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The Cheap Completist
December 23, 2011 11:37 AM   Subscribe

Google Music is selling $4.99 albums, but songs are only 49 cents each. Help me beat the system by suggesting great albums that include just a handful of songs.

Last night I was able to buy the 2011 remasters of Pink Floyd's Animals (5 songs x $.49 = $2.45) and Meddle (6 songs x $.49 = $2.94) real cheap by purchasing the songs individually, rather than buying the albums at the $4.99 sale price.

What are some other albums I should own that feature no more than 5 or 6 songs? I've been building my music library for the past year or so, filling in the gaps by consulting "best of" lists. I'm not too adventurous, but like most kinds of rock, punk, pop (nothing too avant-garde or electronic), folk, jazz and country (the rootsier stuff, not the kind they play on the radio these days). At various times in my life I've been heavily into metal (Sabbath, Priest, etc.), the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan and cool jazz. My interests at the moment range from Ray Lamontagne to the Black Keys.

So what albums with few songs are on your "best of" lists?
posted by Knappster to Media & Arts (33 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music for Airports
posted by one_bean at 11:45 AM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's not a classic, but I bought the new Beirut album, Rip Tide, this morning. Two of nine songs are free and the other seven add up to less than $4.99.
posted by Xalf at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2011


The version of the Mars Volta's album Frances the Mute that was sold on iTunes has only five tracks; not sure if the Google Music version is the same, or is like the physical CDs (where the final song is chopped into eight tracks). But it's an incredible album.
posted by neushoorn at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2011


You sound like you might enjoy Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven is a double album composed of four tracks.
posted by griphus at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
posted by backwards guitar at 11:57 AM on December 23, 2011


Thick as a Brick! And you can get the whole original album for a buck!
posted by supercres at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, King Crimsons' In The Court of the Crimson King (five tracks) and Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat (six tracks.)
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


It'll probably help to look for albums from the LP era, which, due to the shorter running time, are more likely to have 9 or fewer songs. Big guitar rock bands will probably provide the best results. So, here's some:

Television - Marquee Moon (8 songs)
Led Zeppelin - IV/untitled/runes (8 songs)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (5 songs)
Emerson Lake & Palmer - s/t (5 songs)
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking (8 songs)
Blind Faith - s/t (6 songs)

You could also go pretty far with a lot of classic jazz albums - most bop albums (from late 40s through early 60s basically) have 5 or 6 tracks.

The absolute opposite of what you want to do are Double Nickels on the Dime by the Minutemen and Pink Flag by Wire.
posted by LionIndex at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The version of the Mars Volta's album Frances the Mute that was sold on iTunes has only five tracks

Unfortunately only one of the songs from that album is available for individual purchase from Google. But I will check them out.

Thick as a Brick! And you can get the whole original album for a buck!

I'd grab it if I didn't already have it on CD!
posted by Knappster at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2011


Television - Marquee Moon (8 songs)
Led Zeppelin - IV/untitled/runes (8 songs)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here (5 songs)
Emerson Lake & Palmer - s/t (5 songs)
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking (8 songs)
Blind Faith - s/t (6 songs)


I already own three of these (bought the remastered Wish You Were Here last night). Can't find the others on Google Music, but they are right up my alley.
posted by Knappster at 12:12 PM on December 23, 2011


How about Tangerine Dream ?

Phaedra has 4 tracks, Rubycon and Ricochet each have 2 tracks.
posted by rfs at 12:15 PM on December 23, 2011


Great idea! Sounds like you might be in to prog, in which case I'd recommend:

Yes - Close to the Edge (4 songs)
Gentle Giant - Three Friends (6 songs)
The Moody Blues - Days of Futures Past (4 songs)
Genesis - Foxtrot (6 songs)
King Crimson - Red (5 songs)

And for more rock, there's:

Neil Young - Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (7 songs)
Black Sabbath - Paranoid (8 songs)
Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure (8 songs)


Not sure if you're in to jazz, but a bunch of great jazz albums fit the bill too, like Kind of Blue, Blue Train, and Blues and Roots (weird that they all have the word "blue" in the title...).
posted by saladin at 12:27 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Speaking of jazz, A Love Supreme has even fewer. And is incredible.
posted by supercres at 12:36 PM on December 23, 2011


Miles Davis' Kind of Blue: 6 tracks. :)
posted by homodachi at 12:38 PM on December 23, 2011


eurythmics-sweet dreams and touch (8 songs each) have really held up well...
posted by sexyrobot at 12:40 PM on December 23, 2011


Herbie Hancock's Head Hunters: 4 tracks
posted by cardioid at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Speaking of jazz, A Love Supreme has even fewer. And is incredible.

Miles Davis' Kind of Blue: 6 tracks. :)

Already have both, but I might expand my Miles and Coltrane collections in other directions.
posted by Knappster at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2011


Rush - 2112.... damnit, 2112 the song is not included.
posted by deezil at 12:41 PM on December 23, 2011


Rush - 2112.... damnit, 2112 the song is not included.

Yeah. See also "The Camera Eye" on Moving Pictures. Some of their other early albums are complete, though. Might have to buy the 6 songs on Permanent Waves.
posted by Knappster at 12:50 PM on December 23, 2011


Bowie's Station to Station is pretty unbeatable. Six amazing tracks.
posted by cincinnatus c at 12:54 PM on December 23, 2011


Bowie's Station to Station is pretty unbeatable. Six amazing tracks.

Perfect. Buying it now.
posted by Knappster at 12:57 PM on December 23, 2011


Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat (six tracks.)

If only "Sister Ray" were available for 49 cents...
posted by Knappster at 1:10 PM on December 23, 2011


Jazz:

Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, This is pretty straight ahead
Thelonious Monk: Monk in Paris, and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
Shelley Manne: My Fair Lady, this is WAY hipper than it has any right to be.
Milt Jackson: Plenty, Plenty Soul
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:14 PM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lee Morgan, The Sidewinder
Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, This is pretty straight ahead
Thelonious Monk: Monk in Paris, and Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
Shelley Manne: My Fair Lady, this is WAY hipper than it has any right to be.
Milt Jackson: Plenty, Plenty Soul


You're either reading my mind or hacking my iTunes account. The Sidewinder has moved up on my "to buy" list.
posted by Knappster at 1:36 PM on December 23, 2011


The entirety of Rick Wakeman's "Journey to the center of the earth" is $.49, here, as the first part of the "Plus" version.
posted by Runes at 1:42 PM on December 23, 2011


If you want to expand your Coltrane collection, Om is only two tracks. It ain't for everyone, but anyone who likes Coltrane should spend 90 cents to experience this at least once.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:12 PM on December 23, 2011


Never mind - they're selling it as a whole album only, for five bucks.
posted by dr. boludo at 2:14 PM on December 23, 2011


Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick is 1 song
posted by Bonzai at 2:21 PM on December 23, 2011


Boris' Flood (4 songs, preview)

of Montreal's Icons, Abstract Thee (5 songs, hopefully not too out there :))

Neu!'s Neu! (6 songs)
Dr. Dog's Takers and Leavers (6 songs)
Frank Zappa's Hot Rats (6 songs)

Funkadelic's Maggot Brain (7 songs)
Can's Ege Bamyasi (7 songs)
Can's Tago Mago (7 songs)
The The's Soul Mining (7 songs)

Curtis Mayfield's Curtis (8 songs)
The The's Mind Bomb (8 songs)
Songs: Ohia's Magnolia Electric Company (8 songs)
Chic's C'est Chic (8 songs)
Funkadelic's Free Your Mind... And Your Ass Will Follow (8 songs)
posted by yaymukund at 6:42 PM on December 23, 2011


Miles in the Sky (4 songs)
posted by furtive at 6:56 PM on December 23, 2011


Speaking of Yes - I don't know how Google Music break them down but ...

Tales From Topographic Oceans (almost 90 minutes of music - 4 songs)
Relayer (3 songs)
Yessongs (over 130 minutes of music - 8 songs)
posted by philip-random at 11:39 AM on December 24, 2011


Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells/Sailors Hornpipe. Two songs, 48 minutes. Oddly enough, the album is priced at $1.98?
posted by Runes at 6:53 PM on December 24, 2011


Dang, wish for an edit button. Turns out that's not the real TB, but some sort of demo tape. At least according to one of the comments on it at Amazon.
posted by Runes at 6:59 PM on December 24, 2011


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