Okay, it was an hour ago.
Close enough for me!
Supertramp, Crime of the Century. That band could really jam!
That is a fan-damn-tastic album. Not only were they a great band, the recording and mixing on that album is better than 99% of what you hear today. They actually cared
about what it sounded like, and took the time to do it right.
And why does nobody actually use stereo anymore? So many old songs have a cymbal in one ear, snare in another. Or a guitar solo is about 75% in this ear or that ear. And yet the mix isn't hurt by that; it's made better!
I bet it has to do with the fact that most people listen on headphones/earbuds these days. A "wide" mix like that can sound a bit unnatural unless you're listening through loudspeakers. I agree each instrument should generally have a well-defined, identifiable location... though I might disagree on the cymbal/snare thing - a real drum kit isn't spread out across the entire stage!
And the early stereo era (1960s) "half of the instruments panned hard left, the rest panned hard right" thing is even worse; a mono mix is preferable to that.
Sometimes I just want to say, "Music today sucks!"
A lot of it comes down to excessive dynamic range compression ("loudness wars"). Many recordings from the past couple of decades are even mastered such that they're driven into hard clipping, which sounds like absolute garbage. It's one thing to drive a guitar amp into controlled clipping, to give you that sustain and over-driven tone; it's another thing entirely to push the entire mix past the clipping point, which just f*cks everything up. It's a pet peeve.
But I know that is not true. Plus, I'd be sounding like that guy we all knew as kids, "Get off my lawn!"
Every era has had some music that sucked. But you'd think that by now we would've at least gotten the engineering side of it down, and wouldn't be releasing recordings that sound like they were mastered through a cheap '60s era transistor radio.
Edit: I should mention I listened to the album while typing this post. It's actually a FLAC rip of a near-pristine original vinyl copy. Sounds really good.