Metallica’s 2008 album Death Magnetic has been declared the loudest record in the world in a recently published breakdown which also lists Taylor Swift’s 1989 higher on the loudness scale than the likes of AC/DC, The Sex Pistols and Motorhead.
Swift’s 2014 release was given a dynamic range scoring of DR6 on the list of 21 albums ranked by loudness by mastering engineer and expert Ian Shephard, ahead of AC/DC‘s Back In Black (DR12) and Motorhead‘s Ace of Spades (DR11). Nicki Minaj’s 2012 release The Re-Up was also declared louder then most of the heavy rock artists with a rating of DR5.
The pop acts rating higher in loudness is explained by Shephard as a result of the “loudness wars” of late, where engineers attempt to amp up levels of recorded music in an attempt to make them stand out from competitors.
Ultimately, though, the upping of loudness is proving to be a fruitless endeavour, as Shephard points out, as the way in which we’re listening to music these days, such as streaming apps and YouTube, plays all music at the same level anyway.
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