What are your "reference" CDs?

Hi, I would like to know what are your "reference" CD/CD's? My list are Randy Travis, Dixie Chicks, Ronny Cox, Martina McBride, Yanni, Sting, Eagles, Enigma, and Tim Mcgraw. Of course, there are others. As you can see from the list, I listen mostly country and rock. What are some other artist your perfer? BTW,I would use any genre other than the one specifed. Thanks and Happy Listening
My reference LPs: Ry Cooder "Jazz", Ry Cooder "Paris-Texas";
Tchaikovski/Rozhdestvenski "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty" boxed set; Pat Metheny "Offramp"; Can "Ege Bamiasi";
Frank Zappa "Uncle Meat"; King Crimson "Islands".

My reference CDs: Symphonic Tango(Teldec), John Pattitucci "One More Angel"(Concord Jazz); Praxis "Transmutation"; Lobos/Brouer/Piazzolla "Death of an Angel" symphonic compilation of latin composers; Guesch Patti "Blonde".
I'm surprised to find Sting on your reference CD list. I love his music, and own most of his CDs, but I find the recordings to be rather compressed with a lack of good dynamics. Anyone else feel this way about Sting's recordings, or is it just me?

Sting and Eagles as well are all drastically compressed but if you like it you listen despite the quality of recordings.

Sting on vinyl sounds far a-lot better. Later digital remasters if such exist might sound much more better.

I personally loved Sting within the Police period. The later he goes the worse and the more pop his albums are.
Robert Cray "Sweet Potato Pie", Bocelli "Romanza", Clapton "Unplugged", Natalie Merchant "Tigerlilly".
Lucinda Williams "Car wheels on a gravel road"
Miles Davis of course "Kind of blue"
Karrin Allyson "Remembering John Coltrane"
Marakanetz: I still listen to Sting, I am just disappointed at the quality of the mix. When I upgraded to my newest system, I expected to really enjoy his recordings (considering the musicians and the money available for his projects) but found that they are sonically disappointing. They sound great in my car, with typical auto stereo eq settings, but in the house they're very compressed.

Janis Ian, "Breaking Silence"
Keb Mo, "Keb Mo"
Catie Curtis, any of her discs
Bonnie Raitt, almost any newer disc
Lyle Lovett, "Joshua Judges Ruth"
Joni Mitchell, all of her remastered CDs
Keb Mo - Just Like You
Sean Watkins - Let it Fall
Nickle Creek - Nickle Creek
Alison Krauss and Union Station - New Favorite
Eric Clapton - Unplugged
Muddy Waters - Folk Singer (Gold Mobile Fidelity)
Frank Zappa - Yellow Shark
Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley
Allison Krauss + Union Station - Live
Jerry Douglas - Look Out For Hope
Bill Evans - Waltz For Debbie (AP SACD)
Hearts of Space
Patricia Barber - Modern Cool (MFSL SACD)
Grateful Dead - American Beauty (MFSL CD)
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Finding Forrester Soundtrack
Lux Aeterna
Gladiator Soundtrack
PS to my above list:

Ry Cooder/V.M. Bhatt - Meeting By The River
Dave Matthews/Tim Reynolds - Live At Luther College
1. JJ Cale "Guitar Man"-- for male vocals.
2. Melissa Etheridge, any of first 5 CDs-- for female vocals.
3. George Thorogood "Anthology" for it's PR&T.
4. Allison Moorer "Alabama Song"-- female vocals.
5. Enigma, any of their CDs-- for the bass.
6. "Strike a Deep Chord-- Blues for the Homeless", Various Artists and well recorded.
7. Cowboy Junkies "The Caution Horses", or "Trinity Session".
8. Lucinda Williams "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road"-- female vocals and soundstaging.
9. Jerry Lee Lewis-- recent 3 CD remastered set-- for PR&T
10. Loreena McKennitt, "Book of Secrets"-- bass and female vocals. Cheers. Craig
Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
Chesky records samplers - solo bass and drums on disk 2
Micky Heart - Dafos great dynamic test
Sheffield labs sampler - I hate the music but nice clean punch
'The Rainer Sound' xrcd - smooth as silk
Jazz at the pawnshop - live to tape, wide soundstage
Thanks for the replys. Sting does sound compressed, at least to the ear, but in reality if you use an RTA, you will see that the response is balance. The album I use is"The Summmer's tales" track 1 and 6. I know alot of engineers use this CD. Judging by the responses, there are alot of Jazz and Classical lovers.
I to listen to country as well and there are not to many well recorded disc's out there. Here are a few I've found as well as some Blues, etc. Alot of these I use when trying out new equipement. The following are all standard redbook C.D.'s unless noted.
Alan Jackson - Drive (very good recording)
Alison Krauss - Forget About it / New Favorite (both great)
Billy Dean - Fire in the dark (very good recording)
Dixie Chicks - Home (pretty good recording)
Dolly Parton - Halos & Horns (as above)
Gretch Peters - The secret of life (as above)
K.D.Lang - Shadowland (very good recording)
Lyle Lovett - Joshua judges Ruth (as above)
Keith Whitley - A Tribute Album (mostly great)
Rodney Crowell - The Houston Kid (as above)
Travis Tritt - Down the Road I go (as above)

Bonnie Raitt - Silver Lining (very good)
Colin James - Bad Habits (very good)
Debbie Davis - Tales from the Austin Hotel (pretty good)
Duke Robillard - Stretchin' out Live (very good)
Eric Clapton - From the Cradle (very good)
Junior Wells - Everybody's gettin' some (very good)
Keb' Mo' - Slow down/Just like you/Keb' Mo' (all very good)
Muddy Waters - Folk singer *Ultradisc II gold CD* (V Good)
Robert Cray - Strong Persuader(v good, gold disc is better)
Ronnie Earl - Ronnie Earl & Friends/Healing Time (both VG)
Roy Gaines - I got the T-Bone Walker blues *gold disc* (mostly great)
Terry Evans - Blues for tonight (mostly great)

OTHERS worth a listen:
Eagles - Hell freezes over, use to test bass extension
Jethro Tull - Thick as a brick
Madonna - Immaculate Collection, surprising soundstag
Pink Floyd - Dark side of the moon (a must, remastered)
Roger Water - Amused to death (shows what your system can do and wow your friends)
Anne Murray - Croonin' / Country Croonin' (both very good)
Diana Krall - ANYTHING !!!!! there all good to great
Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Alley - (great!)
James Taylor - Hourglass / October Road (both VG to great)
Jesse Cook - Free Fall (VG to great)
K.D.Lang - Ingenue (VG to great)
Rosanne Cash - 10 song demo (VG) (yes, thats Johnny Cash's daughter)
Tracy Chapman - New Beginning (VG to excellent)

Well Highend64 that should keep you busy for awhile if not put a dent in your bank account. There should be something in the about you will enjoy, I know I do.
Good luck and good listening !!!!!!!!!!
I do not have referrence cd's in comparing equipment but rather songs which after listening to way too often I feel I know intimately.

1.Holst's- Jupiter (from the planets)
2.Ben Harper- Gold to me - fight for your mind
3.Ben Harper- Fight Fof Your Mind(last part of song)
4.John Coltrane- While My Lady Sleeps - Coltrane
5.Patricia Barber - The Beat Goes On - Companion
6.Los Lobos - Saint Behind The Glass - Kiko
7.Sibelius - Symphony No. 1 first movement (3:00 and 9:00)
8.Horace Silver - Tokyo Blues - Tokyo Blues
The Hunter CD by Jennifer Warnes
Music For Your Neighborhood by Jude Swift
And I Love Her by the Beatles on LP
Hotel California from Hell Freezes Over
Steely Dan's Aja LP
Wood and Steel Vol I and II - acoustic guitar songs by various stars
Christine McVie's solo Lp
Geeorge Harrison's All Things Must Pass CD and Lp set
I've successfully gotten away from my reference CDs, and instead am simply buying LOTS of new, usually-cheap CDs to expand my musical experience. But it's so tricky, and sometimes surprising. A SONY reissue of Mozart's Requiem by the Bach Collegium Stuttgart (1979) sounds like utter crap, while the lower expectations of the remastered Tom Waits Asylum Years collection is VERY satisfying. Ah...go figure.
Kudos to Shostakovich 1 and 15 by Cincinnati/Lopez-Cobos on Telarc (as expected), but also the rag-tag, intimate-sounding Philharmonic Cassovia give wonderfully human renderings of Tchaikovsky greats on a Naxos-sourced Amadis cheapie. So I spend much less time comparing tweaks with
"Companion" or Crawl (sorry), or Jennifer W (remember?),
and prefer to get cute with Nora, Cassandra, as well the Mahler, Brahms and Mahler catalogues and jazz reissues. Tony and Bill's duo is GREAT for masculine voice reference, though. And Nojima plays Liszt: the top octave playing should sound like wooden keys slapping the beds and NOT metallic ones. Good ref for DACs, cables, clean AC, etc.
Aaaargh...I'm falling into it again!
1.Miles Davis-Aura-,Japanese DSD remastered;2.John McLaughlin with Shakti-A Handful Of Beauty-,Japanese black label Mastersound;3.Dead Can Dance-Into The Labyrinth-,British;4.Dead Can Dance-Spiritchaser-,Japanese;5.Al Di Meola-Cielo e Terra-,Japanese.6.Mahavishnu Orchestra-The Inner Mounting Flame-,MFSL;7.Oregon-Beyond Words-,Chesky;8.El Camaron/Paco De Lucia-Castillo de Arena-,EU.
Ive Seen Everything by the Trash Can Sinatras