Sunday, September 10, 2006

Take It Back Angela....Take It Back Twice

Angela recently proclaimed:

"Basically anything can happen to group over the course of its existence. I think, though, the the thing that's agreeable is whenever a double disc is released, down the tubes the band goes."

Well, I beg to differ. Although (s)he raises some valid points and some valid examples - this is not always the case. Sure, a double disc does take a lot out of a band - it is a very significant amount of pressure, and quite a feat.

In this day and age the doube disc is a rarity. Reserved more for live albums, record companies frown on the double album. Why sell a double album, when we can sell two albums 6 months apart and make more cash money. Margins baby!!

System of a Down, (whom I love), released their last two albums six months apart. It should have been a double album.

Kid A and Amnesiac, also released within a year.......and recorded during the same time.......well, should it have been a double album?

Kid A is probably my favorite album of all time, but man, that would have been quite a thing if it were a double album. At the same time, I don't know if it would of had the same effect. I always thought Capitol wouldn't allow it.

Moving on......let me address the first artist to ever release a double album.

Blonde on Blonde. Dylan goes electric, Dylan pisses off everyone, Dylan is Dylan. Released in 1966 - Dylan came out swinging. Needless to say that Dylan's career has not gone down the tube, as he has recently topped the charts with Modern Times. Plus, Hard Rain and Desire both came out in 1976.

Ok, not good enough?

What about I throw some Zappa action your way.....yeah, that guy who wrote over 60 albums in his lifetime.

Freak Out! - Arguably the first double album that is also a concept album. Seeing how his first album is a double album, I don't think I need to provide any more evidence.

I think that a double album takes a lot out of a band, like the white album did with the beatles...but keep in mind that Abbey Road and Yellow Submarine came out after The White Album. Also, notable mention, the White Album was the first double album to ever hit #1 on the charts.

Pop Quiz, can anyone here name the first Triple Album released? Scroll Down for the answer.....

All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

Also, this album is right up there with any other Beatles solo work. I would go so far as to call it a masterpiece.

So yes and no. Double albums can be the downfall of many a great band. It could be the last hurrah, it could be the 12th round knockout, but it could also be the exact opposite. There are few certainties in music.

Plus, Miles Davis released four double albums in five years. But yeah, three of those were live albums. I'm pretty sure he even recorded two double discs in one day.

That's 4 discs in 24 hours for all you hotelies.


Blogger lunchbox said...

Hmmm... personal favorite double albums:

White Album, Beatles
Quadrophenia, Who
Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin
Live at Filmore East, Allman Bros
Exile on Main St, Rolling Stones (Can get on one CD now though)
Headphone Masterpiece, Cody Chestnutt
Bitches Brew, Miles Davis
Basement Tapes, Bob Dylan
Speakerboxx/Love, Outkast
Pavement's Re-released albums (depending on if you count them)
All Eyez on Me, Tupac
Mellon Collie, Pumpkins,
Songs in Key of Life, Stevie Wonder
Tales from Topographic Oceans, Yes

Plus a bunch of Phish and Grateful Dead live discs.

Looking over the list (which is by no means definitative of a BEST LIST, but simply just my favorites), I would say that most of these represent the artist's crowning acheivement, or at least a seminal work during their most creative period.

10:51 AM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger Angela.Lansbury said...

OK. Fine. there's always exceptions to the rule. But surely, to cite the first double album ever as the contrary to the rule is pushign the envelope. And I think Anyone can agree bringing up Zappa in a musical discussion Is like citing FDR in a presidentila discussion. Both were so great and defied all odds that they are exceptions ot the rull in their very being.

So basically, both your itations are anomalies whereas mine are a propos examples. BUt the fact that as Ritter so eloquently observed that the duoble album tends to "represent the artist's crowning acheivement, or at least a seminal work during their most creative period," do remember, even The Expericence broke up after Electric Ladyland.

2:28 PM, September 11, 2006  

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