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

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

  1. Queezma

    Queezma Forum Resident

    This! :laughup:
  2. Freezerburn

    Freezerburn Spendin' Monopoly Money

    Pennsylvania USA
    The Nuge- bass light plus the mids and highs on the guitars are like ice picks in the ears.
    The Hatchet - The cymbals are so pinched. Awful.
    The crashes ring for like a milisecond.
  3. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Jazz sounds downright weird, as if no post-production was done at all. Drums sound like trying to slap flies with a worn-out newspaper.
  4. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    I think it may be the opposite problem, for some tracks at least — over-thought, over-cooked mixes with EQ and compression on just about everything — and bizarre choices like muting the kick on "Jealousy" (thankfully restored from 2011 remaster onwards) — rob the drum tracks of the presence and verve they rediscovered for The Game
  5. M2225

    M2225 Caesar's Lab

    Helsinki, Finland
    What common criticism? The album sounds great, the performances are great. The songwriting is great. Threads like this do bloat this forum, if OP claims something like this at least (HEN) could have included a link to "somewhere" where this opinion is copied from. I have a late 80's press of JAZZ on vinyl with the obscure bicycle poster, by now it's my favorite, best sounding Queen album second only to the debut.

    Unfortunately this is where this forum is heading. Someone quoting irrelevant myspace (Wiki) writeups / writedowns. Bye-bye audiophile SHF forums, welcome (I might as just quote HEN) "haters gonna hate" forum club.

    OP probably copied the "text" from somewhere, if not, care to elaborate? Could not tag HEN anyway,
    Jarleboy likes this.
  6. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Jazz sounds pretty weedy in general, particularly the drums, but in a weird way it does fit the rushed, all-encompassing nature of the material. It’s a transitional album in between NOTW’s lean sound and The Game’s modern approach.
    The fact that it’s the first album without the crest in the artwork makes clear that at this particular point they certainly weren’t resting on their laurels.
    maui jim and Jarleboy like this.
  7. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    The debut sounds quite similar to Jazz in terms of productional choices. RTB could get carried away sometimes concerning the drum sound and it’s obvious he loved to twiddle a lot on the console, but he does nail the band perfectly when they seriously get down to business. As raw as can be!

    The weird thing is that A Night At The Opera sounds remarkably clean compared to the other albums he produced for them. Did Mike Stone have a hand in that? :confused:
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
    M2225 likes this.

    MONOLOVER Forum Resident

    Which press do You play? What year? Country of origin? I guess they differ a lot. I got a German 1st and it sounds just fine to me.
  9. I have a US monarch that smokes, killer bass
    Efus and MONOLOVER like this.
  10. jl151080

    jl151080 Forum Resident

    Bristol, UK
    I've never had an issue with the way the album sounds, though for me the 2011 remaster improved it.

    I should point out I've only ever heard the album on CD.
  11. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

    It’s not bad but could be better. Does come across as kind of weak and thin sounding.

    News Of The World is their only album of the 70’s that sounds really good to me. The rest just sound kinda meh (Queen II even worse than that)
  12. Jarleboy

    Jarleboy Forum Resident

    I love just about everything about this album. The singles were among their best, and the album tracks have won me over for life: "Dreamer´s Ball", "Leaving Home Ain´t Easy", "In Only Seven Days" and "Jealousy" are tracks I copied on a cassette from a friend who owned the album.

    I love the sound of this album. I even love the 2011 SACD mastering. To my ears, the album sounds great. This is the Queen album I play the most.
    masterbucket. likes this.
  13. dumangl

    dumangl Senior Member

    I like the way Jazz sounds.
    Efus and Jarleboy like this.
  14. William Byron

    William Byron Well-Known Member

    I guess it's subjective because I've never noticed any audio issues with it. I think that album is underrated.
    dumangl and Jarleboy like this.
  15. followmehome

    followmehome Forum Resident

    The ironic thing about this thread, is that Jazz is more hi-fi and audiophile that probably all previous Queen albums.
    marcb and Jarleboy like this.
  16. Jerquee

    Jerquee Take this, brother, may it serve you well.

    New York
    I'm a huge Queen fan and this album is a big favorite but I have a big problem with the drum sounds. The snare sounds are atrocious. Outside of the drums, I think the album sounds great.
    Scottb and Jarleboy like this.
  17. bcaulf

    bcaulf Forum Resident

    I can understand this stance. Tonality wise it sounds rather cold and distant to me, but I think it is probably the most clear and detailed sounding too. As always, it depends on what you're listening with :)
    Jarleboy likes this.
  18. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Because it has "Fat Bottomed Girls" on it. Sorry, but I hate that song.
  19. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Yeah, it’s an album that gets a lot of plays.
    It always sounds fresh because it’s hard to pigeonhole.
    Jarleboy and Efus like this.
  20. Efus

    Efus Forum Resident

    I love Jazz.
    For me, the biggest issue is the sequencing of the tracks.

    As for the drum sound, Id put that at RTB's feet, but can't be too harsh on him, because thats where the sound of drums was going at the time.
    He was coming off The Cars debut, that didnt have a massive drum sound, but was perfect for that music, and it did sell a few copies.
    (Ironically enough, the late Ric Ocasek told RTB on the The Cars followup, Candy-O, that he needed to dial it back a bit on the massive background vocals, another RTB favored styling)

    I think Jazz was sonically ambitious, but a bit too sprawling, and again imo a re-sequencing would have done it a ton of good.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  21. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Ditching the wrong manager can have it’s consequences. The cash started rolling in since Opera and it almost immediately caused rifts within the band and extravagance galore. You’ve heard the stories about Jazz’ release party.
    manco likes this.
  22. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    My favourite tune on the record, and that sweeping drum fill where RT hits those roto toms. Bloody hell, still floors me.
    Jarleboy likes this.
  23. Jeffreylee

    Jeffreylee Rock 'n' Roll Typist

    The band’s name and the word “album” weren’t included in the original title.
  24. Scottb

    Scottb Forum Resident

    Nanuet, NY, USA
    I think it was Roy Thomas Baker's production style that made this album not sound great. The drum sound on this album is terrible but Roy is known for not producing great drums sounds. Just listen to Foreigners 'Head Games'. I think the drum sound is probably what makes this album not sound very good.
  25. manco

    manco Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA
    Queen should have gone with Hugh Padgham and discovered the Roland CR-78.
    chewy likes this.

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