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Author Topic: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?  (Read 1196 times)

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Offline unezrider

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Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« on: August 02, 2015, 07:44:57 PM »
Hello friend,
I was looking at some of the original Yazoo Lp's & I couldn't help but notice the word "stereo" on the back cover of several of them. Knowing that stereo didn't exist when the recordings were made kinda gives me pause. I know a lot of mono recordings were given the stereo treatment in the late 60's, for whatever reason is beyond me. & that it also would be very possible to see "stereo" on a release that actually was't. (Vee Jay)
Does anyone know if these are indeed stereo, or just labeled as such?
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline Stuart

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 09:52:25 PM »
I have many of the LPs, but they're buried under a bunch of stuff, so it's not convenient find one labeled "stereo" to listen--at the moment, anyway. My guess is that while the original recordings were mono, the way they were re-mastered and re-issued on LP probably met the definition of stereo--whatever that definition might have been at the time. I'm old enough to recall when music that was originally recorded in mono was remastered (if you could call it that) with the lows on one side and the highs on the other and released as "stereo." Sounded terrible, but hey, that's entertainment.

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 11:53:26 PM »
Stuart, for what it's worth I used to buy every Yazoo as and when when they were released.

Being a glutton for punishment I trawled through all my Yazoo. The first occurrence of the term Stereo appeared in 1972 on the back sleeve of LP 1033 (Roosevelt Sykes: The Country Blues Piano Ace (1929-1932). A quick flip through another dozen all bear the "stereo" legend. I suppose it could have been worse, for example, "re-channelled" seemed a favourite of the era as you rightly note.

Offline alyoung

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 05:15:30 AM »
BH, for what it's worth, you're not alone .. well do I recall the rush for new Yazoos and Roots issues. It's a while since I had a Yazoo on the turntable now, but I don't ever recall noticing anything in the sound the suggested anything egregiously stereophonic.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2015, 06:27:21 AM »
The reason is quite simple - by marking the records "Stereo", they could get them placed in more record shops. Some (rather unenlightened) stores would not stock records unless they were stereo, which was the big thing at the time.
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Offline Stuart

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2015, 07:35:50 AM »
IIRC, some records were released in both monaural and stereo--the stereo pressings being slightly more expensive. But they both could be played with either kind of stylus and it said so right on the LP cover. My recollections are from the late 1950s--mid-1960s, when as a kid I probably noticed this in record stores, friend's homes where the parents had more sophisticated equipment than we had, etc. And then there was 4 channel quadraphonic surround sound. Fortunately, Yazoo never ventured into that territory. "Close your eyes and you're surrounded by Charley Patton!" I bet I still wouldn't have been able to  understand him, though.

There are probably histories of this somewhere as it's both part of social history and the history of technology--and probably a few other histories as well. I'll see what I can find.

Offline big joe weems

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2015, 08:04:21 AM »
Look at the recording date, and if it was recorded before 1958 you know it was recorded in mono.  True stereo recordings began appearing only after 1958 and on most labels two or three years after that.  If the cover or label says "stereo" and it was recorded before 1958, it is "rechanneled" or "duophonic" or "simulated" or "electric" stereo (all names for the same thing).  Electric stereo records are nearly worthless due to their poor sound quality.

Offline Pan

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2015, 09:23:56 AM »
I cringe everytime a Mance Lipscomb is singing in one end of the room, while another Mance is playing guitar at the opposite end.  ::)

Cheers

Pan

Offline Stuart

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2015, 09:42:46 AM »
I hear you, Pan. In the interest of thread creep, I was thinking about some of the earlier LPs where it sounds like the listener is in the middle of a long hall, with half the band way down at one end and the other half down at the other end. At least Mance and his guitar were in the same room. Audio separation and engineering at its finest.

But wait, there's more...

I think that it just may be a function of the fascination with new technology--and not knowing how to use it. I remember a fellow I knew who worked in film and TV telling me that shortly after the zoom lens first came on the scene, zooming in and out was all  the rage--regardless of whether it was appropriate and/or improved or diminished the overall quality.

Offline unezrider

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2015, 11:56:02 AM »
Its exactly what Pan is describing that frightens me! Nothing like hearing the vocal in the left channel & the guitar in the right.  >:(
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Offline waxwing

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2015, 06:52:00 PM »
However, a lot of recordings in mono were just laid down as two identical tracks in stereo, as I'm pretty sure those early Yazoos were. Just so they could be labeled "stereo" for the marketing requirement mentioned above.

Wax
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Offline unezrider

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 12:05:28 PM »
Pretty sure Wax is right. I decided I couldn't pass up the price, so I snagged the Bottleneck Guitar Trendsetters Lp, regardless of fake stereo or not. It says "stereo" on the back sleeve, but the same thing is coming out of both speakers. & it sounds great!  8)
"Be good, & you will be lonesome." -Mark Twain

Offline StoogeKebab

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2015, 02:11:25 AM »
Its exactly what Pan is describing that frightens me! Nothing like hearing the vocal in the left channel & the guitar in the right.  >:(

Haha, the first time I mixed & mastered an EP I got too excited with the concept of stereo. Played at home alright, cheap little thing on my desk, but the moment I took it to my business partner's house (his father has a really nice hifi setup) and put it on, all of a sudden I was singing from behind the couch and playing guitar from the other side of the room. Not a sound I'm ultra keen on.
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Offline mr mando

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Re: Original Yazoo Lp releases in "stereo"?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2015, 04:12:20 AM »
Stuart, for what it's worth I used to buy every Yazoo as and when when they were released.

Being a glutton for punishment I trawled through all my Yazoo. The first occurrence of the term Stereo appeared in 1972 on the back sleeve of LP 1033 (Roosevelt Sykes: The Country Blues Piano Ace (1929-1932). A quick flip through another dozen all bear the "stereo" legend. I suppose it could have been worse, for example, "re-channelled" seemed a favourite of the era as you rightly note.

Actually, my copy of L-1020 (Charley Patton 2xLP set) gives some clue about what's maybe alo going on on the later Releases cited by Bunker Hill. Here's what the back sleeve says:

Technical Note: This record is in stereo. It can also be played with equal fidelity on monaural record players. There is a different equalization pattern on each channel (channel A and channel B) so that by putting the selector switch to channel A the sound is different from that of the channel B mode. It is therefore possible with stereo to get four different permutations of Sound (A; B; A & B; A + B). This offers the listener a far wider choice of what the music will sound like.

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