Best sounding Hard Rock

Though it is not the main genre I listen to these days, I cut my teeth on the hard rock of the 70's and 80's.

I still like a good sesh of RTFOing, so it is with great delight that today I purchased Queens Of The Stoneage's Lullabies To Paralyze on vinyl.  The sound is beyond the pale.  It's a Music On Vinyl reissue, and is unbelievably quiet and smooth in tracking.  I am a fan of QOTSA but have never heard this album quite like this until now.

What are your picks for great sounding hard rock or metal?  My first preference is vinyl but this is by no means a requirement in your recommendations.

How about some Motorhead:                       Bomber                                                             March Or Die                                                   1916                                                                  Rock N Roll                                                     Orgasmatron                                                   No Sleep Till Hammersmith                          Lemmie said: " We are not Metal. We are Rock N Roll" !!!                                              
Maybe not Hard Rock in the strict meaning but...

Black Mountain  "In The Future"
brian davison- every which way-mercury- (former drummer for The Nice, set up 1 off band after Emerson left; great vocals by Graham Bell, sounds like old Traffic, blues shouter hard rock, good sound, not big $);
blast furnace- s/t- danish polydor- buy the RSD reissue from Denmark, original pressings are $$$- great mix of psych and melody;
lucifer’s friend- german philips- zeppy sabbath, with hues of deep purple and heep vocals- classic proto-metal; don’t bother with the universal reissue;
first 4 sabbath albums- UK vertigo swirl- $$$$, but if you buy the early WWA releases, they used the metal parts from the Vertigos, check the deadwax, a fraction of the cost of the Swirls;
scorpions- lonesome crow- brain- the second german issue on metronome with the small brain logo is a fraction of the price of a first pressing
Tull- Benefit & Aqualung- steve wilson remixes- cheap, benefit actually sounds better than any other issue due to remix; the Aqualung is close to the best sounding at a fraction of the price of the more recherché copies;
Opeth -Damnation from Deliverance and Damnation (twofer) also a Steve Wilson remix (Deliverance is classic Opeth, crunchy vocals, Damnation is more lyrical, prog + metal sound and my preference);
Mountain-Climbing- Bell Records- usually marked RL or LH in the deadwax, either is fine, condition is the key-most are trashed;
Little Feat- Waiting For Columbus-Warners- TML in the deadwax
captain beyond-s/t- capricorn- lenticular cover
alice cooper- love it to death- straight records- the earliest pressings on Zappa’s straight records label sound better than the later versions with the green warner label- difficulty is condition;
alice cooper killer-warner- EU reissue with CB (Chris Bellman) in the deadwax (these may also be available in Canada)
lynyrd skynyrd-sounds of south/mca- some have been reissued; the pressings vary in sound quality, but are generally good, worth owning all the pre-crash records;
king crimson- Toronto 2016- well recorded live concert- covers most of their best known work- far cheaper than original early islands for the ’70s material or if on digital, get the Wilson remixes of the early albums, particularly In the Court, which was not a great recording but has some great songs.
truth jeff beck-UK columbia/emi- first or second UK pressing- sonically far better than domestic Epic label pressings;
hendrix in the west- uk polydor- has the long version of Red House- decent sounding; french barclay sets have decent sounding UK version of Are You Experienced at a fraction of the cost of original UK;
taste- on the boards- uk polydor- rory gallagher’s band
free- all of the early albums- island UK- now pricey,
leaf hound- growers of mushroom- forget the vinyl, stupid money, the see for miles CD issue from the early ’90s was made from the tapes- it is like Zep 1.5;
bowie- man who sold the world-first japanese pressing- mick ronson, hardest rocking bowie, good sound.
Enough for now. Lot’s more out there. Most of these are old copies with exceptions noted.

@whart ,


I was actually getting ready to post this...

How about setting a "gold" standard, then we can move on from that.

My standard would have been "Paranoid".

Thanks whart.

Ha ha.......
Van Halen - in general really good sound qualityy

1984 is outstanding - Hot for Teacher is really dynamic - love the double bass triplets and the hertas on the toms... Alex Van Halen is outstanding. Drop Dead Legs sounds great. I think the HD tracks 24/96 version is very good but might not be the last word.
Black Sabbath’s first, the Castle CD reissue from 20 or so years ago. Whoa, Daddy!
I ca usually cure my Hard Rock appetite with

Deep Purple
Alvin Lee
Johnny Winter

How good are AC/DC albums? They are about the only band which could be considered Hard Rock (though I consider them a Rock 'n' Roll band) I like enough to own music of, and I listen to them only in the car---great driving music!
You might look into the band Highly Suspect. Don’t watch the YouTube videos because it will totally skew your perception if you see the band. Some of the music has classic tones. Look them up on hdtracks.
That's how you can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I am sure I would listen to most of this stuff once and some of it maybe more.But I am not going to buy any. That's why we need audio clubs and open reel decks.
I find AC.DC recording to be of descent sound recordings / at least on my system
both the LP and CD

Another Great sounding heavy metal band I like is
Guns & Roses however
 I cannot get a good playback recording on my system from
Guns & Roses.  I like the music but just but don’t get a good sound
on my system from their LP or CD s


@geoffkait - I didn’t know the Castle release since I haven’t really focused on CDs seriously. (I’m now just starting to do that, though I have probably a thousand that I moved to Texas with me). Part of the answer as to why that CD copy may sound so good is that it was a UK//Euro sourced copy, which likely came from the Vertigo tapes. Aside from the fact that tapes were apparently allowed out of the house for third party re-issues in the old days, something not done anymore, the Vertigos sound far different than the US records made by Warner. (The band was signed to Warner in the States).
@slaw -Paranoid is good, as is Master of Reality- probably their best, song wise among the early albums. They have great bass and thwack, the drums sound really good, but they are rolled off at the top, something someone else pointed out to me after he bought a couple of the Vertigos at my suggestion.
The first album may be the best sounding. The thing with Vertigo is that most people know it because of Black Sabbath, who, along with Gentle Giant to a far lesser extent, were probably the best known bands signed to the label. But, the really deep prog- some pretty obscure, is wonderful in the original catalog, 69 to roughly 73. Cressida, both albums, Patto, both albums, Still Life, and a host of others, many obscure and known only to early prog heads or Vertigo collectors. The prices are now astronomical for mint- graded copies of many of these.
One relative bargain is the first Patto on US Swirl. (They didn’t issue many Swirls in the US, some were on Mercury and sound awful). But the first Patto record on US Swirl is killer. I also have the UK Swirl which sounds more polite, a little warmer, but given the type of music involved, the US Swirl for that one is the way to go (and you’ll save at least 300-400 dollars since the US Swirls aren’t very collectible).
The best buy among the Swirls is the 1970 Annual, a double album with tracks from some of the great bands-- it typically goes for around $100, and contains tracks from albums that are close to 10x the price individually). Granted, because it is a compilation, it is a generation down on the tapes, but it still has the early Vertigo magic.
Though the label continued to be used, and Uni releases stuff on it occasionally, the real deal Vertigos were the original Swirls, some of the "spaceship label" reissues from the early days, and those early WWA copies of Sabbath using the Vertigo metal parts (though the WWAs still don’t kick ass in the same way as the original Vertigos). I did an interview several years ago of Olav Wyper, who set up the label for Philips- fascinating guy who signed Sabbath, among other acts. The Vertigos are sort of blue chip collectibles today because of the obscure music, the quality of the recording and mastering (virtually all done in house by Philips) and the cool album art with elaborate die cut covers, and that wonderful label.
Rush has been reissuing their entire catalog for the past couple of years, and as a long time fan I recently bought Moving Pictures on vinyl, pressed at QRP.  
It's the best I have heard this record.  It makes me want to buy others as well.  Hemispheres was always a favorite.
As above-
radfrad, seek out the 1st pressing CDs from Japan for Guns N Roses.
These are on the Geffen label, same as the U.S. discs.
Happy Listening!