Their best album - Not their best songs

Dunno if we’ve done this topic before, but I’m going to mention a few artist whose best songs are not on their best album, or vice versa:

– The Beatles. No, not Sgt. Pepper: that’s not their best album by dint of “A Little Help from my Friends” alone, although it’s a better album than the album with their best songs: Magical Mystery Tour. But MMT (or at least the version I have,) is unbalanced and has most of the best songs at the end. I prefer to listen to Rubber Soul or Revolver (although I have to admit, my favorite Beatles song is Eleanor Rigby.)

– Sisters of Mercy. My favorite song by them is This Corrosion, and my third and fourth are Lucretia My Reflection and Mother Russia. But in terms of overall feel, balance, and raw energy, I prefer First and Last and Always, although in terms of my favorite songs it only has Marian, my second favorite Sisters song.
This choice is somewhat ironic because Floodland almost certainly was meant to be taken by some as a themed album.

– The Promise Ring
Nothing Feels Good only has my 3rd and 4th favorite TPR songs on it, but in terms of composition, overall feel, and balance, it’s the best TPR album, even if I listen to 30° Everywhere more than NFG. (Of course, the very best TPR song, and indeed, the best modern rock song ever, Best Looking Boys is only found on EP.)

Honorable Mention:
– Led Zeppelin. While I can’t single out a favorite LZ song, nearly every song in LZIV equals the best they have to offer in their other albums. But I prefer the energy, vitality, and blues-metal of LZI, to the point where I consider them equal albums.

– Heart. This is actually sort of the opposite of the case I was talking about, since nearly every one of their best songs are found on their best album, Dreamboat Annie. But their very best song, Sylvan Song/Dream of the Archer is found on one of their weaker 70’s offerings, Little Queen.

The Who. I think Who Are You is their best album overall, but Who’s Next has their best songs. Who’s Next? is marred by “Love Ain’t for Keeping,” “Going Mobile,” and “Behind Blue Eyes” (not terrible songs, but weaker then the rest), while the fill on Who are You have John Entwhistle at his perverse best.

i guess I ought to check that album out then because Who’s Next is the only Who album I have and I thought that it was only improved by the layout, pacing, and filler songs. If Who Are You does these better it must be an awesome album.

Good call on the Beatles, although I’d say their best album is Abbey Road, even though on a song-for-song basis it’s relatively weak.

Ya beat me to it.

Then there’s Billy Joel. The Stranger is easily his best album, but his best song is definitely “Piano Man.”

Well, IMO his best song is “Vienna” from the Stranger*… but 52nd Street is the better album.

  • Followed closely by “New York State of Mind” and most of the tracks from Songs in the Attic.“Piano Man” is overrated.

One more vote for Abbey Road here.

I feel the same way about Presence. The hard-driving energy of Achilles Last Stand, For Your Life and Nobody’s Fault But Mine is incredible.

No problem picking a favorite, though. Kashmir.

Little Queen was released when I was engrossed in my first reading of The Lord of The Rings. To this day, whenever I hear Sylvan Song it conjures up mental images of the elves of Lothlorien. :slight_smile:

I’ll offer:

Traffic. Depending on particular tastes, a lot of their songs could be considered their best (my favorite is Feelin’ Alright). John Barleycorn Must Die was their best album, though.

**Rolling Stones ** - Exile on Main Street is their best album, but Gimme Shelter and Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ are their best songs…

Should it worry me that I’m totally unfamiliar with any of these albums?

Yes. All are of extremely high quality and rock hard. Well, maybe not the Billy Joel stuff, but for what it is trying to be, it delivers.