Best sounding LP nobody else has ever heard of...

I've been off the 'Gon for quite some time due to fatherhood, and was just perusing old threads. I came across "dissapointing audiophile recording" which got me thinking - by far some of the best LP's in my collection (sonically and performance-wise) are NOT the so-called audiophile issues, but just the opposite, they're ones that are never mentioned anywhere. It's often a complete surprise, and sometimes I know within 10 or 20 seconds of dropping the needle that I've got a really special one. So we're not looking for Jennifer Warnes, Pink Floyd, or even Strunz and Farah here... I'm travelling in Asia for 3 weeks, so I can't list mine very accurately by memory, but I will when I return if this thread picks up any steam.
Here's a lesser known album from Bobby Jones. It is entitled Hill Country Suite. Recorded in 1974 on the enja label this album includes Bobby Jones on clarinet and tenorsax, George Mraz on bass, and Freddie Waits on drums. I find it to be very accesible jazz and extremely well recorded.
The original pressings from the progressive rock band Brand X are uniformly excellent. I particularly recommend "Livestock" (a phenomenal live recording), and "Masques".
I like The Blue Nile", I have "walk across the rooftops" and there are a couple more I want to get, a friend tells me everything they put out sounds fantastic.
A couple that immediately come to my mind are....

Peter Case- "Man w/the Blue postmodern fragmented neo-traditionalist Guitar", produced by David Hidalgo (great record if you can find it).

Leon Redbone- "Champagne Charley and Doubletime"

Gregg Brown- "One more goodnight Kiss and Slant six heart"

Taj Mahal- "Recycling the blues"

John Hartford- "Aeroplane"

BTW, the new Wilco "Sky blue sky" (LP) sounds absolutely wonderful....

Hi - Thanks for the responses so far. Here's a few I recall right off the bat. I'll also try to stick to titles that can actually be found with a little searching. Here's a few to start:

Harold Gomberg w/ Seiji Ozawa - "The Baroque Oboe" - Even if you don't like Baroque or Oboe and hate Ozawa this is a must have! Columbia (2 eye I believe).

Liv Glaser (Pianist) - Grieg: 15 Favorite Lyric Pieces, Victrola vics 1465 (I think). Beautiful playing, wonderful compositions and excellent recording - though not a "WoW factor" type of audio.

Joe Sample and David T. Walker - "Swing Street Cafe" 1981 MCA/Crusaders records. Fun music, powerful sonics.

Ry Cooder - "JAZZ" Warner Bros. 1978 Also fun music, great recording - imaging is superb. Link here:

I'll post more as I think of them.
Can't say no one else has heard of this band...but I do enjoy my original LP of the Greg Kihn Band "Kihntinued".
Here's a couple more:

The Falla Guitar Trio - "Music for 3 Guitars", Concord 1986 - Excellent realistic recording of 3 acoustic guitars with a live presence, perfect imaging, and fantastic material performed flawlessly. Similar to the Liv Glaser, it's not a knock your socks off type, though. Not as closely miked or as percussive as the Strunz and Farah "Misterio", but I prefer this one anyday because the music is more substantive - not just an audiophile "vehicle".
Also note - they have another lp called "Virtuoso Music for 3 Guitars", which I don't consider quite as good.

Jun Fukamachi - "At Steinway". Toshiba Pro-Use Direct Cutting Japan - This is the most dynamic piano recording I've heard. Try playing the Chopin: Nocturne in E Flat Major and then put on the famous, TAS listed, Ikuyo Kamiya lp. The Kamiya will sound absolutely dull by comparison.
The other material besides the Chopin is a little sub-par, but the playing is superb and this a true Demo Quality Disc.

More to come... probably tomorrow. I'm travelling in China right now so can only post when I get some "downtime".

Keep up the suggestions, I'd love to try out some of those mentioned already.
Here's another vote for The Blue Nile. I've got their first two albums on Linn Records, and they both sound fantastic. ("A Walk Across the Rooftops" is the debut, and "Hats," which I think is a nearly perfect record from start to finish, is their second.) They've got two more discs, but those are the ones I'll stress in this particular thread. (Another night, I'll write about the time in 1996 when I got to see them in a rare performance in these United States.)
Eastern Sounds- Yusef Lateef on Moodsville MVST-22 1961
(or Prestige or Prestige/OJC or TransAtlantic)

Jazz Party -Duke Ellington on MONO Columbia CL 1323 1959
six eye (not the Classic stereo remaster which pales by comparison)

Steve Miller -Born to Be Blue on Capitol/EMI C1 48303 1988

and the list goes on and on.

Happy (little known, mass market release) Listening!
Just got a .50 copy of Seals and Crofts Summer Breeze. I've heard most of the tunes on the radio and CD over the years and never realized what a beautiful and intricate recording it was till now. I don't know what pressing it was.
"Without the Fanfare"
Mary Black
Dara 016
Released 1985
A few classical music recommendations:

Enescu, Son 3 for Violin & Piano in Romanian Folkstyle, op25, Sherban Lupu -vn, Claude Cymerman -pf, Altarus AIR 2 9012 -- captures the character and flavor of this music superbly in an excellent recording.

Italian Violin Music 1600-1750, Banchini -vn, Darmstadt -vc, Klimo Open Window OW 002 -- one of several baroque chamber music recordings sponsored by the German tube equipment manufacturer, Klimo, all of which are marvelous.

Magnum Opus Vol 1 & Vol 2 -- organ music played on the beautiful Flentrop tracker organ at the Duke University Chapel captured in excellent recordings by Dave Wilson, Wilson Audio, W 8111 & W 8314. Any of the Wilson Audio organ recordings are worth acquiring if you have any interest in the organ. (Don't get me started on the wonderful organ recordings on Callipe and Proprius!)

Charpentier, Les Arts Florissants - Harmonia Mundi HM 1083 - marvelous
Mentioned NOwhere on the 'Gon:

John Martyn - 'Solid Air', Island Records 1973 ISL 9226
re: Rushton - I have a sealed copy of the "Italian Violin Music" which I haven't gotten around to opening yet. (I have a strange dysfunctional aversion to unsealing lp's). I guess I'll take a deep breath and slice the shrinkwrap when I get home.

Also - I heartily concur on the Dave Wilson organ lp's. Living in San Francisco where most of these were recorded, I find them pretty frequently at thrift stores, etc. I even have a 7" 33rpm version of Amazing Grace with organ and bagpipe that was some sort of promo at Grace Cathedral, which is un-credited, but I'm absolutely certain Wilson recorded. The bagpipe is first located off to the left side of the soundstage, and towards the end, starts slowly walking away toward the back of the church, fading out into the distance. It's totally amazing!!!!

Here's another couple of relatively unknown killer San Francisco recordings:

"Christmas at St. Mary's" which is contains choir with organ and some solo organ tracks. This is another sleeper, as it is actually a Reference Recordings production (only mentioned in very small print on the back) and it's one of RR's best IMO. There are some other lp's with identical titles - so make sure it's the San Francisco St. Mary's before buying it! I personally don't particularly like choral or Christmas music and yet I highly recommend this one!

They also did another there called "Pierre Cochereau at St. Mary's" which is an organ recital, and is a Keith Johnson recording (mastered by Stan Ricker if I recall correctly). Great sonics that will give your woofers a stress test - but not as musical to me as the Christmas lp.
Also agree on Solid Air, especially love "May You Never" on that one. Great sonics and great songwriting. (Trivia- title track written for/about Nick Drakes' mental issues at the time)
American Fool/John Mellencamp
Misquitos/Stan Ridgway
Lost in Sound/Yusef Latef
Christy Moore- Smoke and strong whiskey

Talk talk - Spirit of Eden (famous enough)
If you are looking for good pop recordings and good music, try Marty Jones Used Guitars and Any Kind of Lie. Both of these are on A&M Records, which almost always have good sonics, unlike most other pop recordings.
A couple more here -

Brian Auger & the Trinity - "Befour" (1970) Title was a pun on the fact that Julie Driscoll had just left the band and there were only four members left. I wouldn't put in the super-audio stratosphere but it's really good for what was being recorded in that era of rock. And it's just plain a great album which I rarely see mentioned.

Reverberi - "Reverberi & Schumann Chopin Liszt", PA/USA 1975 - This is a GREAT lp that gets no respect (possibly because of Reverberi's later horrible "Rondo Venezio" albums). It was kind of Pothead Cult item in 1975 - but there's a reason - it's a psych/jazz/classical composition that really "transports" you. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here's a quote I found on the net which I totally agree with:

"(I) keep playing this over and over. One of those albums which transports you somewhere nice, especially when you turn it up loud. I do get a bit nervous approaching re-workings of classical pieces, but this work's a treat. Often starting each track with simple keyboards or classical instruments, almost faithful to the original, Preludes, Studies and Carnivals are gradually turned into sumptuous electronic orchestral epics – very filmic. Standout track for me is the 10 minute ‘Preludio 20’ which shares beautiful Morricone-inspired scat singing, with Chet Bakery trumpet and a bit of guitar workout (a bit too much if truth be told, but by this point I’ll forgive anything!) too.
Quincy Jones-Quintessence

Big Band Quincy Jones with Oliver Nelson and Phil Woods among the players. Dates from the early 60s.

I purchased my copy as a cut out back in '73. I use this LP to demonstrate to people the differences in CD and LP sound. I own a 20bit CD of the same recording.

I love both of the records which you mentioned, but both of my copies of Any Kind of Lie are strange in that a couple of tracks (I'll have to check for the titles) have severely limited Don Dixon's bass guitar. It almost sounds like two different records when you move track to track. Unsophisticated Time is even worse in this regard. I wonder if you have a different pressing? Any identifying info on your pressing would be greatly appreciated.

I agree that the best tracks on AKOL are wonderful sounding as is all of Used Guitars. BTW, you gotta love MJ's voice.

I too vote for Blue Nile, 'A walk on the Roof Top' is excellent.
Another 80's recording, Laszlo Gardony 'The Secret', my favorite jazz recording.
Crack the Sky or Pousette Dart's County Line.
Paul Kelly, May 1992.
One that seemed ridiculous (sounded too good to be true) was Budi und Gumbls, Hmmm. (Budi Siebert). Great reeds, (especially bass clarinet) and percussion. One guy I know used it to sell components to people who should have brought their own records in to audition. The CD version is okay, but not really in the same league as the LP.
I wouldn't say it's not well known in audiophile circles, but Lous Armstrong, Satchmo Plays King Oliver. If your system has the combination of great dynamics, transparency, realism and can impart the emotion of the recording, the first cut, St. James Infirmary, will give you chills, it is that good. Evertthing about this recording, his trumpet solos, his vocals which have all the raspiness and hoarse quality that you have heard on lesser quality recordings but with this one seem absolutely real, and the band backing him, is just superb.
It is like the man was resurrected from the dead and transported to your living room. A moment where great musicianship and great sound came together, which is rare. It is a great find, even if you are neither a jazz lover nor a dixieland aficionado. The album and a LP 45 of the St James infirmary cut are available at Classic Records (
re: Armstrong - I believe they used that lp in the Manley/Joseph Audio room a few years ago in San Francisco demonstrating the Pearls and it was pretty awesome as you describe - also voted Best In Show if I recall.
Can anyone ever recall an old 70's german group called "Grobshnit"? My spelling might be incorrect, but my buddy had one of thier LPs, and it was quite good.

The title song I speak of, started out sort of odd, with the chanting La La La-La La La La. The music was killer.

Another obscure LP he had that was very good, was by a band named "Barabas". Gotta ask him what the titles were? Mark
Good call..Grobschnitt...great band!!
I have most of their LP's. Not sure which one you may be referring to but their best are;
-Rockpommel's Land
-Solar Music Live
and their self titled first one is awesome as well.

Hi Jeff, I think the LP was thier title cut first Album, as I do remember the Song "Wonderful Music" being on it.

We had discovered this band late one '70's night while listening to an old great underground Rock Station in Chicago, called "Triad", and I believe the frequency on the dial was 106FM.

My friend later acquired the LP. Not only was the music itself great, but also the sonics were outstanding I recall. I see a CD on ebay, but would truly love getting a sealed LP also as well of thier Title Cut.
I'll have to keep my eyes peeled.

As for Barabas, I believe the one song I liked was called "Woman". Again, I'll email my friend to make sure before making any purchases. As you've said though, probably all of Grobschnitt's LPs were great! Mark
Absolutely Crack the Sky, Oilmanmojo!!! Excellent sonics and good music, especially amazing since John Palumbo recorded it in his basement! And if youre into Prog at all, try Spock's Beard. -MrMitch
Gap Mangione (Chuck's brother)She and I A+M records 1974,great precussion,I first heard this on a stacked pair of Quad 57's with M+K sub's ARC D150 ,Levinson pre amp.After that i've been an audio addict to this very day,hope you find this one I was lucky enough to run across one a few years back.
Well, not really obscure, just maybe forgotten:
Stevie Wonder - Innervisions. Amazing bass.
Tracey Chapman, First album, LP
Dwight Yoakum, hillbilly deluxe, LP
Jesse Cook, Freefall CD
Well maybe you have heard of them but no one references these. Soundstage, sonics and ambiance in spades.
Yes The Blue Nile records are excellent however they do not qualify as Linn records is an audiophile lable, The Blue Nile were Linn records first signing with the purpose of demonstrating Linn's recording capability along with the capability of Linn's audio equipment.
Why dont they qualify?, they ar LP'S and nobody has heard of them.......what is in question here?
Savoy Brown - "Raw Sienna", Parrot Records. Horn section, brilliant engineering and inspired blues/R&B Rock.

David Grisman - The David Grisman Quintet, (Label?).

David Grisman - Hot Dawg, Horizon.

Ed Thigpen - Out of the Storm, Verve. Early 60s jazz with cool drumming

Pretty much anything by Loggins and Messina engineered by Jim Messina, Columbia Records (OK, everybody has heard of these, but I was surprised at the quality after pulling them out of the basement).
Mercury Living Stereo series, especially I like Dorato conducting Bartók and Kodály. They really deserve attention.
Del Shannon made a record with Tom Petty right before he died and is backed by the Heartbreakers. The album dates to 1983. I heard it over the weekend and it absolutely smokes.
To answer Chadnliz - the original question was lp's that are "NOT the so-called audiophile issues", I am just pointing out that The Blue Nile issues on Linn records were audiophile issues therefore they don't count. Maybe the history of The Blue Nile and Linn records is not so well known on this side of the pond but they are very well know on the other side (UK).
I am currently listening to Vic Chesnutt's North Star Deserter (cst046) which I just bought today, great songs, great production, on 2 x 180g LP, not at an audiopile price either.
There are so many great recordings from the late 1950s and early 1960s. One that I just found in shockingly NM condition and played and was blown away by was "Blazing Latin Brass" by Nick Perito and his Orchestra on United Artists (WWS-8502). Its true stereo, very heavy (even the jackets were of awesome quality back then) and not even listed in Goldmine.

If you see it at your local thrift shop, grab it!
OK good point, I think we are both right.
Wilkinson Tricycle original press on Date Label - it is real good blues based psych, pretty relaxed, and amazingly well recorded in my opinion...hard to find copies, let alone good condition...agree on Crack the sky (first self titled)...I only got real deep with two LPs - Uriah Heep Look at yourself and Cream Wheels Of both cases the ones I preferred in the end were the original US presses...I've compared re-issues and pressings in different countries...more disturbing - comparing original US pressings of same condition and of same title and can confirm that one copy might sound better than the other...
How about Dire Straits first album. Check out 2nd track side 1 (I think) Water of Love. Increadble imaging.
Not sure if this is available in LP yet/ever, but check out new "Floratone" recording from Blue Note. One of the most creative projects Bill Frisell has been involved in ever.

Read record company propaganda here:

It is not far from truth in this case.
manfred mann chapter three
Agreed - (see my desert-island 10)
Allen Toussaint's last cd, "The Bright Mississippi", is the best sounding recording that I've bought in quite a while.
"Bright Mississippi" is, indeed, a gem. New Orleans daily newspaper's music column writer voted it the best album of 2009 of all the local music to be issued. I concur. Bought the double record set off Amazon for $29. as I recall and it included the cd as a bonus