Vinyl you may not know that should be in your collection Vol. 2

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If you visit the top vinyl sales websites such as Elusive Disc and Acoustic Sounds among others, the quality vinyl lists are fairly similar. All the familiar suspects—RCAs, Lyritas, EMIs, Mercurys, Blue Notes, Argos, Deccas—populate the must haves. And many fabulous reissues also are cross referenced (Testament, Speakers Corner, Classic Records, etc). 

I’ve been reviewing lots of cartridges and phono stages lately and have been deep diving into my vinyl collection to add a little spice to the reviewing process. 

I began the subject of this list in Vol 1.

Finding the following LPs in their original form may be difficult or expensive (vinyl as an inexpensive medium is long gone). A few, however, are on high quality 180g reissues. 

Several of these LPs I discovered in the collections of other audiophiles. Basically, listen, be gobsmacked, run home like a wounded audiophile and hit Discogs hard 'till the vinyl was found. Some I even found on Amazon. Rest assured, the recordings are superb and the performances fabulous. Just be careful with price/quality ratio of originals if buying on the web. 

Enjoy!

Let us know your desert island unknown vinyl in the Comments section below. In no particular order. 

 I had the great pleasure of sharing the concert stage with Alfredo Campoli when he was in his 90s. His technical assurance at that age was staggering. Here, at a much younger age, he makes an almost perfect record. No matter the Decca or London ‘Blueback’ release, you’ll get a superb performance of the solo part while the almost mythical Ataulfo Argenta conjures a miracle accompaniment from the LSO. The recording is spectacular. Hard to find. Not reissued, but worth the hunt.

I had the great pleasure of sharing the concert stage with Alfredo Campoli when he was in his 90s. His technical assurance at that age was staggering. Here, at a much younger age, he makes an almost perfect record. No matter the Decca or London ‘Blueback’ release, you’ll get a superb performance of the solo part while the almost mythical Ataulfo Argenta conjures a miracle accompaniment from the LSO. The recording is spectacular. Hard to find. Not reissued, but worth the hunt.

 The two usual suspects for vinyl Das Lieds are Bruno Walter on Columbia and Otto Klemperer on EMI (with the peerless Fritz Wunderlich on tenor). I discovered this superb Philips when a music student in London in the early 80s. You’ll get very refined playing from the Concertgebouw and Haitink, with fine singing from James King and a knockout performance by Janet Baker. This one can be found in lots of classical bins.

The two usual suspects for vinyl Das Lieds are Bruno Walter on Columbia and Otto Klemperer on EMI (with the peerless Fritz Wunderlich on tenor). I discovered this superb Philips when a music student in London in the early 80s. You’ll get very refined playing from the Concertgebouw and Haitink, with fine singing from James King and a knockout performance by Janet Baker. This one can be found in lots of classical bins.

 This is from the Golden Days of the Academy. Superbly recorded on a beloved Argo with the most exceptional playing of an American program on vinyl. Also found in lots of classical bins. The Barber and Copland are amazing, but the Cowell, Ives and Creston get definitive performances of relatively obscure works.

This is from the Golden Days of the Academy. Superbly recorded on a beloved Argo with the most exceptional playing of an American program on vinyl. Also found in lots of classical bins. The Barber and Copland are amazing, but the Cowell, Ives and Creston get definitive performances of relatively obscure works.

 I heard this swinging beauty at Harry Weisfeld’s house, head of VPI. As soon as I got back to the island, I ordered it. Great sound and repertoire sung with impeccable taste and style by jazz’ most successful husband and wife team.

I heard this swinging beauty at Harry Weisfeld’s house, head of VPI. As soon as I got back to the island, I ordered it. Great sound and repertoire sung with impeccable taste and style by jazz’ most successful husband and wife team.

 Many of Audiophilia’s readers will know this album. But just in case you don’t, it’s included on the list as a must have. Effortless phrasing and style by the great artist. A double threat on trumpet and voice, this is one of Baker’s best—and beautifully recorded. My copy is a quality reissue.

Many of Audiophilia’s readers will know this album. But just in case you don’t, it’s included on the list as a must have. Effortless phrasing and style by the great artist. A double threat on trumpet and voice, this is one of Baker’s best—and beautifully recorded. My copy is a quality reissue.

 I have it on good authority (close ties with five musicians who worked closely with Sargent) that he was incredibly mean to his orchestra, the BBC Symphony. He’d make a player practice a very difficult passage over and over until he/she cracked in front of the orchestra. Try that with the LSO, whose players manage and own their orchestra. He’d have be out on his ear.  When not causing havoc, Sargent could produce some compelling records. This one, an Everest reissue, is sonically spectacular and a contains a brilliant performance by the LSO. One of the great Prokofiev Fives.

I have it on good authority (close ties with five musicians who worked closely with Sargent) that he was incredibly mean to his orchestra, the BBC Symphony. He’d make a player practice a very difficult passage over and over until he/she cracked in front of the orchestra. Try that with the LSO, whose players manage and own their orchestra. He’d have be out on his ear.

When not causing havoc, Sargent could produce some compelling records. This one, an Everest reissue, is sonically spectacular and a contains a brilliant performance by the LSO. One of the great Prokofiev Fives.

 A very special record and difficult to find. Chesky’s remastering is outstanding from the original, spectacular Wilky/Gerhardt engineering/production team. A Walthamstow classic. This is my favourite Sibelius 2, by far. No one does it like Barbirolli. The first movement sounds like no other. Sibelius would have been proud.

A very special record and difficult to find. Chesky’s remastering is outstanding from the original, spectacular Wilky/Gerhardt engineering/production team. A Walthamstow classic. This is my favourite Sibelius 2, by far. No one does it like Barbirolli. The first movement sounds like no other. Sibelius would have been proud.

 Zubin Mehta produced some glorious Decca/London records with the LA Phil from UCLA’s Royce Hall (Le Sacre du Printemps, The Planets, Arcana, etc). Fabulous acoustics. This is one of the best with exceptional playing and a fine interpretation of a wonderful but problematic piece (baby’s bath, baby’s bedtime, mommy/daddy sex, daddy’s bad moods, mommy’s diva temperament—you get the picture).

Zubin Mehta produced some glorious Decca/London records with the LA Phil from UCLA’s Royce Hall (Le Sacre du Printemps, The Planets, Arcana, etc). Fabulous acoustics. This is one of the best with exceptional playing and a fine interpretation of a wonderful but problematic piece (baby’s bath, baby’s bedtime, mommy/daddy sex, daddy’s bad moods, mommy’s diva temperament—you get the picture).

 I purchased this album many years ago and it has never been bettered in my collection. My favourite Tchaikovsky symphony LP. Very fine recording with a fabulous interpretation by Abbado and playing to match. Should be pretty easy to find.

I purchased this album many years ago and it has never been bettered in my collection. My favourite Tchaikovsky symphony LP. Very fine recording with a fabulous interpretation by Abbado and playing to match. Should be pretty easy to find.

 The Brits LOVE when non Brits do Elgar. Barenboim’s been doing it for years, ever since his late wife recorded the best Elgar Cello Concerto ever. Barenboim’s been getting better and better with his Elgar, but this old CBS is very special. Not so much for sound, which is serviceable, but for Zukerman’s astonishing performance of Elgar’s great Violin Concerto. The good news, it’s in a lot of classical bins. Good hunting.

The Brits LOVE when non Brits do Elgar. Barenboim’s been doing it for years, ever since his late wife recorded the best Elgar Cello Concerto ever. Barenboim’s been getting better and better with his Elgar, but this old CBS is very special. Not so much for sound, which is serviceable, but for Zukerman’s astonishing performance of Elgar’s great Violin Concerto. The good news, it’s in a lot of classical bins. Good hunting.