Author: Alfred H.C. Wu
Born in Taoyuan,Taiwanin 1952, a Gemini, now lives in Vienna, Austria. Interests and expertise: music, art, golf, scuba diving, snooker, gourmet food, cigars and wine tasting; senior tour guide with knowledge of history of multiple European destinations.
Collection of classical vinyl records: the complete stereo recordings of Lyrita and Mercury Records Series; the complete RCA Living Stereo Series from LSC 1806 to LSC 3020 with the exception of 1 record. In addition, the non-series collections from many selective famous recordings are approximately 6,000 records in total.
1967-70 Hsin Chu Senior High school. A member of the chorus studied under music professor Su Sen-yong.
1974 Graduated from the University of Chinese Culture, Department of Industry and Labor Relations. A member and assistant director of the college chorus, Hwa-Gang chorus.
1976 Graduate School of the University of Chinese Culture, Institute of Industry and Labor Relations
1977 Immigrated to Vienna, Austria.
1978-1982 Studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and at the Musicology Institute of the University of Vienna. Established theTaiwan Student Association and was one of the initiators of the student journal〈Danube〉, started to write prose and poetry and to collect the vinyl records.
1992 Director of the Vienna Taipei Chamber Orchestra, the founder was the chief music director, Mr. Lü Shao-chia.
1999 President of the Chinese Association in Austria.
2011 President of theTaiwan Commerce Association in Austria.
1982-2012 The founder of the Austria Green Golf Club and opened a “147″ Snooker Club” in Vienna. The owner of the Italian restaurant “Casa Bella”; the Japanese grill restaurant; the Chinese restaurant “Ostwind”; ” New Ostwind”; and the “Imperial Garden” with a German gourmet magazine’s accreditation.
Used to be one of the most popular freelance Mandarin tour guides in Vienna before 1988. In order to accommodate to the trend, established “East EuropeTravel Service”, acted as chairman, and became one of the pioneers for developing the tourism market of Taiwanese traveling to East Europe and Russia. Under an art-loving and enthusiastic leadership, “EETS” is now a unique and exquisiteEuropetravel agent for all Asian Chinese.
【 Family Members- Ying Wu, John Wu & Jenny Wu 】
【 Preface 】
『 When notes of flowers and leaves occasionally fall on the music staff in one’s heart, what a wonderful song it becomes! 』
When I went back to Taiwan in 1989, I came to possess of a copy of Vinyl Bible – The Most Collectible Records in 30 Years. It is a supplement to the one-year anniversary issue of the Audio Art magazine, which introduced the 240 records of TAS Super Disc List, Penguin Guide 3 Star Rosette List, and 300 Famous Records by Record Geijutsu magazine.
When the idea of this book conceived four years ago, I was reading the TAS Super Disc list. I saw that the editor Mr. Han-Sheng Liu wrote: “Records not found, no reports. Dear readers, could you understand the reason why we leave a blank space for every unfound record?”
I searched day and night in many record stores and websites for information in order to find those blanks that Mr Liu could not find. This is how I started collecting. I bid and purchased many records and put together all the super discs in the list of Harry Pearson, the editor of ‘The Absolute Sound (TAS)’. This included all the lists: classical, collections, popular, movie soundtrack, and popular singles. Combining the new and old lists together, I collected almost seven hundred records! All the covers are listed in this book, but due to page limitation, only the famous classical and collection records in the new list are added with remarks.
Only one record of Penn State Glee Club (Men’s collegiate chorus of the Pennsylvania State University), No. AJC 8, is completed unfound! I contacted the Penn State Glee Club, but they also did not have more information. Fortunately, Mr. Bruce Kinch, who published PVX Newsletter, introduced me a TAS collector from USA, Mr. Larry Toy. I am very grateful for receiving documentation on this record, as well as the images of few other records I could not find. I was able to fill in the missing part for the Chapter I of this book.
In the illustrations of Chapter I, all the super LPs selected by TAS’s editor Harry Pearson are presented; in Section 1.3, HP’s Super CD & SACD List from 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2002 are also included for CD collectors. In Chapter II, all records rated for +, ++, +++ by TAS, +, ++, +++ by Sid Marks, and the best 40 Mercury records N01 to N40 by Sid Marks are featured. There is another section including 100 Best-of-Century Classical Compositions by Mark Lehman and Jonathan Valin of TAS, with vinyl record and CD numbering and illustrations.
In Chapter III, I put together the most collectible records of “Golden Era of RCA”. The list is adapted from the 16th edition of “Golden Era of RCA” by RCA expert, James Mitchell. There are record covers, introductions, Chinese and English summary, and supplementary notes of all the records rated 10+, 10++, 10++* for sound quality and sound effect.
Chapter IV is the well-known Gramophone Top 100 Greatest Classical Recordings of All Time. The complete old & new list, vinyl and CD numbering, and illustrations are included. Last but not least, Chapter V and VI include a list and all illustrations of the 35mm film recordings produced by EVEREST between 1968 and 1960, as well as all the stereo pressing of LYRITA records I have collected.
The collectible records listed in this book are culture heritage of music recording in the last century, mostly focusing on vinyl records but related CD information are also included. They are carefully selected with both classical and modern, acoustic and musical concerns. There are descriptions for different pressings with price reference, English and Chinese list with images, and an index of more than twenty pages. Readers can follow the book to collect, with all the color images for your reference. Labelography is not the main focus of this book, but labels of important record companies are briefly introduced according to release dates; important images are also listed for reference. Color images are often missing in previous “Vinyl Bibles”, hence the name Illustrated Collector’s Discography for this book.
I am not in record business and all the reference prices are the purchase prices from different countries between 2008 and 2011. There are more and more vinyl collectors, so the prices is climbing every year. Prices also depend on the different conditions and pressings of the records. Some are higher because they are newer; some are lower because they are older or simply came from good luck of online bidding. The prices are only for readers’ reference.
Editing and collecting for Illustrated Collector’s Discography took four years and there can be new information that I was not able to update in time. I look forward to the precious opinions from readers and experts. I am very grateful to my wife Jenny and my family for their understanding, as well as all my friends’ support; many thanks to the colleagues at EETS for collecting thousands of post packages for me, and to my son Hsiang-Ying Wu, my sister Viviane Chuang, and Ms. Zhu-Han Zhan for documentation.
『 Did you chess your dream like a knight, or has Life checkmated you to a pawn 』
『 Has the watch felt the pulse of the time, or has the time told its fortune 』
This collection is the delighting fruit of life with love, patience, expectation, and wisdom!
吳輝舟 Alfred Wu
Vienna, Mid-Autumn, 201
【 INTRODUCTION 】
Admiring music is a great pleasure in life. It starts with objective cognition of personal taste and experiences, then infuses different aesthetics in music, literature, history, and philosophy, as well as our spiritual mind. Such fusion of sense and sensibility can be “self” or “not-self”, a prospect without limitation. This must be what all music lovers pursue!
The short few hours on the stage in a concert is a lifetime effort of musicians and conductors. The recording of every record is also the joint achievement of performers, recording producers, engineers, and acoustic experts. One cannot easily evaluate them by one’s own opinion. We can only rely on expert critics and books. In Chapter IV of this book, there is the famous Gramophone Top 100 Old & New List. It is similar to the Penguin Guide 3 Star Rosette List (not listed in this book), which focuses on the value of music performance and interpretation. There are many mono recordings in the list, but every one of them is a classic. Therefore, same as the 100 Best-of-Century Classical Compositions from TAS in Chapter II, section 2.2, I have included the earlier vinyl numbering and cover images for reference (there are more than 680 relevant record images for these two lists).
Certainly, we may collect records according to personal taste. Acoustic quality of recordings is usually easy to distinguish with the right equipment; however, to start a collection in a ocean of record discs, we have to refer to famous record magazines as a guideline. As our collection grows, we will become a better critic ourselves. Thanks to new developed recording technology, many great performances were preserved from the last century. Due to the advancing technology in sound equipment, we are able to listen to these great and original music at home!
The book summarizes different expert opinions and my personal point of view. It not only puts together more than 2470 classic illustrations for advanced record collectors, also offers lots of information for new collectors, such as clearly listing names of record companies, numbering, titles, composers, performers, conductors, and names of the music groups. For collectors’ comparison and interest, recording locations, years, producers, recording engineers, and release years are also listed when necessary. Since many outstanding records are recorded by these great masters, they are important to audiophiles. Furthermore, release years and pressings are absolutely major factors in purchase prices. Hence, from the beginning of Chapter I, several important record companies and their labelography are introduced in alphabetical order, with more than 130 images in total, including: ARCHIV RECORDS, ARGO RECORDS, CAPITOL RECORDS, CBS-COLUMBIA RECORDS, CHESKY RECORDS, DECCA RECORDS, DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHONE, EMI RECORDS, LONDON RECORDS, LYRITA RECORDS, MERCURY RECORDS, RCA RECORDS, REFERENCE RECORDINGS, and SHEFFIELD LAB RECORDS. All important records are noted with pressings and reference prices. At the meantime, important composers, conductors, and earlier music groups are also introduced in this chapter. These are all the necessary knowledge that a record collector and admirer should possess to strengthen and widen one’s ability to evaluate records, as well as deepen one’s sensibility to appreciate music. This book will definitely lead music lovers and collectors to another new world of beautiful music!
Advanced record collectors will also share the joy of classic records in this book, because it includes many best records recommended by the authoritative magazine TAS and all the CDs, SACDs, and vinyl recommended by TAS’s editor Harry Pearson, with all the classical, popular, collectible records, and sound tracks (more than 900 cover images). Apart from the famous records from previous-mentioned important record companies, the legendary golden era essence from MERCURY and EVEREST is also summarized in the book. In addition, listed in chapter III are all the best rated records of “Golden Era of RCA”, with images and detailed introductions of more than 330 records. Collectors can compare the illustrations with their own collections.
All the precious illustrations in this book are printed on copperplate paper with hardcover. The book includes 700 pages of color images of original CD and vinyl records. These beloved color cover designs help collector recognize and memorize better when purchasing; it is also an art of its own kind. In the end of the book, detailed index with names is attached for reference. I hope readers will have an even clearer view of their own collections!
With this illustrated guide, we will be able to capture the unseen music spirit and embrace the charm of these legendary vintage records!
【 CONTENTS 】
I ): “TAS-Harry Pearson’s Super LP & CD List” Page
-Complete old & new lists from “The Absolute Sound”-Editor’s Choices 001-393
1.1. Super LP List: Special Merit of the Classical; Operas & Collections. * Additional Chinese comments
(Listed according to Record’s Label) 001-302
1.2. Super LP List: Special Merit of the Informal; Popular, Rock, Jazz & Soundtrack.
(Listed according to Record’s Label) 303-356
1.3. HP’s Super CD & SACD List: old and new lists of 1998 , 1999, 2000 & 2002.
List of Classical
(Listed according to the composers’ name in alphabetical order) 357-377
List of Collections 378-383
List of Informal (Pop and Jazz) 384-389
List of Soundtrack 390-393
II ): “TAS Recommended List” 394-476
2.1. The Recommended List including TAS ratings: +, ++, +++ for labels DECCA、EMI、LONDON、LYRITA、MERCURY & RCA; the ratings: +, ++, +++ from Sid Marks’s ‘Mraks Barks Column’ and his Top 40 ratings about the sound-quality of the Mercury Records: N01 to N40.
(Listed according to Record’s Label) 394-455
2.2. ‘TAS 100 Best-of-20th Century Classical Music Recordings’ – Mark Lehman & Jonathan Valin’s ‘100 Best-of-Century Classical Compositions’. Including additional LP labels & photos.
(Listed according to the composers’ name in alphabetical order) 456-476
III): “The Golden Era of RCA Records” 477-577
3.1. Summary and Remark in English 477-480
3.2. Summary and Remark in Chinese 480-489
3.3. The best of James A. Mitchell’s List (16th ED, April 1990), including the ratings:
JM10+, 10++ & ++* (Listed according to serial number) 490-577
IV): “Gramophone Top 100 (1995 to 2008, Old & New List)” 578-620
(Listed according to the composers’ name in alphabetical order)
V): The best of “EVEREST RECORDS” 621-646
(Listed according to serial number)
VI): Photo Index of the ”LYRITA RECORDS” 647-668
(Listed according to serial number)
★ INDEX 669-692
★ BIBLIOGRAPHY 693
Cover【 Taiwan version 】
Cover【 China version 】
【******** CHAPTER SAMPLES ********】
* Chapter 1-1, “TAS-Harry Pearson’s Super LP & CD List” , Super LP List: Special Merit of the Classical; Operas & Collections
* Chapter 1-2, “TAS-Harry Pearson’s Super LP & CD List”, Super LP List: Special Merit of the Informal; Popular, Rock, Jazz & Soundtrack
* Chapter 2, “TAS Recommended List”
* Chapter 3, “The Golden Era of RCA Records”
* Chapter 4, “Gramophone Top 100 (1995 to 2008, Old & New List)”
* Chapter 5, The best of “EVEREST RECORDS”
* Chapter 6, Photo Index of the ”LYRITA RECORDS”