Better than Expected - Impressive Popular Music Thread

I’ve started exploring a lot of what I enjoy on the radio to see how much of it actually scales with even a decent Hi Fi set up. An not only what’s popular today but also what’s popular from times past! I’m finding a lot of my friends and co-workers are usually open and curious when I bring something to work. An they tend to get what Hi Fidelity is about when they hear music they like and are familiar with!

So that said I’ve been enjoying exploring popular music both from today and from times past, and while a lot of popular music disappoints me there is still quite a bit that really surprises me!

New and old let me ask you guys what popular music has impressed you! Not just music that’s good, enjoyable to listen to but also technically well recorded, composed, mastered and mixed!

I think the most surprising piece I’ve heard is The Slim Shady LP, I was hunting for some popular music for a friend and a lot of what he liked… wasn’t too impressive but I have to give credit where credit is due! “My Name Is” being the track I knew best, I was impressed to see not only was it recorded pretty cleanly but it’s got a dynamic range around 11 dBs! An it was much better than I expected and really I found my self quite impressed.

Another track that caught my attention was the Amazing Grace recordings with Aretha Franklin, an Amazing Grace it self is a far more beautiful track than I remember! I must have heard it dozens of times as a kid, from all sorts of system. CD Players, boom box, computer speakers maybe even a cell phone. Still it really knocked me off my feet when I ran it through my reference system!


I love the idea of this topic. It got me thinking, what was totally pop in it’s day, that was better than expected then (1966 it took a lot more to be better than expected on AM radio than it does today) and has held up as still impressive now.

And without further ado, I give you a number 1 hit (#3 in UK) . . . .