Just why does Queen's ''Jazz'' album sound so bad?*

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Morfmusic, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Morfmusic

    Morfmusic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's a common criticism but Jazz, Queen's seventh studio LP, sounds like it was recorded in a tin can. After successfully stripping things back on 1977's (punk inspired) News of the World (self produced with Mike Stone), Queen re-teamed up with Roy Thomas Baker (coming off producing The Cars) and made Jazz in 1978. Why did the fidelity suddenly revert back to something near the debut album's sound? The drums sound unnatural, the guitars shrill and the vocals are swamped in the mix. Yes, there are those nice sonic tricks like mono to stereo to make things punchy but it's a sonic mess overall. Things went the opposite way with the arrival of Mack for The Game and thankfully some sonic order was restored (if not songwriting quality, hello Hot Space). So just WHY does Jazz sound like it does? Burnt out ears from band and producer? Too much hi-jinks? Lack of faith in the material? Over to you..
    NunoBento likes this.
  2. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    Clever thread title.
  3. You suckered me in!!!!
  4. If I Can Dream_23

    If I Can Dream_23 Forum Resident

    United States
    Not being a fan of Queen, I can’t give a good or fair answer.

    I do know that “poor sound” can actually be the charm of a lot of albums though. “Art” can sometimes accidentally arise from inexperience or random luck. For instance, most think that an album like Hotter Than Hell by Kiss sounds horrendous. And it does! Yet if it sounded “professional”, it would lose everything that makes it distinct or memorable, atmospherically.

    The same with another sophomore favorite of mine, Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle.

    So, in short, who’s to say...
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    RickH, Queezma, Siegmund and 2 others like this.
  5. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    I clicked in thinking, Say what? Nothing sounds better than small-combo jazz on a good stereo! It's like the genre was invented to make stereos sound awesome.

    Then you were talking about Queen . . .
    Ryan Lux and therockman like this.
  6. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    It's a white man's word! As for the music...it's Queen, what to expect?
    Bluesman Mark and audiomixer like this.
  7. I thought we were to discuss the Ry Cooder masterpiece...…..
  8. YardByrd

    YardByrd rock n roll citizen in a hip hop world

    audiomixer likes this.
  9. MikeManaic61

    MikeManaic61 Forum Resident

    Dang, now that's what I call clickbait lol. You got me:p
    therockman and Jeff Kent like this.
  10. manco

    manco Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    I think after the run they had from 'A Night at the Opera' through 'News of the World', they just weren't as motivated going into 1978. In retrospect, they should not have gone straight into the studio after completing the NOTW Tour. Imagine had they saved up the best material from this period and combined with The Game, they would have had their next opus. But such was the music industry, an LP a year was expected.
  11. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    So did I. It sounds sooooooooooooo bad! :D
  12. Gaslight


    Northeast USA
  13. Former Lee Warmer

    Former Lee Warmer Emotional Rescue

    I love the sound of that album.

  14. Morfmusic

    Morfmusic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Interesting point..and it's inspired the follow up thread..Why does ''Hotter Than Hell'' sound so bad?
  15. Morfmusic

    Morfmusic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    If you like it, you like it. :cool:
    Jarleboy likes this.
  16. Morfmusic

    Morfmusic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Yeah, the best material from these 2 albums would have made a killer LP..no Queen pun intended.
    faceinthecrowd and gregorya like this.
  17. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    Thread title changed.
    audiomixer likes this.
  18. El Rich-o

    El Rich-o Forum Resident

    I reckon it sounds ok.
    RobNeil likes this.
  19. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    New Zack Island
    The only thing I don't like on Jazz is the drum sound.
    Roger used synthdrum effects especially over the snare here which bothers me.
  20. Ignatius

    Ignatius Forum Resident

    Bern, dumangl, Jarleboy and 2 others like this.
  21. englishbob

    englishbob Its a s*** business

    Kent, England
    Sounds OK to me. A lot of middle maybe. Love the way Mustapha bursts onto the speakers at the midpoint
    dumangl, Jarleboy, Man at C&A and 6 others like this.
  22. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Tarragona (Spain)
    Not just the sound.
    The songs themselves are weak too
  23. RobNeil

    RobNeil Forum Resident

    Midlands, UK
    Never had a problem with the sound of this album. Few weak tracks perhaps.
    Pigeon City and kevin5brown like this.
  24. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    New Zack Island
    Maybe that's why. Baker returned to the band producing an album with them and that probably wasn't a good idea.
  25. manco

    manco Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    I wonder if their expensive lifestyles were the motivating factor. They needed to keep on that new LP/tour cycle to generate the cash to fund their expensive habits in houses, cars, lavish parties, etc...
    faceinthecrowd and Morfmusic like this.

Share This Page