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Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

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Content aside, which of these sounds the worst?

Fugazi - Steady Diet of Nothing
0
No votes
Husker Du - Warehouse: Songs and Stories
6
20%
Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power (original)
5
17%
Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power (1997 remix)
1
3%
Metallica - ...And Justice For All
1
3%
Metallica - St. Anger
8
27%
ZZ Top - several LPs (1987 remixes)
8
27%
they all sound great/I have no hearing
1
3%
 
Total votes : 30

Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby numberthirty on Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:15 pm

154 wrote:If St. Anger weren't such a pile of shit (hard to imagine, I know) I don't think the production would be as loathed. Ok the snare will always be baffling but otherwise the production isn't far off from Meshuggah or something.

The ZZ Top remix thing is unforgivable and worse, they never undid those versions. I'm sure you could go buy one of those CDs at WalMart right now..


Man, that is a tough one.

Around that time, I think that the folks involved(Metallica/Bob Rock) thought that they were making a record with a "Raw" sound.

While I tend to agree that if you took the material from Load it might be less of a tire fire, I think their collective version of a "Raw" sound hurt that album.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby numberthirty on Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:16 pm

If we are talking Ozzy records, the "Jake" period absolutely sounded worse than Blizzard... or Diary.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Get dog costumes on Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:37 am

Tommy wrote:
tallchris wrote:Also, I feel like Steady Diet is just sort of a boring sounding/performed record. If that was the only Fugazi record, I'm sure it wouldn't be thought of as "worst mastered/mixed/produced".


Fair.

I still think it is one of the better-sounding Fugazi records amidst a bunch of great sounding records. I don't get what everyone hates. Is it that everything is clearer sounding and it has a greater separation of instruments? Everyone loves Kill Taker but everything about that record is less interesting to me. It definitely has more attitude, but I just don't prefer the way it's recorded. The high end is all crunchy on it. The kick on Public Witness Program sounds like ass.

Steady Diet sounds like a modern demo - clear and technical-sounding, and you can tell what everybody's doing. It should not have been the final version of any of those songs. The songs that depend on note-riffing (Latin Roots, KYEO, Nice new outfit) sound wimpy. Reclamation needs big, dubby, "Recap modotti"-esque bass under a wall of guitar distortion. It gets neither and is the worst-recorded song in their whole catalog. Only "Long Division," the chillest cut, sounds all right.

In On the Kill Taker is an all-time great recording to me. I love the super crackly guitars and percussion. No, I wouldn't want that bass or kick - or those guitars - on every record, but everything fits together perfectly. I enjoyed hearing little details on their later records become apparent with repeated listens, but I also like how I could hear all of Joe Lally's little variations and articulations on Kill Taker the first time through. I wouldn't change a change a thing on that record. Makes me want to hear Ted Niceley's Shellac album.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby sulfur)addict on Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:22 am

Make Them Die Slowly is the first one to come to mind. Music I'd probably be into if it weren't for the godawful quality of its recording.

Of those listed, the ZZ Top remixes. See also: that sped up Rock For Light where HR sounds like he's on helium.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby jakethesnake on Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:43 am

sulfur)addict wrote:Make Them Die Slowly is the first one to come to mind. Music I'd probably be into if it weren't for the godawful quality of its recording.


As already proven by Motörheads "Orgasmatron", Laswell really had no business producing "heavy rock"-albums. I've noticed that *some* people think his production style on those records was "interesting" because they don't sound like you expect these type of records to sound but I don't get that; it sounds like shit...

Regarding Iggys remix of "Raw Power", I agree that it sounded like shit on the original, digitally distorted and brickwalled CD but the vinyl remaster of said mix from a few years back is quite easily the best version of "Raw Power" I've heard; just goes to show that the issue wasn't really Iggys mix (which brought up some really cool stuff in the mix like the celeste in "Penetration" being more audible for example) but rather the late 90s mastering... Iggy is still to blame though because in the liner-notes, he mentioned that he wanted it to be mastered ultra-loud and distorted
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Christopher on Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:35 am

The last two Low records come to mind. I know there's good music in there, so I'm completely baffled why they keep letting some raver kid step all over it with awful electronica mixing clichés and ear-destroying digital distortion.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:57 am

I definitely had problems with the sound of Ones and Sixes, but Double Negative sounds great.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Christopher on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:06 am

A_Man_Who_Tries wrote:Double Negative sounds grate.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby tallchris on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:14 am

154 wrote:The ZZ Top remix thing is unforgivable and worse, they never undid those versions. I'm sure you could go buy one of those CDs at WalMart right now..


The original mixes are on Spotify now! Not sure if it's under the original albums, or just as part of a box set, but they're definitely available! I think I read that it's all safety masters, so not 1st generation. Same with any recent vinyl repressings.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Dudley on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:31 am

Christopher wrote:The last two Low records come to mind. I know there's good music in there, so I'm completely baffled why they keep letting some raver kid step all over it with awful electronica mixing clichés and ear-destroying digital distortion.


i kind of agree, but... but... I think it's slightly different, in that it was a really deliberate decision by the band. I don't like the sound of it. I love Low, but to me, it sounds like they wanted to "update their sound" but it feels like a continuation of choosing Fridmann. I love the Fridmann records, maybe in time I'll love this one. I'm up for them becoming more electronic, it's the cliches and the "dang it, we're down with the yoof"-ness of it that I struggle with.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Heaven is in your beard on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:52 am

Agreed about "Warehouse : Songs and Stories" (and "Candy Apple Grey" too, for that matter). Always have to whack the bass up on my EQ before I listen to either of those. If there's one band whose back catalogue is crying out for a remaster it's Husker Du, but I'm not holding my breath.

Booth versions of "Raw Power" have their own flaws, although - as jakethesnake points out above - I've also heard that the version of Iggy's remix that's out on double vinyl along with the original sounds much better than the brickwalled-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life CD. Shame I don't have a record player anymore to confirm. Maybe someone will upload a needledrop somewhere.

Oh, and one more that wasn't included in the poll - the original UK mono pressing of "Pet Sounds"(which a friend of mine bought from Music and Video Exchange). It's not the actual mono mix, but the fake duophonic stereo mix collapsed to mono. It sounds like two copies of the album being played simultaneously, underwater, on two wobbly turntables with pitch variation issues and a slight time delay between them to boot. It is quite literally the worst sounding record I have ever heard.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby kerble on Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:29 pm

Christopher wrote:The last two Low records come to mind. I know there's good music in there, so I'm completely baffled why they keep letting some raver kid step all over it with awful electronica mixing clichés and ear-destroying digital distortion.


Wife and I saw them in a tiny tiny venue between these two records (we sat next to FM Mayfair!), and I wholeheartedly agree. I'd rather listen to a recording of that set, the way they play them live, than either record. Sparhawk's guitar sound was still disintegrating, but it wasn't so overt and ugly. Drums and Guns was the last record they did where I dig the production.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby llllllllllllllllllllllll on Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:10 pm

Maybe not the worst but I recently put Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It In People in the car after not hearing it for a long time, just because I figured my wife would like it. It sounds like total shit.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby tallchris on Thu Oct 17, 2019 4:21 pm

There are albums I absolutely love that frankly I don't think sound all that great.

Yeah, pretty much all the Spot SST stuff, etc, but I think that Wiper's Over The Edge is my favorite album that I wish didn't sound kinda crappy overall, but it's probably as good as early 80's DIY 8-track homerecording was going to sound, and better than if they'd gotten Boston'd or Journey'd or something by some local studio hack.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby Bernardo on Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:41 pm

There are a lot of mid to late 80's independent rock records that sound really off. For some reason Honor Role's stuff comes to mind, it's just kinda stiff and clinical-sounding, like a cheap version of a big budget record. There are many examples, Meat Puppets' mid-period stuff, the last minutemen album, etc.

Also, anything Greg Fidelman.

St Anger sounds like ass, but at least that makes sure there's something to discuss about it, because musically there's nothing in it.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby numberthirty on Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:44 pm

Along the lines of what Bernardo and Tallchris have said, the entire Unbroken discography is one where I find myself thinking "This deserved just a little bit better."

Not that they sound bad, but it's not really up to the level of that band's playing. So much stuff they were doing that was a little ahead of their time.

I'd settle for just better versions of Ritual and Life. Love. Regret.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby askii on Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:06 pm

Bad-sounding means unflattering to the content regardless of technical quality, right? That's how I think of it, anyway. St. Anger is a piece of shit that sounds like a piece of shit, so it's fine. My feelings about Justice are complicated (first real metal album I ever heard, etc.), but I can't imagine it any other way. The 2018 remaster jacked up the bass EQ, but other aspects suffer and it just sounds off, plus it's bricked (not like Death Magnetic, but still). However, it turns out the original 2XLP DMM pressing (who knew?) has just enough Newkid to be perceptible, and sounds fucking awesome otherwise. The definitive version to me.

Ike wrote:This is a really, really GREAT album, so doesn't fit the bill here at all, but the last Pile album sounds super weird to me. All recorded, mixed, and mastered by the same person I see.

I don't have it on vinyl, so maybe that's a better cut?

The digital version is quiet and a little muddy at times. I love the album, though.

Just got the vinyl in the mail, will report back. I haven't loved the sound of their releases since Dripping, TBH. Too bad, because that one and Magic Isn't Real sound massive, and IIRC they've been recording at the same place at least until recently.

jakethesnake wrote:Regarding Iggys remix of "Raw Power", I agree that it sounded like shit on the original, digitally distorted and brickwalled CD but the vinyl remaster of said mix from a few years back is quite easily the best version of "Raw Power" I've heard; just goes to show that the issue wasn't really Iggys mix (which brought up some really cool stuff in the mix like the celeste in "Penetration" being more audible for example) but rather the late 90s mastering... Iggy is still to blame though because in the liner-notes, he mentioned that he wanted it to be mastered ultra-loud and distorted

Did not know about this vinyl remaster of the remix; I'll have to track it down. Of the poll options, the original Raw Power gets my vote. Steady Diet is my least-favorite Fugazi album sonically for pretty much the reasons FM Get dog costumes described, but it's not that bad. Warehouse sounds like ass, but so does New Day Rising and I fucking love that one. ZZ Top's musical war crimes have a strong case, but I don't love the proper versions of those albums the way I would love Raw Power if it didn't sound like listening to a transistor radio on coke.

The most aggressively bricked "quiet" album I've ever heard was that one by indie-folk dude José González, like a decade ago. Of no consequence to anyone here, probably, nor to me at this point, but I liked what I heard in a friend's car on the way to Alaska with the windows down and bought myself a copy after we returned. Unlistenable on a hi-fi, I discovered.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby bishopdante on Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:31 am

Judas Priest - Ram it down

Disgusting.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby aldofarian on Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:07 pm

Freak*on*ica by Girls vs Boys comes to mind. It could be that the soundpallet wanted by the band or just the writing was not as good on this record but the Nick Launey production certainly didn't help.



The guitar and vocals in particular make the band sound like some industrial Marlyn Mansun tribute act.

As referenced elsewhere, the new Sleater-Kinney is another one on which the heavy handed production elements make it a difficult listen.

From the nominees here, St Anger is just the worst.
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Re: Worst Mastered/Mixed/Produced Album

Postby A_Man_Who_Tries on Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:50 pm

aldofarian wrote:Freak*on*ica by Girls vs Boys comes to mind.


Very good shout.
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