Dec 112008

Sides 1-4: Good; sides 5-6: Mint.

In a recent thread on the worst song by a handful of Classic Rock artists, 2000 Man selected “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” as Bob Dylan’s worst song from his prime recording years. The song constitutes all of side 4 of the otherwise classic Blonde on Blonde. My guess is that even among Dylan fans and fans of this album, those of us who own it on vinyl can claim a much cleaner, scratch-and-pop-free side 4 than any of the album’s first three sides. At least that’s the case for me.

I thought of two more albums sides that I’d bet my house on being much cleaner than any other side of what may be a frequently spun album in your collection: side 5 of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and side 6 of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, the “Apple Jam” sides. Unless you actually used these album sides rather than the album cover to clean pot, those sides look as new and clean as the day you bought the album, right?

So how ’bout it, what’s your cleanest side of vinyl on an otherwise enthusiastically worn album?


  19 Responses to “Your Cleanest Side of Vinyl on an Otherwise Enthusiastically Worn Album”

  1. pudman13

    I’ll go one further here. I absolutely love side one of U2’s BOY to death and have no use for the entire remainder of their career.

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    I’d be clever and say side 4 of Johnny Winter’s “Second Winter” (the 3-sided album) — but I remember my copy (back when I owned one) was quite smudgy. Having no grooves gave me the freedom to handle that disc however I pleased.

    I keep going back to this well, but it’s the truth: The “For Romancin'” side of the Whispers’ “Love for Love” was essentialy unplayed in my college dorm room. “For Dancin’,” on the other hand, was a winner.

    I also seem to recall one of the sides from the first “Kiss Alive!” as being pretty rarely played, if ever. Maybe one of the sides of Thin Lizzy’s “Live and Dangerous,” too — the one with “Emerald” on it? My memories of this era are hazy.

  3. mockcarr

    I think the second side of my copy of Damaged by Black Flag would be very shiny.

  4. mockcarr

    Maybe Yoko’s side of that Live Peace In Toronto album too, I think Hrrundi, Massimo and I would only use that as a weapon against dormitory society.

    Probably suitable in that previous thread as to how to get rid of lingering partiers.

  5. 2000 Man

    You can’t tell anyone, but I rarely play side two of Tattoo You. I think sequencing an album correctly can make a big difference, and the lazy fast side/slow side approach doesn’t work for me. I just end up listening to the fast side and ignoring the slow side.

  6. dbuskirk

    Cross-format, I’d say I always play the last disc least whenever I have a career-spanning CD box set. Take that Rod Stewart box for example….

  7. Side two (I think) of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The side that has the title track on it.

    This album and Kiss – Alive were the first two albums that I ever got, and GBYBR is going through a bit of a revival in my house right now. Even though side one has Candle in the Wind, I’ll still put it on for Funeral for Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.

  8. pudman13

    Re: All Things Must Pass. I think side four is awfully weak too, other than the excellent “Art of Dying.”

  9. Speaking of Elton John, I quite like side one of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but the drop-off on side two is so severe, I pretty much act like it doesn’t exist.

    As I’ve mentioned before, side two of Schoolboys in Disgrace is one of my favorite things by post-’73 Kinks, but side one only good song is its last, “The First Time We Fall in Love.” So Side One is mostly pristine.

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    Re: Elton — I spied a copy of “Elton John’s Greatest Hits” in a bin the other day, and was tempted to buy it. That was the first LP I ever bought with my own money, and I remember wearing it out. It can’t be that bad, can it? Old Elton produced some shimmering examples of 70s crossover radio gold.

    Maybe this should be moved to the front page: What the Hell is Wrong With Elton John’s Greatest Hits? Nothing!

    Oh, wait: “Candle in the Wind” is on there. Strange, I don’t remember that one on my copy from back in the day. Could it have been added in the digital age?

  11. Mr. Moderator

    I don’t recall “Candle in the Wind” being on the vinyl GH album, vol. 1, either. I think I still have that on vinyl. I’ll be happy to continue this discussion, possibly as a Critical Upgrade, if you’d like, Hrrundi. Make it so!

  12. cdm, you’re kidding me!

    Side two of GBYBR?

    With “This Song Has No Title”, “Grey Seal” and “I’ve Seen That Movie Too”.

    The whole album is a classic.

  13. Yup, and don’t forget Jamaican Jerk Off.

  14. Jamaican Jerk Off I agree with you on, but surely you could just scratch out that track with a roofing nail or something and have the stylus skip right over?


  15. dbuskirk

    From Wikipedia re: Elton’s Greatest Hits –
    “The single “Bennie and the Jets” appeared on the American and Canadian edition of the album, which had topped the charts in both nations but had not been a single in the United Kingdom. It was replaced by “Candle in the Wind” for the U.K. and Australian edition, having been a hit in both of those countries but never released as a single in the U.S. and Canada. The 1992 reissue contains eleven tracks, with both songs included.”

    I was curious because I didn’t remember it and it was my first LP as well. I bought that and Jim Croce’s Greatest Hits with the money I got for my 10th birthday.

    Jim Croce, now there’s a guy ripe for reconsideration…

  16. pudman13

    re: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: there’s some real crap on sides 3 and 4. That’s another “should have been a single” double album. I tend to think that EVERY Elton John album is erratic at best, and Taupin’s lyrics can be truly awful, but I don’t think he got worse than “Sweet Painted Lady” or especially “Dirty Little Girl.”

    Also, I can’t believe I forgot the obvious answer to this question. I’m one of those people who always listens to a complete album, and in the right order, but over the years the one exception to that rule is Love’s DA CAPO. Side one is stone classic, but please don’t ever ask me to listen to side two again!

  17. I agree that Taupin’s lyrics are consistently lame. I like everything about Dirty Little Girl except for the lyrics but I can tune them out.

  18. I’m okay with GBYBR being a double album. I like a lot of the “lesser” songs on that album, probably because I absorbed it at a time in my life where I would sit through filler instead of just jumping to favorite tracks as I do now (a trait that has been made much worse by iPods and mp3s).

    That being said, I’d be okay with a single album that looked like this:

    1.”Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” – 11:09

    3.”Bennie and the Jets” – 5:23
    1.”Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – 3:13

    3.”Dirty Little Girl” – 5:01
    4.”All the Girls Love Alice” – 5:09

    2.”Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” – 4:53
    3.”Roy Rogers” – 4:08
    4.”Social Disease” – 3:43
    5.”Harmony” – 2:46

  19. side 3 and 4 of Lamb Lies Down on Broadway are clean as they come.

    Side 2 of Let’s Dance by Bowie has only been played 2wice by me.

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