Re: Top 10 “Audiophile” Albums (Tiens’ list)

Brendan is right: (This blog is off to a good start :) – Brendan) Some audiophiles buy certain CD’s because it makes their system sound good.  I am one of those but I have an excuse, I am in the business, so I need those type of CD’s to demo the systems to clients in the best possible way.

There is another positive to this, in hunting down these special recorded CD’s I sometimes come across amazing new material that I would never know existed because is not popular main stream music. Discovering these artist opens up doors into other worlds of music experiences.

OK, my 10, Hmm only 10 albums that is very tough! There are so many choices? Where do I begin?  Ok right let’s start from the begining where it all started in the early 70’s..

In no particular order of quality:

dark side of the moonyello-stellabrothers-in-armsessential-leonard-cohentonichilds

Pink Floyd – Dark side of the moon  (1973)
Favourite songs: Us and Them,  actually, the whole album, a masterpiece of recording engineering and music that still stood the test of time 36 years later!

Yello – Stella (1985)
Favourite songs: Vicious games, Oh Yeah. Clinically clean recordings with very tight and super fast punchy bass

Dire Straits – Brothers in arms (1985)
Favourite songs: Everything on this album. One of the great male voices of our time. This can test the richness of your system’s midrange  with crystal clear guitar notes to test your tweeters to the limit… a favourite demo CD of Hifi shops for many moons and even today.

Leonard Cohen – Essentials
Songs of his whole amazing career from early 70’s to his resent 2009 tour. Too many favourite songs, his unique deep voice test the realism of any system.

Toni Childs – Keep the faith (2008)
Favourite songs:  Dream That we Dream of and When it’s All Said and Done. To me one of the most unique female voices. This can paint a 3d picture of her in your room, definitely goose bump stuff.


Jacques Loussier –  Plays Bach (2006) ,,
Favourite songs: All the tracks. A must for classical Jazz demos. The kick drum, piano and bass guitar work is the most realistic sounding on any CD I have heard. It’s like you are there.

Stanley Clarke – The Toys of Men (2007)
Favourite Songs: Jerusalem, most delicate clear treble you can find. All Over Again, bass guitar work that will stun you.

Fourplay – The Best of Fourplay
Favorite songs: Chant, Bali Run and Between The Sheets.  A combo CD of the  great hits of the famous four Jazz players; Bob James on Keyboards, Piano, Lee Ritenour guitars, Nathan East bass guitarist and Harvey Mason drums.  Excellent detail recordings that will test the whole frequency range of your system, from the deepest bass to rich midrange and crystal clear top end.

Air – Pocket Symphony (2007) (Brilliant Choice Tiens, I’m jealous I didn’t have it on my list – Brendan)
Favourite songs: Photograph, One hell of a party. Crystal clear recording with very accurate bass lines.

Tiesto – Elements of life (2007)
Favourite songs: Do you feel me? fast punchy bass. Elements of life, fast punchy bass very complex rhythms to test the speed and control of your system.

So again, what is your Top 10? We’d love to hear from you and maybe you can introduce us into some new music.

7 thoughts on “Re: Top 10 “Audiophile” Albums (Tiens’ list)

  1. Jaco Pastorius\’s Chromatic Fantasy. You can find it on \"Punk Jazz – the Jaco Pastorius Anthology\". It\’s Jaco doing a cover of a song originally by Bach. Quite impressive.

  2. Enya’s Watermark. A DDD recording. Astounding to listen to on quality gear. In fact untill you hear it on good gear it’s rather pedestrian.

  3. Cheers Tiens,
    Of course you have the SACD version of Dark side of the moon. This is where HD surround sound leaves the olde CD for dead. Similarly you’re talking about the vastly superior SACD version of Brothers in Arms :) I was in the front row centre for the recent Leonard Cohen concert & I shouted my friend Dave Cooper (Torbay local) who is similarly a fan. In case you didn’t go I can recommend the DVD from his same tour with a pretty much identical grouping titled LEONARD COHEN – LIVE IN LONDON. I was able to watch this less than 6 months after I saw the concert here in AKL and it captures the sound and atmosphere to a ‘T’.

    No doubt you caught Jacque Loussier at the old town hall in Auckland a few years back. I own his Bolero CD (my mate Doug has your fav Play Bach) and another ‘must have’ for you if you don’t already own it: Jacque Loussier Trio Play Bach . . . and more DVD Live from St Thomas’s Church Leipzig (where Bach is reputed to be buried).

    Now a little bit of info that I just discovered: Stephanie Bennett, the lady that produced both Roy Orbison’s Black & White Night and Check Berry’s Hail Hail Rock ‘n’ roll (both personal favs and I own the Deluxe edition of Hail hail Rock ‘n’ roll in which she features) now bases herself on Waiheke Island.

    BTW have you checked out the digitally remastered Beatles albums (I have Sgt Peppers and Abbey Rd but I’ve also heard Rubber Soul and Beatles for Sale) and the latest remastered Hendrix Electric Ladyland. Sadly only CDs but a giant leap in sound quality. Highly recommended nostalgia.

    Now I’m off down the road to buy LOTTO for this coming weekend.

    Festive Cheers >>>Lloyd…

  4. You can’t go past Jennifer Warnes My Famous Blue Raincoat as an Audiophile classic.She covers Cohen’s songs with a stellar backup band.Superb.

  5. Interesting list Tiens, thanks for the input. I would add Eric Clapton’s “unplugged” for its guitar artistry which overshadows Clapton’s vocals. Just wondering where you soource your CD’s. Is it JB hifi? The warehouse offers the best price but is woefully inadequate when in comes to sourcing audiophile recordings. Cheers Daymon

  6. Hi Daymon
    Thx for your input .. Yes there are many more great CD’s but we had to restrict it to 10..which makes it not easy. Marbecks have the best audiophile CD’s

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