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Sylvanelf
(stardust savant)
03/30/04 06:46 PM
Bowie's best produced album?  

I have to write a small paper sometime Spring Quarter and, well, I've narrowed the topic down to a few choices, and a couple of them are Bowie albums. I thought it might make an interesting thread to ask you guys which Bowie album you think is the best produced? Which one was the most well produced, recorded and mixed?

Is it The Buddha of Suburbia or Diamond Dogs, in which Bowie did a lot of work on himself? Is it Hours, which Mark Platti (hahahaha) worked on? Or is it one of the numerous and famous Tony Visconti albums? Do tell.

And if anybody says Reality, or Tin Machine or something like that, you'll have to give some damn good reasons.

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pianocraft
(crash course raver)
03/30/04 07:13 PM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Sylvanelf]  

I'm gonna have to go with good ol' Ziggy Stardust. There are a lot of tasty touches to listen for on this album.

Note the subtle acoustic guitar panned right on even the hardest rockers like Suffragette City, Moonage Daydream and Ziggy Stardust.

Note some of the greatest drumming moments in rock and roll, the beginning of Five Years, Soul Love, and Starman, especially Starman.

Notice some of the greatest guitar tones in rock history on Daydream, Ziggy, Suicide, and City. Especially notice the layers of at least three guitars on Ziggy Stardust.

Notice the sound effects as Five Years closes, and notice the sax solo on Soul Love. There are a lot of choice moments on the album Ziggy Stardust.



zigbot
(crash course raver)
03/30/04 07:29 PM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: pianocraft]  

I can hardly pick a favorite album or favorite album production, but I do agree with pianocraft's observation of all the subtle--and not so subtle--sonic gems on Ziggy Stardust.

I love the saxophone on Soul Love, Ronno's amazing guitar on Moonage Daydream, and the drums sound good throughout. Maybe it's time David work with Woody Woodmansay again, eh? The Ziggy album is well-produced, no doubt, in part because the production is in the background (where it BELONGS) and doesn't upstage the largely organic sound of the songs.



zigbot

kipt
(kook)
03/30/04 08:11 PM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Sylvanelf]  

well, this is surprisingly tough. I'm tempted to say low but I'll have to think this over carefully. Low did have that famous drum sound, and sounds magnificient, but is it the BEST?
Outside was produced magnificiently too, and Heathen was underrated criminally in that respect IMO.
Oh, what the heck, I choose Low. It's hard to make something so swamped in effects that good sounding, from a production standpoint.



FritzFassbender
(kook)
03/30/04 08:54 PM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Sylvanelf]  

I would go with Diamond Dogs, because, to me, that album has everything that's good about Bowie on it. Namely, kick-ass rock with a real sense of drama. That's very difficult to combine, as demonstrated by albums like Low and Outside, which are dramatic, but have songs that are more fragmented. So from a production standpoint, DD is surely his best.



TheYoungDude
(kook)
03/30/04 10:00 PM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: FritzFassbender]  

I'd also have to go with Diamond Dogs, although your points about Ziggy Stardust are very correct. As FritzFassbender said, Diamond Dogs is pure Bowie. The music and theme is amazing, and it also helped that David practically produced all of it. So in my opinion, Diamond Dogs would be his best produced album.

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poorsoul
(acolyte)
03/31/04 01:02 AM
Decay [re: Sylvanelf]  

In reply to:

Is it The Buddha of Suburbia or Diamond Dogs, in which Bowie did a lot of work on himself?



Or possibly Earthling. I did think of those as starting points but I know whatever I choose is going to be biased more by my listening preferences than the actual work that went into the production and arrangements. But, then, maybe I like those albums because they are so well-produced. All I can do is work via a process of elimation and say it wasn't anything from the 60s or 80s.

In reply to:

Is it Hours, which Mark Platti (hahahaha) worked on?



Don't blame Mark for Bowie and Reeves' dodgy work. He only came in to clean up the mess they'd created. If he'd been with them from the start, I'm sure the album would've be so scorned today.

In reply to:

Or is it one of the numerous and famous Tony Visconti albums?



Considering he worked on just about all of the "classic" albums, I'm sure he'd be picked as best producer by an overwhelming majority.

_



Earthling7
(electric tomato)
03/31/04 02:31 AM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Sylvanelf]  

Shortlisting:

Ziggy (for reasons already mentioned)
Station To Station (the crispiest album of 1976?)
Low (for reasons already mentioned)
Heroes (for the B/W soundscape)
Scary Monsters (for the sound quality, dynamics and cutting edge technique)
Let's Dance (like it or not, it sounds good)
1.Outside (a bit messy but cleverly produced)
Earthling (a protools showcase)
Heathen (for all the little magic touches)

Ziggy vs.Station To Station = S2S
Low vs. Heroes = Heroes (for the atmosphere created)
Scary Monsters vs. Let's Dance = SM (LD sounds better but the SM production is like an instrument of it's own)
1.Outside vs. Earthling = Earthling (Outside would win if it was about the songs, but Battle For Britainesque production wins this one)
Heathen (for all the little magic touches)

S2S vs. Heroes = S2S
SM vs. Earthling = SM
Heathen (damn, should have made sure I had an even number)

S2S vs. SM = SM
Heathen

I dunno. It's a tough one. I thought I was onto something... I thought by narrowing it down I'd reach a conclusion, but now I'm deranged and my eyes have crossed. Tough assignment and I give up.

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Tin
(cracked actor)
03/31/04 02:36 AM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Sylvanelf]  

I'd go with Ziggy Stardust for the previously stated reasons and a few other "groundbreaking" techniques used that are mentioned in a Mix article I posted here a few weeks ago. If you're looking for production that influenced loads of others, go Ziggy.

"You've gotta laugh when you can't cry no more." - DOT 3, "Palo Alto's finest voodoo funk band"

Max_M
(wild eyed peoploid)
03/31/04 04:06 AM
Re: Bowie's best produced album? [re: Tin]  

I honestly think Heathen is his best produced album, everything about it screams quality; such a big improvement after 'hours...'

After that I'd probably go with Low. In my opinion, it's aged much better than his other 70s albums, although I'd also rate Aladdin Sane high in this respect.




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