Your Not-So-Obvious Best Fidelity LPs

I’ve spent over three years building up to the system I have now.  I’m really happy with it and my wife and I love sitting in our listening room spinning various vinyl most evenings.  Rather than researching and testing gear, I want to spend this year adding great recordings to our collection.

So what are the albums you have that every time you play it you're continually amazed at its fidelity?  You might have spent $80 on it or just $1 or maybe it was a hand-me-down decades ago.  Any genre really.

And if we can please avoid the most obvious choices (which are truly wonderful) such as Pink Floyd, The Eagles, Diana Krall, etc.  I’m looking for albums, (vinyl only please) that probably fly under the radar for most folks.

I'll start….

James Taylor - Dad Loves His Work - this was just given to me by a friend a couple of weeks ago as he had an extra copy.  I have plenty of JT albums but I didn’t have this one yet.  As soon as I put it on I could tell it was special.

Edie Brickell - Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars - My wife requested this one so I found a NM copy on Discogs for a reasonable price.  This kind of blew my socks off.  Sounds really wonderful and present and the music still holds up.

Counting Crows - August and Everything After - I surprised my wife with this one as it’s one of her favorite albums.  They really nailed the recording and pressing on this one.  It’s quite impressive. 

Ben Folds - What Matters Most - He’s one of our favorite songwriters but trying to find a copy of anything of his or Ben Folds Five for under $80 is nearly impossible.  This album was released just last year and they obviously paid special attention to the recording quality.  Sounds just phenomenal. 

Steely Dan - Northeast Corridor - Obviously everyone knows how amazing their studio recordings are but this album might be unknown to some as it came out just a few years ago.  I bought it on a whim knowing nothing about it.  It’s amazing.  As if they would release an album with less than stellar fidelity.  If you’re a Dan fan, this album is a no-brainer.

REM - Automatic for the People - Completely hypnotic.  Stunning recording.

OK, that’s enough from me.  


Not so obvious, but, indeed, records pressed and released in the 90s may have the best mastering and sound and here’s my list of such:

Sasha and John Digweed -- Northern Exposure

David Bowie -- EarthLing (original 1995 release on vinyl)

Depeche Mode -- Ultra (original 1997 release on vinyl)

Stan Getz -- Appasionado

Bohren & Der Club of Gore -- Midnight Radio (1995 release on vinyl and CD)

The last one mentioned is an incredible nearly 3 hours album done mainly on low frequencies and with very slow tempo like around 30bpm.

Some of those records above may have 4-figure price if not now, then in the very near future.


@paulietunes cool thread!
Most of my great quality records are Decca or some German pressing, like the ones I listed. 

Frank Zappa's "Thingfish" 

Robin Thrower's "For Earth Below"

Al DeMeola's "Scenario" 

@roadwhorerecords @grislybutter @czarivey thank you for those contributions!  Hope to get to hear some of these on my system in the near future.

Who else has some suggestions for us to hear?

What a great post paulietunes, interesting and thought provoking. Thanks to bigtwin, I listened to Miles Davis In A Silent Way last night (via Qobuz), never heard this record before, absolutely fantastic! I am going to make my way through everyone's recommendations. The joy of finding new music.