Moody Blues- Every Good Boy Deserves Favour-Some of their best work but too too bass heavy and distortion in some passages. Renaissance-Live at Carnegie Hall= Wonderfull preformance and poorly mastered and recorded Those are two that would be on my "heavy rotation" list but I am sure I will think of more.
I have always thought Todd Rundgren's albums often sound poor, but I really love the music. I can remember bringing around Nearly Human, a (live in studio) digital recording. I couldn't have any system that wouldn't allow me to enjoy this wonderful , though hard and thin sounding music.
Recently, Springsteen's Magic had to be one of the worst sounding modern major recordings (where the artist wasn't looking for a distorted, low fi or garage sound) His next album, Working on a Dream got a little better. Bad mastering, I think on both. Earlier Springsteen on LP can sound quite good. Shame we are going backwards, though the relatively unprocessed Seeger Sessions sounds pretty good.
interesting you should mention todd rundgren--i was listening recently to "an elpee worth of productions", which is a best-of his outside productions and was struck by how crummy much of it sounded--compressed, flat and congested. on the other hand, his "skylarking" (xtc) and badfinger productions are great. some other notoriously botched productions of good records: marshall crenshaw, field day (steve lillywhite). his production of the la's was also roundly skewered, tho i kinda like it. the specials (elvis costello) graham parker, stick to me (nick lowe) husker du, zen arcade. there's a great record buried in all that murk.
I was just listening to Todd Rundgren, too. Maybe I'm just drawn to badly recorded albums?
Interesting comment about Springsteen. I'm always mystified by big differences in recording quality between an artist's albums. Beck is my prime example. Sea Change and Mutations are amazing recordings. Modern Guilt is just plain bad.
The other two are: Dead Can Dance - Spleen and Ideal ( pretty bad ) John McLaughlin/Paco de Lucia/Al di Meola - Passion, Grace&Fire. Acoustic guitar masterpiece but that digital recording of 1981 sucks big time. What a shame.
Indeed, Todd may be god, but he's a tin-eared god at best. All of the Utopia LPs are simply terrible recordings. My personal favorite is 'Adventures in Utopia' which is a fantastic bunch of tunes rendered nearly unlistenable by the screechy sound quality. As far as XTC's Skylarking is concerned, the recent 45 RPM remaster by Andy Partridge really brought this Rundgren hatchet job to life for me, fixing much of the terrible mastering EQ.
it may be useful to distinguish between really incompetent recordings and technically proficient recordings which may sound bad. for example, i don't like much of mitchell froom's or daniel lanois's stuff--too slick or too stylized--although they both work with great artists and know what they're doing. in general, i think the producer's role should be to capture the essence of the artist, not to give the artist the trademark sound of the producer.
A lot (not all) of classic Allman Brothers recordings have not always been the greatest over the years for whatever reason.
I used to think many of the original classic 7 Moody Blues albums were not the greatest recordings (murky mellotron) despite being perhaps my absolute favorites otherwise, however, recent advances in digital remastering and higher resolution playback gear and improvements to my own system seems to have corrected that situation and they are now often quite stunning.
Inner Mounting Flame is huge watershed, but yeah... usually yer' better off having it play back in your head instead of on your system. Same w/ Soft Machine 3, Tony Williams Lifetime/ Emergency, Captain Beefheart/Mirror Man, Lou Reed/Rock and Roll Animal and Larry Coryell Barefoot Boy.
Mapman, I agree with your Allman Brothers. People should relisten to "Enlightened Rogues". Excellent music, even though this was the Don Johnson era. Also, the Moody Blues lps I have on Decca, sound quite good overall.