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

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mfghost
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Post by mfghost » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:20 am

Yeah - I don't know if I should have brought any reference to that album into this thread, as I consider it to be well recorded. It's just that particular guitar sound somehow has something in common with some of the guitar sounds I like on these "poorly" recorded albums (in my head, anyway). Maybe I will start a seperate thread and see if anyone wants to talk about it with me.

Back to the actual topic: Bedfordstop mentioned Neutral Milk "Aeroplane over..". One of my favorite moments on the album is the LAST bit of sound you hear, which is some rustling around as he reaches for the stop button. Obviously left on there by choice, I guess. Always thought that was cool, as it kind of brings you back to reality after all the weird surrealist imagery and love songs to Anne Frank.

+1 for Lee Perry too

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Post by kdarr » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:44 am

fossiltooth wrote:
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.
Seriously. The drum mics on those first two Experience records have phase issues all over the place.

Kinda adds to the whole 'psychedelic' vibe, though, in a way.

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

Post by giuseppe_fl » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:48 am

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.

[<|>]
Yeah, those Misfits records are weird, because the aesthetic there really gains alot from the f'ed-up sound. Like, could anybody duplicate that sound if they wanted to? I'm not so sure. Whereas something like Raw Power (which is still a great record) is hindered like hell by the coked-out recording job. Even after the late 90s remaster, it still ain't half the record it coulda been.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:52 am

mfghost wrote:Yeah - I don't know if I should have brought any reference to that album into this thread, as I consider it to be well recorded.
hahaha i was thinking the same thing last night....'we can't mention Pod in a thread about poorly recorded records!'

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Post by giuseppe_fl » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:53 am

Bedfordstop wrote:The Replacements. Yes, bad 80's production really hurt them later on, but i still love those records.
No question. Great band, but not a single good-sounding record.

Although, I dunno, Pleased to Meet Me is pretty strong, recording-wise, isn't it? One or two errant 80s-isms aside?

Maybe I'm just sayin' that because it's the first one I heard when I was 15 years old....

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Post by lyman » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:25 am

arbitropia wrote:Guided by Voices' pre-Alien Lanes output (that record is still lo-fi but a little less rough than the earlier ones). Propeller and Bee Thousand in particular are excellent records that overcome (or perhaps benefit from) some real amateur sonics. Vampire on Titus is near-unlistenable. The mid-90s-era live band (with Mitch Mitchell and Tobin Sprout) sounded huge and blew those records away. I had always hoped for an official live recording from that era, but no dice.
.
people often forget that their first few recordings were done in commercial studios and while they're not the best songs, they're hardly lo-fi. ('devil btw. my toes', 'sandbox', et. al). gvb really only was doing lo-fi 4 track stuff in the middle of their career, yet they get pigeonholed as that kind of band.

if you want a good live recording from their "classic lineup" as some like to call it, check out "jellyfish reflector."

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Post by vvv » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:18 am

The early Grifters stuff; of course, they reveled in being lo-fi.

How about Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation? I haven't heard the recent box-set, but the CD has all kinds of, apparently, unintentional distortion. I recall the vinyl was the same.

A favorite example is Exile on Main Street, although which version you have makes a difference, even amongst the re-mastered/re-mixed ones.

And then there is St. Anger.... :lol:
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Post by apropos of nothing » Fri Feb 08, 2008 10:49 am

vvv wrote:How about Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation? I haven't heard the recent box-set, but the CD has all kinds of, apparently, unintentional distortion. I recall the vinyl was the same.
Daydream Nation is decidedly some polished. You want beautiful lo-fi? Check Evol. I adore the Screaming Fields of Sonic Love compilation for just how beautifully horrible the recording quality of early SY material was.
mfghost wrote:...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.

Remember that prosumer rack gear was in its adolescence in the 80s. DSP (with no memory) was everywhere. You couldn't find a project studio without a crappy flange/chorus. Chorus was mostly too thick for punk rock (besides leads and Dinosaur Jr.), but flange thins an element very nicely allowing more sonic space around it. That's my reasoning anyway. Flange is k0000l.

Also, I think a lot of the classic punk rock bands had guitarists who knew how to set a gain stage. UNRELENTING MONDO-OVERDRIVE-0 WITH NO DYNAMICS DIDN'T COME INTO HUGE FASHION UNTIL THE 1990S. If you listen to a lot of those records now, the guitar sounds are pretty clean in comparison to the types of distortion the '00s math and indie kids are using.

Even when talking about the Misfits who are an exception, I get the impression the gain-staging was directed, rather than just sorta for the helluvit. Like the harmonic riff break on "Die, Die My Darling" wouldn't have been possible without having two distortions in series, and it sounds sweet!

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

Post by kdarr » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:47 pm

giuseppe_fl wrote:
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.

[<|>]
Yeah, those Misfits records are weird, because the aesthetic there really gains alot from the f'ed-up sound. Like, could anybody duplicate that sound if they wanted to? I'm not so sure. Whereas something like Raw Power (which is still a great record) is hindered like hell by the coked-out recording job. Even after the late 90s remaster, it still ain't half the record it coulda been.
Agreed, Raw Power is a mess, and the modern version ain't any better, really.

I guess what really gets me about the Misfits stuff is how fucking backwards the mixes are. Bass is where the guitars oughta be, guitars where the cymbals oughta be, cymbals are either everywhere or M.I.A., and Glenn's vocals are completely unintelligible. I've listened to all those songs for like 15 years and I STILL don't know most of the words.

Walk Among Us pretty much sounds like you hung a couple 58's from the ceiling in a tiny basement rehearsal space and turned up the pres on an old Portastudio all the way. Which, come to think of it, is probably how all punk rock records should be recorded!

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Post by swelle » Fri Feb 08, 2008 1:17 pm

I think most remixed/remastered records are sort of marketing BS, but the one I'd love to see cleaned up is the debut Moby Grape album. The songs are consistently SO GOOD but the record just sounds like ass, especially the drums. I wonder how it actually sounded in the control room.


Speaking of them, we have to include OAR... possibly the most wrongly recorded record that just sounds so, so right.

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

Post by Rolsen » Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:45 pm

giuseppe_fl wrote:
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.

[<|>]
Yeah, those Misfits records are weird, because the aesthetic there really gains alot from the f'ed-up sound. Like, could anybody duplicate that sound if they wanted to? I'm not so sure. Whereas something like Raw Power (which is still a great record) is hindered like hell by the coked-out recording job. Even after the late 90s remaster, it still ain't half the record it coulda been.
The shitty poser-punk wannabe band I was in when I was 14 or 15 actually recorded stuff that I think sounded like those Misfits albums, minus talent direction and creativity. I tell you the secret: Panasonic boombox, on chair; poorly tuned crappy drums; bass guitar through 10" Crate amp, cranked to fuck; guitar through 10" Crate amp, ' buzzsaw' distortion engaged all the way; vocals through Peavey practice amp; marijuana and heisted boxed wine.

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Post by Johnny B » Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:57 pm

Just about everything I thought of when I saw the first post has been mentioned, except White Light/White Heat, Loaded, and the first couple Funkadelic albums.

The SST stuff mentioned came to mind first, of course. Just about everything I've ever heard that Spot produced sounds like crap. The only exception I can think of is Black Flag's Jealous Again EP. I don't think the mastering is the issue with a number of their albums. If you compare Zen Arcade to the Minutemen's Double Nickels on the Dime, recorded around the same time and released on SST, sonically it just kills the Huskers record, and Black Flag's Slip It In. That record was recorded by Ethan James, who did some other stuff for SST in that era.

The thing about Husker Du, though, is that once Spot left SST, and Bob Mould and Grant Hart took over, they made as many bad decisions as Spot and the records sound bad in a different way.

The Misfits were totally going for that weird sound. If you hear live recordings from that time, they sound nothing like the records. I think it's too much Elvis. :)

The guitar sounds on old punk records were better because the Triple Rectifier hadn't been invented yet. I swear, every time I go to a hardcore show, the bands are all playing the same gear: Gibson or Ibanez guitars, Triple (or occasionally Dual) Rectifier full stacks for the guitarists and an Ampeg or Mesa head with a 8x10 Ampeg cab for the bass player, with the SansAmp bass DI pedal.

I think Lee Perry's stuff sounds great. It's not the cleanest production ever, though, I will admit. But +1 to whomever it was who called Heart of the Congos the Sgt. Pepper of reggae. What a great album. That just kills the Marley stuff from that period.

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Post by RodC » Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:30 pm

+ 1 on the entire Danzig-era Misfits.

I would have to also mention one of my favs, Motorhead. Some albums sound pretty good, but there are a few that fit this thread.

Whats funny is when I explain to my kids that I thought that those albums sounded fine. I just thought that my 3rd generation cassette copy made on my Sears double cassette deck was the issue! When I got money to buy the albums I was a bit bummed, but still loved the songs.
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Post by red cross » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:32 pm

The Smiths. The 80s and Roland Jazz Choruses, yuck. Damn good songs though.

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Post by thieves » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:13 am

red cross wrote:The Smiths. The 80s and Roland Jazz Choruses, yuck. Damn good songs though.
louder than bombs is just laughable in how horrible it sounds all around, but i'll be damned if i don't put on that collection at least once a month. i always turn it all the way up in my car and it's still way quiet, then i just ride my eq knobs for the whole time. you don't really realize how terrible those songs are recorded until you listen to singles recorded at different times/places back to back.
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