Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Perfect Album

How many perfect albums do you have in your collection?

By perfect I mean every single song a winner, produced right and sequenced right. An album that you can listen to multiple times over several years and still say “wow, this still sounds fantastic”. A record that doesn’t get old or boring but maybe even gets better over time.

Although there are many albums in my collection I consider to be great albums there are only a select few that I would consider “perect”, based on the criteria outlined above. London Calling by the Clash is one. So is Jesus Of Cool by Nick Lowe. The Beatles had a few, although I would probably discount Sgt Peppers due to the “Reprise” at the end (not a ‘real’ song in my opinion thus disqualifying it). From the Britpop era I would have to say The Monday’s Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches, Primal Scream’s Screamadelica and The Boo Radleys Giant Steps. I love Caribou’s Andorra and would currently classify it as ‘perfect’, but I haven’t lived with it long enough to judge it so yet. Dave Edmunds Get It qualifies. So does Bob Dylan’s Hwy 61 Revisited. David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin, Pet Shop Boys Introspective, The Doors debut, and Lou Reed’s Transformer fit the bill. I gotta include Queen's Sheer Heart Attack in there as well. My friend RUMPROAST sent me some albums through the mail a while back that I'd forgotten over the years which I still deem pretty close to perfect, as well as some new ones I'm sure will be included in this list in the near future. Some albums I used to to think were perfect at the time now sound dated and, well, not so perfect. And Philbert, ornery cuss that he is, has introduced me to singers/ songwriters/ bands from the 60's and seventies that made absolutely stunning releases that I would have never heard were it not for him slipping them in my "in-box" at work for me to peruse. Thanks fellas!

Like I said, I know they’re out there and of course it’s subjective, each of you will have a different list. But as John Prine once sang, “That’s The Way The World Goes ‘Round”.

Let’s see what you can come up with.


Hal Johnson said...

It's bedtime here in Louisiana, and my mind is shutting down, but three albums spring to mind for me.

They're all instrumental recordings. Hm. I wonder what that means?

1. "High Tension Wires," by Steve Morse.

2. "What If," by the Dixie Dregs.

3. "Mudlark," by Leo Kottke.

4. "Ah Via Musicom," by Eric Johnson.

Of course, many folks have never heard of those artists, so this list probably adds as much to this discussion as a fart adds to a sermon.

Hal Johnson said...

I guess I am tired. That was four albums. Rhonda would read that, roll her eyes, and say, "and you fly helicopters?"

I'd do better if that Michael Bolton music would quit playing through my tooth fillings.

Uncle E said...

That's the beauty of a discussion like this, Hal. Everyone has a different opinion. Your comment will lead me to track down these albums and give 'em a listen, and perhaps I will feel the same way you do over time about those four discs.
And what's wrong with farts at a sermon?

Erin said...

Carole King - Tapestry


Holly A Hughes said...

The Kinks, "Muswell Hillbillies."

Ron Sexsmith, "Blue Boy"

The Animals, "The Animals"

John Hiatt, "Bring the Family."

Jill Sobule, "Pink Pearl."

"A Hard Day's Night" (the US version)

Nick Lowe, "Dig My Mood" (come on, E, there's loads of second-rate stuff on "Jesus of Cool" ;) )

Holly A Hughes said...

Oh, and Frank Sinatra's "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning", Nat King Cole's "Love Songs," and Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue."

John McClellan said...

I love the clash enough to punch you in the face over it.. but London Calling does not hit the perfect record list (though it is in the top 3 of all time lps....a different list)


Powerage Ac/Dc
Hard Again Muddy Waters
Candy-O The Cars
No Where To Run UFO

Ready for debate....

Uncle E said...

Holly, I am so infatuated with Jesus Of Cool right now I am deaf to any filler on the album. I don't hear it. And Kind Of Blue should have been on there, you're right. Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours has also earned it (first concept album, right?)
John, welcome! I love Powerage, Sin City is my favorite AC/DC song, but I would not put that one in the arena of The Perfect Album.Let There Be ROck has that honor. Candy-O I totally agree with, better than their first!
Erin, thanks for coming by as well! My wife worships Carole King and I am just now discovering Tapestry...

ThomG said...

The Strokes, "Is This It?"
The Replacements, "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash"
Liz Phair, "Exit in Guyville"
Pixies, "Doolittle"
Minutemen, "Double Nickels on a Dime"
X, "Los Angeles"
Rancid, "Out Come the Wolves"
Ramones, "Ramones"
The Clash, "The Clash"
Johnny Cash, "American Recordings"

RumpRoast said...

Great Topic and great picks, Uncle. No arguments from me on your picks from the 90's.

And Holly's "A Hard Day's Night" choice is particularly inspired - probably the finest pop album ever.

Anyways, my $0.02:

- The Lexicon Of Love (ABC)

- Trans-Europe Express (Kraftwerk)

- Dubnobasswithmyheadman (Underworld)

- Blue Lines (Massive Attack)

- Bandwagonesque (Teenage Fanclub)

- Purple Rain

- Let It Bleed

- Band On The Run

- Jesus Of Cool :-)

Uncle E said...

Rump, I left most of those from your list off 'cause I knew you'd pick 'em! Total agreement here.

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