When it comes to making a great album, the producer is a lot more important than you think he is. Instead of just being the dude who just hits record and tells you to record it one more time, this is the guy who's able to sit in the song and actually make you sound your absolute best when it comes time to write your masterpiece. So when that person is either absent or just not doing their job, things can go a little bit sideways.
Across all of these albums, the actual mixes behind the band's music tends to sound like hot garbage, with either glaring errors or sounding like the songs are first drafts. That doesn't mean that all of these sound like they're coming out of a trash can though. Some of these are actually produced in the opposite direction, with the songs sounding much too glossy for it to have any sort of bite to it.
Then again, it might not be our call to make, and for all we know these might be the circumstances that the bands wanted to go in for these albums. Though the songs are able to shine through the mix, there's a reason the production decisions on these songs haven't held up all that well.
10. Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan
No one in their right mind is going to call Bob Dylan one of the most technically gifted singers who ever lived. Even in the days when he was known as the voice of his generation, the breathy vocal delivery that he had on most of his songs tended to be either hit or miss with listeners. And even though Highway 61 Revisited is considered a masterpiece of his, the same can't be said for the production values.
It starts off strong to be sure, with Like a Rolling Stone being one of the most radio ready songs of his career and by far his most accomplished song from a lyrical perspective. As the album goes on though, some of the blemishes of the recording start to stick out a lot more, especially when he goes for the ramshackle sounds of a song like Tombstone Blues.
And let's not forget Dylan's harmonica playing, which is so close to the microphone on some of these songs that it practically feels like its forcing its way into your eardrums. Once you get over the fatigue though, these are the tracks that made rock and roll something that could be taken much more seriously than just your standard rave up tracks. The times they were a changin, and you might catch a few headaches along the way.