Hidden Audiophile Classics

Just about every audiophile has a few "hidden" classics - you know those great sounding recordings that never seem to appear on any super disc or recommended recordings list published in the high end audio press. Well there's no need for them to remain a secret - so how about sharing some of them with your fellow 'philes out here. My first contribution to the this thread is Lyle Lovett's "Step Inside This House" a great sounding 2 CD set from back in 1998 which while well reviewed, never recieved any praises for it's truly excellent sound. A studio recording of Lovett and his "small" band covering other songwriters tunes, the recording sounds like it was done "live" in the studio. The playing is tight and the personel remains fairly constant throughout - which is always a good sign. What are some of your "hidden" gems??
Sincerely, Conte Candoli, 10 inch Bethlehem BCP-1016 (Most dynamic trumpet I've heard on LP)
If you like easy listening and female vocals try an old (and maybe the only)Jennifer Warnes CD, "The Hunter". One my my favorites.
I am a part-time musician/singer (classical) and I go for the quality of the performance only. My audiophile interest comes from wanting those great performances to sound as good as possible.
A Shout Towards Noon by Leo Kottke. Mellow, rich and vibrant. Kottke's 12 string guitar sounds like it is in the room with you. Thanks again Ralphp_nj
Steve Poltz - One Left Shoe. Never heard anyone else mention it.
Gene Ammons "Boss Tenor" JVC XRCD
here are several, tho i don't know whether they are "classics" to you. they are to me: (1) the roches, "the roches"; (2) harry nilsson, "nilsson sings newman" (30th anniversary ed.); (3) the bobs, "the bobs cover the songs of..."; (4) "the unaccompanied voice: an acapella compilation" (secretly canadian); (5) "e-town live" vols. 1&2 (www.etown.org); (6) stephen stills, "stills alone"; (7) hugh masekela, "hope"; (8) the persuasions, "frankly acapella"; (9) daniel lanois, "arcadie"; (10) david starobin, "newdance". i could go on but i'll leave it to others.
Classical music lovers will be stunned by the sound of the London "Rossini 8 Overtures" with C. Dutoit and the Montreal Symp.---Also Reference recordings early "Walton Facade suite" with the Chicago Pro Musica ensemble RR16CD, and finally for rock fans The Manhattan Transfers' Tonin'-Great music sound and guest soloists like BB King, Frankie Vali, bette Midler, and Phil Collins make this an great listen.
The 4 Seasons;on Bis (#275) Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble.Their Motzart 525 ain't bad either.
If you can find the original LP by Valerie Carter of "Wild Child"....what a voice...and about as seductive, without that being the goal, as any female vocal I have ever heard.
I've got another one for you: Chris McGregor Brotherhood Of Breath "Country Cooking" - 1988 on Venture/Virgin Records (LP 1-90998). The late Chris McGregor was a white South Africian jazz pianist, who left South Africa for England in the mid-1960's with the rest of his mixed race group, The Blue Notes whose other members included the late alto saxophonist Dudu Pukwana, the late trumpeter Mongezi Feza, the late bassist Johnny Dyani and still living drummer Louis Moholo. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's he led a wonderful big band in England called Brotherhood of Breath and this long out of print LP is just killer. Super arrangements, comopsitions, playing and first rate recording. If you look hard enough you could probably find it for a couple of bucks. Well worth hunting down. Also check out anything you can find with Johnny Dyani - who is one of jazz's great unsung bass players.
The Hunter by Jennifer Warnes. In my opinion much better than her Famous Blue Raincoat which was on everbodys list 10 or 12 years ago. This is a clean and dynamic recording it shows what a cd can sound like when recorded right.
Paul Winter and Friends "Celtic Solstice". Earth Music Productions 1999, manufactured and distributed for The Windham Hill Group by BMG Distribution. From the box; "An historic convergence of Irish and American Musicians within the Magnificent Space of the World's Largest Cathedral". Recorded at St. Paul's Cathedral, NY. I usually take this one along to audition gear. I like it, and so do the salespeople.
This CD had great songs recorded incredibly. Everytime I take this in to the snob shops, they still look down there nose at me but all ask about this CD and actually buy it. You won't be disappointed! Mike
The Cheiftans: The Long Black Veil-- An interesting mix of traditional Irish tunes with guest appearances by Mark Knoppfler, The Rolling Stones,Tom Jones, Van Morrison, Ry Cooder and others. Recording quality is good as well. A regular part of my new equipment audition CD's along with Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Sessions and Marc Cohn, Walking in Memphis.
Francis Dunnery's "Tall Blond Helicopter". Doubt many will know about him, but he is THE best undiscovered star out there. Album, produced by Atlantic, is first rate in so many ways. If you want to hear a singer songwriter with cojones, this is the guy. A Scottish import who splits most of his time between NYC and Philadelphia.
zenaudio: on the basis of your post, i bought "deadman walking" today- a bargain priced disc @ $10.99. gotta say, you are right. this is a great disc, maybe the "casino royale" of our time. that said, you'd best avoid it if your on the downward side of your manic-depressive cycle. here are a couple more suggestions for primo recordings in the soundtrack genre: "steal this movie" (very limited release of the abbey hoffman bio); "until the end of the world" (another downer from/based on a wim wenders flic, but wonderful sound and performances; try to find the original german pressing on vinyl, "bis ander die welt." it's one of my test recordings.)
Hooverphonic's 'A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular' is well titled. Get your snorkel out, or you'll end up drowning, (and saying 'shit' a lot).
Hey jazz fans, check out Curtis Counce's "You Get More Bounce with Curtis Counce"
Ohlala, I love A New Stereophonic Spectacular, esp. Inhaler. Other good stuff: Dead Can Dance, Afro Celt Sound System - Vol 2:Release
If you like acoustic, try the Tone Poem series.
Grumpy and Ohlala, for Hooverphonic I prefer "blue wonder power milk" same sound only better. By all means Dead Can Dance, but they are not hidden. Massive Attack "mezzanine" tour de force. Clan of Xymox "medusa" is indespensable. Cocteau Twins "victorialand" is heavenly.
Ricardo Chailly's/London Sinfonietta's London recording of Stravinsky's Divertimento, Fanfares, Suites 1&2, Octet, & Three Pieces for Clarinet is a wonderful disc. It's very well recorded and performances are superb. You'll find it a demo quality disc that excells on the artistic level. (London 417114-2)
Yeast, I am a Rossini overture junkie, and have no doubt the Dutoit/Decca would be a fine collection. Almost every recording in the Dutoit/Decca line-up is of demonstration quality. I have the Dutoit CD of Suppe overtures which is quite good, the Rossini CD must be new because I have yet to see a review of it. Current Rossini collection includes: Chailly/Decca double CD, Norrington/EMI, Orpheus C.O./DG, Abbado/DG, and Reiner/RCA which sounds incredible for 1958 recording.
Just about all of the jazz on Contemporary label during the 1950's.
I haven't posted in a while, so will add... Daniel Lanois 'Acadie', and Yo La Tengo's 'Electr-o-pura'. I've had both of these albums for years and they still get played all the time. For those inclined, Yo La Tengo's recordings are easy to find on vinyl. I agree with the posting on Cocteau Twins 'Victorialand'. It's one of the albums I will never part with. Happy New Year.
If you can handle dance/club music, try the sountrack to "Run Lola Run". I like a wide variety of music, including classical, and I'm not a dance music junkie, but this CD is brilliant. It demonstrates what my system can do better than any other CD - the quality of the recording is second to none (IMHO).
Original Showboat on early vinyl. Simply incredible. Matches and in some respects surpasses Sweeney Todd which is on the TAS list.
Cool, Grumpybb, Inhaler is fantastic. My fave is Innervoice. I like 'blue wonder power milk' too, megasam. Great suggestions by by everyone, and thanks, outlier, for reminding me to pick up run lola run. I would also suggest Curve -'Pubic Fruit', 'Doppelganger' and 'Cuckoo' (my three favortie albums), and My Bloody Valentine -'Loveless' for those less farmiliar with this breed of music.
Steve Tibbetz on Frammis bzz label and the yr album. Massive Attack "Protection"