An incredibly deep article from Rolling Stone about how music is mixed and remixed these days. Since listeners are playing music in their cars and on their iPods, the dynamic range is being compressed to sound better on those less-sophisticated machines.
Even albums like a collection of remastered Elvis tunes are compressed and made louder so they can compete with the new Foo Fighters recordings. They call it the “Loudness War.”
Even new Nirvana releases are compressed with less dynamic range than the originals! Article includes many comments by important music producers, and shows examples of waveform comparisons to prove its point. I also learned that with old-fashioned LPs, there was a physical limit to how much bass you could have in a song before the needle jumped the groove. Amazing stuff.