The Best CDs to Give as Presents



Here is a great idea: instead of bringing yet another bottle of wine to someone's dinner party.....

What CDs do you nominate to give as a present where:

a) There is at least a chance they wouldn't have it already

and

b) For any particular genre of music, both artist and performance could please a discriminating audience.

c) As usual EXTRA CREDIT! for good recordings!

Of course, you should stick to the wine and/or flowers for your audiophile friends who already have 10,000 CDs....

But hopefully this might grow into a useful list for normal music appreciating friends, family and business associates.

I have had some success with Vince Guaraldi for Christmas stocking stuffers and Patricia Barber for non audiophiles who like jazz.

This thread was inspired by my need to give some "classical" music to a friend who is a patron of the NY Philharmonic, but I otherwise have no idea regarding his tastes or collection.

Should recent reissues or remasters also be included?

Thank you and hope this is interesting for others.
cwlondon
Consider their ages & taste and consider an appropriate "greatest hits" compilation. These have always been party favorites.
I've given John Fahey-America & Nick Drake stuff as presents mostly to people who have no idea who the artists are and it works every time.
"Junta" by Phish. A lot of people may have preconceived notions, but I really don't see how anyone could not find this music captivating and beautiful, if a little quirky. Although Phish are definitely known for their live shows, I think their studio work is very tight and polished. Other choices that should please most everyone are "Billy Breathes" and "Round Room". I am most grateful for the college buddy who first turned me on to them, and hope I could turn someone else on to them too.
Band of Bees: Octopus (or Sunshine Hit Me).

Vampire Weekend: s/t

two great(!) rock bands today that few people know of, but everyone likes once they hear them.

for nostalgic fun: Nillson: The Point!

for easy listening: Jack Johnson: On & On