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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

TOP ALL TIME FAVORITE RECORDINGS

Chosen by Claude Lemaire

The following records were selected based on my personal music appreciation and also in some cases for their superior sound quality; the latter rated by a [G] for good, [E] for excellent, [O] for outstanding and [P] for as close to perfection as can be. In other words, if there is none of these four ratings preceding the title, the recording is either sonically compromised in some aspects to my tastes or I have not had the opportunity to seriously evaluate it. A [? ] preceding the aforementioned letters indicates the probable rating, given general reviews and past experience when I have not had the actual pressing in hand to evaluate. The equivalent numerical range ratings are given below.

Many of these sound recommendations may reflect only a specific pressing, such as an original copy or a superior audiophile remastering; as such one should not automatically construe that a different pressing than stated below will be as sonically impressive nor will it be necessarily awful either.
'RE' indicates Remastered/Reissue along with the year in question following the original release date. When not specified, pressings can be considered 'original US' while the other 'imports' are indicated by country abbreviation.

Lists are compiled foremost by broad musical genres; followed by the artists/groups placed along a historic line; with their selective creative output ranked in chronological release order. All are subject to timely revisions and constant evolution.

Global ratings:

[G] = 7.5-8.2
[E] = 8.3-8.9
[O] = 9.0-9.5
[P] = 9.6-10

TOP ROCK ALBUMS 


Bill Haley & His Comets:(1952)
       
  [G] Rock with Bill Haley and the Comets (1954) - Essex
        Shake, Rattle and Roll (1955) - Decca
        Rock Around the Clock (1955) - Decca


Elvis Presley:(1954-07)

        Elvis Presley (1956) - RCA
  [O] Elvis Is Back! (1960) (1997 RE) - DCC or 2nd choice: (2010) - A. Prod. (2x45rpm)
  [E] Elvis 24 Karat Hits! [recordings: 1956 to 1969] (1997) - DCC    
                                                           2nd choice  (2010) - Anal. Prod. (3x45rpm)


Buddy Holly:(1956-04)

  [G] Buddy Holly (1958) (1995 RE) MCA 


The Ventures:(1960-02)

  [G] Walk, Don't Run (1960) - Dolton
  [G] The Ventures Play Telstar and the Lonely Bull (1963) - Dolton
  [G] Surfing (1963) - Dolton
  [G] The Ventures in Space (1964) - Dolton
  [G] Wild Things! (1966) - Dolton
  [G] Play the Batman Theme (1966) - Dolton
  [G] Hawaii Five-O (1969) - Liberty


The Beach Boys:(1961-11)

[?E] Pet Sounds (1966) (2015 RE mono) - Analogue Productions
        Wild Honey (1967) - Capitol
  [G] The Smile Sessions [recorded: 1965 to 1971] (2011 RE) - Capitol


The Beatles:(1962-10)

[?E] Please Please Me (1963 mono) - Parlophone UK
 [E] With the Beatles (1963 mono) - Parlophone UK
[?E] A Hard Day's Night (1964 mono) - Parlophone UK
[?E] Beatles for Sale (1964 mono) - Parlophone UK
[?E] Help! (1965) - Parlophone UK
[?E] Rubber Soul (1965) - Parlophone UK
  [O] Revolver (1966) - Parlophone UK
  [E] Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) (1983 RE) - MoFi
[?E] Magical Mystery Tour (1967) - (1981 RE) - MoFi


The Hollies:(1963-05)

        Bus Stop (1966) - Imperial UK
        Distant Light (1971) - Parlophone UK


The Rolling Stones:(1963-06)

  [G] The Rolling Stones (1964) - Decca UK
        Aftermath (1966) - London US
        Beggars Banquet (1968) - Decca UK
        Let It Bleed (1969) - Decca UK
        Sticky Fingers (1971) - Decca UK


The Kinks:(1964-02)

        Kinks (1964) - Pye UK
        Kinks-Size (1965) - Reprise US


The Yardbirds:(1964-05)

        For Your Love (1965) - Epic US


The Spencer Davis Group:(1964-05)

        Gimme Some Lovin' (1967) - United Artists
        I'm a Man (1967) - United Artists


David Bowie:(1964-06)

        David Bowie (also released as Space Oddity) (1969) - Philips UK
        The Man Who Sold the World (1970) - Mercury UK
        Hunky Dory (1971) - RCA UK
[?G] The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders... (1972) - (1981 RE) MoFi
        Aladdin Sane (1973) - RCA UK
        Diamond Dogs (1974) - RCA UK
        Young Americans (1975) - RCA UK
        Station to Station (1976) - RCA UK
        "Heroes" (1977) - RCA UK
        Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (1980) - RCA UK
  [E] Blackstar (2016) - ISO, Columbia, Sony Music UK


The Who:(1964-07)

        My Generation (1965) - Brunswick UK      
        The Who Sell Out (1967) - Track Record UK or (2005 RE) - Classic Records
        Tommy (1969) - Track Record UK or (2006 RE) - Classic Records
        Live at Leeds (1970) - Track Record UK or (2005 RE) - Classic Records
        Who's Next (1971) - Track Record UK or (2005 RE) - Classic Records


The Zombies:(1964-08)

  [G] Begin Here  (1965) - Decca UK
  [G] The Zombies (1965) - Parrott US
[?G] Odessey and Oracle (1968) - CBS UK


The Moody Blues:(1964-09)

  [O] Days of Future Passed (1967) - Deram UK or (1981 RE) MoFi
 [?E] In Search of the Lost Chord (1968) - Deram UK
 [?E] On the Threshold of a Dream (1969) - Deram UK
 [?E] To Our Children's Children's Children (1969) - Threshold Records UK
 [?E] A Question of Balance (1970) - Threshold Records UK
 [?E] Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971) - Threshold Records UK


The Byrds:(1964-10)

        Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) - Columbia
        Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965) - Columbia
        Fifth Dimension (1966) - Columbia
        Younger Than Yesterday (1967) - Columbia
        The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1968) - Columbia
        Sweetheart of the Rodeo (1968) - Columbia
        Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde (1969) - Columbia


The Seeds:(1965-03)

        The Seeds (1966) - GNP Crescendo
        A Web of Sound (1966) - GNP Crescendo
        Future (1967) - GNP Crescendo
        Raw & Alive: The Seeds in Concert at Merlin's Music ... (1968) - GNP Crescendo


The Lovin' Spoonful:(1965-08)

        Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful (1966) - Kama Sutra


Country Joe and the Fish:(1965-10)

  [G] Electric Music for the Mind and Body (1967) - Vanguard
        I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die (1967) - Vanguard


The Troggs:(1966-02)

        From Nowhere (1966) - Fontana UK


Jefferson Airplane:(1966-02)

        Jefferson Airplane Takes Off (1966) - RCA
  [O] Surrealistic Pillow (1967) (2015 RE mono) - MoFi (2x45rpm)
        After Bathing at Baxter's (1967) - RCA
        Crown of Creation (1968) - RCA
       Bless Its Pointed Little Head (1969) - RCA


Love:(1966-03)

  [G] Love (1966) - Elektra
        Da Capo (1966) - Elektra
  [O] Forever Changes (1967) (2016 RE) - MoFi (2x45rpm)
        Four Sail (1969) - Elektra
        Out Here (1969) - Blue Thumb Records
        False Start (1970) - Blue Thumb Records


Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band:(1966-03)

  [G] Trout Mask Replica (1969) - Straight


The Mothers of Invention/Frank Zappa:(1966-06)

        Freak Out! (1966) - Verve
        Absolutely Free (1967) - Verve
        Lumpy Gravy (1967) - Verve
        We're Only in It for the Money (1968) - Verve
        Uncle Meat (1969) - Bizarre
        Hot Rats (1969) - Bizarre or ?(2009 RE) Barking Pumpkin - Classic Records
        Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970) - Bizarre
        Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970) - Bizarre


Grateful Dead:(1966-06)

[?E] The Grateful Dead (1967) - Warner Bros. or (2011 RE) Rhino
[?E] Anthem of the Sun (1968) - Warner Bros. Seven Arts or (2011 RE) Rhino
[?E] Aoxomoxoa (1969) - Warner Bros. Seven Arts or (2011 RE) Rhino
[?E] Live/Dead (1969) - W. Bros. Seven Arts or (2003 RE) Rhino or (2011 RE) - MoFi
 [O] Workingman's Dead (1970) Warner Bros. or (2014 RE) MoFi (2x45rpm)
 [O] American Beauty (1970) - Warner Bros. or (2014 RE) MoFi (2x45rpm)
[?E] Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses) (1971) - Warner Bros. or (2012 RE) - MoFi
  [E] Wake of the Flood (1973) (2011 RE) - MoFi


The Velvet Underground:(1966-07)

        The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967) - Verve
        White Light/White Heat (1968) - Verve
        The Velvet Underground (1969) - MGM
  [G] Loaded (1970) - Cotillion


? and The Mysterians:(1966-08)

        96 Tears (1966) - Cameo Parkway
        Action (1967) - Cameo Parkway
        

The Monkees:(1966-08)

        More of The Monkees (1967) - Colgems


Cream:(1966-10)

  [E] Fresh Cream (1966) - (1996 RE) - DCC
  [G] Disraeli Gears (1967) - Reaction UK
        Wheels of Fire (1968) - Polydor UK


Blues Magoos:(1966-11)

        Psychedelic Lollipop (1966) - Mercury
        Electric Comic Book (1967) - Mercury
        Basic Blues Magoos (1968) - Mercury


The Jimi Hendrix Experience:(1966-12)

  [E] Are You Experienced (1967) (2010 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy
  [O] Axis: Bold as Love (1967) (2010 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy
[?E] Electric Ladyland (1968) (2010 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy

Jimi Hendrix:

[?E] Band of Gypsys (1970) (1997 RE) - Classic Records

Posthumous albums            
      
  [E] First Rays of the New Rising Sun (1997) (2010 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy
[?E] South Saturn Delta (1997) (2011 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy
  [E] Valleys of Neptune (2010) (2010 RE) - Experience Hendrix Legacy
  [G] People, Hell and Angels (2013) - Experience Hendrix Legacy


The Doors:(1967-01)

  [G] The Doors (1967) (1992 RE) - DCC
  [O] Strange Days (1967) (1992 RE) - DCC
  [O] Waiting for the Sun (1968) (1998 RE) - DCC
 [?E] The Soft Parade (1969) (2012 RE) - Elektra Analogue Productions (2x45rpm)
 [?E] Morrison Hotel (1970) (2012 RE) - Elektra Analogue Productions (2x45rpm)
  [O] L.A. Woman (1971) (1998 RE) - DCC or ? (2012 RE) A. Productions (2x45rpm)


Soft Machine:(1967-02)

        The Soft Machine (1968) - Probe UK
        Volume Two (1969) - Probe UK
        Third (1970) - CBS UK
        Fourth (1971) - CBS UK
        Fifth (1972) - CBS UK
        Six (1973) - CBS UK
        Seven (1973) - CBS UK
        Bundles (1975) - Harvest UK
        Softs (1976) - Harvest UK


Pink Floyd:(1967-03)

[?G] The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967) - Columbia UK or (2016 RE) P.F. Rec.
[?G] A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) - Columbia UK or (2016 RE) Pink Floyd Records
        More (1969) - Columbia UK or (2016 RE) Pink Floyd Records UK
        Ummagumma (1969) - Harvest UK or ? (2016 RE) Pink Floyd Records UK
  [E] Meddle (1971) - Harvest UK or (1984 RE) MoFi
        Obscured by Clouds (1972) - Harvest UK
  [O] The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) - Harvest UK or (1981 RE) MoFi UHQR or
                                                                  (2003 RE) EMI Harvest 30th anniv. Euro 
  [E] Wish You Were Here (1975) - Harvest UK
  [G] Animals (1977) - Harvest UK
  [G] The Wall (1979) - Harvest UK or ? (2012 RE) Harvest US


Procol Harum:(1967-05)
        
        A Whiter Shade of Pale -12" 45rpm - (1967) - Cube UK 
  [P] A Whiter Shade of Pale -12" 45rpm - (1967) (200?) Regal Zonoph. Classic Rec.


Iron Butterfly:(1967-12?)

        Heavy (1968) - Atco
        In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (1968) - Atco


Creedence Clearwater Revival:(1968-01)

  [O] Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968) (2002 RE) - Analogue Productions
  [O] Bayou Country (1969) (2002 RE) - Analogue Productions
[?O] Green River (1969) (2002 RE) - Analogue Productions
[?O] Willy and the Poor Boys (1969) (2002 RE) - Analogue Productions
[?O] Cosmo's Factory (1970) (2002 RE) - Analogue Productions


Jethro Tull:(1968-02)

        Stand Up (1969) - Island UK
  [E] Aqualung (1971) - (RE 1981) MoFi or (RE 1997) DCC or
                                     (RE 2015: 2011 Steve Wilson Rmx) Chrysalis
  [O] Thick as a Brick (1972) - Chrysalis Island UK or (RE 1985) MoFi
                                                2nd choice (1972) Reprise Canada
        A Passion Play (1973) - Chrysalis UK or (RE 2014: Steve Wilson Rmx)
        Minstrel in the Gallery (1975) - Chrysalis UK or (RE 2015: 40th. S.W.Rmx) 
        Songs from the Wood (1977) - Chrysalis UK
        Heavy Horses (1978) - Chrysalis UK
 

Steve Miller Band:(1968-04)

  [E] Fly Like an Eagle (1976) - (1979 RE) - MoFi
        Book of Dreams (1977) - Capitol


Quicksilver Messenger Service:(1968-05)

  [G] Quicksilver Messenger Service (1968) - Capitol
        Happy Trails (1969) - Capitol
        Shady Grove (1969) - Capitol

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TO BE CONTINUED