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Good songs spoiled by dated production.

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by Blazer, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Well as was showcased in my "The Best of eighties Bad Quack" thread, there are a lot of songs from that era which are awesome and have aged quite well, such as Robert Plant's "Big log"

    But let's talk about the opposite: those songs which are really good but suffer from their dated production sound.

    First up, here's A-ha with the title track of their debut album.

    "Hunting high and low" is a wonderful, very dramatic song, easily one of the best mid eighties ballads. But the fact that apart from the acoustic guitar, everything was played on synths, makes it VERY difficult to place it in any other decade than the eighties. The Trumpet solo in particular is lacking so much in impact which a real trumpet could have provided.

    When in 1991 an Elton John-Bernie Taupin tribute album came out, there were plenty of people who wanted to take part. Among them the Beach boys, who covered "Crocodile Rock" which no matter how you slice it is the right song for the right band.

    Well, it would have been if they chose to go at it with their vintage sound, not the "Updated" sound.

    And having mentioned the Beach Boys, when Status Quo went around to cover their song "Fun, fun, fun" again it was a case of Right-band-right-song. They even had the Beach Boys themselves joining it. That can't be a bad thing right?

    Yeah right, if the Quo had done it properly, it could have been the barn storming rocker it should have been.
    Durberville likes this.
  2. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

    Mar 13, 2018
    I've never been a huge Springsteen fan, but I've long thought "Dancing in the Dark" is an underrated classic about midlife ennui that is totally hamstrung by schlocky 80s production. The terrible video doesn't help. The production here just kills the urgency and desperation at the heart of the song.

  3. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    greenville, sc
    A-Ha revisited "Take On Me" last year in an un-plugged setting. See if this version is more to your liking:

  4. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The Sun Sessions, Sgt Peppers, Brothers in Arms to start. All very dated.
    Flakey, dswo and darkwaters like this.
  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Some of the organ/synth sounds in Little Feat can be so painful, especially in light of the fact that everything else is so perfect.
  6. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2016
    In the South
    I've never been a huge Springsteen fan either, but I've long thought (since 1975 in fact) that Born to Run could have had more...zing? The production is very pedestrian, and Bruce sounds like he's bored with it all. It's a song about angry, disaffected youth that sounds complacent and middle-aged.

    Heresy I know :)
    AlbertaGriff likes this.
  7. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have no problems with any of the production cited so far.

    Trying to imagine 80's music without 80's production...

    However, the very old production of a lot of Billie Holiday and other classic singers just has prevented me from knowing the material

    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  8. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    Metallica-And Justice For All..i was a bassist back in those dayz..and they left it out basically and still joke about it to this day ..great album still.
    Anode100 and dallasblues like this.
  9. Nightclub Dwight

    Nightclub Dwight Tele-Holic

    Aug 12, 2016
    Nashville country music. I used to think I didn't like country music. Turns out I like it just fine, I just don't like that overproduced Nashville sound.

    I guess this doesn't technically fit the OP's thread criteria of "dated," but you get the idea.
  10. BobbyJames

    BobbyJames TDPRI Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I love Prince and have bought a tonne of his music - although the music was (obviously) great, I always felt the production could benefit from a modern remaster. Maybe it's just that most of my price buys have been downloads and cd rips and vinyls will do him greater justice. I know he personally remastered Purple Rain for the anniversary edition (even though I felt the original sounded incredible already) and would love to know, being the incredibly hard worker he was, if he did the same for some of his 80s classics.
  11. Slim

    Slim Tele-Holic

    Apr 11, 2003
    Fayetteville, AR
    Pixies 'Doolittle'. Had that basketball kick, little bitty snare, wimpy bass, worst guitar tone of any of their records and WAY too much reverb...yet is one of my top 3 records of all time.
    AlbertaGriff and Tommy Biggs like this.
  12. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity

    Dec 2, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Yes, THAT. In my opinion his 1999 album is a masterpiece but some songs, most obviously THIS one...

    ...did NOT age all that well.

    You know prog rock aficionado Steven Wilson, who among others remixed Pink Floyd decided that he'd want to try his hand on another eighties prog classic: Talk Talk's "the Colour of spring"

    But when he got hold of Mark Hollis, the latter was quite direct with his answer "Not Interested."

    I do see Hollis' point, that album sounds KILLER, why mess with it?
    Sollipsist and Whatizitman like this.
  13. Wayne Museum

    Wayne Museum TDPRI Member

    May 7, 2017
  14. Chikubi

    Chikubi TDPRI Member

    Mar 3, 2017
    It sounds fine. That’s what music in the 80’s sounded like. To ask it to sound any different is kinda silly in my opinion. I was in my teens in the 80’s so this all sounds perfectly normal to me. Hollis saying ‘Not interested.’ is what everyone should be saying.
    Sollipsist likes this.
  15. dallasblues

    dallasblues Tele-Meister

    Nov 29, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    Absolutely! Something happened in the 80's that sent country music down a path of sounding overproduced and synthetic.
    LocoTex likes this.
  16. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

    Aug 14, 2009
    innsmouth, MA
    this is a big part of why nebraska is the only springsteen i can hang with.
    AlbertaGriff likes this.
  17. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 18, 2018
    Some fit well with the times. Talk Talk is a good example. And it's aged well.

    But there are more than a few good songs from that time that have not aged well. OMG the gated drums. Yuck. It worked for techno pop and such. But it killed so many otherwise good rock songs.

    There are some techno/brit pop songs that sound as good now as they did then, drums and all. But Def Leppard? Not so much.

    *wince* How do you kill that nice old marshall grind? I got it. Let's make the drums sound like a racquetball court.

  18. soul-o

    soul-o Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 29, 2007
    Well, i don't know about ruined, but a lot of Steve Winwood's 80s material has benefitted greatly from the passage of time. There were some cracking tunes under all those DX7 sounds.
  19. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2017
    Cambridge England
    +1. Valerie, Higher Love etc were very good songs, but the crude synth horn parts make them nearly unlistenable for me - and SW is one of my musical heroes.

    At least Stevie has plenty of other well arranged back catalogue and is still great live.

    More tragic imho is that most of Sam Cooke's material was drenched in horrible strings and cheesy backing vocals - very sad for one of the greatest ever soul voices. There's a stunning live album of him playing at the Apollo without all the crap, that's a must to hear Sam firing on all cylinders without the sugar coating.

    On the subject of strings, the backing on Fleetwood Mac's Need Your Love So Bad is horrific. There are good alternative versions with hammond or piano instead of strings - I never understood the decision to wreck such a Peter Green classic with the strings:confused:

    End of rant:lol:
  20. buster poser

    buster poser Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    May 1, 2018


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