Because I was part of the generation obsessed with high-fidelity sound–you know who you are–I’ve always been obsessed about finding recordings that demonstrate the best (or, on occasion, the shortcomings) of an audio system.
This is a realm far, far beyond the crappy compressed sound we get with MP3s or the I-feel-there-something-missing from other common formats. It can also be above most CD recordings which can also be compressed into listener fatigue-inducing garbage (see any Red Hot Chili Peppers album from 1999 forward or, for an extreme example, Metallica’s unlistenable St. Anger album).
No, this quest is for recordings that were made with the most exquisite care and then mixed and mastered with the same excruciating level of detail. The results are so good that they experience of listening is almost otherworldly. Nothing like this can sound this good in the real world.
Audiophile site Audiostream.com has compiled a list of the “most impeccably-produced music ever recorded with consideration for those who test, review, or strive to better appreciate audio gear, while also working as a listenable playlist for those who do not.”
Please don’t bother listening to the following tracks on laptop speakers or some crummy headphones/earbuds. At least plug in something that has a chance of reproducing these brilliantly-recorded songs.
If you can’t stream directly from what I’ve posted below, at least you have a list of songs to source from CD, vinyl or a High-Res source.