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Definitive List of Well-Recorded Rock Albums - Page 5

post #61 of 157

Great Sound Recordings

Los Lobos - Kiko
Lyle Lovett - Joshua Judges Ruth (already listed)
Nirvana - Unplugged in New York (mentioned by many)
Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion
Iron Maiden - Maiden England live CD (now sadly unavailable, was only released in Europe as a double pak with the video). Best large venue live recording I've ever heard.

I'm betting that David Gilmour's "On an Island" will sound great! (comes out March 7th in the US)
post #62 of 157
OK Computer and Kid A are both very well recorded.

Live at Leeds (The Who) is the best recorded live album I've ever heard.
post #63 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by binkgle
I put dark side back on. it can't not be on there. it sounds so good to me... aman, what are you looking for in a good recording? why is dsotm so bad to you?

edit: and claymon, dsotm is my favorite album ever. i listen to it every day. i want it to be on the list, but i recently read a whole bunch of people saying that while it's brilliantly mastered etc. it's not well recorded. i can't hear it, but i hold a lot of respect for some of the guys who were saying this stuff.

and, by the way, dsotm came out in '73, not '68
I hope that Bigshot can chime on in this soon.

Dark Side of the Moon is not a good-sounding album. It's a "reference" album because of the minor details in the album that are brought out through better equipment. It does NOT exhibit the good traits of a recording, which are: excellent sound stage and imaging, rich tonality, realistic and warm vocals, crisp drums with sound being emphasized on both the impact of the stick/pedal to the drum/cymbal AND on the actual noise that particular event would cause (Dark Side of the Moon only does the latter in most cases, accept for particular instances with mason's ride cymbal), and other such things. Dark Side of the Moon is a brilliant album, no doubt, but it's not a good recording.
post #64 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercuttio
OK Computer and Kid A are both very well recorded.
who are these by?

i'm inclined to remove dsotm again... we are looking for good recordings, after all. are people convinced by aman now? i think i am...
post #65 of 157
Kid A and OK Computer are both Radiohead. to me, they're better than average for rock albums, without being mastered too hotly or overcompressed... and they're certainly mixed well, but they don't really strike me as necessarily excellent recordings.

i'll also nominate Neil Young - Unplugged. Neil Young is another audiophile who invests a lot into how his albums sound.
post #66 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman
Dark Side of the Moon - NOT a good recording. Mediocre at best. Compressed to hell due to all of the new and experimental effects.
I've seen you make this point in other threads, and I've read this entire thread, but I still don't understand what you think the relationship is between compression and use of effects. Compression can be used to great effect to make instruments, vocals, or effects stand out in a mix, without making the overall recording "compressed to all hell." As one example, Sgt. Pepper's and the White Album have both been mentioned in this thread. Both of those albums made extensive use of then "new and experimetal effects," and the Beatles used compression/limiting extensively. As another example, some of the guitars on Steely Dan's albums are very compressed, yet the recordings themselves have great dynamics. Could you elaborate on what you perceive as the relationship that you're referring to?

Also, specifically with respect to DSOTM, I don't think I've ever seen you identify which mastering you are using as a reference.
post #67 of 157
The Cure - Three Imaginary Boys 2CD deluxe remaster by rhino sound great to my ears.
post #68 of 157

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Edited by Grassy - 2/8/14 at 6:03am
post #69 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by binkgle
who are these by?

sorry , but first time I read someone who don't know at least Ok Computer ( no probs. at all about it )

--
btw Ok Computer , and Kid A to a lesser extent , aren't imo uber-well recorded .
They are great music and sound "nice", but no it's not very good quality and attention that's been put on recording .
Ok Computer could have been quite much better .
post #70 of 157
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boodi

sorry , but first time I read someone who don't know at least Ok Computer ( no probs. about it )

--
btw Ok Computer , and Kid A to a lesser extent , aren't imo uber-well recorded .
They are great music and sound nice foremost, but no there's no very good quality and attention that's been put on recording .
Ok Computer could have been quite much better .
ok, i'm aware that i have very little knowledge of post-80s rock. it's a sad truth, and there's a lot of nineties-currents rock on my (extensive) albums-to-buy list
post #71 of 157
The Tragically Hip - Up To Here

Outstanding recording. Ironically the best of all their works (imho), and it was their first.
post #72 of 157
How about Maroon5???

What is the consensus on this? I found it to sound pretty good, but I am apparently limited in my "well-recorded" album experience.
post #73 of 157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Febs
I've seen you make this point in other threads, and I've read this entire thread, but I still don't understand what you think the relationship is between compression and use of effects. Compression can be used to great effect to make instruments, vocals, or effects stand out in a mix, without making the overall recording "compressed to all hell." As one example, Sgt. Pepper's and the White Album have both been mentioned in this thread. Both of those albums made extensive use of then "new and experimetal effects," and the Beatles used compression/limiting extensively. As another example, some of the guitars on Steely Dan's albums are very compressed, yet the recordings themselves have great dynamics. Could you elaborate on what you perceive as the relationship that you're referring to?

Also, specifically with respect to DSOTM, I don't think I've ever seen you identify which mastering you are using as a reference.
Paul McCartney was recently on PBS talking about the effects on Sgt. Pepper. What he said was he would merge a four-track tape into only one track so that they could fit more sound effects onto one master tape. This is the example of bad compression - it made the guitars sound "shiny and metalic" as he put it. I would agree - all sense of realism was lost due to these effects. You simply can't put that much sound on one track before it starts to cripple itself and the other tracks! Recording equipment., nor playback equipment, could handle it back in the day. And these changes are irreversible. It's not like a "re-mastering" (very few remasters do any good, though, anyway) can fix the problem. No - once you do something like Sgt. Pepper, you're stuck with that compression and that compromise to sound density and realism.

But this should not be surprising. Rock is an accessible category of music - the special effects used were a bigger selling point than the sound quality of the music most of the time, because special effects normally mean much more to the listeners at the time than the actual music did. Not to say that either of these bands hid behind their technology in the recording studio when they released their respective albums, but I'm just showing the relationship to poor sound quality to the overall genre. Rock is not known for its realistic recordings - it's known for its technological, compositional, and marketing innovation.

Just remember this: Just because something sounds "good" doesn't mean it's a "good" recording. A recording strides to be as realistic and life-like as possible, which is definitely not the same as being "cool-sounding". Dark Side of the Moon and Sgt. Pepper are both limited in sound quality due to the overwhelming amount of experimental sound effects used on the master tapes. Even worse is that we really cannot tell if the albums were RECORDED well because all of the sonic detail needed to determine this is covered up by the limited dynamics in each track on the master tapes due to the amount of sounds and effects contained within each individual track. Remember that each track in those days used to be two, three, or four tracks, merged into one.

I have the EMI 30th Aniversary LP, an original pressing LP, and a 1998 CD. The EMI copy sounds the best to me.
post #74 of 157
Thread Starter 
i'm convinced, and i understand what aman's getting at now. i can't really keep those two albums on the list after that [puts on the anti-flame suit and runs to find a fire extinguisher]
post #75 of 157
I don't even know where to start with this.

I'm very familiar with the Beatles' recording process. Sgt. Pepper's was recorded on 4 track recorders, or, in some instances, two 4 track recorders synced using 1 track on each recorder for a total of six tracks. Tracks were bounced (not "merged") by playing back three of the four tracks onto a single track, thus freeing up 3 tracks for additional recording. The three tracks needed to be mixed on the fly during the bouncing process, so this process was sometimes called a reduction mix. To the extent that dynamic range was lost by bouncing tracks, it is because the reduction mix process compounds the tape hiss on each track, raising the noise floor and reducing the S/N ratio, not because they "put too much sound on one track." (Think about it: what do you think happens when you mix a 24 or 32 tracks stereo recording to a 2 track stereo mix?) Frankly, I don't know what McCartney is talking about when he says that bouncing tracks make guitars sound "shiny and metallic." Bouncing tracks usually results in a loss of high end, which to my ears has exactly the opposite effect. Many of the reductions that were done on Sgt. Pepper's were done to free tracks for vocals and instruments, not necessarily sound effects.

You talk about Dark Side of the Moon as if it were recorded contemporaneously with Sgt. Peppers, which of course is not true, since DSOTM was recorded 5 years and two generations of recording technology later. DSOTM was recorded on 16 tracks. While that imposes some limitation on what you can do during the recording process, the limitation was not nearly as severe as it was on Sgt. Pepper. I know that there were some instances on DSOTM where tracks were bounced to free up tracks, but it is not at all accurate to say that each track was "two, three, or four tracks, merged into one."
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