www.sunvirgin.com->Discography->Voice of the Xtabay
Please join the fan club today!
Recording Details
Voice of the Xtabay

catalog no: CO 553
Unusual World Record Club release with plain cover art

A review is available. The Tiki logo is not on the actual artwork.

World Record Club Connoisseur Series - Monophonic - ca.1963 New Zealand   12" LP

Historical notes
Liner Notes
It is no exaggeration to say that Yma Sumac possesses the most extraordinary voice of our times.  If it were but a vocal instrument it would still be exciting, but this beautiful Incan princess plays her fabulous four-octave range with such a variety of emotional attitudes and tonal color that the result is a unique and spellbinding experience.

Born high in the Peruvian Andes, a descendant of the last of the Incan kings, Yma Sumac spent her childhood literally "talking" with the birds, the beasts, the winds, the sounds of life and nature surrounding the little village of Ichocan.

While still a small girl she began taking part in the religious pageants and services of the sun-worshipping Indians and became almost deified by them.  Word of her phenomenal vocal powers reached Lima, the Peruvian capitol, and an official government delegation travelled into this remote mountain region to see and hear what they secretely believed to be a myth.  Yma Sumac was real, however, and a few years later she was in Lima, studying, singing, maturing, becoming Peru's precious gift to the world.

A member of that original delegation was Moisés Vivanco, a young composer and authority on Incan music, who fell in love with the voice and later fell in love with the young woman herself.  He in now Yma Sumac's husband, manager, conductor, arranger, a gifted musical figure in his own right and an essential complement to his wife's vocal artistry.

The scope of Yma Sumac's performance widened from Peru, throughout South America, eventually throughout the world.  But is was not a career of direct, soaring success.  Her revered position in Peru meant little to the audiences and booking agents of the United States who, at first, regarded her as little more than a novelty.  As a result, she and Vivanco played one-night stands, a resort in the Catskill "borscht belt", even a New York delicatessen.  Sometimes, luckily, there would be a break in the bad luck and they would have an engagement at a smart club like the "Blue Angel" or appear on a nationwide television show.

It wasn't until 1950, however, that Yma Sumac "arrived".  She gave a concert at the famed Hollywood Bowl and her impact on the audience was so startling that the wire services carried the news of her triumph all over the world.  Then, a few weeks later, her first Capitol album was released and it became the sensation of the record industry, a best-seller by virtue of an unprecedented word-of-mouth campaign.

Yma Sumac was suddenly an international celebrity, in world-wide demand, so she began a series of concert tours that carried her from continent to continent, singing to hunderds of thousands, eliciting frenzied, idolatrous applause wherever she went.  A young woman with a face, figure and demeanor as strikingly beautiful as her heralded voice, Yma Sumac was at last fulfilling her destiny.

"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 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".

Jarmila Novotna, the Metropolitan Opera's great soprano, called Yma Sumac's voice "about the most exciting I've ever heard".

A New York teen-ager said, "When I listed to her I feel like I'm dreaming, like I'm in another world".

And the faraway world of her native Ichocan, the natives still regard her as a reincarnation of Xtabay, lovely and mysterious woman of Incan legend.

Tracks
(select song title to see other recordings with it)
    Hide listing
    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 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. 1952 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: 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
    Back to Top