I remain convinced that it can though there are few exemplars which might serve to justify that hope. I've wasted alot of money chasing this, but in the process of searching for wickedly heavy screaming guitars and driving beats WELL RECORDED, stumbled upon the genre which most closely matches my lust for musical nirvana. Also I've had some limited success with new-issue tribute albums among which is BLUE HAZE/Songs of Jimi Hendrix. Some of the tracks, notably Purple Haze and Belly Button Window, are among the best recordings of anything I have on CD.
For heavy instrumental try:
Squadrophenia by Cosmosquad
For fusion with rock instrumentation:
Tribal Tech's Thick and their Rocket Science
Then there is the hard to classify:
We Saw a Bozo Under the Sea by Zoot Horn Rollo
Most of these you can sample over the internet -- some actually may penetrate the digital haze to show their merit, but at least you can taste the type of music to see if it satisfies enough of the Rock and Roll classification to fall into what you are looking for.
I will be watching this thread with interest as well as I've found precious little that I could recommend.
Though the rock genre has its share of clunkers, to be sure, there are some jewels in there. Just off the top of my head:
Most Moody Blues albums
"Van Halen"--the DCC gold version will make short work of the notion that all VH sounds bad
Most ABBA albums
Many Beatles albums
Paul McCartney: "McCartney I," "Ram"
Cars: "The Cars"
Most Dire Straits albums
Fleetwood Mac: "Rumours" and "Tusk"
Eagles: "Hotel California"
There are many, many others, but I've run out of steam (haven't had my morning cup o coffee yet). Anyway, while rock often gets a bad rap about the sound quality of its titles, there are still some pretty choice offerings out there. Ya just gotta look!
Just off the top of my head:
most Steely Dan,
most Eric Clapton,
For a sonic treat, get the cd "Puzzle" by the alternative rock band, "dada".
Sonically spectacular IMHO and I love the music. It's been in regular rotation at the TIC household since it was first released in 1993.
Another good blues rock record is Robben Ford and the Blue Line. Great rock/blues guitar and well recorded. Good songs too. I especially like "You Cut Me to the Bone".
Tone controls is a must for Rock'n'Roll listening.
A lot of the newer/alternitive music is much better on the recording side of things. Bands like Creed, Staind, Puddle of mud, Korns new one was actually recorded in DSD, Alice in Chains and so on. If you are into that type of rock there are many to choose from. I agree that the classic rock bands have some very poor recordings, its a shame.
The remastered Led Zep stuff is ok and I forgot about the newly remastered rush as well. I have the DCC gold Van Halen, its still not that good. The mobil fidelity guns and roses is not that good either.
Silly question. Keep on listening to your lite jazz and leave the harder stuff to those who can handle it.
Silly Onhwy61, I like the music as hard as it comes, definitely harder, deeper and more menacing than the likes of most cookie-cutter, standard issue metal bands are capable of cranking out (read the utterly BORING Metallica, et al), but I want the heaviness/hardness to arise from musical concept and the way an electric is tuned and played vs. the hideous decimation wreaked by poor recording technique.
I defy anyone to find anything much harder or more intense than "On the Virg" by Serious Young Insects, yet the recording technique is pretty fair, so it is listenable. Same with Squadrophenia cited above, but still one wishes for even better. Buckethead has released some of the rawest most grating guitar tones ever recorded and yet some of it is recorded well enough to make it sweet sonic nectar to me.
I second the last 2 Steely Dan releases and would add vis-a-vis Robben Ford, the sonically rewarding "Jing Chi".
Good thread -- please keep adding.
Maich , try the Rammstein material. Start with the latest; Mutter then work backwards . . Its recorded well and they rock . See the shows when they hit the states the first of the year...... Most all heavy music is tame in the fidelity dept. The Wall Mofi was the early exception. I think that the sacd of ELP s Brain Salad Surgery is recordrd well as well though is not heavy metal of course. Actually now that i think about it ... Black Oak Arkanasa released a great heavy album about two years ago , name slips me but was good fidelity. I will keep thinking buty the list will be short as most hard rock is poorly treated .
Buckethead is way post rock'n'roll and even new wave either. He's definitely genius and superb guitar player. I've never listened to his solo albums, but I heard him with Bill Laswell live and recorded. In both cases they sound fantastic. If you like Buckethead and further "heavy stuff not so boring as Metallica", you should definitely check out Magma and also solo albums of Christian and Maurice Vander that are band leaders. You'll be lucky if you get these albums (CDs or records) bellow $30, but this is like an investment to paintings: it'll never drop bellow unless the condition of media gets worse. Check the heavy noise stuff by Goz of Kermeur!
To classic Rock'n'Roll such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, Genesis, most of Jethro Tull, some of Supertramp I'd use tone controlls. King Crimson stuff seems to be in very good shape except their first two albums.
Almost all punk of 80's doesn't need tone controlls.
This is just my opinion, but it seems to me that rock-n-roll/metal cds produced in the States are severely lacking in fidelity when compared to those made in some other countries. If you are interested in expanding your musical horizons (geographically, as well as musically) you may want to check out the following:
Freak Kitchen: Move (2002, Sweden)
Nightwish: Wishmaster (2000, Finland)
Artrosis: In the Flowers' Shade (2000, Poland)
The only thing these three cds have in common is a higher level of fidelity than the vast majority of cds out there. These three bands are very different, but all very good at what they do. Now, if Artrosis and Freak Kitchen would just tour the States....
I'm not sure of your definition of Rock-n-Roll, but I'll assume a loose meaning:
Yes album remasters
Allman Bros. live at Fillmore East remaster
Lynyrd Skynyrd one more for the road -live remaster
Beck albums (most)
Jack Johnson (studio albums)
Ben Harper albums - excellent
White Stripes albums - more recent are better, but all are pretty good
Tool - some are HDCD
Days of the New - excellent acoustic guitar rock
Unplugged Alice in chains and Nirvana - both are stunning
Godsmack - The other side
Thanks to those who have added dimension and intriguing new possibilities to this quest! I will definitely be checking out those mentioned with which I'm unfamiliar.
I am aware there may be a problem of classification on some of this stuff. Personally, I will listen to AND PERPETUALLY RETURN TO ANYTHING well recorded (about 25 to 50 of my thousand or so CDs). The rest I just won't listen to, so it is obvious to me that recording quality is MUCH more important than content to me. I have everything from Jane Monheit to African tribal chants to the hardest fusion (my musical core preference) BUT IT MUST BE RECORDED WELL!!
On ELP: LOVED THEM during their heyday on the world stage and years ago tried to reacquire the remastered CDs. Sound quality was OK, but like all the archive R and R stuff, the instruments sounded small and recessed in space. I want my instruments to sound life sized or larger -- as big in a room as an amped live guitar would be -- very rare that an old recording will give you that.
A few more entries in best recorded electric-guitar based post advent-of-rock music: Uncle Moe's Space Ranch by Brett Garsed et al. And the first two Attention Deficit CDs don't know if they've put out any others.
It's worth noting that the last Warners reissues of the Van Halen albums are remastered using HDCD and sound great.
The same goes with the last Doors remasters also done with HDCD.
Audiophiles seem obsessed with DCC releases-most of these have been bypassed by more recent releases...
Thanks for the tips, I cant beleive that I left out the Eagle's "Hotel California", it is great. But to clarify, I am looking for the music that increases your blood pressure, an uncontrollable need to start playing air guitar, and you realize that your head is thrashing around. Judas Priest or Ozzy comes to mind. When K.K. or Randy starts playing and your pulled into the music instead of just listening. I'm even looking for rock ballads like the Scporpions and Dokken have.
Perhaps the best advice I can give you is to go over to the Audiophile Imports website. They specialize in fusion music which in ALOT of cases is produced by the maturing ex-members of metal bands, including a few of Ozzy's guitarists.
Notably one of these cases that comes to mind is Chris Poland, ex Megadeth guitarist, who is now doing work in OHM that I hear great things about. Talk to the guys running the site by phone and explain what you seek. The main man has a long history with alot of these folks and knows his stuff so can direct you properly. Audio samples on their offerings too will help validate.
Another case I just remembered is Steve Stevens formerly of Billy Idol affiliation who is the guitarist behind "Black Light Syndrome" (name of the first CD by Bozzio Levin and Stevens) -- it is excellent and well recorded (avoid their second effort though -- sound quality is atrocious). Bozzio, the drummer has been with Jeff Beck, etc.
Without doing more research, I've forgotten the band roots of alot of these people since I have little interest in what they used to produce, but if you ever wondered what happens to an aging metalist with chops galore but no fan base, FUSION is where they are headed in droves!
Maich is dead on... but IMO great recording quality is not always required to achieve lift off, anyway, other evil serious (and well recorded) brain bombs are available from:
Dysrhythmia,(all three are good)
Dr. Nerve (Skin)
Trevor Dunn (Trio Convulsant)
Hasse Bruniusson (Flying Food Circus)
Coryell/Coster/Smith (Cause And Effect)
Massacre (w/ Fred Frith start w/ 2 or 3)
Jonas Hellborg (Time Is The Ememy, Abstract Logic)
Nekropsi (Mi Kubbesi)
Alamaailman Vasarat (1st)
David Fiuczynski (Kif, or Mandala)
Harriett Tubman (Prototype)
Bone Structure (Bendian/Stinson/Gauthier/Liebig)
Ruins (Vrresto... most of their others are kinetic monsters too, don't waste yer' time w/ Magma, this two man band easily eclipses them).
Maybe not so depraved, but still pretty narcotic:
Guru Guru (Kanguru)
Sonic Youth (A Thousand Leaves, Sonic Nurse)
Ganger (Hammock Style)
Priam (3 Distances)
Boom (One Hour Talisman)
Ui (Two sided Sharpie)
Tortoise (1st 3)
What does your system consist of. I spent nearly 2 years trying to make this work. I listen to everything from AC/DC to Zeppelin. I have got it real darn close. Some recordings just plain suck and you will never get them to sound good. But I would say I have got about 90% of them down. Everything needs to be forgiving. I am running tubes and analog, so I don't know what you have.
.....this all reminds me of my ultimate system back in the late seventies........the BEST of the BEST analogue.
Dirty, filthy grungy gonzo rock n roll sounded like a cruel joke on my purist system. The Frederic Fennel (sp?) demo albums just didn't cut it when I needed a "Raw Power" fix.
Marakanetz is so right re: classic rock.......tone controls and be one with the music......to hell with the "sound".
I have to jump in here as I mainly listen to rock and am a recovering Audiophile. I still enjoy the hobby but I am not an extremist as I used to be. I once built this system for absolute accuracy and it would absolutely sound amazing with good recordings. (YBA Integrated amp, JM Lab Speakers, Silver Interconnects, Spkr Wire etc) The problem I found was most of what I wanted to listen to was not recorded perfect.
I then found myself searching the world over for "good recordings" and not for "good Music" that I really wanted to pursue. Well, I finally came to my senses and sold my complete system here on Audiogon and put together what I have now. It still sounds fantastic on great recordings yet is forgiving enough to enjoy 99% of my collection. Do some discs sound better than others, absolutely! However, I can through in most anything and enjoy it. For me that is what this hobby is really about! Enjoying Music!
AC/DC "Back in Black"
Porcupine Tree "In Absentia"
Alice in Chains "Essential Alice in Chains"
These are all well recorded, SMOKIN' recordings. You can't go wrong.
Yep, a lot of rock is fairly "ill-recorded" indeed.
Now to your 802's, which I've sold for years....this typical audiphile speaker won't be super impressive for rock and heavy dynamics, run the way people typically run them. Running them fulll range in a passive setup, even with big amps won't yield you anywhere near "full dynamic transparancy" and inpact! Basically, hard rock and heavy dynamic stuff will be a little lack luster, soft, and restrained sounding. (many have probably notice this if they ever popped on some Metalica on some audiophile speakers).
Really, speakers with powered sub's, bass mangagment to a powerd sub, highly efficient (like horns and such), and even active speakers are going to beat up on your stock 802's running passively, full range! That's the way it is.
Most of these passive offerings can't deliver the control, slamm, impact, and full dynamic delivery needed to "rock!", if need be. That's another challenge for you.
I like a lot of the rock recordings. I've found that the early cd editions of classic rock were mostly bad, low recorded level and dynamics, however most re-masters sound good to me. Examples are the The Jimi Hendrix Experience box set, the Buffalo Springfield box set, Jethro Tull- "Passion Play", Yes, Stones-hybrids. A friend who has a great system complains that classic rock is too harsh, meaning bad sonics. He likes a warm sound as opposed to bright. I tell him he doesn't like rock music anymore. He argues, but in reality listens to mostly singer songwriter, acoustic based stuff. I submit that ROCK music is mostly harsh! Screaming guitar like Hendrix isn't supposed to sound warm and fuzzy to your ears, but more an assault on the senses.
Try the Gov't Mule CD titled "Dose". It's a combination of southern rock with some jazz hints. Not only is the group very talented and better than 90% of the rock stuff out there, the sonics are excellent including the kick drum and guitars.
Tvad mentioned the word smoking and it reminded me of...
Pick up Humble Pie "Smokin" it has pretty good sound quality for the era , especialy the bass.
Great tune, Ozzy! Nice call.
Dear oh dear there seems no end to these types of posts.
To the original poster the newer Van Halen remasters sound great,they are HDCD and to my ears they are very clear and well balanced.
There are thousands of rock releases that sound good agreed few may be to Audiophile standards but to me there is a contradiction in here-any appreciation of music surely should focus on the music and there are countless great recordings of music that aren't technically great.
That is one aspect which is subjective but the other main point isn't............................
Further than that why don't folks check the date on the back of any CD that is giving them grief then walk into a record store or check online to see if that disc has been updated/remastered since then.
It can't be that difficult,surely?
So often on this forum people refer to discs way way out of date surely if the sound bothers you that much you can take the time to check?
It happens time and time again.
Another couple great recorded rock albums are the Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers" and Aerosmith "Toys in the Attic".
I like crankin' up Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" too!
Try Little Feat's "Waiting For Columbus"... not only well recorded R&R, but incredibly well recorded LIVE R&R.