José Carreras / Colin Davis / Frederica Von Stade

Massenet: Werther

November, 1986

Opera

Colin Davis' studio recording of Massenet's Werther, starring José Carreras and Frederica von Stade, won Gramophone's Engineering Award in 1981 for good reason; it is one of the best-sounding operatic recordings you'll ever hear. The sense of theatrical space, the warmth of tone, and the overall balance between voices and orchestra are as good as studio opera recordings get. Davis' conducting is just as fine, eliciting stunningly warm and vivid playing from the Royal Opera House orchestra.

- Allen Schrott

Apollo Smile

Apollo Smile

1991

Dance-Pop

Goofy, glamorous, giddy, and totally ridiculous, this is pop music for people who hate the notion of popular music, but still want alll the cotton candy-light rush, soda pop fizz, and sheer silliness it can bring. This particularly weird version of pop comes complete with New Age-mysticism, Bill Laswell production, and totally weird cameos by Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

- Tim Sendra