AudioStream's Best HD Albums of 2012

Our top 10 (each) HD releases from 2012 (and some from before that) selected by yours truly, Steve Plaskin, and Jon Iverson = 30 great-sounding music picks. Enjoy!

Michael Lavorgna's Picks

Penderecki, Violin Concerto, Horn Concerto Sinfonietta Cracovia, Krzysztof Penderecki - conductor
Channel Classics (Channel Classics), DSD
Lights, camera, action! A cinematic (and kinda scary) experience in glorious DSD surround-your-senses sound.

Mel Tormé, Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley
The Verve Music Group (HDtracks), 24/192
Mel Tormé is so smooth it hurts and he swings more than Shubert Alley in this incredible-sounding recording from 1960.

Grizzly Bear, Shields
Warp Records (Qobuz), 24/44.1
Grizzly Bear's latest and another sublime pop-infested record.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Your Funeral My Trial
Mute Records (Mute Records), 24/48 (ripped from the DVD release with DVD Audio Extractor)
Wings of Desire-era (1986) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Strung out, Berlin-spooky, and wonderful-sounding in this remastered for DVD version. The original 45rpm vinyl EP is also gloriously dank.

Arvo Pärt, Da Pacem (Give Peace)
Harmonia Mundi (Qobuz), 24/88.2
The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Paul Hillier and Christopher Bowers-Broadbent deliver all of the subtle power and glory of Pärt's Da Pacem. Simply lovely.

Animal Collective, Centipede Hz
Domino Records (Domino Records), 24/96 (on Bonus DVD with purchase of CD or LP)
Animal Collective's latest sound-infused happy twisted noise pop.

Isaac Hayes, Hot Buttered Soul
Stax Records (HDtracks), 24/192
There are no secrets here, just hot buttered soul. Served fresh!

John Lee Hooker, It Serves You Right To Suffer
MCA Special Products (HDtracks), 24/96
Straight up hot blues from John Lee Hooker.

Jimmy Scott, All The Way
Rhino/Warner Bros. (HDtracks), 24/192
Jimmy Scott defines crooner. Nine standards with more emotion than HD can (barely) contain.

Kip Hanrahan, Desire Develops An Edge
American Clavé (HDtracks), 24/88.2
Jazz develops a lovely edge from 1984 featuring John Zorn, Mario Rivera, Jerry Gonzalez, Frisner Augustin, Gene Golden, Milton Cardona, Puntilla Orlando Rios, Anton Fier, Tico Harry Sylvain, Sergio Brandao, Steve Swallow, Alberto Bengolea, Elysee Pyronneau, Jean Claude Jean, Jody Harris, John Scofield, Elysee Pyronneau, Ti'Plume Ricardo Franck, Alberto Bengolea, David Moss, Olufemi Claudette Mitchell, Ned Rothenberg, Ricky Ford, Teo Macero, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Arto Lindsay, Molly Farley, and Jack Bruce on (killer) vocals.

Drtrey's picture

For taking the time to do this. I can see that some of these will be mine all mine!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to us all.



Michael Lavorgna's picture

...and say, it was our pleasure!

Cheers & Happy Holidays

oscar_nr's picture

Thanks Michael for discovering me this fantastic record! I have seen that Desire Develops An Edge appears in the Wire's list "100 records that set the world on fire (while no one was listening". Cool record list, BTW.

I have also downloaded Hot Buttered Soul. I listened to that excellent record on vinyl 2-3 years ago and I didn´t remember to hear some bright vocals on "One Woman". It sounds a little harsh to me...


Regards, Oscar.


Happy Holidays.

Gmidd's picture

Jon nailed it for me... I have all of his picks except for "RAM" and "Innervisions" and could not agree more with his remarks.   Give me HD downloads any day over the crackle and pop of vinyl.  I love this format!