10 sonically best rock recordings ?

In your opinion what are the 10 sonically best rock recordings ?
The Best is MFSL's version of WHO's Next on the Gold CD. Just incredible !
There will be some confusion about who is in the "rock"
catagory, but here are some excellent CDs

Dire Straits...Sultans Of Swing, or any DS CD really
Pink Floyd...Dark Side Moon, also Wall, Wish You Were Here
Tom Petty...Anthology
REM...Automatic, New Adventures in HIFI
Roxy Music...Avalon remaster
Cranberries...Everybody Else (1st album)
Radiohead...OK Computer
ZZ Top...Greatest Hits
Stray Cats...Runaway Boys (retrospective 81-92)
Massive Attack....Mezzanine

I purposely don't mention Cowboy Junkies, Lucinda Williams,
Jennifer Warnes etc, they sound good but are over recommended here.
"Best" is hard, as is "Rock", to specifically define, but here's several I think rate:

Tool - Aenima

Queensryche - Promised Land

Dream Theater - take your pick

Massive Attack - Mezzanine

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (and several others)

Days of the New - both albums

Metallica - Master of Puppets (DCC)

Joe Satriani - Surfing With the Alien (MFSL)

Counting Crows - This Desert Life

Dire Straits - pretty much all of them.

Tori Amos, while probably not rock per se, has incredibly high sonics on her releases, as well. -Kirk

All Steve Winwood, but "Arc of a Diver" is a must have.

Elvis Costello "Armed Forces"

U2 "The Joshua Tree"

All Dire Straits, in particular "Love Over Gold"

Steely Dan, all good, if you have to pick one, "Aja"

All Blue Rodeo, if you can only pick one "5 Days in May"

Metallica "Black Album"

All Pink Floyd, if you can only pick one "The Wall"

Rage Against the Machine "The Battle of Los Angeles"

All Manhatten Transfer (I know, it's jazz fusion)

Anything from The Alan Parsons Project.
The Who, remastered by MCA "Who’s Next" & "Live at Leeds".
Little Feat, Waiting for Columbus.
Los Lobos “Kiko”
Joe Walsh “The Confessor”
The Beatles “Abby Road”
Genesis remastered “Nursery Cryme”
Rush, remastered “Moving Pictures”
The Mavericks, “Trampoline” (HDCD)
The Allman Brothers Band, “The Fillmore Concerts”

I know The Mavericks are listed as a country but these dudes ROCK!!!
Stephen Stills: Stephen Stills, HDCD remastered first album, with Hendrix, Clapton, Booker T.

Doors: Strange Days remastered, this is what remastering is supposed to do: bring Morrison back to life!

Beatles: Abbey Road, the better your system, the better it sounds

Dire Straits: On Every Street, or most any other DS

Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here, and they almost are

Sting's latest sounds pretty good

Santana: Abraxas remastered

Who: Tommy, remastered, an album I have heard at least 500 times, but never like this

CCR: Born on the Bayou, remastered

Supertramp: Crime of the Century, okay so they're 70's schlock, but it still sounds great, and your toe WILL tap

I omit Hendrix and Zep because the remasters are excessively bright. Love the music, but they've ruined the sound.
These are recordings that I enjoy and whose sound quality is excellent to superb. In no particular order:
1.) P.J. Harvey, To Bring You My Love (one of the producer Flood's best recordings, but some tracks are highly compressed)
2.) John Parish & P.J. Harvey, Dance Hall at Louse Point (winner of most explosive rock album award)
3.) Tori Amos, To Venus and Back (anything from "Martian Engineering" studios is dense and very innovative, if highly artificial)
4.) Helmet, Betty (winner of most heavy album award).
5.) Joy Division, Closer (on the "Heart and Soul" reissue)
6.) Thurston Moore, Psychic Hearts (winner of the best electric guitar and drum sound award)
7.) Radio Head, Kid A/Insomniac (some bass distortion and overload, but imaginative and eclectic)
8.) Beatles, Past Masters Vol. 2 (uneven, but contains the best recording of the Beatles: "The Inner Light")
9.) Todd Rundgren, Something, Anything (uneven, but eclectic and explicitly meant as a studio tour de force)
10.) Spooky Tooth, Its All About (the original Fontana vinyl is rare and very good, but the Edsel CD Reissue is magnificent)
BTW, in full agreement with "madisonears" about The Doors, Strange Days: the best reissue of the Doors. Overall, it is depressing how many great rock bands were recorded SO poorly and quickly.
Speaking of PJ Harvey, I really like "Rid of me" in particular from the many albums recorded by Steve Albini. I think that we are talking about here is recording technique, and I think that he has one of the most alive/natural sounding recording styles. I like the fact that "Rid Of Me" has real dynamics, something that you will not find on most rock records. For instance, the first cut angst ridden but quiet works itself into bursts in rage and defiance, Ranks really high on the emotional conveyance meter. Check out Bill Lazwell too.
Roger Waters "Amused To Death"
Souporhero, Albini (over-)mikes drum kits with alot of Neumanns and constantly searches for a powerful room reverb. But too much of the dynamics of "Rid of Me" are mechanical, as if the instruments had only a few volume levels that they moved between (almost a parody of grunge-song dynamics: soft-loud-soft-very loud 2X); then, there are the thin and annoyingly harsh guitar sounds throughout; an un-natural final equalization, esp. upper bass (same story with Nirvana's "In Utero"); and a "sadistic" treatment of P.J. Harvey's voice. Albini's personality (he is a cynic with a penchant for black humor and misogny--read Courtney Love on this) interfered with P.J.'s performance. Yet that album has some of her best songs ("Rid of Me" "Rub'Til It Bleeds" "Hook" "Yuri-G" "Dry") and her best band. But the demos for "Rid of Me" make me wonder what would have happened if Albini had not been the producer. Albini's best production (he himself knows it) was on an obscure album by a Kentucky math-rock band Slint, "Spiderland": same drum sound, under-mixed almost indecipherable vocals, but very direct and immediate electric guitars, superb instrument placement and much more complex dynamics than "Rid of Me."
Here is a continuation of my previous list: ten (10) more rock recordings that have excellent to superb sonics. They may be difficult to find, since they are vinyl, "independent" (small recording companies) recordings from the 1980s ownwards. All of the pressings I refer to are non-audiophile, commericial pressings. I have given the catalogue numbers to help with the search. A few "special awards" will be given out. However, I do not give out the award for the overall best rock recording just yet.
1. Chavez, "Gone Glimmering" (Matador, Ole 133). Winner of the most powerful rock recording. Turn up your volume approximately two minutes through the song "Laugh Track" and prepare yourself for the first brutal climax of this powerful and sublime rollercoaster of a recording. The follow-up recording "Ride the Fader" (Matador, Ole 200) is also very desirable.
2. Let's Active, "Big Plans for Everyone" (IRS MIRE 1011). Of the hundreds of recordings that Mitch Easter produced, this is his masterpiece of self-production with very direct electric guitars and drums.
3. Game Theory, "Lolita Nation" (Enigma/Rational Records STB 73280). The full-length 2 album set is recommended above the single album condensed version that was later released. "Lolita Nation" is the "Godfather III" of Game Theory's career: a post-modern citation of their previous recordings with hyper-real "musique concrete" cutting. Between the sound splices there is some extremely well-recorded Big Star influenced rock. Produced by Mitch Easter.
4. Sonic Youth, "Dirty" (Geffen 424 485-1). This is the biggest and best sounding Sonic Youth recording with engineering and mixing by Butch Vig. Before they went out of business MFSL should have remastered these tapes rather than "Goo." Vinyl pressings of the original master tapes have recently been re-released, and that is the pressing I am recommending. They are a little noisier than the original, but are new.
5. Comsat Angels, "Waiting for a Miracle" (Polydor Super 2383578). Winner of the best bass guitar sound. The entrance of the bass (Fender fretless) in "Independence Day" is a good subwoofer test. All three of the Comsat Angels' Polydor albums (incl. "Sleep No More", and "Fiction") as well as the Dutch compilation "Enz" are very highly recommended. Look for British Polydor Super or Dutch Polydor copies.
6. Big Star, "Big Star's 3rd/Sister Lovers" (PVC 8933). I would also recommend Big Star's "#1 Record" if I could find a better pressing than the Ace Records Direct Metal Master from Digital Tapes (ACE WIK 53), which is a little veiled and bright.
7. Pixies, "Doolittle" (4AD/Elektra 9 60856-1) Here is the birth of Nirvana's "Nevermind" and countless other alternative bands. I prefer this recording to the Steve Albini produced "Surfer Rosa" (very bad focus and EQ) although the latter has the best Pixie's songs on it. Steve Albini will have his revenge in the very next entry.
8. Slint, "Spiderland" (Touch and Go Records, lp #64). Winner of the best sounding indie rock album. This recording is the best single Steve Albini recording: the dynamics, the drums, and especially the guitars are jaw-dropping on the songs "Nosferatu Man" and "Good Morning, Captain." On the back cover of the CD it says: "This recording is meant to be listened to on vinyl"--a warning that applies to all of Albini's work.
9. Cocteau Twins, "Head Over Heals" (4AD 313). Winner of the biggest sound stage award. If the sonic space of this recording does not stretch out well past the walls of your listening room from the very first second, then you should check to see if there is not something seriously wrong with your system. Also: if there are not shivers down your spine from the song "In Our Angelhood" or "Glass Candle Grenade" onwards then you should go to a medical lab and check to see if your bone marrow is still healthy.
10. dB's "Stands for Decibels" (Albion/Line ALLP 4.00009J). I had some reservations about putting this recording on this list. All of the CD copies (with no exception) and most of the vinyl copies of this recording are atrocious and do not do justice to the quality of the master tapes. The above pressing by Albion/Line is the only one I can recommend, and even then you will have a slightly bright recording (in part due to instrumentaion and miking). However, at least the miniscule studio details of this masterpiece will be in focus, and there will be none of the extremely irritating degradations of the CDs.
That is it for now. I know these recommendations may appear obscure in comparison to the Pink Floyd, Who and other classic rock recordings that appear in some of the lists that appear above. Nevertheless, they are well worth seeking out.
Also, it is strange that there not many posts on this thread. Is audiogon dominated by equipment freaks and classical music listeners?

Slawney unfortunately most here are not alternative rock listeners, some comments on your selections as they pertain to CD versions, my vinyl/Linn Lp12 days ended in 1991 but I had some of those in vinyl.

First the Big Star Cds are real let down, bright lean recordings, I had the #1 record/radio city CD but had to sell it because of poor recording quality, unfortunate.

Cocteau Twins and 4AD label in general had great vinyl, but CDs are hit and miss, for album "Head over Heels" opening track "mama was moth" has huge soundstage and explosive bass percussions, and "angelhood" rocks like no other CT track. Best sound for CT in CD line is "victorialand"
worst is "bluebell knoll" especially first 3 tracks. One of the best vinyl records I had was 4AD artist This Mortal Coil's 1st album, CD is nowhere near the same sound quality unfortunately, but still good.
I received a CDR of Metallica "The Black Album" This CDR BLOWS away the already great Elektra CD.Pure analog was the source for the CDR of course.Maybe the producer of the CDR could add more??
Megasam, I keep my turntable set-up going largely to play recordings like the ones on my two lists (and also musique concrete, avante-garde classical and free jazz). This is challenging music to track down and find on vinyl nowadays but well worth it: CDs of 80s recordings that were released simultaneous with the vinyl tend to be low quality, esp with independent labels. I fully agree with your remarks about the Big Star CD (the eary one omitted some songs from "#1 Record" by the way). Although the Ace Records remasters of Big Star are bright and a little veiled, they are leagues ahead of the CDs. I also agree with the remarks about CT. What is This Mortal Coil's first album titled?
Slawney,"This Mortal Coil" was a collection of many 4AD recording artists jamming with each other, including members
of Cocteau Twins,Dead Can Dance,Wolggang Press,Cindy Talk
,ColorBox and others. There are three TMC albums, the first and best one called "It Will End in Tears" is the one I was refering to above, 12 tracks beautiful music.

Dave not too surprising (but unfortunate) that home made CDR from vinyl original is better than retail CD. It is also quite simple to record your own cassette tapes at home for car use, as I do that "blow away" any retail cassette version.
Some of my favorites include:

"Songs for a Blue Guitar" Red House Painters
"What's Next to the Moon" Mark Kozelek (singer from RHPs, covering Bon Scott era AC/DC acoustic)
"Arches & Aisles" The Spinanes
"Agaetis Byrjun" Sigur Ros; ethereal sounds from Iceland
just a little note re the "Who's Next" recommendations:
please find the Steve Hoffman (of DCC fame) thread over in the rock music forum at Audio Asylum. a very very interesting read for fans of this seminal work


p.s. of course i ordered the canadian pressing as soon as i could find it!! (this will make sense after you read Steve's comments)
Here's a few that'll blow your mind!;

Queensryche~Empire (DCC Gold Version)
Yes~Fragile (East/West Japan HDCD re)
Led Zeppelin~III (East/West Japan AMCY-2433)
Def Leppard~Hysteria (MFSL UDCD Gold)
Rush~Moving Pictures (MFSL UDCD Gold)
Los Lobotomys~Candyman (S.Lukather/S.Phillips of TOTO)
The Who~Whos Next (MFSL UDCD Gold)...definetely!
U2~The Joshua Tree (MFSL UDCD Gold)
Robin Trower~Bridge of Sighs (24bit extended remaster)
the list goes on, but I'll stop here with my top recommended's, and fav's!
i was in costco today and saw a Petty anthology that was subtitled "through the years". it's a 2 cd set and has a picture of him playing a guitar on the front cover. is this the anthology that is recommended becasue of superior sonics? it evidently is being released by a subsidiary (UTV Records) of his record company (MCA/Universal). i was hesitant to buy it when i saw that there was a label on the front that said "as seen on TV"...takes me back to the good old K-Tel days where they offered us TV viewers the rare opportunity to purchase compilations of the Guess Who, Monkees, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, etc., etc.

thanks for the help.

Yes this is remastered by Bob Ludwig and sounds great. The early albums master tapes were not great so those songs have limited improvement, but all songs from "Dam the Torpedos" to present have never sounded better.

I have also mentioned elsewhere that "Dam the Torpedos" and "Hard Promises" his two best albums are available remastered from the same sessions with Bob Ludwig.
Pink Floyd The Wall Doug Sax remastered
Pink Floyd Atom Heart Mother Most improved CD I have ever heard
Pink Floyd More
Pink Floyd Ummagumma
The Very Best of Jethro Tull Remastered in 2001 w 24 bits. Very natural, smooth. The cuts from Aqualung are the best ever! Much better than any MoFi or DCC version! They should remaster the whole catalog!
Al Stewart Year of the Cat great sounding CD
Neil Young Comes A Time
Neil Young - Most Neil Young CDs are excellent sounding, but some are grainy and distorted. He promised to remaster the entire back catalog and release DVD-Audio discs. Anniversary version of Harvest to be released soon!
Roger Waters " Amused to Death"
Pink Floyd " Dark side of the Moon"
Supertramp "Crime of the Century"
the remastered "Yellow Submarine" disc is one of the most well recorded rock CDs i've ever heard. i found out about it thru a yearly review piece in Ultimate Audio. man do i wish that whomever was responsible for this gem go on and do the entire catalog with the same sound quality. great stuff.

Depeche Mode's 'Exciter', Moby's "Play", Doors (only the records), Depeche Mode compilation HDCD 'Music for the Masses', Type O Negatives's 'Bloody Kisses', Aphex Twin's 'Selected Ambient Works v2' (i call this rock), Alice In Chains 'Unplugged' and 'Jar of Flies', Prick's only album, and Strapping Young Lad's 'S.Y.L.'. Ministry Psalm 69 too. Depeche Mode, Moby, Type O and Ministry have an ultra-produced sound quality that I find appropriate for thier albums, but falls flat on some other band's albums that I did not include on the list. Listening to 'Selected Works' IS floating in sound, and the guitars on SYL are very tidal, the biggest i have ever heard. In conclusion, I agree with the kids above, the 4AD albums are very good.

i'm not familiar with the compilation HDCD "Music for the Masses". what type of compliation is this? did your most mean that Depeche Mode's album of this name was released in HDCD? thanks for the info.

Gregg, "Music for the Masses" is a regular album, part of the dark trilogy of Depeche ablums 1986-90:
-Black Celebration
-Music for the Masses
This represents the peak of their creative talents, as they created a new identity for group which is in stark contrast to the Vince Clark era Depeche which was lighter more pop oriented. Undoubtedly dissappointed some of the "speak & spell" fans but this is much more sophisticated/deep/dark material, although I haven't heard new album subsequent albums fail to live up to this high standard.

And yes the sound quality is quite good.
Gregg, sorry, it is called 'for the Masses'. It is pretty good. A lot of people like the smashing pumpkins version of 'never let me down again', I like Rabbit in the Moon's 'Waiting for the Night'. http://www.cdnow.com/cgi-bin/mserver/SID=1250638954/pagename=/RP/CDN/FIND/discography.html/ArtistID=FOR+THE+MASSES%3A+DEPECHE+MODE+TRIBUTE+%5C+VARIOUS
WHO's NEXT by Mobile Fideltiy Sound Labs. Simply amazing dynamics & soundstage.
roger waters, eagles"hell freezes over"
I've noticed that most albums recorded and produced by Ethan Johns (Glyn Johns son) sound really great. Ryan Adams two albums and the last Whiskeytown album are three of them.
Days of the New's debut album. Although their 2 nd is quite up there, still does not come close to the first one.
Evertime I listen to the album, it just stuns me! It is that good. Their latest although HDCD falls short even further.I second the vote on the Rage against the machine's 'Battle of Los Angeles'.
Installment number 3 of my list of top ten. These are vinyl LP listings, with the country of origin indicated.
1. Suede, Sci-Fi Lullabies (NUDE 488851 2). British pressing. Ed buller of 140 dB knew how to record vintage guitars and tube amplifiers.
2. Lou Reed, Transformer (RCA AYL 1-3806). I was shocked to hear how good this sounds after all of these years. Simple, but effective. The vocal build-up at the end of "Satellite of Love" is breathtaking.
3. Smashing Pumpkins, Siemese Dream (Virgin Germany D 115586). Beautifully mutated guitar sounds (with vintage Mu-Tron electronics), dreamy backgrounds, a lower end that sounds like no other.
4. Sean Lennon, Into The Sun. (Grand Royal Records 7243 8459 40 22). My wife asked if I was listening to Gilbert O' Sullivan when I had this on last. Sears Sound (NYC) was always a fun place to record, but this shows that this studio is capable of high end fidelity. Highlight: "Spaceship"
5. Beck, Midnight Vultures (Geffen 4905272). Techno generation's Edgard Winter. Lightning quick pans of "Milk & Honey" is a nice soundstage test. Subwoofers beware.
6. John Lennon/Yoko One, Double Fantasy (Geffen 99131 German pressing). They finally found out how to record Lennon in the end.
7. Aerosmith, Toys In the Attic (CBS Holland 80773). The "Simply vinyl" re-release is also excellent.
8. Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy (Classic Records). Audiophiles owe a lot to Classic Records for re-mastering the Zeppelin catalogue. They are all excellent and worth buying: the only problems I have heard at times were problems with the original master tapes (esp. evident on II and III).
9. Neil Young, Neil Young (Reprise 44059 German Pressing). I am continually impressed by old Reprises, and I think that this is the best achievement from the early Neil Young: recorded in 1973.
10. The best for last. BEST ROCK RECORDING AWARD. XTC, Oranges and Lemons (Virgin V2581 West German Pressing). My reference rock recording, although I am not really an XTC fan. Mobile Fidelity put out their own remaster which is even better, but this West German pressing is superb. Other XTC recordings--Big Express (806613620), Mummer (2053383098) and English Settlement (British Pressing only, V2223)--are well worth seeking out, esp. the German or British pressings. Skylarking (207905-630) has a beautiful soundstage, but the sonics are compromised (dynamically, and harmonically) by the decision to inlude over 20 minutes of music on each side. The 2 LP Oranges and Lemons does not have this problem. Japanese pressings of the entire XTC catalogue have been recently released on CD, and I have heard that they are superb.
Several people mentioned Dire Straits (pretty much the entire catalog), but no one specified the original cd releases or the new remasters.

Has anyone heard the new remasters? Is there a significant improvement (worth replacing all my original versions)?

Related question: why has the entirety of the "Twisting By The Pool" ep never made it to cd?
There are many, many listed here with which I totally agree. Glad to hear someone else thinks that the Hendrix and Zep remasters are overly bright. What a waste of money is the Zep 4-CD boxed set.

One that hasn't been mentioned that is beautifully mixed both on LP and CD is Paul Simon's NEGOTIATIONS AND LOVE SONGS, 1971-1986. The songs "Late in the Evening", "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" and "You Can Call Me Al" are particularly well produced. The song "Graceland" appears only on the LP set, however.
Hey...this is fun!

Looking back at the original question, I didn't see whether vinyl or cd was specific in the recommendations, but here's my 2 cents. Sometimes I find I get really excited when I hear a pressing or version of a classic recording I have always loved that shines new light and presents it in a way I've never heard before. I'm not about to recommend a great sonic recording if I don't enjoy the music, and I may tend to want to recommend a recording because I love the music so much, so keep that in mind.

I LOVE the Mobile Fidelity UHQR's. They represent the highest quality of playback available. Never heard the Pink Floyd "Dark Side of the Moon", but just listening to the regular MFSL recording would have me rate that near the top. I do have Supertramps "Crime of the Century" in UHQR and that is incredible. It tests the system its being played on. Other faves:

Dire Straits - 1st album - Japanese Pressing vinyl
Waiting for Columbus - MFSL (best concert album ever?) vinyl
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms XRCD (this was recorded in digital and shows incredible depth here.
Heart - Dreamboat Annie - Nautilus vinyl
Fleetwood Mac - (both the "white album" with 'Rhiannon' and "Rumors") - Japanese pressing vinyl
Michael Jackson - Thriller SACD (this album may have been recorded without any real instuments other than voices, so eveything on here has the 'digital' sound, but that was what they were trying to do, and it sounds impressive)
Beatles - Abbey Road - Japanese pressing vinyl Pro-Use series. The overall sound doesn't stand up to the rest of these recordings but I've never heard it sound better!

I could list dozens more, but it was fun boming up with these!
Rush...moving pics
Police...regatta de blanc
Dire Straits...debut....
Fleetwood Mac...rumours
Eagles...hotel ca
queen...queen II
Steely Dan
My choices, in no particular order:
Rough Mix - Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane
Pink Floyd - DSOTM, Wish You Were Here, Final Cut
Close to the Edge - Yes
Love Over Gold - Dire Straits
Reckoning - Grateful Dead (2 LP vinyl. Acoustic sets from 1980 Radio City Music Hall shows)
Dirt Silver & Gold - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Blue - Joni Mitchell
Manassas - Stephen Stills
I guess I should listen to the newer releases of Pink Floyd albums. I got most of mine in the early 90's... I think they sound great though...

I would second Fleetwood Mac Rumors. I'm not a big fan of them but I was really impressed by the quality of the recording.

Also, Joni Michell Miles of Ailes HDCD. It is a "live" recording (with audience cheering and such) but the sound quality is top notch!!
The new Dire Straits remasters sound amazing...well worth looking into...Sony SBM technology...I wonder when this will be released on SACD...you might want to wait a bit if you have a player...Floyd dsotm is scheduled to be released on March 3 on sacd...
Thanks for the Dire Straits info, Phasecorrect.

Hey Slipknot--

Which version of "Manassas" are you referring to? I have heard the original cd issue and the HDCD reissue (although not played back in HDCD) and neither one overwhelmed me sonically. (But to be fair, I have never really given this album the "critical listening" treatment.)

The music is top notch, though. To anyone who has not heard this lost masterpiece, it is a powerful reminder that at one time Stephen Stills really did have talent to burn.
forgot to mention that I was referring to the 180g reissues from Acoustic Sounds. These LP's really allow Stills' guitar to shine, as well as Fuzzy Samuels' bass. "Manassas"
is indeed one of those gems that went way under the radar.

The original Atlantic pressings were OK, I still own them, CD's were much worse, have not heard the HDCD copy.
Well, Slipknot, I was being polite in my previous post. Since you were talking about the vinyl, I'll go ahead and bluntly say the cd doesn't sound so hot :-) I guess we agree on that. I've never heard "Manassas" on vinyl and no longer have a turntable. Too bad for me.
There's a lot of good sounding rock recordings here, but I haven't posted any myself. At least not yet ;-)

Phasecorrect ... it's funny because I bought the remaster of "Communique" and to me it sounds much worse than the original LP ... it's al boom and sizzle. I was really disappointed as this is one of my favorite albums.
Sean 99..."Communique" is the only one I dont own...but suffice to say...the others I own sound vastly superior to the earlier CDs...maybe not as good as a hi-end turntable with a good vinyl copy on a good system...but very good nevertheless....and my system is pretty unforgiving....my local hi-end dealer...which favors vinyl(no surprise)....features these in their listening demos...
Dokken-Back for The Attack
Ratt-Out Of The Cellar
Dio-Holy Diver
TNT-Tell No Tales
Cinderella-Night Songs
Frehley's Comet-S/T
Vinnie Vincent Invasion-St/T
Slaughter-Stick It To Ya
Salty Dog-Every Dog Has It's Day
Mutt lange's produced "BACK in BLACK"
Tool Lateralus is HDCD, "Parabol" and the instrumentals are excellent.
Soundgarden discs sound good, checkout "My Wave" on Superunknown. To this day I still get up out of my seat to make sure nothing is coming out of my center channel.
Here's some heavier contributions:

Gorefest: Eindhoven Insanity [Live]
Suffocation: Pierced from Within [Studio]
Judas Priest: 98 Live Meltdown [Live]
Nine Inch Nails: And All That Could Have Been [Live]

The Gorefest album is unfortunately out of print and hard to find. But sonically it's one of the better recordings in the Death Metal / Grindcore Metal genre. It was recorded live at the Dynamo Open Air festival in Eindhoven, Holland 30-05-1993. The liner notes report that this was a 24 track recording. I have no idea if 24 tracks is good or not. All I know is the music sounds clean on most high end systems.

The Suffocation album is one of the better studio produced death metal albums I have heard. It sounds great on both mid fi and high end systems. It has been my experience that most studio albums in this genre sound disappointing on the more revealing systems. This one is pretty good.

I wouldn't necessarily buy it for the sonics alone. but luckily this has some of the better death metal guitar work I have heard yet. Again, that's a highly subjective call, so take it with a grain of salt. Still, this album is highly recommended. I liked that this album relied on musicanship, rather than shocking lyrics or disturbing artwork to get their point across. It's nice to see that for a change.

I threw the Judas Priest in the mix. I bought it on a whim 4 years ago. It hasn't got much play since my car stereo days, but I pulled it back out about a month ago. I didn't remember this album sounding this good, but as of right now it's still in my heavy rotation. Since I was enjoying it on my ESL/tube system, I took it to Audio Visions in Solon to play on their $80k Martin Logan Statement E2 / Krell biamp setup. I still enjoyed it. Good air. Not overly compressed. Clean. You can easily "see" the PA system, lol. It's like having your own "pet" metal-band-for-a-day.

Trent Reznor also seems to do a good job with each one of his albums. And his latest live disc is no exception. FYI this was the disc that converted my brother to our hobby. I think he "gets it" now, lol. :-) And if you are interested in this disc, the deluxe edition (2 discs) is highly recommended. The regular release only has the first disc. The second disc is a set of cuts of Trent Reznor playing solo piano. The mood on the second disc is quite a stark contrast to the first disc- it paints a melancholy mood. It's one of those albums that you can play anytime, since one disc or the other will suit you mood at any given time. Although the music isn't for everyone, I do suggest you get the deluxe edition if you do purchase it.


Of yeah, I do have a 5th recommdatation. Pink Floyd's P.U.L.S.E.. And I just thought of a 6th. The Eagle's XRCD recording. You know the stereophile recommended one with Hotel California.
Have not given this cosiderable thought,but here are a few that come to mind.Not in any particular order.

1.Roxy Music--Avalon
2.Tracey Chapmen--Revolution
3.Stan Ridgway--Anatomy(anything he's done really)
4.Pink Floyds--Darkside(remasterd)
5.Roger Water's--Amused to Death(recorded in Qsound)
6.The Clash--Combat Rock(Remasterd)
7.Steely Dan--The Steely Dan Story(best remasterd songs of 70's)
8.The Who--Who's Next
9.The Clash--Hits CD of Instramental stuff mostly

Roger Water's "Amused to Death"is probably the best CD of all for testing soundstageing.Whenever I insert a new piece of equiptment or cable it's the one CD I reach for.Ridgway is great for detailing instraments.Tracey Chapman is good for Female vocal's besides the Carpenter's whom I saw when I was young and my ears where much better.