What's your favorite "poorly"-recorded LP or track

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A.David.MacKinnon
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:50 pm

Almost all the Replacements records. The ones that don't sound just plain bad sound dated. Great band, great songs, bad bad production.

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Post by LVC_Jeff » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:39 pm

Are You Experienced, Hendrix. Sounds like crap. Terrible fades and edits and panning. But is oh so good.
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Post by thieves » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:41 pm

I love the lo-fi sound, but i'd be interested in hearing how apologetic people are about bands doing it nowadays. I love some of the newer acts pulling this off, namely:

Times New Viking: The stuff is recorded to 8-track 1/4" totally in the red, then mixed and mastered with basically no frequencies below 200k, but it just WORKS.

Ariel Pink: It's like listening to 70's a.m. gold filtered through 60's psych, then re-filtered through a bad a.m. radio signal at 3 a.m. while not exactly sober.

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone: His last full length was a bit 'mid-fi' but his first few records were recorded to 4-track, live to cassette, answering machines, etc. The fact that he's using mostly toy casios just makes the recording format choice make sense.

The Mountain Goats: I know he hasn't done a lo-fi record since 2002 or so, but his first ten years ranged from recording straight into a cassette boombox (most of the recordings from that era) or sometimes he'd 'step it up' to something that resembled a hasty college radio session. All of it is classic.

I could go on and on, but I'll save some of it for another post.
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Post by swelle » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:19 pm

It's funny that those early Spot produced Husker Du records are singled out for their shittiness, because they sound like butter compared to the early Sony digital of the last two albums... Candy Apple Grey and Warehouse are almost unlistenable today, but I thought they sounded awesome back then!

Ditto on Nevermind... good songs, shite production.

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Post by JGriffin » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:22 pm

Most any of the early Bob Will & Texas Playboys. But I don't know how much one can say "badly recorded" about 1930s/40s-era stuff in comparison to today. Apples and, y'know, dissimilar other fruits.
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Post by rushofblood » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:37 pm

loveless

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Post by percussion boy » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:43 pm

Lee Scratch Perry's Black Ark productions in general.

Not that he messed up -- he successfully made a recording aesthetic out of this blurry bounce-down-from-a-quarter-inch-four-track sound. I just wish I could have a little high end sometimes to hear all that good singing and pickin.

But he made it work. That's why he's the patron saint of Tape Oppers everywhere.
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:13 pm

I don't know that I'd call Perry's Black Ark stuff baddly recorded. The Heart Of The Congos record is the Sargent Pepper's of Jamacian music.

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Post by Bedfordstop » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:23 pm

percussion boy wrote:Lee Scratch Perry's Black Ark productions in general.

Not that he messed up -- he successfully made a recording aesthetic out of this blurry bounce-down-from-a-quarter-inch-four-track sound. I just wish I could have a little high end sometimes to hear all that good singing and pickin.

But he made it work. That's why he's the patron saint of Tape Oppers everywhere.
great thread! some other mentions that i totally agree with : The Replacements. Yes, bad 80's production really hurt them later on, but i still love those records. And the DRUMS on MBV Loveless are just flat out weak because of either the programming or the playing, but the rest is brilliant.

I'd also add that i love every Elliott Smith record, but the early 4 track / 8 track stuff pre XO is just more intimate and i like it better. Not to disparage the later stuff, but hey, could anyone hear "Speed Trials" being better with slick production?

Also Velvet Underground and Nico, which has clipping distorted vox on Femme Fatale and others, and horrendously out of time drums on Heroin, and just plain thin sounds all over the place, is maybe my favorite record ever of all time in perpetuity forever plus one day.

I also like Guns and Roses "Knockin on Heaven's door" live at the Ritz SO MUCH better than the slicker than ice "Days of Thunder" soundtrack version with the whole Tom Cruise telephone voice breakdown - unintentiionally hysterical!

Put down a vote for Neutral Milk Hotel 'Aeroplane over the sea,' which really has no dynamics on some trax because of maybe tons of compression or slamming the tape or something, but still is unimpeachably brilliant.

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Post by swelle » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:37 pm

I only have a couple compilations, but I have yet to hear a Lee Perry production that doesn't rule... I prefer his recording of "Small Axe" to the version on Burning.

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Re: What's your favorite "poorly"-recorded LP or t

Post by SoulOfJonas » Wed Feb 06, 2008 5:26 pm

kdarr wrote:
I would have to go with the entire Danzig-era Misfits catalog. Every single one of those recordings is a complete disaster from an engineering standpoint, but I love those songs so much.

I like Daniel Johnston's early bedroom tape recorder stuff too. Simultaneously whimsical and creepy.

[<|>]
I agree with every last word of this ... and I'll throw in a Minor Threat - S/T to boot.

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Post by Knights Who Say Neve » Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:37 pm

Sun Ra's Cosmic Tones for Mental Therapy. Or almost any pre-80's Sun Ra really. But Cosmic is drenched in cheesy echo (done with tape feedback) and generally sounds like the band is on another floor of a parking garage. Not to mention the telephone ringing in the background on one of the tracks. It's also one of the most psychedelic records ever.
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Post by fossiltooth » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:10 pm

Beck. "One Foot In The Grave". Probably the best thing to come of off K records IMHO.

+1 on Lee Perry....

I'll have to add the Germs to that list.

LVC_Jeff wrote:Are You Experienced, Hendrix. Sounds like crap. Terrible fades and edits and panning. But is oh so good.
You'll actually find that a lot of Kramer's earlier work kinda sounds like ass by todays standards. Some if it even sounded like ass by those days' standards too! Doesn't stop a lot of that stuff from kicking a decent amount of ass though.
Last edited by fossiltooth on Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by mfghost » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:37 pm

Pretty much agree with almost everything mentioned so far, especialy all the older punk references. Minor Threat being a good example, Bad Brains, Black Flag, etc.
I agree that pristine, clear sounding punk just makes no sense - as a matter of fact, now that I think about it, the first Bad Religion is one of my favorite albums while the rest of their stuff is almost unlistenable for me (although that does have to do with the direction they went in music wise as well.) I think "How Could Hell Be Any Worse" is just the dirtiest, nastiest sounding thing, in such a good way. Such a good context for these urgent political tirades.
I think Greg Graffin was like 16 when that stuff was recorded, but when I listen to it I never get an absurd picture in my head of some zitty little kid with clenched fists screaming about his grasp on political affairs in the early 80's. Instead I get the feeling of some huge rusty freight train flying down the tracks on fire, about to go off the rails - which is kind of how the state of affairs in America at the time is painted on that album. The sound of the production enhances the overall feel and urgency of the music. Same with Minor Threat - the sound of the production feels so in line with everything else about that aesthetic.
Just on a side note - not trying to hijack the thread - but I always feel like the guitar sounds on a lot of the older punk records have something good in common, hard to put my finger on, though. For example on that Bad Religion record I hear this warmth but also this almost, like, slight flanging? Could it be maybe some phase issues from a room mic? I hear something similar on the Breeders album Pod, at times, too. Almost like this tiny bit of phase cancellation - good example might be right when the loud part of "When I was a Painter" kicks in.
Anyway, hope that's not too off topic, just wondering if anyone else ever noticed that. I feel like I've only ever heard it on more "lo fi" type recordings. I think it's one of my favorite sounds.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:23 pm

i just put pod on now...the main guitar on that song sounds reasonably close miced to me but there's some room there for sure. i dunno. i do know this record sounds amazing. good record to put on to remind yourself what transients on drums sound like...

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