If you want to hear what compression does to a recording, get a CD copy of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Californication," Audioslave's "Audioslave," or Metallica's "Death Magnetic." These are just three of the many examples of what compression does to a recording. These records are unlistenable to anyone who has any appreciation for good sound. (Please leave your musical tastes aside for this conversation.) Consistent audible distortion on peaks, ear bleeding loudness throughout the record, listening fatigue seconds into each song. I believe there was an internet petition to re-release "Californication" a few years ago uncompressed. Obviously it fell on deaf ears, no pun intended.
Interestingly, all three were produced by Rick Rubin who is one of the most famous and acclaimed record producers. It is very telling if such horridly sounding records were approved for release from famous bands and a famous producer. How did the final product get approved by the record companies? A hearing-impaired individual could tell the sound is distorted. It tells me record companies have absolutely no concern or care for the sound of the music they release. I'll sign any petition aiming to improve this sad state of affairs, but ultimately it is what the public consumes that drives the supply. I try to cheer myself up with the ongoing vinyl revival, but I can't shake off the dismal view on the horizon when the music becomes the background to people's lives rather than the focus and enjoyment in itself.