Why are you listening to that? ?

I was listening to a new simply vinyl album this afternoon and when it was almost over I was trying to decide what to listen to next. I decided on a MFSL pressing of U2 "The Unforgetable Fire." As I pulled it out of the sleeve I asked myself if I wanted to listen to it because I like it or because I know it sounds good.
Then I began to wonder if people make their listening choices based on what they like or what sounds good. I still have the original copy of the same LP which I bought because I like the band but I hadn't listened to it for years until I got the new MFSL LP.
I am not suggesting that because a recording sounds good is the only reason a person would like it. Though I find myself going back to old favorites less often as my equipment improves. Some of the things I listened to in the 70s and 80s just don't sound good anymore although I still listen to it.
So the question is: are you listening because you like it or because it sounds good? Again, I am not suggesting the two are mutually exclusive.
Normal people who just like to listen to music never have to ask themselves this question. Audiophilia is a conscious decision to focus, at least in large part, on the trees rather than on the forest. Once you start becoming preoccupied with the conditions of the individual trees, it is very hard to ever again recapture the purity of experience that the non-audiophile music lover takes simply from the beauty of the forest.
Holy Gee Zaikesman..thats pretty deep...
Back to the original question..
I know what you mean.Since I've upgraded my system,my taste in music has changed,somewhat.
I went from FREEBIRD at 3/4 volume to Loreena Mckennitt..
Kenny G..more instrumentals and enjoying it very much.
Do I still listen to Freebird,yes,but not as often.
Good question...
Depends on how I am listening and to what system I'm listening too. Hmmm--guess that sums it up. I can't listen to a poor quality recording on my reference system. But I can enjoy it on my family room / tube and monitor system usually. There are also some CD's which I can't stand to hear except in the car (the road noise masks much of the recording problems in my car). It's unfortunate in a way to have wound up in "audiophilia", but the disease has been classified by the CDC and web sites such as this have proven it's contageous. I do have many recordings (mostly jazz recordings from the 50's) that I love the performance, but can hardly tollerate the recording.
If I'm truly just sitting down to listen, nothing else going on, recording quality goes way up in importance. However, I would say that it limits my choices to abou 60% of my 1000+ CD collection, and not down to a couple dozen (or fewer) "audiophile" CDs. When I'm not doing "serious" listening, recording quality doesn't impact my choice much at all, though there is the occassional truly crappy recording that I just won't listen to anymore. -Kirk
Sometimes I just want to hear the music. Sometimes I mostly want to hear what my rig can do. Sometines, when I'm lucky, I get both.

Atlanta, GA
When I'm working on choosing or evaluating components, I concentrate on top-notch recordings. But that's the only time I do. The rest of the time, I'm listening to music, not electronics. And, because I've chosen components carefully, I know without even thinking about it that whatever I'm listening to at the moment sounds as good as I can make it sound (at least until the next upgrade).
I tend to listen to what I have purchased most recently. Only rarely do I purchase based on sound quality. Heck, I still listen to many mono records from the 50s, some of which were not well loved by their former owners. I also tend to voice my system for the average recording. If it's the best sound in the world on that one James Newton Howard direct-to-disk who needs it?
There may be a few different things happening when choosing a recording. One may be trying to escape the present by being transported to a different venue. One may be trying to get to the essence of a recording. One may be trying to embrace themselves in the intellectual and/or emotional persona of the composer, conductor, musician, engineer. One may be sorting out or testing ones system. Any one or combination of the above may be conscioulsly or subconscioulsly happening. To give credence to a well done recording or for that matter to a well put together system is nothing to feel guilty about. These diversions permit those ocassions when the quest for music in it's purist form, is with out distraction due to recording or system flaws.
Thefalls1117, are you referring to the never-ending eternal epic saga of the Freebird? :-)
Is there more than one?....LS.....
I find that recording quality is a very important factor to me when I'm listening to my home system. In the car, it is not much of a factor at all. This usually leads to two stacks of CDs, one for the car and one for the audio room. My most prized CDs are the ones that are suitable for both stacks.