Quality Rock/Pop CD recordings

I'm interested in finding consensus opinions for the best quality recordings of Rock/Pop CD's to augment my library. (i.e. Steely Dan-Two Against Nature, Dire Straights-Brother in Arms etc..) I'd like to stick to this genre as I'm pretty well set on my Jazz and Classical collection. Feel welcome to qualify your picks.


Jennifer Warnes - the Hunter - great speaker testing CD and extremely good songs.
Jennifer Warnes - the Hunter - great speaker testing CD and extremely good songs.
There are a few other threads on this topic that offer up some excellent ideas that you might want to check out. Bands / artists that I find have excellent recordings are: Tool, Dream Theater, Tori Amos, Pink Floyd, Days of the New, Cowboy Junkies, Creed.

There aren't a lot of great live recordings (lots of great performances recorded live, but not live recordings). If you ever listen to hard rock or just want a live recording to show off your system, the new Nine Inch Nails "And All That Could Have Been" is ASTOUNDING. Probably not something to sit through all at once, but it's incredibly well recorded. I haven't heard it, but Trent Reznor's "The Fragile" is also supposed to be superb. -Kirk

Anything produced by Rick Rubin. The last Alanis Morissette CDs sounds pretty good on my system as well.
The Eagles - Hell Freezes Over
Some Sting albums, but I can't think of the titles off the top of my head
Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn
The Who-Whos Next
Roger Waters-Amused to Death (my all time favorite)
Everything by Dave Mathews is very well recorded. Chris Isaak Baja Sessions is essential. The newest Digital re-masters of Cat Stevens especially Tea for the Tillerman. Joni Mitchel Blue is out in HDCD. Last but not least David Gray White Ladder.
Eric Clapton recent releases Pilgram,Reptile are a treat to listen to.
Janis Ian "Breaking Silence"-this is the finest recording I own. Superb dynamics, great music with bummer lyrics. Thankfully the lyrics are easy to tune out. A++++, must buy.

Paul Simon "Still Crazy After All These Years"-a definite must have. Great music, excellent recording and you get to hear him teamed with Art Garfunkel on one cut.

Greg Alman "Laid Back". Big mistake not to own this one.

Any Karla Bonoff. There isn't a weak cut on any of her recordings.

Any Keb MO. This man gives me happy feet.

Zachary Richard "Silver Jubilee The Best of Zachary Richard"

Neil Young "Harvest", "Harvest Moon" and with Crazy Horse "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"

Bob Dylan "Blood On The Tracks"

Any Alan Parsons Project

Supertramp "Crime Of The Century"

Some of these recordings are very old and may not be available on cd. Alan Parsons and Supertramp are probably in a sale bin for a giveaway price.

Happy listening,
Chet Atkins & Mark Knofler: Neck & Neck

Listen to track 3, "There will be some changes made". The two voices and guitars are spaced ideally for a great almost-in-your-room effect.

Jennifer Warnes: Famous Blue Raincoat
here are a few that I like in addition to the Steely Dan 2 Against Nature.

Roger Waters in the Flesh tour
Pink Floyd The Wall
Madonna Videos 93-99 (awesome sound)
Beastie Boys video anthology
Glad to see "Amused To Death" make this list, but you have to hear the vinyl. It absolutely blows away the CD version - even the Gold one. Anything on Lugnut's list - I have all of them as well. But, here are some of my favorites:
Paul McCartney - "Unplugged - The Official Bootleg" Best sounding CD AND LP I own. And it's live.
Steve Miller - "Born 2 B Blue"
Aztec Two Step - "See, It Was Like This... An Acoustic Retrospective"
Eric Clapton - "From The Cradle" One of the best recorded single-take session albums ever.
Guy Clark - "Dublin Blues"
Crosby, Pevar, Raymond - "CPR" Better than all but one CS&N album
Crash Test Dummies - "God Shuffled His Feet"
Ziggy Marley - "Spirit Of Music"
The Pretenders - "Isle Of View" Another great live CD.

I could go on & on...
I would suggest Reckoning by the Grateful Dead. It is a collection of tunes from their live acoustic sets from their split acoustic/electric sets in the early 80's. They also released an album called Dead Set which is a collection of tunes from the live electric sets from that same tour, but the acoustic sets seemed to be better recorded. A great live acoustic album that everyone should own.

Any disk by Ben Harper is well recorded and will contain exceptional music. Elvis Costello's "All This Useless Beauty" has great sonics and is a great album. Aimee Mann Bachelor #2 is another example of a quality rock recording. Natalie Merchant's solo releases are examples as well. Los Lobos Kiko is a classic that has great sonics as well. I am sure that there are more opinions on this subject.
Some what I consider to be fine recordings are... and some do depart from the requested genre...
Heart - "The Road Home" - recorded live in a five hundred seat theater in bands hometown of Seattle. John Paul Jones produced it.
Little Feat - "Waiting for Columbus" - double disc live recording. Not bad.
Alison Krauss - "Now That I Found You" - There is some well recorded music on this album.
Vince Gill - "Souvenirs" - Most all his stuff is well recorded.
One of the best recorded albums I've heard (besides Janis Ian's) is George Straight's "Chill of an Early Fall". Superb.
Try the latest solo record from Mark Knopfler...Sailing to Philidelphia. Really good record. Does a tune with James Taylor, one with Van Morrison and two with Gillian Welch.

OK, since you already mentioned Dire Straits, hope you've got Love Over Gold.

There are some other sonic/lyric gems that IMHO are MUST HAVEs --

XTC - Skylarking
Peter Gabriel - Security
OMD - Achitecture and Morality
Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing

and I know you said you're set for Jazz, but Larry Calrton & Lee Rittenour's 'Larry & Lee' is outstanding!

Run, don't walk, to buy any or all of these. Then pour yourself a big glass of zinfandel, lower the lights and immerse yourself in the sounds....you will not be sorry!

Oh, forgot to mention that S7Horton mentioned some Sting albums but couldn't recall the titles - Mercury Falling, Ten Summoners Tales and Brand New Day are all very good.