The best sounding albums
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  • Not the greatest of topics, but I've been trawling the web for a few weeks trying to work out which albums are considered the top picks for sound, rather than (specifically) the music.  Since I ventured into the world of lossless audio, reference headphones and pre-amps with twiddly bits on, I've been slowly re-ripping selections in FLAC.  Considering plenty of my older stuff was in 128kpbs WMA format, this has been extremely rewarding.  Say what you like about the raving lossless loonies, Ride the Ligtning sounds phenomenally good with the right gear behind it. 

    So, what does our small pocket of the internet consider the most sonically impressive recordings for messing around with high end audio?  Best production, beefiest beats and so on. 

    Today's pruchases:

    What's Going on - Marvin Gaye
    Kind of Blue - Miles Davis (lol, giving jazz one more go)
    Loveless - My Bloody Valentine
    Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
    Sea Change - Beck
    A Fame Studios box-set
    Blue - Joni Mitchell (had to re-buy, I'd lost the cd from the case)

    Recommendations from the thread:

    Timeless-Goldie
    Elbow: Seldom Seen Kid.
    Slint - Spiderland
    Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
    Shellac - like, all of the albums tbh
    Manic Street Preachers - Holy Bible (for the treble overkill)
    Malkmus & the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash (cos he stopped being sloppy and produced the best waster-prog ever)
    Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet (speaking of Prog)
    Aphex Twin - Druqs
    These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
    Radiohead - King of Limbs (probably the only one of theirs that doesn't suffer massively from Godrich's brickwalling)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    Portishead - Third
    God Speed You Black Emperor -  Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
    Haxan Cloak - Excavation
    Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (basically anything Bradford Cox is involved in)
    The Antlers - Undersea EP
    Kanye - Yeezus

    Psychocandy, Forever Changes, Head Over Heels (Cocteau Twins), Kraftwerk, Daydream Nation, Massive Attack, Neu, Cluster, Eno's ambient albums, Bjork - Homogenic, Aphex (selected ambient 1 was recorded on casette so that won't sound too great I don't imagine), Boards of Canada, Broadcast, Mogwai Young Team, Talking Heads, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Souvlaki by Slowdive, LFO, Hounds of Love, latter Beatles remasters, Welcome to the Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (bit cheesy in places) .. they all sound quite good to me.

    Snivilisation by Orbital
    New Gold Dream by Simple Minds
    Sigur Ros - Untitled
    Bjork - Post (and oter Bjork efforts)
    On Every Street - Dire Straits
    In Rainbows - Radiohead
    Young Team - Mogwai
    BloodSugarSexMagic - RHCP
    The Cure - Disintegration
    Grace - Jeff Buckley
    Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
    Al jerreau: jerreau
    Steely Dan
    Vennart - The Demon Joke
    Cornelius - Point
    Jon Hopkins
    DecksAndDrumsAndRockAndRoll by Propellerheads
    4Hero's Creating Patterns
    Welcome to the Pleasuredome - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
    Trinity Sessions - Cowboy JunkiesTripomatic Fairytales 2001 by Jam & Spoon
    Flag - Yello
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack
    Knopfler.
  • Elbow: Seldom Seen Kid.
    I'm still great and you still love it.
  • Timeless-Goldie

    Can you recommend a drum n bass compilation?  I have some Goldie in MP3, would look to a collection rather than buying his albums as I only get the dnb urge intermittently.
    Knopfler.
  • The Downward Spiral and The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails both turned up on SACD at one point, they're lavishly produced. Also I'll just hammer a stack of others in:

    Slint - Spiderland
    Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
    Shellac - like, all of the albums tbh
    Manic Street Preachers - Holy Bible (for the treble overkill)
    Malkmus & the Jicks - Real Emotional Trash (cos he stopped being sloppy and produced the best waster-prog ever)
    Porcupine Tree - Fear of a Blank Planet (speaking of Prog)
    Aphex Twin - Druqs
    These New Puritans - Field of Reeds
    Radiohead - King of Limbs (probably the only one of theirs that doesn't suffer massively from Godrich's brickwalling)
    Massive Attack - Mezzanine
    Portishead - Third
    God Speed You Black Emperor -  Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
    Haxan Cloak - Excavation
    Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest (basically anything Bradford Cox is involved in)
    The Antlers - Undersea EP
    Kanye - Yeezus
  • @Moot
    Its hard to recommend a greatest hits of the genre as they rarely exist.
    Compilations, you cant go too far wrong with Hospital comps.

    I would say download Timeless anyway as it is probably the best DnB album made, like a lot of electronic music it is a singles run genre where albums arent always quality start to finish.

    I saw the album done live by the Heritage Orchestra on South Bank last year. It was an amazing experience partly because the Orchestra and vocalists were incredible but also because it really is an amazing album that warrants the depth of an entire orchestra.

    It is also quite palatable for those not into the genre.
  • Yeah Timeless is fantastic, no qualms here even as someone who has never got D&B, as you can see from all that try hard shite up there
  • Cheers Temps, Kid A and OK Computer are the only two Radiohead albums I've flac'd so far.  Might have to grab King of Limbs as I'd pick those two out as highlights so far.

    Found Mezzanine yesterday.  Unsurprisingly, it sounds great.  It's been years since I've listened to some of these properly, which is probably why I'm so enamoured with the whole thing.  Underworld's Dubnobass also sounds spectacular.
    Knopfler.
  • KoL is not a great album tbh, but it has a very particular and dense sound and I still really like it. Lots of weird audio things going on with mics being left on in other rooms, ambience being recorded etc. Plus Give up the Ghost and Bloom are made for audiophile 'phones.

    If it weren't for some really frustrating muddiness and sloppiness on one or two tracks on In Rainbows i'd say that'd be their best produced album. It's definitely their best outside of that.
  • I would say download Timeless anyway as it is probably the best DnB album made

    97p on Zoverstocks, grabbed it.  Buy and rip is the way for me, I like to own stuff, even though not bothering with a filing system is a pain in the arse (and chase the cd rage is serious stuff - I've rebought albums in the past few months that I've eventually found).  Of the electronica/dnb etc stuff I've ripped so far, Xploding Plastix, Venetian Snares, Aphex Twin (particularly track 1 from the most recent album), The Emperor Machine and Flashbulb are faring well.

    Edit: and I ripped the Zen Retrospective/Remix albums today, which I'm looking forward to.
    Knopfler.
  • Tempy wrote:
    Kanye - Yeezus

    It finally won me over in the past few weeks, this is extremely high up the charts so far.
    Knopfler.
  • Psychocandy, Forever Changes, Head Over Heels (Cocteau Twins), Kraftwerk, Daydream Nation, Massive Attack, Neu, Cluster, Eno's ambient albums, Bjork - Homogenic, Aphex (selected ambient 1 was recorded on casette so that won't sound too great I don't imagine), Boards of Canada, Broadcast, Mogwai Young Team, Talking Heads, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, Souvlaki by Slowdive, LFO, Hounds of Love, latter Beatles remasters, Welcome to the Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes to Hollywood (bit cheesy in places) .. they all sound quite good to me.

    I've never really tried too much fiddling beyond upgrading to lossless version's though.

    I'm well aware what a snobby, pretentious twat my selections make me look as well, so don't bother pointing that out.
  • I dunno it's pretty much on par with what I have, oh WAIT
  • I've already ripped Love, J&MC and Kraftwerk.  Boards of Canada are on the list but I think I borrowed the cds.  Broadcast was on the b&b dropbox in flac recently, cheers to whoever did that :)
    Knopfler.
  • That was DS for me I think, that's just a mini album and a bit experimental and freeform. Not the best place to start with Broadcast imo.
  • Used to have a stack of particular CD's for auditioning audio equipment in shops back in the day. Don't remember what most of them were now, but Snivilisation by Orbital is a great shout for electronic production.

    Particularly, tracks
    2. I wish I had Duck Feet, which segues into...
    3. Sad But True
    and are an absolute sonic masterclass in how to build a stunning soundscape from disparate loops.

    7. Kein Trink Wasser. The bass that kicks in half way through. Oh my.

    9. Are We Here. 15 minutes of bliss.

    ...and yes that's Alison Goldfrapp providing all the vocals

    worth a listen

    g.man
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • New Gold Dream by Simple Minds if you want to go full Vice City 80's.
  • g.man wrote:
    Used to have a stack of particular CD's for auditioning audio equipment in shops back in the day. Don't remember what most of them were now, but Snivilisation by Orbital is a great shout for electronic production.

    Yasss, belter. I have a fondness for the Brown Album too.

  • Cheers g. 

    Bringing the aforementioned pretentious tone down a notch or three, Brothers in Arms is legit during a lazy Sunday evening of cd ripping.
    Knopfler.
  • Bits of Halycon + On + On mean that

    Sigur Ros - Untitled 
    and
    Bjork - Post

    should be on that list too
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Cheers g.  Bringing the aforementioned pretentious town down a notch or three, Brothers in Arms is legit during a lazy Sunday evening of cd ripping.
    Nah, if you're going Dire Straits, then On Every Street is the album with stunning production.
    Tracks:
    4. Fade To Black
    6. You And Your Friend
    12. How Long

    all headphone nirvana

    g.man
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • g.man wrote:
    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Cheers g.  Bringing the aforementioned pretentious town down a notch or three, Brothers in Arms is legit during a lazy Sunday evening of cd ripping.
    Nah, if you're going Dire Straits, then On Every Street is the album with stunning production. Tracks: 4. Fade To Black 6. You And Your Friend 12. How Long all headphone nirvana g.man

    Yes, but what about all those other tracks in between?  Except My Parties, of course.
    Knopfler.
  • Moot_Geeza wrote:
    g.man wrote:
    Moot_Geeza wrote:
    Cheers g.  Bringing the aforementioned pretentious town down a notch or three, Brothers in Arms is legit during a lazy Sunday evening of cd ripping.
    Nah, if you're going Dire Straits, then On Every Street is the album with stunning production. Tracks: 4. Fade To Black 6. You And Your Friend 12. How Long all headphone nirvana g.man
    Yes, but what about all those other tracks in between?  Except My Parties, of course.
    There are a few goodies and a few plonkers, like most of their albums really, but it has the best production.
    Come with g if you want to live...
  • Will find it, cheers.  Comminique has the least plonkers.
    Knopfler.
  • Yossarian
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    If you're doing other Radiohead, In Rainbows is about as good as it gets.
    Don't prepare for appointment.
  • Yossarian
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    Also, I'd go with some Mogwai. Young Team sounds pretty immense.
    Don't prepare for appointment.
  • The production on BloodSugarSexMagic is on another level. If that album was released tomorrow it would still sound fresh. Opinions, of course.
  • FranticPea
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    Tempy wrote:
    g.man wrote:
    Used to have a stack of particular CD's for auditioning audio equipment in shops back in the day. Don't remember what most of them were now, but Snivilisation by Orbital is a great shout for electronic production.

    Yasss, belter. I have a fondness for the Brown Album too.


    I love those two albums so much. Are We Here is up there in my all time favourites.
    Hairlo?
  • Dark Soldier
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    Timeless-Goldie

    Christ, one of only five or six albums I've bothered with and you steal mah thunder, you beautiful man.
  • Ah mate wish you could have seen the orchestra doing it. It was genuinely something special.
  • Yossarian
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    Thinking about this thread, I'd happily pay for an iTunes Match style service which would scan my library and download lossless versions of all of it. Match does 320kb AAC, I may have to go with that for the time being.

    Oh, also: Grace by Jeff Buckley just for that voice.
    Don't prepare for appointment.
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