Author Topic: Poorly produced albums that sound great.  (Read 1176 times)

Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« on: March 01, 2019, 01:12:54 AM »
As the inverse of Satchimo's thread...

Springsteen's Nebraska was recorded on a portastudio, mixed down at the wrong speed into a ghetto blaster that got dropped into a lake and dried out, then floated about in pocket full of lint for ages.

It went through a lot of hands restoring it, but it's amazing, and initially there's no production, a roadie got the gear and set it up.

Michelle Shocked's first album was recorded on a Sony dictaphone as the batteries died. You can hear the wood crackling and lorries in the distance.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2019, 04:03:14 AM »
Directly opposing Satchmo's post from the other thread, I think VU&N's sound is great. The lo-fi production is what gives the album its grimy feel, and what sets it apart from other big 60s rock albums for me. It gives the noisier tracks an extra edge and makes the sweeter, quiet songs more subtly foreboding.

Of course, a ton of lo-fi stuff falls under this thread. Bee Thousand. The first Women album.

FerriswheelBueller

  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Very tired. Sorry if my recent posts are shit.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2019, 04:42:01 AM »
All Hail West Texas by the Mountain Goats

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2019, 10:01:18 AM »
I'm sure I remember reading that Rock 'n' Roll With The Modern Lovers was literally recorded in a toilet and sounds very much like it, great though.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2019, 10:34:43 AM »

Sabbath's Vol 4 has got this stodgy bloated production that makes you constantly strain to try and hear better what the hell is going on, but at the same time it makes the experience all the more thrilling.

Kalabi

  • Musician that pretends to work in IT
    • Kalabi Bandcamp
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2019, 10:40:12 AM »
"A Storm in Heaven" by The Verve is a bit of a reverb disaster but it has a lovely smashed out of their faces when mixing it vibe.

Crabwalk

  • Member
  • **
  • I behaved like a skinhead.
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2019, 12:19:18 PM »
Everclear by American Music Club. It was produced in 1991 by their pedal steel player, the great Bruce Kaphan, who added loads of reverb to everything, enveloping the songs in a mushy fog. But it does give the record a distinctive, unifying sound and provides a dreaminess that works well with the themes of loss and addiction.

Here's how the demo for Sick of Food sounds and here's the album version, by comparison.

I believe the rest of the band weren't happy with the results, but the album (which earned Mark Eitzel the 'Songwriter of the Year' accolade in Rolling Stone) got them signed to a major label for the first time and Mitch Froom replaced Kaphan for the next album. Mercury sounded spectacularly good by comparison. I still prefer Everclear though.

buzby

  • Member
  • **
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 12:32:26 PM »
"A Storm in Heaven" by The Verve is a bit of a reverb disaster but it has a lovely smashed out of their faces when mixing it vibe.
That's exactly what they sounded like live then though. The production on the Gravity Grave single is perfect for their tripped out psychedelic sound at that time.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 01:06:22 PM »
Pretty much everything by Ariel Pink pre-'Before Today'.  There was a period around 8 years ago when I was just obsessed with the wonky lo-fi sound of his earlier work and would listen to nothing else for weeks on end, particularly Worn Copy and House Arrest.

Kalabi

  • Musician that pretends to work in IT
    • Kalabi Bandcamp
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 01:21:02 PM »
That's exactly what they sounded like live then though. The production on the Gravity Grave single is perfect for their tripped out psychedelic sound at that time.

I heard that Nick McCabe during the Storm in Heaven days had three boss delay pedals in a chain.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 02:03:39 PM »
Have a poorly produced song that sounds great

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p5q8WyUikU

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 02:08:31 PM »
I guess a lot of Stiff records stuff could go here. God bless the basher.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 02:15:39 PM »
Pretty much everything by Ariel Pink pre-'Before Today'.  There was a period around 8 years ago when I was just obsessed with the wonky lo-fi sound of his earlier work and would listen to nothing else for weeks on end, particularly Worn Copy and House Arrest.

Likewise, love the hi-fi stuff too but easier to get lost in the old stuff. James Ferraro's 'Night Dolls with Hairspray' scratches the same itch, sounds like it was recorded in the Troma universe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hnH2eyxrno

chveik

  • oh no I dropped my coconut water!
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2019, 03:56:18 PM »
Les Rallizes Denudes comes to mind.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2019, 04:09:04 PM »
Likewise, love the hi-fi stuff too but easier to get lost in the old stuff. James Ferraro's 'Night Dolls with Hairspray' scratches the same itch, sounds like it was recorded in the Troma universe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hnH2eyxrno

Oh yeah! It's my favourite thing James Ferraro has done and as you say, very similar to Ariel's work in a way that other artists he gets compared to just aren't.  His other albums 'On Air' and 'Feed Me' are worth a listen for more of the same if you haven't heard them.  Just a shame Ferraro has long since moved away from making that type of stuff.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2019, 05:04:14 PM »
Although part of me wants to question the use of 'poorly produced' for a lot of the examples in this thread, if we're doing general 'lo-fi' sounding stuff then most of the independently released Cleaners From Venus stuff, and mid-to-early '90s Guided by Voices are some of my favourite sounding records. I do really love stuff that was recorded to cassette.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2019, 07:19:43 PM »
Oh yeah! It's my favourite thing James Ferraro has done and as you say, very similar to Ariel's work in a way that other artists he gets compared to just aren't.  His other albums 'On Air' and 'Feed Me' are worth a listen for more of the same if you haven't heard them.  Just a shame Ferraro has long since moved away from making that type of stuff.

I've only given 'On Air' a wee listen before, will check them out properly, cheers! And you're right about Ariel comparisons generally falling short because usually it just means the band has a lo-fi 70/80s AM radio sound but what they lack is good hooks. That Ferraro album has them in spades and is also probably more cohesive as an album than any of Ariel's (though that is part of their appeal).

More lo-fi considerations: early Beck (particularly 'Stereopathetic Soulmanure'), the first Television Personalities album and 'There's a Riot Goin' On'.

At the other end, Leon Ware's production on Marvin Gaye's I Want You sounds lush (and I think it's Gaye's best album) but apparently it was criticised quite a bit at the time.

purlieu

  • Woo-hoo, Lord Nimon!
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2019, 07:25:17 PM »
More lo-fi considerations: early Beck (particularly 'Stereopathetic Soulmanure')
Oh that's a bloody wonderful record. Absolutely daft from start to finish. That and One Foot in the Grave are my two favourite Beck records.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2019, 08:43:05 PM »
"A Storm in Heaven" by The Verve is a bit of a reverb disaster but it has a lovely smashed out of their faces when mixing it vibe.

You reckon it's a disaster?  I love the production on that record it sounds amazing.  I'd never considered that they might have ballsed it up though.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2019, 09:51:03 PM »
Definitely Maybe by Oasis is a real racket, reverb and everything else turned up to 11. Absolutely nothing to the production but sounds right because it’s so raw. Morning Glory quite similar I suppose, and then everything after that is just outright middle aged shit for guys with erectile dysfunction.

Nebraska tops this argument though - what an album.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2019, 09:54:13 PM »
Definitely Maybe by Oasis is a real racket, reverb and everything else turned up to 11. Absolutely nothing to the production but sounds right because it’s so raw. Morning Glory quite similar I suppose, and then everything after that is just outright middle aged shit for guys with erectile dysfunction.

Nebraska tops this argument though - what an album.

Didn't they re-record Definitely Maybe at least once?

Funcrusher

  • Been shot up more times than Tom Mix
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2019, 10:13:21 PM »
I've heard it claimed that Definitely Maybe was dirtied up after the fact because the original version sounded too clean.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2019, 10:17:40 PM »
I've heard it claimed that Definitely Maybe was dirtied up after the fact because the original version sounded too clean.

Good point that I forgot. Mark Coyle was the original producer when things weren’t working out, and Owen Morris took the tapes and dirtied them up.

Funcrusher

  • Been shot up more times than Tom Mix
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2019, 10:21:42 PM »
Albums that sound great are not, by definition, badly produced.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2019, 01:29:32 AM »
Albums that sound great are not, by definition, badly produced.

Semantics.

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2019, 01:38:58 AM »

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2019, 01:50:11 AM »
Keep the Jews out of this.

2late I'mJewish

Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2019, 03:04:13 AM »
Oh. Well, muzzle trough, then.

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2019, 10:04:03 AM »
Almost the entire Sun Ra catalogue. He realised early on that the music biz was going to screw him, so he recorded a lot of stuff in rehearsal rooms and gigs, as well as often not-very-good studios and released a lot of stuff independently. His greatest album is Horizon, an audience recording of a gig in Cairo in 1971. Proof if there ever was that if the performance is great it doesn't matter if the production has rough edges.

Les Rallizes Denudes comes to mind.

+1

NoSleep

  • feat. Keith Jarrett and his singing parrot
    • Space Is The Place
Re: Poorly produced albums that sound great.
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2019, 10:13:28 AM »
Chrome's Half Machine Lip Moves is both extremely poorly recorded and amazing for precisely that reason. It couldn't be better if they had agonised over every last detail but I'm guessing it's the greatest happy accident of all time.

The Faust Tapes is a bunch of demos by individual members of the group; one of their best albums.