The 7th Annual Positive Feedback Online's Writers' Choice Award - for 2010

Writers' Choice Award

Oliver Amnuayphol:

I know it's usually the gear that gets the annual PFO awards, but since I'm a music lover first and a gear head second, I feel it's my duty to award those folks who work so diligently and passionately (and tirelessly!) to bring us the wonderful recordings we get to enjoy on our hi-fis. And while I've listened to many fine albums over the past year, I found myself, over and over again, choosing to spend my time with albums from two labels in particular whenever I wanted maximum musical and sonic pleasure. So on that note, here's my two cents on my two PFO awards picks.

Speakers Corner Records Germany

My first exposure to a Speakers Corner release was as a starving college student: I'd managed to save enough of my student loan money to buy the Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook boxed set, and to this day it remains one of my most cherished records. Little did I know that Speakers Corner had been making excellent records long before that (and, as it turns out, longer than anyone else in the vinyl reissue game). Since then, they've reissued marquee records from all kinds of legendary labels, including the Mercury Starker/Sebok Brahms Sonatas I wrote about in Issue 46 and the Impulse Roy Haynes in Issue 52. All of my vinyl from these fine folks have been dead-flat, supremely quiet, and immaculately pressed, and even the included catalogs are printed on top quality paper. So who says you can't have great music and audiophile sound on one record? Whoever it was obviously never listened to a Speakers Corner release: With every one of their LPs, I know I'm pretty much guaranteed both. Thank you Speakers Corner for all the years of musical bliss!

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