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Amy Winehouse, Back to Black. Is it supposed to sound like crap?

Discussion in 'Music' started by todd r, Aug 4, 2007.
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  1. Todd R Contributor
    Just picked up Amy Winehouse, Back to Black from some Amazon seller.
    I really like the music, but it sounds terrible, like they were trying to recreate a bad 50's-60's recording. Was that on purpose?

    The release number on the spine is 1714211 from Universal & Island Records Group.

    Wondering if I got some kind of bogus copy? On the cover, there is a banner at the bottom with the word "Edicion" and has the countries Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and the flags of each country.

    The cover picture is also different. Mine has her sitting on a chair and the one on Amazon shows her lounging in a tub.

    Any clues? Does the US copy sound bad too?
     
  2. jpelg
    It does sound really crappy.

    Very disappointing, as I love the music. But the album is virtually unlistenable on my home setup.
     
  3. n_maher Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jpelg /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    It does sound really crappy.

    Very disappointing, as I love the music. But the album is virtually unlistenable on my home setup.




    Amen to that Jimmy. The level of forced distortion is unbelievable, at least I hope it was forced. Either way it has to go down as one of the poorest recordings I've ever heard.
     
  4. skellington
    I thought the same thing. Good music though - which is what counts.
     
  5. Todd R Contributor
    Hmm,
    So it's not just my apparently South American copy.
     
  6. fatcat28037 Contributor
    One, or more of you Winehouse fans should leave a message on her website letting her and everyone else know how poorly recorded her last CD is. She needs to know that her CD buying fans are unhappy with the way her label is representing her.
     
  7. epaludo
    I love the music, but definitely one of the worst recordings i've listened to. Unfortunately. Maybe her next album will be better recorded ...
     
  8. Todd R Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fatcat28037 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    One, or more of you Winehouse fans should leave a message on her website letting her and everyone else know how poorly recorded her last CD is. She needs to know that her CD buying fans are unhappy with the way her label is representing her.



    I'm on it! (Or not. No contacts on the website, only a newsletter sign up. Might have access through that)

    FYI.
    I was just reading the Sweetwater Sound catalog (Pro gear).
    In addition to software that adds record noise, tape saturation, and other on purpose distortion, I saw ads for this and this.

    OMG [​IMG]
    These "give you the ability to hear what your mixes will sound like on bass-challenged real-world systems such as computers, televisions, car stereos, iPod docking stations, boombox, or any other non hi-fidelity system, the outside world has billions of systems that don't sound as great as yours."

    Who gives a S**t what it sounds like on a crappy system? They know their system sucks, deal with it. Why destroy the recording and punish all the rest of us who care about sound quality?

    No wonder we get CD's that sound as bad as Back to Black.
    Who's putting the idea that this is a good thing into recording engineer's heads?
    TR
     
  9. infinitesymphony
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Todd R /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Who gives a S**t what it sounds like on a crappy system? They know their system sucks, deal with it. Why destroy the recording and punish all the rest of us who care about sound quality?

    No wonder we get CD's that sound as bad as Back to Black.
    Who's putting the idea that this is a good thing into recording engineer's heads?
    TR




    Consumers. These mixes actually do sound better on lower quality equipment. Engineers are forced to compromise between a high quality and low quality mix in order for the music to translate well across multiple systems. Luckily, the quality of even cheap stereo equipment is improving to the point where we should start seeing even more people complaining about these harsh mixes. Plus, the amount of compression, limiting, excitation, etc. far surpasses what is actually necessary for translation--this is the part that's inexcusable.

    About Amy Winehouse... I just figured the producers took Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics idea one step further by introducing intentional distortion and noise, just like old soul and doo-wop records. I haven't heard the CD, but that was my impression from seeing the single on TV.
     
  10. riceboy
    The recording is bad IMO, but I do like the music [​IMG]
     
  11. Todd R Contributor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by infinitesymphony /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    About Amy Winehouse... I just figured the producers took Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics idea one step further by introducing intentional distortion and noise, just like old soul and doo-wop records. I haven't heard the CD, but that was my impression from seeing the single on TV.



    I figured that's what they might have been trying to do, but the music style could have conveyed that without wrecking the recording.

    BTW, I heard Back to Basics, I actually liked some of it. [​IMG]
    Who knew a former pop princess could be tolerable?
     
  12. Hermitt
    Amy was a guest on the DVD The Strat Pack, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster. I had a hard time liking her, but I'll have to check out some of her recordings. What would be a good 'intro'?
     
  13. JadeEast
  14. david87
    what about the vinyl compared to the cd, does it still have the same problem?
     
  15. GlendaleViper
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by david87 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    what about the vinyl compared to the cd, does it still have the same problem?



    Considering the same thing. They have it new at HMV for like 14 bucks. Might just bite the bullet and see. Problem is, if it's the mastering that's the culprit, then the vinyl SHOULD sound better, but if it's intentional "grit" then it'll sound just as bad.

    Worst sounding record I have ever heard, bar none (Californication sounds like a Hoffman remaster compared to this). A shame to hold that title on an album with such great music.

    [EDIT] Hermitt - She's new to the scene, so there are only two albums so far. Back to Black is her current release and breakout album. I have yet to hear her first, "Frank", but I understand it's mostly covers and standards (and excellently done) rather than original material.
     
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