^ This, emphatically. Most other classic Genesis albums tended to intersperse lesser tunes between the greater ones. Until ATooT. Wind and Wuthering kicked off with one of the greatest two-song sequences ever: “Eleventh Earl of Mar” followed by “One for the Vine.” They really frontloaded that album, didn’t they? If they’d put “Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers/In That Quiet Earth” third it would have been a very strong sequence of 3.
I’d like to nominate Close to the Edge and Relayer by Yes. Yes, each of them has only three songs apiece. But those threes do make extremely solid sequences, to meet the OP’s criteria:
“Close to the Edge,” “And You and I,” “Siberian Khatru”
“The Gates of Delirium,” “Sound Chaser,” and “To Be Over”.
Bob Dylan’s album Blonde on Blonde, where my Dope username comes from, wins here in various ways. Particularly songs 3, 4, 5: “Visions of Johanna,” “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later),” with its unforgettable piano ecstasies, and “I Want You.”
Start of Side B of The Smiths:
Hand in Glove
What Difference Does It Make?
Led Zeppelin II:
Livin’ Lovin’ Maid
Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light:
Beastie Boys’ Ill Communication:
Get It Together
U2 Joshua Tree:
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
With Or Without You
AC/DC Back In Black:
Back In Black
You Shook Me All Night Long
Have A Drink On Me
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR follows the catchy Hello, Goodbye with the psychedelic Strawberry Fields Forever before changing things up with Penny Lane.
Intolerance, Prison Sex, Sober
That’s how you kick off an album!
Robert Palmer: “Sailing Shoes” / “Hey Julia” / “Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” opening from the 1974 album named after the third song. Youtube link
On Journey’s live album Captured, I’ve always loved the opening salvo of “Where Were You”, “Just the Same Way” and “Line of Fire”. Kicks you right in the face and they haven’t even gotten to their hits yet.
Jethro Tull: “Wind Up”, “Thick as a Brick”, “A Passion Play”
So awesome, they had to be spread across three separate albums!
Side 2 of Jeff Beck’s* Blow By Blow*:“Since We’ve Ended as Lovers”, “Thelonious” and “Freeway Jam”.
There’s a reason Carole King’s Tapestry spent more than 300 weeks on the charts.
“You’ve Got a Friend”
“Where You Lead”
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?”
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
That’s just Side 2! Side 1 gets you:
“I Feel the Earth Move”
“So Far Away”
“It’s Too Late”
I acknowledge the power of the Michael Jackson trio, but for me:
Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
[li]Miracle Man[/li][li]No Dancing[/li][li]Blame it on Cain[/li][/ul]