The most extreme album you own?

By extreme, I guess I mean an album that is aggresively non-commercial.

Anyway, what is the most extreme album/CD you own, and do you actually like it / listen to it?

And what’s the most extreme album you actually like? :slight_smile:

Individual songs don’t count - the entire album when considered as a package needs to be extreme.

Mods, I know this is something of a poll, but it feels CS to me. Please move it to IMHO if necessary.

Most Extreme I Own:
Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart, or Thing Fish by Frank Zappa.

Most Extreme I Actually Listen To:
Thrak Attack by King Crimson. When I first bought it, it was too out there. Subsequently I gained more a taste for their improv work and now I like it. My wife, on the other hand, would be happy to run it over with her car.

I own both Trout and Thing Fish but consider neither to be ‘out there’, the most extreme album I own would be Fripp’s ‘Exposure’ which I do regularly listen to and enjoy.

I have a copy of Lol Coxhill’s Ear of Beholder. I win. :slight_smile:

I also have Beefheart’s Lick my Decals Off, Baby.

That I listen to (the others are on vinyl, so I don’t drag them out), the winner is Soft Machine’s Third. Not only a great album, but the best buy on iTunes ($3.99 for about an hour and fifteen minutes worth of music).

Most extreme I own :

Plague Mass by Diamanda Galas. I don’t know why I bought it.

Most extreme I listen to :

Plenty of Zappa.


Yeah - Fripp’s like that. That’s why I limited this to albums as a whole… otherwise I’d have to list Threnody for Souls in Torment by the Robert Fripp String Quintet. Not easy listening.

I like Exposure too.

I’ve got Trout Mask Replica, but I just don’t like it, and have only played it a handful of times. I recognise that there may be a lot going on there, but not to my taste. I downloaded a copy of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music once, and that is the very byword for aggressively non-commercial. By design, I guess.

On the liking front I can only think of My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless which I adore as an entire album, and it’s certainly way out there.

There are a few bands that I like individual tracks from that are fairly experimental (*Nurse With Wound *, Psychic TV for example), but not entire albums.

“Free Fall” by Jimmy Guiffre.

The most radical Ilisten to? “On The Corner” by Miles Davis. But it’s not that radical.

I own California by Mr. Bungle which is certainly odd, but Mike Patton’s solo album Adult Themes for Voice has to be one of the weirdest albums ever created. I think he went partially insane while recording that album, at least it sounds like it.

The best song title on the album is “A Smile, A Slap In The Face, A Fart, A Kiss On The Mouth” it is twenty six seconds long. Many of the “songs” are under a minute long.

I’d have to say the entire works of Whitehouse, which I listen to quite often (probably at least weekly). I don’t know which of their eighteen (or so) records I’d call the most extreme - maybe ‘New Britain’.

As far as more ‘rock’ based music (meaning guitars/drums/vocals), probably Darkthrone’s ‘Transilvanian Hunger’, which I don’t listen to much anymore, but which I listened to a lot for the first couple of years.

The most “out there” album that I own is Johann Sebastian Bach’s Heavy Organ at Carnegie Hall. Haven’t listen to it in several years but as I recall, it sounds a lot like a funeral home…

Pat Metheny’s Zero Tolerance for Silence is hard to listen to. It sounds like very aggressive guitar noise & feedback (although if you stick with it long enough, the music emerges).

Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and Keith Jarrett’s Spheres are two others I own that are very difficult for most folks.

thanks folks - Interesting stuff! I’ve got several new bands to check out so far…

Please keep them coming!

Neil Young - Arc

Neil’s answer to Machine Metal Music. Totally unlistenable.

The Essential Radio Birdman '74-'78. It’s always in the car, ready for action.

The opening cut is my favorite: “Aloha Steve and Danno”

Aggressively noncommercial? “Lie” by Charles Manson. Yes, that Charles Manson. I’ve got the original vinyl pressing, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard the whole thing. I couldn’t get past the first few songs.

With 5555 albums, I can’t think of one that’s aggressively noncommercial that I listen to often. I have most of Frank Zappa’s recordings and a very high percentage of them are not commercial, even a little bit.

Godspeed You Black Emperor!-- Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada & Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven. GYBE! is a supremely anti-commercial chamber rock group, named for a Japanese biker gang. The albums are treated more like symphonies (full of weird samples) than rock recordings and they have been accused of terrorism once. And they don’t even scream at you!

I think you’re going to have to define “aggressively non-commercial”.

I have a couple of CDs that were released in extremely limited runs (50 copies? something like that). e.g., Some Voices Say Rosemary’s Not Dead by Testing Vault. That ain’t exactly commercial :slight_smile:

And folk music is also noncommercial by definition–and some of it certainly falls into the “damn near unlistenable for someone in my social group” category. I mean, yeah, I have a CD of tracks taken from wax-cylinder recordings of people who grew up in rural Finland in the 1800s chanting the poems that went into the Kalevala…but it’s not like I’m gonna throw that on the CD player during a party.

Then there are free CDs–I don’t mean CDs that you just happened to get for free, but CDs given out by bands that are realistic enough to know they’re never going to get signed, so they burn CDs themselves, give 'em out for free, and ask for donations if you liked the show. (Why, yes, the Xenophiles were based in Olympia…)

And then there’s what you’re more probably thinking of–stuff like Chrome, the Residents, Throbbing Gristle, sunn o))), Acid Mothers Temple, Halo Manash, Za Frumi, Psychic TV, Coil, Bruce Haack, and whatnot. Of the ones I’ve listed, IMO the Residents and sunn o))) least lend themselves to repeated listening.

An artist named Cory Arcangel noted that he liked the way Bruce Springsteen uses a glockenspiel on Born to Run, but he only uses it on four songs. So Mr. Arcangel composed glockenspiel parts for the rest of the songs and recorded them. Just the glockenspiel parts, mind you. It’s on vinyl, and the tracks are spaced out perfectly so that you’re supposed to be able to play it alongside the original album. (I have never managed to do this, since I’m not really sure where the first note comes in. I’m willing to entertain the fact that it’s a practical joke and can’t actually be done.)

The really weird thing is that there are only like 250 of these, and I have two of them. He filled my order twice for some reason, and he told me to just keep the extra. (I had to order one just because the idea was so wonderfully ridiculous that I wanted to support it.)

Most extreme that I actually listen to? Hard to say; there are plenty out there.

I just got a boxed set of Pere Ubu. It seemed extreme when I was a teen, now it sounds surprisingly pop.

My most extreme would probably be “Ascension” by John Coltrane–80 minutes of free jazz. I only listen to it about one or two times a year. It’s actually pretty good, but you have to be in the exact right frame of mind to like it. As far as the one I listen to regularly, I listen to a good amount of Crass and Dead Kennedys, which most people can’t get into.