What is the VERY BEST CD album you've ever heard?

Just like with records, I came across releases on CD that were never popular, but bring lots of interesting music and so I started collecting CDs that do have collectible value for the reason of a great and rare music presented.

So far album "Sauce Hollandaise" by Ashra is on my #1 desirable list

"Best Band You've Never Heard In Your Life" by Frank Zappa is my 2nd best CD I've ever heard. 



Feist - The Reminder

Sarah Jarosz - Build me up From Bones and Follow Me Down


That’s easy for me it's any one of the worlds best rock bands  recently remastered  CDs  I'm listening to the Beatles of course, Pepper, White, Revolver or Abbey Road .

Post removed 

They learned their trade playing rock and roll in Hamburg before they became a pop band and towards the end of their career there are some distinctly rocky tracks, on the White album particularly. Fitting rigid categories to bands isn’t always easy, especially if they start playing different tunes part way through their careers.

Back to the topic, I’m rather fond of Thrack (King Crimson) and Grace (Ketil Bjornstad), both CD releases. The latter is Scandinavian jazz settings of poetry by John Donne and is a warts and all recording so not for some with more audiophile sensibilities.

guessing yor're asking about obscure good albums ..

Leafhound 'Growers of Mushroom' -- elements of Grand Funk, Deep Purple James Gang rolled into one.

Szobel 'Szobel' elements of a Zappa fusion album. He was Bill Grahams nephew, so he got an album deal, was high strung about recognition, so disappeared after recording this.


Layla Revisited - Live at Lockn'     Tedeschi Trucks Band

Delivers on the potential of the original  Layla.  Recorded live, the music and sound are first rate.

I Am the Moon     Tedeschi Trucks Band

Tedeschi Trucks own take on the story of Layla and Manjun. Great classic rock recorded in the studio.


Fitting category of pop band to Beatles is simple because they are pop somewhere above 90% of their career. We can call it pop-rock as well that will match even better.

There are bands that very hard to fit into any category, but the're obscure and rare and definitely not Beatles or any RR hall of fame artists. 

Maybe good example of Goz of Kermeur. Their self-titled album I think is third on my list.

A 1990 CD by the Music & Arts label called Glenn Gould - Previously Unreleased Performances of Works by J.S. Bach, 1957-1969.
This is a tough CD to find. I lucked out. It’s on YouTube. There’s also a live performance on YouTube of his unbelievable performance/conducting of Cantata No. 54.

It’s a favorite because it’s so hard to find, is not available in any media other than YouTube and contains such incredible music.

There is a version of the Soundtrack to David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive on multiple formats (the vinyl pressing goes for $400-$700 presently on Discogs) but the CD is great if for the sole reason it a) doesn’t cost $500, and b) has Rebekah Del Rio’s performance of “Llorando” (an a cappella Spanish version of Roy Orbison’s ‘Crying’) which may be the greatest vocal performance I’ve ever heard.

A lot of Todd Garfinkle's MA Recordings qualify. Off-beat international music minimally miked in carefully selected, acoustically lively locales.

I don't see the need to ram music into categories like whether something is 'rock' or 'pop' - people who don't like it won't see any difference between them and (most) people who like them don't really care what you call it. 

@tylermunns - 'Mulholland Dr' is my favorite movie; I've had the CD since it came out; shame I missed out on the LP, but such great music; I think the title theme is one of Badalamenti's very best.... 

Beatles isn't a rock band. It's pure pop. Calling it rock is delusional.

That's a bit bizarre. Obviously, you're not aware of the rock tracks.

Can this be defined, my favourite album for content is Sade Diamond Life, but it's a poor recording. Gaucho by Steely Dan is a great recording but far from their best tracks. 25th anniversary Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes has great songs and excellent recording, losing the sibilance of the original. What do I listen to most, Based on a True Story, Fat Freddy's Drop. 

I can’t help but laugh when people make these delineations within pop music.  
It’s ALL POP.  
If it ain’t classical or jazz, it’s just a particular shade of pop.  
It was Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, etc.  

Then Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.  

That pretty much did it.  
Everything we’ve enjoyed in pop the last 60+ years has been an offshoot of that “Rock and Roll Big Bang.” 
It’s ALL POP.  
Popular. Hence the abbreviation.

The remastered 96 bit It’s a Beautiful Day cd sounds spectacularly good, especially “Wasted Union Blues”…..one of the heaviest tunes of the 60’s.

My Hendrix Band of Gypsies cd with 2 bonus cuts was (I think) rare up until the complete concerts box set can out and has it all.

So do bootleg cds count? I have some Stones bootlegs that are pretty good (was gonna mention The Beatles bootlegs but….)

Occasionally box sets sell out and aren’t available except used. The Ten Years After 1967 - 1974 complete albums box has been reissued but packaging is inferior and doesn’t contain the “discovered” Cap Ferrat recordings.

@ czarivey    Where is "rock" identified as a qualifier?  ... by who's definition?

@ tylermunns   Blues is not pop, classical or jazz; many of the artists mentioned are not "pop," and do not fit cleanly in one of your three grossly oversimplified categories of music.

+1 for It's a Beautiful Day

King Crimson, "Starless and Bible Black"

Ane Brun : “How beauty holds the hand of sorrow” , Yello :  “Touch” , Mari Boine: ”The best of” ,…

The Beatles Releases from 1965 through 1969 were so far ahead of their time that the were revolutionary. Rubber Soul, Revolver, The White Album or Abbey Road. They certainly had a few pop songs, but so much of their music was not pop at all and the boys were capable of Rocking.They even bordered folk.

@kb673 I beg to differ.  
As I said, it’s all pop. It’s all rooted in “Rock N’ Roll,” which is popular music. Pop.  
Blues is absolutely pop. So is country.  
That’s “Rock N’ Roll.” (with a bit of gospel thrown in there)
Songs with a verse, a chorus. Repeat. Some sort of middle section. Repeat.  
Pop. All the same s**t, just different flavors.

You’re just thinking of “pop” in the terms that record companies, radio stations and media marketing schemes have sold you as “different genres.”  
The better to take your money with.  

If you want to accept a marketing scheme as objective reality as far as delineating, segregating and categorizing music goes, that’s your prerogative.  
If you want to just swallow these marketing labels that were made up to give certain businesses more money, go nuts, friend.

I prefer to just listen to music and decide for myself if I like it. You know…with my own ears. 

You’re also free to define what “pop” is, and how it is in any way useful to sit around and say:  
“no, no, that’s not rock and roll, that’s pop…no, no, that’s not metal, that’s stoner rock…no, no, that’s not reggae l, that’s ska…no, no, that’s not punk, that’s hardcore…”

For me it is Incubus / Science. Unique, interesting, recorded well and definitely rock.

I have to agree the Beatles in my opinion are a pop band, with one or two rock songs in their locker, all music is not Pop, it not all rooted in Rock n roll, pop is a mainstream popular music, a great deal of rock music is born from the blues, Metallica is not Pop they are a massive metal band but you wouldn’t define them as being popular with all listeners yet my favourite band, Jazz also is not Pop as it’s not popular across the board and I’ll vouch for that as I can listen to the stuff. 

You wouldn’t declare One Direction, Take That, Coldplay rock bands. 

To really hear and “show off” what my system can do it’s Diana Krall’s “The Girl in the Other Room”. Plus every single song is just so emotionally involving especially “Departure Bay” the last song on the CD. It’s honestly the one CD I play in it’s entirety and sit with my eyes shut and do not move…

For just pure jammin out it’s undoubtedly Iron Maiden “Live After Death”! 🤟🏻🤟🏻 Man that one is truly timeless!😂

@mrmeaner Once again, as we see in this thread here, someone made a fuss about calling the Beatles, “rock.” Who cares? We all know the Beatles. Nothing bad is going to happen, no egregious misappropriation occurs if someone calls the Beatles “rock,” or “pop,” or whatever. It’s all madeup label malarkey anyway. It’s all pop.  
Yes, everything in popular music is essentially rooted in Rock and Roll. I really don’t want to be didactic and don’t have the energy for a history lesson, but, yeah. Everything from the last 60+ years of popular music essentially flows from the Rock and Roll Big Bang of the mid-‘50s.

Metallica has sold 125 million albums.  
Nothing is “popular with all listeners.” 
You’ll actually find people that don’t like…Michael Jackson…Beatles…Adele…Mariah Carey.  
But Metallica has sold 125 million albums.  
Pretty popular. Intro, verse, chorus, repeat, bridge/interlude/solo, repeat.  
I already said Jazz and Classical wasn’t pop.  
I don’t know how I’d describe One Direction, Take That and Coldplay other than, “crap.”

One is free to call this stuff whatever they want.  
I just prefer to describe the sounds of things than to just bluntly, hamfistedly apply made-up marketing labels to music.  

People either are brainwashed by all the marketing labels and accept them as “fact” or “truth,” just really enjoy segregating and labeling things, reflexively equate “pop” with “bad,” or some combination of all the above.

I think of a couple of releases that seem to me be creatures of the CD era:

The Centennial edition of The Complete Robert Johnson brought out sounds I don't think anyone ever knew were there.

Though I don't know that it's any great shakes sonically, the 1988 studio cast recording of Show Boat was a revelatory document of what was possibly the greatest American musical.

Another monument of the CD is the encyclopedic box set: the Bear Family collections of Uncle Dave Macon, Louis Jordan and Bob Wills, the Bluebird Fats Waller and the Fremeaux Integrale Charles Trenet are particular prizes to me.

This rock vs. pop thing is obviously some sort of snobbery but I can't quite see what it's being snobbish about.  

It’s absolutely not a snobbery thing, if your a jazz fan and someone said it’s just pop music plenty would say something. My wife’s mother & uncle was at the Cavern to first night the Beatles played there and many nights after and even they can define rock & pop.

as for a stand out cd Seeds of Love from Tears for Fears is one of those for me. 

Post removed 


The first Golden Earring, LIVE CD the live version of Vanilla Queen has great guitar work, also their live version of Eight Miles High is fantastic.

My top two are Layla and the Allman Brothers Band Live at the Fillmore.  That is pretty much how I learned to play the guitar.

I also guess that Helter Skelter is a POP song.  LOL
So suggestions that I can relate to also.

Happy Listening



Hapy Listening.

If we are talking technically about “sound” and production, and not “our favorite “ then I would have to say the XRCD Version of “Warm Your Heart” by Aaron Neville. Beautiful recording and sound from the JVC XRCD process. 

I will posit that Paul Simon’s "Graceland" (Warner Bros. Records, 1986) is the best CD in my collection. Why? It is literally the very first CD I purchased, back in 1987. This was a big step, as it required the purchase of a CD player too! Expensive investment, for a college student. After a lifetime of vinyl, the allure of CDs was...well, you all remember.

Paul Simon composed/wrote/recorded much of "Graceland" in South Africa, drawing on the rich music traditions of Southern Africa, and using African musicians/bands. This was during the waning and violent times of apartheid, so the music really resonated with its global audience (to be fair, there was controversy over Paul’s decision to even go to S.A to record). Other tracks draw on Cajun and East Los Angeles musical input and influences. "Graceland" won several Grammys.

I still am drawn to the hauntingly beautiful tracks of "Graceland" for inexplicable emotional reasons.

The CD that warms my heart and shows off the revealing nature of my Maggies is Take Five by Dave Brubeck on SACD.  I would also add I agree with Live at the Fillmore as noted above.

Mine would be " The Wonderful Sound of Three Blind Mice " by the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio  I bought this CD back in 1995 and just recently I thought I would buy another one for back up I eventually found one and at the time The selling price was $300!

I am going with something I still play.  Supertramp' "Crime of the century".  Sonics still blow me away.

@czarivey Two CD's that belong in your collection:

Jimmy Smith - Dot Com Blues

Junior Wells - Come On In This House.

@hipsterjefe Graceland was the first disc I heard as well.  A gradeschool buddy invited me over to show me his dad's new CD player, and that was the only CD they had at that point.  

One of my favorites is Pink Floyd's Pulse double disc.  I typically hate live recordings, but I get excited every time I play that one.

I have a ton of other favorites, but a couple that stand out to me are Sponge's Rotting Pinata album, and the X-Files movie soundtrack.  I don't even know why those two are on the top of my head right now, but I have thoroughly enjoyed both and the production on both sound great..

Jazz at the Pawnshop! Being away from this hobby for several years I decided to buy a new amplifier. At the time I had a Conrad Johnson Premier 2. I bought it with me to demo the amp. (Adcom GFA 555) . The dealer connected everything (CD, Preamp, and Amp) to Magnipan speakers. There was another customer in the shop at the time. After listening to several CDs the customer asked if we can listen to the system using a turntable. He then played Jazz at the Pawnshop. That was my renaissance into a lifelong Audiophile.

I'm torn between King Crimson's Live in Chicago and Music is Our Friend (live in Washington and Albany 2021)

Very similar shows and tight recordings. This version of Crimson is extremely powerful and the catalogue of tracks hit on every era of Crimson music.

I believe Fripp stated that the Washington DC show was their last, shame, because I really believe they have more to share.

Anything by Rory! It still shocks me how many people still do not know of him.

UFO Mechanic Michael at his best.

I think you are looking for titles a little off the beaten path so my nomination is for Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit - self titled live album. These guys are sort of a cross between the Allman Brothers and Frank Zappa and the album is one of the best live recordings in my collection. The musicianship on this album is stunning.

Top on the list for me "Midnight Mood" .Unison music. Only available on the used market. Personally I can't get enough of this CD

second on the list," Between The Lines " Jazz Cafe

Both albums produced by Mark Baldwin

Guaranteed music you have never heard before.