Your Favorite Produced Albums by Year, Good for Reference Tracks

Your Favorite Produced Albums by Year, Good for Reference Tracks
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My idea with this thread is to have some fun listing everyone’s favorite produced albums by year for as many years as you’re comfortable with. This also has potential to be a great thread as far as recommending reference tracks depending on what sound you’re going for. Here’s mine. All opinion, no wrong answers here. Preemptively I’d like to state I’d include a Steely Dan album if I could think of the title of one. Favorite produced here, not necessarily musical favorites.

1969: Led Zeppelin - II
1970: Led Zeppelin - III
1971: The Doors - L.A. Woman
1972: Eagles - Eagles
1973: Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies
1974: Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
1975: Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
1976: Eagles - Hotel California
1977: Rush - A Farewell to Kings
1978: Rush - Hemispheres
1979: Cheap Trick - Dream Police
1980: AC/DC - Back in Black
1981: The Police - Ghost in the Machine
1982: Toto - IV
1983: Yes - 90125
1984: Accept - Balls to the Wall
1985: John Mellencamp - Scarecrow
1986: Peter Gabriel - So/Prince - Parade (Tie)
1987: Def Leppard - Hysteria/U2 - The Joshua Tree
1988: Jane’s Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking
1989: Tesla - The Great Radio Controversy
1990: AC/DC - The Razors [sic] Edge
1991: Seal - Seal/RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magik
1992: Blind Melon - Blind Melon/Megadeth - Countdown to Extinction
1993: Jellyfish - Spilt Milk/Sting - Ten Summoner’s Tales
1994: Megadeth - Youthanasia
1995: Faith No More - King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime
1996: Sublime - Sublime
1997: Radiohead - OK Computer
2014: Pink Floyd - The Endless River (a non trendy produced album in the 2010’s that isn’t brickwalled with three classic era members of Pink Floyd, sign me up)


That’s an interesting exercise. I’d have to sit down and spend some time compiling a list. It would be interesting but may have to wait. I don’t pay that much attention to things that are not my musical favorites in terms of production usually, maybe I should (trends, etc), so it’s more of a concurrent thing for me. I listen more closely when I’m really enjoying something. It also could be difficult to narrow it to one per year, there are many years in the 70’s and 80’s that I would have many favorites.


I love posts like these, because I end up finding stuff in there that I haven’t heard / got around to hearing yet. I’m going to sit down and compile my own list, but for now I’m going to add comments to your list…

1970: Led Zeppelin - III - This was the first Zeppelin album I ever heard - to this day one of my favourites

1987: Def Leppard - Hysteria - Heard it when it was released, melted my ears.

1991: RHCP - Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Every student in London had a copy of this, it was required listening

1994: Megadeth - Youthanasia - Changed my life the second I heard it

1997: Radiohead - OK Computer - I defy anybody to listen to the first track and tell me it isn’t one of the best produced and mixed tracks ever


How’s that? Sound was so good you came your pants?

Just to clarify for those not in the know I’m talking about the original mix, not the crappy 2004 remix. I know you know that, but I’m not sure everyone does.

I had a hard time by year too, but I think having to really select what your favorites are really makes it interesting. I have like ten records for 1991, but I had to narrow it down to two.


That is a highly varied list of music right there. For 1984 I’d do Born in the U.S.A and not Balls, but Balls has one of the best guitar tones ever. I’ll get a better list later. I wish I could get more indie records, but the Majors have just got a big budget advantage.

1978 - David Gilmour - David Gilmour
1979 - Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Jimmy Iovine)
1980 - Back in Black - AC/DC (Mutt Lange/Tony Platt)
1981 - High ‘N’ Dry - Def Leppard (Mutt Lange/Mike Shipley)
1982 - Creatures of the Night - Kiss (Michael James Jackson/Bob Clearmountain) “biggest drum sound ever”!
1983 - Cuts Like A Knife - Bryan Adams (Bob Clearmountain)
1984 - Born in the U.S.A - Bruce Springsteen (Bob Clearmountain)
1985 - Without Love - Black ‘N Blue (Bruce Fairbarin/Bob Rock)
1986 - Dancing Undercover - Ratt (One for Beau Hill @Danny_Danzi, this album is just so punchy and dynamic)
1987 - Appetite for Destruction - G N’ R (Mike Clink/Steve Thompson/Michael Barbiero)
1988 - South of Heaven - Slayer (Rick Rubin)
1989 - Pump - Aerosmith (Bruce Fairbarin/Mike Fraser)
1990 - Pornograffitti - Extreme (Michael Wagener)
1991 - Metallica - Metallica (Bob Rock)
1992 - Wild America - Tora Tora (Sir Arthur Payson)
1993 - Counterparts - Rush (Peter Collins/Kevin Shirley)
1994 - Superunknown - Soundgarden (Brendan O’Brien)


I wasn’t into metal at all, and in fact looked down my nose at it. My cousin lent me the CD and told me to listen to it. First song just blew my mind. The dual guitars plus drums and bass. Stunning. Second song - Train of Consequences. Melted my brain. To this day when that song comes on I’m transported back that day when I heard it for the first time. After that listening I was a lot more open to music - including all types of metal which I’d hitherto dismissed as noise.


Awesome. Glad Megadave could bring you around. It’s a great CD, their last really really great one, but Cryptic Writings is close.


Ill throw in 2 off the top of my head

1975 Nazareth-Hair of the Dog (Manny Charlton) great clear sound, nice and punchy

1991 VanHalen- F.U.C.K. (Ted Templeman) Poundcake, one of the all time great drum sounds


I checked out the remastered version of Youthanasia… .what was the thinking there?


They remixed all of them, and I’d go on record saying they made them all worse with a bunch of drum samples and other kinds of crap. They could have significantly improved the first three albums which all sounded pretty rough, but they screwed them up. As for why the felt the need to remix the perfect CTE and Youthanasia I have no idea. The remixes would draw in more money?