Jul 212011

The following piece made its way up from the lp-jammed basement of E. Pluribus Gergely.

Once a month or so, I spend about 2 to 3 hours in my basement chopping up cardboard into mailers for my record bidness. Truth be told, that’s when I listen to music. When I’m in the car, it’s usually NPR. Sad but true. Anyway, before the chopping ensues, I head over to the stacks to pick something out to listen to while I chop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up something like Electric Ladyland and said, “Too much work to get to ‘All Along the Watchtower’,” ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ and a few others.” Really, you’ve gotta have a Hitler-like ego to think you can keep the interest of any listener for more than a single serving.

After racking my brain for a good half hour or so, I arrived at the following list of essential double LPs.

  1. Charlie Parker, The Very Best of Bird (all the Dial sides with just a few outtakes). And yeah, I know it’s like a greatest hits thing, but I’m letting this one slide because it’s the best way to hear all that Dial stuff in one shot.
  2. The Beatles, White Album. Yep, it’s all great. “Wild Honey Pie,” “Revolution #9,” “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road”…absolutely necessary. It’s all over the place, and it’s my favorite Beatles album, probably because it’s jam packed with a lot of unexpected weirdness that works extremely well together.
  3. The Rolling Stones, Exile On Main Street. Still on my list despite the fact that it dies after “All Down the Line,” the opening track on the fourth side. As I’ve stated before it’s the ultimate statement of “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.” The cover, the 3 decent sides, and the snapshots on the inner sleeves (especially those of Mick and Keef and Jack at the microphone and Keef finishing off a sandwich whilst having a smoke) make it the LP that mom and dad worry most about in your teenage record collection.
  4. The Clash, London Calling. The ultimate statement of life-changing rock. Again, that killer album cover, 4 sides of doozies with only a track or two of filler, and finally…2 inner sleeves jam packed with the lyrics to all the songs. The revelation that Strummer’s M16-like yammering is actually on a ’63–’66 Dylan lyric level is mindblowing. And continues to be so. On a recent trip to Hellerstown to buy a bunch of garage 45s, I revisited London Calling for 456th time and still heard things for the first time.

And that’s it. “What,” you ask, “no Blonde on Blonde?” Hell no. I can honestly say I never need to hear “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” ever again. It goes on and on forever, which is most probably what’s behind the meat of the thing. Dylan most probably wanted the world to know that he was the first to be skillful enough to fill a whole side with a single song. You know what? Nice try, but it doesn’t really work.

“No Freak Out?” Again, forget it. Jam “Trouble Every Day” somewhere on side 1 or 2, leave out the second wax slab of Edgar Varese/noise poop, and you’ve got a real winner. Again, too much ego and not enough good ideas.

“No Beatles Live in Hamburg ’62?” Just between you and me, I wanna add that thing to my list in the worst way, but I absolutely and positively cannot defend 4 sides of monotonous mach schau “Red Sails in the Sunset” sturm and drang. My weakness? Anything “Beatles” remains utterly fascinating. I would read a 600-page tome by George Martin’s tailor should he choose to tell all.

As far as greatest hits releases are concerned, real thought went into The Beatles: 1962–1966, The Beatles 1967–1970, Hot Rocks, More Hot Rocks, and The Kinks Chronicles. To put it bluntly, no filler. Come to think of it, add The Rolling Stones’ Through the Past Darkly (that “stop sign” looking thing) to that mix and you more or less have everything found in Townsman andyr‘s record collection. That’s not an insult. That’s a high five. That’s andyr in a nutshell. No time for bullshit.

Who knows. Maybe I’m wrong about all this. Maybe some of you see Refried Boogie, the 40-minute second LP of Canned Heat‘s Living the Blues, as an argument for the existence of God. Needless to say, your insights are always greatly appreciated.


E. Pluribus


  131 Responses to “The Two LP Set: Defensible Doubles or Twofers of Unearned Arrogance”

  1. Sandinista is an essential two-fer spread out into 3 LPs…

  2. And the kids love Quadrophenia…

  3. But sold for the price of a single (the band took a big cut in royalties to sell it at a low price), so it’s hard to argue with it being a little spotty.

  4. Defensible (a very partial list):
    Who: Tommy and Quadrophenia – these needs explaining?
    Hendrix: Electric Ladyland – you can’t cut it to a single without leaving out something great.
    Zappa: You Are What You Is – same thing as Hendrix.
    Amon Duul: Tanz der Lemminge – a Krautrock classic through and through.
    Eric Clapton: Layla – no explanation needed.
    George Harrison: All Things Must Pass – Apple Jam can be safely deleted.

    Yes: Tales From Topographic Oceans
    Todd Rundgren: Todd
    John Lennon: Some Time in New York City
    ELO: Out of the Blue
    Cream: Wheels of Fire
    Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica
    Chicago: any double+ album after the first one.
    Guns’n’Roses: Use Your Illusion
    Bob Dylan: Self Portrait

    I could keep on going in both the plus and minus column.

  5. A “little” spotty? This could have been cut down to a pretty great single album.

  6. Yeah, but what a bargain!

    Actually, I just recently put it on my iTunes at double album length, and think it’s pretty great that way. There was more good stuff than I’d remembered (it had been awhile since I’d listened to any of it at all).

  7. Re: The greatest hits section of this post. Hasn’t The Rolling Stones – “Through the Past (Darkly)” always been a single LP? Mine is. The two “Hot Rocks” collections were doubles, maybe you were thinking of one of those, Gerg…

    The Ramones – “It’s Alive” – Four sides at the length of many other bands’ single sides. I wouldn’t want it any shorter, either. Along with the first three studio albums, I think it’s an essential Ramones release, too.

  8. trigmogigmo

    XTC’s English Settlement is a short double album (fits on one CD). All good to great stuff. “Fly on the Wall” is by far the worst song on it (that goofy synth part) and it ain’t bad.

    The Cure’s Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is pretty damn solid. A few of the songs feel like they drag on a bit, but there’s too much good stuff there to whittle it down to 1 disc.

  9. I’m with you Tony on the PLUS column (Quad,Tommy,Layla, All Things, Electric Ladyland)

    I know Out Of The Blue as a single CD. No problem with the length.

    G&R UYI was never a double disc, it was two single discs (and would have been at least three LPs, maybe 4) There is a “Wal-Mart” version that is a compilation of the two Cds (with the “dirty” songs removed). I would agree that one 80 minute Cd would hold all of the best stuff from this collection.

    Chinese Democracy IS a double vinyl record and could be made into a single Lp for sure.

  10. The English Settlement Cd I have is missing at least two songs. Maybe they have fixed this on the reissues.

    I hated when they would remove songs to fit on a CD (Stevie Ray Vaughan Live Alive did this too)

    Vinyl disappeared from the retailers right when bands started to put 70+ minutes of music on their CDs, Many records from the early to mid 90’s would be on two LPs (and they were when you could find them, but cost $35 at the hipster record stores)

  11. tonyola

    Wiki says that both the Use Your Illusion albums were doubles in the vinyl format so there are four records total.

    Another plus of mine:
    Genesis: Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – the last Gabriel-era album.

  12. mockcarr

    Double Nickels On The Dime by the Minutemen

  13. mockcarr

    Also, I’d add Being There by Wilco as essential.

  14. Yes, the original UK double-album release of English Settlement is essential. The original US version, which excised a few admittedly “lesser” songs actually suffered. Any CD version with b-sides and “Mr. Partridge” stuff crammed in the middle of the sequencing is an atrocity. The true double-album version is the one I stand (alongside trigmo) behind.

    Sadly, Plurbs is incapable of liking XTC save for a few songs. He has some really funny term for Andy Partridge’s singing style, which I cannot remember at the moment. It’s a term and beef that I usually agree with concerning other singers from the late-’70s/early-’80s. But anyhow, English Settlement: a Defensible Double.

  15. misterioso

    Yes, Through the Past is a single. One of the first records I bought and still a favorite. Too bad the cd release doesn’t preserve the octagonal sleeve.

  16. You know, even as a Beefheart fan, on any given day a good half of Trout Mask Replica is in no way defensible…except for the fact that it’s one of rock’s great F-U albums. “You think I’m some freak,” he’s saying, “I’ll show you! See if you can handle 2 albums’ worth of my weirdest stuff!” I cut Sandinista some slack for similar reasons. Sometimes a band is justified in making the listening public “pay” for past or imagined injustices.

  17. Ah, another member of the Hall’s famed DC4 actually beat machinery and HVB to the punch. Damn, I cannot collect on that bet!

  18. misterioso

    I am cheered by Layla getting some respect. I think it tends to be the baby that gets thrown out with EC’s bathwater. Granted, I would require number of blooooz workouts on the record to be reduced to one: and one only. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out? Key to the Highway? Have You Ever Loved a Woman? Pick one. I’m still probably skipping it, but I can live with one. And someone tell me why “Anyday” is not a classic rock staple? What a great song.

  19. Great recent double album: Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Granted, each disc gets its own title, but they’re packaged together, so I’m calling it a double.

  20. misterioso

    EPG, you are walking on thin ice here: I agree with most everything you wrote. I mean, except about Blonde on Blonde: that was kinda dumb but let’s not dwell on the negative. Also, I quite like the last songs on Exile. But now I am quibbling. And, though I have no idea anymore what is out there for Parker lps, the Savoy masters are just as essential as the Dial masters. Absolutely brilliant stuff. I am totally with you on the White Album: though I would’ve made room for Not Guilty somewhere which means, maybe, I’m willing to pitch something overboard. Like I said, I totally agree with you. Keep cool.

  21. Misterioso,

    I knew I’d get a kick in the balls from you. All I ask is that you revisit the sad eyed lady. Trust me, she’s not all that. Her charms wear off after the first 3 minutes.

    And yes, the Savoy masters are indeed as equally brilliant. The problem is in the packaging. An incredibly well thought out comp is not out there. I think the owner of Dial actually compiled the Warner Bros. comp.

    Keeping Cool Brother,
    E. Pluribus

    P.S. I’m surprised nobody went into a tizzy about “Tip of My Tongue” by the Grass Roots. That’s one of my favorite second tier rock records.

  22. “Not Guilty” never did a thing for me. “Child of Nature”? Now that’s a whole ‘nother story. Just curious – what would you have nixed for “Not Guilty”?

  23. machinery

    DAMN YOU mcarr for beating to the punch!!!! Absolutely the greatest double album, IMO.

  24. […as Mr. Moderator tosses his crumpled betting slip in the wastebasket.]

  25. misterioso

    Actually, I have moved in the other direction. I used to merely tolerate Sad Eyed Lady but I have grown to really like and admire the song. Quite beautiful.

    I like Tip of My Tongue but it isn’t on my greatest hits comp. I am sure there are more good Grass Roots songs out there.

    Nowadays on cd the Savoy and Dial Masters are usually packaged together which is a good thing. Are you as iffy on the Verve stuff as I am?

  26. hrrundivbakshi

    I’d like to give it up for a near-flawless THREE-fer: the “Motown Anthology” greatest hits collection for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.

    Other great two-fers:

    KISS Alive!
    Live and Dangerous – Thin Lizzy
    One More From the Road – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Countless country music best-ofs
    Songs In the Key of Life (an album that’s been on my mind a lot lately)

    I’m also waiting for 2000Man to step up to the plate for Love You Live!

  27. hrrundivbakshi

    I had a Buddy Holly GH two-fer that was flawless.

  28. misterioso

    Well, if L and Mc dig in their heels I’d persuade George to swap Piggies for Not Guilty. But I would take it over Honey Pie, Wild Honey Pie, or Ob-La-Di, also.

    Also, I kinda wish George had kept Sour Milk Sea for himself. Great song. Great recording, too, but I’m not a big fan of Jackie Lomax’s voice. There are clever “outfakes” out there that combine George’s vocal from the demo with the backing (incl. George, Paul, Ringo, Clapton, Hopkins) from Lomax’s record.

    “George” version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPgqsfahHY0

    Lomax: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPgqsfahHY0

  29. 2000 Man

    I don’t think one way or another about double albums. Since I have to get up and change records anyway, odds are good that I’m done and moving on to something else. CD’s are a different story. They start and play for over an hour, and I usually wear out way before then, at like 45 minutes. If my mood changes with a record, I just change the record when the side finishes.

    The only time Exile peters out is when side four hits the runout groove. I’ve got to agree with Wilco’s Being There as pretty essential. That’s a great album, and all four sides are terrific. I’ll toss in Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, too. It has some rough spots, but every side gets redemption for its sins in a big way. It could probably be cut down, but why bother? Just put on another record when you get tired of the side you’re listening to and start listening to the other record first next time.

  30. The Verve stuff never did anything for me either. That said, I like ‘Swedish Schnaps”. “Swedish Schnaps” is a lot like Costello’s “I Hope Your Happy Now” -a welcome well done return to that which had balls.

  31. alexmagic

    I like Not Guilty as an outtake, but I think either John or Paul or both would have had to really contributed something to it to make it work on the album.

    Sour Milk Sea is the missing George song of the era that I think was the most album-worthy. Double track George’s lead, have John and Paul sing the chorus with him and add in Paul’s bass and I think that’s a Savoy Truffle-quality song.

    Glad to have EPG on the right side that says the White Album is perfect as is and that the strength is how weird everything is. My favorite Beatles album, and favorite album overall.

  32. I always liked “Sour Milk Sea”-with the George vocal. It’s more or less “Son of Savoy Truffle”.

  33. God bless, Alexmagic!

    It’s probably my all time favorite as well!

  34. 2000 Man

    Hey, I can step up up for the El Mocambo side, but the 75-76 tours definitely aren’t for everyone. Too many of the songs just go on too long. I don’t recommend many 75 or 76 bootlegs, either.

  35. misterioso

    Misterioso: Hmm, hmmm…[casually drums fingers on desk, waiting for Mod to explain how the White Album would be better reduced to an EP…]

  36. I’m well aware that “Through the Past” is a single. I mentioned it to let you know that it’s one of the 6 records in Andyr’s collection.

  37. If that mother starts slicing up the White Album, he’s gonna get it real good from yours truly.

    And just between you and me, misterioso, he once told me and a crew of half baked guests that the Lennon numbers on “Rubber Soul” sucked. ‘Nuff said.

  38. misterioso

    I guess maybe I am in the “maybe it shoulda been a single” camp on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but in fact I only really object to a couple songs (Jamaica Jerk-off, Your Sister Can’t Twist). Almost all the rest is really quite good to excellent.

    I don’t think Elton came up in the recent discussion of people releasing album after album of dreck after having built a name for themselves. Maybe he doesn’t have enough rock cred in the first place, but his 1970-74 or 75 output is pretty terrific and then the rest is, well, not. Again, I think it’s a problem of crazy pacing: Elton John (rel. April 70), Tumbleweed Connection (Oct. 70), Madman Across the Water (Nov. 71), Honky Chateau (May 72), Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (Jan. 73), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Oct. 73), Caribou (June 74), Captain Fantastic (May 75), Rock of the Westies (Oct. 75). Yeesh. 9 records in 5 years, one of them a double lp. No wonder the last few show a drop off and then after this there is a precipitous decline into crapdom.

  39. That would be the “man or machine” voice. Devo gets a pass, and the buck stops there.

  40. misterioso

    2000man, can we blame the crappiness of Love You Live for the fact that there’s no live album from 1978? ‘Cause the “Handsome Girls” live recordings (from Texas and elsewhere), for example, are really good, way, way better than anything I’ve heard from 75/76 or 81, to my ears.

  41. My feelings on Yellow Brick Road is that it might be too much as a double album but you’d have to leave off some good songs to make it a single. So I err on the leave-it-a-double side.

  42. Hey Hrundi,

    Kiss Alive? If that’s a fave, you and I are through. I mean that. Kiss is 100 percent dogshit. If that’s not a given, any critique you have of anything pop is completely meaningless.

  43. misterioso

    Well, Run for Your Life is not exactly genius and The Word is maybe only 3/4 baked but Norwegian Wood, Girl, In My Life, Nowhere Man are, um, not bad.

  44. BigSteve

    The thing about double albums in the LP format is that each side has its own identity. Think how different each side of Exile or Electric Ladyland is.

    The fact that double albums are now strung together on a single CD leads one to believe that they should be listened to in one go, but no one I knew did that back in the day. If you wanted to listen to Sad Eyed Lady, you put that on. If you wanted a handful of cool rock songs, you put on side 2 or 3 pf Blonde on Blonde.

    I’m the opposite of a vinyl fetishist, but to me the big advantage of vinyl is that the music is served up in easily digestible chunks. Of course nowadays with playlists you can listen to chunks of whatever size you want. (Remember when the great thing about CD players was that you could ‘program’ them to eliminate certain songs or play them in a different sequence?)

  45. Here’s all I’ll say on the matter, most of which is directed at E. Pluribus: I can see why you’d consider the White Album your idea of a justifiable and wholly enjoyable “freak flag” twofer.

    Seriously, if any album led the way for my Would Have Made a Great EP project it’s this one. I like an album’s worth of the twofer as much as anyone, but there’s a hunk of shit that I don’t have time to sniff. I learn a lot more from studying the turds of Beefheart, XTC, and the Clash than I’ll ever learn from “Wild Honey Pie” (I do, for the record, like “Honey Pie” itself).

    Mmm, I should compare the turds from The White Album vs the turds from Electric Ladyland to see what album’s refuse I better enjoy.

  46. There’s a “classic” double album that I find indefensible and I expect a bit of controversy over this: Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. OK, it’s by Davis and it’s got a lot of first-class, top-notch musicians on it. But so much of it is endless and dull vamping that starts nowhere and goes nowhere. I’ve listened to it a couple dozen times in its entirety over the years and I’ve never warmed up to it. To me it’s one of those Emperor’s New Albums that is hailed everywhere as a five-star classic, yet the substance doesn’t match the reputation. It’s not a total clunker like Trout Mask Replica but it would have been better as a single album.

  47. You need to write that up as an RTH Glossary entry. I laugh every time I see that phrase.

  48. You know what? You drive me out of my fucking gourd, but that was a great point. That’s EXACTLY why I love the White Album. Every side has its own distinct mood. Pure genius. I’m through treating you like a turd. Truce?

  49. I can’t get through that thing. My brother in law, Whelan, thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. Let me see if I can track him down.

  50. Good points, tonyola, although I have a soft spot for it as one of the key discoveries among a batch of 80 albums that a friend and I were actually given permission to steal from a suburban Illinois mall record store in 1981 or ’82! The album actually was better as a single album with half the jamming musicians: A Tribute to Jack Johnson!

  51. BigSteve

    Trout Mask is not even my favorite Beefheart album, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.

    When a friend gave me the mono versions of the Beatles albums, the White Album reminded me of how Paul ruined the Beatles. I was able to make a very nice single album playlist — no #9, no Ringo singing, Paul represented only by Helter Skelter. It sounded good, but I’d still rather hear any Stones album than any late period Beatles.

    I still like London Calling a lot, but when I revisited it for the first time in a long time it didn’t seem so earth shattering. Of course how could it? But I think its impact is really tied to the time it came out. Good album, but it no longer feels epochal to me.

  52. misterioso

    Nah, it was all over with In a Silent Way. Bummer.

  53. God almighty was that a good one!

    E. Pluribus

  54. misterioso

    Actually, I’d say with Filles de Kilimanjaro, that’s the last one I ever listen to.

  55. I think that the double live album is a different beast than a double studio, so I’m not sure double live albums should be included in this thread, though they’re worthy of discussion in a related topic of defensible double live records. Though it’s not earth-shatteringly fantastic, I’ve never found any real problems with Van Morrison’s “Too Late To Stop Now” as a double live record, as just one for instance. Playable and enjoyable throughout. Still, the goal of most double live albums is very different from that of most double studio albums.

  56. Hey 2000man,

    Did you watch the video I posted of “Rocks Off”? If so, I’ve gotta know something. How did you feel as soon as you heard that opening riff combined with the sight of the cover and specifically the picture of the spade with the 4 or 5 dark golf balls rammed in his jowls?

    THAT is the power and glory of rock and roll, majestically delivered in less than 10 seconds.

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    E. Pluribus

  57. Man,

    Take ANY live album and put it out on the curb -except for James Brown Live at the Apollo Vol. 1. For the most part, who the hell wants to hear inferior versions of well planned master takes? And hear them without seeing the band in action? Total waste of time and money.

  58. Agreed.

  59. That’s about as bowels-in-a-knot answer as I can imagine, EPG. The Morrison tunes on that record aren’t “inferior” to the originals, just a different thing, and with different goals. Music critic wise, take a dump someday soon, okay? It’ll do you good. Very freeing.

  60. hrrundivbakshi

    That’s ridiculous. Certain bands — perhaps mainly the ones you like — suck in a live setting, compared to the studio. But others are much better live. That’s just a fact. I’m surprised at this stand of yours.

  61. ladymisskirroyale

    Good call! A classic album.

  62. Live albums are worthwhile when the songs are different enough from the studio versions to stand on their own. Cheap Trick’s Budokan album is a good and popular example. Less popular but more significant in terms of difference is King Crimson. That band’s live albums are phenomena in themselves that exist apart from the studio efforts.

  63. ladymisskirroyale

    To add to the fray:

    – Tusk. I can say that I like this double album set better than Rumours. More experimental, but in a good way, and continues the messy romance theme.

    Mr. Royale suggests:
    – Physical Graffiti
    – The Wall
    – Quadrophenia
    – Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness

    And how about a couple of triples!
    – 69 Love Songs by Magnetic Fields provides both intellectual and emotional satisfaction: how Merritt et al chooses to make a pastiche of a particular artist/style; the droll tone appeals to me. Some of the song lyrics are very beautiful (although most make me laugh.)
    – Orphans by Tom Waits. This is a good example of each disc/cd reflecting a different mood or theme: Bruisers, Brawlers and Bawlers.

  64. I would rather have someone stick pins in my testicles for all eternity than sit through ANY live Van Morrison LP.

  65. trigmogigmo

    Yeah, if you look at the Wikipedia page for English Settlement there are several versions of it (US, UK, CD, etc.) and some are mangled. Somehow I ended up with the CD containing the original UK double-album track sequence. Amazon id is B00005ATHJ.

  66. trigmogigmo

    You have prompted me to go revisit Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It’s been a long time since I listened to it, but it has a lot of good stuff on it.

  67. 2000 Man

    Do people actually play the second record of The White Album? Why?

  68. Well, I was willing–I was–to say that double live records were an entirely other thing. Since you’re not having any, I’ll add that I actually like the big sweep of Neil Young’s double album Live Rust as well as any of the small gems among his studio records: Everybody Knows, After the Gold Rush, and Tonight’s the Night.

  69. 2000 Man

    I think the reason we didn’t get an official live 78 is that they had just released one in 77, they didn’t sound anything like Love You Live anymore, and there were several live radio broadcasts (of which Handsome Girls consists of, which were pre broadcast masters stolen from DIR and replaced from what I heard). I think they figured everyone had them for free.

  70. trigmogigmo

    You guys have me adding items to my shopping cart to fill holes in my accessible collection to replace dust-gathering vinyl… those are some good picks, ladymiss.

    The Wall is not 100% awesome, but as a concept/story album it’s really all essential. Even the less-than-high points flow in between them.

    I love a lot of Led Zep stuff, but I’d probably have to build a “best of” to create a truly outstanding double album for my ears.

  71. 2000 Man

    I think Elton gets a bad rap that he deserves, because he’s the one that shit all over his legacy, But yeah, 9 records in 5 years? You certainly don’t need all of those, but put any one of them on and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how uniformly good they are.

  72. 2000 Man

    Yeah, you’re not gonna get my live Rory Gallagher albums without a fight, that’s for sure!

  73. 2000 Man

    That dude was a sideshow guy called 3 Ball Charlie, I think. He supposedly could put a billiard ball, a golf ball and a tennis ball in his mouth, and then whistle. He’s awesome!

  74. 2000 Man

    I like Tusk, too. I hate telling people that I’m so uncool I don’t like Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, but I think Lindsay Buckingham’s is just swell.

    But I never claimed to have good taste!

  75. Only you would know something like that. I’m good, but not THAT good!

    Supposedly, there’s a new documentary about the making of Exile floating around. Have you seen it? If so, Is it worth a view, or is it one of those low budget slide show jobs?

  76. Somehow or another, Tusk made a comeback. It’s this year’s buried treasure. It’s currently one of my easiest sells. I don’t get it, but I like the money it generates.

  77. alexmagic

    White Album/Sour Milk Sea follow-up question: Imaging a “final” Beatles-version of the song as presented above (double-tracked George leads, Paul and John joining him for the chorus, Paul free to do his White Album bass thing, possibly some Savoy Truffle brass added), is there a place to add it to the White Album without removing any of the other songs that made the final cut?

    Basically, you’re tasked with taking (otherwise perfect as agreed upon by all rational people) White Album and inserting this extra song somewhere, fully aware that doing so will upset the carefully achieved “George gets one song per side” balance.

  78. hrrundivbakshi

    I don’t know if you were a Townsman when I made this big reveal, 2000Man, but I actually met one of the guys on the front cover of “Exile”! Ward Hall is his name — he’s still puttering around the state fairs and sideshows of our fair land. Here he is today:


  79. misterioso

    Very tricky. I can only imagine it going on side three (which would also then have Long, Long, Long on it–a very underrated song, that!). Maybe between Mother Nature’s Son and Everybody’s Got Something to Hide.

  80. misterioso

    Can we make this an action item?

  81. ladymisskirroyale

    Also the Camper Van Beethoven cover of the entire album is pretty nifty.

  82. You know where that song really belongs? On the B side of one of the later singles, as a replacement for something like “Old Brown Shoe” or “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)”. And to even suggest such a thing is heresy, but there it is.

    I’d never dicker around with the White Album. It’s absolutely perfect.

  83. misterioso

    Fine, but leave Old Brown Shoe alone. It’s great.

  84. Alright, the cat’s out of the bag, misterioso. What’s your fixation with George?

    Had Plato lived during the last 50 years or so he would have added a sixth category of “George Fans” to his 5 different types of people.

    Recently, an older woman told me she really dug “Extra Texture”. Pretty frightening.

    E. Pluribus

  85. So, all you White Album fans, how do you make it through “Revolution 9”?

    Compared to that, “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” is a masterpiece and should raise Blonde on Blonde to the top tier of double lps.

    In addition, I have problems with side 4 of London Calling, in particular the flanged guitar sound. And “Revolution Rock” is mediocre at best.

  86. Tusk (like a lot Buckingham-Nicks Fleetwood Mac) grew on me as I grew older. I think Tusk is underrated.

  87. misterioso

    The cat was never in the bag. I am a Georgian. I think his contributions to the Beatles–both as a musician and a songwriter (Rubber Soul and onwards)–are tremendous. Yes, that includes the Indian songs. Although I don’t believe there is such a thing as someone who really digs Extra Texture, and, of course, his solo records are a really mixed bag, there is good stuff there. All Things Must Pass is huge. Why do you hate him?

  88. tonyola

    I think All Things Must Pass is a great album (minus the Apple Jam) and Material World is quite good. The later albums are far spottier but there are some gems to be dug out. I even edited a listenable digital version of Wonderwall Music with the hardcore Indian stuff removed, leaving some interesting and occasionally lovely instrumentals like the soothing, dreamlike “Party Seacombe”.

  89. Believe it. She’s out there and ready to defend “Sometime In New York City” as well.

    And I love George. He’s one of my all time favorite sidemen.

  90. tonyola

    Why do I listen to the second record of the White Album? Here’s why…

    Yer Blues
    Mother Nature’s Son
    Sexy Sadie
    Helter Skelter
    Long, Long, Long
    Revolution 1
    Savoy Truffle
    Cry Baby Cry

    What more reason does anyone need?

  91. misterioso

    Although Give Me Love is one of my favorite George songs, I could never warm up to Material World, mostly. I rather like the late 70s lp George Harrison, actually. The only ones I kind of write off are Dark Horse and Extra Texture.

    Tony, explain to me how you get italics to appear in your postings, would you? I can’t seem to do it.

  92. misterioso

    I am glad you stopped hating him. That’s a good first step.

  93. misterioso

    Gosh, I hope this discussion leads to a further explosion of defecatory and cloacal imagery, ’cause I just can’t get enough of that.

  94. In the Users Guide you will find a “Tips on Tags” post, which I believe explains a lot of formatting tricks. However, it may be at least partially outdated – with some references to buttons from the blog’s old platform. I’ll look it over when I get a chance, maybe later tonight.

  95. mockcarr

    Sour Milk Sea is better than Piggies, so having a better George song offset that on side 2 might work, then I might edit Revolution 9, so Rocky Racoon or Why Don’t We Do It In The Road can go onto side 4.

  96. Whenever did I give you the impression that I hated him? That’s a stretch!

  97. misterioso

    Edit Revolution #9?!? Don’t you dare touch a precious moment of it! Yeah, I’m kidding.

  98. misterioso

    No worries–the main thing is that you’re past the hating stage. High five!

  99. tonyola

    “Dark Horse” would have been a pleasant song if George hadn’t recorded it when he had laryngitis. His hoarse voice ruins it.

  100. misterioso

    Hey, tony, thanks. No, really. I am dead serious.

  101. misterioso

    Agreed. I think that was a case of “if Dylan can do it so can I.”

  102. tonyola

    Glad to help. Also, it doesn’t matter if the “i” in the tag is uppercase or lowercase. Substitute a “b” for the “i” and you get bold.

  103. tonyola

    I resisted Buckingham-Nicks Fleetwood for a long time simply because it was overplayed so much everywhere. Now that it has faded some, I can genuinely enjoy the records.

  104. misterioso

    I should’ve known this. I know some of the rudiments of html. Somehow it never occurred to me. Stupid!

  105. tonyola

    Another indefensible – Mountain’s Twin Peaks. Another in the seemingly endless series of boring ’70s double-live albums, but this particular one is close to the bottom of the barrel. Does anyone really need a 32-minute version (no exaggeration!) of “Nantucket Sleighride”?

  106. Didn’t read that way, but fair enough.

  107. Hey Tony,

    I think you might be onto something here: Best example of time/quality filler on any LP, single, double, or triple. My nominee is the entire 2nd LP of “Sometime in New York City.” Jesus! Talk about getting a hosing! Have you ever heard that thing? And that’s saying a lot because the first LP is absolutey and positively nothing to write home to grandma about!

  108. hrrundivbakshi

    Johnny Winter’s second album featured two discs with only *three* sides of music. I can’t decide if that’s the kindest or worst waste of vinyl space in rock history.

    The fourth side had nothing on it — no grooves, nothing. Can’t remember if it had a label, and if so, what it said.

  109. misterioso

    Well, that makes me feel a tiny bit better about the 20 minute version of Space Truckin’ that occupies side 4 of Deep Purple Live in Japan–a cut that otherwise makes the bloated, overlong songs that make up the rest of that double album seem lean and mean by comparison.

    But, even though I’m almost sure I’ll regret asking this, I have to ask: tonyola, are there really other Mountain records that are defensible?

  110. Is anything defensible in the Mountain catalog beyond Leslie West’s guitar tone on the main theme of “Mississippi Queen”?

  111. That fourth side should have been on white vinyl.


  112. tonyola

    It’s going to be hard to find much defensible in Leslie West’s entire career beyond “Mississippi Queen”. He’s a decent guitarist but pretty much useless as a frontman or band leader.

  113. That’s actually, “Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards”, Ladymisskr.

  114. misterioso

    What, you gotta problem with Scumbag? You know, until today I had no idea there was film of this magical performance! Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip8-vEGug7o

  115. tonyola

    I have to agree. Some Time in New York City is a terrible album. We justifiably slag Paul McCartney here for all of his mediocre-to-poor records but he’s never done anything as stunningly wretched as this.

  116. Man, I may need to do some postmortem psychoanalysis on Zappa one of these days. What the hell was he getting out of music?

  117. misterioso

    I assume he got some kick out of going out and just doing whatever his thing was. But what the hell was an audience getting out of it? This has been my question as long as I’ve known who he was.

  118. I’m not sure how many people are aware of this, but each of the four sides of The J. Geils Band’s “Blow Your Face Out” live album tells its own separate and distinct story. The themes are based on selections from Chaucer’s “The Cantebury Tales”, if I’m not mistaken. It’s heady stuff, believe you me, and each side is essential in the communication of the greater whole. A feast for the ears AND the imagination…

  119. True or not that’s the funniest thing I’ve read today.

  120. ladymisskirroyale

    Oops, thanks for the correction.

  121. It IS funny, because one normally thinks of Geils’ album in terms of how they relate to “Beowulf”. This one just came outta nowhere! I was like, “What!?!” – really strange.

  122. “albumS”, plural, I meant.

  123. hrrundivbakshi

    Not Beowulf — it was some Ibsen play, I think. Or am I thinking of “Hotline”? Which is the one with “The Judge Sure Is Funky” on it — that was the Ibsen one.

  124. Oh, “Funky Judge”, the Andre Williams cover. Yeah, that was the “Nightmares…and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle” album, and I think you’re right – also a departure, that one. I think it was centered around themes from “Peer Gynt”. “Full House”, their first live album was a re-imagining of “A Doll’s House”. The rest of them, though, before “Monkey Island”, of course, were all “Beowulf”.

  125. Being There is my favorite Wilco album but just because of the first disc. I would lose the first song on disc one, replace it with a song or two from from disc two, and it would almost acquire Desert Island Disc status.

  126. bostonhistorian


  127. trigmogigmo

    I also once heard AP’s voice described as a “tea kettle” sound.

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