Another excellent article, this time from the Wall Street Journal. It covers the history and scope of the music industry's "loudness wars," which have resulted in steadily poorer and poorer sounding albums. Comparisons between D-Mag and Metallica's 1988 ...And Justice For All demonstrate for you just how terribly compressed today's music has become. All of this in the name of "louder" music that will sell to the iPod kids.
Truly, we are in the age of low-fi audio. What happened here? Has everything in America simply broken down? I have a Marantz stereo from 1977 that will destroy almost anything manufactured today. You should hear the beautiful music that comes from my Pro-Ject Debut turntable. Who decided that taking the fidelity away from music would make it more popular? Hasn't this instead resulted in the steep decline of CD sales? Hasn't this led to the very end of the music industry as we know it?
In a sense, it's another prime example of something Terence McKenna once said. "Capitalism has the intelligence of a termite." Very true, very true. The endless mad rush for more money, more money, more money, and damn the consequences.
I don't know if I'll be writing much more on this subject. Unless something important happens, I think you already know enough to proceed on your own. If you want to hear Metallica's D-Mag, then you would be well advised to avoid the commercial releases. Download the Guitar Hero Mix and listen to that version, which is far superior in fidelity and sound quality. A simple Google search will yield results. Good luck, kids!