Lovely Recordings Hosted by Mike Stulken

Hey East Coast Mike! This is West Coast Mike. Also born in 1961 and a fan of your column (not entirely your music taste though). Also have two kids and a wife. Took a stab at doing a "Lovely Recordings" list for your column.

Villa Lobos: 5 Preludes; 12 Estudos / Ginastera: Guitar Eduardo Fernandez (Universal Music GmbH, 1987)
I started studying classical guitar at age 15 and played seriously for 10 years. I learned a number of the Villa Lobos etudes and preludes. There is a world of music in these. I first had a vinyl album with Narciso Yepes playing these and my first opinion of this music was that it would be helpful in getting rid of unwanted guests. I was my first exposure to more difficult music and the Ginastera is even more extreme.

Available from Qobuz

The Grateful Dead: Workingman's Dead (Warner Bros., 1970)
Bought my first double LP "What a long strange trip its been" in 1977. My first exposure to the Dead and it stuck. Listening to the Dead is like comfort food. Workingman's Dead is a great recording and sounds awesome in hi-rez. Great songs and durability.

Available from HDtracks

Brian Eno: Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (Island, 1974)
I don't know why I bought this album when I was 16 years old in 1978 - probably some reference in Rolling Stone to it being important. For a number of years it sat unplayed until for some reason I started really liking it. Its weird but its also faintly prophetic of new wave music and even mentions the Modern Lovers in a positive light. I have a number of other 70's Eno albums, but this is my favorite and I still get enjoyment from it.

Available from Qobuz

The Clash: London Calling (CBS, Epic, 1979)
Started listening to this in 1980 and recently obtained the hi-rez files. It sounds really good on a high quality system. Been receiving a lot of airplay as I've been doing home renovations.

Available from HDtracks

The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy (Blanco y Negro, 1985)
Early 80's, first heard this on the local college radio station. It was way different. Not exactly something that benefits from hi-rez and probably sounds better on a boom box, but as the Rough Guide to Rock said a number of years ago, it still sounds dangerous. Distortion with solid melodic elements.

Available from Qobuz

The Flaming Lips: Yoshimi Battles Pink Robots (Warner Bros., 2002)
Was in a phase in the early 2000's looking for sources of new music and came across a recommendation in the British mag "What Hi-Fi". Had a Totem Hawk two way speaker at the time and was amazed how this album could move the woofer in my speaker. The album is a bit of a trip and benefits from a beginning to end listen. Although Wayne Coyne's voice isn't my favourite, the music makes up for it on this album. Haven't seen them rise to the same level post this album.

Available from HDtracks

Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge Records, 2007)
Spoon has to be my favourite rock band period. Their straight up music simply doesn't suck and whole albums are listenable with many gems. Saw them live last year and they finished their encore with a Cramps cover of "TV Set". I was in ecstasy.

Available from Qobuz

Beethoven: Piano Trios Nos. 2 and 5 (PentaTone, 2005)
For some reason, I've really been enjoying chamber music the past few years and particularly piano trios. First heard this composition in 1981 and its been a favourite of mine ever since. This is youthful exuberant Beethoven and never fails to put me in a good mood.

Available from

Bach: The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1981) - Gould (Sony Music Classical, 2004)
Heard lots of other Goldbergs, but once you get a taste for Gould, nothing else will do. This music has a healing quality and if I only could take one recording with me on a desert isle, this would be it.

Available from Qobuz

Me, born in 1961 to German immigrant parents in North Vancouver. Still live in North Vancouver. Not many places you can go from downhill skiing to sea kayaking within 20 minutes. Spent a number of years working in the energy business and most recently sold a small manufacturing business. I'm retired as long as my investments don't fizzle out. Started liking hifi from my teen years and currently am all digital. Got rid of my turntable and LPs in 1994 and moved to CD. Couldn't stand the LP noises.

My system is a pair of Monitor Audio PL200's, a Cary Signature SLi80 integrated, a Chord Hugo Dac, and Regen and Jitterbugs in between with Curious Cables USB.

Share your Lovely Recordings with us!

jrhud's picture

Like the varied types of music and that there are a few I don't know, so I now have something to check out.

bmoura's picture

The Beethoven Trios by the Storioni Trio are also available in Multichannel and Stereo DSD at the Native DSD Music web site.

dmhenley's picture

Good to see The Lips and Spoon here. Along with Yoshime, The Soft Bulletin ranks at top of my list for the Lips. And, you've reminded me I need to grab Spoon's Gimme Fiction on vinyl.


garysi's picture

What a list, not a clunker on it. So nice to see Spoon in the list. Eno's TTMBS is simply genius, along with the other 3 original solo recordings. If you have the oppurtunity, grab a copy of the Lips' 5.1 surround version of Yoshimi. Abso-freaking-lutley mind boggling. "Do You Realize" put you in the center of a musical carousel spinning around your head, and that is just a taste of what this everything but the kitchen sink mix throws at you.