Perfect albums.

  • 100% with you on the highlighted ones.


    I'd add Roxy Music - Country Life to the RM choices, but maybe that one was all about the cover!


    So good to see someone mention The Levellers. :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:


    Separately, I'm going to throw in a curve ball as it's too easy to keep reeling off the same old same old from prog and rock worlds -


    Unkle - Edit Music for a Film: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Reconstruction


    And the next best live album after Seconds Out -


    Iron Maiden - Live After Death


    And one more bit of curvage -


    Joshua Redman Elastic Band - Momentum


    And inevitably while on jazz -


    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

    Edited 3 times, last by Micklemus ().

  • Barclay James Harvest - Once Again, XII, Welcome To The Show

    Tim Bowness - Abandoned Dancehall Dreams, Stupid Things That Mean The World

    Chris De Burgh - Far Beyond These Castle Walls

    Cock Robin* - After Here Through Midland, First Love/Last Rites, I Don't Want To Save The World, Chinese Driver

    Cosa Rosa* - Kein Zufall

    The Dukes Of Stratosphear (XTC) - Psonic Psunspot

    Enya* - Watermark

    Nanci Griffith* - Storms, Late Night Grande Hotel

    Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch, Darktown

    Justin Hayward - The View From The Hill

    Justin Hayward & John Lodge - Blue Jays

    Hudson-Ford - Nickelodeon

    Peter Kingsbery - A Different Man, Once In A Million, Pretty Ballerina

    The Korgis - The Korgis (1st album), Dumb Waiters, Sticky George

    Nick Magnus - Hexameron, Children Of Another God

    Marillion - Clutching At Straws

    The Moody Blues - On The Threshold Of A Dream, To Our Children's Children's Children, A Question Of Balance, Seventh Sojourn

    Mike Nesmith - The Newer Stuff

    Tony Patterson & Brendan Eyre - Northlands

    Plenty - It Could Be Home

    Rainbirds* - Call Me Easy, Say I'm Strong, Love Me My Way, It Ain't Wrong

    Al Stewart - Time Passages, Russians & Americans (UK version), Last Days Of The Century

    Supertramp - Supertramp (1st album)

    Ray Thomas - From Mighty Oaks

    Trapeze - Trapeze

    Suzanne Vega* - Solitude Standing

    Rosie Vela* - Zazu

    Helen Watson* - Blue Slipper

    XTC - Mummer, Nonsuch


    * = Female vocals feature! I'd have included Linda Ronstadt's "Cry Like a Rainstorm..." if it weren't for one track having an awful "session guy" guitar solo in it! I saw Kate Bush's "The Dreaming" above, an album I consider to have 2 good songs (title track, there goes a tenner) and the rest not even being good filler. That's differing taste for you, I guess!

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • From over 100 choices so far only about a dozen feature female voices, though both those numbers reduce a bit when duplications are factored in. I'm not criticising our choices, it's just an observation of something I've noticed before in other threads - female voices are rarely mentioned around these parts.

    OK - a few of my fav female fronted albums:

    Kate Bush - Kick Inside

    10000 Maniacs - In my tribe

    Sandy Denny - old fashioned waltz

  • My original 8 choices feature female vocalists on 3 albums; Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, The Manhattan Transfer.


    I love Kate Bush but I've always thought her albums were a mixed bag. Should start a new thread with our favourite female vocalists, mine include:


    Olivia Newton-John

    Donna Summer

    Ella Fitzgerald

    Doris Day


    None have made perfect albums, alas!

  • #Backdrifter: Before And After Science is definitely a good call here.


    #Foxfeeder: speaking of Al Stewart, I would also think of Year Of The Cat. I also have that Rainbirds album you mentioned. They did that one album and disappeared into the ether after that. Another perfect album by a German band would be Rockpommel`s Land by Grobschnitt.


    great thread by the way.


    :)

    First we learned to walk on water.

    Then we tried something harder.

    - Red Seven -

  • #Backdrifter: Before And After Science is definitely a good call here.


    #Foxfeeder: speaking of Al Stewart, I would also think of Year Of The Cat. I also have that Rainbirds album you mentioned. They did that one album and disappeared into the ether after that. Another perfect album by a German band would be Rockpommel`s Land by Grobschnitt.


    great thread by the way.


    :)

    I agree about Before and After Science . Another Green World is incredible as well.

    Solitude Standing by Suzanne Vega--how could I leave that one off my list!

  • #Backdrifter: Before And After Science is definitely a good call here.


    #Foxfeeder: speaking of Al Stewart, I would also think of Year Of The Cat. I also have that Rainbirds album you mentioned. They did that one album and disappeared into the ether after that. Another perfect album by a German band would be Rockpommel`s Land by Grobschnitt.


    great thread by the way.


    :)

    Year of the Cat has too many weak tracks for me, always thought it overrated. Rainbirds did have another album I think, but Katherina Frank did stuff on her own.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • This doesn't quite make my 'perfect' list but I have a few of theirs including this and they rarely put a foot wrong.


    A few other interesting ones on your list. For Rush I'd probably edge Signals over MP - the latter just misses out as I'm not keen on The Camera Eye. With U2 yes Achtung would be a contender but I'd lean slightly more to Zooropa and Original Soundtracks - I love that mid-90s phase.

    After 40 years or so I've only just started to appreciate Signals . That album put me off Rush and they got worse over the next few albums , so I never bothered with them after. Got into all of their stuff more recently.

  • Desperado is excellent as well. I am a big fan of their first three albums with the bluegrass influences in some of their songs. As for Hotel California, it really only has one more ballad (Wasted Time and The Last Resort, the latter of which I would argue is far from a “typical” ballad) than does Desperado (the title track). You can’t go wrong with After the Gold Rush either. Somehow I managed to miss buying Rust Never Sleeps. I ended up buying Live Rust instead and playing it to death. Back-to-back Powderfinger and Cortez the Killer live are sublime.

    I take your point about The Last Resort. I should have said HC is too dominated by Don Henley, full stop.

  • Regarding 'perfect' female albums I would include Joni Mitchell's Hejira & probably Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love. The closest Linda Ronstadt got was Heart Like A Wheel. Then there is Tapestry. Much as I like it, I would rather the cover versions of You've Got A Friend & Natural Woman rather than Carole King's.


    As for Rush Mr FIC is the big fan, but Moving Pictures seems to be one of those rare albums by any artist where the majority seem to choose it as their best - Mr FIC included, and I can never get him to choose favourites. He always says it depends on his mood. He has Frank Zappa's entire catalogue & won't name a favourite.


    Just on Rumours - it's 80% perfect. Songbird & Oh Daddy aren't in the same class as the rest of it for me.

  • I apply VERY stringent criteria to a perfect album: from first second to last it must be nonstop brilliant. No filler, no parts of songs that are less compelling, no downturn in quality at all...


    ...hence why there are no Genesis albums below (the vibraphone - or whatever - solo in "Your Own Special Way" kills the album dead and "it" is a damp squib of an ending to a masterpiece album. And that's as close as they get).


    Yes - Close to the Edge

    Yes - Relayer

    Anthony Phillips - Slow Dance

    Henryk Gorecki - Symphony No.3 (Dawn Upshaw, David Zinman version)

    The Blue Nile - Hats

    Peter Gabriel - Passion

    Johan Johansson - Fordlandia

  • Regarding female vocalists, I think the best ones are head and shoulders better than the best male vocalists, but mostly, they are not songwriters, which leaves them as hostages to songwriters and producers who often choose their songs. KAte Bush is one exception, but her work is patchy, and while Hounds of Love almost made my list, particularly as side 2 is the best thing she has ever done, there are a couple of weak tracks on side 1, IMO.

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Regarding 'perfect' female albums I would include Joni Mitchell's Hejira & probably Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love. The closest Linda Ronstadt got was Heart Like A Wheel. Then there is Tapestry. Much as I like it, I would rather the cover versions of You've Got A Friend & Natural Woman rather than Carole King's.


    As for Rush Mr FIC is the big fan, but Moving Pictures seems to be one of those rare albums by any artist where the majority seem to choose it as their best - Mr FIC included, and I can never get him to choose favourites. He always says it depends on his mood. He has Frank Zappa's entire catalogue & won't name a favourite.


    Just on Rumours - it's 80% perfect. Songbird & Oh Daddy aren't in the same class as the rest of it for me.

    Rumours is hit and miss in my book. Actually I like the two songs that you feel aren’t in the same class as the others. For me Don’t Stop and You Make Lovin’ Fun are too light and poppy. Also I tend to compare that album with Hotel California, which was released around the same time. For me HC as an overall album is superior, based on lyrics alone. IMO nothing on Rumours approaches the lyrical depth of songs like Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, and The Last Resort. Even the one ballad (Wasted Time) has depth to it.

  • Liking every song on an album is relatively infrequent for me. I can still consider an album a favourite even with one or two skippable songs. I can actually prefer an album with skippable songs over one with no skippable songs, simply because the great songs on an "imperfect" album far outweigh any deficits. There is no Genesis album that I consider perfect. I'll skip The Battle of Epping Forest and usually After the Ordeal on SEBTP. I skip the title track on ATOTT. I skip One for the Vine on W&W. The Lamb comes closest, but I'll admit skipping The Waiting Room, Ravine, and In the Rapids.


    Here are some albums where I like every song:


    Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos

    The Band - The Band

    The Last Waltz - The Band

    Revolver - The Beatles

    Running on Empty - Jackson Browne

    Hounds of Love - Kate Bush

    Woodface - Crowded House

    Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan

    Hotel California - The Eagles

    Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

    Amazing Grace - Aretha Franklin

    Peter Gabriel (Melt) - Peter Gabriel

    So - Peter Gabriel

    The Original Leap Year - Emm Gryner

    Spilt Milk - Jellyfish

    Live at the Regal - B.B. King

    Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin

    Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin

    Whatever - Aimee Mann

    Solace - Sarah McLachlan

    Blue - Joni Mitchell

    Moondance - Van Morrison

    Mass Romantic - The New Pornographers

    Will the Circle Be Unbroken - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

    Will the Circle Be Unbroken II - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

    What's the Story Morning Glory - Oasis

    Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

    Purple Rain - Prince

    Lifes Rich Pageant - REM

    Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones

    Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen

    Every Picture Tells a Story - Rod Stewart

    Masseduction - St. Vincent

    Stop Making Sense - Talking Heads

    Songs From the Big Chair - Tears for Fears

    I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight - Richard and Linda Thompson

    Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

    Live at Leeds - The Who

    Who's Next - The Who

    Quadrophenia - The Who

    Innervisions - Stevie Wonder

    Edited once, last by Dr. John ().

  • I forgot to include


    ABBA - Arrival

    Arrival is my favourite Abba album. Unfortunately, it contains Dum Dum Diddle, and is therefore not perfect. Super Trouper comes very close too.


    The 'every song has to be perfect' thing doesn't apply to Making Movies by Dire Straits, which contains Les Boys, but the song is such a part of the album's 'cinematic' aura that I don't let it stop me from describing that album as perfect. I say the same for Led Zeppelin IV, where Four Sticks is not quite up to the standard of the rest of it.