Erich Kunzel / Cincinnati Pops Orchestra – Time Warp

When I want to be truly amazed by how good vinyl can sound, “Time Warp” is one of my go-to albums.

Let’s talk about music dynamics, frequency response, and harmonics for a moment. Actually, let’s not. I know enough about that stuff to sound like I know what I’m talking about but it would really be mostly BS.

I have no formal training in music and I am a very mediocre guitarist at best. But I have read a little and listened a lot through the decades. I know enough to tell you that on a cheap audio system, a good turntable can sound just as good as a CD or digital download. On a moderate or high-end stereo, it can sound even better. The reason is mainly because the needle vibrating in the groove of a record picks up small non-existing vibrations in between the notes that a laser or electronics can’t. Technically, it’s distortion – an inaccuracy in the music reproduction. If you hear someone saying how vinyl records have a warmer sound tha CDs, that’s what they are talking about. Is the sound of analog vinyl as accurate non-compressed digital? No. Is it better? That depends. It’s a personal thing.

“Time Warp” is an amazingly accurate title to this album because the music on it is a combination of the past, present and future. Starting out with a purely electronic composition by Don Dorsey that will easily rattle the room when turned up, you feel as if you are taking some futuristic jump inside a wormhole, travelling through both time and space. The rest of the album is classical orchestration of selections from a variety of science fiction movies and TV shows. The record closes out with Peter Strauss’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, a 19th century composition that most people have come to know as the theme to “2001 A Space Odyssey”. It’s a perfect ending to an incredible musical journey through time and space.