Best Record You Have Ever heard

Thought I would start this thread for all you vinyl lovers out there.

The rules are simple:
1. Only post one album, the absolute best you have heard.
2. It must be something you have heard on VINYL.
3. Both the recording AND musical content must be impeccable
and I do mean BOTH!
4. Try to be as specific as possible i.e/ version, year, re-issue, original, 45RM,direct to disc, half speed mastered etc...

Here is mine.

Artist: John Frusciante
Album: Curtains
Release: Record COllection
Date: 2005
Recording: It was done in his living room, fully acoustic album. Mastered by Bernie Grundman Hollywood CA.
Hard to remember. ;-)
Given that I have been a CD only person since 1995, here goes:

Artist: Rolling Stones
Album: Let It Bleed
Release: London (if my memory serves me)
Date: 1969 (original LP pressing)
Recording: Olympic Studios (UK)

Love this album on SACD, as well.

'I've Got the Music in Me' Thelma Houston & Pressure Cooker, Sheffield Labs/Doug Sax, Direct to Disc, 1975. If you don't own it, or haven't heard it(on a good system); you simply don't know what you are missing!
The Beatles "Abby Road"
Artist: Al Green
Album: I'm Still in Love with You
Release: London, Hi!
Date: 1973
Recording: Memphis - Hi Studios
M&K Recording Flamenco Fever

From 1978 on M&K Realtime Records,RT-107
Live Direct-To-Disc recording
33 1/3 rpm
Performed by Felipe De La Rosa & his Famenco Group,recorded live at the Club El Matador in Los Angeles

The recording and dynamics are both equally impressive.
My most recent acquisition is Analogue Productions' 2x45 rpm rendition of the 1962 Living Stereo classic, "The Power of the Orchestra," which features Joseph Leibowitz conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Moussorgsky's "Night on Bare Mountain" and "Pictures at an Exhibition."

This "Pictures at an Exhibition" performance ranks with the very finest and the "Night on Bare Mountain" is so visceral it will make you curl up in fear. The clarity of the percussion and bite of the brass must be experienced to be believed, and the 45 rpm version imparts a clarity and dynamics the like of which I've never heard for a bombastic orchestral piece on LP before, let alone a 3-track. For sonics+musical value it's my #1.
Supertramp: Crime of the Century (MFSL LP).
Artist: Art Pepper
Title: Art Pepper Plus Eleven
Original was on Contemporary, around 1959
Latest version I have is on two 12" 45RPM
Amazing fidelity.
This is a confusing question, the best record that I have ever heard is the Tape Project's open reel tape of Oistakh and the LSO performing Hindemith. A record being any recording of a performance. Though for some reason those who seem to enjoy vinyl have the opionion that it somehow refers exclusively to that medium.

For vinyl I think that I would take the Gilberto side of the LP "Getz/Gilberto 2" on Verve or perhaps a Bernie Grundman first pressing of Joni Mitchell's "Blue".
Alison Krauss Live
Bill Evans
Everybody loves Bill Evans
Doc Severinsen with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London
London Sessions
Firstline FDLP 5001
Firstline Audiophile Edition
Digitally Recorded
Mine is Special Limited Edition #08993
I have two other LP's not Ltd. Ed.
Got my first copy in '82 & have enjoyed the hell out of it a few thousand times.
Doc plays to the bitter end & then some!
May still be available @ Amazon
Side One:
This Masquerade
Do You Think I'm Sexy?
Sometimes when We Touch
Side Two:
I'll Never love This way Again
Song For Our Friends
Slow burn
How did We Get This Far?
Title: Money Makes The World Go Round
Artist: The Distributors
Release: 2011
Recording: Live at RMAF
Mastering: Good Night Recordings
Microphone: Mk33 1/3
Label: Empty Pockets
Chief Engineer: Broken Bearing jun.
Kind Of Blue
Miles Davis
Columbia 6-Eye
william lyall-solocasting..a masterpiece.

"Out To Lunch" by Eric Dolphy on Blue Note. More for the music than it is for sonic. It is Rudy Van Gelder at his best, pristine, full of horn presence and snappy dynamics. RVG is the worst engineer on piano so thank goodness this has no piano and Bobby Hutcherson's vibe is perfect this type of recording. Musically, one of the greatest albums of avant-garde jazz. Eric's bass clarinet is so awesome that I had a car accident listening to the opening track inspired by Monk. If I was to get killed, at least it was for great music! Essential.

I gotta go with Randy Travis, Storms of Life. I have an original pressing. It's my wife's kind of music but it has grown on me because the record is so well recorded and so nicely balanced top to bottom. Sparkly top end, silky smooth mids and punchy lively bass.
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
11-07-11: Jeffga
Supertramp: Crime of the Century (MFSL LP).
When I got back into vinyl 4 yrs ago I bought one of these off eBay for $5. I was so excited until I played it--it was all noisy and crackly. Today I tried a different way of cleaning it (just a bunch of dish detergent, scrubbed with microfiber terry towel, rinsed thoroughly, and dried with another terry towel) and played it again for the first time in 4 years, this time clean and quiet.

Anyway, you're right. This album has *stunning* dynamics. I'm very familiar with this recording, but I was unprepared for where the volume went when "School" got underway after the relatively quiet introduction.
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If you guys think that the MFSL "Crime" is a decent LP, you should listen to the MoFi UHQR of the same.

Interesting that many pics are recorded digitally. In fact, even more interesting that some are from very early digital recordings.
So many great ones BUT if i had to pick i could easily say:


Extremely quiet record w/ oodles and oodles of all the stuff i like: dynamics, tight bass, a warm/organic quality. "No Excuses" and "Got Me Wrong" are particularly nice!
11-08-11: Viridian
If you guys think that the MFSL "Crime" is a decent LP, you should listen to the MoFi UHQR of the same.

I don't have the Mobile Fidelity regular version, but do have the UHQR version. It is definatley one of my best sounding LP's
Keith Jarrett Koln concert 4 album set.

Its hard to pick a single best recording from the many (but still not enough!) out there ... so I will just pick the most recent one I have heard. It is Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade played by Chicago Symphony and conducted by Fritz Reiner. Was recorded in 1956 and issued as an LP under the Living Stereo brand. I have the DSD SACD version. It is amazing to hear the quality of this recording made more than 50 years ago ... recorded in three channel (left, center and right) and then mixed down to two channels for stereo. Makes one wonder why recording engineers spent so many years lost in the wilderness ...
Great posts, I am loving this. Please keep sharing your gems!
Waves: The Bossa Nova Sessions
Eden Atwood
Groove Note GRV10121
Great thread!

The one that puts the instrument in the room with me is:

Mercury Stereo SR#-9016
Bach/Starker, Suites for Unaccompanied Cello Complete
Reissue, 3 disks at 33 1/3 RPM
originally recorded in 1966

I guess it is the scale and single instrument that make it sound so convincing. The performance and recording are superb. The music is sublime.
The Ray Brown Trio "Soular Energy" release from Pure Audiophile puts 99% of audiophile records to shame. Recorded sound doesn't get any better than that. If all recorded music sounded like that, live performances would go the way of the dinosaurs. Simply unbelievable.
RE: 11-07-11: Viridian, you Know your stuff. What are you using for tape playback? I have been thinking about taking the plunge and signing on with tape project...once I have a budget for it.

Bernie Grundman is serious. Look for the BG on the record and chances are that you will not be dissapointed. This is a little off topic, but check out the video tour of Bernie below. There is also a discussion with a mastering engineer.

Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 1
Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 2
Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 3
Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 4
Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 5
Bernie Grundman Mastering Studio Tour - Part 6
Oh yeah, AND guess who the mastering engineer in the videos is .....

11-11-11: Dfelkai
Bernie Grundman is serious. Look for the BG on the record and chances are that you will not be disappointed.

Every time I get a reissue I check the lead-out groove. If I see a little blocky-looking "BG" I go "YES!" Standouts include the Classic/Everest Pines/Fountains of Rome I just got Wednesday, "Come Away with Me" by Norah Jones, "Temptation" and "Don't Smoke in Bed" by Holly Cole, "L.A. Woman" and "Morrison Hotel" by The Doors, and several Diana Krall albums including "From This Moment On."

I also have the Speakers Corner reissue of Janos Starker Bach Suites on Mercury Living Presence. I grew up listening to the originals; my brother is a professional cellist. I have an original pressing of the mono. It's a little munged from being played on a poorly tracking console, which is what inspired me to pay up and get the reissue, which is fabulous in every way. Starker set the gold standard for the Bach Suites on this one, and 45 years later it still is.
Sheffield Labs Direct to Disc, 1980; Growing up in Hollywood Town, Amanda McBroom and Lincoln Mayorga. Lovely and fun to listen to. Lesser tone arms will self destruct as Amanda sings "The Rose
I think I"m going to vote for:

Oscar Peterson Trio, "We Get Requests"
Verve V6-8606

45 RPM 200g vinyl
reissued by Analogue Productions/Quality Record Pressings 10/2011
mastered by Sterling Sound
ser. # 0489

the bass of Ray Brown is tastier than ever
Since we're talking sound and performance, I'd vote for Prokofiev PC #2 w/ Frager and Leibowitz on RCA, Alto reissue for what it's worth. I'm glad to see that someone above also likes it. Decca was pretty hit and miss with the PCO, (and luckily it seems someone finally bought the orchestra a decent bass drum for the Prokofiev)< but this recording is stunning. Just listen to trombone pedal notes with bass drum in 5th mov't. Luckily a stunning performance by all as well. Leibowitz is on fire for once as well; I wish I could feel the same enthusiasm for his (own orchestration) of Night on Bald Mountain, apparently included on the 45RPM.

For sound alone, Sheffield Lab's direct to disc of Leinsdorf conducting Debussy's Faun and Stravinsky's Firebird, sooooooo far better than their other D2D offerings, (new hall?) but what a snoozefest performance-wise.
"Blood on the Tracks"-Bob Dylan.
mark lanegan..."ill take care of you"...i think theres no can check it on discogs...for true music lovers...cya
Happened just recently, actually. Knocked me out so much I posted a review of it in the Music section.

"Things Are About to Get Weird," by Pinebender. 2x33 rpm, on Lovitt Records, released in a limited edition of 200. Released in 2000, engineered by Steve Albini at Electrical Audio.

Simply put, I have seen this band many times. This recording recreates that experience, in state-of-the-art analog (Albini is nuts about that) sound.
I'm going to hi-jack this thread for just a moment, as this record loses out on the sound quality, but for the musical ideas, and the number of people who haven't heard it, Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Happy Trails". Note: this is a mostly electric guitar album, and probably is not for most people's tastes. It also gives away it's age(the era it was made). Maybe it's the best record you "never" heard. It definitely is not an "audiophile" recording.

Quicksilver; Happy Trails. Great record!!!!!! 
Back to the OPs rule; to many to pick one. I have most that are mentioned so far.

Casino Royal, Dusty Springfield, Burt Bacharach is everything HP said it was; if you have the right copy/ pressing. Have (4) copies, only (2) are right.
 My vote for recently released is:
Santana Abraxas , MFSL, UD1S - 001. Absolutely Spectacular 
Stanley Clark "If this bass could talk"
1988 CBS Recordings
Mastered by Bernie Grundman
incredibly dynamic, excellent recording
my favorite version of "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat"

All the Sheffield Lab direct to disc recordings produced by Doug Sax are just excellent and among the very best recordings ever made but the music can leave you wanting. Certainly not this one and a few others including the superb Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker mentioned above.

"The King James Version"
Harry James and his Big Band
Sheffield Labs Direct to Disc 1976
Produced by Doug Sax and Lincoln Mayorka
Thomas Dolby - Aliens Ate My Buick
Frank Zappa - One Size Fits All
Talk Talk - Colour of Spring
Loudon Wainwright lll - Love Songs

Er...I broke the rules. Sorry .

I’ve got over 600 vinyl albums (and 800 CDs/SACDs) and there are quite a few I think are stunning, but my favorite is:

William Russo, Street Music, Op. 65, A Blues Concerto
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Corky Siegel/Harmonica, Russo/Piano
Deutsche Grammophon 1977 - 2530 788

Side B is Gershwin’s - An American in Paris which is almost as good as Side A.

The vinyl pressing itself is dead silent. Dynamics are full and non-compressed.
It is impossible for me to pick one best record but I am going to go with one that I have enjoyed consistently for the longest period of time, both musically and sonically. I bought the disc new when it was released in 1979.

Rickie Lee Jones' self-titled album, Australian pressing


I agree; Very good choice. May I suggest the 45rpm MFSL pressing.

 I am still trying to find out if the AFI Flat is compatible with USA electric and if it will be made available in the future. Still very interested in both flattening and RELAX function .
Muddy Waters Folk Singer. Original release. 
As real an acoustic environment wihh human voices, real musical instruments that I have ever heard in a recording.
To many to name EMI and Decca records also Muddy waters Folk Singer i have Original as well wonderful records. 
The soundtrack to the movie Apocalypse Now is pretty amazing.