I would have to agree with anyone and everyone's assessment(s) of re-mastered cd's. I have at least 300 and the quality is entirely a crapshoot.
One would think that remasters of music from the 60's and 70's wouldn't be likely to sound better than remasters of original music from the 80's or 90's. It is irrelevant. It's all about what is actually ON the master tapes, who's doing the remstering, and, sadly, what's the size of the budget? That of course, is the final reality of almost all things.
The most significant and amazing remaster I have heard from any cd is "Aqualung," by Jethro Tull. It's not fully appreciable if you don't first listen to the original. If you are not astounded, you're deaf or dead; either way, don't ever speak to me again.
Beatles renasters are "good" for the early ones, much better for the later ones, though nothing to write about at any legth. (Love all the vocals outta the left channel, George M., way to go! The first few (before "Rubber Soul") are better remastered in mono.)
Some of The Beach Boys records will make you cry at their beauty.
Jeff Beck's first, "Truth," but look for the one with, lkie 8 or 9 extra tracks, that's THE one! It really says, "Led what?," and beats Lep I by only a coupla/few months (68/69).
The next few, eh?
Dire Straits get an "A," esp. "Brother in Arms."
I'm not gonna rate Floyd's, 'cause if I don't get all f'n gushy over them, Fred'll be acting like I drove up to Canada and murdered all four guys in Rush or something.
One might think that if one of the original band members is involved or doing the remastering, then it's got be good, right? Well, "Quadraphenia," by The Who, is done by Townsend and is a whole new record. It sounds like it was recorded within the last 5 years. Pete gets an "A+," Jimmy Page gets, like, a "B+." They're better in lots of ways, but no "grin factor." An "A" for Roger Glover from Deep Purple for doing it himself---and well.
Joni Baloney's 10 cd set is good, not great, but at <$4 a disc, there's nothing at all to gripe about.
Michael Jackson's remasters are great, but the original recordings didn't exactly suck, did they?
There's a 2cd set of Little Richard that's (waaay) less than $20 and worth every penny, including the f'n FOUR DOLLAR S & H
Cream remasters are some of the worst I have heard.
So, read the reviews, like someone here already suggested. Let them be the bleeding edge consumers. Or, like me, if you like to take your musical chances and your lumps with equal lack of the need to get drunk, be really, really happy when you find great ones!
Rejoice! SquareBobGodPants is born! Bring the heralds, angels, trumpets, barnyard animals, etc.