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Old 01-01-2010, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Albums Marred by Over/Under Production

DISTANToblivion's post here gave me this thread idea. The question is simple - what albums do you think have suffered from over/under production or poor production in general? The words 'marred' and 'suffered' imply that the album should have some worth before production is taken into account so I don't want to hear any mention of Kenny G and his polished turds.

I like XTC's Skylarking but sometimes find it a bit overproduced and hard to handle. I'd prefer the production to be more akin to that of their earlier albums. Maybe I'm in the minority there? I feel that Black Sabbath Vol. 4 and Priest's Sad Wings of Destiny are a bit weak/thin sounding. And I'm not a fan of the production on Give 'Em Enough Rope (the Clash) either.

Californication is an example of a production disaster. I'm not a huge fan of the songwriting anyway (some good songs and some atrocities like Purple Stain but either way pretty run of the mill compared to the early stuff) but what the hell was Rick Rubin thinking when it came to the production? It's treble-addled, loud and annoying.

Speaking of treble, it can work sometimes... this album has possibly the harshest production I've ever heard (supposedly recorded on an 8-track in the forest) but I think it suits. Conversely, I don't think black metal necessarily demands crap production and I've always found Emperor to be underproduced since they have a lot going on but it's sometimes lost in the sound.

Unlike most, I'm not too bothered by the flat production of the Smiths' S/T. What do you guys think of the pristine production behind Steely Dan?
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I could never really get into Big Black because I hated the production so much.

Ironic really because Albini has done some fantastic production with other bands. The albums he did with The Autuers sound absolutely gorgeous.

I disagree about Volume 4, I think the way it was recorded compliments Sabbaths sound brilliantly.

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Old 01-01-2010, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i think the talking heads' later albums were overproduced...i love the days of 77, it had a certain charm about it. not to say it wasn't good...but i usually conclude that i find something overproduced when i like the music better live...and that is definitely the case for talking heads.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Cymbals on Mastodon's Crack the Sky is the first thing I think of. Everything else about that album is produced perfectly. The cymbals seem to have this phase distortion going on and are really articulated quite poorly.

I think it's fair to add that a huge problem with most studio production these days is an excessive amount of compression added in the mastering process. It's something that has become so ubiquitous that it's hardly noticeable anymore. Probably one of the most excessive and well know examples of this Is Metallica's Death Magnetic. It's practically unlistenable because of it...not that I would really want to anyways.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Muse's Black Holes and Revelations was quite poorly produced. It's really noticable too, because their first two albums were produced by John Leckie and he's a master of his craft.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A lot of raw black metal can be TOO "raw" and distorted that it just sounds like noise. I have too many examples to post. Sometimes it works unbelievably well though like in Sortsind's Sår and Brenoritvrezorkre's Vasagraebe Eakr Vatre Brenoritvrezorkre.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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instrumentals cut within four hours. thin production, under-engineered and made to sound as amateurish and hurried as possible, probably the last thing the Magic Band wanted. there's a reason Moonlight on Vermont and Veteran's Day Poppy sound so good in comparison to the rest of the album -- they were recorded and engineered at a completely different session with a different set of studio engineers. contrast this to say, something like Lick My Decals Off, Baby and the difference is palpable.

Frank Zappa, in all his wisdom, pretty much fucked over the album from the beginning.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Suede's Coming Up.
Blur's The Great Escape
Far too 90's for my liking and somewhat overproduced.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Question Most OVERPRODUCED Albums Of All Time?

Classic example is the Ramones End of the Century with Phil Spector producing. Putting his wall of sound on top of the most basic rock group ever was a disaster. You can't hear the group amid all the strings and brass, the sound is muddled, a mess.

who thought this would be a good idea?
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bogey_j View Post
who thought this would be a good idea?
Phil Spector I guess.
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