Some people love music for the melody. Some love it for the rhythm. Still others find the lyrics particularly moving. But there’s a group of music lovers that find the beauty in the production. Good music doesn’t simply happen by accident. Musical production is an art form all its own. Through the years, this art form has gone to new heights. Certainly there are some albums produced over the years that are better than others. But there are a few masterpieces of production.
Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’
For an album to be masterfully and artistically produced, it must have all the major components. Amazing songs with amazing lyrics and an inner story that the listener can discover. The album Rumours took a year to make and cost nearly $1 million! But the album was at the top of the charts for over 30 weeks showing that the proof it definitely in the pudding. Listen to Dreams from the album ‘Rumours’.
The Eagle’s ‘Desperado’
‘Desperado’ was The Eagle’s second album. This concept album is about the Dalton gang in the Old West. This early concept album includes some of the most memorable songs of not only the 1970′s, but the 20th century and today! The track list and lyrics are what give the listener the concept and hook them into the story. The production quality of all The Eagle’s albums (including ‘Desperado’) is certainly quite remarkable.
The balance and blend of the vocal tracks brings a certain tightness to the harmony that many bands simply fail to achieve. Moreover, the “conversation” had by all the instrumentals from one solo to another include a perfect flow and pacing. Listen to the title track Desperado here.
The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
Some of the greatest and most perfect production has been done in the decades of the 1960′s and 1970′s. This was a time when so many producers and engineers were pushing the limits of their imaginations when it came to what could be recorded and how. The Beatles were a household name by the time ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was recorded. By this time, they clearly wanted to make a thumb print on the world of music not just in the immediate, but for decades and beyond.
The tracks are all amazingly composed and performed for sure. But it’s the special effects and additional recording techniques used that were incredibly innovative for the time. A Day in the Life displays an amazing message and concept that is only properly received through the recording and production techniques.
The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’
This album is a lot of fun! But the quality is absolutely amazing. There’s a box set of the recording sessions that shows the inner workings of recording the album. ‘Pet Sounds’ has some great songs, but more importantly, it’s the technical work that takes it over the edge to give it the mass appeal that it has. One UK blogger rates it in his top 12 albums of all time. Give a listen to the track “Wouldn’t it be Nice?”
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Jason Kane is a professional blogger and self-proclaimed audiophile. He gets all of his vinyl records and turntables from SoundStage Direct.