What are the "Must have" LP's?


I have recently re-discovered the LP. I listen to Jazz, blues, classical, and some rock. I was curious as to what my fellow audiophiles here on audiogon believe to be the albums that you simply MUST HAVE. As a sub-question, What LP's do you use to show off your system? Since I am just getting started, I have no real opinions yet, but as I become more and more familiar I will post my findings. Thanks.
limabean683
Moody Blues "The Days Of Future Passed" - good music and interesting recording (DERAM tried some "room" acoustics)
Good luck!
AC/dc "Back in Black"...if you can find a copy that is not trashed...this smokes the new CD remasters....
hi Lima, the easiest (but not the cheapest) way to go is buying some 'Golden Age' (late 50's--early 60's) reissue jazz from some of the mail-order companies. these recordings have typically the best performance and recording quality and most of them are superbly remastered.

i would start with the following 'icon' recordings;

Kind Of Blue, Miles Davis
Time Out, Dave Brubeck
Know What I Mean, Cannonball Adderley
Mingus Ah Um, Charles Mingus
Armstrong/Ellington, Recording Together for the First Time

these are all on Classic Records and you simply can't go wrong with these. if you like these you can then explore other recordings by these artists from this period and in this way expand your horizons one step at a time.

there are other reissue labels that are very consistent with quality recordings such as Analog Productions, 4 Men with Beards, and Alto Analog that you are pretty safe with.

as far as pop/rock music it is really a taste thing but what you are looking for is pop/rock that was originally well recorded......here there are literally millions of fairly good used records to choose from.....i might start with any of the Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, Eagles, CSN, and Neil Young.....which are all typically fairly well recorded and mastered relative to much other stuff that is out there. of course, Pink Floyd is pretty much a no-brainer if you are a fan. on pop/rock the original recording and mastering is most times the best availible but you need to do a little research to know for sure. you can probably go to a used record store and find 'acceptable' used copies of many of these recordings.

there are some more recent recordings that to me are very good such as;

Famous Blue Raincoat, Jennifer Warnes
Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
Breaking Silence, Janice Ian

these are all personal favorites of mine.

i don't have the knowledge to recommend classical records......but if you want to go down that road a little you can't go wrong with the Classic Records reissues.....maybe buy a few to see what you think. a couple enjoyable no-brainers are;

Sheharazade, Reiner, CSO
Pictures At An Exhibition, Reiner, CSO

this is not mean't to be any comprehensive plan but more a 'get started' plan to get your feet wet. 6 years ago i was exactly where you are with exactly the same questions.....good luck and enjoy the ride.
One of my all time favourites is Talk Talk, "The Colour of Spring. Pick up a copy of this second hand and see if you enjoy the music. Seasons' best
Rickie Lee Jones first album
Bassie Jam
Jessie Colin Young "Soul Of A City Boy"
Leon Russell "Will O' The Wisp"
Any Dire Straights
Joni Mitchell "Miles Of Isles"
Paul Simon "Still Crazy After All These Years"
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band "Will The Circle Be Unbroken"
Nancy Wilson "The Best Of Nancy Wilson"
Beatles "Revolver"
Willie Nelson "Stardust"
Heart "Dreamboat Annie"
Any Steely Dan
Neil Young "Sleeps With Angels"
Most Duke Ellington
U2 "The Unforgettable Fire"

The above are great generic recordings and are available used for not much money. Of course, most of the expensive audiophile pressings are great performances and music. You generally can't go wrong with these but the cost....

I second the Janis Ian's "Breaking Silence" as one of the best ever recorded albums. Also, it's been my experience that jazz (in general) is the best recorded of any genre. German and Japanese pressings are usually really good.

Don't overlook the old Frank Sinatra recordings. Some of these are real gems and there are so many to choose from.

Have fun,
Patrick
Breaking Silence, Janice Ian (Analog Productions)
Autumn Leaves, Jancita (Groove Note)
Belafonte sings the Blues, Harry Belafonte (Classic Records)
At the Renaissance, Ben Webster (Test Pressing--Analog Productions I believe)
Play River Music, the Rhythm Devils (Mickey Hart--Wilson Recording)
Neon Angel, Nancy Bryan (analog productions)

For Classical
Sheharazade (Classic Records 45 RPM reissue)
Rives, i would have also recommended the 45rpm Sheharazade but it is over $150.....if you can find a copy. in fact, by far my favorite records and the most sonically spectacular, are the 45rpm Classic Records reissues.

i have 3 test pressings of the new 45rpm series by Analog Productions and they are equally as good;

Ben Webster, Live at the Rennesiance
Bill Evans, Waltz For Debbie
Count Basie, 88 Basie Street

Lima, if you can afford any of the 45's by all means do it!
In addition to the wonderful suggestions above:

Hank Mobley "Soul Station"
Lee Morgan "Candy"
Louis Smith "Smithville"
Sonny Rollins Blue Note 1542
Mobley Blue Note 1560
Fred Jackson "Hootin' and Tootin'"
Clifford Brown Memorial Blue Note 1526
Kenny Burrell Blue Note 1543
Any Ben Webster
Any Don Lanphere on Hep Records

Just a few, time is short, Happy Holidays!
If I may, I'll add a few of my favorites:

180g Reissue from Acoustic Sounds:
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
Bill Evans Trio - Sunday at the Village Vangard
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Any of the reissues

Reference Recordings (45 rpm) Out of print, but available used
Mickey Hart, Airto, Flora Purim, et al - Dafos
Respegi/Pacific Symphony - Church Windows

Mobile Fidelity
Grateful Dead - American Beauty

Sheffield Labs
Stravinsky/LSO - Firebird

Classic Records (RCA reissue)
Mussorgsky/Reiner/CSO - Pictures at an Exhibition

United Artists
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Dirt Silver and Gold (3 LP set, out of print, but I just picked up a very nice used one here on the 'Gon) Well worth tracking this down.

Dire Straits - Love Over Gold

Mark Knofler(sp?) - Soundtrack from Local Hero

Pete Townshend/Ronnie Lane - Rough Mix

Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Black Uhuru - The Dub Factor

One can never tell if you will like the music, but this WILL show off a systems capabilities, more vigorously than any other that I am aware of. A must have for me.
All of CAN and its members, all of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR and PETE HAMMILL solos, all of PAT METHENY, all of KING CRIMSON and its members, all of FOCUS and YAN AKKERMAN, all of PIERRE MOERLEN, all of PEKKA POHJOLA, all of DAVID SYLVIAN, FZ JAZZ FROM HELL, FZ UNCLE MEAT, FZ JOE'S GARAGE, FZ ZOOT ALLURES, FZ HOT RATS, all of LAURIE ANDERSON, all of MIREILLE MATHIEU, all of PATRICIA KAAS, all of GUESCH PATTI, all of GINGER BAKER...
Here are three great albums, both musically, and to show off your system:

Jazz at the Pawnshop.
Muddy Waters Folk Singer.
Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions.
The Doors were really well recorded, and good for showing off the ol' system.
* = show off system

Jazz -

*Duke Ellington/Louie Armstromg: Recording Together for The First Time

*Coleman Hawkins encounters Ben Webster

Coleman Hawkins: Night Hawk

*Miles Davis: Kind of Blue

Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall: 40th Anniversary Concert

Keith Jarrett: The Koln Concert

Charles Lloyd: The Water is Wide

*Louie Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald: Porky and Bess

*Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges: Back To Back, Plays The Blues

Eva Cassidy: Live at Blues Alley

Ella Fitzgerald: Songbooks (any of them)

Blues -

Muddy Waters: Folk Singer

The Allman Bros: Live at The Filmore East (MFSL)

Keb Mo: Just Like You

John Hammond: Wicked Grin

Classical -

*Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner: Rodrigo- Concierto Aranjuez, Pepe Remero & Concierto Andaluz, Los Romeros

*Isaaac Stern 60th Anniversary Celebration with Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and Zubin Mahta

Quartetto Italiano: Mozart Six String Quartets Dedicated To Haydn

*Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Neville Marriner: Vivaldi Le quattro stagioni

*Academy of Ancient Music-Christopher Hogwood:
Beethoven The Symphonies

Rock-

Janis Ian: Breaking Silence

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

James:James

*Eric Clapton: Unplugged

*Neal Young: Harvest Moon

*Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat

*Bryan Ferry: Boys and Girls

*Leon Russel: The Best of

*Harry Nilsson: Nilsson Schmilsson (MFSL)

Dave Mason: Alone Together

*The Beatles: Love Songs

Happy holiday season, everyone!

Peace on Earth!

Ross
Mike:
I agree--and have a few of those 45 RPM test pressings myself. My wife bought me the Sheharzade 45 RPM new sealed for Christmas last year. I won't tell you what she paid for it--but she knew I wouldn't buy it at that price, but I do love her for it.
If you love jazz, there are going to be no fewer than a hundred "must have" jazz LPs. Ditto for classical. The "sub-question" of what LPs do you play to show off your system raises the question: Do music lovers value sonics over great music and great performances? Unquestionably, great sonics enhance the experience. You cannot even hear Charlie Parker's gorgeous sound until he was recorded in 1952 in hi-fi by Norman Granz (listen to his interpretation Dearly Beloved on this "must-own" Norman Granz Jam Session/The Charlie Parker Sides). But there are many pre-hifidelity recordings that are far more aesthetically and emotionally involving than their modern counterparts. For instance, For Duke recorded direct to disc by Bill Berry and his Ellington All-Stars will show off your system, but I would rather listen to The Early Duke Ellington(or any Ellington recording) transcribed by Everest Records from 78s recorded in 1927. You've got the master conducting and at the piano. It's not a "must own", but it's the real deal.
I have found that at a gathering of audiophiles, there is a certain pressure to play sonically impressive recordings. But if you are playing records for musicians, it is all about the music. We know about ear fatigue when our systems are not set up properly. We have to become acquainted with another kind of fatigue when the music isn't deeply engaging. That involves listening to music that may at first not be easy to appreciate, but which, once assimilated, you cannot live without.
The LP recommendations on Arthur Salvatore's website are a very worthwhile starting point. Arthur includes detailed discussions of each of the LPs he has recommended.
http://www.high-endaudio.com/index_ac.html
THE FOLLOWING ARE FOR DEMONSTRATION USE ONLY...

CHEMICAL BROS...DIG YOUR OWN HOLE
CHRIS ISAAK...FOREVER BLUE
MASSIVE ATTACK...MEZZANINE
PINK FLOYD...DSOTM
MILES DAVIS...BIRTH OF THE COOL
SISTERS OF MERCY...FLOODLANDS
BEETHOVEN...COMPLETE STRING QUARTETS
AIR...EVERBODY HERTZ
PHOTEK...SOLARIS
Wish You Were Hear, Dark Side Of The Moon, Quadraphenia, Sargent Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band, Miles Davis's Kind Of Blue...I could go on forever.
Hi there!

Try Eva Cassidy's SONGBIRD album. Her voice will make you melt like butter!
abbey road
revolver
imagine
getz/gilberto speaker's corner - everyone needs a copy of this album and this kills the SACD I have.
miles cookin/relaxin/steamin/new/workin 45rpm analogue prod - take your pick, they are all classics, too bad a couple are oop already.
Chet Atkin's Progresive Picking, Yes's Fragile (UK Plum label), Richard Thompson's This Old Kit Bag, Leinsdorf's Romeo and Julliet on Sheffield.
Anything to do with Talking Heads. Solo projects as well as group efforts. The mix and sound are as good as vinyl gets.
Not only do I like a particular artist, I collect by label. In Jazz, Prestige, Savoy, Good Time Jazz, in Blues,
Excello, Flyright,Wolf,Acoustic Sounds, Blue Horizon, In Rock I generally like British pressings of Cream, The Who,
The Doors, The new Mofis with Allison Krauss & Union Station ios an absolute jem alokg with Eva Cassidy's Songbird.
Pink Floyd:Dark Side Of The Moon
Steely Dan Aja
Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
Patrcia Barber: Some Kind Of Blue
Smashing Pumpkins: Mellon Collie And The Infinate Sadness
Pink Floyd:The Wall
Beatles: Sargent Peppers Lonley Hearts Club Band
The Doors (1st record) and LA Woman
Jimi Hendrex: Are You Expereienced
Bob Dylan: Blood On The Tracks, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bringing It all Back Home And I'm just getting started, folks
MCA Heavy Vinyl / Dave Mason : Alone Together
MCA Heavy Vinyl / The Who : Who's Next
MFSL The Eagles / Hotel California
Blue Note 180 gram Pressing / Cannonball Adderley : Something Else
Sundazed 180 gram pressing / Love: Revisted
Yasef Latef : Lost in Sound
Oringinal Pressing / John Cougar Mellencamp : American Fool
All these sound so good on my Turntable.
MCA Heavy Vinyl / Dave Mason : Alone Together
MCA Heavy Vinyl / The Who : Who's Next
MFSL The Eagles / Hotel California
Blue Note 180 gram Pressing / Cannonball Adderley : Something Else
Sundazed 180 gram pressing / Love: Revisted(buy on line at Sundazed Records. Cheaper.
Yasef Latef : Lost in Sound
Oringinal Pressing / John Cougar Mellencamp : American Fool
All these sound so good on my Turntable.
I've heard and or own many of the above recommendations and they are fine. By far and away, the most astounding lp sonics I've heard is John Abercrombies "Current Events" ECM1311. I've got a mint promo copy from a radio dj's collection, don't know if that's a factor. Excellent music & superb sound in every parameter you can name. I've got lp's from Sheffield Labs, various labels Direct to Discs, Mobile Fidelity, 45 rpm's, this one is better than all of them. I generally find ECM lp's to have reliably excellent sound
REM's first album, "Murmur" on Mobile Fildelity's 200 gram vinyl. Timeless pop music on a sonically beautiful platter.