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thesedays2014 04-17-2021 12:06 PM

Favourite and least favourite production of a Bon Jovi album
 
What do you guys think? I haven’t put ‘best/worst’ to make it a bit more personal; also, it’s difficult to compare what was expected in the 80s, 90s, 2000s... Here goes mine:
- Favourite: These Days. Some say it’s overproduced because most TD songs played lived were missing ‘something’; I think it’s more the fact that there are so many layers and fill-ins, too many for 5 guys to play live.
Anyway, every instrument and vocal is so clear, so distinct. You can hear every layer of music, without one interfering with another. In short, the production is extremely clean.
Special mention for Keep The Faith and Bounce too, both albums have a lovely heavy sound that suit Richie and Tico especially.
- Least favourite: This House is not for Sale. I could have said What About Now, but due to Richie’s beefy guitar (on some tracks), I find the production of the latter clearer.
THINFS is Shanks’ wall sound taken to the extreme and I really can’t appreciate it with a band like Bon Jovi (fine for U2, Coldplay, Killers type bands). Everything is one big mush and the drums sound awful, the cymbals and crash seem to deafen my ears.
Special mention for Fahrenheit, although the 80s Survivor style production was in at the time, it’s just difficult to listen too almost 40 years later 🤟🏿

Thinny 04-17-2021 02:21 PM

What About Now definitely least fave. It has such a generic sound, and is some ways if feels rushed and unfinished.

Would also agree with These Days and KTF being the best sounding.

liljovi93 04-17-2021 03:58 PM

Fav is probably These Days. I agree about the missing element live from time to time but I still felt that you could hear every band member on TD.

Worst is What About Now. All sounds like it was recorded in a tin.
I also listened to THINFS for the first time in a while today and couldn't believe how bad the production sounds compared to 2020.

Credit to Shanks for the production on 2020, in my opinion. He's had a lot of abuse and I've been one of them but I do think 2020 is the best production since Crush/Bounce.

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JackieBlue 04-17-2021 04:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thinny (Post 1273208)
...feels rushed and unfinished.

Maybe because it was? ;)

I can't address production from a technical point because I know zilch about it. But I like a clean sound, without a lot of special effects unless there's a good reason for them (i.e., something that ties to the lyrics or a specific atmosphere they're trying to create. Like the wind and chimes at the beginning of Wanted, or the robotic sound of the a capella repeats at the end of I Will Drive You Home, for ex.) I like to understand what's being sung without a lot of fuzziness or distortion or whatever it is, to mask the melody and/or lyrics.

And it's difficult for me to separate the lyrics and sing-ability from everything else. Even with a clean sound, if the lyrical content sucks or I can't sing along, it's pretty much lost me from the git. That's why I'll probably never like 2020, except for Luv Can.

All that said, without going back and listening to all of them, I'd probably go with These Days or Lost Highway as having the cleanest sound and THINFS as being the most cluttered (for want of a better word).

Thinny 04-17-2021 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JackieBlue (Post 1273210)
All that said, without going back and listening to all of them, I'd probably go with These Days or Lost Highway as having the cleanest sound and THINFS as being the most cluttered (for want of a better word).

Good call on Lost Highway, that's the best sounding album post 90s for me. It has a very organic feel to it, where as a lot of the other album sound like very processed.

Captain_jovi 04-17-2021 05:34 PM

I have to separate the pre and post 2005 albums due to shitshow production. Pre-2005, These Days sounds the least dated. Everything prior, songs are great but you can really tell KTF is from '92 but TD just feels really timeless. Post 2005 I would say 2020 or Lost Highway.

I lean towards Lost Highway, 2020's production is really good but it's a mixed bag. Some songs still have that distorted over processed vocals but you can at least hear less processed drums.

thesedays2014 04-17-2021 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_jovi (Post 1273213)
I have to separate the pre and post 2005 albums due to shitshow production. Pre-2005, These Days sounds the least dated. Everything prior, songs are great but you can really tell KTF is from '92 but TD just feels really timeless. Post 2005 I would say 2020 or Lost Highway.

I lean towards Lost Highway, 2020's production is really good but it's a mixed bag. Some songs still have that distorted over processed vocals but you can at least hear less processed drums.

Interesting, I don’t mind LH production, I also think Shanks’ ballad production in general is pretty good, but I remember putting LH the song on for my brother and him saying ‘you can hardly hear the guitar solo with all the compressed drums, cymbals and so on’

Alphavictim 04-17-2021 06:19 PM

Best: KTF
Worst: WAN

Although I guess 7800° also sounds REALLY generic in terms of sonics.

Captain_jovi 04-17-2021 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesedays2014 (Post 1273214)
Interesting, I don’t mind LH production, I also think Shanks’ ballad production in general is pretty good, but I remember putting LH the song on for my brother and him saying ‘you can hardly hear the guitar solo with all the compressed drums, cymbals and so on’

His ballad production on LH is really good. On every other album I feel like there's no intimacy and simplicity. They just feel over arranged.

I think it had a lot to do with it needing to match Huff's style of production which is far more organic and natural sounding otherwise you have a topsy turvy album production wise.

bonjovi90 04-18-2021 12:04 PM

The best sounding one for me definitely is These Days since it is so pristine and you can really feel the songs and each instrument in there.
Keep The Faith, Slippery and NJ also are sonically good but as others mentioned, they sound dated to their respective era.

The worst probably are WAN/THINFS which are both sonically a mud pool. Fahrenheit suffers from probably the most dated produciton of all Bon Jovi albums and has some weird style to it that I just can't relate to (even though I like many songs of the album itself).

JoviForever 04-18-2021 05:21 PM

Keep the Faith is probably my favourite - the songs on the whole have stood the test of time. The worst is between What About Now and Crush which was overrated in my opinion. I don’t think the songs from either of those albums age well and I couldn’t tell you the last time I listened to either of them.

Butters 04-18-2021 06:08 PM

Best = These Days
Worst = 7800 Farenhite

Walleris 04-19-2021 10:00 AM

These Days was the best. The sound is organic and it would have come off well in any era.

Worst I would say is What About Now, with Bounce being a closed second. Both albums were trying to capture the sound of yesterdays rock music, but in both cases those trends were already fading away by the time the albums came out and both times it really limited Richie's guitar contributions. It also didn't help that Jon was had already declined some in 2012, which perhaps caused Shanks wanting to put more effects on his voice, and for this reason, WAN would be my least favorite production.

cqleonardo 07-02-2021 05:46 AM

I have a bad ear for little details, I'm not a expert in production but I really like the production on Slippery, clean sound, I can really hear the bass through the whole album... NJ, KTF, TD sound good but too me not as good as SWW.
I don't know if it's because I never had a great sound system to listen so I can really hear little things underneath the big stuff but... The worst is WAN, THINFS right after and I love THINFS, especially the Palladium live album, the songs sound great there but on the actual album... Even the songs I like on WAN sound terrible on studio, What's Left of Me always had a Someday I'll Be Saturday Night vibe for me live, especially the BBB and Stutgart versions but on the studio sound like a generic pop rock song

Alphavictim 07-02-2021 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_jovi (Post 1273213)
These Days sounds the least dated. Everything prior, songs are great but you can really tell KTF is from '92 but TD just feels really timeless.

The general use of horns and the sitar (or whatever it is) on Something for the Pain sound 90s as ****. And not in a good way TBH, it sounds a bit bloated at times.

blazeofglory 07-02-2021 11:49 AM

My favorite is definitely These Days. There's honestly nothing about it that I would change.

KTF, New Jersey and Slippery sound great too, and as for more "modern" albums I think Lost Highway has the best sounding production, especially on Make A Memory.

Honorable mention to Crush - I can't quite put my finger on what exactly it is, but there's something about the production that really hits a spot for me. Perhaps it's my tendency to romanticize that era [emoji28]

My least favorite production would have to be on THINFS or WAN, even though I actually really like both albums (yes even WAN), but the production is just so unclear and compressed.

And as much as it pains me to say this, as it's one of my favorite BJ albums, HAND sounds quite unclear and compressed in places too, and I think that's really such a shame.

With those albums it's like you listen to the CDs and some songs have the sound quality of a sh*tty MP3 you downloaded from YouTube in 2011.


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Nige 07-02-2021 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blazeofglory (Post 1274562)
Honorable mention to Crush - I can't quite put my finger on what exactly it is, but there's something about the production that really hits a spot for me. Perhaps it's my tendency to romanticize that era [emoji28]

Agree - Crush as a very clean crisp production which works perfectly. It's not flashy but for the time and the songs it's great.

cqleonardo 07-02-2021 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blazeofglory (Post 1274562)
My favorite is definitely These Days. There's honestly nothing about it that I would change.

KTF, New Jersey and Slippery sound great too, and as for more "modern" albums I think Lost Highway has the best sounding production, especially on Make A Memory.

Honorable mention to Crush - I can't quite put my finger on what exactly it is, but there's something about the production that really hits a spot for me. Perhaps it's my tendency to romanticize that era [emoji28]

My least favorite production would have to be on THINFS or WAN, even though I actually really like both albums (yes even WAN), but the production is just so unclear and compressed.

And as much as it pains me to say this, as it's one of my favorite BJ albums, HAND sounds quite unclear and compressed in places too, and I think that's really such a shame.

With those albums it's like you listen to the CDs and some songs have the sound quality of a sh*tty MP3 you downloaded from YouTube in 2011.


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I think HAND is a great sounding album, besides the two big singles, for me they never did justice to those songs live, never sounded as good as the record

Thinny 07-02-2021 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alphavictim (Post 1274559)
The general use of horns and the sitar (or whatever it is) on Something for the Pain sound 90s as ****. And not in a good way TBH, it sounds a bit bloated at times.

I loved something for the pain at the time, but you're right, it hasn't aged as well as the rest of the record. I still don't think I'd change anything about the record, but that song does seem a little out of place now, especially coming after Hey God.

blazeofglory 07-02-2021 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cqleonardo (Post 1274573)
I think HAND is a great sounding album, besides the two big singles, for me they never did justice to those songs live, never sounded as good as the record

Regarding the songs and musical performance I totally agree with you - HAND sounds great! As I said it's one of my favorites.

However, I think the sound quality sounds quite compressed in places and as a very vocal-focused listener I feel like the vocals unfortunately kinda drown in the mix sometimes. I prefer a production where the vocals really shine on top of the mix - which is part of the reason why I named Make A Memory as an example of a very well-produced song, because the vocals sound very clear and really stand out of the mix on that song.

Captain_jovi 07-02-2021 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alphavictim (Post 1274559)
The general use of horns and the sitar (or whatever it is) on Something for the Pain sound 90s as ****. And not in a good way TBH, it sounds a bit bloated at times.

That's an interesting thought. Hmm to me the horns is what makes it LESS timeless but only because it's very motown-y/70's soul-rock to me.

Agreed that Something For the Pain is the one that aged the worst.

Litneg 07-04-2021 03:48 PM

Best: These Days! Honorable mention to 2020 (singles aside), which was a great surprise when you compare to the others post-2005 records.

Worst: WAN, and don't get me wrong, I like the record... even so it's so terribly mixed that I can't stand some tracks like "Army Of One" or "That's What The Water Made Me", I just skip these. THINFS is on the same path (overproduced and generic in most parts) but I still hear and enjoy the tracks.

bonjovi90 07-04-2021 04:00 PM

I agree about the WAN production being the worst, 2020 was a step into a better direction (though they kind of fell back into the old pattern on stuff like Limitless). The continuation of this "wall of sound" has actually made me dislike HAND much more than back in the day. Some tracks were really too much at the time. Well, luckily we have the multitracks so one can remix it to the own liking.

The worst-ever sounding track, for me, is I'm With You. Such a terrible robotic production that completely missed the song's vibe.

James_86 07-04-2021 09:12 PM

I really like the production on Bounce. Last time they sounded like an organic rock and roll band.

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rolo_tomachi 07-05-2021 02:28 PM

My favorite is probably the Box Set 2004, although there are a lot of different sounds, the mixing and production from songs of the 90s here, are my favorite. It's not as polished as an album, but it also doesn't sound as rough as a demo. It just sounds exquisite for me.

Least favorite albums? WAN and THINFS. The mix & production sound is disappointing in both cases.


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