2000 Records to Die For

February 2000—We are now comfortably past all the millennial hype, which, by New Year's Eve, really had risen to a nauseating fever pitch. But it's hard not to look back to the times, the places, and, most of all, to the faces and personalities that populated the last hundred years.

200r2d4.jpgJohnny Thunders, Chesty Morgan, Bill Wyman, Wilt Chamberlain (tie), Jimmy Stewart, Leroy Neiman, Pol Pot, Jackie O, Winston Churchill, Alf Landon, Spike Jones, Ratso Rizzo, Wendy O. Williams, Ed Norton, Blaze Starr, Fred Garven (male prostitute), the clever and now-rich person who invented the CD opener, and, of course, Stereophile's intrepid, innovative, and stylish writing staff all have had immeasurable effects on the 20th century.

When it comes to the contributions our writing staff have made to human history, our annual "Records To Die For" feature looms large. This year it takes on added significance: for 2000, "R2D4" illustrates what music the writers would drag with them into the brave new future. Their only restriction was to confine themselves to records that were in print during the last 30 years of the 1900s. Any genre or musical style was fair game, although we did encourage them to steer clear of the Pokémon soundtrack and records with titles longer than 90 words. (Sorry, Fiona, the new one is out.)

So here, for your reading and, hopefully, listening pleasure, are the discs for which we'd die.—Robert Baird

Note: If a recording listed here has previously been reviewed in Stereophile, the volume and number of the pertinent issue appear in parentheses at the end of the review. For example, a listing of "XVIII-10" means that a review appeared in Vol.18 No.10 (October 1995). These citations include full reviews and the shorter "R2D4" and "Quarter Notes" capsules.