Best Sounding Classic Rock Cd's

Hi guys, new audiophile here and first time posting. As I improve my system I like to demo it to my friends. I know it’s hard to beat vinyl but I have found some CD’s that are well mastered and produced.

Hugh Laurie: Didn’t it rain and Let them talk.

Ronnie Earl: Grateful Heart and Steve Winwood: Back in the high life.

I’m looking for some recommendations on some Classic Rock CD’s or Blues, that are well mastered and produced.

I know you guys would be the ones to ask, Thanks Jim


Supertramp- Crime of the Century
Jethro Tull- Aqualung (40th anniversary ed.)
Allman Brothers- Idlewild South (deluxe ed.)
Look for classic rock albums remastered by Stephen Wilson. He has a tasteful ear and high standards.
In the blues department, try some Duke Robillard or Sugar Ray Norcia era Roomful of Blues. Sugar Ray Norcia and the Bluetones cds are all well recorded as well.
There are many. many more....
Bad Company.- Bad Co
Aerosmith-Toy's in the attic
Journey-any of them
Styx-Grand Illusion
Boston- Any of them
Van Halen- Any of them
REO Speedwagon- High Infidelity
Pat Benatar

tell us what you like!
jimzzz- Welcome!

Steve Winwood- Roll with It
The Doors- s/t disc
Van Halen- all of those discs (rarely, the remasters are not bad either)

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms.
may not fit the classical definition of classic rock, but close enough. Money For Nothing is quite a track to hear on a great system. The entire album is very well recorded and mastered.
04-26-2016 6:17am
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms......The entire album is very well recorded and mastered ...."

+1 ..... Especially in XRCD ....outstanding and a whole step up in resolution and dynamics from the "standard" redbook CD pressing.

highly recommended .
I’ve found that searching out Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and DCC releases usually always sound superior to me over their standard releases. Not cheap, but well worth it to me.
I agree with many of the comments posted. Heart for reasons unknown to me(maybe they did know a "Magic Man") produced very good recordings. Not familiar with Heart-Heart(1985 and later recordings), Billy Idol's earlier recordings sound good to my ears. I would also add The Doors-Morrison Hotel. The problem with digital is your not sure which remastering is best or is the original cd pressing best? With vinyl the original is almost always the recording to get.
DCC reissues usually sound amazing. 
The Steve Hoffman forums get into great detail over various versions of particular albums, so if you want to know "Which Aja should I get" etc, that's a good place to read. Cheers,
Classic rock is best on LPs!
Guns N Roses- Appetite for Destruction
Aerosmith- Permanent Vacation
Ive always liked Little Feat's - Feats Dont Fail Me Now on my cd copy. 

Rumours is a terrific sounding recording, IMO.

A little less "classic" (but still rock), all of the early Eels records sound great.  Daisies of The Galaxy is a personal favorite, tho Beautiful Freak is more often cited.
Jethro Tull -- Roots To Branches. LP sounds still more superior.

Humble Pie "Smokin" I have the SHM CD and it sounds awesome.
thanks to all for the great tips. let the fun begin.
on the box
danny gatton
rory gallagher
I think that once you've admitted you're a vinylholic you're not going to be able to convince yourself any cd is as good to the ear.  That said, there are trade offs for convenience. One doesn't always want to be running to flip vinyl while cooking or entertaining, so the cd changer is my trade off in that situation and I agree with the comments on the improvements made in most of the remasters and the phenomenal job Bluenote has done with late 1950s jazz recordings. I'm happy most of my vinyl is still in good shape from the late 1960s on.
I'm hoping for a continued rekindling of hybrid sacd issues because to my ear they seem to bridge the gap and only need to be changed half as quickly as lps.  But when I really want to hear the old rock or classical music sound its fullest, even the sacd seems to be wanting. 
What is truly sad is how much money I wasted on just the opposite of what you're looking for. So many of the early CDs sound so flat that I can't bring myself to listen to them unless I just don't have the vinyl.
Has anybody had much luck buying second hand vinyl? I've bought a dozen or so but I never can understand how the sellers, although highly rated, could classify them as Mint or Near Mint. Often I find I'm taking about an ounce of dust out of the grooves before I play them and the snap, crackle, and pops drive me crazy.


Lindsey Buckingham's Out of the Cradle.  You could say he knows his way around a recording studio.
Anybody heard Sunken Condos by Donald Fagan on CD? One of the worst!
Post removed 

The Moody Blues reissued their first 7 on SACD in 2006. If you like their trippy albums, I'd start with In Search of the Lost Chord or To Our Children's...  

If you like their more song oriented albums pick A Question of Balance or Every Good Boy Deserves Favor. Good stuff.

Every Good Boy... probably has the edge sonically, but A Question... is a beautiful album.

Certainly Rumours by the Mac.Big Stars records with the work of John Fry of and at Ardent Memphis.

it's not classic rock by any means, but if you'd like something well recorded played produced mixed mastered, with a great sound stage.
Buena Vista Social club.
Jerry Boys a Brit with tons of time behind the console.If you'd like something closer to classic rock, he did Two Shoes by the Cat Empire.  Both records done in a very primitive studio in Havana, but you wouldn't know it to listen.

Dire Straights Making Movies by Shelly Yakus.  Of equal skills and time.A number of early Petty records and Lennon.

Jay Messina

David Thoener

Jim Scott

3 of these guys worked at NYs Record Plant and made jaw dropping sound.
One thing to be aware of.  Many CD reissues before 2000 were made from LP EQ'd masters.  That is not the same as the LP master or flat master tape.EQ'd masters are made for LPs to compensate the physical limitations of the vinyl LP, especially as the needle gets closer to the center on a 25 minute side.
Here's a bit of a read on EQ masters, if you are unfamiliar.
Hmmm . . . surprised that two of my classic choices haven't been mentioned!
Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon (I prefer the Sony Mastersound only slightly over the 24 bit new stereo mix) and Welcome to the Machine (I prefer the new stereo remaster slightly over other versions).  Magnificently recorded at the time, I have always used DSOTM as my classic rock test album for equipment.

Traffic's Low Sparks of High Heeled Boys remaster is also very nicely done and a great albums well!

... Styx and Kansas:
Styx: Paradise Theater
Kansas: LeftOverture; Point of No Return
ALso -  The Band: The Band; Cahoots
These are probably not considered classic but very solid sounding rock albums: Little Feat "time loves a hero" -Triumph " just a game" - Blue Oyster Cult" mirrors" - Queen" the miracle" - Toto" Hydra" - Santana "zebop" - The Who "Quadrophenia"
Almost forgot : Glenn Hughes "the way it is"!!!
... my Bad: suggested The Band and Cahoots ( not 80's)

Peter Gabriel: SO

(and I considered it rock) Paul Simon: Graceland
I’m surprised no one has brought-up one of the most classic of classic Rock - the Led Zeppelin remasters. The first three albums are really great remasters. I particularly like LZ III with all the acoustic guitar stuff. From Zoso on their not quite as good imo than the first 3, but all are major upgrades from the previous releases.

btw, I want to make a special shout out to the mastering on Robert Plants, Fate of Nations. It’s probably one of the 3-4 best sounding masters on my system. It’s very classic rock like, even though it’s much later. This album I always play when demoing my system to other people. They are always wowed!

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Beatles Love CD is the best you'll ever hear the Beatles sound.  I can't understand why Capitol didn't let Giles Martin remaster the entire catalog.  He made the music sound like it was recorded in the modern era.  To hell with that "Capitol sound".

Good call rklune. That reminds me that the Beatles "Yellow Submarine Songbook", NOT Soundtrack, is a remixed and remastered album that sounds really good and I love the songs on it.

Of course Beatles purists were outraged that the songs were remixed (sacrilege!) but it sounds good to me.

Another great sounding blues cd is Mitch Kashmar- Live at Labatts. Incredible harmonica player. This is a good party disc.
Heart Dreamboat Annie, Pink Floyd The Wall, Emerson Lake & Palmer 1971 self-titled Tank/Lucky Man, Eagles Hotel California, Fleetwood Mac Rumors, Supertramp Breakfast in America, Dire Straits Brothers in Arms as well as Love Over Gold...all are excellent albums, both performance, and recording.  A real treat on vinyl.  :-)
Believe it or not, the CD Stadium Arcadium by The Red Hot Chili Peppers fills the bill and is really good rock music.

Individual songs that rock and are great recordings include the Snake bite song about Heroin on a Godsmack album, and "Like a Stone" on the Audioslave CD with Tom Morello, of Rage Against The Machine:on Guitar. This is one of the truly great rock guitar solos of all time, along with Martins Barre's solo on Jethro Tull's newer recording of "Aqualung Live" ,

If you like Blues, "Buddy Guy Live" is great, and his "Living Proof' is fabulous, especially when he decides to play like, but much better than, some imposters, at least after you hear this, :Only Three D Strings are necessary Slash, and the Van Halen genre of wannabe great guitar players. Buddy blows them away his later recording are as good as rock and blues can be..

A recording that is very interesting for a while, but has some great recording is the original "All Jamaica All Star Jazz Band, with absolutely great recordings of the trumpet and sax solos that jump into the room with you. 

The vocals on (Yes this is true, honestly.) "My Boy Lollipop" and "Walk On By" are astounding, bringing new life to songs I never even liked.


Rolling Stones- Hot Rocks.
I need to correct my Beatles recommendation.  The album is called "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", not songbook as I stated above.
Toy Matinee - Toy Matinee
This is an awesome CD and very well recorded. Great musicianship.  It gets outside of Classic Rock, but when you consider it was released in 1990, it probably meets the requirements for the expected vintage if not the expected era :^)
RHCP isn't classic rock, but most of their CDs recorded very well.
Blue Oyster Cult on MFSL. 2 albums on 1 cd, Blue Oyster Cult & Tyranny & Mutation
Rolling Stones , Sticky Fingers. 

Santana's Abraxas is also well recorded. And great music. 
Blood Sweat and Tears: Blood Sweat and Tears
A bunch of good suggestions already.  Jumping on something tom6897 touched on way earlier: Bad Company.  Listening to Burnin' Sky right now.  It sounds great on YouTube!  Guessing the CD would be pretty great too.  

Journey- Greatest Hits (1988)
Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Hits (1988)
John Lee Hooker/The Healer, Eric Clapton/No Reason to Cry