This morning I was listening to Dire Straits “Money For Nothing” and remembered back to 1985 (!!!) when I bought the record (back in those days, see, we called them records) and to how simply blown away I was at the high quality of the mastering of that album was. Brothers In Arms, Ride Across The River, Money For Nothing… each of these songs are aural gems in addition to being great songs in their own rights.
I really miss the production quality of the albums of Old.
Go back and listen to the eponymous Fleetwood Mac album. It is a freakin’ masterpiece of studio engineering; more layers than a Vidalia onion. Ditto Aja by Steely Dan. Hell – even Abacab by Genesis.
Likewise, you’ll never see a contemporary artist do a studio cut in ** one ** take – rehearse and rehearse and rehearse – just to catch the perfect wave. Listen to Todd Rundgren’s “Think of Me” – a single take cut.
Maybe I’m making much to much of this – but the great studio albums of the past were great not because they had great producers – they did – but mainly because the musicians WERE musicians – sans air quotes.
Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton, Todd Rundgren, Donald Fagen, Lindsay Buckingham, Jimmy Page, Phil Collins (he IS a damn fine musician)… where are their heirs today?
There is no such thing as microwave excellence. It is the honing of one’s craft that adds complexity, richness, depth.
We have become so commoditized in our tastes that we fail to recognize that overnight success in the arts, sports, and in business are more times than not years in the making.
Old Fart rant over.