalog, so there's that.
By the way, I wrote "fake-RCA" to distinguish RCA from, for instance, RCA.
Did I say incompetently engineered? Well, on top of the substandard (but full!) fidelity, we have the loud sound of a machine turning on and off between the tracks--a noise I graciously eliminated for you (am I a great guy or what?). Where these recordings came from, I can't venture to guess--radio broadcasts, maybe? I'm picturing a hand-held microphone, a tape recorder, and a radio. That would explain the extremely low fidelity here.
Have I insulted the sound sufficiently? Probably not. But, as I noted, this is highly fun stuff, and it's one heck of a cheap-label relic. Note that Hollywood Concerto is actually a male chorus singing sea songs. Possibly Royale had intended to include something by that name (Hollywood Concerto) but their clerk grabbed the wrong masters or something. Not worth puzzling over. It was just the RCA (not to be confused with RCA) way.
To the fun sounds: An Hour of Star Dust
(See LP front for track listing.)