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Perfect Albums


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2 hours ago, kerraig UK said:

Im pretty sure I have a remember a memory of you not loving this and me spelling out the 9/11 lyrics and you going "oh!"

If I imagined that I apologise

 

It might be true, I think it took me a while to get!

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

Most of mine have been mentioned. Otherwise:

 

David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust...

The Pretenders: The Pretenders

PiL: Metal Box

AC/DC: Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap

Air: Moon Safari

The Undertones: The Undertones

Thin Lizzy: Live and Dangerous

 

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I've just had a (very) quick flick through this thread and there are lots of solid contenders and, of course, some fucking terrible offerings.

 

I am slightly taken aback that Slint's ground breaking Spiderland hasn't been mentioned (unless I missed it) as it is an astonishingly accomplished album that pretty much created a genre, albeit a genre that never came close to bettering this one record. They were teenagers FFS!

 

Also, Minor Threat 'Out of Step'. Peerless to this day.

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Always thought Portishead's Third was perfect. Also loved Animal Collective's Centipede Hz, an album which fans of the band weren't taken with which i think had as much to do with an attachment to Merriweather and it's more hypnotic vibe than the over saturated pop of Hz. For me it's their peak in terms of the intense emotional force of it which i respond to more than the meandering natural improvisations of earlier AC like Sung Tongs. And Merriweather isn't all completely brilliant to me. I think that they've slowed down since Hz kind of shows they expended so much energy into the album.  

 

Perfect for me would be in terms of sequencing, each track distinguished and delivering what is needed after the track before. Third and Centipede Hz actually follow a similiar pacing despite the difference in their sound, as do a lot of my favourite albums do. They're both 11 tracks. Both settle you in, increase intensity by track 2/3/4 with rhythmic and melodic goodness then give you a breather by around track 6. New Town Burnout and Machine Gun at track 7/8 are like nothing either band have ever done, album and career highlights.

 

Joy Division's Closer has the 3 greatest closing tracks ever, each one feeling more final than the one previous, building but ending. Hz has two sweet pop tracks that carry the emotional force of New Town Burnout than the earlier tracks lack then settles you into the hyponotic Pulleys before the genuinely epic Amanita.

 

I always wonder how bands form albums in terms of wanting epic closers but not having the tracks for it or struggling. I was really amazed when i first heard the album, Brother Sport from Merriweather was also an epic closer and Turn Into Something is great but otherwise it's not something the band excels at, you take their weirdness without expectation of any cohesion. I love the album as a format because of how it will perhaps force artists to care about distinguished tracks and flow, and contrast and surprise and coming up with a closer that matches or tops what they've achieved previously. 

 

I don't know how to describe Third's closing tracks other than epic and just sounding final. Like it's just about enough, you're all drained out. It's a massively fulfilling rich album that you don't just put on and it passes you by. 

 

Both albums around 50 minutes. 

 

Also agree (though who doesn't) Is This It is the most perfect album for the same reasons of its sequencing. Follows a similar pattern, 11 tracks, doesn't matter that it's 36 minutes. Settles you in, great tight pop tracks, lounges at Someday, throws away some tightness for Alone Together to allow for the kind of reckless outwardly debauched Last Nite then the out of nowhere epic drum machine-like repetition of Hard To Explain, another extroverted reckless track in New York City Cops that to me is so different to the twin guitar nonchalant tightness of Soma, then into two emotionally driven tracks that take you by surprise, like they've jumped 2 albums ahead in 6 minutes.

 

At the time Julian said 'we can do better' and i remember a writer saying 'well jesus if you think that, we can't imagine what you might come out with'. I don't think they've since tapped into what they were expressing with those two closers. Do people only define closers as literally the final track? Also thinking...did Hard To Explain use a drum machine? 

 

The producer: 

drums hard to explain.... how to get that sound...I will try and find a screenshot...  basically 3 microphones, kick snare hat. and used gates, compression and eq to destroy the reality of the normal drum sound.... and then we looped each different section so the beat was super tight-- mechanical

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Cavalcade Of Glee and Dadaist Happy Hardcore Pom Poms by Venetian Snares is another i thought, think is perfect. I'm more into the sound of Winter In The Belly Of A Snake now and i like that there's 16 tracks, it suits it. Cavalcade is 10, 48 minutes. Similar sequencing, a settler in Donut where Swindon by comparison is more beautiful and intense, then Pwntendo which is just full on intense, XIII's Dub almost ambient for Venetian Snares, then back to the sound exploding out of the speakers highly compressed loudness of Vache which i still haven't found anything that matches it, into Plunging Hornets which has more finesse, then into the poetic elegant Twirl, then Tache which is sort of like every track combined, and like Small on Portishead's Third unnecessarily long. Then into the ambience of P, then the emotional masterpiece of Cancel which is so draining nothing could follow it. 

 

Like Aphex Twin, Venetian Snares says he only releases music to make money, it's personal to him and the negativity or criticism ruins it for him. He's not releasing a product, he's just putting out stuff he likes. But it was clear he put more care into the crafting of his albums than Aphex who i only think with drukqs he put effort in, i think because of the variation he had to. I like some of the flow, actually a lot because the frenetic fast tracks hit more coming after piano tracks. 

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The albums I’d want to take with me...

 

The Band - The Band

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

GZA - Liquid Swords

Massive Attack - Blue Lines

Beasties - Paul’s Boutique

Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

Goldie - Timeless

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless


Tbh I could probably pick any Stones album of that era, what a fucking band. And The Last Waltz soundtrack from The Band is probably more special to me as it was me and my Dad’s thing and I miss him, but it’s far from perfect. 
 

There’s a big 80s sized gap in there (Beasties aside) that definitely needs some love too. Hrrrrmm, this list will grow...

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  • 1 month later...

I think of a perfect album as one which flows just so from start to finish, and I rarely if ever listen to any tracks from them in isolation. They're not necessarily 'all killer', but they're consistently excellent and sequenced with respect for the whole.

 

Five then:

 

Neurosis - Through Silver in Blood

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock

Underworld - Second Toughest in the Infants

Jim O'Rourke - Eureka

CAN - Ege Bamyasi

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