Here are a few suggestions:
Grateful Dead - American Beauty (interesting stereophony through speakers or headphones)
Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead (ditto)
Van Halen (first album) (an interesting throwback to hard-panned widely-separated stereo)
any of the 1970's Linda Ronstadt albums have interesting mixes, with the emphasis mostly on clarity
Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" was the best-selling album of the decade and has a high-quality produced
something very different from the above would be the early Ramones and Talking Heads albums, also
Grateful Dead "Shakedown Street" is a later look at the band with a different record company and
different production ideas
it's also worth exploring country albums, go for stuff produced by Billy Sherrill if you want lush
and big like the ladies' hair
also, check the Grammy Awards for best engineered albums, listen and form your own conclusions
if you can stand the music, disco album had ground-breaking mixes and use of stereophony for
percussion and musical effects
in the jazz genre, contrast what was being put out by Pablo Records with Groove Merchant, two
also check out the direct-to-disc fad, albums from Sheffield Labs, Century Records, etc
oh, and from the other side of the pond, can't forget Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin (mostly recorded in
the US), etc.
The 70s offered a very wide array of techniques and results. Technology rapidly evolved, and the
studio and music businesses were in constant turmoil. Musical tastes and fads changed rapidly, and
sound aesthetics moved right along. Rock music started the decade triumpant, then it bloated up and
collapsed into itself and then punk and new wave happened at the end of the decade. Country music
and jazz also rapidly changed. What had been funk and soul music morphed into disco and then
hip-hop/rap emerged as the 80s dawned. During all of this, the recording world moved solidly and
forever to many tracks, all solid-state gear and stereo-only mixes (with quad also happening early
in the decade). Almost no one was recording direct to stereo and no one except broadcasters worked
seriously in mono. At the end of the decade, as digital recording dawned, those wishing to record
all-digital had to simplify their methods and signal chains because most digital systems only
offered 2 recording channels (Denon already had a 8-channel system with primative overdubbing
capabilities by the late 70s). I'm not talking about classical recording in any of the above.
Throughout the 70s, some classical productions remained minimalist, although the big companies were
typically using many mics, many-channel mixing consoles and usually recording to 8 or more tracks.
One other thing worth noting is that Denon made digital recordings for release from 1972 onward. No
one else made a for-release digital recording until 1977.
One other note about stereophony. Mono compatibility was an issue up through the late 1960's, I
assume because of how most people listened to music over the airwaves. In the mid-60's, retailers
forced record companies to stop selling mono and stereo versions of titles, so most LP records moved
to stereo. By the early 70s, most labels were not issuing mono LPs, but some singles, especially
those destined for heavy play on AM radio, were mixed and cut mono. By the end of the 70s, I don't
think very many mono sides were being cut anymore, at least not in the US.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Gledhill" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 2:29 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] need suggestion re stereo imaging.
> It has been a while since I designed digital audio processing for the telephone industry, which of
> course was mono work.
> I never really gave much thought about stereo processing until now, save for the music I listened
> to when I was 15 years old in the 70's. I had occasion to digitize 100 or so albums for customer a
> couple of years ago and can now hear all sorts of distortions I was happily unaware of when I was
> One note I did make as went through the old albums was that I hit upon one in particular, the
> greatest hit of the Association (or something like that) and it was extremely clean without
> notable distortion. Somebody did a good job on that one and I probably would never have bought it
> as a kid but have listened to it many times now just because of the nice sound.
> Never gave thought to the difference between listening to stereo music through headsets versus
> Here is my question.
> Can someone suggest a 1970's album I can pick up on CD that has extremely well engineered stereo
> imaging while listening through a pair of speakers?
> Same question for headphones?
> This is all in my quest to get wiser.
> John Gledhill
> BIT WORKS Inc.
> 905 881 2733
> [log in to unmask]