Quality Rock/Pop CD recordings

I'm interested in finding consensus opinions for the best quality recordings of Rock/Pop CD's to augment my library. (i.e. Steely Dan-Two Against Nature, Dire Straights-Brother in Arms etc..) I'd like to stick to this genre as I'm pretty well set on my Jazz and Classical collection. Feel welcome to qualify your picks.


I would suggest Reckoning by the Grateful Dead. It is a collection of tunes from their live acoustic sets from their split acoustic/electric sets in the early 80's. They also released an album called Dead Set which is a collection of tunes from the live electric sets from that same tour, but the acoustic sets seemed to be better recorded. A great live acoustic album that everyone should own.

Any disk by Ben Harper is well recorded and will contain exceptional music. Elvis Costello's "All This Useless Beauty" has great sonics and is a great album. Aimee Mann Bachelor #2 is another example of a quality rock recording. Natalie Merchant's solo releases are examples as well. Los Lobos Kiko is a classic that has great sonics as well. I am sure that there are more opinions on this subject.
Some what I consider to be fine recordings are... and some do depart from the requested genre...
Heart - "The Road Home" - recorded live in a five hundred seat theater in bands hometown of Seattle. John Paul Jones produced it.
Little Feat - "Waiting for Columbus" - double disc live recording. Not bad.
Alison Krauss - "Now That I Found You" - There is some well recorded music on this album.
Vince Gill - "Souvenirs" - Most all his stuff is well recorded.
One of the best recorded albums I've heard (besides Janis Ian's) is George Straight's "Chill of an Early Fall". Superb.
Try the latest solo record from Mark Knopfler...Sailing to Philidelphia. Really good record. Does a tune with James Taylor, one with Van Morrison and two with Gillian Welch.

OK, since you already mentioned Dire Straits, hope you've got Love Over Gold.

There are some other sonic/lyric gems that IMHO are MUST HAVEs --

XTC - Skylarking
Peter Gabriel - Security
OMD - Achitecture and Morality
Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing

and I know you said you're set for Jazz, but Larry Calrton & Lee Rittenour's 'Larry & Lee' is outstanding!

Run, don't walk, to buy any or all of these. Then pour yourself a big glass of zinfandel, lower the lights and immerse yourself in the sounds....you will not be sorry!