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Double albums that do and don't work.

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6 hours ago, Graham said:

I'm generally of the opinion that the right length of an album is 40 mins, and quality tends to go down as length extends.

It’s funny but I find that with live performances too, after 40mins my attention starts to wander, irrespective of how good the band are. Same with set times for whichever band I’ve been in, I always thought a 40min set was just about right.

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I know you said no 'Lives'... But can i just sneak in Hawkwind, Space Ritual... please?

No... Ar$3!

Edited by PaulThePlug

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Do's

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast

Bit of a cheat as they pretty much did an album each and released it as a double. But it is still super cool. 

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17 minutes ago, P-Belly Evans said:

Do's

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - Outkast

Bit of a cheat as they pretty much did an album each and released it as a double. But it is still super cool. 

I was going to include that but left it out for the very reasons you reference!

I think it’s okay to include, even if only on the basis that it’s such a good record - any record that has Prototype and The Way You Move from each of the albums has to find a way in! 

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10 minutes ago, Old Man Riva said:

I was going to include that but left it out for the very reasons you reference!

I think it’s okay to include, even if only on the basis that it’s such a good record - any record that has Prototype and The Way You Move from each of the albums has to find a way in! 

Totally agree. I love Stankonia too. Still remember hearing Bombs over Baghdad for the first time!! 

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18 hours ago, BillyBass said:

The first album was a masterpiece, the second was ok, English Civil war, Tommy Gun etc, and then it went downhill.  They stopped being punk, I'm so bored with the USA was put to one side and off to America they went.

My interest in the Clash disappeared between the release of the London Calling single - both sides of which are great - and the London Calling album which IMO is terrible apart form the title track and "Lost In The Supermarket".

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London Calling is great though: it's the album that taught us that late Renaissance opera is punk too! 😁

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3 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

My interest in the Clash disappeared between the release of the London Calling single - both sides of which are great - and the London Calling album which IMO is terrible apart form the title track and "Lost In The Supermarket".

Yep, I'd second that.

They did 7 nights at the Lyceum, either later 1980 or early 1981.  I was tempted but I just assumed they would just be playing all the new cr*p, so I didn't bother.  Friends told me the gigs were brilliant and they played lots of old stuff, so I missed out there.🙁

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When London Calling came out it was a choice between that and PiL's Metal Box, for which album I would buy that week. I think I made the right choice.

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23 hours ago, P-Belly Evans said:

Have I just broken the swear filter????!

Well, you're a right nasty pasty if you did.

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I've just had to double check London Calling's tracklisting.

The Clampdown, Rudie Can't Fail, The Card Cheat, Guns of Brixton, I'm Not Down, Train in Vain,  London Calling itself... I can see why it blindsided some punks and it certainly waxes and wanes over its full length but the Clash would go on to much, much worse than this.

On topic though, I reckon the White Album, Tusk, Physical Graffiti and Trout Mask really work. But it's a bit hard to call nowadays as someone said earlier: almost every album that has come out since the early 90s would have been a double vinyl record back in the day.

I especially like Wreckless Eric's Big Smash LP - but that's a bit of a cheat as he interleved a new album and a singles collection across the four sides.

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

When London Calling came out it was a choice between that and PiL's Metal Box, for which album I would buy that week. I think I made the right choice.

I made the same choice... well it was no contest really, PIL all the way.

When Metal Box was released on vinyl it was 2*33, so I guess it qualifies for this thread.

The Clash and John Lydon both decided to progress from punk, but did it in two different ways.

London's Calling sounded like the past, Metal Box sounded like the future.

 

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2 hours ago, BigRedX said:

When London Calling came out it was a choice between that and PiL's Metal Box, for which album I would buy that week. I think I made the right choice.

 

20 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

I made the same choice... well it was no contest really, PIL all the way.

When Metal Box was released on vinyl it was 2*33, so I guess it qualifies for this thread.

The Clash and John Lydon both decided to progress from punk, but did it in two different ways.

London's Calling sounded like the past, Metal Box sounded like the future.

 

I got both.  London calling got played once or twice and then I just played the first track, London Calling and removed the stylus.

Metal Box got played loads, the only thing I found annoying was getting the 12" discs out of the metal box; I flogged it and bought the 33rpm version when it came out.  I bet that Metal Box with the 12" singles is worth a lot now.

Edited by BillyBass

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3 hours ago, BigRedX said:

When London Calling came out it was a choice between that and PiL's Metal Box, for which album I would buy that week. I think I made the right choice.

 Bought both - loved both. 

Still play the former but haven’t had PiL out the metal box it came in for at least 20 years 🤦‍♂️

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Already mentioned but for me my “Do” doubles are:

  • Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds, and
  • Out of the Blue, ELO

Probably cheating but I’ll add it anyway:

  • Star Wars - Original Soundtrack, John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Got it for my birthday in August 1977. Loved it then, still love it now.

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11 hours ago, BillyBass said:

I got both.  London calling got played once or twice and then I just played the first track, London Calling and removed the stylus.

Metal Box got played loads, the only thing I found annoying was getting the 12" discs out of the metal box; I flogged it and bought the 33rpm version when it came out.  I bet that Metal Box with the 12" singles is worth a lot now.

I'd heard most of both albums on John Peel for I parted with any money. TBH I was more likely to have bought Pink Floyd's "The Wall" than London Calling (I didn't buy either).

BTW you can get a decent condition copy of Metal Box for about £100 on Discogs. (That's the equivalent of about £20 in 1979, so it hasn't increased in value that much)

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the good
London Calling is a classic in my book.  I can’t think of a single weak song on it.  It was the 2nd album I ever bought.

But by far and away the best double album is the Black Album..  Curtain Call is a triumph and the album is timeless. 
 

the White Album.  Mostly great songs, but I love the production of that album.  I prefer the bass playing and tone on this album to Sgt Pepper.  More edgy and cutting than the pillowy sounds of Pepper.
 

the bad

Possibly 2/3s of all double albums e.g. Stadium Arcadiam,  Double Fanstasy.  Most of them are pure rock n roll excess.

Any live double album.  I’m not a fan of the live album at the best of times so x2 is double waste of listening time 
 

the downright ugly

the triple album

Edited by Sarlscharisma

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On 09/10/2020 at 16:59, Maude said:

I was just about to post that. 

I'll add Melancholy And The Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins to the don't list. It's just too samey, it could've been a blinding single album instead of 'mediocre and the intolerable snoozefest' double that it is. 

Noooooooooooo!

Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness is one of the few double albums that make me want to turn down the lights, clamp a pair of decent headphones round my ears and just disappear in to it.  How an album with X.Y.U., Thru The Eyes Of Ruby and Stumbeleine on it (back to back!) can be samey is beyond me. Yes, the singles on their own would have been a great record, but it would have been the worse for what it would have lost.

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On 10/10/2020 at 17:54, lksmks792 said:

Does work for me: Nick Cave - Abattoir Blues / Lyre of Orpheus. Not a mediocre song on it.

Thanks for reminding me of another one I do have 🙂  was lucky enough to catch him on that tour, pretty awesome

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I've rarely heard a double album that wouldn't have been better for some major pruning.  As most seem to be by prog and 'classic' rock bands I'll gloss over those quickly and go to the handful I do like in parts..

London Calling -  sides 1 and 2 are near faultless. 3 and 4 are mostly pants

Sign of the Times -  I've always thought Prince pretty overrated. Side 3 of Sign is brilliant but the other three are patchy

In Your Honour by Foo Fighters - the rock disc is great, the best FF have done IMO but I can take or leave the acoustic disc. For me to listen to acoustic guitar stuff it has to be virtuosic e.g. Leo Kottke, Martin Simpson...

Hardwired by Metallica - first 4 tracks are on a par with their best from the early years but after then it gets patchy

What do you want from live by the Tubes - they could've cut the banter as you'd need to watch footage to make sense of it but for me this is the ONLY double album I've heard that works from start to finish

Edited by Barking Spiders

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I have enough trouble listening to a single album all the way through, I invariable listen to one side then put something else on, this from a man who has his mp3 player on shuffle

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I always thought Live and Dangerous was a strong album. I am aware of the criticisms of Tales of Topographic Oceans but, for me, bad Yes is better than a lot of other stuff that is lauded. Genesis 'Seconds Out' is about as good a double album as there is. Rush 'Exit Stage Left' I liked when I was a kid but haven't heard for decades. I enjoyed Mike Oldfield's 'Exposed' (love the live marimbas/vibes). 

 

Jazz wise - Pat Metheny Group Travels and his album with Brecker et al 80/81 are both genius

Jaco Pastorius 'Twins I and II' is superb. Oregon 'In Moscow'...... 

 

And the legend that is Joni Mitchell's 'Shadows and Light'.

Nearly all live albums except the Yes and Oldfield. Seems to make sense to me. A double album is loosely the same length as a gig.

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