How many lps before you like it

Your favorite groups LPs how many have you had to go through before you found that magic one.
For me i love the Moody Blues i have bought quite a few. and still looking,
Blood Sweat and Tears i have three 360 columbia's that are real close and sound very good.
Beatles i give up i cant top my MFSL except for a great copy of Abby Road.
Elton john Tumbleweed Connection it took 5 and i have a copy thats very pleasing. and Mad Man Across the Water i have settled for a DCC copy so far after several US pressings.
Chicago Transit Authority i have a Columbia 360 thats OK still looking. Of coarse to many more to list.
Its a fact that one LP will sound better than another. one more of the things that make analog LP collecting and listening fun.
If you get really obsessed - decades of listening and research, and thousands of dollars have yielded this for me (yes, I really have listened to this music and vinyl over and over):

Moodies -
Days/Passed - mediocre all around; UK original
Threshold/Dream - Nautilus and MoFi vinyl
Children's Children - MoFi is the best, but not great; all others are pretty bad (original recording is horrible)
Question - UK original
EGBDF - UK original
The recent SACD releases are better than any vinyl, unless you are a near-anal purist for the original mix. "Children" is a revelation.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears - MoFi and SuperDisc

Beatles - UK originals on ALL, with alternate choices of the German DMM of "The Beatles" (White Album) and the Japan Pro-Use of "Abbey Road."
The White LP is gritty; the DMM reduces grit, without being bright. "Abbey Road" Pro Use is wonderful.
(The MoFi pressing of the Beatles' lp's are quiet and sound good, but are NOT what the original mixes sound like.)
If you have unlimited funds the original mono "Please Please Me" with the gold lettering is the group's only recording that puts them in your room.
"McCartney" (first solo LP) on Japan red vinyl is stunningly good
... uh in terms of sound quality ;-)

Elton John -
For all LP's through "Yellow Brick Road" get the original UK pressings, as a rule. They are on the DJM label with virgin, dark translucent vinyl.
However - the DMM "Madman" is arguably better than first UK pressing, although it's hard to tell which is more accurate. The first Japanese pressing of "Elton John" is the only pressing of the LP that has a claim to sounding good, but getting a red vinyl copy is tough and $$$$$$. First Japanese pressing of "Captain Fantastic" is the best.
Dear Stltrains: +++++ " Your favorite groups LPs how many have you had to go through before you found that magic one. " +++++

IMHO I think that in almost all LPs we could found/find the magic.

+++++ " Its a fact that one LP will sound better than another. " +++++

Absolutely, but like I told you we can/could find that " magic ", let me explain my thoughts about:

many of us ( because of time or know-how ) don't take enough care on the right set-up of our analog rig ( TT/tonearm/cartridge/phonolinepreamp/interconnect cables ), the better that set-up the better and easy to found/find the magic. Many of us don't take enough care on the room/speaker interaction, the better speaker/room/amplifier synergy the better and easy to find the magic. Many of us don't take enough care to find which ones are our weak links in our whole audio system chain, as soon we identified it and make something about: the better and easy to find that magic. Almost all the audio systems, LPs and cartridges has a more or less volume level where that magic comes when we find the volume level on that LP, the volume level on that cartridge and the volume level on the system then the magic almost always comes.

It is not an easy task to achieve, very complex/time consuming and heavy know-how: a life work/fun. The harder you try the faster the magic comes.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I would agree Stltrains, it is hard to learn which pressing is best. It is even harder to come upon an early (hot) stamper, but with perseverance it can be done.

No amount of system tweaks will replace an excellent pressing. (period)
Because the record is the source not the gear.

I have gone through fifteen or so copies of Van MorrisonÂ’s Band and the Street Choir album since 1970 before finding the one that is scary real. It happened to be a second pressing Canadian WB label. Good fortune.

Happy Listening!
Hey Hlmiii i know what you mean on this quest. I agree with you on the Moody's except Children's, the MFSL i have is dead and lifeless. i have gone through quite a few and i have two that sound very good a u.k. pressing and a u.s. pressing and i like the u.s. better its got more air. Sojourn for me is MFSL.
I gave up on Beatles LPs cause i cant afford the prices being asked and dont trust the sellers. i have been burnt before more than once.
I will give the djm Elton John LPs a look see though i have a copy of Tumbleweed thats a very sweet LP.
Thanks for your observations.
Rual i have gone through more than i like to mention. when it comes down to our favorite lps we go the distance.
For me and my system i am into maintaining it and in constant appraisal of the direction its going.
Its at a point now where i am getting the best sound ever, and thats though a lot of time and cash. the synergy between pieces of gear, wire, and speakers are at a all time high. Your quote

"Its not an easy task to achieve very complex/time consuming and heavy know-how: a life work/fun. The harder you try the faster the magic comes"

With the music, cash, and hard work comes the magic and to me its worth all of the effort and expense.
good listening
Stltrains -

Glad you at least were entertained! A life's work is behind all that. :-)

The MoFi "Children" is indeed lifeless (good word choice). I was just trying to say that it's the best vinyl out there - at least in my experience. The two UK pressings I have owned and heard (original and repressing) were worse and the Japanese was almost unlistenable. If you have a UK pressing that is better then good for you - and what in the heck is it?!?

With regard to the Beatles - a very good alternative is the Blue Box set of the basic LP's that was released in the late 1970's. The earlier boxes had pressings that were excellent - better than other (earlier) repressings of the '60's LP's. There was/is a Black Box of the mono versions that is even better-sounding.
Both boxes are pretty available, and the blue/stereo box is pretty reasonable in price - more than the less-collected single LP's but FAR less expensive than obtaining original pressings in acceptable condition.

You could spend hundreds of hours on this, you know ...
Hey R_f_sayles at the recent 2007 New Orleans Jazz Festival. Van the man Morrison put on one super fine performance. We got almost one and a half hours of vintage Van. He was on my list of must having to see. a Great Show indeed.
Hlmiii my understanding is the 78 UK set is hit and miss on sound. i have a copy and my MFSL is better. but it aint bad thats for sure.
Hopping other audiogoners give us there pursuit of the best they can get LPs of there favorite performers.
Stltrains -
There are about three pressings/runs of the "78 UK set" if that is what you mean by what I referred to as the "Blue Box." There was the initial run of a few thousand. When EMI found out how popular it was even at the initially high price, the company produced at least two additional runs. (Which of course instantly devalued the high prices we over-anxious idiots paid the first time through :-( ) The subsequent pressings weren't as good overall for some reason.
Glad you like the MoFi product. They do sound excellent and are preferred by a lot of people, including hardcore Beatles collectors. My UK preference is based upon the fact that the MoFi pressings do not sound the same as the UK pressings. But they are a LOT quieter!
Hlmiii i am tring to learn about first pressing and what stamper was used, this looks to be a very tough subject to learn anything about.
Is there any way to tell which 78 set is which?
thanks Mike