Great Recordings - what, how, why...?

This feels like a topic we’ve prolly done countless times before in previous inceptions of The Meatrix, but a search finds nothing, so…

Last night I played a bog-standard CD of -

Which I only bought a few days ago. I bet most of you know it well. I didn’t until I heard it on the radio. It’s a fucking AMAZING recording - I mean holographic.

Made in 1963, it has minor faults (rigid 1 - 2 - 3 soundstage placement), but the sound is near perfect, so alive and Real.

I used to (mostly not) sell hifi - and one of the many sleights-of-hand you encounter with salesdrones is only playing superb recordings: stuff that flatters systems.

Being an idiot, I didn’t do that, just encouraged people to play music that was familiar, or that I liked, irrespective of quality. So I don’t have a mental catalogue of great recordings. Hence - in part - this thread: I’d love to hear about those gem-recordings that you know of - irrespective of genre.

Sadly, most music isn’t like this, and the more recent, the worse.

And yet . . . what REALLY frustrates me is that I’ll pick-up the occasional self-release from an artist, and they’ll be all like “Sorry it’s homemade - just me and a guitar and a portable recorder in the kitchen, hope you like it…” and it’ll be fucking superb: like they’re playing in the room for you.

But give it to a proper recording studio and . . .

Fucking why? I know pop gets compressed for airplay - albeit who the hell is actually listening to the radio these days? Also, it was blindingly obvious on radio that ‘Folk Singer’ was an exceptional recording that sounded great - so why this meme that you gotta screw-up recordings for radio/phones? Why do so many studio bands end-up sounding like they were recorded under a blanket on ‘My First Dictaphone’?

The fuck?


Have 2 copies of folk singer,one is a 180g version that I still haven’t played.

For dynamics,this is very good



There’s some clues in here Paul. I think a large part of the sound in that room comes from its special echo chamber.

The other element is of course those fabulous musicians stripping things back and getting to the very essence of what they were playing, and then adding engineers with great mics who knew precisely what they were doing.

I’ve got the AP 45rpm version here and once people have heard it once they typically always request hearing it again. You can dial the volume to whatever you want and the recording just gets bigger and bigger without any hint that it is going to harden up. The reverb on Muddy’s voice is just jaw dropping.


In terms of compression that fucks the life out of a recording The Chili Peppers Californication is a major sufferer. In terms of supposed ‘audiophile’ records there’s always the TAS list to refer to.

… Brace yourself.


  • 10,000 Maniacs: In My Tribe. Elektra/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-013‡
  • Laurindo Almeida: Virtuoso Guitar. Crystal Clear Records CCS 8001
  • Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor. Prestige/Analogue Productions 7180‡
  • Tori Amos: Under the Pink. Atlantic R1-82567
  • Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion. Domino WIGLP 216‡
  • Applewood Road: Applewood Road. Gearbox GB 1531US‡
  • Areski Et Brigitte Fontaine: Je Ne Connais Pas Cet Homme. Saravah SH 10041
  • Louis Armstrong: Satchmo Plays King Oliver. Audio Fidelity/Analogue Productions AAPJ 5930‡
  • Chet Atkins in Hollywood. RCA/Classic Records LSP-1993Q‡
  • Chet Atkins: Caribbean Guitar. RCA LSP-2549
  • Chet Atkins: The Other Chet Atkins. RCA LSP-2175
  • Chet Atkins, Les Paul: Chester & Lester. RCA/Exhibit XLP 44061
  • Joan Baez: Diamonds & Rust. Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-238‡
  • Joan Baez: Farewell Angelina. Vanguard VSD 79200
  • Joan Baez: In Concert. Vanguard VSD 2122
  • Chet Baker: Chet Baker Sings. PanAm Records 9152236 (mono) ‡
  • The Band: The Band. Mobile Fidelity LMF419*‡
  • Patricia Barber: Café Blue. Premonition 90746‡
  • !!! (Click-Click-Click): Louden Up Now. Touch & Go TG234
  • Count Basie: Count Basie and the Kansas City 7. Impulse! Stereo A-15
  • Count Basie: 88 Basie Street. Pablo/Analogue Productions 2310-901 (45rpm)*‡
  • Count Basie: Kansas City 7. Pablo Records 2310-908
  • Count Basie: Live at the Sands (Before Frank). Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-401‡
  • Count Basie Big Band: Farmers Market Barbecue. Pablo Records 2310-874
  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds. Analogue Productions 067 (mono)‡
  • The Beach Boys: Surfer Girl. Capitol ST 1981/Analogue Productions 060‡
  • The Beatles: The Beatles in Mono. Capitol Records LDB0914 (mono)‡
  • The Beatles: Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Parlophone PCS 7027‡
  • Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique. Capitol Records 509996 93300 18‡
  • Beck: Sea Change. Geffen Records/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-308
  • Harry Belafonte: Belafonte Sings the Blues. RCA/Impex AIMX 6012-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Harry Belafonte: The Many Moods of Belafonte. RCA/Impex 6017-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Beirut: No No No . 4AD CAD3525
  • Ben and Sweets/Webster, Edison. Columbia/ORG 117-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Tony Bennett: At Carnegie Hall. Columbia/Analogue Productions AAPP 823‡
  • Tony Bennett: I Left My Heart in San Francisco. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-358‡
  • Eleonora Bianchini/Enzo Pietropaoli: Dos. Fonè 5028917‡
  • Andrew Bird: Are You Serious. Loma Vista 39052‡
  • Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers: The Big Beat. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP4029-45N (45rpm)‡
  • Art Blakey: The Jazz Messengers at the Café Bohemia. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP1507-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Blondie: Parallel Lines. Chrysalis CHE 1192
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears. ORG 133 2 (45rpm)‡
  • Bob and Ray Throw a Stereo Spectacular. RCA LSP-1773 (Also Classic Records)
  • Daft Punk: Random Access Memories. Columbia 88883716861‡
  • David Bowie: Earthling. ISO/Columbia/Friday Music FRM-42627‡
  • David Bowie: Let’s Dance. EMI America SO 517093‡
  • David Bowie: Tonight. EMI America SJ-17138‡
  • David Bowie: Who Can I Be Now† 1974–1976. Parlophone 89835‡
  • Anouar Braham: Blue Maqams. ECM 5789542‡
  • Dave Brubeck: Time Out. Columbia/Analogue Productions 8192-45 (45rpm)‡ Jeff Buckley: Grace. Columbia/ORG ORGLP 019445
  • Buena Vista Social Club: Lost and Found. World Circuit WC V090*‡
  • Kenny Burrell with Coleman Hawkins: Bluesy Burrell. Analogue Productions APRJ 29‡
  • Kenny Burrell: Midnight Blue. Blue Note/Music Matters MMLLP84123‡
  • Donald Byrd: The Cat Walk. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP4075-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Calexico Feast of Wire . Quarterstick Records QS 78
  • Peter Case: Peter Case. Geffen Records GHS 24105
  • Johnny Cash: American Recordings I–VI. American Recordings 81157‡
  • Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman. Elektra 960 774-1
  • Ray Charles and Betty Carter. ABC Paramount/Analogue Productions 385‡
  • Alex Chilton: High Priest. Big Time Records (America) 6047-1-B‡
  • The Civil War (Vol. 1). Mercury LPSD-2-901 90173
  • Eric Clapton: I Still Do. Bushbranch Records 51266-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Leonard Cohen: Live in London. Sony/Music On Vinyl MOVLP1013
  • Leonard Cohen: Old Ideas. Columbia C 79871‡
  • Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems. Columbia 50142‡
  • Leonard Cohen: Songs from the Road. Columbia 1121‡
  • Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker. Columbia 88985365071‡
  • Marc Cohn: Marc Cohn. Atlantic/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-291‡
  • Holly Cole: Temptation . Blue Note/Analogue Productions AAPP 048-P
  • Holly Cole Trio: Don’t Smoke in Bed. Analogue Productions AAPP 049‡
  • Nat King Cole: Love Is the Thing. Capitol/Analogue Productions 824 (45rpm)‡
  • Nat King Cole: The Nat King Cole Story. Capitol/Analogue Productions 1613 (45rpm)‡
  • Ornette Coleman: The Atlantic Years . Atlantic/Rhino 0081227940690
  • Judy Collins: Judith. Elektra 6E-111
  • John Coltrane: Blue Train. Blue Note/Analogue Productions 81577 (45rpm)‡
  • John Coltrane: A Love Supreme. Impulse/Analogue Productions AIPJ 77 (45rpm)‡
  • Nicola Conte & Spiritual Galaxy: Let Your Light Shine On . MPS 0212748MS1
  • Ry Cooder: Bop Till You Drop. Warner BSK 3358
  • Sam Cooke: Night Beat. RCA/Analogue Productions LSP-2709 (45rpm)‡
  • Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom . Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-353
  • Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True. Stiff Records SEEZ 3
  • Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Sessions. Analogue Productions 072‡
  • David Crosby: If I Could Only Remember My Name. Atlantic 7203‡
  • Crosby, Stills & Nash: CSN . Atlantic/Classic Records SD 8229-45 (45rpm)
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Déjà Vu . Atlantic/Classic Records SD 7200
  • Stephan Crump: Rhombal. Papillon 5638885650‡
  • Dafos. Reference Recordings RR-12
  • Miles Davis: E.S.P. Mobile Fidelity LMF451-4 (45rpm)‡
  • Miles Davis: In a Silent Way . Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-377
  • Miles Davis: Kind of Blue. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL-2-45011 (45rpm)*‡
  • Miles Davis: Miles in the Sky. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-437 (45rpm)‡
  • Miles Davis-Gil Evans: Sketches of Spain. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity 1375‡
  • Jim Dawson: Songman. Kama Sutra KSBS-2035
  • Doris Day: Hooray for Hollywood. Columbia C2L 5
  • deadmau5: 4×4=12. Ultra Records UL 2518-2
  • Jack DeJohnette: In Movement . ECM 2488
  • Jack DeJohnette: Return. Newvelle NV002LP‡
  • Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: To Bonnie from Delaney. ATCO/Speakers Corner 33341‡
  • Derek and the Dominoes: Layla. Mobile Fidelity LMF470‡
  • Paul Desmond: Easy Living . RCA/Speakers Corner LSP-3480
  • Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms. MSFL-441 (45rpm)‡
  • Dire Straits: Dire Straits . Warner BSK 3266
  • Dire Straits: Love Over Gold. Warner AWAR 47772‡
  • Willie Dixon: Willie’s Blues. Prestige-Bluesville/Analogue Productions 1003‡
  • Donna the Buffalo: Dance in the Street . Donna The Buffalo lLP-DTB-001
  • The Doors: The Doors. Elektra/Analogue Productions AAPP 74007-45 (45rpm)‡
  • The Doors: Infinite. Elektra/ Analogue Productions AAPP DOORS 45 (45rpm)‡
  • The Doors: L.A. Woman. Elektra/Analogue Productions 75011-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Bob Dylan: Another Side of Bob Dylan. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-279‡
  • Bob Dylan: Blonde on Blonde. Columbia/MoFi MFSL 3-45009 (45rpm)‡
  • Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity LMF2-462M (45rpm, mono)‡
  • Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-378‡
  • Bob Dylan: John Wesley Harding . Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL2-464M (45rpm, mono)
  • Eagles: Desperado. Elektra AELE 61664‡
  • Kat Edmonson: Way Down Low. Spinnerete SR-1202
  • Roy Eldridge: Happy Times. Pablo 2310-746
  • Electric Love. Mercury Limelight LS-86072
  • Duke Ellington: Duke’s Big 4. Pablo/Analogue Productions 2310 703
  • Duke Ellington: Masterpieces by Ellington. Columbia/Analogue Productions 4418 (mono)*‡
  • Duke Ellington and Ray Brown: This One’s for Blanton!. Pablo Records 2310 721
  • El Vy: Return to the Moon. 4AD CAD 3530‡
  • Enya: Enya. Atlantic 81842-1
  • Brian Eno: Ambient 1: Music for Airports . Virgin/EMI ENO2LP6 (45rpm)
  • Brian Eno: Ambient 3: Day of Radiance . EG Records EGAMB 03
  • Brian Eno: Ambient 4: On Land . Editions EG 2335 228
  • Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 . Riverside RIV 36005-01
  • Bill Evans: The Paris Concert (Edition One). Elektra/ORG 070 (45rpm)‡
  • Bill Evans/Jim Hall: Undercurrent. Capitol/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-031‡
  • Bill Evans Trio: Portrait in Jazz . Riverside/Mobile Fidelity MFSL45UD1S-009 (45rpm)
  • Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard. Riverside/Mobile Fidelity UD1S 2-002 (45rpm)‡
  • Donald Fagen: The Nightfly. Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity UD451S-003 (45rpm)‡
  • Donald Fagen: Sunken Condos. Reprise 532287‡
  • Eileen Farrell: Torch Songs. Reference Recordings RR-34*‡
  • Victor Feldman: Secret of the Andes. Nautilus NR50
  • Vanessa Fernandez: When The Levee Breaks. Groove Note 1088 (45rpm)‡
  • Fine Young Cannibals: The Raw & The Cooked. I.R.S. Records IRS-6273
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! Verve/Analogue Productions 4052-45 (45rpm)*‡
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Ella and Louis. Verve/Analogue Productions 4003-45 (45rpm mono)*‡
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Fine And Mellow . Pablo Records 2301 829†‡
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Sings Songs from Let No Man Write My Epitaph. Verve/Analogue Productions 4043-45 (45rpm)*‡
  • Ella Fitzgerald: Take Love Easy. Pablo 2310 702
  • Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass: Speak Love. Pablo Records D2310888
  • Fitzgerald, London, Krall, et al.: The Wonderful Sound of Female Vocalists /Analogue Productions AAPP 122
  • The Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin. Warner Bros. CLP 7433LP‡
  • Fleetwood Mac: Rumours. Warner/Analogue Productions 517787‡
  • Aretha Franklin: Aretha Gold. Atlantic/Mobile Fidelity LMF479 (45rpm)‡
  • Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel 3. Geffen Records GHSP 2035‡
  • Peter Gabriel: So. Geffen Records GHS 24088/Real World RWD 800014‡
  • Jerry Garcia & Dave Grisman: Shady Grove. Mobile Fidelity MF478‡
  • Melody Gardot: Live in Europe. Verve Jazz 5765500‡
  • Melody Gardot: My One and Only Thrill. Verve/ORG 161 (45rpm)*‡
  • Art Garfunkel: Breakaway. CBS/Sony 25AP 1373
  • Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On . Tamia (Motown Records)/Mobile Fidelity MFSLUD1S-2008 (45rpm)
  • Saul Goodman: Mallets, Melody & Mayhem. Columbia CS-8333
  • Ed Graham: Hot Stix. M & K Realtime RT-106
  • Grateful Dead: Workingman’s Dead. Mobile Fidelity LMF2-428 (45rpm)‡
  • The Great Jazz Trio: Direct From LA. East Wind EW 10005
  • Johnny Griffin: A Blowin’ Session. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP1559-45N (45rpm, mono)‡
  • Charlie Haden: Quartet West. Verve 831 673-1
  • The Gene Harris Quartet: Listen Here! Concord Jazz CJ-385
  • Johnny Hartman: Once In Every Life. Bee Hive/Analogue Productions APJ 105‡
  • Ted Hawkins: The Next Hundred Years . Geffen/Analogue Productions AAPB 124-P
  • Murray Head: Nigel Lived . Intervention IR-014 (45rpm)
  • Jon Hendricks: Fast Livin’ Blues. Columbia/ORG 121-45 (45rpm)‡
  • John Hiatt: Bring the Family. A&M Records 395 158-1‡
  • Earl Fatha” Hines: Fatha! M & K Realtime RT-105
  • Buddy Holly: Buddy Holly . Coral/Analogue Productions APP 107 (mono)
  • Lightnin’ Hopkins: Going Away. Bluesville/Analogue Productions 1073
  • Son House: The Legendary Son House . Columbia/Analogue Productions AAPB 092-45-P (45rpm)
  • James Newton Howard & Friends. Sheffield Lab. LAB23
  • Janis Ian: Breaking Silence. Columbia/Analogue Productions 027‡
  • Ian and Sylvia: Northern Journey. Vanguard/Impex 79154‡
  • Infected Mushroom: Converting Vegetarians. YoYo Records YOYO 56-1
  • INXS: Listen Like Thieves. Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-041‡
  • Interpol: Turn on the Bright Lights. Matador 448861 05450‡
  • Chris Isaak: Heart Shaped World. Reprise 258371
  • Jason Isbell: Southeastern. Southeastern Records 25473‡
  • Jacintha: Autumn Leaves. Groove Note 1006-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Jacintha: Here’s To Ben. Groove Note GRV 1001-1 (45rpm)‡
  • Jacintha: Fire and Rain . Groove Note (45rpm) AGRN 1099-45
  • Michael Jackson: Thriller. Epic 88875143731‡
  • Harry James: The King James Version. Sheffield Lab 3
  • Jean-Michel Jarre: Oxygène. Polydor 2473-10
  • Jay-Z: The Black Album. Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella AAB000152801‡
  • Jazz at the Pawnshop. Proprius 7778‡
  • Jefferson Airplane: Surrealistic Pillow. RCA/Mobile Fidelity LMF456-45 (45rpm mono)‡
  • Professor Johnson’s Astounding Sound Show. Reference Recordings RR-7*
  • Chris Jones: Roadhouses & Automobiles . Stockfisch SFR 357.8027.1 (45rpm)
  • Norah Jones: Come Away with Me. Analogue Productions 042‡
  • Rickie Lee Jones: It’s Like This. Analogue Productions AAP 51056‡
  • Rickie Lee Jones: Rickie Lee Jones. Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-45010 (45rpm)‡
  • Janis Joplin: I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again, Mama. Columbia 78221‡
  • Janis Joplin: Pearl. Mobile Fidelity LMF454-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Sara K: Water Falls. Stockfisch SFR 8011‡
  • Bruce Katz: Crescent Crawl. AudioQuest AQ-1012*
  • Ali Akbar Khan: Indian Architecture. Water Lily WLA-ES-20
  • Ali Akbar Khan: Music of India, Morning and Evening Ragas. Connoisseur Society CS 1766
  • Carol Kidd: Carol Kidd. Aloi AKH003/Linn Records AKH 297
  • Klaatu. EMI EST-11542
  • Mark Knopfler: Down the Road Wherever . Virgin/British Grove V 3214/00602567940449
  • Kraftwerk: Autobahn. Parlophone/Astralwerks AASW 66014‡
  • Diana Krall: All for You. Verve/ORG 006-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Diana Krall: From This Moment On. Verve B0007323-01*
  • Diana Krall: Live in Paris. Verve/ORG 0003-45 (45prm)‡
  • Alison Krauss+Union Station: Live. Rounder/Mobile Fidelity 3-281‡
  • The L.A. 4: Pavane Pour Une Infante Défunte. East Wind EW-10003
  • Yusef Lateef: Eastern Sounds. Fantasy Records OJC-612‡
  • Lake Street Dive: Free Yourself Up . Nonesuch 567158-1
  • LCD Soundsystem: American Dream. Columbia/DFA/Sony Music 88985456111‡
  • LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening. DFA DFA 2250-2‡
  • Michel Legrand: Legrand Jazz. Columbia/Impex 6028‡
  • John Lennon: Imagine: The Ultimate Collection . Universal/Apple Records 0602567671268
  • Gordon Lightfoot: Summer Side of Life. Reprise MS-2037
  • Julie London: Julie Is Her Name. Liberty/Analogue Productions AAPP 7100-45 (45rpm)‡
  • London Grammar: If You Wait. Ministry of Sound MADART1LP‡
  • Jacques Loussier: Bach To The Future . Chrysalis Records FV 41505
  • Love: Forever Changes . Elektra/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-402
  • Shelby Lynne: Just a Little Lovin’. Lost Highway/Analogue Productions 041‡
  • Antonio Lysy: Antonio Lysy at the Broad. Yarlung 95968-517V‡
  • Taj Mahal: Recycling the Blues & Other Related Stuff. Columbia/ORG 0112-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Malia, Boris Blank: Convergence. EmArcy 374 593-2‡
  • Man Man: Rabbit Habits . Anti- 4577-86942-1
  • Mannheim Steamroller: Fresh Aire II. American Gramaphone 359
  • Mannheim Steamroller: Fresh Aire III. American Gramaphone 365
  • Bob Marley & The Wailers: Natty Dread. Island AISL 60066‡
  • Dean Martin: This Time I’m Swinging. Capitol/Mobile Fidelity 1-410‡
  • Hugh Masakela: Hope . Sheridan Square Records/Analogue Productions AAPJ 117-P
  • Nick Mason: Unattended Luggage . Warner/Parlophone 0190295660222
  • Shasha Matson: Tight Lines . Stereophile Records B074JGRWNB
  • Christian McBride & Inside Straight: Kind of Brown. Mack Avenue 1047LP‡
  • Amanda McBroom: Growing Up in Hollywood Town. Sheffield Lab-13
  • Zara McFarlane: Arise. Brownswood BWOOD 162LP‡
  • Sarah McLachlan: The Freedom Sessions. Arista 18784-2
  • Sarah McLachlan. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Arista 18725-2
  • Jackie McLean: Right Now! Blue Note/Music Matters MMLLP84215‡
  • Metallica: Metallica (Black Album). Warner 511831-1 (45rpm)
  • Pat Metheny: Bright Size Life . ECM 1073 ST
  • Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah-Um. Columbia/ORG 130 (45rpm)
  • Joni Mitchell: Blue. Reprise/Rhino 74842*‡
  • Joni Mitchell: Court & Spark. Asylum/Elektra1001‡
  • Joni Mitchell: Hejira. Elektra 1087‡
  • Joni Mitchell: Love Has Many Faces . Warner/Rhino R2 544846
  • Joni Mitchell: Wild Things Run Fast. Geffen/ORG 056 (45rpm)‡
  • Nicole Mitchell: Mandoria Awakening It: Emerging Worlds. FPE LPFPE 012‡
  • Keb’ Mo’: Keb’ Mo’. Mobile Fidelity LMF357‡
  • Hank Mobley: Another Workout. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP4431-45 (45prm)‡
  • The Modern Jazz Quartet: For Ellington. East-West Records 90926-1
  • Thelonious Monk: Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960. Sam Records/Saga/Universal Music 1‡
  • Thelonious Monk: Monk’s Music. Riverside/Analogue Productions RLP-242 (45rpm)
  • Carlos Montoya: Flamenco Direct Volume 1. Crystal Clear Records CCS 6004
  • Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder. Blue Note/Analogue Productions 84157‡
  • Lee Morgan: Search For The New Land. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP4169-45 (45rpm)‡
  • The Mothers of Invention: The Grand Wazoo. Bizarre Records MS 2093
  • Gerry Mulligan: Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster . Verve/Analogue Productions AVRJ 6104-P
  • My Bloody Valentine: Loveless.
  • The National: Sleep Well Beast. 4AD 4AD0020LP‡
  • Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth. Impulse/Analogue Productions AIPJ 5 (45rpm)*‡
  • Willie Nelson: Stardust. Analogue Productions AAPP 116-45 (45pm)‡
  • Aaron Neville: Warm Your Heart. A&M/ORG ORG 141 2 (45rpm)‡
  • Randy Newman: Dark Matter. Nonesuch 7559794034‡
  • Nine Inch Nails: With Teeth. Nothing Records B0004553-01
  • Ferit Odman: Dameronia with Strings. Equinox EMLP0002‡
  • Roy Orbison: Crying. Analogue Productions AAPP 14007-45 (45rpm)‡
  • The O-Zone Percussion Group: The Percussion Record. ClearAudio 83058‡
  • Van Dyke Parks: Song Cycle. Warner 1727
  • Horace Parlan: Speakin’ My Piece. Blue Note/Music Matters MMLLP84043‡
  • Alan Parsons: I Robot. Mobile Fidelity LMF455 (45rpm)‡
  • Rosa Passos & Ron Carter: Entre Amigos. Chesky 229‡
  • Art Pepper: Meets the Rhythm Section. Contemporary/OJC 338‡
  • Peter, Paul & Mary. Warner Bros. 1449
  • Cyndee Peters: Black Is the Color. Opus 3 Records 77-06
  • Oscar Peterson Trio: Exclusively For My Friends. MPS 0209478‡
  • Oscar Peterson: We Get Requests. Verve/Analogue Productions 8606 (45rpm)‡
  • Madeleine Peyroux: Careless Love. Rounder/Mobile Fidelity 37043‡
  • Rebecca Pidgeon: The Raven. Chesky 115‡
  • Allison Pierce: Year of the Rabbit. Masterworks/Analog Spark 00038‡
  • Pig’s Eye Jazz (Vol. II). Insight Records Vol. 2
  • Pink Floyd: The Wall. EMI-4814‡
  • The Pixies: Doolittle. 4AD/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-309‡
  • The Pixies: Surfer Rosa. 4AD/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-296‡
  • Robert Plant: Carry Fire. Nonesuch 563057‡
  • Manitas De Plata: Flamenco Guitar. Connoisseur Society Recording SRL 8643
  • The Police: Synchronicity. A&M Records SP-3725
  • Elvis Presley: Elvis is Back! RCA/Analogue Productions 2231 (45rpm)‡
  • Procol Harum: A Salty Dog. A&M/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-474‡
  • Radiohead: OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017. XL XLMX868‡
  • Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine. Sony Music 88875111751‡
  • Ariel Ramirez: Misa Criolla. Philips 420 955-1
  • David Rawlings: Poor David’s Almanac. Acony 1713-LP‡
  • Lou Reed: Rock ’n’ Roll Animal. RCA/Legacy 5802‡
  • Reflections. Reference Recordings RR-18*
  • R.E.M.: Automatic for the People. Concord Craft Recordings CONC 0046‡
  • Renaissance: Novella Sire. SA-2576
  • The Rolling Stones: The Rolling Stones in Mono. ABKCO 018771834519‡
  • The Rolling Stones: Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971–2016 . Polydor/Rolling Stones Records 602557974867
  • The Rolling Stones: Tattoo You. Rolling Stones Records COC 16052
  • Sonny Rollins: Sonny Rollins Vol. 1. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP1542-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Sonny Rollins: Way Out West. Fantasy/Analogue Productions 7530
  • Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus. Prestige/Analogue Productions 7079 (mono)‡
  • Linda Ronstadt: Heart Like A Wheel. Mobile Fidelity LMF472‡
  • Linda Ronstadt: Simple Dreams. Analogue Productions AAPP 074-45 (45pm)‡
  • Linda Ronstadt: What’s New. Analogue Productions AAPP 0730-45 (45pm)‡
  • Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder: Talking Timbuktu . 2015. World Circuit WCV040
  • Rough Trade: Avoid Freud. True North TN-43
  • Rough Trade: For Those Who Think Young. True North TN-48
  • Rough Trade: Shaking the Foundations. True North TN-50
  • St. Vincent: MassEducation . Loma Vista LVR00448
  • St. Vincent: Masseduction. Loma Vista 225‡
  • Salt City Six: Dixieland. Audiophile AP-80
  • Cecile McLorin Salvant: Woman Child. Mack Avenue MAC 1072‡
  • Sampha: Process. Young Turks TTLP 158‡
  • Santana: Abraxas . Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL45UD1S-001 (45rpm)
  • Santana: Santana. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-45012 (45rpm)‡
  • Seals & Crofts: Greatest Hits. Warner Bros. BS-2886
  • DJ Shadow: Endtroducing. Island/Mercury 4795720‡
  • Shakti: Natural Elements . Columbia/Speakers Corner JC 34980
  • The Sheffield Drum Record. Sheffield Lab-14*
  • Sherwood & Pinch: Man vs. Sofa. On-U Sound ONULP 135‡
  • The Shins: Wincing the Night Away . Sub Pop Records SP 705
  • Wayne Shorter: Emanon . Blue Note B002776802 3
  • Horace Silver Quintet: The Cape Verdean Blues. Blue Note/Music Matters BNLP4220-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Ana Silvera: Oracles . Gearbox GB1548
  • Paul Simon: Graceland. Sony Legacy 8869191472*‡
  • Paul Simon: Hearts and Bones. Warner Bros. Records 9 23942-1
  • Paul Simon: Songs from The Capeman. Warner Bros. Records 1-46814
  • Simon and Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water . Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL45US1S-004 (45rpm)
  • Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park. Columbia 49741‡
  • Nina Simone: Little Girl Blue. Analogue Productions AAPJ 083-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Frank Sinatra: In the Wee Small Hours. Capitol CAPLP76157 (mono)‡
  • Frank Sinatra: Songs for Swingin’ Lovers. Capitol CAPLP62862 (mono)‡
  • Frank Sinatra: Only the Lonely. Capitol/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-326 (mono)*
  • Frank Sinatra: Sinatra at the Sands. Reprise/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-332*
  • Jimmy Smith: Midnight Special. Blue Note/Analogue Productions 84078‡
  • Smoke & Mirrors Percussion Ensemble. Yarlung YARLP2552-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Sophisticated Lady Jazz Quartet/Wicks, Boyle, et al. Yarlung YAR09272-004V1‡
  • Simon Spillett: Square One. Gearbox Records GB1512
  • Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Memphis. Atlantic/Analogue Productions 8214-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Lyn Stanley: Interludes. A.T. Music LLC 3104 (45rpm)‡
  • Lyn Stanley: London Calling—A Toast to Julie London . AT Music LLC-3107
  • Lyn Stanley: The Moonlight Sessions (Volumes One & Two) A.T. Music 3105/3106 (45rpm)
  • Star of Wonder. Reference Recordings RR-21*‡
  • Steely Dan: Aja. MCA 3216881‡
  • Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman. A&M/Analogue Productions 9135 (45rpm)*‡
  • Cat Stevens: Teaser and the Firecat. Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-244‡
  • The Strayaway Child. Song of the Wood 7811
  • Sylvan Esso: What Now. Loma Vista LVR00137‡
  • Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden. Parlophone PCSD 105 74 6977 1
  • James Taylor: Dad Loves His Work. Columbia/Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-356‡
  • Claire Teal: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Chasing the Dragon PI003‡
  • Richard Thompson: Rumor and Sigh. Mobile Fidelity LMF476‡
  • Masahiko Togashi: Rings. East Wind EW-9001-2
  • Allen Toussaint: American Tunes. Nonesuch 545656-1‡
  • Trentemøller: The Last Resort. Poker Flat Recordings PFRLP18‡
  • A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory. Jive 41418‡
  • McCoy Tyner: New York Reunion. Chesky Jazz LP051‡
  • Sarah Vaughan: Gershwin Live!/Thomas, LA Phil. CBS 37277
  • Sarah Vaughan: How Long Has This Been Going On . Pablo Records 2310-821
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan: Couldn’t Stand the Weather. Epic/Analogue Productions AAPB 097-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan: Texas Flood . Epic/Mobile Fidelity MFSL45UD1S-005 (45rpm)
  • Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle: One from the Heart. Mobile Fidelity LMF448‡
  • Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat. Porch Light/Impex IMP6021‡
  • Jennifer Warnes: The Hunter. Private/Impex IMP6007 (45rpm)‡
  • Jennifer Warnes: The Well. Impex IMP6001-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Dionne Warwick: Soulful. Scepter SPS-573
  • Rob Wasserman: Duets . Analogue Productions AAPB 118
  • Muddy Waters: Folk Singer. Analogue Productions 1843-45 (45rpm)*‡
  • Roger Waters: Amused to Death. Columbia Legacy/Analogue Productions 468761‡
  • The Weavers Reunion at Carnegie Hall, Part 2. Vanguard VSD79161*
  • Gillian Welch: The Harrow & The Harvest. Acony ACNY-1109LP‡
  • Gillian Welch: Soul Journey . Acony ACNY 0305LP
  • The Who: Live at Leeds. Geffen/Polydor 5774830‡
  • Wilco: A Ghost Is Born. Nonesuch/Rhino 8122764921‡
  • Sonny Boy Williamson: Keep It to Ourselves. Analogue Productions AAPB 036-45 (45rpm)‡
  • Anthony Wilson: Frogtown. Goat Hill Recordings GHR 004‡
  • Stevie Wonder: Talking Book . Motown/Mobile Fidelity MOFI 1-009
  • Tatsuro Yamashita: For You . Air Records RAL-8801
  • Frank Zappa: Waka/Jawaka. Bizarre Records MS 2094

Certainly not the most musically inspired list and I don’t agree with several of them but mostly they are above average ‘audiophile’ repressing.

This is not factoring in the thousands of great first press recordings in Stereo before even digging in on MONO, or obscure labels like Kavi Alexanders Watter Littly Acoustics (If you like Indian Ragas etc)

I’ve never attempted a list but most of the early first Stereo recordings done by Decca / EMI during the advent of STEREO are great (Jazz Classical) Then engineers like Rudy van Gelder and come to think on it a lot of the records pressed at PLASTYLITE NY (Small ear looking marking in the run out groove is a good identifier along with deep groove in label) All early Bluenotes (Pre Alfred lion selling out to Liberty) Early Prestige recordings, United Artists up to 69 ish were pressed here.

This list could go from engineer to plant to vinyl quality… for example The UK Esquire label, they pressed all of the Rudy Van Gelder mastered Prestige output in the UK. The recordings were superbly pressed at Decca (Better vinyl quality than Prestige too). Most of the non live / very early output is phenomenal quality.

Tempted to bang on but I suspect I’ve already disgusted many and depressed the remainder.


The DR database was popular a while back but wasn’t that essentially rubbish for vinyl as the way that they measured the vinyl dynamic range was wrong/misleading?

I kind of thought that was more a digital & CD thing?

Hmm perhaps not, looks like they agree with Paul on the Muddy Waters

Yep but the vinyl measurements were based on rips and there were arguments around the way people had done the rips, using Flac vs WAV and whether they should be 16/44 vs 24/96 etc.

If you enjoy live albums, this is superb

I only have the original thin-as-paper vinyl copy so can’t comment on CD or later releases


I’ve got that on vinyl, CD and SACD and all are fantastic.

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I’m amazed at how little Impulse recordings are on that list.

Greg Brown. Very well recorded. Red House records.


I guess there’s a bunch of issues there when judging analogue.

Great recording


David Crosby “If Only I could remember my name” - 45 RPM On Classic is certainly in my top ten wanky audiophile releases. It is thunderously good.


If you can do bluegrass/country-western/Americana this is fantastic . . .


The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band joined by a host of legendary performers. All tracks are first or second take direct to two track master. Absolutely alive recording, some of the songs send chills down my spine every time I hear them despite the fact I’ve played this to death.


Nice to note that less than 2% of this thread, so far, features in record collection.


Interesting link :+1:

Thanks all. I’ll get an earwig of some of those in due course.

There is this notion of the “audiophile record” that excludes good music, and that alone is puzzling - since there is plenty of good stuff out there that’s well recorded.

Thing that puzzles me is why artists, managers, producers and engineers are mostly happy to pay Michelangelo to splash watered-down Dulux up the walls straight from the bucket?

Even with Chess, with the same studio, the same engineers, the same recording kit - not too many sound as good as ‘Folk Singer’ - and sure, not too many have Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy working together, but even so, the quality of recordings often lack the magic that even a basic CD transfer through a mid-tier hifi can’t hide.

Think of it as a busine$$… The current raft of audiophile re issue co’s all want a safe bet, they know the major Dad rock / Jazz / Blues / Classical artists with a pedigree will sell out, so they stick with them, and re issue them in multiple ways to extract more income. As the old saying goes 'Smell what sells".

What they rarely do is find a really well recorded great obscure LP and issue that (In fairness getting the tapes in good condition is hard). This is left down to re issue labels and individuals who mostly don’t have the money to go for excellent mastering / pressing or just don’t get that digitally dubbing a 1st pressing and pressing from there might be an issue (Even the transcribing)

There are some exceptions - SAM records in France is doing some nice work, so are the lost recordings guys, yes there’s a digital step but they are striving for quality. ERC go all analogue but at £3-400 a record their runs and market are small.

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