RCA Living Stereo

I have collected vinyl for over fifty years. Jazz, classical, rock… I have lots of late fifties jazz recordings… some of the best are RCA Living Stereo albums. So, over the years if I found a Living Stereo Album, even not in the category of music I liked, I would buy it. I just found a couple dozen… I had bought over the years, usually for a dollar. I had cleaned them on my record cleaning machine, treated with Last and hid them in the corner.

I am currently listening to one called, Lisbon At Twilight… stereo 1958. Wonderful recording. There are a lot of these orchestral works created.. jazzy often from contemporary tunes. The recordings are compelling, so are the orchestrations and individually musicians even though I would have to classify much as elevator music.


But with such great recordings in a great system they can be really enjoyable. They are 180 gram of heavier as well. $1… what a deal… blast from the past.


I've certainly mentioned this a few times, but my dad was a high-fi enthusiast from the veritable birth of the hobby. He built a tubed hi-fi mono set-up on the kitchen table, complete with AM tuner.. When stereo was introduced he was one of the first to adopt it. He gave me all his cast-off systems. He took me to hi-fi shows. I inherited my share of hi-fi demonstration records and "This is Stereo!" demonstration records. I've got a cut of steam trains pulling in and out of stations. That same LP has a cut that follows the narrator as he walks to his tenth-row center seat as a tap dance number is happening on the stage in front of him. I inherited Shaded Dogs and Shaded Label EMI Angel records. Columbia Six Eyes, both gray and red labeled. Sorry to report, I still take out these ancient novelty LPs and listen to 'em.


@drbond  You've just been plumb unlucky!


I own both the book of Valin "the RCA Bible" and also an Italian edition printed 30 years ago called "the records of the golden age" for my choices and for documenting myself.

I believe that the Italian edition is more complete and reliable as it is written by a passionate audiophile as well as accompanied by beautiful images where the best and worst RCA, Mercury, Decca and the London counterparts are reported .... if you are passionate, look for this book now out of print but sometimes you will find a used copy for sale on ebay.




So maybe I exaggerated slightly about RCA LP's, but only slightly:  the only label that I've heard that was a worse recording than RCA is a Supraphon LP from the former USSR, Czech manufacture. . . but they were on about equal footing with RCA.  

In my experience, the most reliable label for classical LP recordings and engineering is Philips. 

Philip I find spotty. Some excellent. Some a little dull for want of a better word. I thought DG were a bit shrill even before digital came into vogue, but after that they became unbearable. I suppose it would depend on what I was using for playback in the 70s. I still own all those LPs but rarely play them.