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’



Do these questions seem to generate answers that reply more to the question “what are your favorite LPs”, or is it me?

Yes they do.   But, since

"Those rare albums that are great on first listen." is a matter of personal opinion, that is what is going to happen.

Renaissance - Turn of the Cards (1974)

Prog, influenced by late Romantic era classical music, elevated by the voice of Annie Haslam. 5+ octaves, near perfect intonation, dynamics, power, loads of emotion.


That voice sent shivers down my spine the first time I heard it!


Do these questions seem to generate answers that reply more to the question “what are your favorite LPs”, or is it me?


Not for me.

My entire music listening history is rife with: bands, musicians, composers, genres and subgenres of music, that took time and work to get into. Many, if not most of my favorites, did not immediately make sense to me, until I gave them multiple listens, in order to be able to wrap my mind around what they were doing.

My first example of this, would be the prog band, Gentle Giant. They were recommended to me because I was already listening to quite a bit of prog at the time (Yes, Genesis, Camel, King Crimson, etc), but I was not ready for what these guys were doing: the dissonance, the unique harmonies, the stop/start rhythms, etc.

A year later, after listening to a bunch of other prog, and I decided to take their LP’s off my shelf and give them another try. It was like a light went off in my head. What was I thinking?! They quickly became one of my favorite bands, and have more longevity than a lot of other bands of their time.

Same thing happened again with the entire subgenre of avant-prog. These bands use even more dissonance than GG, also use atonality, extremely complex and unpredictable song arrangements, free improv, complex time signatures, etc. Again, it tool me months to wrap my head around avant-prog, but the subgenre is my favorite prog subgenre.

Happened again very recently with post 1950’s (up through the current era) atonal, serial, avant-garde, experimental, classical music. Now, I can’t get enough.

So, for me, much of the music that takes time and "work" to get into, seems to have the most longevity, has emotional depth, and holds up to repeat listenings better.

Lubomyr Melnyk......... "Fallen Trees"

Popul Vuh................"Aguirre"

Laurie Anderson.........."Mister Heartbreak"

The National................"Trouble Will Find Me"

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds..... "The Boatman’s Call"

Khatia Bunatishvili........."Labyrinth"