Friday, July 20, 2012

Classic vinyl album recommendations

As a complement to my blog on where to buy vinyl records*, here are some classic vinyl albums that really stand out as an audio experience. They were chosen by myself and members of the Word Massive. Feel free to add your own recommendations

Yes – The Yes Album  (Squire and Howe jump out of the speakers)
Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed  (original Decca pressings recommended)
Joni Mitchell – Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter  (brighter sounding than Hejira – an audio delight)
Stephen Stills - Manassas
Montrose – First album  (the raunch of Ronnie’s guitar comes across best on the vinyl)

Jimi Hendrix – Are You Experienced  (the brown 'Backtrack 10' was the very first version of AYE issued in the UK as stereo – it says mono on the sleeve – it is phenomenal)

Roy Harper - Stormcock  (original Harvest pressing)
Santana -Caravanserai
Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thrill  (original US pressing)
John Hiatt - Slow Turning
Troubadour - JJ Cale

Dr. John - Desitively Bonnaroo  (original ATCO pressing)
The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Joni Mitchell (astonishingly good sound reinforces what a tremendous musical achievement this was)
Michael Franks – The Art of Tea
Show Some Emotion - Joan Armatrading
Boston - first album – (again, the guitars just sound better on the vinyl – I have the half speed master version)

Todd Rundgren - A Wizard A True Star  (original US pressings, with the die-cut cover and 'Sterling RL' in the run-out groove)
Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws - Bruce Cockburn
Aretha Franklin - Get It Right  (produced by Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller's bass to the fore)
Average White Band - Soul Searching

The Who - Quadrophenia  (original Track pressing - 'I'm One' showing the band at their very peak)
Graceland - Paul Simon
Famous Blue Raincoat - Jennifer Warnes
Godbluff - Van der Graaf Generator
Pawn Hearts - Van der Graaf Generator

Jimmy Reed - any of the Charly albums
The Stooges - Fun House
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Rolling Stones - Exile On Main St

Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland  - 1983...never sounded better.
MC5 - High Time
Neil Young - Zuma
The Fabulous Thunderbirds - 1st LP
The Blue Nile - 'A Walk Across The Rooftops'
Aja - Steely Dan

Supertramp - Crime of the Century
Yes - Close to the Edge
King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King
Joe Jackson - Night and Day
Aimee Mann - Lost in Space
Rickie Lee Jones - The Magazine

Bat Out  of Hell - Meatloaf
Hot Rats - Frank Zappa
Penguin Eggs - Nic Jones
Black Sabbath – first album  (guitar is much less contained than on subsequent albums)
Deep Purple - In Rock nd Fireball (both Harvest pressings have the same crunchy guitar sound)Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell 
Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - new 180gram pressing. £8 at HMV.
Rainbow Rising - Rainbow

Led Zeppelin IV
Max Romeo - War Ina Babylon
‘Dynamite’ Reggae compilations
Doctor Alimantado –Best Dressed Chicken in Town

Bryter Layter - Nick Drake
Dare - Human League
First Take - Roberta Flack
Solid Air - John Martyn
The Man Machine - Kraftwerk
Thomas Dolby - The Flat Earth

Donald Fagen - The Nightfly, Kakakiriad
Steely Dan - Gaucho
Delbert McClinton - Keeper Of The Flame
Never Die Youn' - James Taylor -
Beck - Sea Change - The MFSL vinyl version

Nick Drake - Pink Moon.
Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire De Melody Nelson
Judee Sill – first album (the Four Men With Beards 180g version sounds just great)
Isaac Hayes - Black Moses
The Wailers - Catch a Fire
The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
The Faces - Ooh La La

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