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Recording Details
Voice of the Xtabay

catalog no: CD-244
This album, which was recorded in 1950, is a reissue of Yma Sumac's debut album. The original pressings did not have the wood grained border around the cover art as seen on this later reissue. By the time this one was made, 78s were falling out of favor so that this pressing is rather rare today.

A review is available. A copy exists in the Archives in case there are specific questions about it. The Tiki logo is not on the actual artwork.

Capitol Records - Monophonic - 1952 United States   78 rpm Album

Historical notes
Liner Notes
The Xtabay
(from an ancient legend)

The Xtabay is the most elusive of all women. You seek her in your flight of desire and think of her as beautiful as the morning sun touching the highest mountain peak, her voice calls to you in every whisper of the wind. The lure of her unknown love becomes ever stronger, and a virgin who might have consumed your nights with tender caresses now seems less than the dry leaves of winter. For you follow the call of the Xtabay... though you walk alone through all your days.

When you play the records in this album, prepare for an exotic musical experience - a voyage of discovery into a new land of sound.

"There is no voice like it in the world of music today", said Glenn Dillard Gunn of the Washington Times-Herald. "It has a greater range than any female voice of concert or opera. It soars into the acoustic stratosphere, or plumbs sub-contralto depths of pitch with equal ease. Such voices happen only once in a generation."

In Buenos Aires, La Prensa said, "The greatest musical revelation of our times."

In Rio de Janeiro, O Globe commented, "Yma Sumac dominates the artistic sensibilities of all Brazil with her magic and divine voice ... the problems of our modern world are forgotten through the magnetism of this fabulous gift which comes to us, directly descended from Atahualpa, last of the Inca kings."

And in Los Angeles, Albert Goldberg of the Times said: "... to hear her weave that fantastic counterpoint over the complex rhythms of her accompaniment is at last to experience something new in music."

Everywhere the story has been the same. Yma Sumac is more than a great singer; she is a major discovery in the world of music; an unbelievably beautiful creation of nature invoice, face and form.

For how is it possible for one voice to plumb the lowest depths of the vocal range with moving timbre and richness... then, in a few dazzling steps, to "soar into the acoustic stratosphere" with thrilling clarity and brilliance? Yet it is all one voice - one alluring young woman - with over four octaves at her command!

Small wonder than in the land of the Incas, Yma Sumac assumed an almost deified position as "the bird who became a woman," and the "voice of the earthquake." No one in her native village if Ichocan, 16,000 feet high in the Andes of Peru, had ever heard such a voice in human form when this "chosen maiden" sang at their annual festivals of the sun.

No one in the big cities below had heard such a voice, either. So when exciting rumors of her rare talent and beauty reached officials of the Peruvian government, they arranged to bring Yma Sumac down to the coastlands... a decision that almost caused an uprising among some thirty thousand Indians over the loss of their revered ritual singer.

And so this child of the Andes peaks sang with the same magnificence and abandon for the cities, the concert-goers, the sophisticates of large cities. Audiences first drawn by the appeal of novelty, remained as transfixed with admiration as the highland natives.

Here Capitol is privileged to present the first North American recordings that Yma Sumac has ever made. It is fitting that she has chosen songs from her own Inca background, using the music of Moises Vivanco, world's foremost authority on ancient Inca themes, and the man who first introduced her to the concert world.

Additional original music was written by conductor Leslie Baxter. Much credit goes to him for his capacity to retain the essential spirit and character of the native music in all its thrilling authenticity. In collaboration with Maestro Vivanco he has woven fragments of traditional themes, native chants and forbidden ritual into tapestries of sound that are as fresh, new and exciting as the beautiful Yma Sumac who sings them.

Tracks
(select song title to see other recordings with it)

      program

    1. Xtabay    (Les Baxter, John Rose) - 3:16
    2. Wayra    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:56
    3. Accla Taqui    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:43
    4. Choladas    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:34
    5. Taita Inty    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:57
    6. Ataypura!    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:58
    7. Tumpa!    (Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 3:16
    8. Monos    (trad., arr. Moisés Vivanco, Les Baxter) - 2:37
    9. total play time (approx): 23:17

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Other entries with this title
Download-only version of the original eight track release of Yma Sumac's Voice of the Xtabay, probably a bootleg as no EMI/Capital Records licensing information could be found. These are the same tracks that can be found on legitimate releases of Voice of the Xtabay but with the English translations . . . 2011 Australia
catalog no: CD-244
This was Yma Sumac's first album after arriving in the United States in 1946. Before that, she recorded a number of sides in Argentina in 1943. 1950 United States
catalog no: CD-244
This album, which was recorded in 1950, is a Canadian reissue of Yma Sumac's debut album. Unusual in that it has an embossed leatherette cover without cover art. 1952 Canada
catalog no: CDF-244
This is one of the early pressings of Yma Sumac's first U.S. album and was released right after the 78 set. 1950 United States
catalog no: CDF-224
One of several unusual Voice of the Xtabay pressings without any front cover photo. On this version, the track listing and credits are also on the front with the inside cover containing the notes and the back of the box being plain. 1952 Canada
catalog no: EAP4-684
Part 4 of set from Norway has tracks from both Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) so is actually a compilation rather than an original reissue. 1956 Norway
catalog no: EAP2-684
Part 2 of set from Norway has tracks from both Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) so is actually a compilation rather than an original reissue. 1956 Norway
catalog no: EAP3-684
Part 3 of set from Norway has tracks from both Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) so is actually a compilation rather than an original reissue. 1956 Norway
catalog no: EAP1-684
Part 1 of set from Norway has tracks from both Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) so is actually a compilation rather than an original reissue. 1956 Norway
catalog no: EBF-244
Reissue of first album, b/w back cover photo. 1952 United States
catalog no: H-244
Reissue of first album, color back cover photo.  The first edition pressings in this format such as this one do not have the woodgrained border as have later pressings. 1952 United States
catalog no: H-244
Reissue of first album, with wood-grained border and b/w back cover photo. This release, as with many European pressings, has the cover art and wood grained border printed together and unlike many others, it does not have the High Fidelity logo on the cover below the Capitol logo. 1952 France
catalog no: LCA 244
Reissue of Yma Sumac's 1950 recording.  This is one of the few pressings to have a plain cover without a photo.  Instead, it has white and dark blue text on a light blue background. 1952 Germany
catalog no: H-244
Import reissue of first album embossed burgundy cover, white print logo, black print title without cover art of any kind.  Has color back photo, probably dates to the first 10" LP reissues. 1952 Canada
catalog no: LCA 244
Reissue of Yma Sumac's 1950 recording. Another release from Germany has the same catalog number but does not have the cover art that this release has. 1952 Germany
catalog no: LC.6522
Import reissue of first album Blue cover, white print logo, black print title without cover art of any kind 1953 United Kingdom
catalog no: H-244
Import reissue of first album burgundy cover with gold embossed text, without cover art of any kind.  Has B/W back photo, probably dates to a later 10" LP reissue. 1953 Canada
catalog no: LC.6522
This pressing was actually manufactured in the U.K. but was made specifically for the South African market.  It differs from the U.K. release in that it has liner notes and the South African "Seal of Guarantee / Waarborgseël" along with some slight differences on layout. 1953 South Africa
catalog no: L-244
Later reissue of first album, with woodgrained border and b/w back cover photo 1954 United States
catalog no: L-244
Reissue of first album from New Zealand.  Mfg. by His Master's Voice (N.Z.) Ltd. 1954 New Zealand
catalog no: UV092
Recent 10" LP release of Yma's first album with the original eight tracks. 2003 Italy
catalog no: W-684
This is the first 12" LP reissue of Yma Sumac's phenominal 1950 premier album and includes all the tracks from her third album, Inca Taqui to fill the larger capacity of the 12" LP format. 1955 United States
catalog no: REG 2007
This unusual 12" LP reissue from England of Yma Sumac's first album, recorded in 1950, has original eight tracks only - it does not include the Inca Taqui tracks as other 12" LPs.  The cover shows a closeup photo of flowers without a photo of Yma Sumac.  The back is fairly plain with title . . . 1956 United Kingdom
catalog no: 5C 038-85488 (T-684)
LP containing sixteen tracks from Voice of the Xtabay (1950) and Inca Taqui (1953) from Holland. Similar in most repects to the U.S. releases except in catalog number and logo details. It was released on the EMI Records Holland sub-label. Inner sleeve features an artist rendering of the Capitol Reco . . . 1956 Netherlands
catalog no: W-684
Reissue of first album, B/W back cover photo, this is a later pressing without the inset of the Inca Taqui cover art that graced the original release in this format.  Although not the very first, this is one of the earlier 12" LP releases and shares the catalog number with original 12" pr . . . 1963 United States
catalog no: DW 684
Reissue of first album, Duophonic simulated stereo, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1963 United States
catalog no: CO 553
Unusual World Record Club release with plain cover art 1963 New Zealand
catalog no: DW-684
Duophonic (simulated stereo) LP from Canada is virtually identical to U.S. pressings other than the tiny Made in Canada notations on the sleeve and disk label. 1963 Canada
catalog no: ENC-9194
Australian reissue of Yma Sumac's first first album, recorded in 1950.  This issue has white bands top and bottom front, rather than black as usually seen and as usual for the 12" LP reissues, it includes Inca Taqui tracks as the second side. 1965 Australia
catalog no: SLEM-323
One of the few known pressings from Mexico, this 12" LP is in the simulated stereo Duophonic format. 1972 México
catalog no: SM-684
A reissue, this 12" LP was released in the '70s or '80s, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1982 United States
catalog no: CDP-7-91 217-2
Reissue of first album, first CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1987 United States
Promotional copy of 1996 Right Stuff CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1996 United States
catalog no: 0777-7-91 217-2-4
Reissue of first album, second CD reissue, includes Inca Taqui tracks 1996 United States
catalog no: 8374292
EMI Rarities reissue of first album with Inca Taqui tracks and bonus track with original unedited cover art 1999 France
catalog no: 4 M-684
Cassette reissue of first album, includes Inca Taqui tracks. 1987 United States
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