LP pressings..which country or label...

makes the best recordings besides the half speed audiophile stuff.

I've noticed sonic differences of the same album that were pressed in different countries and differences from pressings of the same country but on different labels from different eras.

Which label or country makes a superior recording or has the best mastering? I listen to rock, alternative and jazz.

I buy mostly new vinyl if the titles are available. I'm just tired of buying crap recordings and throwing my money away.

I realize that there are many variables when it comes to cutting a record, I just need some recommendations for good quality recordings.
It depends on the particular recording and where the master tape was made.. for example, all the Brian Eno records from the 70's sound MUCH better on the Polydor Deluxe label from England as opposed to the EG US label.. Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Camel, Gong, Vangelis,most other british progressive stuff is MUCH better sounding and better pressed from England or Germany, sometimes Japan. Japanese pressings are not always better sounding, but if mint, almost always quieter and better pressed. Many Jazz recordings however, sound better from the US. pressings vs. European pressings. Also any Santana Japanese or Holland pressings are better than U.S. Columbia pressings. I've been buying imports and comparing to U.S. for some time now (20 years) and sometimes improvement is major, sometimes not. My vote overall is for the British pressings.
I found that german records despite being pressed usually lighter than US records are much more quiet probably to the smoother grooves. I have identical Eric Clapton albums that I realy prefere pressings from Germany.
I agree with both of the above. I gravitate to UK or German recordings first, if i have no beforehand knowledge. Canada is not to far behind. Japan is a little iffy. Not much luck with the Netherlands. The US is hit and miss. If one has the inclination, you can track down the info on some artist website somewhere, hosted by some fanatic fan, the best pressing of many albums. I used to use cost as an identifier of quality on Gemm.com, but that is now very dangerous. My wife quit asking why i have 5 or 6 pressings of the same album.
All the above is right on... I would add more warnings about Japanese pressings. While always quieter, they sometimes lack the punch of their American versions (which are, alas, almost always noisier, especially with things like prestige and blue note jazz) and sometimes they're downright amateurish (The Japanese Yes Album has one spot where they change volume mid-song!). So it's a trade-off. If you have a friendly vinyl store, they might let you compare (imports aren't usually sealed) side by side (bring in your version to the store). A couple stores here in Seattle will actually let me do that. Let's hear it for The Landing and Sonic Boom!
right-on about japanese. not worth spending extra over us versions. they have lower output level. seems that they have more shallow grooves than other pressings. i dare stand for netherlands(holland) since quality of their albums compete well with german ones sometimes even better.
uk albums are always unpredictable. i'm the brit invasion fan and possess lots of uk original albums that i don't find sound any better than the same us versions. the only album i realy love for its great quality is pink floyd "the wall" original uk that sounds outstanding in all means.
Yes the UK vinyl of The Wall is the best edition I have found - and I have most every version around. I would agree with the other remarks above especially concerning German and Japanese vinyl.
Thanks cats for your input. I'll just keep flipping through the piles in search of that Japanese, German or UK pressing until my fingers start to bleed...but in the end, it's all good.