PDA

View Full Version : Badly Recorded Music



mistersloane
26-09-2006, 03:06 AM
I've been listening to alot of music that sounds rough at the moment - specifically the Wu Tang Clan's demo tapes, DMX's 'Unleashed and Unreleased', stuff that sounds like it's been recorded at the bottom of a swimming pool, and it reminded me of how much I like mistakes in sound, not glitches per se, just mistakes, like the moment on 'Louie Louie' when the vocalist comes in a bar too early and they left it in.
Any other ideas of where to find such gems? or just stuff that's been reeeeeeaaally badly recorded, but still sounds wicked?

tate
26-09-2006, 04:50 AM
Great idea for a thread. Now, how long 'til Ariel Pink comes up . . . ? :)

Gabba Flamenco Crossover
26-09-2006, 07:53 AM
I've got a 13th floor elevators live recording which sounds like utter bedlam. You can just about make out the band under the fuzz. It starts off with a very cheesy US radio announcer (these... are the driving sounds of... THE 13TH FLOOR E-LURVE-ATE-OORS!) which adds considerably to the appeal.

Joy Division's RCA demo is worth tracking down, very clanky & industrial, like the Fall on 'Spectre vs. Lecter'.

Lots of Chicago blues is very eccentrically recorded - not bad recordings as such, but the technical constraints they were working under produced some really odd-sounding records (ditto for ska & pre-70s reggae). I've got a John Lee Hooker song somewhere where the band fades out during the guitar solo then reappears again at the end - maybe the result of a very primative guitar overdub or setting up a compressor badly (but this was the early 50s, long before such techniques were in common use). The track has an incredibly wierd time signature too. Prog blues anyone?

greeneyes
26-09-2006, 07:55 AM
The entire Misfits back catalogue. Less than stellar sound quality, but the lack of quality emphasises the pure energy and brilliant melodies. Great example of recordings that are fit for purpose.

Same goes for Robert Johnson. The poor sound quality is definitely a large part of why I love his music. Thankfully you still can't buy an authenticity plug-in from your local music shop...

Woebot
26-09-2006, 08:25 AM
yeah this has never bothered me. i suspect lots of the things i like would be classed as bad recordings. i suppose in the same way i've never really been bothered if some of my records are just a little dutty and scratched.

but there are examples of things which have been ruined by bad recording. iggy and the stooges "raw power" is prolly the best example innit.

Nick Gutterbreakz
26-09-2006, 08:39 AM
iggy and the stooges "raw power" is prolly the best example innit.

that was fuckin Bowie's fault, wasn't it? The recording went okay, but then The Dame messed up the mix. That cd remix version kicks ass, though!

badly recorded music? i'll upload some of my old home demos!:p

or what about Suicide's 'First rehearsal tapes'? some nice spontaneous touches and covered in a thick fog of electronic phlegm. or early cabaret voltaire stuff in Chris Watson's loft? Or those really primitive Throbbing Gristle 2-track recordings like Zyclon B. Zombie? Basically, any old '70s industrial home recordings are good for me. i like that sense of pushing against the confines of the technology available at the time, trying to achieve something quiet sophisticated but falling short cos they didn't even have basic 4-track facilities...a battle between the human imagination and the primitive analogue devices at their disposal. knobs, noise, hiss, struggle...

IdleRich
26-09-2006, 10:39 AM
The Homosexuals and their ilk were all pretty badly recorded. I guess that was kind of deliberate or at least an automatic result (that they were happy to live with) of deliberately recording the tunes as cheaply as possible.

Buick6
26-09-2006, 12:39 PM
just listen to bands on the lamented Aussie garage-punk label DOG MEAT RECORDS - some of the greatest high-energy hard-rock bands of the the last 15 years recorded by idiot rock-heads that don't know what they're doing.

CRIME were terribly recorded.

As is some of the early ghetto-booty-house techno.

Interesting though that English bands always seem to be so WELL RECORDED, and yet suck live...Hmmm..

mistersloane
26-09-2006, 12:46 PM
As is some of the early ghetto-booty-house techno.



Yeah my mate ZeroAllData's got alot of Trax type stuff which just sounds RUFF, there's one I remember him playing where they've left the mic on and you can hear them talking in the studio in the back of this obvious machine music, genius.

henry s
26-09-2006, 01:15 PM
is there a diff between badly-recorded music and badly-mastered music?...I'm thinking of Black Secret Technology, which I've always liked but have trouble listening to...(it sounds as if it is being played through a walkie-talkie, no matter what sound system I run it through...granted, I never did pick up the re-issued version, which supposedly sounds much better)...

mistersloane
26-09-2006, 01:57 PM
is there a diff between badly-recorded music and badly-mastered music?...I'm thinking of Black Secret Technology, which I've always liked but have trouble listening to...(it sounds as if it is being played through a walkie-talkie, no matter what sound system I run it through...granted, I never did pick up the re-issued version, which supposedly sounds much better)...

Yeah, there is, I guess? i was just listening to the Wu-Tang demos and thinking, "but hang on a second, this guy was already a recording agent, it didn't NEED to sound this - for want of a better word - grimey". I think I'm talking about presence, where the recording is so duff it becomes febrile, either deliberately or not.

swears
26-09-2006, 03:00 PM
I remember reading an interview with Derrick May in which he said he liked to record and re-record certain parts of tracks over and over on cassette tapes because it gave "colour" to the sound.
I've never generally been a fan of lo-fi stuff though. I used to make 4-track electro stuff with a mate and we'd spend hours trying to get it to sound as clean as possible.

Oss
26-09-2006, 03:48 PM
Ariel Pink's the most obvious example of going too far in lo-fi recording. Some of the music is actually lost in the process, I think. He could at least get better quality casettes. Because some of the songs are just excellent.

The first 3 Sightings albums are beautiful. Everything's in red most of the time, exactly how it should be, in their case. I heard people complain it ruined the music, but I disagree. I'd hate to hear it "properly" produced.

TG sure is a good example. What was so good about them was that you'd get both hissy walkman recordings and hi quality studio stuff, sometimes on the same record. It was really exciting.

bruno
26-09-2006, 04:02 PM
that was fuckin Bowie's fault, wasn't it? The recording went okay, but then The Dame messed up the mix. That cd remix version kicks ass, though!
true! i like both versions but the iggy remix is sooo satisfying, completely distorted even at minimum volume :)

Octopus?
26-09-2006, 05:11 PM
Les Rallizes Denudes to thread! The feedback and muffled quality of their recordings is, all bizarre extracurricular activities aside, what makes them such a mysterious and powerful force. It sounds like they've been recorded underwater at the bottom of an enormous lake, the reverberations of the bass and spiraling feedback of the guitar cutting through the waves of hiss and distortion. The studio stuff that I've heard from them is good too, but it's on terribly recorded live albums that capture the full power of their sound (what it must have been like to be pummeled by their live onslaught) that they really come across.

And, natch, Ariel Pink + TG, of course :)

I'm also a huge fan of a lot of really terribly recorded 60's-70's punk/garage that appeals for the same reason. Some 80's post-punk/hardcore bands (Screamers, Necros, etc.) just have that extra edge of chaos and unpredictability through their recordings...they sound like broadcasts from another planet. Same deal for the whole "Killed By Death" scene of recordings.

noel emits
26-09-2006, 06:04 PM
Les Rallizes Denudes to thread!

Was gonna say! Live '77 obviously stunning in it's hugely over saturated bleed through breakdown sound. That '73 version of 'People Can Choose' which crops up on the 'Heavier Than A Death...' CD is even more degraded and possibly the most thrilling 10 minutes of rock and roll ever almost captured on tape.

Also big up several of my old groups. ;)

Martin Dust
26-09-2006, 06:09 PM
I love a bit of "duff" in recordings, the Misfits stuff is just brilliant - Walk Amongst Us being the best but Angelfuck is an amazing example of what could have been. I've been thinking about this very subject today while listening to Germ Free Adolescent by X-Ray Spex - the vocal shouldn't work but it's so wrong that you can hear and feel the very nature of what it is to be alive - with this in mind I've left some duff notes in the new tBd album :)

Nick Gutterbreakz
26-09-2006, 06:24 PM
If you're talking about messed-up performances, rather than recordings, I guess the Shaggs LP must be the ultimate example. It's an almighty pile-up from start to finish. when the studio engineer suggested that maybe the girls weren't quite ready to record yet, their dad said 'I want to get them while they're hot'. big-up Mr. Wiggins. the guy had vision...

mistersloane
26-09-2006, 07:03 PM
If you're talking about messed-up performances, rather than recordings, I guess the Shaggs LP must be the ultimate example. It's an almighty pile-up from start to finish. when the studio engineer suggested that maybe the girls weren't quite ready to record yet, their dad said 'I want to get them while they're hot'. big-up Mr. Wiggins. the guy had vision...

Lol yeah there's that fantastic quote about them playing in their local barn or whatever and everyone jerking around like zombies trying to dance because they were so out of time, fabulous.
Someone should do a bad recordings website, so we can all post up our old bands :)

henry s
26-09-2006, 08:10 PM
and to think that we were this close (squeezes thumb and forefinger together for emphasis) to a Shaggs biopic produced by Tom Fucking Cruise!

hint
26-09-2006, 08:27 PM
If you're talking about messed-up performances, rather than recordings, I guess the Shaggs LP must be the ultimate example. It's an almighty pile-up from start to finish. when the studio engineer suggested that maybe the girls weren't quite ready to record yet, their dad said 'I want to get them while they're hot'. big-up Mr. Wiggins. the guy had vision...

The engineer also suggested that he tune the girls' guitars, but the dad said "No need - they're brand new from Sears. Those things are guaranteed!"

That's pretty much the benchmark for bad musicianship / recording right thurr... all of this "oh I left a bit of hiss on the guitar track because it's, like, so warm" business is just playing.

Martin Dust
26-09-2006, 08:35 PM
and to think that we were this close (squeezes thumb and forefinger together for emphasis) to a Shaggs biopic produced by Tom Fucking Cruise!

That would have ace, they could have got the Magic Numbers in the play the Shaggs :)

martin
28-09-2006, 12:05 PM
Desperate Bicycles were odd in that their most poorly recorded material on the five 7"s was pretty sensational, whereas when they finally made a polished-sounding LP, the group sounded dead. Listening to their recordings in chronological order is like witnessing an exquisite mermaid slowly drown.

The 'Weird Noise' 2x7" compilation EP is a kind of bible of poorly recorded music - the Danny and the Dressmakers tracks and The Sellouts' "Ballad of Fuck Off Records" prove that literally anyone can have a go and still make songs so awesome they'd make a seahorse weep.

Also, regardless of any (dis)interest in punk / Oi!, the Cockney Rejects' "Live and Loud!" (not to be confused with their "Greatest Hits Vol 3: Live And Loud") LP on Link Records is one of the worst recorded live albums ever, but is crucial. Get the vinyl version, as it's about 10 times louder than the CD, and is mayhem incarnate, splattered with feedback squeals and screeches, misplayed notes, a tanked up audience and some of the best vocal sonics ever. It makes their studio recordings - and most guitar bands - sound so tame in comparison.

blunt
28-09-2006, 12:12 PM
The Moldy Peaches.

The bit towards the end of "Nothing Came Out" where the phone starts ringing in the background and they're stifling giggles is one of my favourite things of all time.

Nick Gutterbreakz
28-09-2006, 12:23 PM
The Moldy Peaches.

The bit towards the end of "Nothing Came Out" where the phone starts ringing in the background and they're stifling giggles is one of my favourite things of all time.

ah, 'giggling vocalists'...there's an area for exploration. remember Barney Sumner 'corpsing' on the opening verse of 'Every Little Counts'?

or how about stoned-out-of-his-gourd Elvis tackling 'Lonesome Tonight'? :D

simon silverdollar
28-09-2006, 12:48 PM
ruff sqwad when they went through that period of recording the hi hats and cymbals way into the red. not sure if it was intentional or not, but it sounded great.

i'm a big fan of early demo's of bands i love- bad brains 'black dots' is probably my favourite recording of theirs, and that has a lot to do with the really brittle, almost tinny sound quality.

henry s
28-09-2006, 01:11 PM
Gram Parsons on "Christine's Tune", when he coughs into the mike after one of the choruses, then quickly clears his throat...I've always loved that, like hey, he's human...Prince's combo cough/throat clear at the beginning of the "Raspberry Beret" video reminded me of that...

mistersloane
28-09-2006, 01:16 PM
ruff sqwad when they went through that period of recording the hi hats and cymbals way into the red. not sure if it was intentional or not, but it sounded great.

i'm a big fan of early demo's of bands i love- bad brains 'black dots' is probably my favourite recording of theirs, and that has a lot to do with the really brittle, almost tinny sound quality.

Oh man that version of Pay To Cum is just genius, nice one, forgotten about that. Did you ever see footage of them early live? He dances like James Brown, it's the most perfect miscegenation of culture ever. Any other demos?

Nick Gutterbreakz
28-09-2006, 01:21 PM
Gram Parsons on "Christine's Tune", when he coughs into the mike after one of the choruses, then quickly clears his throat...I've always loved that, like hey, he's human...Prince's combo cough/throat clear at the beginning of the "Raspberry Beret" video reminded me of that...

something similer happens at the start of Soft Machine's second album - Robert Wyatt clearing his throat for a split second between tracks. oh, the artistry!

of course, Bill Drummond sampled his cough, and turned it into a rythm track for 'King Boy's Dream' on the second JAMMS LP ("I'm cooler than Cool J, Tougher than Tyson"), although starting to stray off the subject here. I'll be up the pub tonight if anyone wants to continue this line of thought...

jd_
28-09-2006, 02:29 PM
Darkthrone and a lot of the early black metal stuff certainly deserves mention here.

Freakaholic
28-09-2006, 04:44 PM
i recently got back into my Leadbelly box set, and cant seem to shake the need to hear it.

theres something about this raw way of recording and how it complements the acoustic blues and the songs of loss, heartache, and generally just fucking up, that leaves me thinking, no feeling, like it couldnt be recorded any other way. it just wouldnt sound (feel) as good.

also, im not sure how much syndication this show gets:

http://www.wbez.org/programs/jazz_buckley/jz_buckley.asp

but i wake up to it a lot on Sundays. he plays so many lost recordings, live sets never released, and unmastered recordings of old jazz, swing, and big band songs. at first, one can get a bit irritated at the lack of quality in the sound, but it settles in and sounds really authentic and relaxing, for lack of a better word.


especially if your ears are still ringing from last nights Djs.

henry s
28-09-2006, 05:07 PM
of course, Bill Drummond sampled his cough, and turned it into a rythm track for 'King Boy's Dream' on the second JAMMS LP ("I'm cooler than Cool J, Tougher than Tyson"), although starting to stray off the subject here. I'll be up the pub tonight if anyone wants to continue this line of thought...

a further stray, but a tangent worth taken: doesn't "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath also feature a sampled/looped cough during the intro?

bruno
28-09-2006, 06:53 PM
a further stray, but a tangent worth taken: doesn't "Sweet Leaf" by Black Sabbath also featured a sampled/looped cough during the intro?
that's tony iommi, i think.

Buick6
30-09-2006, 10:34 AM
Was gonna say! Live '77 obviously stunning in it's hugely over saturated bleed through breakdown sound. That '73 version of 'People Can Choose' which crops up on the 'Heavier Than A Death...' CD is even more degraded and possibly the most thrilling 10 minutes of rock and roll ever almost captured on tape.

Also big up several of my old groups. ;)


WERD! Explosive, brain melting psychadelic JAP ROCK!

And Jandek.

Kate Mossad
01-10-2006, 03:10 PM
Metal Urbain's Paris Maquis single. Also I think Drunk On The Pope's Blood, a mini live album by the Birthday Party, was deliberately mixed to emphasise all the mistakes.