PDA

View Full Version : I'm looking for albums that benefit from being listened to in the mandated order.


Skald the Rhymer
10-28-2010, 01:32 PM
The thread titles says it all. I'm looking for albums that don't chop up well, but should ideally be listened to in a single sitting and with the tracks in the order they are listed.

Obviously most musical theater cast albums qualify, but what others?

Oakminster
10-28-2010, 01:36 PM
Pink Floyd--Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall

The Who--Tommy


note: heavy doses of intoxicants also add to the experience. As will a lava lamp. Particularly with certain intoxicants. Or so I have heard, anyway.

Emily Litella
10-28-2010, 01:37 PM
Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues. It wouldn't do to listen to Nights in White Satin first, or The Day Begins last.

Fried Dough Ho
10-28-2010, 01:38 PM
Goodbye Yellowbrick Road ~ Elton John
Hounds of Love ~ Kate Bush
Almost everything by Radiohead

Annie-Xmas
10-28-2010, 01:43 PM
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Zeldar
10-28-2010, 01:52 PM
Aside from Dark Side of the Moon the only albums that come to mind that fit the title's description are some Miles Davis things from the 50's with Gil Evans. I could give some titles if you wish.

pepperlandgirl
10-28-2010, 02:05 PM
Wilco's A Ghost is Born and Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy should be listened to in order.

blondebear
10-28-2010, 02:09 PM
Quadrophenia
Psychoderelict
The Iron Man

Diogenes the Cynic
10-28-2010, 02:11 PM
Reign in Blood

Thudlow Boink
10-28-2010, 02:17 PM
Abbey Road, of course—at least side two.

I was almost tempted to say "All of them." At least, the majority of albums from the "album era" were conceived with the idea that people would be listening to them straight through, from beginning to end, and the track sequence was more or less carefully chosen to flow well and provide a satisfying listening experience.

Infovore
10-28-2010, 02:17 PM
I haven't heard it in a while, but I think Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche qualifies.

Also, Paradise Theater by Styx
The Wake of Magellan and Dead Winter Dead, both by Savatage

Skald the Rhymer
10-28-2010, 02:34 PM
Aside from Dark Side of the Moon the only albums that come to mind that fit the title's description are some Miles Davis things from the 50's with Gil Evans. I could give some titles if you wish.

Yeah, I need both artists & titles. I already have DSotM at hand.

Reign in Blood

By Slayer, yes?

Diogenes the Cynic
10-28-2010, 02:47 PM
Yeah, I need both artists & titles. I already have DSotM at hand.



By Slayer, yes?
Yes. It's a very short album of very short songs (it was actually only one side in its original album form, with the entire album repeated on side B), and it plays kind of like one long song with a lot of different breaks and bursts with little pause between tracks. It's all of a piece.

It's not everybody's cup of tea, of course, but its one of the quintessential thrash albums (a lot of people say the quintessential thrash album).

SpartanDC
10-28-2010, 02:52 PM
Basically any "prog rock" album could go on this list.

And, oddly, a lot of rap albums, too. A lot of them have a narrative woven into them, though sometimes that's just held together by the occasional "skit" between tracks.

cmkeller
10-28-2010, 02:54 PM
I think that Fallen by Evanescence sounds better in order the individual songs do apart.

RealityChuck
10-28-2010, 02:58 PM
Lola vs. Powerman and the Money-Go-Round by the Kinks.
On the Threshold of a Dream, In Search of the Lost Chord and To Our Children's Children's Children by the Moody Blues

Sitnam
10-28-2010, 03:03 PM
The Wall, every time I hear Comfortably Numb on the radio it just bothers me, like someone only reading chapter 34 of The Stand.

Zeldar
10-28-2010, 03:03 PM
Aside from Dark Side of the Moon the only albums that come to mind that fit the title's description are some Miles Davis things from the 50's with Gil Evans. I could give some titles if you wish.
Yeah, I need both artists & titles. I already have DSotM at hand.

In that case, look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Davis_%26_Gil_Evans:_The_Complete_Columbia_Studio_Recordings for the full list. My favorite for fitting your requirements would be Disc 1 - Miles Ahead (masters released on Miles Ahead)

The tracks are segued into each other so that it's hard to separate one from the other. They meant that album to be heard as a set.

I good sample of the music can be heard in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFaK4q0pxcQ
Miles Davis & Gil Evans 1959

The transition from one track to the next is at 3:17. All the tunes on the album are done like that. I would bet that DSotM knew about Miles and Gil! :)

Acorns...but not Bacon
10-28-2010, 03:07 PM
Brian Wilson - Smile.

Every song flows into each other beautifully.

Skald the Rhymer
10-28-2010, 03:09 PM
I think that Fallen by Evanescence sounds better in order the individual songs do apart.

I am listening to Fallen right now; it is the album I am discussing for the piece I'm writing and will be comparing the others too.

Dolores Reborn
10-28-2010, 03:12 PM
Jethro Tull's Aqualung

zoid
10-28-2010, 03:12 PM
Paradise Theater by Styx
Good one!

1984 by The Eurythmics

Duke
10-28-2010, 03:12 PM
There are quite a few albums that have bridges between nearly every song. Two of my favorites, A Taste of Complete Perspective by Elevator and In Reverse by Matthew Sweet were released almost at the same time.

But my favorite album that has to be listened to in track order is probably Ashtray Rock by Joel Plaskett, if only because if you listened to the last song first you probably won't understand why you're supposed to sympathize with the protagonist who sings "Yeah, I stole your girl...."

Infovore
10-28-2010, 03:16 PM
How could I forget?

2112, by Rush (at least most of it).

Sir T-Cups
10-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Doesn't Coheed and Cambria do this for all of their albums? I don't like their music much so I haven't listened to it, but I've heard this...

gregorio
10-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Prince, Lovesexy. I was once warned not to put it in a friend's cd changer on shuffle as the whole album was one track. According to wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovesexy) that changed though.

As opposed to the LP release, early CD copies of Lovesexy have the entire album in sequence as a single track, so the album is heard in the context of a continuous sequence, though later editions have it as nine separate tracks.

silenus
10-28-2010, 03:31 PM
Born To Run - Springsteen

If you listen to it in order, it is much more than just a collection of songs. The sides run day to night, uplifting to defeated. "Meeting Across the River" flows directly into "Jungleland" story-wise as well.

akira5822
10-28-2010, 03:37 PM
Operation Mindcrime -- Queensryche

Voyager
10-28-2010, 03:37 PM
In Tubular Bells 2 by Mike Oldfield the tracks merge into one another, so listening to them out of order is jarring. (TB 1 has only 2 tracks, one per side, and Amarok only has 1 60 minute track, so not an issue.) "The Songs of Distant Earth" tells the story of the Clarke novel, and so should be listened to in order also.

Ludovic
10-28-2010, 03:45 PM
Doesn't Coheed and Cambria do this for all of their albums? I don't like their music much so I haven't listened to it, but I've heard this...Even worse/better than that: the albums tell a complete story across the albums, so in theory you could start with the last one (it's a prequel), then the second one, third one, etc.

However, the story, while fleshed out in other media such as graphic novels and books, does not present itself very "up front" in their albums: it's more about the music. So, while I like to listen to their albums as a whole, for me it's more for the feel that each individual album gives than for the specific order of the tracks.

dzeiger
10-28-2010, 03:55 PM
Interestingly, Imaginos by Blue Oyster Cult claims in the liner notes to be a "random access myth" or something like that--the songs all do tell a story, but they were intentionally put out of order in the album.

Infovore
10-28-2010, 04:24 PM
I keep popping in here 'cuz I keep remembering more:

The Last Temptation, Brutal Planet, and Dragontown by Alice Cooper - both individually and as a trilogy of albums.

Brutal Planet, especially, is amazing. I think it's his best album ever.

cjepson
10-28-2010, 04:35 PM
Unquestionably, the first side of King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King and the second side of It's a Beautiful Day qualify. Also Side B of Modern Music by Be-Bop Deluxe. I would also include David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Kamino Neko
10-28-2010, 04:44 PM
I keep popping in here 'cuz I keep remembering more:

The Last Temptation, Brutal Planet, and Dragontown by Alice Cooper - both individually and as a trilogy of albums.

Brutal Planet, especially, is amazing. I think it's his best album ever.

I don't think starting with The Last Temptation really adds anything to the Brutal Planet/Dragontown diptych (yes, thematically, they're a trilogy, but really only the latter two tie together enough to require the combined playing).

And Brutal Planet is, indeed awesome. I don't know if I'd call it his best, but it's up there. Dragontown was somewhat if a disappointment in relation (...also on its own, since Alice seems to have slipped from 'clearly Christian' to 'the scary kind of Christian' in between the two).

Some clarification of the OP - are we just talking about albums that can't have tracks pulled out and retain any coherency, or albums that can be treated as collections of tracks, but if taken together, in the intended order, are improved for whatever reason (ie: they tell a story, the tracks flow into each other, there's a musical progression in there, etc)?

DrFidelius
10-28-2010, 05:33 PM
I haven't heard it in a while, but I think Operation: Mindcrime by Queensryche qualifies.

Also, Paradise Theater by Styx
The Wake of Magellan and Dead Winter Dead, both by Savatage

I just want to say that I had given up any hope of ever finding another person who has heard of Savatage. Not that I have been looking very hard.

Infovore
10-28-2010, 05:52 PM
I just want to say that I had given up any hope of ever finding another person who has heard of Savatage. Not that I have been looking very hard.

I love Savatage--at least their concept albums. Didn't really get in to their earlier stuff. Which brings up yet another pair I just remembered: Trans Siberian Orchestra's* Christmas Eve and Other Stories and Beethoven's Last Night, both of which have been staged as rock operas (the Christmas show is annual and performed with two full touring casts, one East Coast and one West).

*for anyone who isn't familiar with Savatage and thus is confused at my segue, TSO was formed by former members of Savatage and has a very similar sound to their later stuff.

Oldeb
10-28-2010, 07:28 PM
American Idiot by Green Day

ZipperJJ
10-28-2010, 08:29 PM
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots - Flaming Lips

OK Computer - Radiohead

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner - Ben Folds Five

Speakerboxx/The Love Below - Outkast

Spice Weasel
10-28-2010, 08:32 PM
American Idiot by Green Day
Came in to say this. I feel like I'm listening to a classical opus. That album was meant to be listened to from start to finish. It tells a story.

gallows fodder
10-28-2010, 09:14 PM
Pedro the Lion has two albums like this: Winners Never Quit and Control.

Winners Never Quit takes you on the journey of two brothers who grow up very competitively (first song), one becomes a politician (second song), the other becomes a drunk (third song), the politician fights with his wife (fourth song) and then kills her (fifth song) and decides to kill himself (sixth song), and the family reflects on all this at the politician's funeral (seventh song).

Control is the story of an adulterous affair, from the time the husband gets bored with his wife (first song), cheats on her (second song), is a shallow consumerist businessman (third, fourth, and fifth songs), gets a little more self-aware about his shittiness and how hypocritical our society is (sixth song), and then his wife finds out about the affair (seventh song), confronts him about it (eighth song), the husband is being carried away by the paramedics after having been stabbed by his wife (ninth song), and the priest gives a bitter eulogy at the guy's funeral (tenth song).

So, while each song is good on its own, listening to the albums in order gives you a narrative.

Ian D. Bergkamp
10-28-2010, 09:16 PM
Wilco's A Ghost is Born and Okkervil River's Black Sheep Boy should be listened to in order.

I came into the thread to mention Black Sheep Boy and am shocked (shocked!) to see it mentioned already. :) Tremendous album by a band that deserves a lot more recognition than they get.

So, in its place, I'll offer:

Misplaced Childhood by Marillion,
The Hazards of Love by the Decemberists,
and my current favorite, The Monitor by Titus Andronicus.

Dolores Reborn
10-28-2010, 09:49 PM
I listened to Running on Empty today, in order. It definitely fits the OP.

Snowboarder Bo
10-28-2010, 10:23 PM
I wrote about just such an album: Trees Of Mystery in "Mooks On Parade" (http://poorimpulsecontrol.blog.com/2010/05/29/trees-of-mystery/) for my blog! I even explain why I think the album needs to be listened to in order.

There's a link at the end of the article where you can listen to the whole album, or you can just click here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toG4fxrdoEg&feature=PlayList&p=8B1AEB85344674C3&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1).

GameHat
10-28-2010, 11:11 PM
Radiohead has been mentioned, I'll second OK Computer and Kid A.

I'll also throw in The Avalanches' Since I Left You (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Since_I_Left_You).

It's probably less known, but Pitchfork (http://pitchfork.com/features/staff-lists/7710-the-top-200-albums-of-the-2000s-20-1/2/) put it at number 10 of their top 200 albums of the 2000s.

From a personal standpoint, this album is sublime. In my top 5 albums of all time. If you've never heard it, give it a listen - though, of course, you must listen to the full album in one sitting.

Darth Nader
10-28-2010, 11:15 PM
Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral (http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-downward-spiral-r198574/review)
Camper Van Beethoven: New Roman Times (http://www.allmusic.com/album/new-roman-times-r706131/review)
Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade (http://www.allmusic.com/album/zen-arcade-r41102/review)

Gotta love the concept album!

Darth Nader
10-28-2010, 11:41 PM
Hey, does it have to be music?

How about all the '60's - '70's Bill Cosby albums?

Right? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Cosby_Is_a_Very_Funny_Fellow...Right!)

The Scrivener
10-29-2010, 01:33 AM
XTC's Skylarking. Although the song selection and order were both heavily influenced by producer Todd Rundgren, the final result is a song cycle of an ordinary man's life, from childhood through his becoming a widower in old age. A modern classic.

Spoons
10-29-2010, 02:00 AM
Lots of agreement with what's been said so far. I'll add the following:

Elton John, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Klaatu, Hope
Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway

Justin_Bailey
10-29-2010, 03:11 AM
Counting Crows' "This Desert Life" seems to be built around listening to the whole album. Especially the way it starts out very high energy and seems to wind down towards the end.

The Second Stone
10-29-2010, 03:52 AM
Pink Floyd, The Final Cut and Wish You Were Here need to be added to others contributions

Jethro Tull, Thick As A Brick.

U2, Achtung Baby

Layla

Any Grateful Dead concert album, of which there are dozens.

Nava
10-29-2010, 04:28 AM
I have it on tape and thus have never listened to it out of order, but the jacket of Lou Reed's New York (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_(album)) specifies it's been designed to be listened to as a whole story.

Sunshine and Smiles
10-31-2010, 03:04 PM
Pepperlandgirl, I'll add Wilco but for me the album is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (which gets my vote for one of the greatest albums of the 2000s period). Benefits tremendously from album treatment, though the songs can stand on their own.

Some great lo-fi albums that employ thematic and aural segues throughout:
The Microphones - The Glow, Pt. 2
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Also:
Modest Mouse - This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About

Lots of (most?) post-rock albums (Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed! You Black Emperor) are really only sensible if listened to in order.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.