Lovely Recordings: Hosted by Angelo P.

I enjoy the Lovely Recordings idea and have been tempted to submit in the past, but I wasn't sure I had anything to add to the conversation. Anyway, it occurs to me that we need a heavy metal / hard rock submission. No offense against the others, I love jazz, classical, and other forms, but we need to let our hair down.

Heavy metal holds a special place in my heart because it was the first music I fell in love with when I was around 8 years old or so. My brother is 6 years older than I, so I picked up stuff from him. We lived in a small apartment so if he was listening to music then so was I. We also had to suffer through our older sister's disco records. Ugh.

Without further ado, here's my list...

Metallica: Master of Puppets (Elektra, 1986)
This album came out in 1986 when I was 13. My brother brought home a copy of it on cassette tape that his friend had copied for him. I hated it when I first heard it because I thought it was so fast and heavy, much different than anything I had heard until then. But upon repeated listens I fell in love with the music. Behind the speed and the weight was plenty of melody and harmony, and the lyrics were so much more mature and serious than other band's lyrics. Beyond the music this album is incredibly important to me because it quite literally got me through high school. The band and their music became my best friends and a place of sanctuary from the awkwardness and disenfranchisement that came for me with puberty.

Just one other story about this album. I grew up in a small apartment in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. I would sometimes play the music too loud and of course my folks were always yelling at me to turn it down. The song "Master of Puppets" is 8 minutes long and it has a slow part in the middle that builds to a thunderous drum beat and guitar riff. I was playing it one evening and when it got to that part my dad barged into my room and started yelling at me that it was too loud. The best part was that he not only yelled, but he mimicked the beat with his arms in perfect tempo and said "every night, every night with this song." He knew it as well as I did! It was hilarious, one of my favorite memories of my father.

Available from Qobuz

Judas Priest: British Steel (Columbia, 1980)
This album came out in 1980 when I was 7, and it's the first album that I remember falling in love with. Really, this album and Screaming For Vengeance are somewhat interchangeable in my memory. What I remember loving most was the twin guitar work of KK Downing and Glenn Tipton. The solos were unlike anything I had ever heard (duh, I was 7) and even the look of the band drew me in. This was it, the album that spawned my life long love of music.

Available from PonoMusic

AC/DC: Highway To Hell (Albert, Atlantic, 1979)
Beyond the obvious great guitar work of the Young brothers, Bon Scott was one of the most charismatic and unique front men in rock. Highly underrated. He had a great voice and was an excellent story teller. This album to me represents what a hard rock band should sound like. I've always loved this album, but now a days I love it even more because my two sons, 9 and 7, love it when I play it for them. We all sing the chorus on the title track. It's a blast.

Available from PonoMusic

Led Zeppelin: Physical Graffiti (Swan Song, 1975)
My favorite Zep album that I've been listening to for decades. The music on this album is so varied, from straight up hard rock, to back country blues, and more. This was the album that allowed me to appreciate slower, more romantic songs. It opened up a door to so many other artists and styles.

Available from HDtracks

Black Sabbath: Paranoid (Vertigo, 1970)
How can we talk heavy metal without mentioning the Godfathers? My favorite Sabbath album is actually Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, but Paranoid is special because again it reminds me of my youth and my family. My brother had this album on 8 track and he used to play it on this little radio of his. I don't remember exactly how old I was, but the first time I heard the "Iron Man" riff it scared the shit out of me. 'Nough said.

Available from HDtracks

Well that's it. In addition to the music on the albums I mentioned, I think each of these albums still sound great today. When I listen to them now on my decent entry level system I marvel at all the detail in the music that I never heard before. These albums are mainstays and regardless of where the music loving journey takes me I'll always come home to them.

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

AlexMetalFi's picture

Great list! I can relate! :-)

Fetuso's picture

Hey, you're from right? I've been on your site. I actually read a review on a pair of speakers I'd never heard of, the Philharmonics, on the site. I'm very interested in those speakers. Thanks for reading the post.

AlexMetalFi's picture

...seem like an incredible deal. Dave wrote that article and he is very excited about those speakers.

Anyway, great list! Again, it's nice to see some metal on audiophile sites outside of Metal-Fi.


Fetuso's picture

Sorry, not Metallica. That was the autocorrect.

volvic's picture

Would love to see more, I would personally add Rainbow's Man on the Silver Mountain album. Ronnie James Dio had a great voice for metal.

Fetuso's picture

I loved RJD. That Heaven and Hell album they made was fantastic. He did indeed have a great voice.

AlexMetalFi's picture

Would you folks be interested in a monthly metal selection to talk about for this column? I have lots of select choices I'd like to share.

Fetuso's picture

I don't want to speak for Michael, but I don't think dedicating this space to one particular genre of music on a regular basis is what he intended. My motivation for these selections was the stories behind them, which are a part of my youth, not necessarily the genre. Love of music is what it's all about.

AlexMetalFi's picture

...I think at this point I can safely say that my post above got completely misinterpreted which is MY FAULT because I was not clear (I wrote the above post too quickly).

I am NOT suggestion to make this an all metal column. What I was suggesting was to make my contribution spread at over a series of articles simply for the fact that the current format is a bit terse for my liking.

I spoke to Michel off line and I think what I want to do doesn't really fit into the Lovely Recordings mold at this point which is perfectly OK by me. I'll just enjoy the submissions as they come in.

Alright, back to the list.

You know, it's funny, most folks would cite Master of Puppets (MoP) as Metallica's creative apex, and I would totally agree.

However, most of my friends growing up absolutely adored In Justice. I still remember when MTV had "One" on incessantly. It drove me nuts. :-)

mtymous1's picture

...if for ALL genres - not just metal.

"Lovely Recordings" should be a subsite within Audiostream, with columns/sections for all major genres. After all, Audiostream claims to be "Computer Audio for Everyone."

Even though I personally prefer heavier sounds, it'd be nice to peek in on other genres to see suggestions are posted. You know, kinda like a virtual record/CD store: it's all under one roof, but there are sections for everyone.

I believe this is a Drupal-based site, so a Poll (or an Advanced Poll) could be utilized to see what kinda interest exists behind this.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...all in one "Lovely Recordings". The idea that we need to impose genre-specific categories/columns is antithetical to the spirit of "Lovely Recordings".
mtymous1's picture did an all-metal suggestion get posted?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
And I'll add the obvious, enjoyed.
Fetuso's picture

I'd like to reiterate and perhaps clarify what I said above regarding my submission. I'm 43 years old and I enjoy a variety of musical genres, especially jazz. Did you guys know that Dexter Gordon is Lars Ulrich's godfather? Anyway, I think the Lovely Recordings idea is very cool and I've been interested in submitting something for some time. Prior to this submission Michael had posted a notice saying he was running low on submissions and needed readers to step up. The part of his plea that motivated me the most was that he said he was looking for stories about how the music has effected our lives. The reason behind my all metal/rock submission is that it was that particular music that lit the spark for me so many years ago. And obviously I was able to articulate stories that illustrate what the music meant to me. It's kind of like looking back at your first love and realizing that no matter how much you love again it won't be quite the same because of the lack of that youthful innocence. Thanks.

volvic's picture

Nice to read others insight into how the music moved them. I wouldn't know where to begin in describing how some of the music that I adore has impacted me, just too many emotions and stories to crystallize into a paragraph. I commend you and Mr. Lavorgna for offering your thoughts. How amazing is that about Dexter Gordon and Lars Ulrich. Interestingly Dexter Gordon's CD "One Flight Up" was the last CD out of 4,500 that I imported into my hard drive for my computer audio setup. Yes, after 2.5 years the job is done.

garrettnecessary's picture

I'm not a huge metal fan but I love this list. It makes me want to put on Voivod!

deckeda's picture

In high school a friend and I would "break the law" just like Beavis & Butthead years later.

kenmac's picture

Fantastic! Great to see metal on AS. Not really a metal head but I've often wondered "where are the metal-loving audiophiles?" This sort of post proves that it's really about the music, in all its varieties. Now, we need a serious electronic music post...

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Do it!