LP0394. CASINO ROYALE, Soundtrack to the 1967 Columbia Film, w.Burt Bacharach Cond.Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass & Dusty Springfield. [This album, released on the long-defunct Colgems label, was out of print by the early 1970s and collectors and audiophiles eagerly have been seeking copies ever since. While the album has been reissued, most famously by the also now-defunct Classic Records, those pressings were made from master tapes that were decades old.] RCA Colgems Stupendous Stereo COSO-5005 [Stampers 4S / 1S], w.Album Cover Art By Robert McGinnis. [This is an absolutely pristine copy, still with its original (now opened) shrinkwrap, of this great rarity. A better copy couldn't possibly be found!]
“This is it. The ‘Grandaddy’ of Audiophile ‘Wish-Lists’. On the top of Harry Pearson's ‘Best of The Bunch’ Popular list. ‘As vinyl verges on extinction, one album has emerged as the prime specimen of the species. Of all the millions of recordings released in [over 100 years], this album has come closest to achieving the potential of a vanishing medium. It represents ‘the paradigm’, says one audiophile, ‘the paramount, if you will’. It is the original soundtrack of the 1967 movie CASINO ROYALE. The soundtrack, like everything else about the movie, was over the top.”
“I suggest you move mountains to find an original pressing….The search will be no small task, thanks to film-music collectors, who are completists and must have every last recording of every last soundtrack, regardless of musical merit. There were times when CASINO originals have sold for something like $1500 at then-fancy Manhattan LP salons….There are tales of the irreparable damage done to the original tape by an inexperienced technician in charge of a transfer for a Varese/Saraband remastering.”
- Harry Pearson, THE ABSOLUTE SOUND, June/July, 2007
“In THE NEW YORK TIMES in 1992, Edward Rothstein characterized [Harry] Pearson as a kind of unofficial spokesman for an ‘impassioned rear guard, a group of music lovers of extreme views, an organization of Luddite fanatics’ at war with the [Varese Sarabande (or Classic Records)] CD. ‘I am one of them’, Mr. Rothstein wrote.”
- Paul Vitellonov, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 12 Nov., 2014
“Tom Null, Varese Sarabande’s label's executive vice-president and supervisor of the CD release, says the master tape had suffered damage even before Varese Sarabande licensed it - a loss of iron oxide, apparently during an earlier transfer for a foreign pressing. Mr. Null says he located and listened to a copy of that record, and the damage was already evident - barely audible, but unmistakable. For audiophiles, this effectively ends speculation about a reissue of the LP.
‘As soon as this gets around’, says Mr. Doris, technical director of the ABSOLUTE SOUND, ‘you know what's going to happen to the price of the records. But now, once they're gone, they're gone’."
- Richard Panek, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 28 July, 1991
“Colgems was started in mid-1966 as an advantageous joint venture between Columbia Pictures (Screen Gems) and RCA; the former produced a show, the latter aired it on its NBC Television network. Colgems was shut down in 1971, its catalog subsumed into Bell Records. The Colgems label is red with black printing, at the top of the label is a white arc with the word ‘COLGEMS’ in red, below the Colgems is ‘TM OF COLGEMS RECORDS’ in black print.”
- David Edwards & Mike Callahan
“The original album cover art was done by Robert McGinnis based on the film poster, and the original stereo vinyl release of the soundtrack (Colgems #COSO-5005) is still highly sought after by audiophiles. It has been regarded by some music critics as the finest-sounding LP of all time.”
- Joe Stachler, ‘Joe Stachler on CASINO ROYALE's Great Soundtrack’, 22 December, 2006