In praise of the record label sampler. Your recommendations

Back in my youth, many of my musical discoveries were found via sampler albums. One particularly stands out as a turning point in my love of music – Angels in the Architecture, featuring artists on E.G. Records. It featured artists that transformed my love of music – Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Jon Hassell, Michael Brook, Eno etc, etc.

Naim’s sampler albums are something I imagine we all own too and I have a growing collection.

Another label that I loved to collect was Windham Hill. The label has become synonymous with bland, new age music in recent years, but back in the late 70s’ and throughout the 80s’, it put out spectacular albums from Will Ackerman (label founder) Michael Hedges, George Winston, Mark Isham, etc, etc. I still have many of their sampler albums and highly recommend them.

Love to hear other recommendations on the ‘sampler album’ format as a way to discover new music.

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The Naim samplers (both the CDs and the LP records) are, of course, all excellent.:grin:

However, I also really like the K-Scope samplers and these have usually led to many purchases.

One of my favourite historical samplers is Jazz Explosion (A Panorama of Contemporary British Jazz) which was released by EMI Columbia in 1969.

A collection of tracks from Denis Preston’s now legendary Lansdowne Series of recordings, a number of which are only available on this sampler in stereo. Performances and sound quality are top notch. Highly recommended.


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