Those rare albums that are great on first listen.

You know the ones. They blow your mind and make you glad you're an audiophile.

Share your favorites.

For me it’s usually some style or vibe I haven’t heard before. My list so far is around 20, but I’ll keep it to my top 5. Feel free to share as many as you like.

!. Poe ‘Haunted’
2. Spirit “Twelve dreams of Dr. Sardonicus’
3. Midlake ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’
4.Tori Amos ‘Little Earthquakes’
5. Skindive  ‘Skindive’



Some just off the top of my head that are well recorded and a good listen…

- MA Recordings Sera Una Noche

- Tony Falanga Soul of the Bass

- Patricia Barber Companion

- Keb’ Mo’ Slow Down

- Norah Jones Come Away With Me


Brian Eno Here Come the Warm Jets

​​​​The Moody Blues In Search of the Lost Chord

Weather Report I Sing the Body Electric

Miles Davis In a Silent Way 

@1111art - good list! Fyi, if you weren't aware, Poe's brother is Mark Z Danielewski, author of 'House of Leaves' and a number of other unique, groundbreaking, novelistic works.

801 Live

Cream Disraeli Gears

​​​​​​Captain Beefheart Doc at the Radar Station 

John Coltrane A Love Supreme


Sarah Jarosz. Undercurrent

Buddy and Julie Miller. Breakdown on 20th Ave S.


Four Seasons of Vivaldi, (no doubts!). But only this audiophile version (tubes recording only version) on Tacet with

Daniel Gaede (violin)

Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Wojciech Rajski

The sound quality is incredible! and the music is sublime, it is for me the best version because of some balance between the old "romantic" interpretation and those influenced by the authentic instrument interpretation with a more Baroque sense of improvisation .



Bob Dylan albums in the sixties... almost any...( nevermind the sound!) Dylan is a poet as Leonard Cohen or Leo Ferré... Other possible choices...



Spem in Alium by Tallis interpreted by Cambridge choir. ( an ocean of voices on a sea were the soul is at the same time at home and lost ) The Cambridge choir version is the most hypnotic but not the cleanest one...



Shahram Nazeri - Mystified album... The best sufi album i ever heard completely stunning and ectatic) If you dont pray God here you dont have a soul!


I could have put in its place Hildegard of Bingen music with feminine voice choir... Ex aequo...


Or Josquin Des Prez masses, or Liszt Christus by Antal Dorati....

or a raga by the master of Sitar Nikhil Banerjee who is on par with Ravi Shankar but less well known ...😊



Thank Mashif, those are both great!


Some more:

Traffic 'Self titled'

Bif Naked I Bificus

Deep purple 'Machine Head'

Klaatu 'Self titled'

Kate Bush 'Red shoes'

Amazing how musical tastes differ. No wonder few people on this forum can agree over audio components. Vive la difference!

If I don't enjoy an album the first time that I listen to it then it's unlikely to be given an opportunity to grow on me.  If there's a song or two that I like then I will listen to them selectively.  I don't like learning to like things :-)

When I first read this thread it make me think of the albums that I have that suck me in and it's almost like my enjoyment grows with each song.  Here are three of my favorites:

Legends by James Galway

Ceremonial Music for Trumpet & Symphonic Organ by Michael Murray

Tuba Carnival by Oystein Baadsvik (you may need to forgive the first song Fnugg)


Off the top of my head:


- The Band: s/t (the brown album).

- Dave Edmunds: Get It.

- The Dwight Twilley Band: Sincerely.

- Moon Martin: Shots From A Cold Nightmare.

- T Bone Burnett: Truth Decay.

- Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Harvest.

- The Flamin’ Groovies: Shake Some Action.

- Weezer: s/t (the blue album).

- AC/DC: Back In Black.

- Iris DeMent: Infamous Angel, My Life, and all her others.

- Lucinda Williams: s/t (on Rough Trade).

- Lou Ann Barton: Old Enough.

- Carlene Carter: Musical Shapes.

- Nick Lowe: Labour Of Lust.

- Buddy Miller: Your Love And Other Lies. Hell, ALL of his!

- Rodney Crowell: The Houston Kid.

- The Johnny Staats Project: Wires & Wood.

- Van Morrison: Moondance.

- Maria Muldaur: s/t.

- Randy Newman: s/t, Good Old Boys.

- Elvis Costello: King Of America.

- Moby Grape: s/t.

- The Yardbirds: For Your Love.

- The Kinks: You Really Got Me, Kontroversy, Face To Face, Something Else By, The Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur, Muswell Hillbillies.

- Ry Cooder: Bop Till You Drop.

- David Lindley: El Rayo-X.

- Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out The Lights.

- Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind.

- Bob Dylan: New Morning, Planet Waves, Before The Flood, "Love And Theft".

- Jackson Browne: s/t (aka Saturate Before Using).


Many more, but that’s enough outta me.


Jazz at the Pawnshop

Moanin'  Art Blakely

Grace Jeff Buckley

Darkness on the Edge of Town Bruce

Wagner: Das Rheingold  Wiener Philharmonic 

David Gilmour’s debut solo album from 1978. Incredible album. A "gilmourish nerd tidbit" -- a song that he wrote too late to be mixed for his debut album was included on "The Wall"...just a little tune called "Comfortably Numb". Had that song also been on his debut, it would have been a mind-blowing slab of vinyl.

Some of my favorites have already been listed.  I would add

Dire Straits - Dire Straits

Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Guy Clark - Dublin Blues

John Prine - John Prine

Peter Tosh - Equal Rights

Run The Jewels - RTJ4

Santana   Abraxas

Stevie Ray Vaughn   Can’t Stand the Weather 

Yosi Horakawa    Vapor 

Muddy Waters   Folk Singer 

Tony Joe White   One Hot July 

Leonard Cohen   You Want It Darker 

Willie Nelson   Spirit

Mark Knopfler   Ragpicker’s Dream

Jimmy Burns   It Ain’t Right 

Jerry Lee Lewis   Last Man Standing 

John Prine  Tree of Forgiveness 


Oops, no list is complete without:

- John Hiatt: Bring The Family.


The Black Keys - El Camino

Led Zeppelin - 1

Karen 0 & Danger Mouse - Lux Prima

RUSH - Moving Pictures

The Waterboys - Fisherman’s Blues

Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 - Gentleman

Bob Marley - Exodus

The Isley Brothers - 3 + 3

Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul

Every time I see Chad Kassam I tell him that they need to put out Spirit “Twelve dreams of Dr. Sardonicus’ on Analog Productions.  Their quality reissues would make this recording sound incredible. It’s amazing already but, wow, I would love to hear what it COULD sound like!

Supertramp - Crime of the Century

Jackson Browne - Late for the Sky

Calexico - Carried to Dust

Joe Henry - Civilians

Boston - Boston

Bruce Cockburn - The Charity of Night

to name a few...

In Classical Music, the BIS label has recorded the Charioscuro String Quartet in Haydn and Beethoven that at least in DSD are the closest thing to having the ensemble appear to be in my listening room.

Nils Lofgren - Acoustic Live

Eagles - When Hell Freezes Over

Donald Fagan - The Nightfly

Al DiMeola - Elegant Gypsy

The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet

Little Feat - Waiting For Columbus

Every Zeppelin Album

I agree with many if not all of the albums listed... I think Alanis Morissette's, Jagged Little Pill is pretty great & impactful front to back. Defines the 90s in many ways

Jimi Hendrix  Band Of Gypsys                                                                               Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper – The Live Adventures Of Mike Bloomfield And Al Kooper                                                                                                                           Nektat  Tab in the Ocean                                                                                             The Word Of Life – Further Ahead                                                                               The Velvet Underground & Nico                                                                      Various – Peter And The Wolf                                                                                                                                            

Tracey Thorn - A Distant Shore
Everything But The Girl - Amplified Heart
New Order - Republiic
Killing Joke - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
Ryan Adams - Prisoner
Rosanne Cash - Interiors

Had to wrap Kevlar around my head this morning to keep my (blown) mind from escaping.  Lots of great work(s) here.

Got me thinking:

I can think of many albums, in the first THIRTY-SECONDS, that woke up my senses offering a high level of creativity, uniqueness, and command of instruments and/or voices that made it apparent there was something truly extraordinary going on here.  From the 31 second mark thru the remainder of album, it just built, and built, unfolding a musical masterpiece that will endure well beyond this lifetime. 

@mahgister thanks for the Four Seasons recommendation. I'm in no way shape or form a classical music listener, but have heard clips of these songs and have been looking to pick up a LP. This will be the version added to my want list on Discogs. Thank you!

Zappa - Freak Out (mind you I was in grade 7)

Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways (at his age?)

Joe Henderson - State of The Tenor vol 1

Abbey Road

Sticky Fingers

Chet Baker, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, and Philip Catherine - Crystal Bells


My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

Slowdive - Slowdive 

Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother 

Nothing - Guilty of Everything 

Midwife - Luminol 

Drug Church - Hygiene 


Favorite albums of the last probably 10 years for me. 



Herbie Hancock - Headhunters

Diana Krull - The Girl in the Other Room

Dire Straits - Dire Straits

Third World - Journey to Addis

Barenboim, Perlman and Zuckerman - Beethoven Double Concerto in D Minor

Janis Joplin - Cheap Thrills

Allman Brothers - Live at the Fillmore

These two completely blew me away when they were released.  I was fortunate to see Duane and Janis in person before we lost them way too early.

From a purely audiophile perspective:

Alison Krauss and Union Station: Lonely Runs Both Ways. 

A reissue of 12 Dreams would be a real treat. It was my favorite trip back in the day and is one of the few psychedelic albums I still listen to. Ear candy. 

Some of the older Jazz and classical albums that were recorded well are my favorite surprises. In fact from this post I have some listening to do. So thank you everyone for reminding me to go to the archives. Time to swap out a few of my top 100. 

Pat Metheny- Letter From Home

Frank Zappa- Overnite Sensation

Mahavishnu Orchestra- Visions of the Emerald Beyond

CSNY- Deja Vu

Derek and the Dominos- Layla Sessions

Jimi Hendrix- Blues

Greg Brown - "Dream Cafe" album.

Hans Theesink - "Songs of the Southland" album.

David Munyon - "Big Shoes" album.

Frank Sinatra - "Wee Small Hours" album

Jerry Garcia and David Grisman - "Jerry Garcia and David Grisman" album.

Leonard Cohen - "Old Ideas" album

Deuter - "Goddess."

Aretha Franklin - "Let Me In Your Life" album.

John Zorn - "A Garden of Forking Paths" album.

Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle Orchestra - "What's New" album

Madeleine Peyroux - "The Blue Room" album

Stop me before I kill again!


Jackson Browne - "For Everyman"

Lloyd Cole & Commotions - "Rattlesnakes"

Crack the Sky - "Crack the Sky"

Dixie Dregs - "What If"

Mark Eitzel - "60 Watt Silver Lining"

Robin Lane & Chartbusters - "Imitation Life"

Leadon - Georgiades Band - "Natural Progressions"

Love - "Forever Changes"

Joni Mitchell - "Court and Spark"

Prefab Sprout - "Two Wheels Good" (aka, "Steve McQueen")

Tom Petty- Tom Petty
Tom Petty- You're Goinna Get It!
Tom Petty- Damn The Torpedoes
Jimi Hendrix- Are You Experienced
Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

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Anything by Bill Evans

David Crosby- If I Could Only Remember My Name

Talk Talk- Laughing Stock

Fleetwood Mack- Tusk

Beck- Morning Phase

Arthur Russell- World of Echo

Leonard Cohen- You Want it Darker

Phillip Glass- The Photographer

Henry Cow- II

Can- Future Days

Serge Gainsbourg- Melody Nelson

Miles Davis- Jack Johnson

Sun Ra- Languidity

Etta James- At Last

& so much more . . .


+1 on Petty. All his albums sound different but great. I was gonna list Wildflowers as maybe the best recording. Shadow People is one of my "Test" songs when evaluating changes. 

Muddy Waters-folk singer

Traffic-low spark of high heeled boys

Rodney Crowell-Aint living long like this

Little feat- Dixie Chicken & Sailin Shoes

Level 42-first & World Machine

Donald Fagen-the night fly

Allman Brothers-eat a peach

Chet Baker-Chet

Steve Earl-the mountain

Alison Krauss & Union Station -New Favorites

John Prine- john prine

I could go on...




David Bowie - "Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars"

Echo and The Bunnymen - "Crocodiles"

Michael Franks - "The Art of Tea"

King Crimson - "In the Court of the Crimson King"

Loe Reed - "Transformer"

Renaissance - "Turn of the Cards"

The The - "Mind Bomb"

Paul Westerberg - "14 Songs"

Wishbone Ash - "Argus"

XTC - "English Settlement"

Yes - "Fragile"