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Louis-P's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 months ago
Joined: Dec 7 2010 - 3:45pm
As We See It

If anybody wants to know why the major labels don't pay much attention to audiophile sensitivities, the best place to start is to look at what audiophiles actually listen to and purchase. Let's start with the Records to Die For in the February 2012 issue. Exactly ONE album released in 2011, and that was Rob Reina's selection of Lady Gaga's   Born This Way. Perhaps not what one might have expected, but at least Rob was thinking out of the (audiophile) box. But not a single Stereophile writer bothered to spend enough tome with the Foo Fighters' Wasting Light? Or the Decemberists' The King is Dead or The Black Keys' El Camino? Not even the Trucks & Tedeschi Band's Revelator, despite coming from the Allman Brothers gene pool. And with all of the mention of Dianna Krall and Patricia Barber over the course of a year's issues, how about Florence and the Machine? At least JA mentioned Adele in the TAD Compact Reference CR1 review. 


But seriously folks, Led Zeppelin IV ?!?!? Robert Plant does have it right. By now, Led Zep belongs in the Museum of Natural History, along with the other pre-historic creatures. Message to Fred Mills, listen to Stairway to Heaven every day for a few more years, and you'll start agreeing with Robert Plant and me. And hey, if EMI can figure out how to come out with yet another Dark Side of the Moon re-release every few years, it could spend even more time on the audiophile charts as it did on the Billboard charts the first time around.


So I'd like to pass along something I heard from wise DJ a few years ago (when they were still allowed on the air), that everyone should listen to at least three kinds of music. So audiophiles might consider putting aside their Pink Floyd and Neil Young albums occasionally, and check out some current releases. Then we can go back to the music industry and ask for better recorded sound quality. Most popular music nowadays is listened to on iPods and computer speakers. Since audiophiles are willing to pay a lot of money for quality vinyl and gold cd's, they just might listen to us and offer remastered versions of current albums. After all, the audiophile re-issues make at least some money, which is better than the a lot of the rest of the music industry.

Stephen Mejias
Stephen Mejias's picture
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 3:35pm
new music

It seems to me that the major labels don't pay attention to much of anything related to music. For the most part, the major labels are irrelevant. Today's greatest music is being released by independent labels, representing a true "music industry" -- one that still actually cares about artists, audiences, and music.  

You've mentioned a handful of fairly new releases -- all good albums.  Here's a list of 70-something albums released in 2011, many created by artists who are pushing boundaries of music and sound:

I didn't choose any of these for "Records to Die For," but many of them qualify. When it came time to write R2D4, my mind was just in another place -- specifically 1994.  But that's one of the special things about music: It allows us to travel back and forth through time.

Ola Harstrom
Ola Harstrom's picture
Last seen: 5 years 2 months ago
Joined: Feb 14 2011 - 12:45am
So much to discover



Thank you Stephen for the list of your favourite 2011 albums!

Of the ones you mention only one (Mogwai) was familiar and since most of them appear to be available on Spotify I'm now having a great time exploring music I've never heard before! 

Lots of weird stuff - I love it!

Erick Lichte
Erick Lichte's picture
Last seen: 11 years 2 months ago
Joined: Nov 7 2010 - 4:40pm
My R2D4

Hey Louis,

I can understand your frustration on the lack of new music in R2D4. However, when I am picking music for the annual list, I am trying to pick albums that have stood the test of time for me.  I want to pick the albums I go back to again and again, not just something new that I think is pretty good.  Unlike most magazines, R2D4 is not a "best of 2012" list.  I find this refreshing since Stereophile already suffers from the tyranny of the new - where we only cover the new products that have just come out and rarely celebrate those that stay in production for a long time.  I try, as best I can, to include a huge array of music in my reviews.  Usually the pieces I include in my reviews are also recommendations on things you should buy, not just music to be used for audiophile demonstrations.



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