Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 41

Thread: Essential “Various Artists” Albums

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    125

    Essential “Various Artists” Albums

    It is rare for me to buy any album that has to be filed in the “Various Artists” section of my collection.
    Usually I struggle to listen to them – there’s none of the flow that I enjoy when listening to an album.
    However some could be considered to be worthwhile and essential if they contain material that is not available elsewhere.

    Here’s a few that I have/had:

    Film Soundtracks:
    The Zabriske Point soundtrack – for the Pink Floyd songs (no longer essential thanks to the Early Years Box)
    The When The Wind Blows soundtrack – for exclusive Roger Waters material

    Live concert/festival recordings:
    June 1, 1974 – Rare example of Brian Eno playing live (no rare songs though!) – (BTW The 801 Live album doesn’t fit the VA criteria because it’s a supergroup recording with the same band playing on all tracks)
    Greasy Truckers Party – Hawkwind’s prototype-Space Ritual, the early Silver Machine but no rare songs.

    Label samplers:
    I used to have an early Charisma Sampler (forgot the title!)which back in the day was the only place to hear Genesis’ Happy The Man (no longer essential though - it's on two box sets!)

    Other:
    Big Blue Ball – essential for Peter Gabriel completists

    Could you recommend anything else?

  2. #2
    Member dt2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    mentone ca
    Posts
    50
    the Rē Records Quarterly albums are great. If industrial is your thing, there's shitloads of those.

  3. #3
    The Charisma Disturbance
    Sleeping at home is killing the hotel business!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3,140
    If you like 50s/60s music where there was a focus on singles, these are often essential due to the amount of 'one hit wonder' type acts. Specific label collections in particular.

    I dug this 'acid folk' one out recently and pretty much everything on it is great. I'd forgotten how astonishing Comus' 'The Herald' was.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Gath...master/1068126

    I suppose you also have things like the Woodstock soundtrack.

    Quote Originally Posted by r2daft2 View Post
    Greasy Truckers Party – Hawkwind’s prototype-Space Ritual, the early Silver Machine but no rare songs.
    I still hope someone (Esoteric?) re-releases this 3cd. It's been out of print for years and I don't think was available for that long anyway. Although ISTR some fans weren't happy with the mix of the Man set, compared with the original double album.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3,140
    This is a good one of 60s tracks on Decca/Deram. A few of these songs are very rare on CD, such as The Mighty Avengers' 'So Much In Love' (a Jagger/Richards song) and The Poets' 'Now We're Thru'. Minor hits at the time.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Hard.../master/556201

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    887
    From the Wayback Machine comes Warner Brothers now infamous "Loss Leaders" collection of various artists albums from 1969 to 1980, ranging from psych rock to early prog to funk and everything else you can through together. Some featured obscure artists at the time and others were main line hit makers. I used to get them for $2 as a member of the WB record club. Check them out on Discogs if, for nothing else, the crazy line-ups and songs that they contained. Here was one of my favorites from 1970, a 3 vinyl box set that I wish I still had just for the curiosity aspect:

    LOONEY TUNES.jpg

    Tracklist
    A1 –John Gordon (7), Larry Lipades Radio Spot: It's The Plastic 0:60
    A2 –The Faces* Real Good Time 3:59
    A3 –Black Sabbath Paranoid 2:50
    A4 –Little Feat Strawberry Flats 2:21
    A5 –Hard Meat Smile As You Go Under 3:04
    A6 –Fleetwood Mac Tell Me All The Things You Do 4:10
    A7 –Jimi Hendrix Stepping Stone 4:05
    B1 –John Simon The Elves' Song 4:32
    B2 –Ry Cooder Alimony 2:11
    B3 –Randy Newman Let's Burn Down The Cornfield 3:03
    B4 –Gordon Lightfoot Me And Bobby McGee 3:38
    B5 –Jimmy Webb P.F. Sloan 4:00
    B6 –Performance (2) Harry Flowers 4:00
    C1 –John Gordon (7), Larry Lipades Radio Spot: Chip Dip 0:60
    C2 –Little Richard I Saw Her Standing There 2:37
    C3 –The Grateful Dead Sugar Magnolia 3:15
    C4 –Van Morrison Call Me Up In Dreamland 3:52
    C5 –The Kinks Apeman 4:06
    C6 –Arlo Guthrie Valley To Pray 2:47
    C7 –The Beach Boys It's About Time 2:56
    D1 –The Youngbloods It's A Lovely Day 2:35
    D2 –Jeffrey Cain (2) Hounddog Turkey 2:56
    D3 –Lovecraft* Love Has Come To Me 3:11
    D4 –Sweetwater Just For You 9:20
    E1 –Captain Beefheart Lick My Decals Off, Baby 2:38
    E2 –Mothers Of Invention* Directly From My Heart To You 5:17
    E3 –Alice Cooper Return Of The Spiders 4:25
    E4 –Frank Zappa Would You Go All The Way? 2:30
    E5 –Beaver And Krause* Spaced 3:51
    E6 –Pearls Before Swine The Jeweler 2:40
    F1 –Beaver And Krause* Sanctuary 1:43
    F2 –James Taylor (2) Lo And Behold 2:34
    F3 –Harper's Bizarre* If We Ever Needed The Lord Before 2:57
    F4 –Van Dyke Parks On The Rolling Sea When Jesus Speak To Me 2:25
    F5 –The Persuasions It's All Right 3:25
    F6 –Turley Richards I Heard The Voice Of Jesus 7:05

  7. #7
    Never had a problem with "VA" albums, especially cheap or free ones. I don't worry about the flow of an album, maybe because my tastes are so varied. Once in a great while I'd discover an artist that I never would've known that turned into a favorite. For instance, a Windham Hill comp introduced me to the incredible guitarist Michael Hedges. Also the VA albums like Rhino's "British Invasion" series or the Nuggets psych comps, a good way to get a bunch of songs I remember from the 60's without buying a lot of groups' greatest hits albums.

  8. #8
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Utopia
    Posts
    2,789
    While most of the rare tracks are no longer as exclusive as they once were, the Virgin V sampler has always been a big favorite.
    New album THE HIPCRIME VOCAB available now!
    https://michaelpdawson.bandcamp.com

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Iowa City IA
    Posts
    1,513
    I am a big fan of V/A compilations if someone has put serious thought into the sequencing. Compilations can be far superior to the sum of their parts if done properly.

    One example is Wayside Sampler #6. I seem to have misplaced it so I can't tell you all of what is on it. But every tune flows naturally into the next. After playing about half of it my wife said "that's a pretty interesting band"

    I remember Mysteries of the Revolution, Megan Quartet, Yugen, Blue Cranes, and Jean Louis being some of the artists on it.

  10. #10
    I've always been a sucker for the Time Life 10 CD series for both the 60's and 70's... I'm sure they did one for the 80's as well.. When my wife and I are on a long car ride for vacation these are always a good go to.. no arguing about those song selections..

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Iowa City IA
    Posts
    1,513
    ^^^ My wife bought TL singer songwriter 10 CD series for the 70s. Soft rock, folk rock, yacht rock... Great stuff in small doses!

  12. #12
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    6,365
    The Recommended Records Sampler
    Unsettled Scores
    The Best Of Woodstock
    The Black Box Of Jazz (1-4)
    Cuneifest 2011 Jazz Day & Rock Day
    Cuneiform at the Stone
    Ian

    Gordon Haskell - "You've got to keep the groove in your head and play a load of bollocks instead"
    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  13. #13
    Outraged bystander markwoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,671
    I have several Cuneiform Samplers that are great. I don't know how available they are Cuneiform at 30 is a gem.
    The Progday Box has a mountain of stuff, also a bit hard to find.
    Miniatures is a collection of 1 minute pieces that is wonderful and rather psychedelic. Pete Seegar to the Residents.
    Windham Hill used to put of yearly samplers that were really nice.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
    -- Aristotle
    Nostalgia, you know, ain't what it used to be. Furthermore, they tells me, it never was.
    “A Man Who Does Not Read Has No Appreciable Advantage Over the Man Who Cannot Read” - Unknown

  14. #14

  15. #15
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    3,302
    This is possibly my favorite. I don't know for a fact, but it seems like a lot of thought went into choosing the tracks and the sequence thereof...

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Ange...release/180606

  16. #16
    "Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, 1964–1969" is essential for people interested in less well-known non-U.S. pop music from 1964-1969. From a review on Amazon:

    All those who enjoy music richer in energy and daring than intelligence and maturity should add Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond (1964-1969) to their music collection--where it should sit right next to the series' first volume. The lyrics to songs such as "I Can Hear the Grass Grow" and "14 Hour Technicolour Dream" won't unlock life's mysteries, but the reckless abandon with which these songs were written and played will remind anyone how it feels to be young and angst-ridden. A few of the selections, including "Pictures of Matchstick Men," achieved some commercial success upon release; some were covered by bands more recent or lasting than the mostly one-hit wonders who performed the originals; others are so simple they sound like a lot of rock songs; and a number include a distinctive sound or effect other rockers felt compelled to steal. Plenty of songs, though, will be new to all but the most dedicated collectors, and the fact that the best of these didn't make the charts when they were originally released confirms that timing is indeed everything. A final note: While the music in this collection is certainly worth the price, the beautiful liner notes--all 100 pages worth--offer a treasure-trove of information, great graphics, and lots of yuks. --Steve Halloran

    Contents can be found here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nugget...4%E2%80%931969

  17. #17
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,559
    For jazz fans;i've been digging this...Tracks from various SteepleChase label releases.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Spir...lease/15115467
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  18. #18
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,559
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  19. #19
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,559
    Soul Jazz label has good V/A releases.This is a good'un.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Can-...elease/1980974
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Droitwich UK
    Posts
    27
    Coincidentally, I have recently bought 4 early 70s samplers on vinyl (I don't know if any of them are available on CD) as I quite like the sometimes eclectic selection of artists they used to put on them:
    El Pea and Bumpers (both Island Records)
    Picnic (Harvest)
    Charisma Disturbance
    They all have some great and not so great stuff on them 😁.

  21. #21
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,559
    The Wire magazine puts out V/A cd's as free gifts for subscribers a couple of times a year.Some are good, some less so.This is my favorite of all of 'em.Tracks of electronic music culled from Berlin Atonal fests of 2014, 2015 and 2016.

    https://www.discogs.com/Various-Berl...lease/10681593



    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  22. #22
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    125
    I'm beginning to think that my OP was a bit misleading...
    Rather than just list VA samplers that are generally enjoyable as some have done, I'd specifically intended this thread to identify VA albums that include tracks that aren't available anywhere else - the sort of stuff that enthusiasts/completists would need to seek out. Preferably songs rather than alternative or live versions unless these are significantly of interest.
    I've a few samplers issued by Cyclops that include rare tracks not available elsewhere but most of the other samplers I have (from Burning Shed, Verglas, Inside Out, Windham Hill) and countless magazine freebies usually just have album tracks.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    From the Wayback Machine comes Warner Brothers now infamous "Loss Leaders" collection of various artists albums from 1969 to 1980, ranging from psych rock to early prog to funk and everything else you can through together. Some featured obscure artists at the time and others were main line hit makers. I used to get them for $2 as a member of the WB record club. Check them out on Discogs if, for nothing else, the crazy line-ups and songs that they contained. Here was one of my favorites from 1970, a 3 vinyl box set that I wish I still had just for the curiosity aspect:

    LOONEY TUNES.jpg

    Tracklist
    A1 –John Gordon (7), Larry Lipades Radio Spot: It's The Plastic 0:60
    A2 –The Faces* Real Good Time 3:59
    A3 –Black Sabbath Paranoid 2:50
    A4 –Little Feat Strawberry Flats 2:21
    A5 –Hard Meat Smile As You Go Under 3:04
    A6 –Fleetwood Mac Tell Me All The Things You Do 4:10
    A7 –Jimi Hendrix Stepping Stone 4:05
    B1 –John Simon The Elves' Song 4:32
    B2 –Ry Cooder Alimony 2:11
    B3 –Randy Newman Let's Burn Down The Cornfield 3:03
    B4 –Gordon Lightfoot Me And Bobby McGee 3:38
    B5 –Jimmy Webb P.F. Sloan 4:00
    B6 –Performance (2) Harry Flowers 4:00
    C1 –John Gordon (7), Larry Lipades Radio Spot: Chip Dip 0:60
    C2 –Little Richard I Saw Her Standing There 2:37
    C3 –The Grateful Dead Sugar Magnolia 3:15
    C4 –Van Morrison Call Me Up In Dreamland 3:52
    C5 –The Kinks Apeman 4:06
    C6 –Arlo Guthrie Valley To Pray 2:47
    C7 –The Beach Boys It's About Time 2:56
    D1 –The Youngbloods It's A Lovely Day 2:35
    D2 –Jeffrey Cain (2) Hounddog Turkey 2:56
    D3 –Lovecraft* Love Has Come To Me 3:11
    D4 –Sweetwater Just For You 9:20
    E1 –Captain Beefheart Lick My Decals Off, Baby 2:38
    E2 –Mothers Of Invention* Directly From My Heart To You 5:17
    E3 –Alice Cooper Return Of The Spiders 4:25
    E4 –Frank Zappa Would You Go All The Way? 2:30
    E5 –Beaver And Krause* Spaced 3:51
    E6 –Pearls Before Swine The Jeweler 2:40
    F1 –Beaver And Krause* Sanctuary 1:43
    F2 –James Taylor (2) Lo And Behold 2:34
    F3 –Harper's Bizarre* If We Ever Needed The Lord Before 2:57
    F4 –Van Dyke Parks On The Rolling Sea When Jesus Speak To Me 2:25
    F5 –The Persuasions It's All Right 3:25
    F6 –Turley Richards I Heard The Voice Of Jesus 7:05
    I loved "Appetizers" from that series as well!!
    Sleeping at home is killing the hotel business!

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Deepest Surrey, UK
    Posts
    187
    The excellent Nuggets series has been mentioned higher up this thread. The fourth in the series – Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965–1970 – is a good compilation made up of four discs. The third and fourth discs are pretty regular fare, covering the tracks released in 1967’s Summer of Love (White Rabbit, etc) and the follow-up years (tracks by Santana, Moby Grape, etc). But the first and second discs include rarer tracks, particularly the second disc, which focuses on obscure bands working in the Bay Area in the period. There is some interesting and rare stuff there; in fact the whole boxset is very satisfying, covering both the known and the obscure with exceptional liner notes/pics.
    The more you know you know you don't know what you know

  25. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    887
    Quote Originally Posted by r2daft2 View Post
    I'm beginning to think that my OP was a bit misleading...
    Rather than just list VA samplers that are generally enjoyable as some have done, I'd specifically intended this thread to identify VA albums that include tracks that aren't available anywhere else - the sort of stuff that enthusiasts/completists would need to seek out. Preferably songs rather than alternative or live versions unless these are significantly of interest.
    I've a few samplers issued by Cyclops that include rare tracks not available elsewhere but most of the other samplers I have (from Burning Shed, Verglas, Inside Out, Windham Hill) and countless magazine freebies usually just have album tracks.
    A series of excellent albums from various artists that fits your original intent is "The Future Sound Of Jazz" releases, first on the Compost label and then on Instincts. I have volumes 3, 4 and 8 and they contain hard (if not impossible) to get cuts by mostly obscure artists that deal in Trip Hop, Future Jazz, IDM, Downtempo, Techno, Experimental, Electro and just offbeat stuff. Most of the cuts were previously unreleased and never saw the light of day on a proper album. Most of the bands are from Europe, particularly Germany and they perform longer cuts that are quite creative and definitely out of the mainstream.

    These cuts are from Volume 3:

    Max 404 Quiddity (Second Visit) 5:03
    –RAC Scuba 7:54
    –Move D Hurt Me 6:43
    –Metamatics Skunk Me 8:00
    –Funkstörung Mush 4:39
    –Cool Blu Aqua Libre (Down Beat Mix) 6:49
    –Garsaaidi Frank Zaffa (Lascelles Mix) 5:48
    –Daniel Ibbotson Split Into Fractions 4:56
    –Gescom Keynel 1 8:10
    –Mike Paradinas Shponk 5:03
    –Taran B 52 4:33
    –Fauna Flash Carsual Swing 6:32
    –London Elektricity Sister Stalking 6:42
    –DJ Dara Smoke 4:51
    –Peter Nice Trio Harp Of Gold 5:14
    –Beanfield Code Of Confidence 5:53
    –Turntable Terranova Fiasko ('96 Remix) 6:10
    –Chicks With Dicks Wurst 5:45
    –Four Ears My Way (Fusion Mix) 6:44
    –Jimpster Playtime 7:21

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •