guides and catalogs had been published before, with listings and comments (as
Irving Kolodin had done with The New Guide To Recorded Music), DeMotte's
guide was really unique and the first of its kind. It was not a duplication of
Schwann, The Longplayer or The Gramophone catalogs. Nor was it based on Roland
Gelatt's High Fidelity Record Annual which saw its first edition in July
of 1955 and contained reviews which had appeared in High Fidelity Magazine in
1953, 1954 and probably a few reviews from the early 1955 issues.
The Long Playing
Record Guide compiled by Warren DeMotte listed the available recordings of
compositions of practically each and every composer and Demotte evaluated the
interpretations of the musicians and in many cases mentioned the technical quality
of the discs. The reason for the publication is obvious. Read the first sentences
of the introduction that Warren De Motte wrote to his THE LONG PLAYING RECORD
the advent, in 1948, of the long playing phonograph record, the record collector
has been faced by an embarrassment of riches. Due to the use of the tape recorder
and the LP process, resulting in the reasonably low recording costs, dozens of
record companies have come into existence, and many of them issue records at an
amazing rate. In only a few years a thick catalogue of recordings has been built
up, with countless duplications that manage to confuse the collector, the
dealer, and the recording companies alike."
the time "The Long Playing Record Guide" served thousands and thousands
of music lovers in making their decisions on what recorded performance on LP to
buy, or it would at least tell them about the qualities of the records they already
had on the shelf.
DeMotte has been active in home audio development as associate editor of a major
hi-fi magazine, record reviewer on several magazines, producer of a network Good
Music program, and author of a monthly magazine feature entitled Warren
DeMotte's MUSIQUIZ. His analytical articles on home playing equipment
are authoritative and his components comparison-charts have set an industry standard.
the cover of The LP/STEREO RECORD GUIDE & TAPE REVIEW
collectors and music listeners have
come across this guide and have searched for many recordings and have read the
many evaluations and criticisms written by DeMotte.
makes "The Long Playing Record Guide" so interesting, is that DeMotte
assesses the quality of each recording and compresses his opinion in a single
phrase (or sometimes two) and marks the best available performance with an arrow.
Some people would argue that one cannot do justice to the efforts of musicians,
producers, and recording engineers, by allotting just a few words to their product
and add a discriminating arrow to the product of a fellow musician who would have
given a better performance. But every time one reads DeMotte's judgement on a
recording owned, one cannot doubt his expertise and above all his sincerity. There
may be of course differences in opinion.
interesting aspect of DeMotte's painstaking exercise is that the result is equally
valuable today as it was in 1955, the year in which the first edition was published.
record collectors of old mono disks it is a mer à boire.
If you come across
this valuable item do not hesitate to buy it, be it the first or the more complete
my pages (especially on
THE REMINGTON SITE) I shall - from time to time, but always with gratitude
- cite a characterization of this or that recording as it was given by Warren
Long Playing Record Guide by Warren DeMotte
Dell Publishing Inc., New York,
A second, updated edition almost immediately followed. It listed recordings that
could not have been included when preparing the first edition, especially listings
of Deutsche Grammophon recordings released by American Decca.
early nineteen sixties Warren DeMotte compiled The LP/Stereo Record Guide
& Tape Review: Formerly The Long Playing Record Guide. The new guide was published
by Argyle Publishing Corp., in 1962.
Leopold Srokowski wrote the preface. This guide is also an invaluable reference
book for the serious classical record and tape collector. It lists the first stereo
recordings from the first years of any original or equivalent available disc with
prefix SXL, ASD, SAX, SB, LSC, SR, etc. And again it is a magnificent reference
Bruil - December 1998, and updated since.