Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Vinyl Gourmet 2016 TOP 15 Vinyl Reissues - Best Of 2016

Another year has passed here at and it's that time of the year when we look back and pick our Top 15 Vinyl Reissues of 2016:

Deutsche Grammophon celebrates Steve Reich's 80th birthday with a deluxe, numbered limited edition of his breakthrough 1974 recording of 'Drumming', 'Music For Mallet Instruments, Voices And Organ', and 'Six Pianos'. Presented in its original 3LP box format, it includes Reich’s original notes with many session photos and first publication of nearly 50 letters he wrote about this amazing recording.

Passion is Pires's keynote. With intensity and drama she relishes Chopin's central storms, creating a vivid and spectacular contrast with all surrounding serenity. Pires makes you hang on to every note, and with her burning clarity she has reinforced our sense of Chopin's stature and created a new range of possibilities. Maria João Pires is among the most eloquent master musicians of our time.

Tarentel's debut album From Bone To Satellite released in 1999 by Temporary Residence, then a new fledgling record label. The vinyl sold out in a matter of weeks, becoming Tarentel's most valuable contribution to the post-rock canon, and quite possibly their zenith. The album title makes clear reference to Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey, and the music is indeed of stellar quality!

Hot Rats cemented Frank Zappa as a musical force to be reckoned with. The album, recorded on a prototype 16-track recorder, sounds as fresh and sonically superior on this 180g audiophile analog edition as it did when first released in 1969. Blending rock and jazz stylings with top call studio musicians, the album opened the door to 'Fusion Music' while putting Zappa on the guitar player map.

Waiting to Exhale was one of the first movies to feature African-American women in leading roles. Its soundtrack took the music industry by storm, topping the Billboard Pop and R&B charts for several weeks. The soundtrack was masterfully produced and mostly written by Babyface, featuring divas Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston, Brandy, Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige.

The Dave Matthews Band celebrates their 25th anniversary with this 20th Anniversary Edition of the their best-selling album, Crash, for the first time on vinyl. The album features some of their biggest hits such as 'Crash Into Me', 'Two Step', '#41', and 'So Much To Say'. Produced by Steve Lillywhite and originally released on RCA Records in 1996, Crash brought the band three Grammy nominations.

In 1973, when this album was released in Japan, Monk had all but disappeared from the scene. Concerts? Far from it! Something new from the studio? No way! The 1963 tour with appearances in Japan and the resulting album offered solidly played favorites such as 'Just A Gigolo' or 'I’m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You' that made the audience and record collectors alike sit up and listen.

Collector's Edition 7LP 45rpm Box! Complete Blues Alley Collection featuring 12 Previously Unreleased Recordings & 8 Never-Before-Heard Songs! Eva Cassidy is remembered in Nightbird which affords everyone the opportunity to experience Eva Cassidy's complete tour de force performance at the Blues Alley jazz club in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 1996 for the first time.

The middle album of Neil Young's 'Ditch Trilogy', 1974's On the Beach was actually recorded after Tonight's the Night but released almost a year prior. Meticulously mastered from the original analog master tapes and pressed on high quality vinyl, this analog reissue presents the album in unsurpassed sound and brings On the Beach back to standalone LP for the first time in decades.

Engineered by Parsons after he performed the same duties on Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, I Robot from 1977 remains a true audiophile showcase with extended frequency range and impressive dynamic range. Inspired by Isaac Asimov stories, I Robot delves into themes of artificial intelligence and technological dominance that make the record increasingly relevant in the 21st century.

1980's Once In Every Life served as quintessential romantic balladeer Johnny Hartman's second-to-last album cut at the age of 57 with a smooth and sophisticated quintet. Hartman's baritone voice sounds as rich and mellow as ever and jazz lover Clint Eastwood even used four tracks from Once in Every Life in his acclaimed 1995 film Bridges of Madison County.

Chris Jones, well-known from the Nautilus Tour 2002 as a guitar-virtuoso, arises on his new solo album also as an impressive songwriter and vocalist. The brilliant guitarist from Reno, Nevada, sadly passed away much too early in 2005. His last album with Stockfisch from 2003 has posthumously been established over the years as a de facto standard for audiophile listening tests and demo sessions.

The final album by the original Love lineup, Forever Changes regularly draws epic praise. Rolling Stone described it as 'elegant armageddon', another rave review called it 'one of the most distinctive masterpieces in that era of masterpieces'.  Produced by band frontman Arthur Lee and The Doors' engineer Bruce Botnick, presented here on 2LP 45rpm vinyl for the first time.

This live recording from the famed festival by Lake Geneva qualifies as one of the best piano trio classics of the 1970’s as well as a milestone in Monty Alexander’s catalogue. The 1976 recording captures the moment in his young career when he began to be compared to such giants as Oscar Peterson. Another perfect sounding MPS all analog mastering of this dynamic and exciting recording!

Second studio album from the Carlos Santana band and widely acclaimed as his masterpiece, presented here with corrected stereo channel orientation, newly remastered and sounding better than ever as the result of being expertly remastered from the Original Analog Master Tapes by MFSL with the new Ultradisc One-Step UD1S process!

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