Which Albums do you use for reference Listening ?

Which Albums do you use for reference Listening ? Which records are the Tour De Force Records you favor to get things opened up and stretched to the outer limits of what sounds good to YOU

I just installed a New Vintage Empire EDR.9 MM Cartridge. I guess MM's don't have break in time because this sounds so fine right oughta the box !

These albums are some of my favorites that can demonstrate my systems strengths and weaknesses, music that covers the whole frequency spectrum.

I.E ultra low frequencies Organ , Low frequency Cello, Baritone Sax Mid Frequencies etc. etc up to triangles, brushes and sopranno's gone wild

Some of these records do not isolate frequencies but make an the system components go through the full gamut all at once, from the top to bottom, over, under, and sideways down.

Ok this is my Bakers Dozen selections

1812 Overture *
Led Zeppilin II *
Captain Beefheart-Clearspot *
Side 2 - Abbey Road *
Pet Sounds-The Beach Boys *
Issac Hayes-Hot Buttered Soul
Herbi Mann - Push Push
Amsterdam Guitar Quartet- The Four Seasons
Elvis Costello-Imperial Bedroom *
Art Blakey-A Night at Birdland Vol 1 *
Aretha Franklin-Amazing Grace
Arthur Rubenstein - Chopin Collection
Bobby Soxx & the Blue Jeans -
Christmas Baby Please Come Home MONO *
Husker Du-Zen Arcade

It's nice that at least a few of the titles are still in print on wax or easily available.

You should be able to still buy these* without too much trouble.

Best Regards &
Merry Christmas

Groovey Records

Listening to The Phil Spector Christmas Album

Back To Mono !
just kidding;.)
My list of reference albums include:

Pink Floyd - Dark side of the moon (EMI 30th Ann Edit Vinyl)
Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat
Bonnie Raitt - Best of on Capitol
Norah Jones - Feels like home & Come away with me
Jack Johnson - Brushfire fairytales, Inbetween dreams
Fairground Attraction - The Collection
Neil Young - Harvest (Reprise Vinyl Ed)
Madelein Peyroux - Careless Love (MoFi Vinyl Ed)

I like 'organic' music - raw and neat...

Best regards,
David Holland Quartet, Conference of the Birds (title cut) gives you serious response from acoustic bass to flutes and bells.

Art Ensemble of Chicago, Nice Guys: across the board brilliant, and beautiful reference disc.

For electronic stuff, Peter Gabriel's So offers a nice range.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
MFSL Ella and Louis, Again
Field of Dreams
Rob Roy
Holly Cole, Shade
Eric Bibb, River Road (Opus 3 label)
Doug MacLeod, Come to Find
Kodo, Mondo Head
Brian Bromberg, Wood
Michael Hedges, Taproot
MFSL John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman
Terje Rypdal, Waves
Between Heaven and Earth, Traditional Gamelan Music of Bali
Beefheart; clear spot german pressing

alan parsons; 12 " german singles of hyper gamma spaces and stereotomy.

Joy Division; 12" italian single atmosphere

Chemical Brothers; 12" english single out of control

Supertramp; Canadian pressing even in the quietest moments

Kraftwerk; german 12" singles of robots/radio activity

Kraftwerk; german pressing of trans europa express

Dream academy; english 12" single life in a northern town

gordon lighfoot; german pressing of gords gold

peter gabriel; 12" french pressing in your eyes.

Tangerine Dream; french pressing of tangram
Archie Shepp,Any oif his four beautifull ballad Lp's on Venus who use a 24 bit "Hyper Magnum" sound recording.CD's of course have more dynamic range but Venus has my vote for best contemporary recorders of jazz or anything.It proved to me that a great LP from a digital source.Less ranbge but more tactile and immediate than the CD's (which are also reference).And though a lesser recrtding than Shepp's LP's for superb performace if you rae a fan of great piano palying in post Bub and Bill Evans mopde the CD of Eddie Higgins Haunted Haert".A Venus version availible as well as cheaper(and inferior sounding) version availible on Sunnyside.My best "find" in 6 yesr of running stores jazz section.For older jazz the Classic and Absol;ute Analogue's are great especially 45 rpm pressings.
Chazzbo the jazzbo
I find opera very challenging for Vinyl. So 2 I use are

Verdi Ottelo with Placido Domingo: the opening is very busy aND dynamic, with a good loud cannon thrown in too. If cartridge is not tracking, you get congestion and loose the big changes in dynamics.

Verdi Don Carlos again with Domingo: Side 2 has loud and complex choral singing, again a real challenge for a less than perfect vinyl set up.
In general, I much prefer Classical on vinyl, but many records provide a real challenge. Symphonic music too, if a system can make the late Mahler symphonies come to life, it is doing pretty well
One of my all-time vinyl favorites for reference listening is:

Grace Jones, Slave to the Rhythm

. . . quite a sonic experience!
David Benoit - Every Step of the Way
Jennifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat
Sting - Dream of the Blue Turtles
Roger Waters "Amused to Death" - great for testing bass response. This album has it all, low bass, explosions, PP Arnolds excellent vocals, Jeff Beck's awesome guitar, and Q sound.
Supertramp "Crime of the Century" for resolution
Emerson Lake and Palmer's first album for dynamics, bass extension (church organ) and noise floor
Mott the Hoople "Brain Capers" for rhythm and timing
Halle Orchestra/cond Handford Carmina Burana (Orff) on EMI for tonality
Well, I have far to many but heres a few. I will third Famous Blue raincoat! 2.Sheffield track record lab 20. 3.Sheffield lab 4. Thelma Houston. 5.Codona ECM 1132 unbelievable lp and a must have! with Don Cherry, 6.Intensive care -discwasher recordings Japan, 7.Authur Fiedler Capriccio Italien-Crystal Clear records Direct to Disc, 8.Aaron Copland-analogue Productions limited edition 180g vinyl Earl Wild on piano, 9.Mendelssohn 17 songs without words/walter Giesking/piano japanese emi, 10.This is a true must have YELLO-Flag lp, 11.Getz/Gilberto MFSL 208, 12.Lincoln Mayorga v 3 Lab 1 Sheffield Lab, 13.Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Flood (Cool lp!) 14.Emmylou Harris MFSL 015. What ever you do get yourself some Yello sit back and enjoy the trip! Cheers Daren
lately i've been bowled over by the few 12" 45s that i have from groove note and classic (extra track on the kind of blue reissue, kei akagi, jay mcshann, duke robillard & herb ellis). i also stumbled across a mono 1s/1s unplayed copy of the heifetz sibelius violin concerto that will undoubtedly get pulled out with any major system changes/upgrades. i guess beatles red monos make the list too. oh, and side 1 of the DCC elton john madman across the water. lots more i'm sure. i love this hobby!
LONG...Hello Denziens of Audiogon

Does this make us Goners?

Thanks for all your suggestions, I must say that this site is a great resource to learn from others experience, one that helps me to weigh the many choices available to us. It is such a subjective hobby, just the same part of the fun is hearing others point of view and expanding our own realms.

I started this thread so that I can choose some records outside of what I might choose on my own. I collect The Incredible String Band, Tyranasaurus Rex. both Elvises, Rockabilly, Classic Jazz, Hard Bop, there is so much music and so little time. So I turn to you my friends to select your favorite Phonographic Recordings that you use as references when evaluating your system.

Ones that might not be too difficult to find new or used so that I might gain from your experience.

I worked in the retail and wholesale Record Business from the age of eleven years of age. Some of the best stores in NYC right up till 1981 when I joined the Airforce. I was spoiled as far as musical riches go, I was entitled to x number of records per week and used the store inventory as my own collection. As much as I loved the music I never valued this "product" as i should have In 1979 I opened my own Record store in Greenwich Village with my own collection as inventory, it was called Revenge, and the rest as they say is History. Sad but true !

I now have a small quality collection, a thousand or so, many never opened till now, mostly records I refused to part with, and a few bought along the way. Now I buy sell and trade records to have fun while I listen to that sweet , sweet music.

It is remarlable that every one of the contributors to the thread has named a least one piece that I am intimately familiar with and own in one form or another so I Can tell where you are coming from!!

Rustler-I will find the Art Ensemble they were wac and way far out -loved their make up! Have you heard The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway ?

Dewald- I should replace DSOTM, after it I found that era of Pink Floyd a disapointment I much prefer Pipers at the Gates of Dawn, Atom Heart Mother, and Saucerful of Secrets, I was at the Umma Gumma Concerts at the Fillmore.

Celtic66- Ah there Laddy you have surprised me the most.Do you know Robin Williamson and his Merry Band. I have the Compelation record but iwould like the original LP's I will find the Master and Commander record I remember the film where they be Jammin on the Violla like a Guitar I'm sure it's overdubed but it struck me as parmount to the spirit of the film's characters. Is the Mobile Fidelity still available on wax. Are all of your suggestions available as vinyl for that matter? I only play vinyl in the house although I have hundreds of CD's for the car.

Mark Bolin Said " I only use cassettes in the bathroom when I'm sitting and thinkin the sound is just like that sort of thing" I feel the same about CD's I once had a fairly good JVC CD player in the System but I never bothered to replace it and seldomly missed it. Maybe later

Artprint I love that you collect POP and Rock as 12" 45 rpm singles always the loudest and most fawned over mixes. I loved the Dream Academy's Sound sort of Sgt. Beach Boy a beautiful mix is the 12 inch different ?
Fast Moves Fast slow moves slow now your doin the low Yo Yo Yo YO
I will ebay up some 12 inch releases. I have a nice Paley Brothers one that I love

David12 I will look for those Verdi Operas thanks for the catalog numbers Here in the states we used the Schwan catalog as well as other more permenent reference catalogs that the stores would subscribe to and be updated and recoallated weekly. Now David exactly how late was Mahler? that wasn't very considerate of him was it !

Chazz bo what do you know Chazz dig Jazz has a stash of masters splash
Chazzbo you know I dig Archie Shepp so so I gota go get that gold 24 carrat wax that you and that chick Venus knows Chazzbo Im goin with the flow Thanks mann gotta fly cant get too high by buy bye

Forrestc my cousin Christopher Walken was in that James Bond Movie A view To a Kill with Grace Jones. I asked him what it was like filming a love scene with her he said Joe I wouldn't ---- her with your richard if it was attached to a ten foot pole. I said my richard is a ten foot pole!

Forrest I just opened a fresh copy of Slave about a month ago I like how its a bio interview mix. I'm selling it on eBay so I can get into some other stuff, I realize it a cult thing. I don't really consider it reference material. I do like La Vi En Rose her spin on Piaf is fresh.

Squeegy I used to work for the Police Their first year in NYC They Played CBGB one day 4 months later opening for Kiss at Madison Squre Garden. They were a conglomerate from the first day ! Bleach Bottle Blonds who where named the Police on IRS records and managed their tours by F.B.I. federal booking international, alot of hype. But they had the chops and the looks. I went to New Orleans when Sting played there supporting his second album the one with Wynton Marsallis on it. B.B. King was the opening act ! I own Blue Turtles, a beautiful Record, I never Play it for some reason Maybe its because I got burned out on Sting the personallity. I remember him as being such a poser. Have you heard his New Lute Recording on DG ?

Arnold Layne I know your name Did you make Emily Cry? Was it soon afterdark did you listen to Fly ? I will get the Waters LP. Who owns the Pink Floyd name these days anyway? Shine on you crazy butcher you baker you candlestick maker

Flyingred The First ELP had the dove on the cover right ? I always liked Pictures at an Exibition. I was friends with a band called Trident they were ELP wannabes. I helped them build a Zuckerman Harpsichord from a kit. They booked town hall in NYC and couldn't give the tickets away. Sad Billy became a piano teacher. You should check out Atomic Rooster Emersons first band. I will look for Halle Orchestra/cond Handford Carmina Burana. Is it still available? I have Brain Capers strange choice I always liked Shadow Mortin He did the second NY Dolls album and the Shirelles as well.

Fihihifi Is all that sheffeld lab stuff stii available on wax? and which ones do you like most I will Look for the Aaron Copland and the Mendelssohn I remember Yello when it first came out I keep an eye out

Doc You are going to cost me a lot of Money I love the 12" 45rpm lps @ $50 a pop so I will go back to my roots save my cash and start with Red Label Stuff. Meet the Beatles was the first LP I bought with my own money. My Mom was Scottish and worked for Pan Am so we would visit her mom two maybe three times a year I bought all the British 45's EP's and destroyed them I still have a few left from then I have All the American stuff and the reissue LP Parlalphone Box that came out in the eighties. I still have the Help LP I bought with Yesterday on it that I had like a year before it came out in the states.

It all started for ME right There. When I was about 10 I would go into the record store on the street I grew up on in Jackson Heights, Records Spectacular. Everyday I would take the Beatles Albums out of the bin with the divider and put them in front of the Animals albums ! They got so tired of me doin this they gave me a job as a gopher so I would stop ! I stood outside the Plaza Hotel and watched the Girls go crazy. You could hear them screaming outside of Shea stadium. I snuck into the Second Shea Concert by putting the Police Baricade staight up the fence at Shea and Jumping into the bullpen! We chased Paul and John's Limo down the Street from the Saint Regis Hotel to the next red light and spoke with them I must of been 12! Cops let us get away with alot back then!

I appreciate your suggestions please try to make as many as you can for Vinyl that is readily available today.

Best Regards

Groovey Records

Listening To
The Soundtrack from A Clockwork Orange WB 2573
Forrestc my cousin Christopher Walken . . .

. . . was in that James Bond Movie A view To a Kill with Grace Jones. I asked him what it was like filming a love scene with her he said Joe I wouldn't ---- her with your richard if it was attached to a ten foot pole. I said my richard is a ten foot pole!

Forrest I just opened a fresh copy of Slave about a month ago . . . I don't really consider it reference material. . .

Yea Groovy you're right, Slave probably isn't really reference material since it's so heavily processed, but it's fun to listen to anyway.

. . . and please keep your great posts coming!

Still LMAO!!!
ZEN ARCADE- Incredible album!!

Didn't expect to see that one!