Author Topic: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)  (Read 2303 times)

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2019, 12:28:02 AM »
This Nation's Saving Grace also, although I might just have a shit CD issue.

I think it may be the CD - I used to have it on cassette (my first Fall album, fwiw) and it always sounded great. The Beggars CD reissue from '97 lacked punch for some reason - most of the other reissues from that period (esp. Wonderful and Frightening...) sound just fine.

And yeah, I'm right there with you re: Hüsker Dü - each of their albums sound sonically deficient in their own special way, which is something of a feat (Metal Circus excepted, but then, that's not an album, is it?). I've a feeling that the weak sound of the post-Spot releases is the sound they wanted, though - I recently listened to the Magnolias' Concrete Pillbox (produced by Grant) and Soul Asylum's Made to be Broken (produced by Bob) for the first time in a while, and they both share that exact same weak, piddly drum sound. Damn shame - I can testify that the Dü brought it hard live.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 01:13:01 AM by McChesney Duntz »

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2019, 12:57:45 AM »
Soul Asylum's Made to be Broken (produced by Bob) ... they both share that exact same weak, piddly drum sound. Damn shame - I can testify that the Dü brought it hard live.

Wow, I just checked this out for the first time and you're absolutely right, it sounds just like Warehouse.  I love the sound of Bob's last 3 solo albums which he produced himself though, I'd love for him to release an album with his current backing band doing Husker Du classics with his new production skills.  Not to sound down on the original bandmembers but the tunes really would benefit from modern production techniques.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2019, 03:22:54 AM »
Were you to ask either Becker or Fagen, they'd tell you that Katy Lied qualifies under these conditions. (Dig the so-detailed-it's-nearly-gibberish technical specs on the original sleeve.) Which is humorous.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2019, 03:40:06 AM »
There's something wrong with the production on (What's the Story) Morning Glory? that is really distracting if you listen to it long enough. I'm not savvy enough to put my finger on what it is.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2019, 07:05:34 AM »
I'v only ever listened much to Zen Aracade but honestly the sound there seemed quite deliberate to me, looking to avoid "power" in favour of harshness and playing up the more melodic bass.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #35 on: March 02, 2019, 08:14:07 AM »
metallica's pre-'black album' stuff gets a lot of stick, especially '& justice for all'; it's even rumoured that "new boy" jason newsted's bass parts were buried in the sludge as some sort of hazing thing by the other three. I disagree with the stick, & the weird mix is what drew me to the albums in the first place- the band sounds like a single instrument, which is a good trick to pull off.

when bob rock got hold of them, for the aforementioned "we're spinal tap, we are" 'black album', they sounded like an ordinary band, & not only that but the songs weren't as good either.

some time in the late 90s, I was at eel pie, doing a little job for a mate who worked for both the cocteau twins (who were leasing the place) & townshend (who owned it). I was there to fix robin & simon's mellotron, which wayward instrument they proudly told me they'd paid £5 for on portobello market. "£5 more than mine cost", & I told them how mine had been bunging up the workshop at argent's, unclaimed, until I took it away for nowt in 1991.
anyway, my mate was doing a job for PT, which involved laying off the tracks from a multitrack onto DAT, two at a time, with timecode. something to do with a nordoff-robbins event & remixing. he was fed up with the chore & wanted to have a break, so he left me alone in the control room for an hour or so.

with the 16-track master of "won't get fooled again".

"don't wear it out" was his parting shot. I played it end-to-end probably six times... it was unedited, so there was a big lump of pete's treated keyboards in the middle. they'd used this as a sort of click track for the band, & it was genuinely fascinating to hear how untogether they were in terms of traditional time-keeping. & yet, as we all know, it matters not a jot, because the end result is a terrific performance.

bar a few acoustic guitar overdubs, the recording is of a live performance. isolated, you can hear all sorts of fluffs & stumbles, even from PT himself, & (reassuringly for a bassist like me) entwistle.
at last, I sat back & pushed up all the faders, pretty much in a straight line. it sounded exactly like the record.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2019, 09:25:49 AM »
Recordings of each individual tracks or it didn't happen.


Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2019, 09:29:17 AM »
Recordings of each individual tracks or it didn't happen.

yeah, I wish....

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #38 on: March 02, 2019, 10:27:57 AM »
I'v only ever listened much to Zen Aracade but honestly the sound there seemed quite deliberate to me, looking to avoid "power" in favour of harshness and playing up the more melodic bass.

Possibly so, but other punk-ish albums that preceded theirs like XTC's 'Drums and Wires' managed to have really thick-sounding melodic bass without sacrificing the force of the drums or the attack of the guitar.  Like I was saying though, Zen Arcade & other albums of theirs sound better than Warehouse to me.
Listen to how lame these drums sound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyOnt77oSOg

Funcrusher

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2019, 10:33:39 AM »
Warehouse is clearly not a well recorded album and sounds thin and odd - the strength of the songs pulls it through. All of their other records sound fine and the way they should sound.

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2019, 10:41:34 AM »
The first two Talking Heads albums. The surround mixes that came out in the mid-2000s are a revelation, although not for Fear of Music and Remain in Light because those two albums sound perfect and don't need fucking with.

'77 yes..... Buildings 'n' Food no.

- the outro to Found A Job...
- the instrumental break on Stay Hungry...
- the use of compression on Take Me To The River...
- the sense of space on The Big Country...

All point to MSABAF being a well-produced album in its 1978 version....

The remastered 00s cd hones in on clarity and instrument isolation. It sounds clean and shiny and almost beautiful - but I still prefer the muddier 1978 vinyl sound.

the science eel

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2019, 10:42:34 AM »
Safe As Milk is a mess, sonically. That's the worst-sounding favourite album I own.

NoSleep

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2019, 11:02:56 AM »
Safe As Milk is a mess, sonically. That's the worst-sounding favourite album I own.

I'm assuming you mean the CD reissue, which includes a whole bunch of tracks not from the original LP release. The original album (first 12 tracks on the CD) has a consistent sound throughout, that is pretty standard for the time (unlike the music).

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #43 on: March 02, 2019, 11:06:24 AM »
'77 yes..... Buildings 'n' Food no.

- the outro to Found A Job...
- the instrumental break on Stay Hungry...
- the use of compression on Take Me To The River...
- the sense of space on The Big Country...

All point to MSABAF being a well-produced album in its 1978 version....

The remastered 00s cd hones in on clarity and instrument isolation. It sounds clean and shiny and almost beautiful - but I still prefer the muddier 1978 vinyl sound.

I only have the versions i bought in the early nineties. Will have to have a listen to the remasters. The ones I have aren't bad.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #44 on: March 02, 2019, 11:07:12 AM »
I'm assuming you mean the CD reissue, which includes a whole bunch of tracks not from the original LP release. The original album has a consistent sound throughout, that is pretty standard for the time (unlike the music).

The CD reissue is the version I have.  I always liked the way it sounded though, even with most of the tracks having the drums entirely in the right channel and the guitar in the left.

buzby

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #45 on: March 02, 2019, 11:40:13 AM »
Recordings of each individual tracks or it didn't happen.
If you want to recreate the experience  yourself, the stems are out there due to them allowing the song to be used for Rock Band.
VCS-3-treated Lowrey organ
Guitar
Drums
Bass


the science eel

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #46 on: March 02, 2019, 11:42:38 AM »
I'm assuming you mean the CD reissue, which includes a whole bunch of tracks not from the original LP release. The original album (first 12 tracks on the CD) has a consistent sound throughout, that is pretty standard for the time (unlike the music).

I mean the album itself regardless of the medium. It sounds like it was recorded in a bucket.

I'm not sure if it's poorly produced or mixed or if it's the limitations of the tech of 1967 or what.


NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2019, 11:46:42 AM »
Lots of 60's garage punk has the same sound.

the science eel

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #48 on: March 02, 2019, 11:57:59 AM »
Lots of 60's garage punk has the same sound.

Oh yeah, I wouldn't disagree.

I suppose I'm comparing it to other albums I like from the same year, most of which were recorded by 'bigger' artists who had bigger budgets.

Mind, the contrast between the sound of that one and of TMR - just two years later - is huge.

daf

  • The Fabulous Moolah
Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #49 on: March 02, 2019, 12:14:50 PM »
There's something wrong with the production on (What's the Story) Morning Glory? that is really distracting if you listen to it long enough. I'm not savvy enough to put my finger on what it is.

It's something that blights all of Oasis recordings - No dynamics thanks to the Loudness Wars - everything is boosted or lowered into an enormous unrelenting midrange block.

Looking at the soundwave - it's a solid black oblong - close up, any peaks (eg drum hits) are either squished right back, or sliced right off (digital clipping) - leaving a monolithic wall of buzzy sludge that is exhausting to listen to for the length of an album.

When there is no quiet, there can be no loud - so the drums have no impact  - wet cardboard boxes have more punch than drums on Oasis records.

. . . or  they do on most of them - there actually is one place where you can hear them (and the other instuments) properly :
For the Be Here Now re-issue Noel had a go at a 'rethink' - He was going to remix the whole album, but only managed to do Do you Know what I mean before he lost interest.

It's not the trad. Oasis sound, but an album mixed like that wouldn't have your ears screaming for a rest after 45 minutes.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 01:07:29 PM by daf »

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2019, 12:16:15 PM »
Oh yeah, I wouldn't disagree.

I suppose I'm comparing it to other albums I like from the same year, most of which were recorded by 'bigger' artists who had bigger budgets.

Mind, the contrast between the sound of that one and of TMR - just two years later - is huge.

TMR is a whole other thing; new band, Frank Zappa producing, 8 month rehearsal/reeducation of band. There's two tracks on TMR that are actually not from the FZ/8 months rehearsal sessions: Moonlight On Vermont & Veteran's Day Poppy. I think roughly the same band appears on these two as are on the bonus tracks on the CD release of Safe As Milk; they're all from that transitional period in between the two albums (as is the Beefheart-disowned Strictly Personal).

The Safe As Milk sound, like a lot of US Garage Punk of the time seems to be inspired by UK bands like the Yardbirds, Pretty Things & Stones, in performance as well as the production.

MiddleRabbit

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #51 on: March 02, 2019, 12:22:49 PM »
The bass, particularly on Zig Zag Wanderer, is enormous though.  Hats off.

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2019, 12:23:36 PM »
Yup; Safe As Milk sounds awesome. An unconditional fave here.

ToneLa

  • Kill your masters
Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2019, 12:27:56 PM »
It's no Clear Spot!

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2019, 12:28:44 PM »
TMR is a whole other thing; new band, Frank Zappa producing, 8 month rehearsal/reeducation of band. There's two tracks on TMR that are actually not from the FZ/8 months rehearsal sessions: Moonlight On Vermont & Veteran's Day Poppy. I think roughly the same band appears on these two as are on the bonus tracks on the CD release of Safe As Milk; they're all from that transitional period in between the two albums (as is the Beefheart-disowned Strictly Personal).

I was gonna mention Strictly Personal as I much prefer the versions of those songs that were included as bonus tracks on Safe as Milk, plus the ones on The Mirror Man Sessions.  With the exception of Ah Feel Like Ahcid you could actually recreate a better version of Strictly Personal by putting all those alternate takes together.

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2019, 12:36:44 PM »
As I suspected, someone has already done a good job of the idea I just posted about and used alternate takes to recreate 'It Comes To You In A Plain Brown Wrapper', the album that eventually morphed into Strictly Personal.

https://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot.com/2014/08/captain-beefheart-it-comes-to-you-in.html

purlieu

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Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2019, 01:02:43 PM »
It's something that blights all of Oasis recordings - No dynamics thanks to the Loudness Wars - everything is boosted or lowered into an enormous unrelenting midrange block.
I never have much of a problem with it on Definitely Maybe - perhaps the rawer sound of the performance helps? - but even as a kid I noticed that Morning Glory was actually uncomfortable to listen to. Alan White's ploddy tom tom-heavy drums are particularly unsuited to the kind of production, as are the relentlessly strummed acoustic guitars throughout. They somehow got worse: the Noel produced SOTSOG and Heathen Chemistry have no life or energy in the slightest, just absolute slogs to try and listen to. I've never looked at the waveforms, but I always felt Don't Believe the Truth was much more dynamic sounding, which is why - although it has a number of forgettable tunes - it's my favourite since their debut... it actually sounds like a band again, rather than a wall of sound.

daf

  • The Fabulous Moolah
Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #57 on: March 02, 2019, 01:24:14 PM »
Just rememberd - the mustique demos for 'Be Here Now' (on the deluxe 3CD set) are even more dynamic than the DYKWIM rethink - actually a pleasure to listen to! *

- - - - -
* (sounds a bit squashed on that youtube version - but the CD itself is really open & 'crankable')
« Last Edit: March 02, 2019, 01:43:43 PM by daf »

Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2019, 03:57:04 PM »
It's something that blights all of Oasis recordings - No dynamics thanks to the Loudness Wars - everything is boosted or lowered into an enormous unrelenting midrange block.

Looking at the soundwave - it's a solid black oblong - close up, any peaks (eg drum hits) are either squished right back, or sliced right off (digital clipping) - leaving a monolithic wall of buzzy sludge that is exhausting to listen to for the length of an album.

When there is no quiet, there can be no loud - so the drums have no impact  - wet cardboard boxes have more punch than drums on Oasis records.

. . . or  they do on most of them - there actually is one place where you can hear them (and the other instuments) properly :
For the Be Here Now re-issue Noel had a go at a 'rethink' - He was going to remix the whole album, but only managed to do Do you Know what I mean before he lost interest.

It's not the trad. Oasis sound, but an album mixed like that wouldn't have your ears screaming for a rest after 45 minutes.

The Oasis documentary had something on this - 'they just got this box in that made things twice as loud without digital distortion, it was in every pub jukebox in the country!'.

daf

  • The Fabulous Moolah
Re: Classic Albums That Sound Badly Produced (To Your Ears)
« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2019, 04:33:59 PM »
Jesus - they're like a real-life Nigel Tuffnel!

"but this box goes up to eleven . . . it's one louder!"