Author Topic: Artists who lose something when recorded  (Read 1492 times)

Clownbaby

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Artists who lose something when recorded
« on: April 03, 2019, 11:22:38 AM »
I caught Anna Calvi, who had never previously been on my radar, on BBC 6 Music the other day and I thought OOH I LOVE THIS and really enjoyed the loud and sireny bombast of it, so I downloaded her album Hunter the next day and everything sounded a bit thin and didn't have the same sort of momentum and sexual tension at all. It actually just sounded like a fairly average Indie-goth album that I'd heard many times before. Plus I could hear the iffy lyrics. I still like it, but not half as much as that live performance

Benjamin Clementine's novelty wore off for me very quickly after I bought his debut album and realised he wasn't such a brave vocalist recorded as he was when singing live and a lot of the instrumental actually sounded a bit flat and characterless. He said he had more freedom for his second album I Tell A Fly but that just sounded a bit of a mess to be fair. Sounds much better live though.

I know most people dislike Muse anyway and they haven't done a album that doesn't induce cringe in about 12 years but I still think they're fabulous performers live. I caught them at Leeds and all their naff Doctor Who Queen and George Michael rip-off wubbin' dubstep shite was actually a lot of fun and had a kitschy appeal that it all somehow missed in recording despite them presumably going for that? I don't know.

There's got to be more. I'm often catching bands I don't know live and falling in love and then being completely underwhelmed by their actual recorded music.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2019, 12:43:12 PM »
Many years ago I caught the then unknown The La's on a "Late Night 'In Concert" show in the wee small hours on ITV. The gig was truly excellent and made me seek out their newly released single "There She Goes"

Whilst not at all disappointed by the single (with the B-side track Man I'm Only Human being a stand out) I found their debut album really underwhelming. It lacked the rough energy of the concert I had watched, coming across a bit polite and limp.

Thankfully their subsequent albums stuffed full of Lee Mavers bangers more than made up for it.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 12:49:00 PM »
I think this can be said for the majority of noisy guitar rock bands, with volume being an instrument and essential to their dynamic, if you just listen to it on your crappy stereo at home, it won't sound anything near as good as the howling hurrican force of a live gig.

thecuriousorange

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 12:51:31 PM »
There are also many artists who make fantastic records but are terrible live.

imitationleather

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 12:56:34 PM »
You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste. But when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humour.


Clownbaby

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 01:47:59 PM »
There are also many artists who make fantastic records but are terrible live.

I smell a new thread

wosl

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 02:31:56 PM »
I'm catching a whiff of New Order.

Lordofthefiles

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 02:35:05 PM »
The Grateful Dead.

Albums are OK but listen to a live recording and the music becomes 3D (or even 4D if you drink the Kool Aid).

wosl

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 02:46:57 PM »
I can't confirm this since I've never seen either live, but I imagine yer epic, gradual-build-to-cathartic-crescendo bands like Godspeed and Sigur Ros are far more of a knockout live, when you add in the projections and other particularities of the staging and whatnot on top.

NoSleep

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 03:04:22 PM »
As good an album as "You" is, I saw the same band perform that material far better onstage. The sad thing is there is no live recording I can find from the same year (1974), only recordings where one or another member is missing. The only live recording of the same lineup is from the free concert at Hyde Park that they played but that is buried below layers of hiss and re-re-re-copying; which is a shame as Pierre Moerlen said this was the best gig that he played with the band.

buzby

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 03:09:48 PM »
I'm catching a whiff of New Order.
For the other thread mooted above, surely? They used to be the epitomy of an unpredictable live act, to say the least (due to their general lacksadaisical nature, problems with equipment and Bernard's reliance on alcohol and substances to overcome his stage fright) but in their 80s heyday they never managed to consistently reproduce live versions of tracks like Your Silent Face and  Thieves Like Us that rivalled the recorded versions.

wosl

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2019, 03:22:33 PM »
For the other thread mooted above, surely?

Yeah soz, that was in response to the 'combined' Clownbaby/curiousorange post.

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2019, 04:14:14 PM »
Phish.

DEVO.

alan nagsworth

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2019, 05:42:53 PM »
Mogwai.

Happy Songs For Happy People is a blinder of an album but almost everything else they've recorded is massively boring to me. There's no magic, it just doesn't sound right and it's not engaging at all. But on stage they're utterly astounding. Caught them at ATP doing some of the big ones such as Like Herod and was like "woof!". Gave it another try at home and the old dog barely twitched a whisker.

In fairness quite a lot of post-rock stuff (I'm on about yer Explosions In The Sky and yer God Is An Astronaut and all those other bands with TOTAL PISS names, not the better stuff like Tortoise or Do Make Say Think) would probably get a similar reaction out of me. Try holding my attention at home with a 12 minute song that goes bbbbbbuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiilllllllLLLLLDDD CRESCENDOOOOO and I'd tell you to fuck off home even if it was your house, but on stage when I've got fuck all better to do than watch it, it's probably quite good.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2019, 05:44:51 PM »
Dr Feelgood

alan nagsworth

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2019, 06:40:16 PM »
Tell you who's the most middle of the road uninspiring psych/noise rock band on record? Bo Ningen.

Tell you who's rightfully an extremely popular mainstay of the British gig/festival circuit because they're hair-slinging din-making wild beasts of repetitious swirling noisy jams? The Travelling Wilburys.

Shit, no, I mean Bo Ningen.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2019, 07:15:37 PM »
Saturday morning at V Festival about 15 years ago (maybe longer, actually) I was ambling up towards the second stage a bit worse for wear from the night before and caught the start of El Presidente's set. I'd never heard of them before but they sounded funky as fuck and the little singer in his white suit had a Prince falsetto thing going on, danced well too. So we stayed and watched and they were brilliant, almost the best thing of the weekend (which wasn't hard I suppose, it was a V after all).

Next time I saw them was on some show with Lorraine Kelly in the morning when I was going to work and they were as shit as you could imagine somebody in that slot being. Then a few weeks later my mate got tickets to see them in Liverpool Uni and I grudgingly went along, I'm so glad I did because it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to, one of the tightest bands I've ever seen, loads of presence, great voices, the lot. In front of about 30 people.

Bought the album on the strength of it and it was a load of overproduced, sub-Jamiroquai (if such a level of poor exists), box-ticking shite pop-funk. Still don't know what my true opinion of them is if I'm honest.

imitationleather

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 07:22:26 PM »
Saturday morning at V Festival about 15 years ago (maybe longer, actually) I was ambling up towards the second stage a bit worse for wear from the night before and caught the start of El Presidente's set. I'd never heard of them before but they sounded funky as fuck and the little singer in his white suit had a Prince falsetto thing going on, danced well too. So we stayed and watched and they were brilliant, almost the best thing of the weekend (which wasn't hard I suppose, it was a V after all).

Next time I saw them was on some show with Lorraine Kelly in the morning when I was going to work and they were as shit as you could imagine somebody in that slot being. Then a few weeks later my mate got tickets to see them in Liverpool Uni and I grudgingly went along, I'm so glad I did because it was one of the best gigs I've ever been to, one of the tightest bands I've ever seen, loads of presence, great voices, the lot. In front of about 30 people.

Bought the album on the strength of it and it was a load of overproduced, sub-Jamiroquai (if such a level of poor exists), box-ticking shite pop-funk. Still don't know what my true opinion of them is if I'm honest.

All I remember about El Presidente is that the drummer stirred something within my teenage self.

Glebe

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2019, 07:31:22 PM »
The first Nomeansno album I heard was 'Live+Cuddly' , courtesy of my brother, who saw them live a couple of times... I missed out on that, but I subsequently discovered that their studio albums sounded very staid compared to their incredible live energy on that record.

Never got to see Nirvana live as a wee lad, but I remember seeing this on some music show before In Utero came out... I actually much prefer it to the studio version:

Nirvana - All Apologies (Live at Reading 1992).

Phil_A

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2019, 07:50:52 PM »
Bowie hot take incoming: The Spiders were a much more powerful and exciting band live than on record.

My first exposure to Ziggy Stardust era Bowie was the double LP of the final Ziggy show, and subsequently the studio versions of those songs have always sounded a bit of a letdown compared to the full force of the Spiders live.

Moonage Daydream in particular sounds so wimpy on record compared to this version, plus stuff from earlier albums like Width Of A Circle(with extended Ronson freakout) and Wild-Eyed Boy From Freecloud are completely transformed by the energy and confidence of the band.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2019, 07:57:19 PM »
Mogwai.

Happy Songs For Happy People is a blinder of an album but almost everything else they've recorded is massively boring to me. There's no magic, it just doesn't sound right and it's not engaging at all. But on stage they're utterly astounding. Caught them at ATP doing some of the big ones such as Like Herod and was like "woof!". Gave it another try at home and the old dog barely twitched a whisker.

In fairness quite a lot of post-rock stuff (I'm on about yer Explosions In The Sky and yer God Is An Astronaut and all those other bands with TOTAL PISS names, not the better stuff like Tortoise or Do Make Say Think) would probably get a similar reaction out of me. Try holding my attention at home with a 12 minute song that goes bbbbbbuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiilllllllLLLLLDDD CRESCENDOOOOO and I'd tell you to fuck off home even if it was your house, but on stage when I've got fuck all better to do than watch it, it's probably quite good.


Inversely, I love GYBE! on record but the bore the shit out of me live.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2019, 09:01:30 PM »
Many years ago I caught the then unknown The La's on a "Late Night 'In Concert" show in the wee small hours on ITV. The gig was truly excellent and made me seek out their newly released single "There She Goes"

Whilst not at all disappointed by the single (with the B-side track Man I'm Only Human being a stand out) I found their debut album really underwhelming. It lacked the rough energy of the concert I had watched, coming across a bit polite and limp.

Thankfully their subsequent albums stuffed full of Lee Mavers bangers more than made up for it.

mavers was famously unhappy with the way the album came out. I saw them several times in the bar of the everyman theatre in liverpool, when they had some sort of sunday night residency there, & it was always a good night out. saw them once in london & the magic was gone. I dunno- I think if he'd got his way with the production, it could've been a great album.


You like Huey Lewis and the News? Their early work was a little too new wave for my taste. But when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humour.

nicely embossed.

polly harvey's the one for me- I'd far rather see her & the lads live on stage (& have done loads, since back in the too pure days); I find the albums a bit laboured.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2019, 09:36:25 PM »
Dumpy's Rusty Nuts
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Sin Agog

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2019, 09:41:07 PM »
Bit nonplussed by most of The Ventures' recorded output, tame retirement home-friendly muzak that it is, but their Live in Japan '65 album's completely sizzling.  Not surprised that they singlehandedly started a whole scene out there called Group Sound.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2019, 11:51:34 PM »
For the other thread mooted above, surely? They used to be the epitomy of an unpredictable live act, to say the least (due to their general lacksadaisical nature, problems with equipment and Bernard's reliance on alcohol and substances to overcome his stage fright) but in their 80s heyday they never managed to consistently reproduce live versions of tracks like Your Silent Face and  Thieves Like Us that rivalled the recorded versions.

They were all over the place, some live versions were so much better than the recorded ones but also vice versa was true too. On their night though, they were transcendent, especially in the 81-82 period.

Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2019, 12:12:45 AM »
It is my understanding that the pre-1966 Kinks were supposed to be an absolutely blistering live act, and that their records at the time spectacularly fail to capture this

MiddleRabbit

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2019, 09:56:36 AM »
Many years ago I caught the then unknown The La's on a "Late Night 'In Concert" show in the wee small hours on ITV. The gig was truly excellent and made me seek out their newly released single "There She Goes"

Whilst not at all disappointed by the single (with the B-side track Man I'm Only Human being a stand out) I found their debut album really underwhelming. It lacked the rough energy of the concert I had watched, coming across a bit polite and limp.

Thankfully their subsequent albums stuffed full of Lee Mavers bangers more than made up for it.

Ironically, I really like that version of TSG, the Bob Andrews one.  I also thought the version of IOU that appeared on a later b side was great as well.  I didn't dig Who Knows or Man, I'm Only Human though.  Not the sound so much as how dirgey they were.

That gig had Barry Sutton on guitar who was replaced (briefly) by John 'Boo' Byrne for the recording of TSG, Sutton was back for the video though.

They played the Hull Adelphi every month and they were always great.

The album was anaemic sounding though.

Even more ironically, Cast also played every month at The Adelphi and they were great too.  I was looking forward to their records as I had a demo that was ace.  Imagine my disappointment when Fine Time came out and it made The La's album sound like it was the greatest thing in the world. 

The Stone Roses' records certainly lost the live experience of Ian Brown 'shouting into a bucket', as he sometimes did, Leckie - the producer - said he sang nicely in the studio and never had any issues with it.  Must've been all the monkeying around onstage.  Or monitors.  Or something.

Clownbaby

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2019, 10:17:15 AM »
polly harvey's the one for me- I'd far rather see her & the lads live on stage (& have done loads, since back in the too pure days); I find the albums a bit laboured.

Same. Apart from To Bring You My Love, I've always thought her albums are very flatly mixed

Clownbaby

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2019, 10:20:53 AM »
Phish.

DEVO.

I love DEVO but I've always been secretly disappointed that all their other albums departed so much from what was going on on Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO cause that is one of my favourite albums of all time, and as much as I like the more electronic songs they did after I just want more debut album and Hardcore DEVO manicness.

lebowskibukowski

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Re: Artists who lose something when recorded
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2019, 10:25:03 AM »
Guitar Wolf are probably the best band I have ever seen live, but by God the recordings are dull.