2001 Records to Die For

Many years ago, I awoke one Saturday morning to find my girlfriend, with whom I'd had a knock-down, drag-out fight the night before, out on the street in front of our house having an impromptu yard sale. The sale featured my record collection. We broke up. I still have the records.

It was in that spirit that in 1991, when I was still a toddler, John Atkinson and Richard Lehnert—at the time, the entire editorial staff of this now august publication—decided to honor in print the overwhelming reason why audiophiles spend so much time and money celebrating sound: they love music. It was with that in mind that the now-annual, decade-old "Records To Die For" feature was born.

The principle was simple: Which two records would you choose to drag out of a burning building, sinking ship, or other life-threatening catastrophe before you'd grab, say, your wife, your husband, your devaluating-as-we-speak NASDAQ portfolio...you get the idea. While this may seem a bit melodramatic or even hare-brained to normal folk, us tube-lovin', sweet-spot-findin', cable-judgin' minority know just how serious saving records really is. After all, they're our records, the friends that never stop giving.

So, in alphabetical order by writer, we present the eleventh episode of Stereophile's annual "Records To Die For."—Robert Baird

Note: If a recording listed here has previously been reviewed in Stereophile, whether in "Record Reviews," "Quarter Notes," or past editions of "Records To Die For," 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).