Best of the Best: High Fidelity, True Classics

While getting organised for the new year, I have vowed to throw countless CDs and DVDs cluttering my cabinets that I rarely if ever watch or listen to, and I am starting to transfer little used music to computer.

I would like to allocate my remaining shelf space only to music and movies that are true classics, standards that could be critically acclaimed for both content and technical performance.

I admit -- I am guilty of it too, but I hope to never again show off my system with the following caveats:

"You may not have heard of Mannheim Steamroller, but listen to the imaging on this synthesizer track" or "I know you hate science fiction, but you have to check out the surround sound and picture on the blue alien lady singing scene".

I think I would nominate Miles Davis Kind of Blue on SACD, perhaps, but I would love to hear your opinions on both music and movies.

So give us the BEST: what are the great performances by the greatest artists that have reference sound and video thrown in with the bargain?

Happy New Year.
Roger Waters/Amused to /The Ballad of Bill Hubbard
Bela Fleck/Flight of the Cosmic Hippo...title track
Donald Fagen/Kamakiriad/Trans-Island Skyway
Tori Amos/Boys for Pele/entire CD and LP excellent demos

I probably misunderstood your thread, but if you're going to discard any titles, please let me know.
Hmmmm...just one response?

Was I just out to lunch when there was a million other threads just like this or does the lack of response explain why Mannheim Steamroller and the Fifth Element are still widely used for demos?

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon would also be on my list. Lyric Hi Fi used to use the Beatles Black Bird as a demo for Magneplanars, another classic.

Anyone? Anyone? Movies?
Hi CW. I'll nominate Madonna's Immaculate Collection, for the image and soundstage.
Also, Rickie Lee Jones' early albums for overall emotional content and recording quality. Makes for superb demos, and just plain enjoyment.
Best of Bread, will knock you dead.(Hey, that rhymes!)
Willie Nelson, Stardust album has got to be on the list.
Weather Report, Heavy Weather, is great instrumental.
Fleetwood Mac, the songs "Landslide" and "Crystal" have always been some of my favorites for demoing.
If you can take Mexican Mariachi music, Linda Ronstadt's Canciones de mi Padre, has some of the best recording and realistic life-like stuff I've ever heard on a CD. Not sure if it is available on vinyl.
There's a few for you.

I'll nominate Joni Mitchell's early LPs, 'Ladies of the Canyon,' 'Blue,' 'For the Roses', and 'Court and Spark.' All great, and all quality recordings.

Come to think of it, the first four Steely Dan LPs probably qualify as well.

For something more recent, how about Lucinda Williams' "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road"?

TWL and Waltersalas: Thank You.

I would definitely agree with Joni Mitchell Blue -- I forgot that one -- a real classic and a haunting recording. Brings back great memories of my Apogee Stage ribbons.....

Weather report Heavy Weather is another good one, especially on SACD -- was used by Mark Levinson's guys at Red Rose for a while as a demo.

Please submit more of your ideas for high fidelity true classics! Classical? Jazz? Movies?
For movies I love the original Robin Hood with Errol Flynn.

Also love most of the Bogart movies, especially the African Queen.

Dracula with Bela Lugosi, Frankenstein with Boris Karloff, and The Wolf Man with Lon Chaney

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Forbidden Planet

The Day the Earth Stood Still

War of the Worlds

Monty Pythons Holy Grail

Mike Nesmith's Elephant Parts

James Bond Dr. No

Just a few.

Hey again, CW--
In jazz, there is much to choose from. My personal favorite, in terms of performance plus recording quality, would probably be the Thelonious Monk Riverside Tenor sessions box-set on vinyl. Pricey, but worth it.

If you want something with vocals, try the Louis Armstrong-Ella Fitzgerald Decca recordings. For that matter, all of the Fitzgerald songbook recordings are also splendid (another pricey box worth seeking out).


Love the movies and thanks for more suggestions -- but how is the technical quality of the old horror movies? Have they been restored?

Funny you mention Erroll Flynn -- I am writing from CA and had drinks last night with the man who worked as his architect and designer. It seems he had requested a special mirrored ceiling -- two way -- in the guest bedroom with a secret viewing perch above the bed. In the forties?!?! Now there's a guy who also liked to watch.

Lets hear more high fidelity classics, please.