anyone have well engineered/produced album recommendations?

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generichumanperson
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anyone have well engineered/produced album recommendations?

Post by generichumanperson » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 am

I go on this forum and usually see some records/artists mentioned that some of you guys feel are well engineered/produced, but anyone have any other ones? The ones I've heard about on here are: the beach boys pet sounds, any beatles album, some elliot smith stuff, deathcab stuff, some sonic youth, steve albini stuff, and various others i can't remember. Anyone have any other recommendations? Mostly I read about indie rock, which is cool, i wonder if there are any other genre's that you guys could recommend as well as whatever indie ones you might know about.

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Post by mjau » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:46 am

What you listed is pretty diverse in terms of production. A lot of Albini's stuff, for example, is pretty distant to Pet Sounds.
I think all that matters is what sounds great to you. I used to love records I now consider a little over-produced...Sea Change by Beck, OK Computer by Radiohead...so my own personal aesthetic is now more focused on what I'll loosely call "honest reproduction". With that in mind, I almost always mention how much I love the band Logh's album A Sunset Panorama. Neil Young's Harvest is mostly honest sounding, and Will Oldham's Master and Everyone pretty much does it for me.

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Post by centurymantra » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:59 am

mjau wrote:What you listed is pretty diverse in terms of production. A lot of Albini's stuff, for example, is pretty distant to Pet Sounds.
I think all that matters is what sounds great to you. I used to love records I now consider a little over-produced...Sea Change by Beck, OK Computer by Radiohead...so my own personal aesthetic is now more focused on what I'll loosely call "honest reproduction". With that in mind, I almost always mention how much I love the band Logh's album A Sunset Panorama. Neil Young's Harvest is mostly honest sounding, and Will Oldham's Master and Everyone pretty much does it for me.
I like that term..."honest production". I might not be able to define that for someone, but I think I know it when I hear it. And, yes - 'Master and Everyone'...what a fine sounding record that is. I was listening to a Lambchop record recorded by Mark Nevers over the weekend and was kind of thinking the same thing...one of the "C'mon" records. I think it had sonic qualities reminiscent of the 'honest production' sound. Actually...most of those Lambchop records are pretty great sounding IMHO.
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Mon Apr 21, 2008 12:35 pm

You've heard Big Star's #1 Record/Radio City? That's amazingly well-produced/engineered if you're into that particular admixture of the power pop/classic rock idioms. Have you heard Lanois' work on Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball"? That's a great example of a producer/engineer (what is he, anyway?) using his skills to breathe new life into Emmylou Harris' already amazing voice and phrasings.

It all depends what you're looking for though. You pose a very broad question which warrants a similarly broad answer.

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Post by cgarges » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:42 pm

Tatertot wrote:That's a great example of a producer/engineer (what is he, anyway?) using his skills to breathe new life into Emmylou Harris' already amazing voice and phrasings.
Definitely a producer as he had a hand an arrangements and played on the record. Plus, he go the official producer credit. AND there were four engineers listed on that record.

Records that are well-engineered are the same as records that are well-played, well-written, well-conceived, etc. I've got like two thousand CDs in my collection and I would consider the majority of them to be well-engineered (except maybe the Hendrix stuff that Eddie Kramer did, but that discussion's already going on in another thread). They're all different, but well-engineered. And there's stuff that I think was incredibly well-engineered that most people reading this would hate. I'm sure some people on here have opinions about stuff that they love that I would hate as well.

I remember a few records that were considered completely mind-blowing when they came out that are fairly passe today, especially with folks on here. Paul Simon's Graceland is an excellent example. Just absurd-sounding when it came out, but someone is gonna come on here and talk smack about the gated reverb on the toms. Donald Fagen's The Nightfly was also an engineering marvel when it came out, but that record has come to represent everything that's not cool about "clean" recording.

I can TOTALLY appreciate something beautiful and honest-sounding. To me, it's A LOT harder to learn to do than kind of recording well than it is to get "like, really creative, man." Especially nowadays. But at the same time, I will be completely happy to crank up some Flaming Lips or Tchad Blake records.

What sort of stuff have YOU discovered that you really like from an engineering perspective? Are there any common threads? Were a few of those records recorded by the same people? By different people at the same studio? Under the same circumstances? On the same medium? With the same kinds of ambient sounds or use of dynamic manipulation? Do they all have Rickenbacker guitars on them? Find the stuff that you like and start connecting the dots. You'll find a much quicker path to more stuff you might dig that way.

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Post by kayagum » Mon Apr 21, 2008 1:55 pm

I keep going back to American Music Club's "Mercury". NEVER gets old.
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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Mon Apr 21, 2008 5:42 pm

There are far, far, far too many to mention so here are just a few........

Van Morrison's Astral Weeks - 20 years after first hearing this record it continues to blow my mind. I hear something new every time.

Nick Drake "Pink Moon" - same as above but simpler and more sparse,

Lambchop "Is A Woman" - I have problems with some of the songs but the production/engineering is amazing. This is one of the best quiet albums I've ever heard. It's also a master class in recording piano.

Los Lobos "Colossal Head" & Latin Playboys first record - Mitchell Froom & Tchad Blake at their best.

Rolling Stones 'Exile On Main Street" - proof that if the songs and performance are great nothing else matters.

Any and all pre-Elvis blues/country records made at Sun Studios by Sam Phillips.

Elvis' records made at Sun Studios by Sam Phillips.

The first Portishead record - it's become part of our vocabulary now but it's still an amazing record.

Nico's "Chelsea Girl"

The Kinks "Village Green Preservation Society"

Public Enemy "Fear Of A Black Planet"

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Post by mjau » Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:13 pm

junkshop wrote:Public Enemy "Fear Of A Black Planet"
Man, talk about an album...that one punches you in the face over and over. Great stuff.

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Post by mwingerski » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:17 pm

A few older albums that I have recently revisited that still sounds pretty cool...

Joe Henry - Fuse
I think T Bone Burnett produced this one and Daniel Lanois had a hand in mixing it. It has such a great vibe, sound and mood. Incredibly dark, moody and smoky sounding without being cheesy even a little bit. Almost menacing while being mellow at the same time. Lots of things about it that almost sound "trashy" but I think it's just amazing.

Sarah MacLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
Say what you want about her now, but this record defined a sound that was copied over and over again by lesser artists(and still is). The guitars don't sound quite as cool now as they did back then, but it's got great texture, and some badass percussion by Manu katche on the song "fear" at the end....The vocal sound on that record is just amazing too... well worth a listen even if you think she's cheezed out past Barbra Streisand these days... I still get a lot of shit for liking this record.

Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Eno and Talking Heads at their best. I heard this one in surround sound right after it was finished being mixed and it quickly became one of the most amazing recordings I've ever heard. Some of the songs have the vocals are quintupled (the Overload)... Really inventive use of percussion and layering. Lots of just plain weird shit going on.

Massive Attack -Protection and Mezzanine
Both of these albums defined that british dub / trip hop / whatever you call it sound... Amazing use of samples, loops and production... the bottom is super cool and the songs are moody and dark.

Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom and Irresistible Bliss
Ruby Vroom blew me away the first time I heard. HUGE bottom end. Amazing musicians all around with some seriously weird everything... the use of samples by this band is still pretty amazing. Every song on this record sounds different and cool. Tchad Blake produced this one I believe. Irresistible Bliss is also equally awesome, although production wise it's not quite as huge sounding in my opinion... but kickass nonetheless...

Good thread...

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:25 am

+1 on ruby vroom. there's some good stuff on el oso as well.

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Post by RefD » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:35 am

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:+1 on ruby vroom. there's some good stuff on el oso as well.
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Post by Smitty » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:36 am

The National's new one, Boxer is quite well put together. Great use of space and texture.

Ryan Adam's Heartbreaker also has a lot of 'wow' moments for me, production-wise.
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Post by crow » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:42 pm

the Kinks' Arthur is an incredibly recorded album. it and London Calling both share the quality of being elaborately and densely put together without necessarily seeming so on first listen.

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Post by rwc » Tue Apr 22, 2008 3:49 pm

cgarges wrote:
Tatertot wrote:Donald Fagen's The Nightfly was also an engineering marvel when it came out, but that record has come to represent everything that's not cool about "clean" recording.
Thinnest drums ever.

I worked with a tech who said he did occasional work at the place where it was being recorded, during the time that it was being recorded. When asked if it sounded weak because of the 3M 50 KHz tape machine, or because of Elliot Scheiner, he said, "both."

I found that interesting.
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Post by cgarges » Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:24 pm

rwc wrote:Thinnest drums ever.
Oh sure. But at the time, it got great reviews and lots of musicians were running around talking about how great it sounded.

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