Great Recordings, Sonically Speaking - and Why.

I think many of us would accept that artists such as Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and Dire Straits have consistently put out music that was at least originally recorded to a high technical standard. [I'm not too sure what the loudness wars may have done to subsequent reissues, but even so, the tone and timbre thankfully tends to remain intact.]

However there must be plenty of lesser known recordings out there that could be said to be of a high sonic standard.

One such recording that I like to put on in the background whilst I'm doing other things is a piano recording that features wonderfully lush timbre and some delightful tunes.

This one is The Disney Piano Collection by Hirohashi Makiko and to me it makes a lot of other piano recordings sound a little washed out.
Carmen Gomes Inc. " Up Jumped the Devil" is an outstanding example of how good a recording can be if the engineer takes the time to get everything right; Understanding the music and the musicians and making optimal use of the acoustic space and high quality equipment.

The album is available in RedBook CD on
and in hi-res on  
for ultra hi-res, DXD and DSD there is the site.

There's a superb review of the album on the site that jimf421 mentioned;
....."This is some of the best sounding drum sound I have ever heard on a recording. Very dynamic and not reserved. The sound of the double bass is full, rich and powerful where needed but with no hint of bloat. And the guitar.....It is clear and reverberant. Naturally, not with added reverb. Of course, the vocals are captured beautifully. Carmen is right there in front of you. This recording doesn’t take you to the recording studio. Even better, it brings the recording studio to your listening room. Very few studio recordings do this. The drums to the left, Carmen in the middle in front of the instruments and the bass just to the right of her and the guitar to the right side of the soundstage. The sound is totally three dimensional. You almost feel like you can reach out and touch everyone. The sound is totally open with natural decay and depth. It is stunning. It really is. No hyperbole."....


Good review, it might be worth checking.
Seems like a lot of care was taken in the recording to maximize fidelity and not commerciality.

Not my favourite genre but I'll give some of the more upbeat numbers a listen later.

"One more word about the drums. Far too many recording engineers pan the drums across the soundstage, giving an unnatural size to the drums. Not here. The drums are focused in the sound field and sound like a drum kit does live. I wish this was the case in more jazz recordings."
I am 68 and heard the name porcupine tree but never heard any of the music. The other's you have mentioned, never heard their names before!
Ozzy, If you put a foot in the water with any of those artists/labels, it will lead you to other artists/recordings of quality. Have fun!
Here's a few more:
--Cassandra Wilson
--The Future Kings of England
--Moses Sumney
--Agnes Obel
--Reference Recordings label-Classical
--Artemis on the Blue Note label
@sumaato ,

"Audio friends, I’ve got to wonder, reading the posts in this thread, if any listeners have purchased a record since about 1980!"

My record buying (current music) began to seriously tail off by the late 1990s.

Afterwards it’s mostly been reissues and material by previous favourites (Dylan, Springsteen, Morrissey etc).

The main problem is the sheer richness of the back catalogue stretching back some 70+ years. Even now there’s potentially hundreds of great albums I’ve not heard - mostly US artists little heard in the UK.

Therefore recent stuff has a lot to compete with if its going to stick and same goes for cinema, TV etc.

In fact the only recent (post 2000) movies I’ve seen that have left much of a lasting impression were both from 2008 - The Hurt Locker and The Dark Knight (Batman).

It's a moot point as what's actually happening today but there does seem to be a clear discord between recent world events and musical commentary.

Any protest singers still around in 2021?
Anyone about to instigate a cultural revolution like the ones witnessed in the 1950s and 1960s or are we done?
Even now there’s potentially hundreds of great albums I’ve not heard - mostly US artists little heard in the UK.

Great music and great recordings have never stopped being made by great musicians. Sure enough, there is a huge amount of material to wade through even from one week of new releases to the next week , but if you know roughly what genres you tend to stick with, then it's not difficult to look into new stuff day-to-day.

If one is interested in 1970s rock music for example (as most of us seem to be!), there is a whole contemporary community of rock artists evolving and changing with modern influences from other genres, creating new worthwhile music, with great recording and musicianship.

One of my interests is 1950s torch singers, of which i have hundreds of original albums, in mono and early stereo. Though the overall presence of that type of music culture has shrunk dramatically, their high standards of arrangements and singing performance can be found in contemporary recording artists like Stacy Kent, Diana Panton and Celeste.