I am lucky enough to own all the MFSL 1 Step Ultradisc, they are all outstanding. Personal favorite is Bill Evans Trio - Sunday Night At The Village Vanguard. I am transported to the venue and the sound of Bill Evan playing live when I listen to this LP. At a more affordable price the Rob Wasserman - Duets LP is extremely good sonically and music wise, very enjoyable. Finally one more LP that will convince you just how good vinyl playback has become; Gillian Welch - The Harrow & The Harvest. beautiful music and an amazing recording/pressing.
Pretty much any of the Steely Dan albums, my favorite is Countdown to Ecstasy. Also, check out Alice Cooper, especially the first parts of these songs...Billion Dollar Babies, Ballad of Dwight Fry, Go to Hell. The Who's "Eminence Front" and Kenny Wayne Shepard's "Blue on Black" are also excellent songs for showing off your system.
Dead Can Dance Into The Labyrinth (new pressings). I think my system sounds pretty good (for mid-fi at best) given its a mish mash of stuff waiting to be replaced (total cost $3300) but this record just........holy crap!
@soundermn : If you like the SQ of Dire Straits stuff (and I do too), check out some of Knopfler's solo work. He has done a lot. I don't particularly care for a lot of it, but Tracker is exceptional. One of my favorite albums. Get Lucky is good and the first CD of Privateering is also good.
Tracker would be my second choice for showing off my system after Steely Dan's Two Against Nature. I like the music on Tracker better but Two Against Nature may be the best produced album I've ever heard. Even better than Aja and Gaucho.
"Wandering" by Yosi Horikawa. I heard it at AXPONA 2019 in one of the Wilson Audio rooms. The first track "Bubbles" is 3D ear candy. This EP doesn't touch all the audiophile performance bases, but it sure is fun. If you like percussion and sound effects, this is the ticket.
If your system can make simply recorded mono records from the ’50s and ’60s sound realistic and lifesize, that’s really showing off. For example, Question Mark & The Mysterians "Action" LP, side 1 track 3.
+1 for Two Against Nature as far as an album that can truly make a system sound great. It does have a bit of a sterile, digital sound to it but it is pretty incredibly recorded and the dynamics are awesome. Morning Phase and Sea Change by Beck are pretty hard to beat, great albums, great recordings, great productions. They are top of my list along with The Wall and Wish You Were Here by Floyd.
As many here, I've a cadre of MFSL, Three Blind Mice, Chesky, VTL, Opus 3, RR, etc. But going against all of these fine recordings is Gail Pettis "May I Come In?". So well mastered, so intimate and a great talent with terrific support.
@celtic66 Thank you so much for mentioning the Gail Pettis album, "May I come in?" It is terrific! It is a very intimate recording in that it is as if they are performing for you in your listening room. Gail has a great voice and knows how to tell a story with a song. This album is becoming hard to get, so don’t wait! Get it now. It just arrived today and I’m listening to it for the third time! I owe you one @celtic66
You know, now that you mention “London Calling” I would say “London Calling” by The Clash. Pretty much any system can replicate simple music with vocals and a few instruments. The Clash is busy, noisy, pedal to the metal music that is quite demanding when played briskly. Many audiophile systems need not apply.