Just a few of my favorite things...
July 15, 2019
The overwhelming advice by almost any "reviewer" when selecting "test music", is to go with what you know well. To that end, I do tend to use that which I have listened to over and over, on many types and combinations of systems. You may see some you like, some you despise, or some you may never have heard of. I try to mix it up, but of course, my list is just that: my list. It is personalized to me, just as your list should be personalized to you. If we agree on a song, great! If we don't, well, that's just the way it is. Hopefully, we'll all discover something new and exciting.
Also note that I tend to be a 'whole album' type of person. I'll listen to the whole album, for the most part.
Here goes (and this is by no means a complete list, I will update as I find time) in no particular order:
Styx - Suite Madam Blue I like a lot of Styx, but this really stands out for testing purposes.
CSN - Crosby, Stills, Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes Yeah. Just yeah.
Yes - America One of many from a huge favorite.
Dan Fogelberg - Wysteria A young Dan, the album Home Free was his first. May you rest in peace, friend.
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Linus And Lucy Okay, okay. Peanuts was my favorite cartoon and the TV specials didn't hurt at all. 😊
Dave Brubeck - Take Five What can I say? The man knew his time signatures!
River Of Crystals (Kimiko Itoh) Came across this when my kids were going through the Anime phase (have they ever left it?). Love this one.
Yes - Awaken Saw this for the first time live at the Union tour, in the round, with ALL (band version) members on stage. The Spectrum in Philly went silent. This was definitely a "religious" moment. Still is.
Happy Rhodes - Warpaint This album is a gem, at least in my sparkly eyes.
Patrick O'Hearn - Indigo Many a late night listening to this and others like it.
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here While dark Side of the Moon was to be the first CD I bought, it wasn't to be. The store was sold out. So I bought The Best Of The Guess Who instead. What does that have to do with this album? Nothing really, except that I feel, as I've grown older, that Wish You Were Here has just a bit more than Dark Side. Animals is a close contender too.
Roland Orzabal - Tomcats Screaming Outside Roland is better known for the other big 80's group he was co-founder of: Tears For Fears. This album has the dubious, some say horrible misfortune, of having the US release date of 9/11/01. Yep, that's why you've never heard of it. We had been listening to it for a year already when that happened (what an inside track that was!)
Dada - Puzzle Another full album listen without a regret.
Enough for now.
July 16, 2019
Yoko Kanno & Origa - Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex (Inner Universe) This one usually follows River of Crystals in my mix. It can really stand out if everything is right.
Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts - Cowboy Bebop OST - Tank! - If the system makes me feel it, then its working.
Triumvirat - Spartacus One of my top Prog favorites, it just lets me hear things all around while taking me on a journey every time.
July 27, 2019
I was reminded of another album that has quite a bit of range that I've listened to in many formats, volume levels, and systems from full room all the way down to extreme nearfield and headphones:
Kansas Leftoverture A great Prog album with surprising dynamic range and clarity. One of my guilty pleasures. It was the track Magnum Opus I heard today that took me right back in time...
August 11, 2019
Cathie Ryan has such a beautiful voice. She was at the Celtic Festival in Bethlehem PA a number of years back. We were working our way from West to East when, as we we're passing one of the "Concert tent"(s), I heard this voice and it stopped me dead in my tracks. I wandered in and stood for the rest of her set. I do believe I was first in line to buy her CD, which she graciously signed. If she ever comes around, I highly recommend seeing her in person.
December 19, 2019
Donald Fagan The Nightfly. One half of the one and only Steely Dan, if you've never experienced this album, where have you been? Under a rock that doesn't roll? This album is as Sammy Davis Jr. used to say: "Swinging, Baby!" The production is top notch and the quality is pretty GD high.
And of course, just about anything from Steely Dan is of the utmost quality as well.
Nice! Some of these I have heard. I'll have to check them out. Thanks for the great list!
For testing to destruction ...
Magic Carpet Ride ... Stepenfolf 1968 guaranteed tweeter torture and plenty hard on woofers too.
For the clear sound of real instruments ...
Classical Gas ... Mason Williams 1968, excellent natural guitar and drums
Time In a Bottle ... Jim Croce 1973, very nice guitar and vocals
Crazy Little Thing Called Love ... Queen 1980, one of the best sound mixes ever
For frequency testing ...
Axel's Theme ... Harold Faltemier 1984, showing off the new General Midi.
T S O P ... MFSB 1974, defined a whole new music mix.
Pilot of the Airwaves ... Charlie Dore 1979, excellent vocal harmonies
For new classical...
Cello Rondo ... Ethan Winer 2005 ... certainly a unique piece, challenging for any system.
my links keep getting removed so blegh, i'll be back some day
<a href=" removed link " target="true"> removed link
Are the links from a place like YouTube? If so, using the link "button" in the options above the text area works well. I usually fill out the link text first and then paste the URL second. I find it works better for me that way. If you are still having problems, click the plain text icon, the "T" - 3rd from the end, and paste your link in there so we can look at it.
Ha, got it to work!
Minor list update. See initial post.
I am hoping to get my father's original records of Victory at Sea at some point. I used to listen to them on his Motorola stereo and the BSR turntable as a young lad in my single digits. The crescendos of the fights were mesmerizing back then, and still are, at least to me. I think I'll also get the video series too. It's been a long, long time...
**April 21, 2020 Due to the mandatory Stay At Home orders, we had a little time to look through the DVDs. Seems I've already purchased Victory At Sea. Maybe this weekend...
OP list addition. Go to top.