Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fran's Top 5 Favorite Albums Ruined By Production

It is totally possible to love and album and hate it at the same time.  The songs are sublime but the sound is just crap. At times you don't realize it until you see the songs performed live. Other times you know immediately.  Below are five of my favorite albums that just drive me crazy.  Crazier than normal

Cheap Trick  In Color - Many of you know the version of "I Want You To Want Me" from Live At Budokan.  Did you ever hear the original on In Color? There is a reason for that.  The producer, priming Cheap Trick to make them radio friendly, stripped them of all the grit and energy that they exude in a live performance.  The songs were so over mixed that they sound as if they were recorded in a wet paper bag.  Steve Albini re-recorded the album with the band some 20 years later but in my opinion the mix was a little too hot.  What I wouldn't give to have the originals properly mixed.

Metallica ...And Justice For All - It's amazing how far a band will go to haze the new guy.  As Lars sat with the producer he told him to turn the bass all the way down.  When the producer did he told him to turn it down more. The effect of no low end leaves the record sounding like they are playing in a tin cup.  Have you seen them perform "One" live?  Enough said.

Robert Hazard and The Heroes Robert Hazard [EP] - Robert Hazard's self produced EP sold 300,000 copies in Philadelphia alone before Kurt Loder of Rolling Stone stumbled upon them.  When RCA signed them to a major label deal they decided to re-release the EP but not without remixing it first.  They took the dark and gloomy "Escalator of Life" and polished off into a 80's synth pop template.  Listen below and judge for yourself.

Stooges Raw Power - Iggy's mix, Bowie's mix, Original mix...it doesn't matter.  They are all bad.  It's a shame considering how important the material is.  I know that this was a band known for it's live presence but what artist DOESN'T use this album as an influence?  Can some one please, PLEASE do this album justice?

Tool Aenima  - Given how long it takes this band to perfect each of their albums I am surprised that they would allow their work to be produced this badly.  Going for menacing and getting cheesy 90's production is hard to listen to as time goes on.  It's only slightly better than Lateralus.  Consequently, they are both produced by the same man, David Bottrill.  He is also the same man that ruined Rush's Vapor Trails.  Remember that before you hire a producer.

Like any good Top 5 or Top 10 list we invite you to agree or disagree.  Let us know if there is something on your list that we missed or that you think Fran is a genius.  You are the key to every Reader's Revenge.

See you when the needle drops!


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