If you wanted to impress someone, which track?


Let's say a bunch of your friends are at your house, and they want to hear your "audiophile" system.

If you could only play one track, which would it be?
mrkoven
Pat Boone, from the album "In A Metal Mood; No More Mr. Nice Guy". I play the, most excellent, salsa-tinged version of Led Zep's "Stairway To Heaven". It never fails to clear the room though.
Neil Young's Unplugged version of "Unknown Legend".

In addition to a fine live recording of a great tune in general, I can point out the exact location in the recording of the guy in the audience who, understandably, goes "Whooo" about 1/3 of the way through!
Thom Rotella Band, trk #3, Naima--play loud only if your system can handle it!
Roger Waters' "Amused to Death" gold CD. The entire CD is recorded in Q sound and has sound staging and imaging unlike anything I have heard. You will hear things sound like it is to your far right and left and on some of the tracks , behind you with only 2 stereo speakers. I have had people searching for the other "hidden speakers".. It's amazing. You must be positioned perfectly between the speakers. Let me know if you try it.
Pink Floyd - The Wall "Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall"

It's a track everyone knows, but they have usually never experienced the helicopter sound, then the intro anything like that. We pick a lot of jaws up off the floor with that one.

Did it yesterday as a matter of fact, with a neighbor who didn't know what a turntable could sound like.

He kept trying to listen for the pops and clicks, and freaked when I told him the actual vinyl itself was from 1980.

Fun stuff.
"Tunnel of Love" Da Boss...
Queens first and best LP (IMHO), the track Great King Rat ! Cheers
NWA, Straight Out of Compton. The whole album was recorded in 24 bit resolution and it sounds amazing. Both the gold version and the SACD sound great.
My Show Piece tracks are as follows. For digital playback it’s Pink Floyd - The Wall "Happiest Days of Our Lives/Another Brick in the Wall" taken from the MFSL Gold CD. Mac is right everybody knows it.

For vinyl, Katrina And The Waves “Waves” : Lovely Lindsey and The Beach Boys “Surfs Up” all of side two.
Fish For Fish ALL TRACKS are IMPRESSIVE!
Flora Purim 500 Miles High.

Females impressed listening to Chris Botti 'Longing' from First Wish(probably his first album) turn it before getting laid indeed!
"Jersey Girl" from Holly Cole's "Temptation" CD and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Bill Frisell on his "East/West" album. They never fail.
Man in the long black coat.Bob Dylan
"I've Never Seen Blue Like That Before" by Shawn Colvin off of the Dawson's Creek Soundtrack. This will bring tears to your eyes. It's just beautiful...
Patrica Barber "Mourning Grace" off of Cafe Blue. The instrumentals are so concise and well placed, plus the drums really come through as present.
Poncho Sanchez on "do it!" "Together" is a fun one. Nothing like the blat of a dozen horns with a couple of drummers and some bongos to show off a dynamics.
Maybe Tchaikovsky "Serenade for Strings" or most any other cut as well off the old Dorati Nutcracker recording on Mercury Living Presence.
Interesting responses.

To be honest, I always prefer that my friends who come over and want to listen to my system, pick their own music. I have found that people tend to be more excited listening to music they know and love, rather than somebody else's favorites.

However, when a friend says "Impress me", I will typically throw on a 45 RPM single of Satchmo's "St. James Infirmary". Most people already know and like Satchmo, and this piece only reinforces their fondness for his music. It is very well recorded, and sounds fantastic.

My two cents worth.
I use "High Falls" from the Allman Brothers disc "Win, Loose, or Draw." It features Butch Trucks and J Jaimo Johnson at their dual drumming rhythmic best, as well as Chuck Level on piano and a scorching guitar solo by Dickie Betts. This is a relatively obscure 10 minute instrumental track. The other song that somunds great on my system is "Guns and Roses" by Lucky Dube off of his "Taxman" cd. Lucky has the voice of an angel on this song and if you like reggae, it does not get any better than this.
How about Valerie Joyce covering "Little Wing" on her album "New York Blue"? Chesky sure makes a good recording (I have the redbook CD). If you want a demo track to replace the omnipresent Diana Krall cover of "A Case of You," this could be it. John
New York Serenade, The Boss from Wild, Innocent & the E Street Shuffle....Money....
Rebekah Del Rio-Llorando. This is an accapella version of Roy Orbison's Crying sung in Spanish. I don't know anything by this singer except this one song from the Mulholland Drive soundtrack. Probably the most beautiful reverb I have ever heard. This silenced the room at an audio gathering I attended a few years ago.
I agree with Amused to Death (Roger Waters). It is fabulous, even if the Q-sound is a bit gimicky...not to mention the bizarre and depressing lyrics. To me, it is the best recorded rock CD of all time (sonics alone). The last 4 track are the best IMHO.

Also try Ricki Lee Jones 1st album...many good tracks such as "Last Chance Texaco" - "Company" and a couple others that are outstanding in both sonics and music. Sarah MaClachlan "Surfacing" is very good (try "I Love You" track or track 5 -- cannot remember the name). Also, Allison Krauss "Forget About It" or "New Favorite" CD's -- stunningly beautiful and recorded impeccably.

Neil Young's "Live at Massey Hall" is fabulous. Eric Clapton "Unplugged" is great.

Dire Straits "Love Over Gold" CD -- Private Investigations and/or title track are excellent.

Last but not least -- Eagles -- Hell Freezes Over "Hotel California" is great. Turn it up..especially the beginning.
any track from Ralph Towner Solo Concert on ECM LP
"Infected" by the the
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Bill Frisell on his "East/West" Great cut. If you've not purchased the CD, buy it. There is much to enjoy.
Something from my first pressing copy of the Doobie Bros "Minute By Minute" has slacked a jaw or three.
I find that older uber familiar tracks that the subject has heard countless times via radio waves (but probably has never owned in ANY format) heard on vinyl can be impressive. Heck, it still does it for me!
Take something that was typically heard as low fidelity AM radio fare back in its heyday.

"Aquarius" by The Fifth Dimension is one example that comes to mind.

OR even things like "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by The Monkees or "Winchester Cathedral" by those New Vaudeville dudes or "Oh Babe What Would You Say" by Hurricane Smith.
Kurt_tank wrote: To be honest, I always prefer that my friends who come over and want to listen to my system, pick their own music. I have found that people tend to be more excited listening to music they know and love, rather than somebody else's favorites.

Indeed! Of course, they have to choose from what I have!

Kal
Jean-Luc Ponty "Forever Together"
Hmmm to me, I'm more impressed from what I don't know yet.
Kurt_tank wrote: To be honest, I always prefer that my friends who come over and want to listen to my system, pick their own music. I have found that people tend to be more excited listening to music they know and love, rather than somebody else's favorites.

Yes Kurt of course you are right and this is my policy. People are generally more interested in the music rather than how it sounds, really audiophiles are 5%ers. I also agree that the 45rpm of St. James Infirmiry is a stunning recording and will suggest it to anyone that shows an interest in jazz in general and Louis in particular.
Last time I suggested this (and it WILL be the last time), I got "Let's hear the Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto." That REALLY slowed things down :-)
Along Map's line:

The Theme From Shaft.
Not audiophile and panpotted to within an inch of its life, but a pretty "showy" recording that usually gets the desired response.

At the other end of the scale, the earlier recommendation of St. James Infirmary is great, as are the Duke Ellington Small Band recordings on Pablo. Choose any cut from Intimacy of The Blues or The Queen's Suite.

Marty
The Theme From Shaft.
Not audiophile and panpotted to within an inch of its life, but a pretty "showy" recording that usually gets the desired response. 05-27-10: Martykl

Glad to see you mention the theme to the "Shaft" movie soundtrack. It is arguably some of the best music ever recorded for a soundtrack. (timeless) I recommend it highly to those of you who are not familar with it.
"The Theme From Shaft."

That is good!

It is on this:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000KP62UM/3dgazo391-20

Lots of classics to recommend on this recent and nicely mastered release!

Not just "Theme From Shaft" but "Son Of Shaft" to boot!
I was playing Stan Getz "The Girl From Ipanema" and my 14 year old son got off his Xbox and walked in the room to see what was playing. That doesn't happen very often! It did sound VERY good!
Good one Mapman. When I sold some speakers a while back that's the song the buyer asked to play to make sure he wanted them.
anything by Steely Dan
"I was playing Stan Getz "The Girl From Ipanema" and my 14 year old son got off his Xbox and walked in the room to see what was playing. That doesn't happen very often! It did sound VERY good!"

Then again Mapman it could have been that cool bossa nova/samba rhythm that drew him in. I believe I was about 14 or 15 when I first heard that song and it blew me away, maybe Astrud Gilberto's voice or a longing for far away exotic places, who knows? It is however a great recording.
to impress non-audiophiles, start with what they're familiar with.

3 things in particular:

Rolling Stones: Cant You Hear Me Knocking off their reissue CD. incredible sonics, same reason as below.

Guns & Roses: Patience (was miked as a live session w/ band in one room, and it morphs from a familiar tune on the radio into a mind blowing performance of a great band)

(though i like "You're Crazy" off G&R Lies MUCH better. absolutely amazing, and their peak as a band. and damn near the best R&R i've heard since ...?)

U2: In a Little While off "all you cant leave behind". their best sonics on a track, with a band everyone knows.

shout out to Low "Silver Rider" off Great Destroyer...check it out if you want to hear what it sounds like when God starts talking to you...

needless to say, play it as loud as possible. good systems should do that without distortion, which is what makes them good systems.
" it could have been that cool bossa nova/samba rhythm that drew him in.'

Probably.

10 minutes later "Whodunnit" by Genesis of Abacab was playing and same thing happened. That's got a cool rhythm of a different type.
The first two tracks on The Tom Tom Clubs first album, Wordy Rappinghood into Genius of Love on vinyl.
I'm all vinyl these days; but when I had an SACD player, there was an acoustic guitar (no piano!) version of "Candle in the Wind" on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road hybrid that was added as a bonus track, and never failed to impress.
Almost anything from Zero 7's first cd. Pristine production and delivery. My non-audiophile friends always comment on it and many have gone out to get the album after listening. By many I mean about two. Still...
I have many favorites, currently I am revisiting Steely Dan "Gaucho" and "Aja". Impeccable writing, producing and musicianship by all parties involved.
Lots of tracks by Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band or late Beatles would suffice.
Sylvain Luc and Bireli Lagrene's version of Time After Time off the Duet LP.
@Dreadhead - Huh, I never considered that disc to be audiophile worthy, but then again, I've never listened to it except on tape. Still a great album!
Seal's "Violet" - layers upon layers and a huge, wide open soundstage production.
Ray LaMontagne - God Willin' and the Creek Don't Rise - This Love is Over

Black Dub - Canaan

Cat Stevens - Catch Bull at Four - Angelsea