Extraordinary recordings on vinyl


You've most likely heard or read of MF's +10 (on his 1-10) scale of rating music, both sonically and for content...

What are your favorite recordings (on vinyl) that tip the scale over 10?

Here's my first one... Steve Phillips "Steel-Rail Blues"

This lp is pure as the driven snow, not an unpure note to be found.
Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128slaw
stan getz meets jerry mulligan on mono clef label
Here's my first one... Steve Phillips "Steel-Rail Blues"

Thanks, did not know about it, but hearing a few cuts at YouTube I ordered Steel_Rail Blues from a seller at Discogs. Good call, thanks for the recommendation.
First three that came to mind:

Bartok "Concerto For Orchestra" Solti/LSO - Decca-Kenneth Wilkinson eng.
Oliver Nelson "Blues And The Abstract Truth"- Impulse! -R.Van Gelder eng.
Phoebe Snow "Phoebe Snow" - Shelter- Phil Ramone eng.
Syntax' Dozen

01/12: Gounod-Faust / Bizet-Carmen RCA LSC-2449-45CV
02/12: Ballet Music From The Opera RCA LSC-2400
03/12: Grieg, Peer Gynt London CS-604904/12: Massenet, Le Cid Klavier KS 522
05/12: Walton, Facade Suite RCA SB-2039
06/12: Zero Mostel, Fiddler On The Roof RCA LSO-1093
07/12: Shchedrin, The Carmen Ballet, Melodiya ASD-2448
08/12: Albéniz, Suite Española Decca SXL-6355
09/12: Rimsky-Korsakoff, Scheherazade RCA LSC-2446
10/12: Offenbach, Gaîté Parisienne RCA LSC-1817
11/12: Arnold, English & Scottish Dances Lyrita SRCS-109
12/12: Wasserman, Duets MCA 42131 Promo
I like Oliver Nelson mentioned by Frogman. Material + sound make this album one of the most desirable by any jazz collector.
I've written about this elsewhere... Frazey Ford "Obadiah".

Slightly bass heavy but otherwise great!
Albertporter: My copy is a "Linn Seleckt", from back in the day. (Don't know if that makes a difference).

Janis Joplin "I've Got dem O'l Kozmic Blues Again Mama" Speakers Corner, Sonny Boy Williamson "Keep it to Ourselves" QRP.
three that are 10+ to my ears....

'Come Friday', The Chris Barber Band, Jeton DTD Lp, 100.3306
'St. Louis Blues' on side 2 is epic. Germans recording Brits playing Dixieland......but it soars.

'Verite Du Clavecin', Sarastro 7701, 45rpm. wonderful harpsichord music. Sarastro is a late 70's French label of classical music all on 45rpm......all wonderfully recorded and great sounding. mostly small scale intimate music. there are 28 titles (one is a double album), I have them all and every one is excellent.

"Bela Bartok, Les Six Quatuors", Quatuor Vegh, Valois CMB 23, 3 Lp Box Set. there are reissues on other labels that are quite good, but this is the set to have.
Here's one I've always thought was pretty much perfect. It doesn't do audiophile gymnastics but has perfect balance and should be a reference for all modern music... War "Greatest Hits" United Artists label.
This one punches way above "10". Blake Mills "Heigh Ho".
Any of the later Harmonia Mundi recordings engineered by Pontrefract (sp) blow away even the "Golden Age" recordings listed above.

For starters I'd recommend a non-collectable (inexpensive) gem: Haydn's "Zingarese, landler and Nocturnes."

Fun, "hoe-down" Haydn and stunning sound.
Most of the Audioquest catalog, awesome sonics, no compression.
Here's a surprise.. Jack Johnson "In Between Dreams"
I had a friend over the other night and I pulled out Charley Mingus' "The Clown." This was available in mono only ... but its one of those great mono records that makes you think .. "who needs stereo!" We played both sides all the way through. I've had the album for at least 30 years and its in mint condition. This is what you'd be looking for: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHARLES-MINGUS-JAZZ-WORKSHOP-THE-CLOWN-ATLANTIC-1260-vinyl-lp-MONO-/331552369352?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d320faac8
Agree about the music, but Charles Mingus should never called Charley :-)
Charles ... Charlie ... Chaz .... Chuck ... just chill and enjoy the music. *lol*
Colin Meloy " Sings Live" dbl vinyl
Willie Nelson "Red Headed Stranger" (on Impex). This is one lp that will tell you if you don't have your cartridge set up correctly, especially azimuth.
I just received a import bootleg of the greateful dead live 1977 at Cornell. 4 lp in total. Recording came from the sound board. It's an amazing live show and is a great recording. Definitely in the sense that you get the spacial and excitement of the show feel. Sometimes it could be mixed better but in the live sense it dreat.

Also Jerry Garcia lonesome blues at orlrans state prison is an amazing live acoustic set that has a nice live type of recording.
Tony Joe White "Hoodoo"... analog all the way baby!
Darstar1, where did you pick up The Dead- Cornell LP set?
Slaw - Thanks for the TJW recommendation.
Frogman: I think that you feel there should be more respect shown to this artist. I get it and can appreciate your post above.
Charles Mingus was a mountain of a man with a bad temper who would NOT tolerate being called "Charlie".
If you did or even if he heard you did, ten to one you'd be missing some teeth . Or worse.
Stan Ridgway / Party Ball
Deep Purple / Fire Ball
Harvest original pressing. This recording defies physics,on some of the songs John Lord's organ and Ian Gillian's voice are so outside my speaker it is in my yard. That's right folks it goes through my wall.
Rick Ocesek / The Other side of Paradise.
Graham Nash "Songs For Beginners" (Classic)
David Crosby "If I Could Only Remember My Name" (Classic)
The Black Keys "El Camino" (deluxe version only)
Nat King Cole "After Midnight" "Just One Of Those Things" (Pure Pleasure)
Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" (Classic)
Death Cab For Cutie "Kintsugi" (for a modern lp)
Harry James & his big band "The King James Version" (Sheffield Direct to Disc)
Holly Cole "Romantically Helpless" (GrooveLand 45rpm disc)
Slaw,
I love the Black Keys but don't you find their low fi sound is terrible though an audiophile system?
Qdrone,

I agree regarding "Fireball" - a relatively overlooked gem. However, I actually prefer the original US green label Warner copy to the Harvest pressing. It's a bit more immediate and has a better low end IMO. Also, the US copy contains 'Strange Kind of Woman' which did not appear on the UK pressing (though 'Demon's Eye' is a good track in its own right).
"Mountain of a man" is a great description of the greatness of Mingus. Slaw: You're exactly right. Listeners have the luxury of simply enjoying (or not) an artist's music. For artists, the music and the issue of respect is very very serious business. On the issue of Mingus and respect: the great Phil Woods tells a great story about being married to Bird's wife Chan and, out of financial necessity, borrowing Bird's horn from the family since he had had to hock (!) his horn. At the club that night who walks in but Mingus? Mingus recognizes the horn and proceeds to walk up to the bandstand and stand in front of Woods and glare at him for having the temerity and lack of respect to be playing Bird's horn.

On the subject of the "low fi" sound of some recordings (Black Keys): it should be remembered (respect?) that in some cases that sound is a deliberate choice by the artist and/or producer as part of the aesthetic vibe of the music.
Grant Green Live on Blue Note.
"On the subject of the "low fi" sound of some recordings (Black Keys): it should be remembered (respect?) that in some cases that sound is a deliberate choice by the artist and/or producer as part of the aesthetic vibe of the music."

Kind of like film noir maybe Frogman? I really take your point as it is what I hear, particularly in many 50 era jazz recordings. Or maybe I'm associating the music with some of the films of that era? I'd leave it to you to explain because I'm not sure but there is, to me at least, an association.
Frogman, do you attend the Frost School ?
AAAAh. DID you attend the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami ?
I did; as a matter of fact.

Tubegroover, I think there is truth in your association. 50's era jazz recordings do tend to have "a sound" that is different from many modern jazz recordings; in great part a result of minimalist micing. This resulted in a greater sense of ambient connection between the players and more tonal complexity in the sounds captured; even if the overall sound was not as slick and polished as many modern recordings which tend to cause the listener to focus more on the "impressive" sound and less on the music. IMO.
Anybody here ever listen to Roy Harper's Stormcock? It is an acquired taste, and doesn't "Wow" you on first listen, musically. But it is just superb, musically and sonically. I'm not really sure how rare the early Harvest UK pressings are; mine is sans the EMI indicia on the record label, so it is probably a first pressing. It is the sort of record that just sucks you in on further listening. Be interested to know if others are familiar with it, and what their views are, musically.
What's funny is, I'd hardly name this as a "favorite' album, but it one of the first ones that came to mind when I saw this thread.
Palasr,
I have the WB Original pressing and will give it a spin this weekend to see if the Soundstage is as good.
Jeff1225: Have you heard the (deluxe version)? The original release was a major disappointment. I was on the fence about recommending this (deluxe version) based on how awful the original release sounded but I made the decision to include it after repeated listens. Compared to the Nat King Cole lps I noted, there's no comparison but for a modern rock record, this one (deluxe version), stays on my list.
Qdrone: (Ric Okasek "This Side Of Paradise")...(this is a correction...IE: respect...) I remember, years ago, really liking this lp. That was before I really got into high-end audio. To me, it sounds clean & clear although too clean. The drums sound like they are from an electronic kit, the overall sound, to me, reminds me all too much of the digital recordings I once loved but find hard to enjoy these days. I do really like some early Cars lps.
...one more point... Greg Hawkes was a major part of this lp. I use to watch him and was amazed by his wizardry on a synthesizer. It may be that a good part of this lp was made using a synth? Just saying... The Cars were, studio wizards.
Roy Orbison "Crying" (Mono.. Classic Records)
Frogman: I was thinking more about your response earlier. IMO, if we, the ones that proclaim to love music and the best reproduction of this music, don't show/have respect for the artists we love,.. all of this is but a blip on the airwaves, with little meaning! I really believe my love for music and music done right is an extension of my "want-to-be", (frustrated artist standpoint). Surely, if I was that artist, I'd like to think I deserved this respect from the one's who chose/choose to listen.
The Jimi Hendrix re-issues on MCA heavy vinyl around 1997. (Wow, has it really been that long?). I just listened to "Electric Ladyland", and my suspicion is that the rest of them (which I own), sound just as good.

I can only imagine how the original mono might sound?
Slaw
This recording by Ric was done during the digital
age which is why it sounds so clean. An album
that throws an amazing Soundstage are special in
my book and your right The Cars albums are great
sound wise.
I remember once while perusing records at a shop
I frequented looking over and seeing Greg Hawkes
looking through vinyl too.
Had the same experience a few years back at
another shop when I spotted Billy Corgan with a
stack of vinyl in his hand.
Qdrone: Great story and by your account, a memorable experience. Thanks for sharing!

Skip James "Today!" (Pure Pleasure)
Qdrone: I guess a lot of our submissions will be subjective. That will be in part, based on our own listening biases/systems.
I will have to respectively disagree with you on the Ric Ocasek lp however. It is good to have this type of discussion.
Here are my personal gripes with the RO lp:
(1) It is thin, sterile and uninvolving
(2) In my system, it doesn't throw a huge soundstage
(3) To me, a huge soundstage does not in any way make an otherwise inferior recording one that I would recommend as an "extraordinary recording"
(4) This is basically a Cars lp for all intents and purposes. I get "pleasure" listening to The Cars lps, I get no pleasure listening to "This Side Of Paradise".
(5) Even on "Heartbeat City", made during the digital age, I get more pleasure from.
(6) This is IMO.
Thank you for responding.
All of the lps we/I have bought for around 33 years have been in the "digital age" and I get much pleasure from quite a few of these. For example: Death Cab For Cutie "Kintsugi", this is my top pick right now for record of the year and the sonics are outstanding and consistent for a modern recording.

This lp is in no way (thin, sterile, or uninvolving). Take a listen to Broken Bells, Beck, Artic Monkeys, Jenny Lewis, Ryan Adams, Neko Case... these lps have "soul" and they are recent lps!

As you can see, I'm very passionate about music, to say the least!
A positive thing that came out of this for me was, although it has been quite a while, I cleaned and listened to the Ric Ocasek & "Heartbeat City" lps before posting above. (HC) is a great record, especially side 2.
Well I guess slaw what you are describing to me is any of the Ryco digitally re mastered David Bowie catalog.
Tons of detail but no bass and for me very sterile.
HOTEL CALIFORNIA / The Eagles MFSL
Lost in Sound / Yuseff Latef