The Best CDs to Give as Presents

Here is a great idea: instead of bringing yet another bottle of wine to someone's dinner party.....

What CDs do you nominate to give as a present where:

a) There is at least a chance they wouldn't have it already


b) For any particular genre of music, both artist and performance could please a discriminating audience.

c) As usual EXTRA CREDIT! for good recordings!

Of course, you should stick to the wine and/or flowers for your audiophile friends who already have 10,000 CDs....

But hopefully this might grow into a useful list for normal music appreciating friends, family and business associates.

I have had some success with Vince Guaraldi for Christmas stocking stuffers and Patricia Barber for non audiophiles who like jazz.

This thread was inspired by my need to give some "classical" music to a friend who is a patron of the NY Philharmonic, but I otherwise have no idea regarding his tastes or collection.

Should recent reissues or remasters also be included?

Thank you and hope this is interesting for others.
Unless you have their collection card.
Beastie Boys "The Sounds of Silence".

Even Granny would fight for her right.
I've given Moody Blues - Strange Times at Christmas gift exhanges + such, at least to those over 30 say.


Its an all around great package, great sound and songs and production with lyrics and themes that I believe many can relate to in a positive way.
joni mitchell live shadows and light .exc.recording and overall superb playing by great musicians..check it out. double cd...
a) 'I think I'll quit drinking today' by Michael & the Messengers;

b)The audience would be very discriminating as most of my friends drink to much of the laughing juice;

c)They would not really care if the recording is good sadly as they are usually to sloshed and out of it to even notice.

The thought was there though.
You need to understand your host's musical tastes otherwise the CD will just end up in a cupboard or Ebay, So for a dinner a bottle of wine will do better and you can choose a less wines from a less traditional wine production country.

Coming back to your question, they are unlikely to have anything from Mina Agossi
Death Metal from Norway.
This would make a nice gift to be played a a dinner party or anytime. Houston Person "In A Sentimental Mood"(HighNote HCD 7060). Saxophone, piano, bass and drums. The salesman at Virgin Altantic, at Times Square, said He would always sale 5 or 6 of this CD when He played it in the store.
Red Peters...for some laughs..Jacintha "Here's to Ben" for pleasure.
If I were giving music to a classical music lover and he/she liked Bach and Baroque, I'd give the Zelenka Trio Sonatas on ECM with Heinz Holliger playing oboe. Performance, recording and music all are top-notch. Having listened to Bach all my life I find Zelenka in some ways a relief -- less virtuosic, more melodic and still brilliant.
The Brandenburg Concertos.
New Century Saxophone Quartet recording of Bach's The Art of Fugue. Exquisite, different, and familiar.
Theo, as long as the recipients also take up CD-giving, even if you give someone something they already have or secretly despise, they can simply give the same one away when they go somewhere.

CW, I personally think it is a great idea - I have but two local friends who have decent taste in wine, and discovering new music is cool.

In my local music stores, I can get some great samplers for cheap (you know, the ones where the music is off-copyright). I have listened to a lot of music I might have overlooked this way so I might do that. For a friend who loves a lot of music, I might do the 10-disc sets of great Blues artists, or a set of Dino Lupati recordings; for someone where I don't know their taste, I admit I'd spend longer thinking about it - depending on their age and general demeanor, perhaps a 60s jazz sampler, or something like LAGQ. If I truly had no idea but I knew the person had a sense of humor/discovery, I might try a sampler of 70s funk. So few people own any funk music but so many people get a kick out of listening to it. That said, if the partyholder is a control-freak, funk might be one of the more annoying things one could bring... :^)
The movie soundtrack "Shaft." This would make an outstanding gift. Excellent recording and timeless music that still sounds fresh after almost 40 years. For those who are unfamiliar (though everyone knows the "Shaft" theme song), the high quality of the writing, production, arrangement and performances in this recording is a happy revelation. IMO, this is Isaac Hayes' seminal work and legacy to popular music. A classic.
Hi Bongofury,
Are you referring to Burzum, you are welcome to bring these to my dinner parties
Consider their ages & taste and consider an appropriate "greatest hits" compilation. These have always been party favorites.
I've given John Fahey-America & Nick Drake stuff as presents mostly to people who have no idea who the artists are and it works every time.
jackie gleason "christmas" otis "blue" dlux. ed. and the blue nile "hats"
"Junta" by Phish. A lot of people may have preconceived notions, but I really don't see how anyone could not find this music captivating and beautiful, if a little quirky. Although Phish are definitely known for their live shows, I think their studio work is very tight and polished. Other choices that should please most everyone are "Billy Breathes" and "Round Room". I am most grateful for the college buddy who first turned me on to them, and hope I could turn someone else on to them too.
Band of Bees: Octopus (or Sunshine Hit Me).

Vampire Weekend: s/t

two great(!) rock bands today that few people know of, but everyone likes once they hear them.

for nostalgic fun: Nillson: The Point!

for easy listening: Jack Johnson: On & On