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What's the worst commercial production you know of?


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In the annals of popular recorded music since, say 1955-- What's the absolute worst produced/engineered recording you know of? And I mean, which charted in an impressive way?

 

One of my favorite old R&B records is "Sally, Go 'Round The Roses" by The Jaynettes (1963). It's a production... that is a non-production. It literally sounds as though the whole performance were recorded live in a practice room through one lousy mike, with no post treatment to speak of.

 

Yet I love this curious little recording, made God-knows-where.

 

Others?

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Rush - Vapor Trails. (& I love those guys.)

 

The Stooges - Raw Power (original release). Proof David Bowie, as talented as he is, had no business producing or mixing a record. Love that record, and had it been mixed properly, would have been a massive commercial success.

 

St. Anger? x1000 What a piece of {censored}e.

Come to think of it "AJFA" sucked too. Where's the bass?

 

As far as more recent "hit" records go Incubus' Morning View CD sounds like crap.

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Off the top of my head, the first thing that comes to mind is Journey's "Captured" album.

 

Good GOD, is that thing ear-bending. I noted that it was really guitar-heavy, the kind where no amount of EQ could get rid of the problem...then I later discovered that Neal Schon's guitar tech basically had oversight of the whole thing.

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Originally posted by offramp

Off the top of my head, the first thing that comes to mind is Journey's "Captured" album.


Good GOD, is that thing ear-bending. I noted that it was really guitar-heavy, the kind where no amount of EQ could get rid of the problem...then I later discovered that Neal Schon's guitar tech basically had oversight of the whole thing.

 

I don't remember that being super guitar-heavy. Interesting. I recall it being really bombastic, as if the whole thing was recorded in a coliseum, but I also thought it was relatively well-balanced and had a lot of synths. Bear in mind that I haven't exactly listened to this recently... :D

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Now... first let me say that I think it's, overall, a great record and a landmark of its time and I would NOT want anyone to touch one waveform in the original master mixes... but ever since I sat down and listened to Derek and the Dominos again for the first time in a few decades, all the way through on good speakers I found myself thinking... wow... great record but some really rough, noisy, messy recording.

 

But like I said I'll lay myself down in the roadway in front of anyone driving over to remix or substantially remaster that album. And consider the sacrifice noble.

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Does anybody from the recording forum remember the guy that did the St. Anger spoof? Shortly after the album came out, some guy on the recording forum recorded something that was either a spoof of a specific song or just something in that style and i think it somehow ended up on some LA radio stations. Anyway, the funny part (besides how it sounded) was that when he posted a pic of drum setup he used, his snare drum was a metal chair.

 

And yeah i reccomend everbody watch that Some Kind of Monster DVD for the pure humor of it (especially if you're not a metallica fan).

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The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat

 

Lou Reed claims the engineer left the control room in disgust after the first couple of minutes of recording and just told the band to press the stop button on the tape machine when they were done. He couldn't stand to listen to the music or operate the faders. You have to wonder whether any amount of "production" could have made this album sound "polished." That wasn't the point of the album. The real question is whether you could ever make an album like that without smack?

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Well even their first album, which had some heavily produced numbers on it had European Son (to Delmore Schwartz)... justly infamous for covering up the sound of a very clumsy edit with the sound effect of a toilet flushing... that used to SLAY me... but then I'd usually wander off and start cleaning house or something a minute or so into the "jam"...

 

The say drugs have personalities -- and I believe there's a certain amount of poetic truth to that. But think of the complex "personality" that would have to be behind European Son and also behind something like Kinda Blue...

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Originally posted by gtrbass

Come to think of it "AJFA" sucked too. Where's the bass?

 

Not to mention the fact that there seems to be at least 2 if not 3 distinct production styles on that album. That bugs the hell out of me. The only song that really sounds good on that album (to me) is "Dyer's Eve". But even that one has no bass.

 

Why do you think Jason Newstead looks so angry in the album pictures? :p

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One that comes to mind immediately is Lamb of God's "New American Gospel". Disgustingly distorted. I like the album, but I can't listen to it very often because it's so distorted. And to a somewhat lesser extent so is their second album "As the Palaces Burn", which is why I listen to their third album the most (and its the one I like least).

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Originally posted by UstadKhanAli



I don't remember that being super guitar-heavy. Interesting. I recall it being really bombastic, as if the whole thing was recorded in a coliseum, but I also thought it was relatively well-balanced and had a lot of synths. Bear in mind that I haven't exactly listened to this recently...
:D

 

Well, neither have I. I just remember listening to the record, and realizing that, after a short while, I was fatigued. I noticed that the guitar was the most oppressive instrument in the mix. I then tried to run it through a graphic eq, and had no luck in removing the ear-pressing presence of the guitar.

Then, when I saw the credits, that his tech had recorded and mixed the album, it all made sense, as Kevin was likely suffering from a handicap in that part of the spectrum, thereby pushing the mix to accomodate something that wasn't missing in the first place.

 

Which is all too bad, as I thought "Dixie Highway" kicked some serious ass.:thu:

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Originally posted by Bossa

The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat


Lou Reed claims the engineer left the control room in disgust after the first couple of minutes of recording and just told the band to press the stop button on the tape machine when they were done. He couldn't stand to listen to the music or operate the faders. You have to wonder whether any amount of "production" could have made this album sound "polished." That wasn't the point of the album. The real question is whether you could ever make an album like that without smack?

 

In light of that, I suppose it's a miracle that it was recorded! It sounds awful technically, but I still really love it.

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I heard "House of the Rising Sun" the other day in the car on an FM oldies station. For some reason, for the first time I noticed how awful the mix was. The loudest element was the organ. At a somewhat audible level behind you could hear the lead vox, cymbals, and bass - in that order. Barely audible was the rest of the drums. If there was any guitar at all, I couldn't hear it with the automobile engine on.

 

It's still a classic song, and at the time it came out, everyone loved it. But it's funny how I listen to thing differently since I've gotten into the production end of the business.

 

I wonder if the radio version I was hearing was some sort of disastrous remaster?

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