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'Classic' Albums

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Several weeks ago I decided to buy a 'classic' album every fortnight*


I've been looking at various 'best ever albums' pages online for ideas.


So far I've bought (on CD, obviously, since the sound quality is far superior to vinyl) Funeral by Arcade Fire, Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth, and Dummy by Portishead. The first two are superb. The third should arrive sometime next week.


What are some 'classic' or 'essential' albums that you own?



*two weeks

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Some faves, off the top of my head:


Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix

In a Silent Way - Miles Davis

Brandenburg Concertos - J. S. Bach

Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major - Beethoven

Systems of Romance - Ultravox

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Bitches Brew - Miles Davis


Miles of Aisles - Joni Mitchell


The Band - The Band (the "Brown Album")


The Four Seasons - Vivaldi


The Rite of Spring - Stravinsky


Live At The Fillmore - Allman Brothers Band


El Rayo X - David Lindley


All outstanding, in their own unique way.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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Some of my favorites that I decided to collect again. Much of this is the music I grew up on which is a major factor when deciding what to collect.


Santana (the original lion head album)


I Robot - Allen Parson's Project


Steppenwolf - Live


Led Zeppelin - I


Journey - Infinity


Toto (1978)


Chicago II


Fleetwood Mac


Thelonious Monk - The Memorial Album

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton


It holds up so well.


Hounds of Love - Kate Bush

Gist of the Gemini - Gino Vannelli

Cupid and Psyche - Scritti Politti

Apostrophe - Frank Zappa

Rapture - Anita Baker

Staring at the Sun - Level 42

The fact there's a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers


People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin


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Jazz Samba - Stan Getz / Charlie Bird

Jazz Samba Encore - Stan Getz / Luis Bonfa

also Focus, Soul Eyes, The Dolphin, & Pure Getz - Stan Getz

The Yes Album, Close To The Edge and Fragile - Yes

Aqualung - Jethro Tull

The Baddest Turrentine - Stanley Turrentine

Stolen Moments and Bop For Kerouac - Mark Murphy

Live at the Apollo 1962 - James Brown

Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

Zeppelin 1, 2, 3 & 4

Abbey Road (side 2) - Beatles

Time Out - Dave Brubeck Quartet

Ruby - Gato Barbieri

Vanilla Fudge (first album)

The Cat - Jimmy Smith

In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson

Hollywood Madness - Richie Cole

The Hottest New Group In Jazz - Lambert, Hendricks & Ross

Extensions - Manhattan Transfer

Dvorak Symphonies 7, 8, & 9 - Cleveland Orchestra / Dohnanyi

Beethoven Symphonies 4 & 7 - Cleveland Orchestra / Szell

Arabian Nights - Fikret Amirov (various composers and orchestras

Asrael Symphony - Josef Suk - Czech Philharmonic / Belohlavek

Dorati Conducts Tchaikovsky Antal Dorati (Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, Marche Slave, Cappricio Italian and plenty of other)

Tchaikovsky Symphonies 3, 4 & 6 / Shastakovitch symphonies 4, 7, 9 / Khachaturian Symphonies 1 & 2 (various orchestras and conductors)


I could go on. Much of the most complex symphonies and orchestral works keep my interest over and over and over again as long as they combine that with music.that appeals to me.


As my tastes evolve, I find myself listening to more and more symphonic works, especially from the Romantic period to the Contemporary and heavily weighted to the Eastern Europeans and Russians. The music is not only interesting and exciting, but it is impossible for me to memorize every note and every nuance from every instrument, so even after hundreds of listenings I can still find something new.


For example. I played Dvorak's 9 in concert band, and have owned 4 different versions, one on LP and 3 on CD until I found one interpretation that I really liked. I have listened to it in concert dozens of times by touring orchestras and on recording hundreds of times. One day I'm listening and in the fourth movement there is a short segment where he plays 2 bars from the main theme of the 3rd movement mashed up with 2 bars of the main theme of the 4th movement. Then one day I realized he also played 4 notes from the main theme of the 1st movement in the bass line and a fragment of the main theme of the 2nd movement as countermelody. After hundreds of listenings, a pop/jazz/rock or any other genre of music has never done that to me. I'm sure more discoveries will be in my future.



Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I listen to so many genres....here's my classic 10 from memory from electronic music FWIW:


Global Communication 76:14

Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works 85-92

Underworld Second Toughest In The Infants

Steve Roach Structures From Silence

Oneohtrix Point Never Replica

Meat Beat Manifesto Actual Sounds and Voices

Orbital Snivilisation

Brian Eno Nerve Net

The Orb The Dream

Terry Riley A Rainbow in Curved Air


And some million honorable mentions one of which is Gui Borrato Chromophobia


Some of the top-regarded classic electronic artists I just have never warmed to: Daft Punk, Boards of Canada, Burial, Squarepusher, Gas, Deadmau5, B.T., Caribou. I must be deficient in some gene or other. And almost all rave and italo disco and drum 'n bass and hardcore, etc, etc, leave me pretty numb.



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The Who - Whos Next


Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band - Zoom


Taj Mahal - Giant Step and De Ol' Folks At Home (douible album)


Joni Mitchell - Blue, Court and Spark, Don Juan's Reckless Daughter


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Duets (both albums)


David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Scary Monsters


Duke Ellington and His All Star Band Live (1962)

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street


Big Brother and The Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin) - Cheap Thrills


Various Artists- Motown Classic Gold


Thelonious Monk - Brilliant Corners


Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue


Sun Ra - It's After the End of the World

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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And, some classic country albums.


Marty Robbins - Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs


Roger Miller - Best of Roger Miller: His Greatest Songs


Emmylou Harris - Quartermoon in a Ten Cent Town


Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like a Wheel


Trio (Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton) - The Complete Trio Collection

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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