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More than one great album

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Well if you don't agree, challenge something. Then something radical like a discussion might break out.

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Muse - 'Origin of Symmetry' and 'Absolution'

Nirvana - 'In Utero' and 'Nevermind'

Foo Fighters - 'The Colour and the Shape' and 'There is Nothing Left to Lose'

Pixies - 'Surfer Rosa' and 'Doolittle'

The Who - 'Who's Next' and 'Quadrophenia'

The Smashing Pumpkins - 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness' and 'Adore'

Rage Against the Machine - 'Rage Against the Machine' and 'Battle of Los Angeles'

The Beatles - 'Revolver' and 'Rubber Soul'

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Yeah, this thread is now "post your favourite artists and list at least two of their best records". I suppose that was inevitable but it's a shame as the OP poses an interesting question, albeit one which is answered simply by looking at any number of 'Greatest Albums Of All Time In The History Of The World Ever' polls.

 

I agree with your first point: people are ignoring - or at least struggling to stick to - the main criterion of quality being widely acclaimed. However, I don't accept the second at all. Those lists represent the very worst of the mundane, rock and past-centric music journalism that clogs up the magazine racks in news agents to me. They cater for a very specific and narrow market and generally trot out the same artists time after time. Their patronising inclusion of Greatest Hits records from seminal artists outside their core genre such as Sly Stone and Bob Marley is just fucking embarrassing. And have they heard any soul records by anyone other than (the admittedly great) Marvin Gaye?

 

My first nomination of A Tribe Called Quest almost never appears on those lists and yet they are a seminal hip hop group, up there with PE in terms of stature and influence (within their own genre at least, if not beyond). I love all their albums but the two I mentioned are widely acclaimed within hip hop: the first for breaking new ground and the second for a change in sound that made them simultaneously more hard core and musically adventurous.

 

However, Mos Def, another artist who I think is one of the true greats of the genre, doesn't qualify. Black On Both Sides, his debut, is inarguably a classic; one of the best hip hop records of all time. However, despite loving The Ecstatic, I couldn't nominate it because it doesn't share the acclaim of his debut.

 

Reading back over this list, it's obvious that many nominations don't share the universal acclaim I set as the main criterion for inclusion on the thread. In short, I think the number of artists that deserve to be on here is far fewer than most seem to assume from their comments.

 

Now, time for another nomination: Prince for Sign of the Times and Purple Rain (I'd throw my favourite, Parade, in there too, but many saw it as being a bit too "out there" for it to qualify).

 

Another artist who qualifies is Paul Weller. However, my nominations for his best records would not match those of the critics: I'd go for his eponymous debut and 22 Dreams, while they'd nominate Wild Wood, which I also love, and the (in my opinion) leaden Stanley Road.

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Public Enemy - "It Takes A Nation...."/ "Fear Of A Black Planet"

Pixies - "Surfer Rosa"/ "Doolittle"

Paris - "The Devil Made Me Do It"/ "Sleeping With The Enemy"

Luke Slater - "Freek Funk"/ "Wireless"/ "Alright On Top"

DJ Shadow - "Endtroducing"/ "The Private Press"

Dave Clarke - "Archive One"/ "Devil's Advocate"

Joy Division - "Unknown Pleasures"/ "Closer"

New Order - "Power, Corruptions & Lies"/ "Low-Life"/ "Brotherhood"

Gunshot - "Patriot Games"/ "International Rescue"

Happy Mondays - "Squirrel & G Man"/ "Bummed"

The Wedding Present - "Bizarro"/ "Seamonsters"

Jeff Mills - "Waveform Transmissions 1//3/ "Purposemaker"/ "Metropolis"

J Saul Kane (Depth Charge) - "Nine Deadly Venoms"/ "Lust"/ "Lust 2"

Cypress Hill - "Cypress Hill"/ "Black Sunday"

Ice Cube - "Amerikkka's Most Wanted"/ "The Predator"

 

 

Agree with two out of the three New Order albums but 'Brotherhood' is pretty dreadful. The third Cypress Hill album is fantastic as well.

 

Portishead "Dummy"/"Third"

Talking Heads "Fear of Music"/"Remain in Light"

Roxy Music "Roxy Music"/"For Your Pleasure"

Primal Scream "Screamadelica"/"XTRMNTR"

Talk Talk "Spirit of Eden"/"Laughing Stock"

 

Somebody mentioned bands that have only managed to produce one good album, that would be more interesting.

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Yeah, this thread is now "post your favourite artists and list at least two of their best records". I suppose that was inevitable but it's a shame as the OP poses an interesting question, albeit one which is answered simply by looking at any number of 'Greatest Albums Of All Time In The History Of The World Ever' polls.

 

I agree with your first point: people are ignoring - or at least struggling to stick to - the main criterion of quality being widely acclaimed. However, I don't accept the second at all. Those lists represent the very worst of the mundane, rock and past-centric music journalism that clogs up the magazine racks in news agents to me. They cater for a very specific and narrow market and generally trot out the same artists time after time.

 

I guess it depends on the definition of 'great'. Not that anyone has singled out individual nominations but if I took Laura Marling from mine, for example, I guess that's one people might query. She's a young girl, barely in her twenties who probably won't make a top 100 album list any-time soon. However, she has produced three incredible albums all of which have been widely lauded by the music press.

 

So, some might not seem like obvious choices, and I would probably be inclined to disagree with some of those put forward, but it's always going to be subjective - even if that's just in relation to those critics that have acclaimed particular albums.

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I suppose I'd define a great album as one that established or defined a sound, although the criterion of "widely acclaimed" I think is the easiest measure; it requires stepping out of your own perspective a little when making a judgement.

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I suppose I'd define a great album as one that established or defined a sound, although the criterion of "widely acclaimed" I think is the easiest measure; it requires stepping out of your own perspective a little when making a judgement.

 

Well in that respect I'd say some of mine probably wouldn't be included, although I'd argue that all are very highly regarded.

 

I'd still include Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes and Sigur Ros with those criteria. I think they've all done something different, helped to move music along and created seminal records. Out of those I think Sufjan will have the longest term impact and as fantastic as Illinoise is I think Age of Adz will eventually come to be held amongst the finest records of, at least, the past decade.

 

Stepping out of my perspective means I can't decide whether The National should be included, the three albums I listed previously are all outstanding rock records but I wouldn't say that established a sound, perhaps they define the lo-fi American sound best over the past 10 years though.

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Possibly Phoenix, too. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and It's Never Been Like That are both great. For me, anyway.

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I suppose I'd define a great album as one that established or defined a sound, although the criterion of "widely acclaimed" I think is the easiest measure; it requires stepping out of your own perspective a little when making a judgement.

 

It's almost impossible to pin down though, isn't it? I mean, even the mainstream music press would be highly unlikely to place A tribe called Quest in the list of greatness, but the hip-hop community would. It's difficult to look at things from an outside perspective because there's so many differing outside perspectives. The general mouth-breather that votes for Robbie Williams in the Greatest ever polls is not going to think that Sigur Ros have made two great albums but I'd imagine that Thom Yorke, Dave Grohl or even Kanye West might do.

 

Widely recognised means you're putting "The Best of Bob Marley" in there, unless you cheat a little and define it as widely recognised by people who have the first fucking clue about music (at which point you just post your favourite bands; because clearly, anyone who disagrees with you doesn't fit into that category).

 

One band that I would definitely say have had two great albums, and would be recognised for it by a lot of music fans (if nowhere near enough) are Modest Mouse. They are possibly the most under-rated band in history but I reckon that a poll of people who listen to music off the beaten track would see them passing the test.

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Stu, clearly on a highly subjective topic, there's no absolute definition. I guess I'm just trying to frame the debate in the way it occurred to me which, of course, was my reason for starting the thread.

 

As for ATCQ, the fact that they are a seminal act within an entire - and huge - genre makes their inclusion secure for me. However, I'm not convinced by any other hop hop act mentioned so far beyond Public Enemy. It's not a genre that places a particularly a high degree of importance on the album format; or at least not as high as other genres do.

 

Oh, and as I said before, I'm not placing the Best of anyone on this thread. Compilations are patently not albums and I find their inclusion on those lame rock-orientated lists to be patronising in the extreme. They simply say "We've got no idea about much beyond white men with guitars but we know we have to mention this handful of artists or else it'd be glaring. So here's Legend and What's Going On. Can we get back to writing about Oasis and The Beatles now please?"

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I suppose I'd define a great album as one that established or defined a sound, although the criterion of "widely acclaimed" I think is the easiest measure; it requires stepping out of your own perspective a little when making a judgement.

 

Excellent, that completely absolves my Rancid suggestion as even Pitchfork have to grudgingly admit they're a seminal band who have made seminal albums. Haha, fuck you Pitchfork, you self-righteous, humourless, boring cunts!

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a thread like this is always going to divide opinion which is obviously the idea.

 

speaking specifically about my two bob marley suggestions, they would be widely regarded by reggae fans and writers as his two finest works and the two that would undoubtedly make a top 20 of all time reggae albums yet neither featured in the rolling stone list.

 

perhaps a thread on what makes an album great would suffice....

 

no doubt some smart alec will pull up one such thread from gf.

 

opinions are good, i love you guys!

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Don't think anyone's mentioned Elbow yet, who I think would qualify with Asleep In The Back and The Seldom Seen Kid. Maybe Echo And The Bunnymen, too, with Crocodiles and Ocean Rain.

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