Like a missionary in the jungle, I continue to practice my usual high end evangelism with non audiophile friends, rarely finding the eager disciple.
Despite warnings of this peculiar audiophile habit in many other threads, I must admit I am often tempted to play something that sounds good, only to be reminded that music which people don't like (not to mention straight percussion or steam trains) probably wont inspire them to upgrade their stereo system.
On the other hand, we all know that deferring to a friends musical taste for a demo will immediately locate the screechiest, worst sounding recording in your collection.
Bearing this in mind (and maybe some of you have already done this) 1) what COLLECTION of well recorded tracks, 2) across genres of music, would you 3) put on a compliation CD or "rip" into WAV files to accomodate the widest musical tastes of future audiophiles?
Some classical? Jazz? Rock? Soundtracks?
Each of these genres have been discussed in other threads, but what tracks would you include to capture the widest possible audience as an audio missionary?
Pop Music suggestions Black Eyed Peas - They Don't want Music Dixie Chicks - Not Ready to Make Nice James Blunt - You're Beautiful Razorlight - In the Morning Hips don't lie - Shakira Fergie - LondonBridge Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
Ray, Aimee Mann Patanga, Trace Bundy Gloria, U2 Skating, Vince Giraldi Trio Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey), De La Soul Clampdown, The Clash Theme from Jaws Ain't Nobody, Chaka Khan Bolero, Maurice Ravel Blue Monday, New Order Cabaret, Liza Minelli Take Five, Dave Brubeck
As an audiophile with a pretty good system, I will admit that I like to listen to rap on my own system. I also listen to electronic, classical, classic rock, rock, bluegrass, Norah/Allison/etc..., pop (for lack of a better descriptor), latin, southern rock, blues, jam bands, funk, jazz and others that defy category. I am 23. I believe your system should sound good with all types of music, unless you can have more than one system to handle different types of music. Because my own tastes are so varied it is hard to recommend something for auditioning for everyone. My suggestion is therefore a CD that they are familiar with. Then they can hear the difference. R
Interesting idea for a thread. Most of my friends are oldish. When I have about 15 minutes to take someone away from the visiting going on, I play very short excerpts from some of these depending on thier musical tastes. I tell them in advance that this is what I will be doing so they are prepared for all the quick transitions. I usally get smiles and sometimes people saying that they were moved to tears. When it is a friend over for the evening just the two us us and the adgenda is to listen to music for an hour or so. Then we listen to things longer. Here are some of my favorites for auditioning: For female vocal Jennifer Warnes, The Well, Jane Silberry, Calling all Angels For male vocal Bruce Springfield, The Rising, Crosby, Stills Déjà Vu For rock Led Zeplin, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits For classical Saint Saens Symphony #3 (Organ) For choral Rachmaninoff Vespers For Jazz and brushes against cymbals, Missouri Sky For piano Kissin Liszt Transcendental Etudes, Volodos List Hungarian Rhaposdy For violin Scottish Fantasies, Vivaldi Four Seasons For flute Galoway Silent Night
It would be very helpful to know at least the particular tracks and in some cases the exact recording.
I like Led Zeppelin and so do many of my friends. But I wouldnt know where to start on tracks or recordings for a good demo - much of it sounds harsh and compressed to me.
Sogood 51 Re Chris Isaak - very good suggestion. Baby Did a Bad Thing is a great demo track - good bass, atmospheric and even a little spooky imaging too - while easily recognizable to non audiophiles.
"A Walk Across the Rooftops" by The Blue Nile. Once your friends hear this, they should want to buy a really good stereo -- and they'll also fall for Paul Buchanan and the boys. Then you can get 'em a little Scotch and put on "Hats."
Two current faves are Dave's True Story - self titled album and Keb Mo - 'Peace ...Back by Popular Demand.
For rock, I go with the Eagles Live (the opening sequence of Hotel California makes a stunning impact!) or Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I also second Hodu's nomination of 'A Walk Across the Rooftops' by the Blue Nile.
For classical, I stick to the well known The Four Seasons, Camina Burana or the 1812 Overture.
But to be honest, regardless of how bad the recording might be, you've got a better chance of showing how good the music can sound when they're listening to their own music choice. A decent mid-fi system will still murder a 3 in 1 or 'surround sound in a box' system that so many of my mates seem to find sufficient.
Hens wrote: "For classical, I stick to the well known The Four Seasons, Camina Burana or the 1812 Overture. " GAK! First, those are common and boring with no real surprises. Second, those are compositions, not recordings. All exist in positively dreadful recordings/performances as well as decent and outstanding ones..................if one cares. So, this is not a useful contribution.
Kr4, thanks for your educational words. I was really highlighting the type of music rather than wanting to get into the detail of which specific performances - they are all well known to my non-hi-fi friends and are able to highlight what a good system can do in areas that other genres of music don't. This was the reason they were mentioned.
Speaking of "not useful" contributions, would you care to actually nominate some tracks yourself for the benefit of the thread?
I think Hens was offering his idea's to this thread, Kr4 slammed him for his ideas with his opinion, who cares about composition and recordings....the point is a selection that folks may enjoy hearing. You are a simple man Kr4 if you cant see it was your post that had nothing to offer.
Jazz - Bill Evans, Joe Pass, Diana Krall Pop - Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Simon/Garfunkel New Age - Enya, William Ackerman/Alex de Grassi (solo recordings), George Winston Classical - Nocturnes of John Field (John O'Conor, pianist), Hilary Hahn plays Bach, Sing We Christmas (Chanticleer)
Chadnliz is right: I offered nothing positive except to point out, as I am wont to do, that classical recommendations require more detail than in other genres where the name of the album/disc/title is sufficient to define the choice. Just a reference to a performance or a label would help.
My experience suggests that it is easiest to demonstrate the greater emotional pull of recorded music rendered on a superior playback system if the person already loves the music they will be hearing. To that end I always suggest that visitors bring their favorites to listening sessions. I haven't seen anyone unaffected by hearing their favorite music played back staggeringly well. The effect is automatic, like the shock of recognition. On the other hand, I've never seen a non-music lover all that impressed by great audio, regardless of what you play them.
But your point is well taken, and from years of experience I've found that most music loving audio neophytes are most impressed by relatively simple, highly melodic music with a lot of vocal content. For instance, the work of Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, and, yes, Jack Johnson are all good candidates. This may have something to do with the fact that the human voice is the one that people have the most immediately available reference to.
I see now why Kr4 was right, just maybe the way he made his point wasnt as ideal as it could be. Specific Classical disc's with spectacular performance and dynamics need to be noted. BTW Telarcs "Time Warp" is both fun and sounds great, and the music from Star Wars and other popular themes is sure to be tolerated by non Classical folk.