Best complete albums

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings' started by Greg121986, Nov 24, 2021 at 6:00 AM.

  1. Greg121986

    Greg121986 Facebook Friend

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    I did a lot of driving yesterday and as I was coming home late I was thinking about the fact that I often listen to albums all the way through and if I didn't enjoy the complete album, I'm often pretty bummed. It's great when an artist really kills it with a couple songs, but I really like when I can discover a new album and the whole thing is exceptionally well done. However, I don't know exactly what parameters I am looking for to determine what makes a complete album good.

    So, I'm wondering what would you say are your top 5 (or so) albums that are exceptional and must be heard all the way through? What makes them so good? Should one listen to them regardless of their taste and music?
     
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  2. BarnBurner

    BarnBurner Acquaintance

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    Hmmm, hard to separate out albums that I think are worth listening to all the way through vs albums that are thematically or musically linked in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (if I'm understanding you).

    I've always thought of Eno's Another Green World as a complete work that's better all in one sitting. Likewise I feel Flaming Lips' Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi, while somewhat concept albums, just link and flow together beautifully. Some of Neill Young's albums, with their acoustic side and electric side, always seemed two halves of a whole to me. Rust Never Sleeps and the criminally overlooked Hawks & Doves fit into this category for me.

    That's just off the top of my head. Look forward to what others suggest.
     
  3. señorhifi

    señorhifi Friend

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    Queen 1 and 2, alongside Sheer Heart Attack, are albums I always listen to all the way through. They all slowly tell a story (mostly up to interpretation ofc), and have songs that seamlessly interconnect with each other. Pink Floyd albums would be a big candidate too!
     
  4. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Off the top of my head, an incomplete list of albums I enjoy in their entirety and always listen all the way through:
    • Paul Simon - Graceland
    • Joni Mitchell - Shadows and Light
    • Van Morrison - Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast
    • The Blessing - Prince Of The Deep Water
    • David Sylvian - Secrets Of The Beehive
    • Brendan Croker & the 5 O'Clock Shadows - A Close Shave
    • Graham Parker - Howlin' Wind
    • Magazine - Play
    • Uri Caine Ensemble - Wagner E Venezia
     
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  5. YMO

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    I also put David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees + Gone To Earth on that list as well.
     
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  6. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    These albums are almost always super pleasant to listen to from beginning to end:
    • Lucinda Williams - Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
    • Wlco - Sky Blue Sky
    • Bruce Cockburn - The Charity Of NIght
    • Chris Isaak - Baja Sessions
    • Greg Brown - Milk Of The Moon
    • Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - Perils From The Sea
    • Nick Cave - Abottoir Blues & The Lyre Of Orpheus
    • Peter Grabriel - Us
    • The Shins - Port Of Morrow
    • Tom Waits - Blood Money & Bone Machine
    Honestly, these are mostly albums that I heard pre-streaming and they hit me just right at the right time, but I do think listening to them feels like a journey -- like you move through interesting, sufficiently diverse musical territory through the course of the album.
     
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  7. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Some "concept albums" in this list like Aqualung and Hospice that are supposed to all go together story or setting-wise, but mostly albums that are just really a their best when listened to all the way through.

    • Pink Floyd - Animals
    • Jethro Tull - Aqualung
    • Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
    • Mogwai - As the Love Continues
    • Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues
    • Sufjan Stevens - Illinois
    • WU LYF - Go Tell Fire to the Mountain
    • Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
    • Olafur Arnalds - re:member
    • David Bowie - Low
    • Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
    • The Antlers - Hospice
    • Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine - Biomech
    • The National - Boxer
    • Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
     
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  8. Jdriver

    Jdriver Rando

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    I listen to the whole album every time. If it’s not good enough to do that I don’t bother with it. Obviously I don’t buy “hit singles.”
     
  9. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I will try not to repeat. I agree with most of what has been posted already.
    • Jeff Buckley - Grace
    • Arcadia - So the Red Rose
    • Minus the Bear - Planet of Ice
    • Pearl Jam -Yield
    • Dawes - Nothing is Wrong
    • Rage Against the Machine - Renegades
    • The Wombats - A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation
    • The Milk Carton Kids - The Ash and Clay
    • Nickel Creek - This Side
    • The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
    • Muddy Waters - Electric Mud. and Folk Singer
    • Self - Subliminal Plastic Motives (if you don't know who Self is, just find out)
    • Superdrag - Head Trip in Every Key
    • Them Crooked Vultures - Them Crooked Vultures (I mean...best supergroup ever!)
    • A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Vultures
    • Unkle - Psyence Fiction (I still can't decide between this or DJ Shadow - Entroducing, but both are fantastic front to back.)
    • Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

    Honorable Mentions: Let's Dance - David Bowie, Duran Duran - Notorious, Daft Punk - Random Access Memories (how's that for a Niles Rodgers trio?),
     
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  10. murphythecat

    murphythecat Self Imposed Exile

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    Miles Davis- Kind Of Blue
    Kettel- My Dogan
    Dinosaur Jr- Green mind
    Van Morisson- Astral Weeks
    Gil Scott Heron- Pieces of a man
    Bon Iver- 22, a million
    Placid angles- First blue sky
    Zappa- Apostrophe
    Coltrane- Live in Birdland
     
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  11. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    I wouldn't call anything on this list the 'best' because ranking music is stupid. Regardless, chiming in with some instrumental (and electronic?) picks instead of well loved classics. Personally I find listening to a lot of lyrical content back to back to be fatiguing over time but can handle instrumentals 24/7 without annoyance or cognitive exhaustion. All of these picks below warrant both casual and attentive listening.

    Pas Doo - Think Less Doo More, kind of hip-hoppish like J Dilla but with a lot of short cuts/variety to keep it fresh without becoming overly repetitive

    Mort Garson's Plantasia, charming and often humorous 'classical' moog synth music

    Teebs - Ardour, pretty maximal approach to sound design with heavy psychedelic aesthetics, but familiar rhythms keep it grounded (this one is not great on headphones)

    Meitei - Komachi, the most ambient of this list and best listened at a quiet volume, spooky and mesmerizing lo-fi but without the beats

    Bop - Clear Your Mind, consistent palette throughout with spacious synths with staccato drums. Laid back drum n bass?

    Patricia - Maxyboy, very sparse and often melancholy moog arrangements with strong dub and ambient influences
     
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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021 at 3:53 PM
  12. pk500

    pk500 Rando

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    The Clash - "London Calling"
    The Beatles - "Abbey Road"
    Drive-by Truckers - "The Dirty South" and "Decoration Day"
    Jason Isbell - "Southeastern"
    Billy Strings - "Home" and "Renewal"
    Steely Dan - "Aja"
    The Pretenders - "The Pretenders"
    The Cars - "The Cars"
    U2 - "The Joshua Tree" and "Achtung, Baby!"
    Led Zeppelin - "IV"
    Oasis - "Definitely Maybe"
    Guns 'N Roses - "Appetite for Destruction"
    Miles Davis - "Kind of Blue"
    Radiohead - "OK Computer," "Kid A" and "In Rainbows"
    The War on Drugs - "Lost in the Dream"
    The Verve - "Urban Hymns"
    Rolling Stones - "Sticky Fingers"
    Noel Gallagher and the High-Flying Birds - "Chasing Yesterday"
    Fleetwood Mac - "Rumours"
    Stevie Ray Vaughan - "In Step"
    Wilco - "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
    Frank Sinatra - "In the Wee Small Hours" and "Songs for Swingin' Lovers"

    Man, there are so many more ...
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021 at 6:55 AM
  13. jnak00

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    So many good choices above.

    Mono - Hymn to the Immortal Wind
    Sloan - The Double Cross
    Tragically Hip - Day for Night
     
  14. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    Lots of great choices already listed. I’ll throw in a few that I haven’t seen mentioned:
    Bjork- Homogenic
    Beck - Sea Change
    Lou Reed - Transformer, Berlin, The Blue Mask, New York
    Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel (3) and Security
    David Bowie - “Heroes”, Scary Monsters, Station to Station, Hunky Dory (Low was previously mentioned above)
    Pulp - Different Class
    Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure, Siren, Avalon
    Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding, Blood on the Tracks
    Yes - Fragile, Close to the Edge, Takes From Topographic Oceans, Drama
    King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King, Lark’s Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, Red, Discipline
    Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food, Stop Making Sense
    Prince - Dirty Mind, Purple Rain, Parade
    Siouxsie and the Banshees - Juju
    The Clash - The Clash
    Marillion - Clutching at Straws
    The Beatles - A Hard Day’s Night, Rubber Soul, Revolver
    Kylie Minogue - Impossible Princess, Fever, Body Language
    Queen - A Night at the Opera, The Game
    New York Dolls - New York Dolls
    The Stooges - Funhouse
    The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico, White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground, Loaded
    Elvis Costello - This Year’s Model, Armed Forces, Get Happy!!, Trust, Imperial Bedroom
    Steve Reich - Music For 18 Musicians
    Philip Glass - Koyaanisqatsi
    The Rolling Stones - Between the Buttons
    John Lennon - Plastic Ono Band
    Talk Talk - The Colour of Spring
    Pink Floyd - The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
    Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow
    Taylor Swift - Fearless
    Elvis Presley - From Elvis in Memphis
    Oingo Boingo - Dead Man’s Party
    R.E.M. - Murmur, Reckoning, Lifes Rich Pageant, Green, Automatic for the People
    Michael Jackson - Off The Wall
    Donna Summer - Bad Girls
    Diana Ross - Diana (Chic mix)
    Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On
    Stevie Wonder - Talking Book, Innervisions
    John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
    Miles Davis - Bitches Brew, A Tribute to Jack Johnson, In A Silent Way
    Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns
    Paul Simon - There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, Hearts and Bones
    Kanye West - My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy
    George Harrison - Brainwashed
    Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
    Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair
    Depeche Mode - Violator
    Erasure - Chorus
    Judas Priest - Stained Class
    Iron Maiden - Killers, The Number of the Beast, Powerslave, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
    Blur - Parklife
    Metallica - Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets
    Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska, Born to Run
    Kate Bush - Never For Ever, The Dreaming, Hounds of Love, The Sensual World
    The Jam - Setting Sons, Sound Affects
    Paul Weller - Paul Weller, Wild Wood
    The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
    The Who - Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, The Who By Numbers
    The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle

    Among others
     
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  15. fastfwd

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    The KLF - Chill Out
     
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  16. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    Many of the others I like have already been suggested.
     
  17. roughroad

    roughroad formerly mephisto56, Rando

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    Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick

    One almost has no choice but to listen to this all the way through. Surprised it hasn't been mentioned already.
     
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  18. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    You have taste.
     
  19. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Vola - "Inmazes"
    Queens of the Stone Age - "Like Clockwork"
    Kyuss - everything they made!
    Earthless - see Kyuss.
    Bonobo - "Black Sands"
    Gojira - see Kyuss.
    Animals as Leaders - "Animals As Leaders"
    Rush - "Clockwork Angels"
    Tame Impala - see Kyuss.
    Gorillaz - "Demon Days"
    B.B.E - "Games"

    So much good music, this is a short list. And yes, Kyuss is no joke...
     

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