The Six Best Shitty-Sounding Records
2. Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited
"Like a Rolling Stone" was picked as the greatest song of all time by the certainly unbiased Rolling Stone, and it is a safe choice. Unfortunately, the legendary Highway 61 Revisited comes from a time and place before recording engineers figured out that the harmonica does not have to be the loudest instrument in a mix. There was a legendary backlash against Dylan's electric phase, but people were probably upset at the combined shrillness of his voice, his guitar, the organ and that damn harmonica. Like the Mountain Goats' entry, people overlook the unfortunate sound because the songwriter was in his prime. Just stop pretending that "Tombstone Blues" actually sounds pleasant.
1. My Bloody Valentine, Loveless
OK, let's get real. Loveless -- one of the greatest albums of all time and the best '90s album rival of OK Computer -- sounds shitty. It is fatiguing and overwhelming, layered with infinite abrasive guitars and buried vocals that make you strain to understand the words. But it is the best shitty-sounding album because the shittiness is an essential part of its beauty. While Highway 61 Revisited would still be a great album with a little more shine to it, Loveless with any other recording quality would be inferior. Imagine a polished "When You Sleep" and then stop imagining it because what you're imagining sucks. Loveless is painful and exhausting, totally shitty and completely perfect.
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