Windham Hill was truly hitting its stride in 1981-82. It took four years for Ackerman to release the first nine Windham Hill Albums, and of those, only six remained in print. Numbers 14-23 came in just over a single year, and each became a defining album for the label - either the first release of important new artists such as Liz Story, or genre-establishing discs like Alex de Grassi's Clockwork. Sampler '82 excises one track from each of the nine discs that Windham Hill released since the initial sampler came out in 1981.
Side One opens with the rather somber “Remedios” and continues in a generally solemn vein throughout the side, with Hedges' “The Happy Couple” being the happy exception. Side Two picks things up a bit, and ends with the upbeat “Clockwork”, an ensemble piece which will be familiar to any Windham fan today thanks to its appearance on countless samplers since its initial release.
Ackerman was enraptured with the new digital technology of the time - his album Passage was one of the first commercial digital releases in the world. Each of the tracks here were remastered in digital - at some expense to the dynamics, detail and warmth of each of the recordings. Indeed, only “The Happy Couple” benefits from the increased detail and brightness of the remastering. Nonetheless, unless you're a die-hard vinyl fan with a revealing system, the sound quality is still excellent.
In the end, I'm sure Sampler '82 has its fans - it was the first introduction to many of these artists for many tens of thousands of people. However, the album is a broad overview rather than a cohesive statement of where the label was at the time, and each of the albums represented are strong and complete on their own. Nonetheless, while I do hesitate to second-guess Ackerman's selections, for the modern listener, I would recommend you skip this one and buy the individual albums from the era. Sampler '82 is an important snapshot of Windham Hill's development, but not necessarily the place to start as a listener.
- Parent Folder
- 01 Will Ackerman ♫ Remedios.m4a 24.75 MB
- 02 George Winston ♫ Blossom/Meadow.m4a 15.18 MB
- 03 Michael Hedges ♫ The Happy Couple.m4a 16.04 MB
- 04 Ira Stein & Russel Walder ♫ Minou's Waltz.m4a 26.03 MB
- 05 Shadowfax ♫ A Thousand Teardrops.m4a 22.91 MB
- 06 Liz Story ♫ Wedding Rain.m4a 22.27 MB
- 07 Darol Anger & Barbara Higbie ♫ Tideline.m4a 20.81 MB
- 08 Scott Cossu ♫ Purple Mountain.m4a 22.3 MB
- 09 Alex de Grassi ♫ Clockwork.m4a 38.52 MB
- folder.jpg 14.95 KB
- front.jpg 52.43 KB
- meta.json 2.33 KB
- Rear.jpg 58.81 KB
- Various Artists - Windham Hill Records Sampler '82.log 11.07 KB