1. Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece
This is one of my top 3 all time albums. I like everything about it, even the sleeve. After all these years, I still don't know what "Veedon" means. It's the most playable Van record. We still play it on Sunday mornings every month or so. The sound of the bass, and the piano kicking in, when "Fair Play" begins. His voice has never sounded better. The way the second song "Linden Arden" runs over into the third song, has never been bettered on any record. The violins and flute on "Streets of Arklow", the guitars on "You don't pull no punches", one of the most beautiful lovesongs ever written, "Come here my love", and the unsettlingy beautiful finale "Country Fair". This is what I look for when I listen to any new CD.
Thelonious Monk - Genius of Modern Music - vol 2
Monk is my favorite jazz pianist. All his other records from the fifties and sixties are better known, sound better, are in stereo, are more "normal". He kept playing the same songs over and over during these years, and a lot of them came frome these sessions for Blue Note, in mono. All the songs are short, and most of them are fast, which makes his quirky piano style even more remarkable. The melodies and the rhythms of the songs are perfect, that must have been quite an atmosphere when playing these strange arrangements for the first time.
Unfortunately I must vote against it, although this is an all-time top 100 record for me.