Martin Birch - the master

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I really hate the production on SIT, the vocals sound distant and the whole album sounds over produced.
Just wondering, have you heard the original release of SIT, or only the remastered version?

Asking because I was floored by the difference between the releases when I first heard the original, after years of listening to the remaster. The latter sounds incredibly muffled compared to the former, the drums especially sound much crisper on the original release.
 

Randalf

Ancient Mariner
This has probably been pointed out many times by now, but anyway, it would have been interesting to see how the production of Blaze-era records would have turned out with Birch, or any producer with some considerable merits, really.
 
The reverb gloss of SIT perfectly captures the sci fi vibe of the album. Love the production on that one. Though I can see why others might not jive with it.
It really is naff to destroy the sound of a whole album just because you want a sci film theme. The songs in my opinion should stand up in their own right, outside of the context of an album. The sound is shitty.
 

Perun

Academic
Staff member
It really is naff to destroy the sound of a whole album just because you want a sci film theme. The songs in my opinion should stand up in their own right, outside of the context of an album. The sound is shitty.
To echo what Flash said, SIT suffered immensely from the '98 remasters. Try to find the original vinyl or one of the early CD releases. If you take those as a standard, the sound of SIT is actually one of their best. I can tell you this because I felt a similar way to you when the '98 CDs were the only Maiden releases I went by. I thought SIT just sounded like a dated 80's video game. But with a proper master, you can really tell why they did what they did.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
I've been listening to SIT since 87
While the original vinyl and old cd have the 'correct' mastering and sound way better than '98, the guitar sound itself is cheesy as hell (distortion, chorus and delay anyone? Reeks of corny '80s stuff). Martin saved it from disaster by being a genius
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I've been listening to SIT since 87
While the original vinyl and old cd have the 'correct' mastering and sound way better than '98, the guitar sound itself is cheesy as hell (distortion, chorus and delay anyone? Reeks of corny '80s stuff). Martin saved it from disaster by being a genius
I am also one of those who do not particularly like the sound of Somewhere in Time. I think it is probably the only 80s Maiden album produced by Martin that sounds dated.
 
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The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
I love the synth and reverb-heavy 80s sound, personally. Somewhere in Time is an album that reflects the new wave aesthetic of its time.

I've never understood why the 80s new wave sound specifically has the reputation of being cheesy. No other period in music history gets called out for being cheesy.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
I've never understood why the 80s new wave sound specifically has the reputation of being cheesy. No other period in music history gets called out for being cheesy.
The same reason 3D video games from the late 90s are largely seen as having not aged well. Synthesizers were new technology that quickly advanced and now the 80s stuff sounds artificial/dated compared to what came after. Recorded music from the 60s and 70s has held up better because many of the sounds used back then are still used today, it is just recording technology has improved. Sounds from the 80s are only used with the purpose of sounding like the 80s.
 

frus

Barbed Wire Hen
The synths don't sound particularly cheesy on SIT, it's the guitars.

Btw, the synths on pioneering recordings (early 70's, for example Dark side of the moon) don't sound remotely cheesy compared to the 80's. It's just the phony aesthetics of the whole decade :D
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Dated, I get. Cheesy, I don't.

Though I also don't get why being dated is supposed to be a bad thing. I think it's cool for music to be a representation of their time.

It's just the phony aesthetics of the whole decade :D
The complaint about 80s that I could understand would be one of overproduction and I think that's what the 90s responded to with the stripped down sounds anyway. But that doesn't appear to be the complaint here. Or at least, that's not what I understand from the word cheesy.
 
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GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
Dated, I get. Cheesy, I don't.

Though I also don't get why being dated is supposed to be a bad thing. I think it's cool for music to be a representation of their time.
I beg to differ. Although it is nice to have music as a representation of the time (e.g. those charming and rather rustic NWOBHM albums from countless bands), it is much more relevant to be able to produce something that is timeless. Maiden managed to produce some timeless classic albums during the 80s that still sound great; sadly Somewhere in Time is not one of them.
 

soundwave

Educated Fool
It's hard because it's such a subjective experience - I personally love the expansive & mysterious qualities of reverb/chorus on guitars, and 'overproduction' is never a concern of mine (hey, I'm a Devin Townsend fan). Others just view it as plastic sounding nonsense that connotes images of fluorescent clothing and bad hairspray.
 

GhostofCain

Ancient Mariner
I disagree. I don't think timelessness is an inherently superior quality. Many times, "timelessness" simply means run-of-the-mill.
Nope. There is nothing run-of-the-mill in timeless albums like Dark Side of the Moon, A Night at the Opera or The Number of the Beast, to name just three classic albums.
 

Mosh

The years just pass like trains
Staff member
I disagree. I don't think timelessness is an inherently superior quality.
Agreed. An album doesn’t have to be timeless to be good. There are albums that are products of the time and have their own charm for that.
 
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