So this may be a bit broad, but I was reading a thread on George Harrison's "Gone Troppo" album, and one of the primary complaints even among people who liked the songs on the album was the production. This comes up a lot with material from the '80s, particularly mid- to late-'80s. Usually, it's described as having "aged" or "aged poorly." My question is: why? What is so bad about '80s production that makes these sounds and treatments so unforgivable? The '60s had plenty of muddy, gimmicky and uninteresting production fads that haven't been revisited exactly as they were, particularly during the psychedelic era, weird panning decisions, and so on, but this era earns warm appreciation by contrast. I'd like to put forward a theory on this. Particularly with artists who came up in the '60s and '70s, they simply didn't play to the strengths of the sounds they were offered. An obvious exceptions would be someone like Peter Gabriel, who embraced synths and sampling as a whole new musical language rather than a 1:1 replacement of the old band lineup. A band like Queen, on the other hand, would fall into the opposite camp where synthesizers and drum machines seemed to usher in almost a laziness in production and arrangement that flew in the face of their previous working methods. They went from intricate layers of guitars arranged to sound like other instruments to... Whatever the hell the whooshing synths used on The Game would be called. Now, this may just be the benefit of hindsight from someone born in the early '80s looking back from the vantage point of the 21st century, but the productions that have genuinely "aged poorly" seem to have done so because the musicians using them treated the technology as a crutch rather than an aid to imagination as the prior tech had been perceived. That said, I'm sure there are plenty of points of contention even under this theory. For example, I love everything Jethro Tull put out during the '80s, even the heavily synthetic "Under Wraps." To my ears, this is a prime example of someone pushing the format using new sounds and treatments - exploration, in other words (or, dare I say, "progressive" ). Anyway, this is a long enough opening post. Talk amongst yourselves!