What is the worst recorded CD you have?

I have a C,S,N&Y CD "American Dream" that I keep around to use as a reference because it sounds so bad!It is like they recorded it with a bag over the Mic's!
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

I have it... and if it was not related to Queen, I'd probably use it as a skeet.

What can I say? I am a Queen fan...

This recording is so bad, I have only listened to it 1 time. That was when it came out 10 years ago or so... I listened to it on a system that has much less resolution than my current reference setup.

I cringe to even hear what it sounds on my setup now...

Buckwheat Zydeco A 20 year party.

Sounds as most of the songs were recorded on a Ghetto Blaster way to far back in the room Low levels of music combined with high levels of noise.

If it weren't for the last song "Hey Baby" this disc would be a coaster.
Artie Shaw Grammercy Five on Bluebirtd. Wonderful music, awful tinny sound. To amaze the "CDs are perfect" crowd, I do an A/B comparison between this CD and a couple of 78s I have of the same music. The 78s sound awesome in comparison.
i can only present the largest comparison between cd and vinyl that is so obvious on king crimson's "islands" album that sounds so great on vinyl and so poor on cd.
The Byrds Greatest Hits....painfully bright and thin

Marakanetz, my Islands cd sounds pretty good. It's on the EG label -- EGCD5 (Definitive Edition remastered in 1989 by Fripp and Arnold). If you have the same edition, either our ears/equipment is very different or you might have a bad copy if there is such a thing. That's one of my favorite cd's though, of course, it would not compare exactly to the original vinyl.

The worst cd in our collection is an anthology: The Beatles / 1967-1970 on Capitol (CDP 0777 7 97039 2 0). Whenever my wife plays it, I have to leave the room.
Robert Earl Keen, "Picnic". A lesson in what goes wrong when your brother becomes the producer. Impossibly screechy highs and opaque midrange textures frame the most banal writing in Keen's career. It must be hard loseing one's muse in public; perhaps the sound quality was meant as a distraction.
I'm with Tim, Byrd's greatest hits. Sounds like it was mastered on a cassette deck (a bad one).
Most of my bootlegs.
"Worst recorded", that's kind of a tough call if you only get to pick one, Raw Power (Iggy and the Stooges) is pretty stinko, Soft Machine 3 is a crime too. Lots of stuff was dang lousy in the seventies and then got a poor transfer to digital. In lots of cases yer' better off letting the tunes playback in your head.
To Ozfly and Marakanetz, try the "Islands" 30th anniversary edition."A Sailor's Tale" never sounded better. Crimson's entire catalog has been remastered using 24 bit mapping and the HDCD process. The cover art is the original "nebula" photo that graced the import. As far as my worst CD, it would be the first CD I bought;"In the Court of the Crimson King". I held off for 5 years on buying a CD player until the great vinyl drought of 1990
DaveClark5 "a history of of the DC5". Remastered by the man who ownes the dc5 masters Dave Clark. Deaf in one ear I believe(judging from the cd,more like both ears)he thinks he can hear better than any engineer.My 37 year old lp's that I used to leave sitting out of the their jackets for days sound better than this pocket frissbee.Pity the poor geezer Dave ,he shoulda had a young,fast and scientific type remaster this great music for him
U2: Best Of. It's the one with the olive green cover.
Every song is just unlistenable on my system. Very bright and edgy sounding.
"The Best Of Dr.John" unbelievable I mean where did they get the master tapes a 500th generation dub cassette copy on a 10 cent tape which was left inside a car in the Sahara desert for a couple years before using them?
recieved or bought C,S,N&Y "American Dream"!Pretty good examples to what to lookout for!

Wonder how many some guy somelace has of the ones mentioned thus far.If there is a guy that has more than say 4 he probably has an old 70's reciever system along with speaker's that have tweeter's which have puncture holes in them and Mold growing on the Woofer's in a dank basement!Probably has people over also to show them his SOTA system!

Ignorance is bliss!
Anything on Deutche Grammophon
Telarc made a number of recordings of Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony doing large scale choral works. They were uniformly awful--thick, opaque, congested on both ends--finding popularity only with people who were impressed by blatty organ pedal notes and huge banks of muddy choral sound (same folks who buy recordings of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir). Some say that Shaw--a dying autocrat at the time--insisted on the mix.

Mainliner: 'Mainliner Sonic', although I believe it was a calculated maneuver to replicate the sound of your speaker cones imploding upon themselves.

I've owned (and sold) some pretty crappy mid-'80's digital transfers of early jazz recordings that were pretty nasty...most recently, I was bummed out by a two-disc Ellington CD set that sounded as if the soul of the music had been forcibly wrenched out.

The worst case of bad digital transferring was evident in a set of Greek rebetica recordings transcribed from '78's and metal discs from the early part of the century. Intolerable...sounded like you were listening to a TV speaker playing from another room. Granted this is a tough task, but I own a few discs of music from this vintage that are actually quite nice. I imagine that you just have to CARE about the music you're processing to do it justice.
Will....Your post raises a whole other issue. What is a choral sound? Mr. Shaw always felt a chorus should communicate as one voice.

The hyper detailed recordings popular with a lot of Audiophiles by people like John Elliot Gardner are anything but choral singing. Instead of one voice, Mr Gardner gives us 60+ individual voices singing the same thing at the same time. Mr. Gardner even calls his main group the "English Barogue Soloists"; ie, a large group of individual soloists; not a chorus.

Seems like a lot of the worst sounding CDs are "Best Of" compilations, the irony is incredible. It's really no wonder that the major labels are seeing diminished sales. The whining about Napster and the like only serves to divert the attention from the real problems in the recording industry. They need to take a long hard look in the mirror, in many cases the sound just sucks.
Sugarbrie, you're right, of course. But there is a big difference between coherent choral sound and muddy, smeary recording technique. Listen to recent recordings of the Kings College boys and men to hear the difference. They have a new release (sorry, info not at hand but email me if you want it) of the Handel Coronation Anthems that is absolutely superb from both choral and recording perspectives.

It was my privilege to sing for Mr. Shaw on a number of occasions. Until his last few years he was a marvelous choral pedagogue. At the end, his hearing had gone and he became a petty tyrant--no fun at all.

Lord, grant us the wisdom to know when to quit.

Deutsche Grammophone: Hell for me would be to be condemned to sit in front of a first class system and hear nothing but DGG. I would plead to become stone deaf. By the way, I agree with Will, the Telarcs he mentions are a pain...Cheers
Yes Will I agree. I sing currently in Baltimore with one of Mr. Shaw's protégés, Tom Hall. I've also had the pleasure of meeting and singing for Mr. Shaw's main arranger Alice Parker.

For anyone around Baltimore, we are performing in a free remembrance concert at Goucher College on September 11th.

Sugarbrie: I'm relocating to DC and looking forward to getting back into some quality choral singing. I attended a workshop done by Alice Parker some years ago. Wow! She blew us away. Love her arrangements.

Good luck with the concert; wish I could hear it.

Marcel Marceau Live; I think he needs a new sound engineer...all of his LPs sound the same.
Vetterone -- too funny! Do you have any of his cd's?
Hello Bishopwill, you are right, in the late 80's early 90's I'd bought some of Telarc/Shaw/Atlanta Orc.'s and found exactly the same as you stated: Thick, opaque, congested. At the time I had what I'd called a synergy system. two 20 amps dedicated circuit breakers/Distech Powerbridge PC's/Tice Power blocks/Krell MD-1/Wadia 1000/ML-No.26/ML-No.23/HPC XLR ics/Monster M1 Spearker cable (I could be wrong on speakers cable model) JBL Studio monitor upgraded crossover with sledhammer caps, resistors etc... Anyway, I quit the "Hi-end" hobby and sold all except a few CD's left. Now that I am back, and and have a new system almost the same accept a bit more :-) (better situation you know) I try the recordings mentioned again, and found the sound is stunning resolution, soundstage is hugh - high/low/wide/inside/outside/precise/deep. Sorry for the long... What is the subject, again ? :-)

This has turned into the audiophile versus music lover post.
I actually agree that many of the Shaw/Telarc recording are like you say. But, in many cases I like the performance on quite a few of them much better than on other better sounding CDs. I can't listen to a clearly recorded mediocre performance. I'd rather have a slightly muddy good performance if that is all I can get.
No dougbt, the performance is good, especially my favorite Mozart Requiem.

Ozfly, no CD's but I did see a Marcel Marceau LP in the 70's. I laughed it off at the time. If it wasn't Pink Floyd or The Ray Conniff Orchestra, I could not have cared less.
I will have to try and find one. It would be a kick.
By the way, the worst CD I own is Iron Butterfly-"In a Godda Da vida". Shrill sound and so much background noise one would think it was recorded at the airport Motel 6 with a newlywed couple staying next door.
I assume Cdc was referring to Genesis' self-titled cd from the mid 80s, the one with "Mama" on it.

I do not own that cd, but I have heard the original issue on a decent system and second his opinion. It sounds amazingly bad--thin, compressed, ick. I do not know if it was remastered for the recent Genesis reissues and if it sounds any better these days (hopefully Cdc is not referring to a remastered version).
Steely Dan's original CD pressing of Gaucho is like chewing on tinfoil, especially the title cut which is by far the worst sounding track on the whole disc -- positively painful. Funny, but the last few songs sound better than the rest.
The quality of the DVDA of Neil Youngs Road rock
is terrible.