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Favorite albums, worst and best produced.

admin_exported

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I have a few albums which I cannot get to sound anywhere near as good as I would like and there are some which are fantastic.

This may open a debate about how alot of music is produced with "loudness" in mind, I'd be interested if this style of producing has ruined some of your favorite CD's too.

A album I used to love in my teen years was Morning View by Incubus.



Has some really great songs, some really hard hitting riffs with some great slow sections, Wish You Where Here is prob my fave. Used to sound great on a old midi system I had as it is a insanely LOUD album, however it sounds like rubbish on my current system. The slower sections have plenty of detail and insight but when the riffs kick in and out there is no authority or difference in sound level from the slower sections, it is so clipped it makes it hard to enjoy.

Possibly my fave all time album, Album of The Year - Faith No More.



A real mix of music on this, and listening through it sounds fantastic, Stripsearch sounds clean and tight yet musical and there's plenty of impact for the guitar heavy conclusion. Ashes to Ashes is again another song which just comes across with plenty of scale and resolution. The quiet sections are detailed yet when the chorus comes through it hits hard and you get a sense of soundstage that Morning View is lacking.

So what albums do you find sound awful even though you love the music? Also name some recordings that have been done superbly!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
U2 have made some stunning albums...and then forgot to record them well! Their musicallity is amazing, but the quality leaves alot to be desired. The same applies for Oasis' What's the story (morning glory)? which is a fantastic album musically, but is recorded quite badly. Therefore, these CDs have been transported into the cars, where they are great to drive along to or just to turn up really loud! My car (a Volvo 480) doesn't have a CD player though, so I need to get myself a really good Nakamichi cassette recorder because the car's soundsystem is very, very good on FM! (And it has dual concentric drivers like Tannoys!)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
A great recording, even if I don't enjoy the music as much as my faves would be, "Dancing in the Dragon's Jaw" by Bruce Cockburn. The song "Hills of Morning" is a great acoustic bass tester.

Some well recorded music that I truly love: Josh Ritter's "Animal Years" album, and anything by Ryan (not Bryan) Adams. Adams' Heartbreaker and Easy Tiger albums are stellar. When I want to rock, the Black Crowes, Raconteurs, Killers, etc.

The Flaming Lips also seem concerned about record quality and with their layers of sound and huge bass, their records are very well made.

Disappointments??? Some of the older remastered releases of great albums, Springsteen's Born to Run for example, seem to be less dynamic and sort of rough sounding. However, there are some done well, like the Cockburn album listed above, and Paul Simon's essentials discs.
 

Big Chris

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Apr 3, 2008
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'Miss Machine' by 'The Dillinger Escape Plan' was a huge dissapointment. 'Calculating Infinity' was a masterpiece, but Miss Machine is waaay too loud. The production completely swamps the music, and with stuff as complex as T.D.E.P, you need to hear everything that's going on.

On the flip side, 'Terria' by 'Devin Townsend' is one of the best produced (I should say "best....Period", as it's so good) albums I own. It's got it all. Bass is full and punchy, but not overdone. Treble is clear, and never shrill. You can hear everything, and the soundstsge is wide and deep.

Lots of D.Ts stuff is well produced, which begs the question, Why did he produce Lamb Of God's, 'As The Palaces Burn' so badly?
 

Sizzers

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Jun 20, 2008
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Off the top of my head one of the worst productions I've heard of an album I love is "Californication" by the Red you know who. Distorts no matter what I've listened to it through.

"Supernature" FAR too bass heavy - needs night club kit to play it through.

Currently loving Lady Gaga (as I have for months), and especially through my cans. Superb production, and pulls it all together.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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Best recorded/produced:

Blue October - 'Foiled'

Peter Gabriel - 'Hits and Misses' (greatest hits)

Rage Against The Machine - 'Self Titled'

Damien Rice - 'O'

'Chilled Classics' - compilation

WORST:

Pavarotti - 'Nessun Dorma'

Alanis Morrisette - 'Jagged Liittle Pill'
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
By far the worst produced album I've got is Children by The Mission. Apart from Tower Of Strength it's seem so flat and compressed.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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bretty: WORST:

Alanis Morrisette - 'Jagged Liittle Pill'

I actually quite like the album's raw presentation....


The Circus by Lenny Kravitz is a really badly produced album, but mainly because he doesn't like digital, and recorded and mixed it on old mics and mixing desks, resulting in a distorted, somewhat compressed sort of presentation. Still one of my favourite albums though.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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mrbungle:I have a few albums which I cannot get to sound anywhere near as good as I would like and there are some which are fantastic.This may open a debate about how alot of music is produced with "loudness" in mind, I'd be interested if this style of producing has ruined some of your favorite CD's too.A album I used to love in my teen years was Morning View by Incubus.
Has some really great songs, some really hard hitting riffs with some great slow sections, Wish You Where Here is prob my fave. Used to sound great on a old midi system I had as it is a insanely LOUD album, however it sounds like rubbish on my current system. The slower sections have plenty of detail and insight but when the riffs kick in and out there is no authority or difference in sound level from the slower sections, it is so clipped it makes it hard to enjoy.Possibly my fave all time album, Album of The Year - Faith No More.
A real mix of music on this, and listening through it sounds fantastic, Stripsearch sounds clean and tight yet musical and there's plenty of impact for the guitar heavy conclusion. Ashes to Ashes is again another song which just comes across with plenty of scale and resolution. The quiet sections are detailed yet when the chorus comes through it hits hard and you get a sense of soundstage that Morning View is lacking. So what albums do you find sound awful even though you love the music? Also name some recordings that have been done superbly!

Hey,

From your user name, i'm surprised Mr Bungle's first album didn't make your list. Full, funky bass, crunching guitars, snappy snare drum and clear as a bell vocals. Great stuff.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
After reading Sizzers comments about Californication by RHCP I put it on at the weekend. I only expected it to be beautifully tidy but I get distortion too. I have a NAD C655BEE and a pair of KEF IQ5SE. I listened to it of my ipod though a CA id10 dock. Anyone else get this distortion? Do you think its just a good album for showing up any faults on a setup (no offense Sizzer), or badly recorded in the first place?...
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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si_marks:
After reading Sizzers comments about Californication by RHCP I put it on at the weekend. I only expected it to be beautifully tidy but I get distortion too. I have a NAD C655BEE and a pair of KEF IQ5SE. I listened to it of my ipod though a CA id10 dock. Anyone else get this distortion? Do you think its just a good album for showing up any faults on a setup (no offense Sizzer), or badly recorded in the first place?...

Hi,

'Californication' is infamous for being horrendously recorded. A case of 'lets turn everything up to 11! RAWK RULES!!'

Have a wee look on google, there's plenty of articles quoting sound engineers, saying it's the worst of modern times (all time, me thinks).
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
That is bizarre!!! For a classic album, the amount of support they had for it and the budget I can only imagine they had how could they go wrong?!?!!!!
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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FrankHarveyHiFi:bretty: WORST:
Alanis Morrisette - 'Jagged Liittle Pill'

I actually quite like the album's raw presentation....


I think it's probably fine on a warm sounding system, but its ear-piercingly bright treble made it unlistenable, for me. Mildly annoying at low levels, actually painful when cranked up. Shame, 'cos it used to be a fave of mine!
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This is an interesting thread and thought I might contribute...

There are 3 albums that I regularly use for auditioning systems as I feel they have a nice broad range of styles and are beautifully recorded and produced... James Taylor...Hourglass, George Michael...Older and Peter Gabriel..So (remastered).

If I had to include another it would be either Off the Wall or Thriller by Michael Jackson with Mr Quincy Jones at the controls...it may be a tad overblown at times but it's hard to fault the quality of the mix and layering of instruments/vocal, or one of the new Beatles remastered albums (Revolver probably) Don't know what that says about my musical taste but there we go...

As for worst records (regarding production) I have to agree that I haven't yet managed to listen to a whole Oasis album at home even though I am a big fan and only ever listen to them on the radio or in the car !! Again U2 annoyingly make a right mess in the studio and wish they could really put down their live energy into a recording...it would be a belter!

However the best production I have ever heard, or have in my collection, is Roger Waters...Amused To Death. Not the easiest album to listen to regarding content but sublime in it's clarity and detail, a real system tester and truly beautiful album in places.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
That's a bit harsh on U2. I think their first three albums Boy, October and War sound very good. Steve Lillywhite did a good job of capturing their slightly rough sound. Personally I think U2 started going downhil at the start of side 2 of The Unforgettable Fire.

As for Amused to Death I agree it is a hard listen. Especially as there is no real gaps in the songs so ideally it has to be listened to as one complete piece of work. I remember the News Of The World review which just said "Bored to Death". I think The Pros And Cons is his best album. Maybe not the best produced.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
bretty:si_marks:

After reading Sizzers comments about Californication by RHCP I put it on at the weekend. I only expected it to be beautifully tidy but I get distortion too. I have a NAD C655BEE and a pair of KEF IQ5SE. I listened to it of my ipod though a CA id10 dock. Anyone else get this distortion? Do you think its just a good album for showing up any faults on a setup (no offense Sizzer), or badly recorded in the first place?...

Hi,

'Californication' is infamous for being horrendously recorded. A case of 'lets turn everything up to 11! RAWK RULES!!'

Have a wee look on google, there's plenty of articles quoting sound engineers, saying it's the worst of modern times (all time, me thinks).

...or maybe it was recorded just as Rick Rubin intended? I too have listened to the LP extensively and there is always a slight top end treble slight crackle particularly on "Otherside." But if you know the history of the LP, where it was recorded and the way in which Rubin works - it certainly cannot be accused of being over-produced or crafted at the mixing stage.

Conversely I would say that the Johnny Cash American Recordings, also by Rubin, are amongst my favorite recordings for giving you the whole song, the artists and a real sense of being there.

I always smile when I see the hi fi world talking about 'accuracy' as if they were there and in the mind of the artists, technicians and producers, when the music was conceived and then again when it was captured for our consumption.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
.......albums that can be hard to fully enjoy due to system or acoustics stuff, but that I still love:

Placebo - Without you I am Nothing. This can really grate.

The Strokes - Is this It. Sooo thin sounding.

Oasis first LP - Liam G voice can really annoy, but I love the songs. One band that should have done same as Stone Roses.
 

bretty

New member
Jul 20, 2007
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I'm listening to the HDCD remaster of Bryan Ferry's 'Boys and Girls'. Great recording. Clear as a bell and great separation.
 

bluenose

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Apr 28, 2008
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MeatLoafs Bat Out of Hell, one of my all time faves but it just doesnt get any better than it sounded on my old Fidelity music centre. Seems to have had a bass by-pass, all top end. I dont think its my gear, I've just repositioned my set up & I'm hearing bass and particularly drums much more clearly. Having just played Quadrophenia I've just got a real feel for Moons drumming for the first time, similar with The Jams All Mod Cons. This is all on vinyl.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Anything produced by Linn, especially jazz and Martin Taylor sound fantastic, clear as a bell, can hear all the finger noise on strings and on a lot of tracks you can hear him breathing while he gets into it. Every single jazz recording i have on Blue Note is pathetic, especially the older Django and Montgomery recordings.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Lenny Kravitz, The Circus. Quite a dark album in places as it was written just after his mother died, but for me it is his best. The drumming is very Led Zep, even some of the guitar riffs. The production leaves much to be desired - distortion is the order of the day, partly because he used old mics and old analogue mixing desks to produce that sound, as he doesn't like CD and it's sterile sound. You can even hear the drummers stool creaking in a few parts. Great album.

Red Hot Chili Pepper's Blood Sugar Sex Magic is another album I like, not for it's recording quality, but more for it's rawness. They hired an empty house (in Hollywood somewhere I believe) and wrote and recorded the album there - no furnishings, no carpet, just the band in a large, totally empty room. Whle the recording quality doesn't give this away easily, there are a couple of parts which do. But like I said, it's the album's pure raw sound that makes this album sound great, along with quality musical performances from the band.
 

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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bluenose:MeatLoafs Bat Out of Hell, one of my all time faves but it just doesnt get any better than it sounded on my old Fidelity music centre.

I'll second that. Always a disappointment, even the so-called 'remastered' version.

Also, by contrast, much of what I hear of The Enid fails to make the grade in terms of quality, to my ears. I really enjoy their music, but find production lacks that polish that would make the recordings an outstanding listen. However, there is hope: I have learned that a couple of their discs are being re-issued as re-masters and at under a tenner to-boot. I may just give 'em a try.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Metropolis part 2........... from dream theater is a great album, and the production is great separation and detail are exceptional. I love Dark Side of the Moon and Wish you where here too, great albums and production.
 

ESP2009

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Feb 16, 2009
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xon501:Metropolis part 2........... from dream theater is a great album, and the production is great separation and detail are exceptional. I love Dark Side of the Moon and Wish you where here too, great albums and production.

 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I love the Mobile Fidelity Gold CD version of Jethro Tull's seminal "songs from the wood" album - great dynamics and sound - ever so slightly 'bright' but otherwise awesome, and a great folk/rock mix that captured a band at its zenith with its best ever lineup (IMHO).

I also like the original version of Rush's Moving Pictures album, especially the track "camera eye" - the remastered version is OK too. Wish I had the Mobile Fidelity one...

Tori Amos "Boys for Pele" (original version) is a superb recording -the album has its ups and downs but you can't fault the clarity and dynamic nature of the recording on CD

Howlers - I think some Muse and Placebo CDs exhibit the classic modern tendency to over-compress and turn the volume to 11 - very hard to listen to in one sitting just for that reason.

Yes - Yessonngs - superb live album but awful, awful mastering and recording - just so flat and lifeless, unlike the playing which is superb - big disappointment
 

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