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Ella Fitzgerald - The Best of Ella Fitzgerald

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: fitzgbesto_decca_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Two Minty looking Deccalite Pink Label Promo LPs.

This is the best of Ella’s Decca material recorded between 1938 - 1955, the songs that made her a star.

For those of you who don’t know what Deccalite is, Deccalite is a material that Decca invented as an alternative to vinyl. It's quieter than vinyl as a rule -- and these pressings are extremely quiet -- but it is not unbreakable. If you wack this record against a chair, it will shatter into pieces like an old 78. But most audiophiles takes good care of their records, so the risk of breaking an album like this is extremely small.

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Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_1803_2) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This early stereo pressing is excellent from first note to last, earning Hot Stamper grades for its lovely sound
  • Both sides are rich, smooth and dynamic with lovely, breathy vocals and plenty of Tubey Magic
  • Our single favorite female vocal album here at Better Records, Ella's small group masterpiece
  • "After the lush orchestrations of her classic series of composer songbooks, which found her collaborating with the best arrangers, the intimate scale and easy interplay of a crack band provide a wonderful platform for the spirited performances here."
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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_1809) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This original stereo pressing is superb from first note to last, earning Double Plus (A++) grades for sound
  • Both sides are rich, smooth and dynamic with exceptionally breathy vocals and plenty of Tubey Magic
  • The vocal naturalness and immediacy here will put Ella practically in the room with you - it lets her performance come to life
  • Our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year
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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Our Mono Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Folks, this record came as a SHOCK -- the first and ONLY mono pressing we have ever played that not only was competitive with the best stereo copies, but actually bettered them in some ways. Some IMPORTANT ways I might add. We’ve only played a handful of mono pressings of Clap Hands over the years, and for good reason -- they’re exceedingly mediocre. On almost every one we’ve ever played Ella was distant, dull and lifeless. Feh! Who wants to play a record the sounds like that?

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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The first "Triple Triple" MONO copy to ever hit the site -- A+++ from start to finish. Our knockout mono pressing here was fuller, more natural and more involving than any copy we heard in our shootout. with immediacy to put Ella practically in the room with you, it's her performance that really comes to life. It's our single Favorite Female Vocal album here at Better Records, one that gets better with each passing year.

Check out what the lucky owner of this copy had to say about it.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Classic Records Debunked

  (Item #: fitzgclaph_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Long time customers know that I have been raving about this album for more than a dozen years -- ever since I first heard it in fact. I consider it the finest female vocal album in the history of the world. I could go on for pages about this music. Suffice to say this is a record that belongs in every human being’s record collection. Just not the Classic Records pressing of it.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie
Ella and Basie!

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_1804_1811) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout, this was one of the better copies from our most recent shootout
  • It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass to sound right on the same copy, but these two sides pulled that trick off nicely
  • This early Verve stereo pressing plays about as quiet as they ever do - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Surprisingly enough this 1963 LP was the first time (other than a couple songs) that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie recorded together. The match-up was so logical that it would be repeated many times over the next 20 years."
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Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie - Ella and Basie!

Reviewed in 2004

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_2004) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This early British import KILLS the Speakers Corner 180 gram reissue! I still like their version but this is what it should have sounded like: tonally much fuller and richer. The 180 gram copy suffers from the standard reissue MO -- brighter is not necessarily better, and definitely not when you have a big band and a vocalist, as is the case here. I've never heard this album sound better and I doubt that it really can sound much better than this. This copy makes me want to turn it up as loud as the stereo will go and let those wonderful Quincy Jones arrangements come to life!

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Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie - Ella and Basie!

Speakers Corner Debunked

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_speakers_corner) 



Sonic Grade: D

A weak outing from Speakers Corner and a Hall of Shame pressing.

Their 180 gram copy suffers from the standard reissue MO -- brighter is not necessarily better, and definitely not when you have a big band and a vocalist, as is the case here.

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Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Ella and Louis

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_louis_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This original Verve Black Label LP plays M-. Top recommendation! One of the greatest duet albums of all time, if not THE GREATEST.

1958 - It Was a Very Good Year


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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Duke's Place

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: fitzgella_at_dukes_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

We have a very hard time doing the famous Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks due to the fact that so many pressings don't sound good, and the ones that do sound good are usually noisy.

That's why it came as a pleasant surprise that Ella At Duke's Place had the potential for excellent sound and reasonably quiet vinyl on the best copies.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Swings Lightly

  (Item #: fitzgella_swings_lightly_1808) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this original Bow Tie Verve Stereo pressing is going to be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by one of our favorite arrangers, Marty Paich
  • Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - these were the days when Ella was on top of the world
  • "The bright, sunny optimism of Fitzgerald’s style comes through in several tracks, including 'If I Were a Bell' (which also includes several remarkable variations on the melody), and 'Teardrops From My Eyes' (which alternates between rock and jazz beats—not a big leap back then!)"
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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Lightly

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgella_swings_lightly_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Exceptionally lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by our man, Marty Paich. Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo - these were the days when Ella was on top of the world.

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White Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie
Ella and Basie!

  (Item #: fitzgellaandbasie_1811) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • With a shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one, this Verve stereo pressing came in way ahead of the pack
  • Ella is especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy - this is the way she should sound, and that makes this copy a true Demo Disc
  • It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass to sound right on the same copy, but these two sides pulled it off
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Surprisingly enough this 1963 LP was the first time (other than a couple songs) that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie recorded together. The match-up was so logical that it would be repeated many times over the next 20 years."
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Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgellaswingb_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a record this good! The space is HUGE and the sound so rich.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

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The Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald

Four that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: fitzgerald_ella) 



These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Ella Fitzgerald Albums with Hot Stampers

Ella Fitzgerald Albums We've Reviewed



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The Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald

Four More that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: fitzgerald_ella_2) 



These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Ella Fitzgerald Albums with Hot Stampers

Ella Fitzgerald Albums We've Reviewed



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The Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald

Four More that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: fitzgerald_ella_3) 



These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Ella Fitzgerald Albums with Hot Stampers

Ella Fitzgerald Albums We've Reviewed



  more Info











The Recordings of Ella Fitzgerald

Still More that Didn't Make the Grade

  (Item #: fitzgerald_ella_4) 



These are just some of the recordings by Ella Fitzgerald that we've auditioned and found wanting. Without going into specifics we'll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.

A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.

Ella Fitzgerald Albums with Hot Stampers

Ella Fitzgerald Albums We've Reviewed



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Ella Fitzgerald - Misty Blue

Not Her Finest Hour

  (Item #: fitzgerald_ellasss) 



A Hall of Shame pressing from 1968.

The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald was arguably the finest female jazz singer of all time (although some may vote for Sarah Vaughan or Billie Holiday). Blessed with a beautiful voice and a wide range, Fitzgerald could outswing anyone, was a brilliant scat singer, and had near-perfect elocution; one could always understand the words she sang. The one fault was that, since she always sounded so happy to be singing, Fitzgerald did not always dig below the surface of the lyrics she interpreted and she even made a downbeat song such as "Love for Sale" sound joyous. However, when one evaluates her career on a whole, there is simply no one else in her class." - AMG

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Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The Irving Berlin Song Book

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: fitzgirvin) 


This is a very nice looking Verve Strobe Label Double LP. The quality of the sound changes here not only from side to side but from track to track. We dropped the needle on various songs on each side and side three had the best sounding songs we heard. Every side had some great sounding songs, some with tubey magic and breathy vocals. How About Me and Cheek to Cheek on side two sound particularly good.
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Ella Fitzgerald - Let No Man Write My Epitaph

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: fitzgletno_2006) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This very nice looking Verve T Label original Mono LP with the early pink cover has lovely sound. Ella’s voice is present, smooth and sweet. Since this recording is comprised of voice and piano only, the loss of stereo information presents no problem for the listener. Ella and her accompanist are dead center and tonally correct. Most Verve Ella records are a disaster sonically; this is one of the rare exceptions.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Like Someone In Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzglikes_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The space is HUGE and the sound so rich. The vocals have dramatically less hardness and the orchestra -- especially on side two -- is not brash for once.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Newport Jazz Festival Live at Carnegie Hall

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: fitzgnewpo_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This is a very good sounding live album, recorded when Ella Fitzgerald could still sing. Most of her stuff for Pablo which followed this leaves much to be desired in my opinion. This album is certainly not the equal of her best work from the '60s, but I'm guessing it's better than anything she did after this.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Sings the Harold Arlen Song Book #2

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: fitzgsings_arlen_2_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The first Harold Arlen Song Book to hit the site, and with sound like this it's going to be very hard to beat. White Hot on side two, Super Hot on side one, Ella is especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy throughout. Look at the great songs on Volume 2: Come Rain Or Come Shine, It's Only A Paper Moon, One For My Baby, Get Happy, I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues, Over The Rainbow and more.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Sings The Gershwin Song Book Vol. 1

  (Item #: fitzgsings_gershwin_1_1802_1807) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $20.99 / 14%)


  • This superb stereo 2-pack offers excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Ella sounds rich, Tubey Magical and breathy on this 1959 release
  • It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass right together, but these pressings prove it can be done
  • Nelson Riddle's arrangements are especially interesting and artful throughout - we love the guy!
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Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The George Gershwin Song Book

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: fitzgsings_gershwin_1_2014) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

White Hot sound on side two of this original copy - shockingly good. Ella sounds rich, Tubey Magical and breathy -- this is a real Demo Disc. Side one is very good as well, nicely warm and rich by track two. Nelson Riddle's arrangements are especially interesting and artful throughout.

It is our opinion that the mono takes all the fun out of the Nelson Riddle's deliberately wide, spacious orchestral presentation surrounding Ella. Which is too bad: the mono pressings are five times as common as the stereo ones.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Sings The George Gershwin Song Book

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: fitzgsings_gershwin_1_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This 2-pack offers HUGE White Hot Stamper sound from start to finish. Ella sounds especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy -- this is a real Demo Disc. It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass right on the same copy, but these did it. Nelson Riddle's arrangements are especially interesting and artful throughout.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
The Johnny Mercer Song Book

  (Item #: fitzgsings_mercer_1802_1809) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $169.00 (You save $30.99 / 15%)


  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this superb Verve stereo original LP
  • The huge, rich orchestral sound captured so beautifully by Val Valentin is always one of the highlights of these songbooks
  • By the time this one came out in 1964 Ella had already recorded 18 LPs of songbooks - this was the last, going out on a high note
  • Some of the Mercer Classics here are Too Marvelous For Words, Day In-Day Out, Laura, Skylark, Midnight Sun, I Remember You
  • AMG raves "this is one of the best of Ella Fitzgerald's songbooks. Fitzgerald's assured and elegant voice is a perfect match for Mercer's urbane lyrics and Nelson Riddle's supple arrangements..."
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Ella Fitzgerald - The Johnny Mercer Song Book

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzgsings_mercer_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

The huge, rich orchestral sound captured so beautifully by Val Valentin is always one of the many highlights to be found on the songbook series. By the time this album came out in 1964 Ella had already recorded 18 LPs worth of songbooks - this was the last, going out on a high note. Some of the Mercer Classics here are Too Marvelous For Words, Day In - Day Out, Laura, Skylark, Midnight Sun, I Remember You.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
Whisper Not

  (Item #: fitzgwhisp_1801_1808) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Both sides of this stereo 2-pack have excellent sound, with a Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a solid Double Plus (A++) side two
  • Big, balanced, lively and musical, these two sides had some of the best sound we heard in our most recent shootout
  • Superb engineering from the man behind so many great sounding Verve records, Val Valentin
  • "These fine-tuned arrangements also provide the perfect launching pad for Fitzgerald to place her own stamp on material associated with other singers."
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Ella Fitzgerald - Whisper Not

Our Shootout Winner from 2006

  (Item #: fitzgwhisp_2006) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST ELLA FITZGERALD RECORDS I’ve heard in a very long time! I’m telling you, this is Ella at her best! Having just played a lovely sounding copy of Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie, an album that tends to err on the bright side, I now realize that this album has the opposite problem -- it's a little bit smoother in places than it should be. Of course that's a much more tolerable problem than the reverse.

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Ella Fitzgerald - Whisper Not

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: fitzgwhisp_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Both sides of this original stereo pressing are White Hot - Triple Plus all the way! Breathy, tubey, big and clear, this is the best sound we have ever heard for Whisper Not. Superb engineering from the man behind so many great sounding Verve records, Val Valentin. "These fine-tuned arrangements also provide the perfect launching pad for Fitzgerald to place her own stamp on material associated with other singers."

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