LP Gift Guide for Audiophiles – Recommendations from a Music Evangelist

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Philip’s Essential LPs Survival Gift Guide

Tis the season and off to the mall with our shopping list we go, except, what do I get a man that does not need anything but deserves it all?  Yup, audiophiles are difficult to shop for.  While he does not care about many things, of the things he does care about, he is very picky.  Year after year, he turned back the majority of my holiday gifts.  So this year, I am taking on this challenge to surprise him with music he won’t bring back to the store!

Instead of playing guesswork, I thought I would get some advice from someone qualified.  Ask and you shall receive!  What I got back was a pot of gold and am writing to share!

Philip is a true master in music enjoyment and has often been referred to as a Music Evangelist. Many of us at one time or another during the last decade may have heard a track or two from some version of compilation CD titled “Philip’s Demo __”.  Truth is that making compilation CDs has been Philip’s hobby since he was a teenager (well, they were cassette tapes back then but that is a topic for another writing).

“I take a wholesome view when I make a compilation.  It is not just the separate songs, it is how the pieces flow together and the mood an entire compilation takes me through.  Music triggers different emotions.  So the order of songs is just as important as which songs I put in a compilation,” said Philip.

Rumor has it that each year around September, Philip would begin assembling a list of music for the next annual “Philip’s Demo” compilation to emerge in January as a new year gift to his close friends.  I figured that I could interview him to get a few pointers on which CDs might be on this choice list.

“Oh, that is not something I can tell you right now as at this point, I have two or three CDs worth of new music on my list.  I really won’t know until I trim that down and spend time listening with some of my friends who have served as my ad hoc review panel the last many years,” said Philip.

“As you know, I have a huge collection of digital music and am absolutely thrilled with what our Merging Technologies DAC is doing to my listening experience here and when I do demos at dealers’ venues,” proclaimed Philip, “however, I love the analog medium and spinning LPs still gives me great joy.”

“Here’s the next best thing I can share though: I have recently curated a list of choice LPs for a dealer friend of mine for his demo collection on our Luxman PD-171 turntable.  It is organized by genres so there should be something in there that you can pick from depending on his music taste,” said Philip.

Wow, that is such a generous offer!

Philip continued, “This list is not meant to be the definitive collection but rather a list of tried & true LPs that are currently available in different genres that will provide countless hours of enjoyment to the music lover who is just getting back into vinyl. I have deliberately left out the Beatles, Eagles, Led Zeppelin etc in an attempt to open listeners ears to a tiny portion of the outstanding music that is available today. Music Lovers have never been so blessed with such a wide variety of genres, some of which are really well recorded to boot.”

I did some research with that list and found that Philip has written about some of these in his prior musings so I am linking to those write-ups in this article.

Blues & Soul

Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Doug McLeod – There’s a Time RR
Harry Belafonte – Belafonte Sings The Blues or Belafonte at Carnegie Hall
Isaac Hayes – Hot Buttered Soul (MoFi)
Junior Wells – Hoodoo Man Blues
Keb Mo – Keb Mo (MoFi)
Miles Davis – The Hot Spot 45
Roy Gaines – I Got The T-Bone Walker Blues (Groove Note)


Beethoven / Gould / Bernstein – Piano Concerto NO. 4 (Impex)
Beethoven / Solti – Symph no. 9 (Speakers Corner)
De Falla / Ansermet – Three Cornered Hat 45 ORG
Gershwin / Bernstein – Rhapsody in Blue (Speakers Corner)
Mahler / Solti – Symph no. 1 (Speakers Corner)
Oue – Mephisto RR
The Power of the Orchestra (APO)
Rachmaninov / Oue – Symphonic Dances RR
Tchaikovsky / Ansermet – Sleeping Beauty (Speakers Corner)


Alison Krauss and Union Station – Live (MoFi)
Nickel Creek – This Side
Shelby Lynne – Just a Little Lovin’ 45 (APO)


Al Di Meola / Paco de Lucia / McLaughlin – Friday Night In San Francisco on 45rpm 45 ORG
Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson 45 (APO)
Count Basie – 88 Basie Street
Chet Baker – Chet (APO)
Diana Krall – Live in Paris (ORG)
Duke Ellington – Jazz Party in Stereo
Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges – Back to Back
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Frank Sinatra – Sings For Only The Lonely (Mobile Fidelity)
Gene Ammons – Boss Tenor
Gerry Mulligan meets Ben Webster 45 ORG
Horace Silver Quintet – Song For My Father
Jacintha – Here’s to Ben
Kenny Burrell – Midnight Blue
Nat “King” Cole – After Midnight
Nina Simone – Little Girl Blue
Oliver Nelson – Blues and the Abstract Truth
Ray Brown Trio – Soular Energy
Sonny Stitt – Boss Tenor

New Age

Bjork – Vulnicura
Dead Can Dance – Into the Labyrinth
Enya – Watermark
Bob Marley – Exodus
Michael Hedges – Aerial Boundaries


Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
Aerosmith – Toys In The Attic
Beck – Sea Change
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Blood, Sweat & Tears
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms 45
Doors – LA Woman 45
Grateful Dead – American Beauty
INXS – Kick
Jimi Hendrix – People, Hell and Angels
Kraftwerk – Maximum / Minimum $$$ but stunning
London Grammer – If You Wait
Lorde – Royals
Lou Reed – Transformer (Speakers Corner)
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
Nevermind – Nirvana (ORG)
Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here or DSOTM
Police – Synchronicity
Roger Waters – Amused To Death
Santana – Abraxas 45 MoFi
Steely Dan – Gaucho
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather
Supertramp – Crime Of The Century
White Stripes – Elephant or Icky Thump
Yes – Drama
Yello – Baby or Touch


Adele – 25
Cassandra Wilson – Blue Light ’til Dawn
Cat Stevens – Tea For The Tillerman
Cecile McLorin Salvant – WomanChild
Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Session Classic Records 33rpm.
Donald Fagen – The Nightfly
Eva Cassidy – Songbird
Jeff Buckley – Grace 45 ORG
Jennifer Warnes – Famous Blue Raincoat
Joni Mitchell – Blue
Melody Gardot – My One and Only Thrill 45 ORG
Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
Pink Martini – Hang On Little Tomatoe
Ray LaMontagne – God Willing The Creek Don’t Rise
Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones 45
Tracy Chapman – Self Titled

Happy shopping!

Oh, here are a couple resources that I use to buy music for my audiophile husband:

Acoustic Sounds – 888 926 2564 or www.acousticsounds.com
Music Direct – 800 449 8333  or www.musicdirect.com

One thought on “LP Gift Guide for Audiophiles – Recommendations from a Music Evangelist

  1. Kirk says:

    Great list! Philip has broadened my listening horizons once again! While I have a number of the albums listed (in one format or another), there are many others I hadn’t considered prior to seeing this list! Thanks!

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