Great Music/Bad Vinyl - 2010 Edition

You know it, you dread it -- a great performance but a crummy sounding LP. This is even worse than a crummy performance because you want to listen, but it's painful and offends our highfalutin' audiophile sensibilities. Yes, I know it's all about the music, but 'fess up; it hurts a bit to hear how bad that recording sounds.

Hope others chime in and share their tales of vinyl woe and help others avoid our expensive mistakes. Nominees should be restricted to vinyl you've actually heard and not water cooler scuttlebutt.

Without further adieu, my nominees are (drumroll...)

The Raveonettes - 'In and Out of Control'
Recorded too loud with no dynamic range.

Phosphorescent - 'Here's To Taking It Easy'
Imagine the sound of mid-60's Motown; this was worse.

The Dead Weather - 'Horehound'
Actually anything on the Third Man Record Label could be on this list. Jack, please, hire a real engineer. Please.

Special Award for Disappointment/Expectation Ratio:
Elvis Costello - 'My Aim Is True' (MSFL re-issue)
"Special Award for Disappointment/Expectation Ratio:
Elvis Costello - 'My Aim Is True' (MSFL re-issue)"

You must have gotten a bad copy. Mine is EXCELLENT both sonically and musically. All of the reviews I have read say the same thing. Sorry, don't agree with this...
LOTS of pop albums fit the bill:
just thinking how BAD the sound is on YES "Yessongs" live 1973 tour.. NO BASS... man I coulda done better with a stereo walkman.
how about the HORRIBLE sound of Chicago's IV "Live at Carnegie Hall" 4 record set? in some ways sound not too bad but all kinds of reflections and bouncy muddy lower mids and again NO BASS.
Then of course the unlistenable YES "Close to the Edge" the only version even listenable is the MFSL.
I have an OREGON album I absolutely LOVE the music on, but the vinyl quality is so incredibly bad with super noisy distortion it's unbearable.. the recording is good, the vinyl itself sucks and I went thru 3 copies trying to find one that didn't suck.. the pressing is "Roots in the Sky" on the Electa label.. could never find an import copy but that would be the way to go.. one of those ultra rare instances where the CD was a better situation than the LP!
"Miles and Monk at Newport" also pretty bad recording.. so is Coltranes "Live at the Village Vanguard II" sounds like it was recorded on a portable GE cassette recorder!!
I am really glad to hear Xiekitchen point out Close to the Edge as a terrible CD transfer. I used to enjoy listening to it on LP. The CD is without exaggeration unlistenable. Once every couple of years , I think to myself, it couldn't be that bad and I put it on. Within 2 or 3 minutes, I can't take any more of the screeching high frequency distortion and gross compression. What a shame for such a good work.
But that has always been the sound of The Raveonettes. I think it's purposely squished.
Yup, too bad about the Phosphorescent (I tried to warn you but alas too late). Easily my pick for poorest vinyl transfer of 2010.

The Analogue Productions release of Yes' Fragile has to be one of the most sterile transfers ever done - all the sounds are there, but the patient is dead, lying flat, utterly lifeless. My late 70's Atlantic pressing easily surpasses it in every aspect.

Mastodon - Crack the Skye is a muddy awful mess. The mastering is utter shit. There are so many good metal albums sonically, but this isn't one of them though musically it's quite good.

The recent transfers of the first few Ben Harper albums are somewhat disappointing as well, almost as if they were transferred from a digital source (albeit the fact you can plainly hear the tape hiss, especially on Fight For Your Mind which ought to have been a vinyl lovers dream, but it isn't).

There are, of course, many more.

Richard - I was warned and you were right. What kind of re-grind did they use for Phosphorescent? CD is good.

Synthfreek - This was my first Raveonettes they really all sound this bad?

Mofimadness - My copy of Elvis is so bad that the first time I spun it my reaction was to quickly shut down my whole system thinking something was blown!

Appreciate everyone sharing their tales of woe!
Palasr: "Mastodon - Crack the Skye is a muddy awful mess. The mastering is utter shit. There are so many good metal albums sonically, but this isn't one of them though musically it's quite good."

You must not own the 45 rpm double LP? It sounds pretty damn good to my ears. Plus, you have to consider that there is a helluva lot going on within those songs. The music on CTS is pushing in all kinds of directions - unlike, say Norah Jones.

Can you give me some examples of metal albums that you think are sonically great? I know a few, but they're pretty scarce in my collection.

And Mastodon did record CTS on analog tape, in case you're interested:
"Metal Albums that are sonically great"
You're not gonna believe this but,,, Black Sabbath "Technical Ecstacy" (the LP)wasn't bad...
Also Deep Purple's "Who Do We Think we are" LP pretty good sounding.
Yeah, I know about the 45RPM version, but I only found out after I bought the 33RPM (!). I agree, there is a lot of complexity happening, but there's a lot of complexity in a Mahler symphony and I have a few of those that sound stunning.

Decent sounding metal (and I use the term broadly) albums:

Faith No More - 'King For a Day, Fool for a Lifetime'
Soundgarden - 'Badmotorfinger' and 'Down on the Upside'
The Melvins - 'Stoner Witch'
Prong - 'Cleansing'
Leeway - Open Mouth Kiss
Nearly the entire Rage Against the Machine catalog, and most of Clutch's albums (especially Elephant Riders, recorded/mastered on a Tim de Paravicini modded Studer, which shamefully has never been on vinyl). There are more which I can't remember off the top of my head.
And, of course, there's the past - lots of good sounding Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Sabbath, Rainbow, etc.

What's your list of recommended metal LPs?

Here, some "metal" LP's that I think have great sound (of course I'm loosely using the term also):

Extreme - III Sides To Every Story

Metallica - Metallica

Hanoi Rocks - Two Steps From The Move

Queensryche - Empire

Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak, Black Rose

AC/DC - Powerage

Queen - News Of The World, A Day At The Races, The Game
ditto on Thin L.'s "Jailbreak" UK pressing (LP)

Xiekitchen, I'm fortunate to have some Thin Lizzy UK pressings as well.

One I forgot about:

King's X - Out Of The Silent Planet
Rush "Permanent Waves" MFSL , bright is an understatement
Classic Records @ Sundazed, too many dissappointing ones to list.
I've got an Presitige Mose Allison record that I think actually sounds better because its all scuffed up. it adds to the period charm of the blues.
Just picked up the double lp by Elvis Costello "National Ransom" produced by T Bone Burnett on the Hear Music label. Disc label says "Lupe-O-Tone". Hear Music is a licensed trademark of the Starbucks US Brands, Inc. The lp sounds compressed with no life, just terrible. Did I just get a lemon, or is this the norm with this particular recording?
My copy of National Ransom on LP also sounds like ass.
Lifeless for certain.
Aimee Mann isn't everyone's cup of tea but I think she's great. Her new album "Charmer" is another case of good music and crummy sounding vinyl. Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic just released Mendelssohn's 3rd on the first Deutsche Grammaphon release in 25 years and that is another very disappointing release.