What are the treasures in your vinyl library?

They don't have to be the collector's items, necessarily. I'm just asking, what is your short list of LPs in your personal library that you prize the most (maximum 5)?

I'll start:

Diana Krall: "From This Moment On" from Classic Records, mastered on a tube cutter

Buddy Rich: "Class of '78", Direct-to-disk recording of my favorite drummer leading the best incarnation of his band

Muddy Waters: "Folk Singer", not MFSL or German pressing or original pressing or anything fancy, just a Chess/MCA 1987 reissue LP that puts you in the room with Muddy

I also have a 35mm Everest recording of Mozart woodwind sonatas that I picked up at St. Vincent DePaul for $1. It's old and a little ragged, but that 35mm mag tape really puts the players right there in the living room.
Here are five records from my collection that I'd be sad to lose:

Stravinsky's "Firebird," the 45 rpm 3LP Classic Records reissue of the Dorati Mercury SR90226. An amazing reissue of a marvelous recording.

Malcolm Arnold's "Eight English Dances" on Lyrita SRCS 109 - Arnold is a composer I enjoy immensely and I love the orchestration of these works.

Enescu's "Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano in Romanian Folkstyle," with Sherban Lupu on violin and Claude Cymerman on piano, Alturus AIR 2 9012 - my favorite performance of this characterful work, marvelously well recorded.

"La Spagna" (Music of Spain from the 15th-17th Centuries), performed by Paniagua/Atrium Musicae Madrid on BIS LP 163/164.

Ravel, "Pavane pour une Infante Defunte" Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra, Reference Recordings limited edition reissue (RM 1001) of a Vox recording by Aubort and Nickrenz.

Tomorrow it might be a different list, but this is today's...
Branford Marsalis, Trio Jeepy
Johnny Cash, The American Recordings Series with Rick Rubin
Muddy Waters, Folk Singer
Led Zeppelin 1
The Beatles, Rubber Soul
Thanks for the topic. My list.

My old "promo copy" of Kim Carnes Salin'
The MCA Heavy Vinyl Buddy Holly
Clannad in Concert-BLB 5001
Heavenly Treasures-Doyle Lawson& Quicksilver -Sugar Hill 3735
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto- Philips 6500708
One opened and one sealed copy of MoFi UHQR Alan Parsons "I Robot"
a signed Peter, Paul, and Mary
Some of my favorite lucky scores of great music I've found in used record bins have been:
A mint promo disc of John Abercrobies "Current Events" on ECM, the best sounding disc I own. Another mint promo of Steve Tibbetts "Safe Journey," fabulous ECM sound and surfaces so silent you think it's digital, and Richard and Linda Thompson's classic "Shoot Out the Lights," another promo record that has great sound. I was lucky enough to hit a record store that was relocating and had just dug out a huge cache of vinyl they'd been saving to sell when they had enough floor space. Dozens of great condition promotional lp's from radio dj's collections were there for $3-$5 a pop. Right place at the right time!
The Orchestral Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield
My almost complete collection of Tom Waits Records.

In particular, last year I found a rare recording of Tom Wait's original performance of the "The Black Rider" at the Hamburg Dahlia Theatre. I have never seen this one on CD or Vinyl ever. The released "Black Rider" is a studio recording, whereas this one is the original live performance of the first run of the opera at the Dahli theatre.
The first 4 King Crimson albums - german pressings with terrific sound
Kingston trio first album mono (the only way it came).

04-30-07: Restock
My almost complete collection of Tom Waits Records.

Yeah, I had no idea. A minty fresh copy of Swordfishtrombones fell into my possession recently, and it blew me away, both sonically and artistically.

Is it just me, or is this one of the best recorded and reproduced albums in *any* medium--analog, tape, direct-to-disk, digital, reproduced to tape, vinyl, CD, DVD, or SACD?
Frank Sinatra's albums on Capitol (the ones recorded in the 50s). Of these, I think In the Wee Small Hours is one of my favorites. Listening to them is a Sunday tradition.
My original Mono Beatles Parlophones (Rubber Soul, Help, Beatles for sale, Revolver). 45 RPM Fantasy jazz reissues. Bootleg Ry Cooder in concert. Bootlegs of Tom Waits, the Stones and a radio promo show of the Dead..... And about anything from when I was a kid (sentimental value).

My MoFi Beatles box set
The Who Live at Leeds

Exile on Main Street

Abbey Road

Physical Graffiti

Meet the Beatles (my first LP)

Groovey Records
My mono and stereo Butcher albums.
MoFi half-speed masters : Aqualung , Cosmo's Factory , Led Zeppelin II. + Dark Side Of The Moon , Madman Across The Water , White Album (Capitol), We're An American Band , The Song Remains The Same , Led Zeppelin IV (untitled)
Elvis' #1 hits , mono.
The first LP I ever owned - "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" by Traffic. It's beat up (I inherited it from my uncle Mike), but it sounds miraculous. Even through the surface noice and scratches, such music! No CD can do that.
Tommy by The Who (original pressing)
The Soft Parade by The Doors (original pressing)
and my MoFi Beatles collection (I think I have all of them, except "A Hard Days Night").

Thanks, Uncle Mike!
Cmo - are you sure you don't want to donate those Tom Waits bootlegs to my collection?
1.Richard wagner The Ring Decca pressing. Beautiful box set
2. Airto Moreira & The God of The Jazz- Killer Bees B&W Music
3. Tea For The Tillerman Cat Stevens UHQR
4. Joan Baez Diamond & Dust in the bullring- No woman No cry, kept me enthrall most nights
5. Miroku Ryusuke Seto Zen Label

Most rare, difficult and pretty expensive if u can find it. Happy Listening
My acetates of Boston, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac & others.
Cmo-I was just reading in Guitar Player magazine that the Beatles recorded Sgt Peppers in two different sessions one for mono and one for stereo and they are a little different I imagine the same is true with the ones you mention.
Treasures? Who knows? But changed what I listened to.

From when I was younger.

Dave Mason - "Is Alive" and "Dave Mason"
Dead - "Europe 72", "Skull & Roses", and "Mars Hotel"
Who - "Who's Next"
POCO - "A Good Feeling to Know"

Middle Age

REM - "Murmur"
U2 - "Under a Blood Red Sky" and "Joshua Tree"
INXS - "Shabooh Shoobah"
Bronski Beat - "Age of Consent"

Old Age


Just inherited 75 or so old discs. Anxious to dig in and see if there are any new treasures.

Jim S.

I don't think they were recorded seperately, but they were mixed seperately (not just a stereo summed mono). Some of the versions differ slightly in content too.

From interviews I have read and heard George Martin gave the mono's much more attention and relevance than the stereo mixes.... IMHO the mono's sound significantly better than the stereo versions up until around the White Album.... Trouble is, I haven't been able to find/afford all of those old mono records. Anyone want to make a donation?
A few of the gems:

Cat Stevens "Tea for the Tillerman" Mofi
John Klemmer "Touch" Mofi
Christine McVie Self-Titled
Jackson Browne "I'm Alive"
Rickie Lee Jones "Pirates"
Dire Straights "Making Movies"
Bob Welsh "French Kiss"
Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders "Live at Keystone"
Bob Dylan "Planet Waves"
Poco "Legend" Mofi
Shawn Colvin "Steady on"
Bob James & David Sanborn "Double Vision"

and many more...
Here are some of my vinyl treasure:

Desert Sessions - Vol. 9 & 10
Queens of the stone age - Songs for the deaf
Grant Hart - Intolerance
Sonic Youth - Goo
Sabu - Jazz Espagnole
Sabu - Sorcery!
Art Blakey - any
And many Hammond tunes...
My most valuable are certainly not my most played, eg a UHQR Tea for the Tillerman, which I have owned since new- I think the old Island pink label I bought off the street for a buck actually sounds better.
Other goodies- Direct to Disc Flamenco Fever :)
Mobile Fidelities like DArk Side and Aqualung
Some valuable pressings off of 'Harry's List,' including some the big Mercurys, RCA's etc.
The best sounding of the bunch of vintage classical are probably the Deccas, some of the Londons, and the Lyritas, of which I have quite a few;
I still have almost all of the records I bought as a teenager, believe it or not- some of them are still in very good condition, but I have them more for nostalgia than playing-
many, many audiophile collectible records from the early seventies and eighties, including Nautilus, M & K, 1/2 Speed Masters, MoFi, Mark Levinson, lots of Japanese pressings, Sheffield, etc.
I really need to organize all this vinyl- I think I'm close to 8,000, maybe more-
Oh, yeah, I found some of Fulton's demo records in a pile not long ago.
And, that Billy Holliday singing at Altamont Airport where you can hear the planes taking off and landing while she is on stage.
I could go on....
mint firsts of trout mask replica (1053 on labels) and safe as milk
mint in shrink pink moon
mint true first born under a bad sign

i doubt that finer copies exist. completly irreplacable
The Skatalites "LATIN GOES SKA" on Treasure Isle Records. I paid $0.50 many years ago; it may be "worth" $500, but I love it for its utter charm.

"Korea Blues/Everynight About This Time", Fats Domino on Imperial blue label. One of the Fatman's first single and believed to be his first on 45RPM

The Godz on ESP, my favorite label.

Julius Hemphill DOGAN A.D. on Mbari (original release), a rare classic by one of my favorite under-rated (but then, there are so many . . .) players and composers.

Mazeltov Mis Amigos by Juan Calle and His Latin Landsmen, featuring Doc Cheatem, Ray Barretto, Clark Terry, and Charlie Palmieri playing latinized versions of Yiddish chestnuts. On paper it sounds like a cheesy disaster, but they are playing it for real, and really hitting

The Cramps "Human Fly" Vengeance Records 45 with the glow in the dark cover.
horace silver - six pieces of silver deep groove blue note

Miles Davis - someday my prince will come six eye

coltrane - favorite things atlantic

monk - riverside box set

guster - latest one

many japanese pressings from early 80's Eno, Genesis, Bowie, Talking Heads, etc
Don Sebesky's "Giant Box". ALL THE CTI folks. Two record set, Recorded in 1973. Almost impossible to find sealed. Paid a pretty penny for my last one. Players include: Herbert Laws, Freddie Hubbard, Paul Desmond, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Jackie Can, Roy Kral, Joe Farrell, Grover Washington, Jr., George Benson, Airto, Milt Jackson, this is a record of the Gods. I've owned several copies of this recording dating back to the original purchase in 1977. If you get a chance, listen to it on CD, and then begin the search for the vinyl because you absolutely must possess this.
I remember my nephew had this and I remember enjoying it. A local used record store has a used one. I'll have to check out whether its condition is good enough for me to pick up. If not, I know of another used record store that probably has a few copies.

Thanks for the tip.
Miles Davis Vol1, Blue Note Lexington Ave press.
Introducing the Beatles.. Vee Jay stereo pressing
Songs Pictures and Stories.. Beatles gatefold
LSC 2446 Scheharazade Shaded Dog 10s 10s press
LSC 1817 Gaite Parisienne 1s 1s shaded dog press
LSC 2436 Pines of Rome 1s 1s shaded dog press
MSFL Ella and Louis again sealed
Casino Royale.. Colgems 3s 3s press
and many more..

05-15-07: Daveyf
MSFL Ella and Louis again sealed
You lucky mofo! Congratulations.
Keith Jarett - "Sun Bear" Set
The Residents - first 13 LPs
The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World
The Beatles - "The World's Best" Rare German import
The Rolling Stones - "Around and Around" German import
Dick Hyman / Ruby Braff - "Fats Waller - Heavenly Jive"
sealed psych treasures from the sixties.....chocolate watchband on tower, lothar and the hand people, all the 'international artist' label stuff, golden earring(s) on capitol....yada yada
Here's a couple:

1. "Little Band, Big Jazz" by The Conti Candoli All Stars. Crown Records. The red vinyl sounds better than the black. Its also available on CD. This is West Coast jazz at its very best. Recorded in 1962, this record will have you shaking your head in wonder over both the performance and sound quality.

2. Jazz In The U.S.A. by Dave Brubeck's quartet. Yeppers, Its mono ... but when you hear Paul Desmond's sax on this album, you'll be asking yourself; "who needs stereo?"
Harry James - "Comin' From a Good Place" - Sheffield '77
Dorati - "Rhapsody" - DSO - Mercury - Ken Wilkinson '77
Tim Buckey - "Greetings from L.A." - Warner Bros. '72
David Bromberg - "How Late Ya Play Till?" - Fantasy '77
Getz,Gilberto,Jobim - Verve '64
Bo-Diddley - "Go Bo-Diddley" Chess '59
Solti - Verdi's Requiem - London '68
Beatles - Abbey Road (Original EMI import pressing from ca 1971)
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (EMI SQ import from 1973)
Pink Floyd - Meddle (EMI import from 1973)

All of the above purchased at the Harvard Coop, Harvard Sq, MA in the early 70s back when they had a tremendous import section. I was a high school kid with limited budget but knew these were important pressings. These records all rock out with some of the best dynamics of any recordings released by Classic, Acoustic Sounds or others.
Hear, hear, when it comes to import pressings.

I have a German pressing of Joni Mitchell's "Blue" and a Japanese pressing of Bowie's "Let's Dance." I remember paying about a buck extra for the Bowie album and it was well worth it. That thing slams!

So does "Blue," for that matter. The dynamics and "in-the-room" sensation are very strong.

OTOH, I just picked up a used Beatles' White album. The store had two: a UK pressing from 1986 and a USA one from 10-15 yrs earlier. It had an embossed title rather than printed, but no serial number on the cover. Anyway, the US pressing I bought really stomped *that* particular UK pressing, which sounded thin and threadbare.
Voyage 34 original (not the reissue!) by Porcupine Tree
'Ear' album by Global Communications
S/T Emerson Lake & Palmer, pink Island original
Vaughan Williams, Symphony #6 w/The Lark Ascending, 'half dog' EMI
Furtwangler, 4 Last Songs w/Kirsten Flagstad (78 rpm transcription) all other versions *SUCK* despite having better sound...
Willie Nelson : Stardust/ Classic records 200g

Peter Gabriel : Passion/ Classic records 200g

Tom Waits : Mule Variations/ Regular pressing

Jack Johnson : In between dreams/ Regular pressing

White Stripes : Elephant/ Regular pressing

All of these are not only good albums but also sound exceptionally good on vinyl.
Well, I've had a few additions since my last post. I now have Japan-EMI pressings of Rubber Soul and Revolver (opened by never played, or played once at most). Damn! It's unbelievable how well even pop/rock music was sometimes recorded over 40 years ago.

I also now have a direct-to-disk recording of Mel Torme accompanied by the Buddy Rich Big Band and a rare (I think it was distributed only in Europe) pressing of Pat Metheny's "Question and Answer" that I got from a UK vendor on eBay.

I recently discovered an antiques pavilion near where I live. A few of the vendors sell LPs, and I picked up the Sheffield D2D of Harry James' band and some Concord Jazz albums of the L.A. Four and the Woody Herman big band (all about $3 ea.). Concord Jazz has some of the most real in-the-room-sounding LPs I've ever heard.

On the same trip, my stepson made what may be the biggest score of all--a Japanese pressing of Pink Floyd's "The Wall," apparently unplayed ($10). Holy shnikes! This has got to be one of the 5 best-sounding LPs in my house, and the best pop/rock studio recording I've ever heard. The dynamic slam on kick drum on this is an order of magnitude better than any other pop studio album I have.
La Boheme Beecham recording with De Los Angeles and Bjorling, way the most important.

Strauss Der Rosankavlier, Karajan Schwarskopf

Lorna Hunt All in one Day

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook

Vaughan Williams The Lark Assending Academy of St Martins in the Fields

Pretty tough reducing it to 5. Another day it might be 5 different ones, except La Boheme
1. soular energy ray brown japan super analogue pressing
2. Ry Cooder Jazz Mfsl
3. Rossini 6 sonates a quattro philips
4. Serenata Maastrichts salon orchestra philips
5. Joan Baez Diamond and rust in the bullring Gold castle label and many many more
great thread, Hard to stop at 5 but this week, here are my top 5
DSOTM-------pink floyd. THe album is over 30 years old and gets played almost every week and is still perfect (maybe two pops/clicks from my earlier days) I got to get a backup copy!
Buckingham/Nicks first album
Window and Walls----- Dan Fogleberg---great voice and wonders sonics on this album

Eve----Alan Parson Project

AJA--- Steely Dan

Next week would be 4 new ones but these are 5 incredible albums that will showcase any system
Pink Floyd Wish you were here Nimbus super cut
Roger Waters - Amused to death
David Gilmour - On an Island
Dire Straits Brothers in arms 1/2 speed master
Any of my Maynard Ferguson LP's
Tough One!

Moving Waves - Focus
Tarantula - Chuck Mangione
It's Too Late to Stop Now - Van Morrison
A Dream - The Moody Blues
Electric Nights - Jim Capaldi
It is easy for me. I've recanted this story a few times and a few here know that my father lost what would today be a literal small fortune in jazz LP's in a fire at our home in the late-60's. I had alway assumed that all was lost but when I got back into vinyl several years ago, and subsequently found an appreciation for jazz, my dad called to say that he had grabbed a few LP's that day in a stack that was close at hand. Said he'd bring them next visit. Next visit, true to his word, he handed off what immediately became my five favorites (still sealed- never played):

Miles Davis Qunitet - "Steamin'"
Miles Davis Qunitet - "Cookin'"
Miles Davis Qunitet - "Relaxin'"
Miles Davis Qunitet - "Workin'"
Cannonball Adderly - "Somethin' Else"
1) Laurie Anderson's "Mr Heartbreak"
2) Jeff Beck "Wired" (esp., "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat")
3) Little Feat "Waiting for Columbus" (acapella intro is spooky good)
4) Jean Pierre Rampal & Lilly Laskine "Japanese Melodies for Flute & Harp" (picked up for $2 at an antique shop)
5) Donald Fagen's "The Nightfly"

All just regular issue vinyl that sounds fantastic.