Five Best Albums to Hear on Vinyl

Interesting piece on best albums to hear on vinyl – 5 albums that should be listened to on vinyl.

The list starts with Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings by Whitney.  This is an interesting choice because for the truly obsessed, you can listen to the original studio album from 2016 on vinyl and compare it to the 2017 demo recordings also on vinyl.  I haven’t done this – yet – I can see it happening in the not too distant future.  Even a comparison of the first track, No Woman, streamed via Apple Music reveals some subtle differences between the studio album and the demo recordings to make me want a copy of the demo recordings on vinyl.  Its also noted that the demo recordings were laid down on tape, so this is true analogue on vinyl.

Whitney’s music slides between airy vocals with simple guitar accompaniment and multi-laird horns and soft percussion.  Almost a Herb Alpert mariachi sound.  Great headphone music.  The beauty of owning this on vinyl is you are forced to listen to each track as it was intended by the artist – no track skipping please.

So, a good choice to start the list.

Next up is Bullet In A Bible – the live recording of Green Day’s 2005 American Idiot tour.  The reason for this choice is great.  “Live albums in themselves are odd but engaging with the sounds of the cheering crowd and band chatter. Bringing this experience onto vinyl then becomes an acutely immersive experience—the listener brings the concert back to life by placing the needle.”

Many vinyl enthusiasts will tell you that to truly understand that warmth and depth of vinyl you need to listen to quality female vocalists.  I imagine this is the reason for the inclusion of Beautiful Lies by Birdy.  In addition to her smooth rich vocals, this is a very well produced album with well balanced music and backing vocals.  The rendition of Wild Horses (an original and not a Stones cover) opens with an almost dusty vinyl sound – perhaps a suggestion.

Gregory Alan Isakov teamed up with the Colorado Symphony and this too is a gem.  The acoustic fullness of the symphony is best appreciated on vinyl.  That said, vinyl also does justice to the warm vocals of South-African born Isakov and I’m not sure there is a better way to hear a banjo – really.

Chuck Johnson sounds more fitting for some country tunes, but he presents sprawling ethereal instrumentals. Balsams should be listened to one side at a time and you just can’t do that streaming or on CD.