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Favourite and least favourite production of a Bon Jovi album

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  #1  
Old 04-17-2021, 12:06 PM
thesedays2014 thesedays2014 is offline
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Default 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 🤟🏿
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Old 04-17-2021, 02:21 PM
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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.
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Old 04-17-2021, 03:58 PM
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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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Old 04-17-2021, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinny View Post
...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).
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
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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.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:34 PM
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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.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain_jovi View Post
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’
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Old 04-17-2021, 06:19 PM
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Best: KTF
Worst: WAN

Although I guess 7800° also sounds REALLY generic in terms of sonics.
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Old 04-17-2021, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesedays2014 View Post
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.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:04 PM
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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).
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