I wasn’t sure where to put this, but I chose not to put it in the Analog forum because I felt as though I would probably get a slanted response. Since the question deals with the aesthetics of music today vs. years ago, I figured this was as good of a place as any.
I’ve read a lot of posts where, when people have maybe asked how they thought a tone had been achieved on a vintage record, someone has said something along the lines of, “But, would anybody really want to get that sound nowadays? I mean, they did they best they could back then, but we’ve come a long way since then!”
This got me thinking that maybe I’m in the minority because, when I hear that question (“Would you want that sound today?”), my response is unabashedly hell yes! One of the biggest reasons I love those old Motown records and such is simply because I love the sound of all the instruments. I certainly enjoy---and many times dig the shit out of---the music as well, but the sound is just as much of the appeal to me. Jazz is a perfect example in this regard. I like some jazz---not all---but I almost always love the sounds---the drums, the horns, etc.---on an old jazz record.
It’s funny because I hear a lot of drummers talking about how they don’t like the sound of drums on vintage records because you can’t hear everything, etc. But the drum sounds on those are one of my favorite things about them!
So I was just wondering how others felt about this. Do you view those old recordings as “the best they could do at the time” or do you view them as sounding killer, regardless of when they were made. I realize this is a huge generalization, because in the late 60s, for example, a Motown record had a very different sound than a Beatles record. But to give you an idea of the sound I’m talking about, here’s a tune that I feel captures it well. It’s a song where everything comes together for me: the sound, the song, and the performances.
Keep in mind I’m not saying that I don’t like the sounds of any modern recordings. I do. But my point is that I do not at all view the sounds of those vintage records as “ok for the time.” The sound of them is one of the primary reasons I enjoy them!