The Album Review: A Perfect Gentleman By René Bishop
The great feature is that René Bishop still has his tapes from the 1960s. With them he once drove to his performances with his tape machine PHILIPS "PRO-12" to playback the instruments and sing along. For the re-release he brought everything to Amersfoort to the studio of STS ANALOG. All tapes were listened through and the best preserved ones were selected. In the acoustically perfectly suited storage room of the studio, the recordings took place over two days. The vocals were recorded with a NEUMANN microphone at a distance of 30 cm, which gives the voice a very open sound. The old tape material was played back with a NAGRA tape machine and mixed together with the current vocal recordings via a mix console in one pass and recorded with another NAGRA machine. Using the in-house "MW Coding Process", the music was given the necessary atmosphere during the mixing process.
To get a "teaser" of Rene Bishop's voice and performance, please enter the search term "René Bishop Unchained Melody The Voice Senior 2018" on the Internet. You will then come across the video, which is unique in this form: the 71-year-old gentleman in a highly elegant pinstripe suit delivers a performance that is coherent in all nuances and takes the jury and the audience by storm in the Dutch talent show for senior singers. This pop song, composed in 1955 by Hy Zaret (lyrics) and Alex North (music), has become world famous in the version of the Righteous Brothers and has been interpreted by many other singers, including Elvis Presley, of which this performance is a reminder. The expression, power and dynamics of René's voice are impressive. His age seems to be pulverized. With the Spanish title "Voy a pagar la luz" pure sentimentality comes up. The full orchestral sound makes its valuable contribution. Elvis flair comes up on "Can't Help Falling In Love". The vocals are very soulful, the guitar especially well captured in front of the orchestral sound tapestry. Piano and violin are in the foreground on "You Raised Me Up". René Bishop presents his vocal variability. Latin feeling arises with "Amor enterno". This is the only track on this compilation that, in my opinion, doesn't fit this singer that well. It works all the better with "Love Is All", where everything fits very well. With "Am I That Easy To Forget" and "And I Love You So" follow standard songs without highlights, but also without flaws. It gets jazzy with "Secret Love"; foot bobbing sets in. The accompanying band can come up with nice brass parts! "Unchained Melody", the song from the contest, is adorably sung and a lesson in the vocal power of the performer. "She" follows, a well-performed standard song. With "Island In The Sun" René Bishop manages to put me in the vacation mood. The performance of "When I close My Eyes" succeeds confidently and with energy, as befits a perfect gentleman.
Although this song material is pop music that belongs to the "easy listening" category, I find the music in this interpretation very impressive, which is mainly due to the expressiveness. However, a couple of tracks are a bit schmaltzy, I would have liked a bit more drive there. There are slight differences in the sound of the recorded music, which is due to the historical tape material.
Conclusion: Here comes together what fits absolutely well in today's time. The old music material and the newly recorded voice serve the current tape hype in a unique way!
Album: René Bishop - A Perfect Gentleman
Publisher: STS Analog - T6111190
Playing time: 44 min
Specifications: half track ¼“, stereo, RTM LPR35, 1 metal reel, CCIR, 320 nWb/m, 38 cm/s
For decades of the last century, tape technology was the only way to record music. After the advent of digital technology, the medium of tape became very quiet in the 1990s. Fortunately, some studios held on to the technology during this time and continued to produce in analog. For some years now, tape has been celebrating its comeback. Master tapes from the 1940s to the 1990s are still available in large numbers in the archives and are often so well preserved that they can either be copied directly or are available again in their best sonic form after remastering.
Many tape recorders could be saved over the decades and are available in best condition after maintenance. New manufacturers are on the market with machines. Some companies produce accessories such as tape reels, adapters and devices that allow connection to a modern stereo system. There are also brand new tapes for sale.
Master tape copies allow you to hear the uncompressed music signal exactly as the studio produced it. From the tape, you hear two true stereo channels directly, so they don't have to be generated from a digital data stream or from the groove of a record. Master tape copies are the pinnacle of music listening.
The look and feel of tapes make a valuable contribution to the music experience, and of course it's also about revering the technology from the past. It's great to hear the rich sounds of operating the buttons on the tape recorder and watch the spinning reels. Many publishers package the tape reels lavishly and include special photos, booklets or other material with them.
By Claus Müller - audiotapereview.com