March 23, 2018 / 4:49 AM

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8 Artists Who Hated The Production On Their Own Albums: Nirvana, Oasis, And More


Making albums is almost always a collaborative process between the artist and their producer, which means that egos often clash and ideas are often compromised. For these eight artists, however, these compromises apparently didn't work out in their favor. Here are eight artists who hated the production on their albums.

1. Nico - Chelsea Girl (1967)

Nico's debut solo album Chelsea Girl sounded completely unlike any other album of its time, a gorgeous collection of chamber folk songs with virtually no rock leanings whatsoever. As beautiful as the album sounds, however, Nico herself wasn't at all fond of it, as the string and flute arrangements were added without her consent. "I still cannot listen to it," Nico claimed in the 2002 liner notes for The Velvet Underground & Nico, "because everything I wanted for that record, they took it away."

2. Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures (1979)

Joy Division's debut album Unknown Pleasure is renowned for its cold, cavernous sound created by producer Martin Hannett, which would go on to define the post-punk genre and '80s record production as a whole. Despite the album's innovative sound, however, not every member of Joy Division was happy with it, with bassist Peter Hook calling it a "disappointment" in the album's 2007 liner notes, and saying that it "sounded like Pink Floyd" as opposed to the punk style they were going for.

3. The Durutti Column - The Return of the Durutti Column (1980)

Joy Division weren't the only band unhappy with the production style of Martin Hannett. Vini Reilly of the Durutti Column has admitted that he hated the way that Hannett made his band's debut album The Return of the Durutti Column sound, particularly when it came to his guitar. "I had a very warm, thick sound to the guitar," Reilly said, "and he'd made it very thin and spiky sounding, which I hated."

4. The Go-Go's - Beauty and the Beat (1981)

Though the Go-Go's are known for their poppy new wave sound, they initially formed in the Los Angeles punk scene of the late '70s, and thought of themselves as a punk band. They even hired Blondie and Richard Hell producer Richard Gottehrer to record their debut album Beauty and the Beat for them, but when they heard the album's final mix, they were horrified at how bright and sunny (and un-punk) it sounded.

5. The Smiths - The Smiths (1984)

From about 1985 onward, the Smiths decide to self-produce all of their singles and albums, largely due to the unsatisfactory experience they had recording their debut album with John Porter. Porter's sound is considerably colder, flatter, and more restrained than the band's later works, so much so that Morrissey would cite the production on their debut album as its most glaring flaw.

6. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)

It's well documented how uncomfortable Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was with his band's unprecedented success, which was brought about by their 1991 breakthrough album Nevermind. Though the album has an incredibly powerful and heavy sound, Cobain felt that Butch Vig's production was far too slick for punk rock. "I'm embarrassed by it now," Cobain complained in Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana following the album's success, "It's closer to a Mötley Crüe record than it is a punk rock record."

7. Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)

Considering how intricate the arrangements are on Belle & Sebastian's If You're Feeling Sinister, it's pretty impressive that the entire album was recorded and mixed in less than a week's time. However, this quick production meant that the album was given a rather brittle, lo-fi sound, which the band was never comfortable with. "I was disappointed in the sound quality of it," guitarist Stevie Jackson has said, "I think the production was very undersold." The band ultimately re-recorded the album nine years later at a concert in London, and released it as If You're Feeling Sinister: Live at the Barbican.

8. Oasis - Be Here Now (1997)

Though the production on the other albums on this list were handled by people outside of the band, Oasis's Be Here Now was actually co-produced by the band's lead guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher, though he still ended up hating how it sounded. "It's sound of a bunch of guys on coke in the studio, not giving a f**k," Gallagher has said of Be Here Now, "There's no bass to it at all, I don't know what happened to that."

What are some other bands that hated the production on their albums? Let us know down in the comments section!

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