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It's 4:20 in California, so here's some good music to elevate you towards the zenith of your weekend.

Last weekend I wrote my first diary in 3 years. This one is the second half of that one. If you're hungry for more rock and discussion, you can start over there, where I posited 4 different types of double album, and recounted a brief history of the double album in rock. We also talked about what makes a double album (do double CDs count?), what makes a great double album, and why I excluded most live double albums from the initial list.

The best reason to go look at last weekend's diary is that it covers the first half of my Top 30 Double Albums (i.e. my 16th to 30th greatest). All the double albums listed in orange, right below here, were discussed last week. In this diary, I merely list their names, with links to one song off each of them, in case you'd like to hear a sample. Actually, some of the video links go to live versions, not the tracks as you know them from their albums (e.g. Sara, The Cross, Teen Age Riot, Trouble Every Day); other of the links go to boring static videos, just so you can hear the song (e.g.Whipping Post, Goin' to Acapulco); but many also have the songs' original versions with fine or fitting videos (e.g. Mushroom, This Ain't No Picnic, the opening of Tales From Topographic Oceans).

If you'd like to read more about albums 16-30 (and vote in the poll there for your favorite of those 15 double albums), just jump through this link. If you'd rather jump straight to the Top 15 Double Albums (the ones listed in black below), that compendium of criticism and links starts right after this list of all 30:

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Top 30 Double Albums:

At Fillmore East (Allman Brothers Band; July '71; 76:26) "Whipping Post"
The White Album (The Beatles; Nov. '68; 93:35)
Aerial (Kate Bush; Nov. '05; 80:04) "King Of The Mountain"
Tago Mago (Can; 1971; 73:15) "Mushroom"
Trout Mask Replica (Captain Beefheart & his Magic Band; June ’69; 77:38) "Moonlight On Vermont"
London Calling (The Clash; Dec. '79; 65:13)
Wheels of Fire (Cream; July '68; 80:32)
Bitches Brew (Miles Davis; April ’70; 93:53)
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (Derek and the Dominos; Nov. '70; 76:43)
Blonde on Blonde (Bob Dylan; May '66; 71:23)
The Basement Tapes (Dylan & the Band; June ’75; 76:41) "Goin' To Acapulco"
Tusk (Fleetwood Mac; Oct. ’79; 68:57) "Sara"
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis; Nov. ’74; 95:17)
Electric Ladyland (Jimi Hendrix Experience; Sept. '68; 75:47)
Zen Arcade (Hüsker Dü; July ’84; 70:23) "Pink Turns To Blue"
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John; Oct. '73; 76:12)
Physical Graffiti (Led Zeppelin; Feb. '75; 82:15)
Double Nickels on the Dime (Minutemen; April ’84; 73:35) "This Ain't No Picnic"
The Wall (Pink Floyd; Nov. '79; 81:09)
Sign o’ the Times (Prince; March ’87; 80:06) "The Cross"
Metal Box (Public Image Ltd.; Nov. ’79; 60:29) "Careering"
Exile on Main St. (Rolling Stones; May '72; 67:17)
Something/Anything? (Todd Rundgren; Feb. ’72; 86:15) "Hello It's Me"
Daydream Nation (Sonic Youth; Oct. ’88; 70:47) "Teen Age Riot"
The River (Bruce Springsteen; Oct. ’80; 82:58) "Hungry Heart"
Tommy (The Who; May '69; 74:00)
Quadrophenia (The Who; Oct. ’73; 81:33)
Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder; Sept. ’76; 105:04)
Tales from Topographic Oceans (Yes; Dec. '73; 81:15) The first ten minutes of Tales.
Freak Out! (Frank Zappa & the Mothers; June ’66; 60:55) "Trouble Every Day"

If that's not enough double albums to amuse you, here are several hundred more.

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TOP 15 DOUBLE ALBUMS:

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Now we have 15 compiled album reviews. Before we begin, here's a key to what their headers signify:

Album  (Band; date released; duration; Millions sold)  song from album time/place/type of video

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The White Album   (The Beatles; Nov. '68; 93:35; 19 Million sold)   "While my Guitar..." George & Eric for Bangladesh '71

'The album has no discernible center: it is a sprawling collection of songs...and there is no stylistic unity: the tracks range from Paul's folkish "Blackbird" to John's doo-wop flavored "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" to Ringo's galumphing "Don't Pass Me By" (his songwriting debut) to George's stately "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (which featured Eric Clapton playing lead).' RS100

'A sprawling double album of many moods, and even the up-beat numbers have an undertow of fragmentation. Lacks the polish of most of the other Beatles records, but makes up for it with the individual strands of brilliance - including George's best outing, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
  'The Beatles were starting to come apart at the seams. If the demands of running a business weren't enough to contend with, John's relationship with Yoko Ono (who was now present at most of their recording sessions) was another source of friction, which was to boil over...Weeks of rancor culminated with the walk out of Ringo, who was of course persuaded to re-join, though the bad vibes refused to go away.' RGR

'With the breakdown of both communication and the old team spirit, the tormented sessions actually produced a rich, amazing record encompassing an incredibly wide stylistic range. From the compellingly visceral (Helter Skelter, Yer Blues, Birthday) to the comically whimsical (Honey Pie, Goodnight, Martha My Dear); from the obscured confessional (Julia, Everybody's Got Something To Hide) to political commentary (Revolution, Blackbird), the whole is rated by some as the pinnacle of the Beatles' genius, by others as disappointingly indulgent.   Producer George Martin famously tried to persuade the band to trim the fat and make it a "really super" single album, starting a debate that continues to this day. McCartney's having none of it: "Come on, it's the Beatles' White Album".' MC4

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London Calling   (The Clash; Dec. '79; 65:13; 2M sold)    "Train In Vain" live '80

'The Clash slowed down just enough to learn how to play its instruments, how to use a recording studio and how to lighten up. Mick Jones said "We had just been reaching the same people over and over. And the music - just bang, bang, bang - was getting to be like a nagging wife." This double album exploded with such a variety of powerful, tuneful songs that it garnered the Clash a wider following, and punk was left behind...On London Calling, the angry bite is still there in the title track, "Clampdown" and "Hateful," among others. Drummer Topper Headon, who joined the band with the second album, contributes the proper propulsive fury. But the record reveals a recognition of musical heritage. The songs not written by the band - "Brand New Cadillac", "Wrong 'Em Boyo" and "Revolution Rock" - touch base with rockabilly, New Orleans and reggae. Strummer and Jones's songwriting had gained new depth as well, most evident in slower, soulful narratives like "Jimmy Jazz", "The Card Cheat" and "The Right Profile". And they aren't afraid to sound pretty, as on the wistful "Lost In The Supermarket". RS100

'The Clash found the perfect producer in Guy Stevens, a kindred renegade spirit with impeccable credentials and an intuitive, if lunatic, genius for getting the essence of rock & roll on record...There was nothing strait-laced about Stevens's methods, which included pouring beer into a piano when the band wanted to use it on a song over his objections and slinging chairs around "if he thought a track needed zapping up," according to Strummer. Stevens nearly hit Jones with a ladder during one take. But Jones says Stevens - who has since died - was a "real vibe merchant" and was always "exhorting us to make it more, to increase the intensity, to lay the energy on".' RS80s

'Something in London Calling's musical scope, gush of ideas and feel good rock'n'roll zen brings to mind two other legendary doubles: Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and the Stones' Exile on Main St. In fact, it's confusing to think of this as a 'punk' record at all: London Calling was a celebration of the music the Clash enjoyed long before they became new wave iconoclasts - blues, reggae, ska, soul, jazz, funk, rockabilly. It was, as Strummer would put it, "probably our greatest moment".' MC4

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Wheels of Fire   (Cream; July '68; 80:32; 1M sold)   "Crossroads" live '68

'Three virtuosos - guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker - riffed like jazzmen, using such blues classics as Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" as occasions for prodigious, extended instrumental solos. Their skill, technical mastery and ambitiousness as players brought rock & roll a new respectability. Meanwhile, tracks like "Politician" and a sleepy cover of Howlin' Wolf's "Sitting On Top Of The World" flashed a more concise blues power. Wheels of Fire is the trio's recorded high point, before personal feuding brought the band crashing down.' RS200

This was the third double LP in rock. 'Wheels of Fire is a two-album set, one disc recorded in the studio, the second disc recorded on stage in San Francisco. Side three contains the definitive live version of what became Clapton's signature piece, Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", plus a version of "Spoonful". On such pieces, Cream approached blues-based rock with a jazz aesthetic, using the song as a framework to begin and end a performance. The strength of the performance is in the improvisation.' AMG3    

'In many ways Wheels of Fire is indeed filled with Cream's very best work, since it also captures the fury and invention (and indulgence) of the band at its peak on the stage and in the studio, but as it tries to find a delicate balance between these three titanic egos, it doesn't quite add up to something greater than the sum of its parts. Taken alone, though, those individual parts are often quite tremendous.' RS4

'"In the Studio" expands the instrumentation to include violas, trumpet, organ and hand bells, while lyrical concerns have changed from love to politics, alienation and post-hippy paranoia. "Live at the Fillmore" is by turns magical and overbearing, but who would dare make - or could carry off without studio trickery - music of such power and ambition today?' RGR

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Bitches Brew   (Miles Davis; April ’70; 93:53; 1M)   "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down", pt.1 no video

'While Miles Davis had already broached the idea of jazz melding into rock with In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew was the real thing. It doesn't sound like other rock music, but it stood a country mile away from the post-bop and soul jazz which Davis's contemporaries had been creating as their response to rock's takeover. Miles liked the style and energy of rock, but he couldn't entertain any dumbing-down in his own music. So he sought players like John McLaughlin, the young British bassist Dave Holland and Chick Corea; spirits fresh enough to inject something new into his own outlook, but virtuosos in their own right.
  'The previous record had been put together with a lot of post-production work, but for this set, Davis simply took his men into the studio for three days and set them off...The result was an album of six tracks, two of them breaking the 20-minute barrier, and all of them (bar the brief John McLaughlin) by turns spacey, frenetic, ferocious and even whimsically funky (Miles Runs The Voodoo Down)...much of it still sounds almost primitive, with its wayward guitar tone and clanking electric keyboards. Davis himself, though, always cuts through; the most modern sound on the record.' MC4    

‘Miles Davis grafted his own increasingly abstract style of jazz composition onto the electric crackle of rock & roll and the heartbeat pulse of ghetto funk. Jazz-rock fusion was born...It was his first vinyl outing with a radically expanded band, essentially an electric jazz orchestra, including three keyboard players, three drummers, two bassists and a rather unconventional reed section (Wayne Shorter on soprano sax, Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet).
  'Bitches Brew was directly responsible for most of the new electric bop of the '70s. Weather Report, John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea's Return to Forever were just some of the top fusion groups subsequently formed by members of Davis's all-star Bitches Brew band. But the album was also a quantum leap for black music in America: Davis incorporated the street soul and avant-rock of Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix into his own radical revision of jazz's traditional harmonic and rhythmic precepts.' RS100

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Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs   (Derek and the Dominos; Nov. '70; 76:43; 1M)   "Layla" Eric & many stars '84

'Quite simply, this is Eric Clapton's finest moment, full of gutsy, impassioned playing and tortured vocals.' AMG3    

'Inspired by the classical Persian love poem "Layla," the song sprung from a love triangle between Clapton, his best friend (George Harrison), and the best friend's wife (Patti Boyd)...it was obvious that the pain and longing expressed in the single was real, and that the genuine show of emotion put an edge on Clapton's vocals and fire in his guitar playing, helping his churning rhythm work throw sparks against the tart counterpoint of Duane Allman's slide. But it's Jim Gordon's stately, pastoral piano figure that has the final word, adding an air of hope and transcendence that seems almost to answer the pleas of the opening verses.
  '"Bell Bottom Blues" distills the pop-blues approach of Blind Faith and Cream into a memorable chorus and exquisite metaphor; while "Tell The Truth" brings the white-soul groove Clapton mastered with Delaney & Bonnie to its fruition." RS4

'The brilliant chemistry of the players, the uninhibited scene in the studio and Clapton's extreme emotional pain made Layla a near perfect blend of rock & roll looseness and white-hot romantic aspiration. Clapton's expressive reach as a player and singer has never extended further. With unfailing taste, he found precedents in wailing blues numbers like "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out" for the guilt and frustration he was chronicling himself in songs like "Bell Bottom Blues" and the title track. The album's epic cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" provides a passionate tribute to one of Clapton's few rivals on guitar. 'When Jimi died," Clapton said, "I cried all day because he'd left me behind."' RS100

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Blonde on Blonde   (Bob Dylan; May '66; 71:23; 2M)   "I Want You" Heath Ledger in I'm Not There

'Rock's first double album has Dylan in a touchingly romantic mood - with love anticipated, consummated and lost on "I Want You", "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" and "One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)", while many other tracks find themselves laughing, often bitterly, at the absurdities (Rainy Day Women 12 & 35) and emptiness (Visions Of Johanna) of the world. Bizarre imagery and a sense of druggy dislocation help create this world where values are all wrong and also often evoke, alongside the music, a mood as much as meaning.
  'The most relaxed - and funniest - of Dylan's mid-'60s rock albums, he described it as "the closest I ever got to the sound I heard in my head".' Q100

'This is a sonic universe all of its own, where classic tracks like "Visions Of Johanna" and "Just Like A Woman" pass by in an amphetamine rush of dazzling music and imagery...Blonde on Blonde pushed beyond Highway 61 to wilder streams of surrealist imagery, backed by superb band performances. This album defined "the thin, wild mercury sound" that Dylan later claimed he was always seeking, the sound of staying up all night on coffee and ciggies.' RGR    

'Dylan took producer Bob Johnston's advice and recorded Blonde on Blonde in Nashville, taking along only guitarist Robbie Robertson and organist Al Kooper to augment a crew of Tennessee's top session players. Used to recording three tracks in a typical three-hour session, the Nashville cats were surprised to find themselves left to their own devices for hours on end while Dylan finished writing the songs, whereupon Al Kooper - serving as musical director - would translate his ideas for the band..."It's an amazing record, like taking two cultures and smashing them together with a huge explosion", reckons Al Kooper."Dylan was the quintessential New York hipster - what was he doing in Nashville? But you take those two elements, pour them into a test-tube, and it just exploded." MC4

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The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway   (Genesis; Nov. ’74; 95:17; 0.5M)     "In The Cage" live '75

The liner notes credit "Enossification by Eno." ‘This, the last Genesis album with Peter Gabriel, is a sprawling two-disc thematic album concerning a character named Rael. Keeping with that theme, it includes pastiches of Broadway show music, plus the group’s typical mixture of folk, rock, and classical influences. If this is not the first Gabriel Genesis album to buy, it ultimately may prove the most satisfying.’ AMG3  

‘Many fans see this as the group’s finest moment, and the culmination of Gabriel’s genius, for he alone wrote its songs...But Lamb was grandiosity personified, and a 102-date world tour, where each and every night they played the whole record live, was probably not a good idea, exacerbating the pressure between Gabriel (now appearing fairly nutty, with shaven forehead) and the rest of the group.’ RGR    

'Even with the lengthy libretto included with the album, the story never makes sense. But just because the story is rather impenetrable doesn't mean that the album is as well, because it is a forceful, imaginative piece of work that showcases the original Genesis lineup at a peak
  'The album is set up in a remarkable fashion, with the first LP being devoted to pop-oriented rock songs and the second being largely devoted to instrumentals. This means that The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway contains both Genesis' most immediate music to date and its most elliptical. Depending on a listener's taste, they may gravitate toward the first LP with its tight collection of ten rock songs, or the nightmarish landscapes of the second, where Rael descends into darkness and ultimately redemption (or so it would seem), but there's little question that the first album is far more direct than the second and it contains a number of masterpieces, from the opening fanfare of the title song to the surging "In the Cage," from the frightening "Back in NYC" to the soothing conclusion "The Carpet Crawlers".' AMG

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Electric Ladyland   (Jimi Hendrix Experience; Sept. '68; 75:47; 2M)   "All Along The Watchtower" live Atlanta Pop Festival '70

'There was the whooshing sound of phasing everywhere on the album, Jimi's approximation of what his music would sound like underwater. His engineer, Eddie Kramer, explains, "Jimi would suggest things in a picture. He would say, 'Make that slide thing sound like it's underwater.' I'd try and get something for that effect and he'd say, 'No, more like blue water.' He was always having these underwater dreams." One day Kramer, who had already experimented with phasing on the Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park", surprised Hendrix with a phasing demonstration. "He fell on the floor. He couldn't believe it. He said, 'You're not going to believe this, but this is my dream. That's the underwater sound.' From that day on, we had to use phasing whenever we possibly could".' RS100

'"We call our music Electric Church Music",said Hendrix. "It's like a religion to us. Some ladies are like the church to us too. Some groupies know more about music than the guys. People call them groupies but I prefer the term "electric ladies". My whole Electric Ladyland album is about them." Physically, eight months and the Atlantic Ocean divided the first and last sessions for Electric Ladyland; spiritually, a lifetime sundered the set. The sessions could have produced two great single albums. But blended together, they were heart-stopping. Wild experimentation blurred into solid rocking grooves. "All Along The Watchtower" not only reinvented Dylan's original for the audience, it reinvented it for Dylan as well - he subsequently performed the song as a de facto Hendrix cover. The two "Voodoo Chile"s offer first a funkadelic jam with Winwood and Cassidy, then a screaming guitar exorcism (based around Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love" riff, played backwards).' MC4

'The chord progressions of "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" echoed Bach (and featured perhaps the only example of a wah-wah pedal employed elegantly); "Crosstown Traffic" was the Experience at its most rocking; and, with "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)," the songwriter reached back into gris-gris mythology to fashion a mock-cosmic persona. Like the sounding of a gigantic gong, the album reverberated across the airwaves; it also sounded the death knell for the Experience.' RS4

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road   (Elton John; Oct. '73; 76:12; 7M)   "Saturday Night's Alright" live Royal Gala '88

'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is Elton's biggest, best, catchiest, silliest, most pretentious, and most rocking set, a fun house of pansexual perversion. It's packed with mythic hits and oddities.' RS4

'From the pomp of the anticipation-building overture "Funeral For A Friend", it was clear that this hulking masterwork betrayed a new set of concerns far removed from the country comforts and suburban dreams conjured up previously by lyricist Bernie Taupin: a growing obsession with the travails of fame (Candle In The Wind), excitement for primal rock'n'roll energy (Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting); nostalgia (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road) and a decidedly confused attitude towards sexuality (All The Girls Love Alice). However the album's epic nature was achieved by accident. Mick Jagger recommended Dynamic Studios in Kingston, Jamaica to Elton after a happy sojourn recording the Stones' Goats Head Soup.
  'But producer Gus Dudgeon soon encountered problems. "It sounded amazing when I'd previously been there. It had exactly what we were looking for, this massive bottom end. Things were looking great until we set all the equipment up." The bottom end had inexplicably vanished. After days of dickering, the team taped just one track, a rough run through of "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting", before repairing to trusted standby the Chateau d'Herouville in France. Here the tight band of musicians raced through the 21 songs John had stockpiled while holed up in his Kingston hotel room waiting for the studio problem to be resolved.
  '"That's how it came out to be a double," says Dudgeon. "Elton just had more time to write than usual. None of us was particularly into doing a double, but the stuff he had was just too good." Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was stacked full of winners, including several hidden gems such as This Song Has No Title, which, combined with The Ballad Of Danny Bailey, apparently provided Billy Joel with an entire career template.' MC4

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Physical Graffiti   (Led Zeppelin; Feb. '75; 82:15; 15M)   "Trampled Underfoot" live Earl's Court '75

'A mature and diverse set of great power and cohesion - and, historically, one of the last great pre-punk heavy rock albums...Although the tracks are by no means all classics, between the staccato riff of "Custard Pie" and the closing bars of "Sick Again", the album contained some stunning material, like the epic version of the trad blues "In My Time Of Dying", the whimsy of "The Rover" and party fave "Trampled Underfoot", with its semi-funk beat. Indeed, much recent dance music owes more than a little to this display of Bonzo Bonham's drumming. The most enduring piece, however, was "Kashmir", the song that lit a thousand joss sticks." RGR

'Led Zeppelin's most ambitious work ever, spanning genres, tempos, and once again contrasting bombastic, rock-solid tunes alongside folksy spiritual quests. Page had been contemplating putting out a double disc for some time and went on a scavenger hunt in the band's vaults, unearthing outtakes from their previous albums and grafting them to the band's more recent compositions, giving a sprawling view of what they were capable of.
  'Jimmy Page simply explains it by saying, "We were in that frame of mind in those days. That album's really good because we were having a long run working as a band, and it really shows. We had this beautiful freedom that we could try anything, do anything, which was what the beauty of how the band was, and how the music was made as opposed to how things are today. A band today has to constantly try to keep its head above water."
  Within two weeks of its release Graffiti was perched at the top of the US charts, pulling all of the band's previous five albums in its wake back onto the Billboard album charts, making them the first band ever to have six albums in the top 200.' MC4

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The Wall   (Pink Floyd; Nov. '79; 81:09; 23M)   "Comfortably Numb" from movie

'Pink Floyd's most elaborately theatrical album was inspired by their own success: the alienating enormity of the tours after The Dark Side Of The Moon, which was when bassist-lyricist Roger Waters first hit upon the wall as a metaphor for isolation and rebellion...Rock's ultimate self-pity opera, The Wall is also hypnotic in its indulgence: the totalitarian thunder of "In The Flesh?" the suicidal languor of "Comfortably Numb," the Brechtian drama of "The Trial." Rock star hubris has never been more electrifying.' RS500

'The Wall is a stunning synthesis of Waters' by now familiar thematic obsessions: the brutal misanthropy of Pink Floyd's last LP, Animals; Dark Side of the Moon's sour, middle-aged tristesse; the surprisingly shrewd perception that the music business is a microcosm of institutional oppression (Wish You Were Here); and the dread of impending psychoses that runs through all these records–plus a strongly felt antiwar animus that dates way back to 1968's A Saucerful of Secrets. But where Animals, for instance, suffered from self-centered smugness, the even more abject The Wall leaps to life with a relentless lyrical rage that's clearly genuine and, in its painstaking particularity, ultimately horrifying.
  'Longtime Pink Floyd fans will find the requisite number of bone-crushing riffs and Saturn-bound guitar screams ("In the Flesh"), along with one of the loveliest ballads the band has ever recorded ("Comfortably Numb –"). And the singing throughout is–at last–truly first-rate, clear, impassioned.' RS

'Awesomely grim double album that's just too miserable to play end to end, but superb in parts, particularly "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell"...a hopelessly ambitious album, concert tour and film project (starring Bob Geldof as the alienated central character), first inspired by Waters' hatred of the whole stadium-rock concept. Self-indulgence is the word here, but the conceit of literally walling off the audience during the live performance was surprisingly effective.' RGR

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Exile on Main St.   (Rolling Stones; May '72; 67:17; 1M)   "Tumbling Dice" live in studio '72

'Exile on Main St. was the summation of everything that the Rolling Stones were working towards. This double album was the only Stones album where the music didn't declare its intention with Keith's first riff. Exile showed the Stones using the studio as an instrument that was as fundamental to its blues sound as a harmonica or guitar: the album was shrouded in a bleary, narcotic haze that was sometimes so thick that it sounded like Charlie Watts was recorded underwater. Jagger's voice was so blurred and slurred that it frequently faded into the horn charts, while the guitars of Richards and Taylor sounded hoarse, stale and hung-over.' RGR

'The album which holds pride of place in the Stones' mythology has a shambling, expansive feel on the surface, but is underpinned by a brooding, barbarous quality which reflects the trying conditions in which it was recorded. Having left Britain to avoid paying their taxes, the band set up shop for the summer in the basement of Keith Richards's villa in the south of France, recording on their 16-track mobile. The house had been the headquarters of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France. The sessions turned into what's been described as "the biggest house party of Keith's hospitable career."
  "It was a right sodding pain in the arse, actually," Mick Taylor recalls. "We bloody hated it almost from the moment we started work on it - thought it was crap. Keith wanted to trash it all and start again. It was party time all the fucking time. It's a wonder we got anything done, the place was so overrun with people. It was ideal for Keith because all he had to do was fall out of his bed, roll downstairs and voila, he was at work."' MC4

'The Stones transformed themselves into a classic R & B band for the album's sessions by adding Nicky Hopkins on piano, Bobby Keys on Sax and Jim Price on trumpet and trombone. The Stones persisted in their love of blues by covering Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips" and Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down", and they worked blues, R & B and gospel riffs into scorching originals like "Casino Boogie", "Ventilator Blues", "I Just Wanna See His Face", "Let It Loose" and "Shine A Light". The country strain in their music flowered with "Sweet Virginia", "Torn And Frayed" and "Loving Cup".' RS100

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Tommy   (The Who; May '69; 74:00; 2M)   "Pinball Wizard" movie version w/ Elton John

'Tommy was both credible and captivating, orchestral links lending gravitas to the Who's characteristically colorful pulsating rock which swung from the proto-prog grandeur of "Amazing Journey" to the music-hall jauntiness of "Tommy's Holiday Camp" and the searing rock of "Acid Queen".
  "Tommy wasn't as big a success as people now imagine," says Roger Daltrey, "not when it was released, anyway. It wasn't particularly big at all - it was only after we'd flogged it on the road for three years and played Woodstock and things like that it got back in the charts. Then it stayed in the charts for a year and took on a life of its own."' MC4

'The beginning of the plot - the loss of a father in the war - is a key to the themes of personal loss and directionlessness that characterized so much British music of the time. The ideas may be outdated, but musically Tommy still stands up to scrutiny, especially in "Pinball Wizard", "See Me Feel Me" and "Amazing Journey".
  Much of the hippie movement's more mystical ideas had rubbed off on the Who during extensive US touring...Townshend was having the first of many mid-life crises, and as he pondered The Meaning Of Life he came up with the idea of a rock opera which combined the themes of religion, stardom, perception of the world, perception of self and the quest for Truth. Tommy was released in 1969, a few weeks before Woodstock, in a climate where experimentation was hip and the word "pretentious" did not exist.' RGR

'Tommy's biggest crime is that it inspired lesser artists to attempt the same trick, and by the late '70s, bands like Styx had turned operatic concept albums into rock's lamest joke.' RS4

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Quadrophenia   (The Who; Oct. ’73; 81:33; 1M)   "5:15" Top Of The Pops '73

‘A mod elegy and an attempt to render in music the characters of the Who’s four members...the foursome had conquered entire new worlds in rock & roll, but their ambition would not let up. Horns and orchestral adornments sometimes threatened to overcome Townshend’s most complicated set of melodies and lyrical ideas – but on a song like "The Real Me", the group flourished its mastery of the baroque gesture, the operatic stance.’ RS3

'The title did allude to the ultimately useless technology of quadraphonic sound, but more significantly to the four sides of the personality of central character Jimmy as he struggles to assert his identity in the face of peer pressure, drug confusion, family condemnation and sexual disappointment. To Townshend, it also reflected the split personality of the Who, "Roger the fighter, John the romantic, Keith the lunatic and Pete the self-dubbed 'beggar and hypocrite'."...The band were less than enamored with the whole idea. While Moon's alcoholism took its toll on his abilities, Daltrey remained staunchly unimpressed, complaining that his voice had been buried in the mix, and Entwistle growled that all the songs sounded the same to him. But the quartet produced peak performances on songs such as "5.15", "Dr. Jimmy" and "Love Reign O'er Me".' MC4

'Some of Townshend's most direct, heartfelt writing is contained here, and production-wise it's a tour de force, with some of the most imaginative use of synthesizers on a rock record.' AMG

‘Despite the mod theme and the heavy use of brass, Quadrophenia was the closest the Who ever came to heavy metal.’ RGR

.

.

Songs in the Key of Life   (Stevie Wonder; Sept. ’76; 105:04; 9M)   "Sir Duke" live Tokyo '82

Elton John used to own 25,000 LPs, until he sold his collection for charity. He said, "Let me put it this way: wherever I go in the world, I always take a copy of Songs in the Key of Life. For me, it's the best album ever made, and I'm always left in awe after I listen to it."

'By Songs In The Key Of Life, Wonder is clearly at his peak, effortlessly sustaining the focus required of a double album while demonstrating an almost frightening capacity for hit singles. Even better, he's able to deal with an astonishing range of material.' RS4

‘Making this record, Wonder would often stay in the studio forty-eight hours straight, not eating or sleeping, while everyone around him struggled to keep up. "If my flow is goin’, I keep on until I peak," he said. The flow went so well, Wonder released twenty-one songs, packaged as a double album and a bonus EP. The highlights are the joyful "Isn’t She Lovely" and "Sir Duke," but Wonder also displays his effortless mastery of funk, jazz, balladry, Afrobeat and even a string-quartet minuet.’ RS500

'The sweep of styles, from the big-band jazz of the Ellington tribute "Sir Duke", via the string-driven street opera of "Village Ghetto Land" through the driving polemic of "Black Man", is the broadest of any Wonder album.' MC4

'Songs in the Key of Life maintained Wonder's remarkable level of consistency and stormed to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. As well as soul-funk hits like "Another Star", "I Wish" and the jazz-inflected "Sir Duke", it featured "Pastime Paradise", a song covered almost twenty years later by rapper Coolio on his 1995 hit "Gangsta Paradise". However, "Isn't She Lovely", which opened the second half of the album, a song dedicated to his newborn daughter, hinted that a shift to MOR wasn't far away.' RGR

.

.

.

The quotes above come from many of my record guides and magazines with "best album" lists. Here is a key to the abbreviations: MC4 (The Mojo Collection, 4th Ed.); RGR (Rough Guide to Rock); Spin (Spin Alternative Record Guide); Spin100 (Spin Magazine, 100 Greatest Albums ’85-’05); RS3 (Rolling Stone Album Guide, 3rd Ed.); RS4 (RS Album Guide, 4th Ed.); RS100 (RS Mag. 100 Best Albums ’67-’87); RS200 (RS Mag. 200 Best Albums, ’97); RS500 (RS Mag. 500 Greatest Albums ‘03); RS80s (RS Mag. 100 Best Albums of the 80s); RS (Rolling Stone Online); Q100 (Q Mag. 100 Greatest Albums, '97); AMG3 (All Music Guide, 3rd Ed.); and AMG (All Music Guide Online). That’s a lot of sources, I know, but I really wanted to find quotes that gave you a sense of the specific flavors of the different double albums.
==========================================================================

.

.

.

Before you go, please Pick your Favorite Double LP in the poll. Thanks!

If you have another, much better, personal favorite, please explain why you like it so much, in a comment below.  Thanks for coming in and playing. I hope to see you again next Friday.

Originally posted to Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

Poll

Which of these Double Albums is the Greatest?

17%19 votes
7%8 votes
1%2 votes
6%7 votes
3%4 votes
9%10 votes
3%4 votes
5%6 votes
3%4 votes
3%4 votes
6%7 votes
15%16 votes
3%4 votes
5%6 votes
4%5 votes

| 106 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  You've lost the rec button (10+ / 0-)

      on your tipjar. At least for me.

      Would you post another comment to serve as one?

    •  You left Richie Havens off the list (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, trashablanca

      '1983' is a fantastic double LP. Definitely in my Top 10.

      I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

      by jhecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:14:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so so so so so so happy to see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht

      this mortal coil on the addendum.

      thank you.

      and to boot, this mortal coil had not one but two fucking brilliant double albums -- filigree & shadow from 1986 and then blood in 1991.

      from filigree & shadow (my favorite of their three albums):  to listen to alison limerick's rendition of judy collins' "my father" is just pure artistry:

      and from blood,  a cover that rivals its original rendition by emmylou harris, there is "till i can gain control again" sung by heidi berry:

      _

      There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

      by dadanation on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 11:14:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I put an easter egg in the diary just for you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dadanation

        If you look at the start of the list of the Top 15 double albums, there's a key to explain what each album's header signifies. If you click on the orange word Album, it'll take you to Filigree & Shadow, and if you click on song from album, it takes you to one of my favorites from the album.

        Now I'll refresh my memory of the two you embedded, thanks for the treats.

        "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

        by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 11:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OH MY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brecht, LaughingPlanet

          that is one of the coolest surprises i have ever received from anyone here on this blog.

          you just made my weekend.

          quite sincerely, thank you thank you thank you.

          somewhat OT to this mortal coil but germane to this diary, i agree with your choice of this double album over any other double album this artist has or will ever record because of this song.**

          and one last tangent -- there is an alternative version of alison moyet's song "this house" which differs i think quite significantky from the version that eneds up on hoodoo.  the alternative take is the b-side of her fantastic 1991 cover of "love letters."  if you ever find tbat 7" it is a must-buy, if only for the b -side, produced by  none other than this mortal coil's own ivo!  i used to wonder if the song was perhaps scheduled for release on blood (it would fit the theme of the LP) but was for one reason or other not ...

          anyway, thanks again.

          ps:  ** i would add that while the elton john/stevie wonder/gladys night/dionne warwick song "that's what friends are for" was a fundraising song for amfAR, my aforementioned easter egg song for YOU would be, as best as i can discern, the first real hit song that had an overt explicit reference to AIDS, which the warwick song does not mention at all in the song...

          _

          There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

          by dadanation on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 11:14:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well then, I guess we're even, as that is one of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dadanation, LaughingPlanet

            the coolest replies I have ever received on this blog.

            I have never heard "this house", and don't know Hoodoo. I've been meaning to catch up on Alison, at least via a solo hits CD. I own and like all of Yaz. Did you know that they met after she put an ad in the paper looking for a - I believe the phrase was "Sweaty R&B band", and Vince audaciously stepped forward.

            I need a David Byrne hits too, he's done a lot of nifty singles since the Heads split.

            Hope you're still having a good weekend. I'm thinking Friday's diary will be called Exploding Dinosaurs.

            "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

            by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:20:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  My poll answer will be no surprise. (9+ / 0-)

    As my sig line will attest.

    And here's a bump for the remastered Exile, with a nice serving of bonus tracks from the vault!

    While I'm at it, here's a hat tip to Youtube's selection of Charlie Watts interviews - especially the one from the old late Night show. Charlie is just the loveliest, most humble fellow, and it's a delight to hear him chat.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:45:49 PM PDT

    •  Charlie plays drums on the version of Layla (4+ / 0-)

      I link to in the diary.

      I'm enjoying the new Exile too. Finally, the Stones reissue a classic album with a few bonus tracks for a change, when they're sitting on some of the bigger vaults in rock.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:54:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exile.... (6+ / 0-)

      ...possibly the best rock recording of all time.

      British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

      by Bensdad on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:03:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exile On Main Street (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        labradog, walkshills, Brecht, trashablanca

        Crazed, maddening, fully realized in spite of itself, rough, unfinished, unstopping, the Real Stones.

        Great tune after great tune.  "Some kind of Ventilator!"  "You got to scrape the shit right off your shoes."

        "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

        by Rolfyboy6 on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:36:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, fully realized in spite of itself, all true (4+ / 0-)

          it goes deeper and has more crammed in than any other Stones album. If you could only take a few albums on a roadtrip, that's one you could listen to many times, because you can keep digging and finding more there.

          Except for enjoying the live energy of side 1, "Tumbling Dice" is the only track that grabbed me with it's shiny brilliance the first time I heard it. Most of the songs on Exile took a few years to sink in.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 06:58:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Their best. (5+ / 0-)

            I've had Exile since the day it was released. I love a lot of music, but have never been so knocked out, decade after decade, by an album.

            I could plunge into that riotous romp "Stop Breakin' Down" forever, and "Lovin' Cup" - such a sexy, declaration of love and lust, it's like an organic part of the cycle of arousal.

            So, yeah, I'm a 57 year old effin' fanboy, and yeah, I'll confess the full extent of my sickness: I still delight in the workout that is cranking the hell out of that entire album, plugging in my bass, diving in at "Rocks Off", and not coming up until "Soul Survivor"'s juddering fadeout, just goin' absolutely nutz!      

            I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

            by labradog on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 09:02:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  then your sickness is a very healthy kind. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              labradog

              We all of us have some shards of madness in us (except for a few so sane they're boring).

              Where to put this madness so it does no hurt? I think the healthiest place to jam it is the spectrum that Prince inhabits: Art/Rock/Dance/Sex.

              I would go nutz like you if I knew how to. To a non-musician audiophile, bass is about the easiest thing to overlook on a record. If I listen attentively to, say, "My Generation", I can hear John Entwistle making history. But when I'm playing a Who album, I notice Pete's and Keith's work a lot more.

              Blood on the Tracks was a favorite of mine for 20 years before a rude neighbor did me the favor of blasting it through the floor, and I learned how magnificent the bass is on it.

              "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

              by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:35:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Absolutely Great Diary, Brecht! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmsf, walkshills, Brecht, asterkitty

    Even read it twice.  Physical Graffiti gets my vote for Kashmir alone, but I could listen to that album everyday for the rest of my life and not grow tired of it.

    Thanks for a well-written and informative diary.  You rock!

    •  All encouragement appreciated, thanks, as I'm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asterkitty

      hoping to get psyched enough to do another one of these every Friday at 4:20 L.A. time.

      Physical Graffiti is the deepest Zep, and takes the longest to fathom. I'm guessing if you listen to it loud everyday, eventually your neighbors will complain. In college we had a Zep party, and played every LP in order, all night, until they shut us down.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:59:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Car is a Great Place to Blast It (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        Especially going to and from work. At the end of a long day or prior to a potentially nightmarish morning, it's a godsend.

        Thanks again for this diary.  Can't wait for the next one!

        Cheers.

  •  DM 101 and Prince Sign O The Times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    are up there for me.

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:49:33 PM PDT

    •  I knew Depeche Mode in the 80s, because I lived (0+ / 0-)

      in England until '83, and was very into New Wave in general, and the New Romantics in particular. But after the insanely catchy writer Vince Clark left, I always rated them a bit behind Japan, OMD, Ultravox, Heaven 17 et al.

      I didn't even buy DM 101, they looked like such teen heartthrobs at the time. It wasn't until a couple of years after "Personal Jesus" that I realized they'd become a rockier, funkier band than in their youth.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bob: BoB (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, trashablanca, enhydra lutris

    Look at the dates.

    In 1966 he invents the double album.

    With Like a Rolling Stone he had just invented the long single. Breaking free meant using more vinyl.

    It's wonderful that other artists used the new freedom. But Bob wins.

    (I notice that Self Portrait isn't in contention. Heh.)

    •  The funny thing is, I haven't voted in the poll (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      trashablanca

      So I ask myself now, who do I love? Which is the Greatest Double LP in Rock? Which is unfortunately phrased for Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder, as they're not quite rock enough to win in my book.

      I'd have to put it between Blonde on Blonde, Exile on Main St., The Wall, and London Calling. I guess I play the Dylan and Clash more often than the other two - you do need to be in the right mood to enjoy The Wall.

      And Quadrophenia and The Lamb Lies Down are personal favorites.

      So now I go to vote, and I'm thinking I'll lie and pick my least favorite, Layla, on account of all my other pets got at least 2 votes already, and she's got nothing. So I try to enter my vote, but maybe I shouldn't have peeked at the ongoing results first? Because now it won't let me place a vote in my own poll. Serves me right for trying to lie.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:22:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm the on who chose The Clash (5+ / 0-)

    I don't know what this whole 4:20 thing is about, but it sounds interesting!

    "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

    by otto on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:54:50 PM PDT

  •  Brecht, you have a might fine taste (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, dougymi, asterkitty

    My top choices:

    • The Beatles - The White Album
    • The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street
    • Jimy Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
    • Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
    • The Clash - London Calling
    • Cream - Wheels Of Fire
    • U2 - The Joshua Tree

    "Will the highways of the internet become more few?"
    - GWB asketh, Verizon/Google answereth

    by brainwave on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 04:55:28 PM PDT

    •  Joshua Tree, for all its magnificence, was only a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmsf, brainwave

      single LP. Perhaps you mean Rattle & Hum?

      Each of your other picks is a personal favorite of mine, though with Cream and Zep I don't own those albums on CD, so I more frequently hear just the tracks that made it onto their box sets (well, actually Eric's in the first case).

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:05:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tusk? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, Brecht

    Okay, I'll let you slide on that.

    One more: Neil Young, Decade.

    That album got me through a teenaagedom that I look back at now and go, "How in the hell...?"

    •  I don't think a best of should count (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmsf, walkshills, Elwood Dowd, Brecht, Little

      I can see how it could be called something else, but according to Wikipedia, there were only 5 new songs on it.

      And...

      Decade is a triple album compilation by Neil Young, released in 1977, now available on two compact discs. It contains 35 of Young's songs recorded between 1966 and 1976, among them five tracks that had been unreleased up to that point. It peaked at #43 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart.

      I really love Decade, though.  

      When I was living in boarding houses during my college years, someone who had moved out had their Columbia Record Club boxes sitting on the porch.

      I took one, and I got Decade out of it.

      I probably wouldn't have bought it on my own.

      "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

      by otto on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:00:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do kind of agree with you about Tusk (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little

      I couldn't change it now - I'd already covered and polled Tusk in last week's diary (but you can still go vote for it in that poll, I think).

      But if I truly picked my own 15 greatest, right now I'd replace Layla with Tusk. It has great depth and passion, but lack's Tusk's variety and invention.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:29:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's kind of cool that so far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmsf, Brecht, Little

    the votes are almost exactly evenly split amongst all of those albums . . .

  •  The Band: "Rock of Ages" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Little, jds1978

    The horn section album.

  •  Tough, tough, tough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Little

    Blonde on Blond
    Bitches Brew
    Wheels of Fire

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

    by enhydra lutris on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:12:10 PM PDT

  •  I clicked the wrong album (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Little

    changed my mind...oh well, too late! They're both great!

  •  My favorite triple album (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, Brecht, droopyd, C Barr, Azazello

    would be Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

  •  Thx for including my beloved Lamb (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmsf, Brecht

    album. I don't know if it's the best ever, but it's definitely in the great group of LPs you have here. I saw Genesis perform this show in Buffalo, NY in Dec. 1974 and was stunned. Certainly one of the best live shows ever, and the best live show I've ever seen.

    •  Oh lordy lord - how I'd love to see a show on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      winkk

      that tour. I was even in Buffalo the winter of '75. iirc it snowed.

      I still ought to see Gabriel, even now, he can make a good show and has such wonderful songs.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:48:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Random thoughts : (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    On the unreleased tracks on the "new" Exile; there's a reason they didn't make the cut.

    Best track on Layla?, Key to the Highway, no contest. Eric & Duane trading licks for 9 minutes. I've only recently learned that the arrangement was not original, they stole it from a Little Walter recording.

    •  I agree on the Exile outtakes, but I'm happy to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello

      hear them. Pretty much anything they touched in the Mick Taylor era ('69-'74) is the real rock'n'roll by me, and Exile doubly so. It does sound better now they cleaned it up some.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:50:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I often wonder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        what it was about that period, those 4 albums, that made them so good. Was it Mick Taylor or Jimmy Miller, Anita or Gram Parsons, or the smack. Whatever it was that was the classic period and, I agree, Exile was the culmination.

        •  oh, damn and blast. I just wrote my best comment (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Walrus, Azazello

          in the whole diary and, before I could publish, some gremlin in my computer chose to vanish it entirely. Well, okay, a clumsy finger of mine might have also been involved.

          I often wonder what it was about that period, those 4 albums, that made them so good. Was it Mick Taylor or Jimmy Miller...

          For the purposes of my cursory research here, let's assume Wikipedia is omniscient. Then Mick Taylor only played on 2 tracks on Let it Bleed.

          So we're talking about:
          1971 - Sticky Fingers
          1972 - Exile on Main St.
          1973 - Goats Head Soup and
          1974 - It's Only Rock 'n Roll.

          I can see five reasons why the Stones were supremely confident and creative in these years:

          1. The core band, except for Mick Taylor, had played together for most of a decade, and conquered the world with singles and albums, TV and tours. So they were a well-trained team, and knew how to make the most of each other's skills.
          1. Keith is the deepest root of the Stones, with his Stonehenge-style huge primal riffs; Mick Taylor complements this with an opposite style of elegant baroque filigree, the perfect yin to Keith's yang.
          1. Jimmy Miller, as he had with Traffic, really got the Stones (Maybe "got" them a little too completely, as he and Mick Taylor tried to follow in the tracks of Keith's lifestyle. Hence "I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy, and man, did he look pretty ill"). Miller never sliced or diced the Stones' complex vibe, he let the stew simmer and stirred it just enough to make it stronger. My metaphor's getting a bit pungent - in brief, Miller was very simpatico to their swampy '70s sound.
          1. Three great pianists - Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, and Billy Preston - play on all 4 albums. They bring a lot of New Orleans boogie-woogie on the keys, and several other styles as required. Each of these albums has several extra musicians, but the first three of them rely on Bobby Keys and Jim Price anchoring their new horn section, and also have diverse percussionists.
          1. After six years of contending against the Beatles in every arena that pop could provide, the Stones finally won by default. When the MC who was introducing their tour in 1970 started every show with "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Greatest Rock 'n Roll Band in the World, the Rolling Stones", no one ever stopped him - no one had to. The only bands who might prove them wrong (Led Zep, the Who) were out playing their own shows every night, and never heard the boast nor cared.

          So, that's my theory. Thanks for a thought-provoking question. Also for being in these first two Rock diaries of, I hope, my new weekly series.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 11:42:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The records I was thinking of, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht

            that define the "classic" period were Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile.... I also include Get Your Ya-Yas Out and a couple of live bootlegs from that period. We have Brian fading out, fired by the band in '69, and Keith's ascendancy as band leader. It was a Golden Age indeed as the licks got nastier and the sound grungier; Chuck Berry's blues-based style slowed down a few BPM. There were so many influences, in addition to the ones we've mentioned. For example, Keith stole learned a lot of licks from Ry Cooder. In fact, Cooder claims that the lick that became Honky Tonk Women, my pick for the single greatest rock and roll song ever written, was actually his.

            •  My favorite Stones song is Gimme Shelter, even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Azazello

              more primal sublime magnificent than Exile. Not an iota of plastic.

              I've read Ry Cooder saying that. There's a Stones bio, best I've read of any rock band, called Old Gods Almost Dead.

              The Stones were a classic singles band until '67. In '68 they put down the acid-washed second-hand Beatles tunes, and picked up a louder electric blues than their early years with "Jumping Jack Flash" and then the 4 albums you mention, which I deem their 4 best. My next 4 would be Aftermath, Goats Head Soup, Some Girls and Tattoo You.

              "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

              by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:50:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Ginger Baker? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    I just met 'er!

    Just sayin'.

    Harboring resentment is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.

    by The Red Pen on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:26:48 PM PDT

    •  you are an imp and a... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Red Pen

      well. Okay, you're hardly an imp, but you're certainly a scoundrel. I've seen you engage in what you call "debate", and we'll have none of that sort in here, thank ye kindly.

      You don't see me dashing into your diaries just to make pointless quips, now do you? I should warn you that if you refute me with facts I may choose to reply by surface mail.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:55:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  electric ladyland is number one, the rest can (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginislandsguy, walkshills, Brecht

    fight is out for second best.
    you really think sign o the times is better than 1999?

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:31:36 PM PDT

    •  Pretty sure nobody thinks that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo, Brecht

      And yah, to the itsonlyabattlefor2ndplace remark as well.

      I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

      by punditician on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:48:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I may have slipped there, I don't think so. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo

      I'm not 100% sure because I actually started winnowing the field of great double albums 3 years ago. Don't worry, I'm getting treatment for my Rock OCD.

      Back in the summer of 2007, I chose Sign o' the Times over 1999. I expect I did so, even though 1999 is bursting with hits and catapulted Prince to Purple Rain and world domination, because I think Sign o' the Times has more different flavors of Prince, and ultimately shows more musical and creative prowess.

      If I wanted to dance vertically or horizontally, I might put on the smoother flow of 1999.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 06:09:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was torn between London Calling & Quadrophenia. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Brecht, matching mole

    Eventually chose Quadrophenia, just 'cos it's thematically interesting, has a lot of repeating themes and so forth, and some cool sound effects.

    The last time we broke a president, we ended up with Reagan.

    by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:42:55 PM PDT

    •  They're both bursting with joyful energy for the (0+ / 0-)

      weekend, though they also have their darknesses, and Quadrophenia its sadness.

      I lived a couple of years in Brighton, so I've sat on that grey stony beach and brooded, and it's a fine place to melt melancholy inside.

      But "5:15" just is 5:15 on a Friday evening, escaping the black-and-white week to star in the real movie of being young, stylish, popular, and hopped up on pills.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 06:15:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for participating so much in the first (0+ / 0-)

      part of this, last weekend, Bush Bites. You added a lot of interesting information to the conversation, and I'm glad to see you back here.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 09:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a nice bit of work. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    Brought back some memories for me when I was younger.  Double LPs were THE BEST.  I understand why you didn't include live LPs, but maybe in the future you should do one just on those.  Then you could include the other great Genesis double album Seconds Out which is one of my favorite live albums.  You would also maybe have to expand it to include the odd triple live LP (I'm thinking of Yessongs for that).

    I voted for Lamb Lies Down... in your poll, but I had to go back and forth between that and Yellow Brick Road.  I know they're completely different in style but they're both great to me.

    •  Thanks. It took me a fair bit of work to polish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      madmsf

      it - which was quite a sacrifice, as I'm physically allergic to work.

      I am constitutionally unable to think about rock without going on to thinking about rock some more. So I could one day do a poll of best live double LPs. But I wouldn't want to until I'd done some exhaustive research to pick 15 for a poll. And I probably wouldn't do 3+ sets unless I had at least 10 of those to consider.

      I'm a big Genesis fan, especially the '70s, and Seconds Out and Trick of the Tail were two of the very first records I ever owned. Long before I ever heard all of Lamb.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 06:21:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  gotta be the white album (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    walkshills, Elwood Dowd, Brecht

    It's the only one I've bought 5 times. LP, LP, 8 track, cassette, CD and again CD.

    Excellent Diary. You have great taste. I own most of those. Thanks.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 05:47:37 PM PDT

  •  How Late'll Ya Play Til? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bill W, Brecht

    The David Bromberg Band.

    I'm not gonna claim top spot against Dylan or the Stones. But It's up there.

    •  Seconded (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elwood Dowd, Brecht

      I mentioned that one in the previous diary. But it's half live, so it might not qualify for this series. But I don't think there's a better album to showcase the breadth of that band's abilities. If they could've snuck "Yankee's Revenge" in there, it would have covered everything, I think.

  •  toot toot, hey, beep beep (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    but I see this list is only for male rockers

    •  I'm glad you brought that up, as it's a fertile (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asterkitty

      topic for discussion.

      I happen to think the greatest female in rock, for sheer creative invention, songwriting, and varity of skills, is Joni Mitchell. And she did Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, which is an ambitious, experimental double album, which succeeds in taking the listener to a place of its own, and has some excellent tracks. But it also reaches for more than it grasps, and the songs are not consistent enough, I think, to compete with the list of 30 I started with.

      Aretha Franklin, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, Grace Slick, Debbie Harry, Janis Joplin, Joan Armatrading...there are plenty of women with the skills to make a great rock double LP. It's quite possible there's one I missed. But the best I could think of was Kate Bush's Aerial, which was covered in last week's 15.

      This week's list is over-stuffed with just males, for sure. I should have covered Layla last week and put Tusk in this week's top 15, and then we'd at least have had Stevie Nicks' and Christine McVie's song-writing and singing in the mix. Sorry.

      Though I messed up the link in my first comment above, where it says Donna Summer it was supposed to link to Bad Girls, a blockbuster and watershed in disco.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 06:48:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Joni Mitchell (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        was probably the closest thing I ever had to a role model growing up.

        Another brilliant woman in rock, much lesser known though, is Kristen Hersh of Throwing Muses (with plenty of solo work as well). Double Album - In a Doghouse, although it is a gathering of Throwing Muses' earliest recorded material with five songs that Kristen recorded more recently.

        I would add Tori Amos to that list, but not sure if she ever did a double album, per se. But she regularly records really long CDs.

        -7.50, -6.87 Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

        by asterkitty on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:29:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just bought In a Doghouse two months ago (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          asterkitty

          I'd loved the original LP for ages, and decided that I needed to have it on CD, especially with all the extra stuff from such a creative period for the Throwing Muses. But that also makes it too thrown together, and not a proper double album.

          I think Tori Amos has the talent but, since her first two albums, has seldom focused that into solid albums. But I haven't listened to her enough in the last decade to be sure of that.

          Some would call Tori's To Venus and Back a double album. I disagree. The second disc is 75:33, far too long for a vinyl album to hold. And if you look at the last two diaries I wrote (not that I'm saying you should) you'll see that I like my double albums in vinyl form.

          Now, when Boys for Pele came out, I bought it on CD, but it was also issued on double vinyl. To my taste it's good, but no Don Juan's Reckless Daughter or Aerial.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 08:39:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tori's latest is wonderful, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht

            'Abnormally Attracted to Sin'. Besides a couple of made-for-radio songs I could do without, the rest of the album is comprised of solid and gorgeous original work, with some of the best song segues I've heard in awhile.

            In a Doghouse best song - And a She Wolf After the War.

            Don Juan's Reckless Daughter - pretty much anything but The Tenth World or Paprika Plains.

            I'm a Kate Bush fan too (love those brilliant strange women), but my favorite album of hers is The Dreaming. I wish it were a double.

            -7.50, -6.87 Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

            by asterkitty on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 08:59:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Dreaming is a great album - she only makes (0+ / 0-)

              good or great albums. I give it up for Hounds of Love, with a handful of epic songs and such a fully realized sound and clarion style.

              Don Juan's Reckless Daughter, is my sixth favorite Joni, after Ladies of the Canyon, Blue, Court and Spark, Hissing of Summer Lawns, and Hejira.

              I'll check out Tori's latest, she's always pretty interesting, thanks.

              "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

              by Brecht on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 12:26:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Simple Minds Live in the City of Light (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    I don't know why you excluded live albums, but that one and Peter Gabriel's "Secret World Live" deserve to be top-rated.

    •  I'm a huge Simple Minds fan, but most of all the (0+ / 0-)

      years 1980-82: Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, and their pinnacle, New Gold Dream, where they balanced their earlier aggressive creative edge with their later perfectly layered studio polish.

      Sparkle in the Rain has a marvelous explosive energy to it (Up on the Catwalk, Waterfront), and Once Upon a Time almost maintains that high standard. I saw them on that tour, in Boston, with Shriekback supporting.

      I might well enjoy Live in the City of Light, which came out of that same tour. But it's a shame, to my taste, that that double LP only includes one song from before New Gold Dream, and that one truncated in a medley. I think once "Don't You Forget About Me" and Breakfast Club made them stars in the U.S., they decided to become the next U2 and started developing a more formulaic stadium sound.

      Do you have a recent Simple Minds album which you rank among their best work?

      I might well enjoy the Gabriel you mention too, though he also was more impressive to me in his early solo years than now. At least, I'd rate Gabriel's 1st and 3rd and So his best albums, both for originality and quality of songwriting. I also have Gabriel's double Plays Live, and love it.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 08:20:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The last two SM albums are very good (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        both "Black & White 050505" and "Graffiti Soul" are are a big improvement over their previous couple of studio releases. "Graffiti Soul" can be purchased in a deluxe set with another CD of cover versions, "In Search of the Lost Boys," which is mixed but has the best version ever of "Sloop John B" IMO.

        BTW, my all-time favorite SM album is "Street Fighting Years" which probably is what ruined their career in the USA. An album full of highly political polemics following a series of pop rock love ballad hits ("Sanctify Yourself" a slight exception) just didn't play well in this country. Now they don't even release their new CDs in the USA and I don't even know if they do it in Canada.

        •  I will definitely pick up Graffiti Soul when (0+ / 0-)

          I find it with the covers CD.

          What impeccable taste Jim Kerr has - each song they pick to cover is one of the best songs that band ever wrote. When I saw them live they did 3 great covers - I only remember that one was a Sly & the Family Stone song.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:05:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dance to the Music (0+ / 0-)

            They mix that with Love Song and Sun City in the live medley that you previously referred to. They may have done another cover of Sly Stone but I don't know of it.

            I don't know where you live but if you can just pick up that version of the CD somewhere you are much luckier than I am. I would probably have to venture to NYC or Boston to have any chance of doing that at a retail outlet. Of course I can order music online like everyone else but I enjoy the music shopping experience, and it seems to have become something limited to the major cities, at least in the USA.

            •  I bought a whole lot of records in Boston, second (0+ / 0-)

              -hand from loads of neighborhood record stores, back in the late '80s. I visit my big brother there every Xmas, and the best store I can find now is Newbury Comix.

              I don't know any big stores in NYC except the now defunct Virgin Megastore in Times Square. I like the village for poky hole-in-the-wall CD stores where you can get bootlegs you never dreamed of.

              But I live in L.A. now, and our Amoeba is the best music store I've seen in thirty years of shopping around the U.S. and Europe. So it won't hurt to look for the 2CD Graffiti Soul.

              "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

              by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 09:46:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Nuggets in Kenmore Square in Boston (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brecht

                is a fantastic store. I like Newbury Comix too, but Nuggets is more eclectic, or it was, I don't know if it is still in business.

                Sorry to hear the Virgin Megastore closed, but there is another NYC chain called disc-o-rama or something similar that was good. Again, I don't know if they are still around either.

                Referring back to Peter Gabriel's double live albums: I would rank Secret World Live the better, but I am a big fan of the "Us" CD ("Come Talk to Me" is his best song IMO)and the presence of Youssou Ndour and other additional personal help make that album deeper and richer.

  •  Traffic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, asterkitty

    "On The Road".  A great double LP.  I'd also offer up the Stones' "Hot Rocks" but it's a greatest hits comp so I guess that doesn't qualify.

    Thanks for mentioning Kate Bush.  She recorded "The Kick Inside" when she was nineteen...an brilliant record.  It's one of my all time faves.

    "Quadrophenia" in my mind is the greatest double LP ever.  Better than "Tommy" by a nose.

    Andy Partridge is a genius.

    by paulitics on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:03:30 PM PDT

    •  I like Traffic, so I'll look for On The Road, (0+ / 0-)

      though Welcome to the Canteen looks perhaps more interesting.

      Hot Rocks is an impressive history of the Stones to that point, the nearest thing to a box set until Neil Young released Decade.

      Actually, if you pair greatest hits albums with their sequels I know at least 3 ur-Box Sets: Dylan's Greatest Hits and Vol. II meant that we could have a 3LP best of Bob in '71; Hot Rocks and More gave us a 4LP best of the Stones in '72; and the Red and Blue doubles gave us a 4LP best of the Beatles in '73.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:29:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Byrds (Untitled) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    The 1st LP is live, but the second LP is studio material, which includes "Chestnut Mare". That alone, plus the live "8 Miles High", puts it near the top of my list of double LP's.

    I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause, you're not the revolutionary kind - Gomez

    by jhecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 07:09:47 PM PDT

  •  Lou Reed's Take No Prisoners, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasbobbo, Brecht

    a live double album recorded at the Bottom Line. It is a not bad rock album but a great spoken-word comedy album.

  •  Hard to argue with the top three (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    Stones, Beatles and Dylan. But could fight forever as to the order. :-)

    •  They're about the holy trinity of 60's rock (0+ / 0-)

      since Elvis was mostly slumming in Hollywood then, and the Who didn't fully ascend into rock heaven until 1970.

      I find The White Album a marvelous collection of facets of the Beatles, but it's still just a motley bunch of tunes who all happened to wander into Abbey Road during 1968. I'd say Blonde on Blonde and Exile are their authors' best works, but The White Album would have to stand behind Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's and Abbey Road, and shoulder-to-shoulder with A Hard Day's Night and Rubber Soul.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 08:52:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Once again, who can argue with Revolver, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        Sgt. Pepper's and Abbey Road.  And while Revolver probably was actually the bigger break from tradition, it was Pepper and Abbey Road that I wore the grooves off of.

        •  Sgt. Pepper's and Abbey Road excel at what became (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pinecone

          Pink Floyd's trademark in the '70s: album flow and shape. It fits perfectly that Alan Parsons graduated from engineering Abbey Road to producing Dark Side of the Moon.

          Revolver is no more than The White Album: a hodge podge of unrelated songs and styles. They differ, to my ears, in that all 14 songs on Revolver are among the Beatles' best work.

          Of course, side 2 of Abbey Road started as a hodge podge, until George Martin and Paul matched tempos, merged tapes, echoed scales, and polished their suite until it glistened like a symphony. An Everest in recording history, with some of the first synthesizers in mainstream rock.

          "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

          by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:01:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Zappa made tons of doubles...most of them superb. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    Just a few titles....

    You Are What You Is (one of my faves)
    Sheik Yerbouti
    Joe's Garage Acts II and III (Act I was a single, seperate album.  The CD version is complete)
    Tinsel Town Rebellion
    Them or Us

    Don't forget his 3 record sets too!  

  •  Blue Moves.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    Elton made another double album, Blue Moves, which was pretty good.  Not as good as Yellow Brick Road, but still good.  

  •  Worst double album...Double Live Gonzo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    Nugent's Double Live Gonzo was a really long, pointless piece of shit.  

  •  Seconds Out by Genesis! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht
    •  You are seconding madmsf, from a little (0+ / 0-)

      upthread.

      Great album, but I kind of preemptively, cruelly, perhaps even unusually, punishingly, ruled Live Double LPs out of the running. Except for At Fillmore East, which was included in last week's diary on a pure formality. I felt that, having asserted a No Live Nor Compilation Double LPs rule, I'd better have one exception to prove the rule. Then I messed it up by adding another half-exception this week.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 10:06:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Husker Du's Warehouse Songs and Stories (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht
    •  Are all goblins this talkative, then? (0+ / 0-)

      I always thought acerbic meant something else entirely.

      In last week's diary, covering what I'm calling the 16th-30th Greatest Double LPs, I included Zen Arcade. I actually have more favorite songs on Warehouse. But I think Zen Arcade is the London Calling of its day; as Spin put it, this is where Husker Du "picked hardcore punk up out of its monotonous rut and drop-kicked it into the future."

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 10:18:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Title got me going... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        Are all goblins this talkative, then?

        Yeah, the title got me going.  I later realised I did five posts in a row!  Oops.

        But I have a ton of double albums, and I always like Warehouse more than Zen Arcade, even though Zen is awesome, like all of Husker Du's work.  

        Never liked Sugar/Bob Mould's solo work as much, though it's decent.  

  •  how could i forget malcolm mClaren?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht

    sadly he passed in april, but he not only gave us the sex pistols, bow wow wow, and adam and the ants, but also he gave us the stunning "madame buttefly" (from the single LP fans from 1984)

    but nothing he gave us was as beautiful as what he graced us with in his amazingly beautiful double LP from 1994 -- paris -- wher he had none other than catherine deneuve sing (sorta) with him on the elegant and elegiac "paris, paris."

    _

    There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

    by dadanation on Sat Sep 04, 2010 at 11:31:04 PM PDT

    •  "Stunning" is a fit word for Madame Butterfly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dadanation

      my favorite piece of his whole career, for beauty.

      I like Bow Wow Wow and the one album Adam Ant cooked up from Malcolm's advice (Kings of the Wild Frontier). He did build the Sex Pistols, then helped to break them - but he did it all spectacularly and, in the great scheme of rock'n'roll, perhaps appropriately.

      I don't know the double LP, but this track was nice.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 12:05:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i thunk it is his most ambitious album (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht

        which says a lot, given he is the man that gave us "buffalo gals" and "double dutch."  but then again, the great swindler also gave us vogueing years before madonna ripped that art/dance/music form off so blatantly (and poorly).

        and if you ever ever ever get the chance, you MUST see "the ghosts of oxford street" malcolm's 1991 documentary about oxford street that he directed for the bbc.  one of the most outstanding cuts he did in his later years is the title track from that bbc show and features alison limerick (most notably from "my father" from this mortal coil's filigree & shadow)

        as for paris, i highly recommend it.  not only does it feature the beautiful deneuve, mcLaren also features francoise on the exquisite cut "revenge of the flowers."  such a stunning song.

        i understood the sex pistols, but never cared or liked them one whit.  sadly, the movie "sid and nancy" is the closest i can come to having any appreciation for the music of the band at all.  but i loved adam's first and second real LPs and thought that bow wow was quite good.  

        i never cared much for mclaren in that incarnation of his life (he is rather pilloried in "sid and nancy") but soon came to love his work -- pretty much from the opening notes of "buffalo gals" and certainly totally hooked by the time he released "madame butterfly" (which is still one of my fave songs of all-time).

        i think he was omne of the least appreciated pioneers in rock music.  he was quite the impresario and renaissance man and i really am sad that he is gone.  

        _

        There is a certain charm in the purity of irrelevance. But the more relevant you get, the more real you have to get. (Barney Frank)

        by dadanation on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 10:30:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Minutemen - "Double Nickels on the Dime" (0+ / 0-)

    One for the punk crowd - check it out!

    "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid." -- Howard Devoto

    by droopyd on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 01:07:48 AM PDT

    •  I did Double Nickels on the Dime in last week's (0+ / 0-)

      diary. In July I went on a 2000 mile roadtrip, and we played Double Nickels a lot.

      "Problems can't be solved by the same level of thinking that created them" Einstein

      by Brecht on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 11:05:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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