Complete Albums

Ogee Ogilthorpe

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Okay, this isn't best albums, or your favorite albums, but what would be your offerings for what you would consider the most "complete" album, as in almost no weak spots? If you're old enough, you even remember what B-side tracks are...

The one that comes to mind for me almost every time I hear a song from it is Guns N Roses "Appetite For Destruction". There is not a single song on that album that you would never hear on radio at some time or another. It's solid top to bottom. Sure, it's one of my favorites, but you could literally hear any song on that album on a radio station that remotely covers that genre.

AC/DC's "Back in Black" is probably pretty close. I just read an interesting article in Guitar World (no, I don't read Guitar World normally but I just flying a couple days ago and saw a magazine with Angus Young on the cover and it's a no-brainer for me, I'm going to buy it) about the Back in Black album and how it was a tribute to the recently deceased frontman Bon Scott and when they rattled off various tracks off the album through the article, it struck me how "deep" the album is in good songs.

I can think of others but what are some others that would qualify for incredible depth top to bottom or being complete albums?
 

Fleetwood Mac, Rumors.
Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps
 

Good topic, something I have thought about quite a bit over the years. The Replacements classics for instance, Let it Be, Tim, and Pleased to Meet Me, are loaded with legendary tracks. They also have a few duds, in my opinion.

However, Westerberg's Grandpaboy effort, Mono is just flat out perfect. Every song is just ear candy, start to finish.

Others I can think of:
Bob Mould - Workbook
Sugar - Copper Blue
REM - Life's Rich Pageant
Son Volt - Trace
Wilco - Being There
Whiskeytown - Stranger's Almanac
The Beatles - Help
The Beatles - Revolver
Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues
Pearl Jam - Yield
The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray

None of those do I ever dare hit the skip button, though I am tempted on Yellow Submarine. Still, I can't DQ Revolver, especially with the headphones on staring at the album cover.
 
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Elvis Costello-This Year's Model
Dylan-Blood on the Tracks
Rolling Stones-Sticky Fingers
Stevie Wonder-Talking Book
The Beatles-Revolver
Talking Heads-'77
A Tribe Called Quest-Midnight Marauders
Los Lobos-Colossal Head
Wilco-A Ghost is Born
Tom Waits-Closing Time

I limited myself to one album per artist, but I could have listed more for Dylan, the Stones, The Beatles, Wonder, and ATCQ. One thing that's apparent to me (a pretty obvious statement), but there was just an incredible 10 year period (1965-75) where immensely talented artists were producing sublime music, music that still sounds fresh and relevant fifty years later. I am not of the mindset that the only good music was produced during that time period and everything sucks today-not by a long shot. But those ten years, whew, incredible.
 
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Fleetwood Mac, Rumors.
Iron Maiden, Piece of Mind
Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps

I didn't include Fleetwood Mac on my list because of Oh Daddy. . .not a bad song, but just is a come down from the rest of the album for me.
 


I limited myself to one album per artist, but I could have listed more for Dylan, the Stones, The Beatles, Wonder, and ATCQ. One thing that's apparent to me (a pretty obvious statement), but there was just an incredible 10 year period (1965-75) where immensely talented artists were producing sublime music, music that still sounds fresh and relevant fifty years later. I am not of the mindset that the only good music was produced during that time period and everything sucks today-not by a long shot. But those ten years, whew, incredible.

I tried to adhere to the 1 album per artist deal as well, but made an executive decision on the Beatles, well just cuz. Help is also a soundtrack, so maybe that's as good of a reason as any to allow a 2nd choice.

Interesting call on Wilco's AGIB, for no other reason than the polarizing approximately 12 minutes of distortion noise tacked on to Less Than You Think. It does have a powerful lead in effect into The Late Greats.

I agree with your assessment on the era 1965-75. I think I was short changed, by being born in 1969, I was more familiar with those artists' Greatest Hits packages instead of the original LPs.
 

For starters:

Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever
U2 - The Joshua Tree
REM - Life's Rich Pageant
Green Day - American Idiot
Cowboy Junkies - Black Eyed Man
Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
 

Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends
Paul Simon - Still Crazy After All These Years
Paul Simon - Graceland

Come to think of it, I don't think Paul Simon as ever written a bad song.
 

The one that comes to mind for me almost every time I hear a song from it is Guns N Roses "Appetite For Destruction". There is not a single song on that album that you would never hear on radio at some time or another. It's solid top to bottom. Sure, it's one of my favorites, but you could literally hear any song on that album on a radio station that remotely covers that genre.

AC/DC's "Back in Black" is probably pretty close. I just read an interesting article in Guitar World (no, I don't read Guitar World normally but I just flying a couple days ago and saw a magazine with Angus Young on the cover and it's a no-brainer for me, I'm going to buy it) about the Back in Black album and how it was a tribute to the recently deceased frontman Bon Scott and when they rattled off various tracks off the album through the article, it struck me how "deep" the album is in good songs.
Every time I open one of these new threads, I'm reminded that GopherHole definitely has a type. ;)
 



Revolver has already been named twice. Did you guys forget Yellow Submarine is on that album? :)
 

Elvis Costello-This Year's Model
Dylan-Blood on the Tracks
Rolling Stones-Sticky Fingers
Stevie Wonder-Talking Book
The Beatles-Revolver
Talking Heads-'77
A Tribe Called Quest-Midnight Marauders
Los Lobos-Colossal Head
Wilco-A Ghost is Born
Tom Waits-Closing Time

I limited myself to one album per artist, but I could have listed more for Dylan, the Stones, The Beatles, Wonder, and ATCQ. One thing that's apparent to me (a pretty obvious statement), but there was just an incredible 10 year period (1965-75) where immensely talented artists were producing sublime music, music that still sounds fresh and relevant fifty years later. I am not of the mindset that the only good music was produced during that time period and everything sucks today-not by a long shot. But those ten years, whew, incredible.
I'm with ya on about half of these, just surprised Closing Time is the Waits album you picked.
 

Steely Dan- Aja
Donald Fagen- Nightfly

Obviously i'm a big SD fan, but both of these have no weaknesses for me.
 

Great topic, I am a huge Def Leppard fan and their Pyromania album is amazing. I love every song.

No.
TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)"3:52
2."Photograph"4:12
3."Stagefright"
  • Savage
  • Elliott
  • Lange
3:46
4."Too Late for Love"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Willis
  • Savage
  • Elliott
4:30
5."Die Hard the Hunter"Lange, Clark, Savage, Elliott6:17
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Foolin'"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Elliott
4:32
7."Rock of Ages"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Elliott
4:09
8."Comin' Under Fire"
  • Lange
  • Clark
  • Willis
  • Elliott
4:20
9."Action! Not Words"
  • Lange
  • Clark
  • Elliott
3:49
10."Billy's Got a Gun"
 



For starters:

Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever
U2 - The Joshua Tree
REM - Life's Rich Pageant
Green Day - American Idiot
Cowboy Junkies - Black Eyed Man
Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
Hollywood Town Hall is the only Jayhawks album without a clinker.
 

I was going to put Pyromania on the list, but honest to God, once you drop the needle, I could hum along to every note. So perfect, I don't ever need to play it again.
 

More:

Nirvana - Nevermind
Pearl Jam - 10
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
Toad the Wet Sprocket - Fear
Pete Yorn - Music for the Morning After
Semisonic - Great Divide
Chris Isaak - Forever Blue
Coldplay - Parachutes
Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape
Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer, Different Park
Prince - Purple Rain
The Vaccines - What did you Expect from the Vaccines?
Weezer - Blue Album
Wilco - Summer Teeth
 

Great topic, I am a huge Def Leppard fan and their Pyromania album is amazing. I love every song.

No.
TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)"3:52
2."Photograph"4:12
3."Stagefright"
  • Savage
  • Elliott
  • Lange
3:46
4."Too Late for Love"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Willis
  • Savage
  • Elliott
4:30
5."Die Hard the Hunter"Lange, Clark, Savage, Elliott6:17
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
6."Foolin'"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Elliott
4:32
7."Rock of Ages"
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Elliott
4:09
8."Comin' Under Fire"
  • Lange
  • Clark
  • Willis
  • Elliott
4:20
9."Action! Not Words"
  • Lange
  • Clark
  • Elliott
3:49
10."Billy's Got a Gun"
Rock of Ages is the best song of the '80's to me.
 

Good topic, something I have thought about quite a bit over the years. The Replacements classics for instance, Let it Be, Tim, and Pleased to Meet Me, are loaded with legendary tracks. They also have a few duds, in my opinion.

However, Westerberg's Grandpaboy effort, Mono is just flat out perfect. Every song is just ear candy, start to finish.

Others I can think of:
Bob Mould - Workbook
Sugar - Copper Blue
REM - Life's Rich Pageant
Son Volt - Trace
Wilco - Being There
Whiskeytown - Stranger's Almanac
The Beatles - Help
The Beatles - Revolver
Steve Earle - Transcendental Blues
Pearl Jam - Yield
The Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray

None of those do I ever dare hit the skip button, though I am tempted on Yellow Submarine. Still, I can't DQ Revolver, especially with the headphones on staring at the album cover.
I love just about every one of these.
 

Besides those already mentioned...

"Lulu" Trip Shakespeare
"Abbey Road" The Beatles
"Glass Houses" Billy Joel
"Her Wallpaper Reverie" The Apples in Stereo (unless you think the interludes are clunkers; all the songs are great)
"No MSG" Karate Chop, Silence
"Cosmic Thing" The B-52's
"Whatever and Ever Amen" Ben Folds Five
"Parallel Lines" Blondie
"New Miserable Experience" The Gin Blossoms
"The Cars" The Cars
"London Calling" The Clash
"Random Access Memories" Daft Punk
"Led Zeppelin II" Led Zeppelin
"Gaucho" Steely Dan
"Too Low for Zero" Elton John
"Mars Needs Guitars" Hoodoo Gurus
"The Voyager" Jenny Lewis
"Look Sharp" Joe Jackson
"Bad Self Portraits" Lake Street Dive
"Girlfriend" Matthew Sweet
"Most Messed Up" Old 97's
"Play Deep" The Outfield
"The Wall" Pink Floyd
"Purple Rain" Prince
"The Messenger" Rhett Miller
"Years" Sarah Shook and the Disarmers
"Chutes Too Narrow" The Shins
"True Stories" Talking Heads
"Flood" They Might be Giants
"Toto IV" Toto
"Business as Usual" Men at Work
"Villains" The Verve Pipe
"Violent Femmes" Violent Femmes
"Who's Next" The Who
 
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I'm with ya on about half of these, just surprised Closing Time is the Waits album you picked.
Love Closing Time-a Top 10 album for me-also big fan of Rain Dogs, Heart of Saturday Night, but find myself always coming back/defaulting to CT.
 


Steely Dan- Aja
Donald Fagen- Nightfly

Obviously i'm a big SD fan, but both of these have no weaknesses for me.
This might be the only thing we find common ground on Les, our mutual admiration for Steely Dan. I have never listened to all of Nightfly, I’ll check that out soon.
 

For me. the Wall and Pyromania belong to yet another category--"Albums you love, but will never put on again."
 

Love Closing Time-a Top 10 album for me-also big fan of Rain Dogs, Heart of Saturday Night, but find myself always coming back/defaulting to CT.
Hmm...to each his own. I guess I'm more of a fan of Tom Waits the vaudevillian than Tom Waits the crooner. My top three would be Rain Dogs, Bone Machine, & Bad As Me. From those those albums, Rain Dogs, Goin' Out West, and Hell Broke Luce are three of my favorite songs ever.
 

I tried to adhere to the 1 album per artist deal as well, but made an executive decision on the Beatles, well just cuz. Help is also a soundtrack, so maybe that's as good of a reason as any to allow a 2nd choice.

Interesting call on Wilco's AGIB, for no other reason than the polarizing approximately 12 minutes of distortion noise tacked on to Less Than You Think. It does have a powerful lead in effect into The Late Greats.

I agree with your assessment on the era 1965-75. I think I was short changed, by being born in 1969, I was more familiar with those artists' Greatest Hits packages instead of the original LPs.
I wavered on selecting AGIB for that reason, but it’s grown on me over the years and the rest of the album has such a great collection of songs-and as you mentioned, sonically it just works . Honestly though, tomorrow I could claim Summer Teeth as my favorite/most complete Wilco album it just depends on the mood for me.
 

I was going to put Pyromania on the list, but honest to God, once you drop the needle, I could hum along to every note. So perfect, I don't ever need to play it again.
I remember being at a party, and the Pyromania album was playing. I sat by the record player and just listened, I was in my zone and did not care about anything else at the time.
 

There are a few albums for me where the A side is pure perfection but the B side is total trash. Elton John's Madman Across the Water is one of those. Tiny Dancer, Levon, Razor Face, and Madman Across the Water may just be the best four-song side ever. I took a pocket knife to the B side vinyl just so I wouldn't ever have to listen to it again.
 

a few -
The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle - Bruce Springsteen
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

Who's Next by the Who is a tough call. "My Wife" is not a great cut, but everything else on that album is a freakin classic.

John Prine's 1st album has a couple of songs I could live without, but most of that album is brilliant.

And in the just for fun category - Bat Out of Hell by Meatloaf. A great college party album in the day.
 





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