When You Come to the End of the Day - 1958

About this Site
CD Companion vs. Discography

The CD Companion is a parallel sub-web within the Perry Como Discography having independent internal links. Individual song links within the Companion will open a special CD-Finder database which will help you identify  songs  released on specific compact discs whereas discography links have a very different purpose. Discography links will follow individual songs to their original source with full background information in minute detail. You may move between the Discography and the CD Companion through hyperlinks located at the bottom of each page. Take care to learn the two different purposes of the CD Companion and the Discography Sites while searching for information about these recordings.

           Quality vs. Mediocrity

North American BMG compilations, BMG Special Products and International compilations are of variable quality depending on sources used throughout the re-mixing and remastering process from analog to digital. Best quality recordings are remastered from the original first generation tapes by engineers clearly identified. Unless this information is explicitly stated within packaging, it's very unlikely that the digital transfer process is of high quality. Be wary of recordings released in monaural or electronically reprocessed stereo when, in fact, they are known to have been recorded and, or, previously released, in real stereophonic high-fidelity sound. Even though International compilations can be of good quality, they are unlikely to have been sourced from first quality sources.

           What is a "master" recording?

The phrase "original master recording" is commonly used indiscriminately within the music industry. There is only one original master recording, and that's the recording made at the time of the original recorded performance, but the term "master" is commonly used to describe almost anything used as a source. An original stereo recording may have been recorded originally on three or more tracks which would then have been mixed-down to stereo for release on record.  Songs mixed-down, assembled and transferred to tape for one side of an LP record may form what is commonly called the "stereo LP master" or "monaural LP master" for one side of a long play record. In the case of a single record or extended-play multi-track record, each record side might be referred to as a "release master". The release master is then used as the source tape for the phonograph record. In the majority of cases, it's this release master which is used as the source tape to make a compact disc. There is an artistic argument for using the release master as a source simply because it accurately reflects what was originally released on record. The highest fidelity, however, is almost always achieved by returning to the original first generation master recordings. This is the most expensive option because it involves careful handling by highly specialized mixing and mastering engineers.

Perry's 1959 album "Como Swings" was recorded to a first generation three-track master tape. These recordings were then mixed-down to four separate LP master tapes, sides "A" and "B" for stereo and sides "A" and "B" for monaural. These tapes are then referred to as the actual LP master tapes for simultaneous release in monaural and stereophonic sound. Several things may have happened during the engineering, mix-down and mastering, of these tapes. Separate takes may have been edited to form one and the recordings may have been frequency manipulated to compensate for various playback limitations of the day. Those playback limitations may not be relevant in the new millennium. Nevertheless, if we use these original LP master tapes as our source, those same limitations are still inherent within the tapes. Many people have long suspected that there's more to these original three-track master tapes than we have yet heard. No matter how we manipulate the stereo LP master tapes, with 20 and 24 Bit mastering etc., there's very little benefit to be obtained. Doing all of this is a marketing ploy, no more and no less. It's important for us to get back to the originals with highly competent engineers who know what they're doing and who possess the skills to do it. This has yet to happen.

The confusion and deception within general releases is caused by fly-by-night labels and compilation producers who use copies of copies of these original LP masters as their sources, absent proper engineering. The lowering of standards within the music industry is in epidemic proportion. The level of deception has never been greater.

           Pirates & Bootlegs

Many compact discs are in fact sourced from broadcast performances as opposed to the original studio recordings. There is nothing inherently wrong with this practice as long as the recordings are clearly identified as such and you understand what is being purchased. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of deception in this respect and buyers should be cautious. An equally dubious practice is when labels source their recordings from private record collections instead of the original master recordings as a way of circumventing the original label and artist copyright. Even though this practice may be technically legal within some international jurisdictions, it isn't ethical especially when labels fail to mention sources and give the impression that original sources were used.

What to do?

When you purchase a compact disc which is less than satisfactory, or misleading in any way, it's very important to make the label aware of this fact. Far too many people simply accept the level of mediocrity now being distributed widely. The market will never improve if the labels, retail stores and on-line dealers are successful selling these type of recordings. Make them aware that you know, return recordings directly to the label and demand better. Seek a complete refund of all costs, taxes and transportation costs etc., as compensation. This is the only language the labels understand and their only reason for making better products.  Turning the other cheek to mediocrity will only bring more of the same and postpone the time these recordings will be re-released properly.

All recordings recommended by this webmaster are marked clearly within the "Featured" section of the CD-Finder hyperlinks. If you're wondering why a particular recording is not included within this group, write and ask   I'll be happy to explain. I'll also be happy to explain why the featured recordings are recommended in the event that someone disagrees. Many featured recordings could actually be much better but are included because they represent good value for the money. 

My position is clear: if labels and compilation producers choose to use multi-generational copies as their sources, because it's easier, cheaper or for whatever valid reasons they choose, artistic or technical, then all they need to do is admit it openly. If they choose to re-release recordings in the public domain, freely available without paying the artists or labels, and should their sources be old records, music cassettes, other compact discs etc., then surely they should admit it. Let the customer choose. There is never an excuse or a justifiable reason for deception. It's time to bring integrity back to the music business where it belongs. 

If you agree with me, then say so! Write to the labels and tell them. Tell the retail stores and on-line dealers that their deception is unacceptable. If recordings are not what they should be, return them for a full refund or send them to the highest executive at the record label and demand an explanation, a replacement and, failing that, compensation for your efforts. We owe this much to great artists and the legacy of their music. Mediocrity must not prevail!

 
George Townsend 
webmaster@kokomo.ca 
 
 

Composer Index
A Perry Como Discography 
& CD Companion

RCA Victor Memorial| Site Links | All AlbumsAll Songs | CD Companion Index |

 
First Edition Summer 1992
Second Edition Christmas 1993
Web Page Edition Christmas 1997
25th Anniversary Revision October, 2017
 
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George Townsend
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Telephone: (902) 542-5226

George TownsendSing to Me Mr. C.

Saturday, September 23, 2017