Who Had the Best Six Album Run?

On the next episode of Sound Opinions this Friday, they’ll discuss who had the best four album runs, “the best grand slams in pop history.” In 2015, there are no shortage of bands who now have catalogs of ten, twenty, even thirty albums. It doesn’t seem hard to think of a lot of bands who had four consecutive great albums. Unless you’re a punk fan, then you’d be kind of hard pressed, as most broke up before releasing four albums, let alone four great ones (The Sex Pistols, X-Ray Spex, Buzzcocks, Wire, The Ruts). Those that didn’t, often have their run broken up by a dud, like The Damned with Music For Pleasure (1977).

Inevitably, classic rock becomes the default in these discussions, which could get boring. In a popular poll, no one would likely touch The Beatles, with Dylan, the Stones and perhaps Led Zeppelin fighting it out for second. Of course I can’t resist weighing in. I was born for this task, seeing as I’ve kept up a list of all my favorite albums since I was about eight! Back then, it was a no-brainer, as Electric Light Orchestra and Queen were the only bands I owned four or more of their records. The Beatles would factor in if I counted my mom’s albums. ELO is still in my top 40, but someone has managed to beat out the Beatles, as far as I’m concerned. Ozzy Osbourne, a huge Beatles fan, would probably be horrified by this assertion, but I’m not saying Black Sabbath were a better band than the Beatles. Just that they had a slightly greater consecutive run of classic albums that I continue to enjoy and listen to more, which also influenced a ton of other music that I love.

Dylan and the Stones do follow closely after Sabbath and the Beatles. How could they not? While The Clash would be a top punk choice for many, mine is The Birthday Party at #14, unless you count The Jam as punk, then them at #12. However the fifth spot is taken up by a metal band. No, not Metallica. Iron Maiden! Followed by The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads and Thin Lizzy. My highest ranked recent band would be the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at #13, TV On The Radio at 15 and Witchcraft at 16. Graveyard could be close, however they only just released their fourth album a couple weeks ago so it’s too soon to judge.

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Double Trouble: Double Albums Are Still A Thing!

There was once a time when double albums were kind of a big deal. Even established artists had to often fight with their labels to release double albums, because it meant more packaging, more expensive studio time, and ultimately less profit for the labels. It was an audacious move, to have the confidence and/or ego to think one could fill two LPs, usually more than an hour of music, with consistently great songs. Dylan, The Beatles and Hendrix weren’t the first to release double albums, but they definitely made a statement with over 1:13, 1:33 and 1:15 worth of pretty amazing music, respectively. Blonde On Blonde, The Beatles and Electric Ladyland continue to haunt the upper slots of all-time best of lists, and show no signs of going away. More major landmarks followed with Trout Mask Replica (1969), Third (1970), Tago Mago (1971), Something/Anything and Exile On Main St. (1972). Continue reading

New Album of the Week: Colour Haze – She Said (Elektrohasch)

Over four years since All (2008) and two years since recording started, it’s hard to believe that She Said, the new album by stoner/heavy psych masters Colour Haze is here! It’s been a long, gnarly road for the band to get to its completion. Original plans was for a February 2011 release, until a January press release revealed that there were defects in the recordings and they would have to re-record most of the album. When I wrote the Colour Haze: Kings of Stoner/Psych Rock Mountain piece in March, I had high hopes the album would be out by summer! A September 2011 release date came and went, and Stefan Koglek’s update discussed issues with the mixing board, part of their newly built home studio. Sweet anticipation starts to become something else. Continue reading