Separate names with a comma.
Bad brains debut album is one of the worst sounding albums of all time.
Most of The Mars Volta's stuff. The clipping/brickwalling is what kills most their CDs for me. Amazingly talented, but horrid mastering.
Love Remains by How to Dress well. Even listening to it on $20 Philips, the amount of distortion is unbearable
To be a tad modern,
Kings of Leon - Only by the Night
You can tell by the first 5 seconds (literally) of Use Somebody its compressed.
*switches to Take the Power Back*
Chevelle's Debut Album is horrible too. Sounds like it was recorded with 2 $20 mics. I hated it for this reason when I first heard it at 15, and did not care about audio quality at all. (I thought) I never listened past 45 seconds on the first track because it bothered me. It was my sisters, so it wasnt too much of a waste.
I'm listening to some Type O Negative (RIP Peter Steele, *sniff*) to round off Halloween and I hate to say it but most if not all of their albums are mastered horribly. Very "hot" and loud, even on vinyl. Although knowing the band they probably did it on purpose as a joke.
I like TMV, but have you ever heard their live performances? They are unbelievably awful. Specifically their performance on Letterman to promote "Bedlam In Goliath"
But I digress. Their studio work is good, but the only thing that's really listenable to me is De-Loused.
They don't, I can assure you. The new ones aren't stellar, but IMO they're noticeably better than the originals. I've never heard a non-CD version, so maybe the vinyl version was better. You have to remember these albums were recorded on what was essentially homemade equipment (except for the last track of the first album, and the difference is very audible), so there isn't really a high baseline of fidelity even then. Boston never stuck me as the most dynamic of bands (in fact, just the opposite), so it all sounds kind of dull from a production standpoint. Brad Delp was one heck of a singer, though. RIP.
To answer the question of this thread, I'd say some of the absolute worst aural abortions ever released were the 2007/2008 remasters of the Genesis catalogue. Absolutely. Freakin'. Godawful. Compressed to all get out, remixed to bury any and all keyboards but make every one of Princess Steve Hackett's* guitar pings and strums stand out like there's a bloody spotlight on them, and with ridiculous reverb/delay/"air" (hyped treble) effects applied to all the gorgeous, delicate vocals from the first two Collins-era albums--essentially making them sound identical to the 80s popmeister albums everybody seems to hate. The bass is universally muddy and bloated. I could go on but I won't. The guy who did these--I know his name but I won't mention it because if I do I'll probably say some stuff that will get me thrown off this forum--seriously should not be allowed near a mixing console ever again.
If it wasn't obvious, Genesis is my favorite band of all time. I have their entire catalogue from the 1994 remasters, which have their own problems (sibilance...grr) but are FAR superior to the crap 200x versions.
*Maybe I shouldn't take out my frustration on Hackett, but they way people go on about him you'd think he made the band. To me, it was the collective songwriting ability/musicianship of the everybody involved that made it so great--take Tony Banks away after 1977 and the trio of Hackett/Collins/Rutherford would have fared no better than Banks/Collins/Rutherford, IMO.
Anything by Heart (don't laugh) sounds awful. ELO don't fare too much better, especially given the potential for superb mastering the instrumentation brings. A lot of Will Oldham's stuff is crappily mastered too, which is a shame considering his music is superb. But the recent highlight for me has got to be High Violet by The National. Great band with great songs and after the high that was Boxer the most recent effort stinks. However, I'm going to see them in Glasgow at the end of the month and I still expect great things.
It's definitely a large step up from the disaster that was "Vapor Trails"
Daft Punk - Discovery
Either they used the compressor as an effect or it was simply a poorly mastered album. One more time for instance is unlistenable.
Royksopp - Melody A.M.
Karnivool - Sound Awake
I gave it 2 chances in my car (I have a decent system) before frizbee'ing it out the window. Real shame too because their first album wasn't bad.
Annihilator - Metal
Plastic and crappy digital sound. Not sure about clipping and other things because I don't even listen to that album anymore. I don't want to...
It CAN be far worse than Death Magnetic
A small sample, don't think it's illegal or anything...