What album is so good that you never skip a song?
September 15, 2009 6:56 PM   Subscribe

What album is so good that you never skip a song?

You know those albums that peter off halfway through or rely on a couple singles? I don't want 'em! I'm looking for solid albums that are listenable from beginning to end.

I'm partial to rock, folk and pop and not-so-partial to rap.
posted by cranberrymonger to Media & Arts (176 answers total) 168 users marked this as a favorite
anything by James Taylor
posted by HuronBob at 7:00 PM on September 15, 2009

Cecil Taylor's It is in the Brewing Luminous.
posted by box at 7:01 PM on September 15, 2009

The National's Boxer, the Notwist's Neon Golden, and Beck's Sea Change.
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:04 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Andrew Bird's The Mysterious Production of Eggs
posted by hellomina at 7:04 PM on September 15, 2009 [9 favorites]

Surfer Rosa - Pixies
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model, My Aim Is True, Get Happy! Trust, Imperial Bedroom, King of America, Brutal Youth, When I Was Cruel.

Beastie Boys.

Moloko - Things To Make And Do
posted by jbenben at 7:04 PM on September 15, 2009

Radiohead, OK Computer
Bob Dylan, "Love and Theft"
Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Black Sabbath, Paranoid
Crowded House, Together Alone
Depeche Mode, Songs of Faith and Devotion
Beastie Boys, Paul's Boutique + Check Your Head
Belle & Sebastian, The Boy With the Arab Strap
Michael Jackson, Thriller
White Stripes, White Blood Cells
posted by KokuRyu at 7:06 PM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Below the Salt by Steeleye Span
Old Hag You Have Killed me by The Bothy Band
Trace by Son Volt
Warms Springs Night by Joel RL Phelps and the Downer Trio
Woman King by Iron and Wine
posted by jessamyn at 7:06 PM on September 15, 2009

Pretty Odd-Panic at the Disco
posted by kylej at 7:06 PM on September 15, 2009

The Cars - the debut album of The Cars
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 7:07 PM on September 15, 2009 [8 favorites]

I just mentioned this album in another thread, but Space Oddity by David Bowie. Also, I think Zeppelin's In Through The Out Door is underrated. A lot of concept-type albums tend to be stronger than the sum of their parts (Dark Side of The Moon, Animals and most anything by The Moody Blues.
posted by jquinby at 7:08 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Opeth - Damnation
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:09 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Reconstruction Site - The Weakerthans
posted by just_ducky at 7:10 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Picaresque by the Decemberists
Rockin' the Suburbs by Ben Folds
Hi, Everything's Great by Limbeck
The soundtrack for Once
posted by honeybee413 at 7:12 PM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Stories from the City Stories from the Sea - PJ Harvey

Clair De Lune and Other Piano Music - Claude Debussy

Love is Hell - Ryan Adams (though he seems like such an asshole in real life, damn it)

Incunabula - Autechre

Heavenly Revelations and other hymns - Hildegard Von Bingen

The Very Best Of - Prince
posted by smoke at 7:14 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bowie. Lots of Bowie I don't skip. But especially the "Berlin" trilogy -- Low, Heroes, and Lodger.
posted by R343L at 7:16 PM on September 15, 2009 [5 favorites]

Bowie also, but for me it's Ziggy Stardust.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:17 PM on September 15, 2009 [5 favorites]

- In Rainbows by Radiohead
- Either/Or by Elliott Smith
- Tonight by Franz Ferdinand
- Michigan by Sufjan Stevens
posted by sabira at 7:19 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Making Movies, by Dire Straits.
posted by JanetLand at 7:21 PM on September 15, 2009

Van Morrison - Astral Weeks.
posted by telegraph at 7:23 PM on September 15, 2009 [6 favorites]

Both "Clandestino" and "Proxima Estacion: Esperanza" by Manu Chao. Partly this is because all the songs segue into each other, but mostly because they are great albums.
posted by baxter_ilion at 7:24 PM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]

Tigermilk, Belle and Sebastian.
Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds
The Chronic by Dr. Dre
Crocodiles by Echo and the Bunnymen

and last, but by no means least--Live Totem Pole by fIREHOSE
posted by Ironmouth at 7:25 PM on September 15, 2009

In Ghost Colours, Cut Copy
Soon It Will Be Cold Enough, Emancipator
Dial M for Monkey, Bonobo
posted by spatula at 7:25 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

The LP Cut of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by Smashing Pumpkins
OK Computer, In Rainbows, Hail to the Thief by Radiohead
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
Aenima, Lateralus by Tool
Sea Change, Guero by Beck

I'm sure Mr. ThaBombShelterSmith will have much, much more to add!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Beatles- The White Album
Belle and Sebastian- Tigermilk and The Boy with the Arab Strap
(I know you said you're not into rap) Kanye West- The College Dropout
posted by oinopaponton at 7:28 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Veckatimest - Grizzly Bear
The Milk of Human Kindness - Caribou
In Rainbows - Radiohead
posted by arcticwoman at 7:31 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Operation Mindcrime - Queensryche
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:31 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Autechre, Amber
Studio, West Coast
Supergrass, Road to Rouen
The Radio Dept., Pet Grief
The American Analog Set, From Our Living Room To Yours
Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Gravenhurst, Flashlight Seasons
posted by setanor at 7:32 PM on September 15, 2009

Rabbit Songs - Hem
This Perfect World - Freedy Johnston
Night Beat - Sam Cooke
Murmur - R.E.M.
The Trinity Session - Cowboy Junkies
Let's Get Out of This Country - Camera Obscura
posted by plastic_animals at 7:32 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Both albums by Wild Beasts.
posted by elsietheeel at 7:32 PM on September 15, 2009

Setanor: You don't skip Coffee in the Pot? Really?
posted by elsietheeel at 7:33 PM on September 15, 2009

The Beatles - Revolver and Rubber Soul
U2 - Achtung Baby
posted by Lucinda at 7:33 PM on September 15, 2009

Matthew Sweet- Girlfriend
My Bowie is Diamond Dogs.
The Waterboys- Fisherman's Blues
Drive-by Truckers- Decoration Day
Mark Knopfler- Golden Heart
October Project- October Project
Old Blind Dogs- The World's Room
Ray Lynch- Deep Breakfast
Sufjan Stevens- Greetings From Michigan
Tori Amos- Little Earthquakes

(confidential to R343L- I saw Bowie perform "Low" live in track order at Roseland Ballroom in 2002. Orgasmic.)
posted by kimdog at 7:37 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Setanor: You don't skip Coffee in the Pot? Really?

Come on, it's a nice break after Roxy!
posted by setanor at 7:38 PM on September 15, 2009

Who's Next

Every single song on that album is a classic, not just good but really great.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:40 PM on September 15, 2009

Bonobo - Animal Magic

The Dandy Warhols - Come On Feel The Dandy Warhols

Embrace - Embrace

Fugazi - The Argument

Hedningarna - Trä

My Bloody Valentine - Loveless and Isn't Anything

M83 - Saturdays = Youth

Pia Fraus - Nature Heart Software

The Soviettes - LP

Stereolab - Margerine Eclipse and Peng!

TSOL - Change Today?

Ulrich Schnauss - A Strangely Isolated Place

posted by dunkadunc at 7:43 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

She Wants Revenge, by She Wants Revenge
Master of Puppets, by Metallica
posted by CrystalDave at 7:45 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Zep 4 - yes, even Stairway.

Calexico - Feast of Wire.

Richard Buckner - Devotion + Doubt. (unless my wife complains)
posted by notsnot at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2009

The Cat Empire - have never done a bad track!
The Deadly Gentlemen - Bastard Masterpiece (just sublime)
Crooked Still - Shaken By a Low Sound (and the others)
Lau - Live or Arc Light
Bellowhead - Burlesque
Camille - Le Fil
Pixies - Doolittle
The Mars Volta - anything
Esbjornn Svenson Trio - most of them - particularly Live in Hamburg, Viaticum and Tuesday Wonderland.
Subtle - For Hero: For Fool
Tom Waits
Think of One - NAFT (though frankly all of them)
Jaune Toujours - Brusk
Sublime - Sublime
Kyuss - ...And Welcome to Sky Valley
Kroke - Trio
Ojos de Brujo - Bari
Firewater - Man on the Burning Tightrope or The Ponzi Scheme
Mark Lanegan - Bubblegum or Field Songs

I'm going to give up there 'cause I could go on for another hundred or three.
posted by opsin at 7:48 PM on September 15, 2009

Green Day - American Idiot
Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Depeche Mode - Songs of Faith and Devotion, and Violator
Melissa Ferrick - 70 People at 7000 feet
Eurythmics - Savage
Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
Love and Rockets - Earth, Sun, Moon
almost anything by R.E.M.
Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
posted by spinturtle at 7:51 PM on September 15, 2009

Personal favorites:

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Go for the 2-disc version--most of my favorites are on the bonus CD)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die?
The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Also, are greatest hits albums cheating? I never skip songs on The Essential Simon & Garfunkel.
posted by bibliophibianj at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

"Cookin' With the Miles Davis Quintet"

"The Wall" Pink Floyd

"Surfer Rosa" Pixies
posted by cmiller at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2009

Dire Straits, Love Over Gold
Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (seconding)
Cowboy Junkies, Trinity Session (seconding)
Jackson Browne, Late for the Sky
Warren Zevon, Excitable Boy
Eva Cassidy, Eva by Heart
Pink Floyd, The Wall (not because I love Pink Floyd, but because I equate concept albums to novels, and I prefer to read the whole thing rather than just a chapter here and there)
posted by headnsouth at 7:56 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'll recommend:

James Carr - You Got My Mind Messed Up (vinyl version-cd has some filler)
Stuart Staples - Leaving Songs
The Drift - Travels in Constants
Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
Sonny Criss - Sonny's Dream
Junior Wells - Hoodoo Man Blues
Paul Butterfield Blues Band - s/t
Bobby Birdman - Born Free Forever
Leonard Cohen - 10 New Songs
Betty Davis - S/t
Irma Thomas - Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans
Steve Reid - Nova
Guided By Voices - Under the Bushes Under the Stars
Bonnie Billy and Matt Sweeney - Superwolf
Bonnie Billy - Master and Everyone
Cave Singers - Invitation Songs
Van Morrison - Veedon Fleece
Circle - Tower
Why? - Elephant Eyelash
Dead Texan - s/t
Detroit Cobras - Mink Rat or Rabbit
Two Gallants - s/t
The National - Boxer
Electrelane - Power Out
Girls Against Boys - Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby
Star Room Boys - Why Do Lonely Men and Women Want to Break Each Other's Hearts?
Howlin' Wolf - s/t (chess, 1962)
Kammerflimmer Kollektief - Cicadidae
John Holt - I Can't Get You Off My Mind
Casino Versus Japan - Whole Numbers Play the Basics
Triple Burner - s/t
Glissandro 70 - s/t
Amiina - Kurr
Clint Mansell - The Fountain OST
Archer Prewitt - Three
Jim O'Rourke - pretty much anything he released on Drag City
Stars of the Lid - The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

These are albums that I play in my record store often and, pretty much without exception, I can never play all the way through without multiple people wanting to buy.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:58 PM on September 15, 2009 [21 favorites]

Ziggy Stardust.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:02 PM on September 15, 2009

Reprieve - Ani DiFranco
Graceland - Paul Simon
Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
posted by aniola at 8:03 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Deja Entendu - Brand New
posted by wuzandfuzz at 8:05 PM on September 15, 2009

The Campfire Headphase - Boards of Canada
Fables of the Reconstruction - REM
Murmur - REM
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Siren - Roxy Music
Country Life - Roxy Music
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Mariee Sioux - Faces in the Rock
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark
ACDC - Back in Black
Janes Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Paul Simon - Graceland
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:05 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have no excuse whatsoever for not including BORN TO RUN in my earlier response to you. Also the Wild, the Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. And Darkness on the Edge of Town, and Greetings. The Boss has got some serious staying power. Not many artists who I've bought on vinyl, cassette, CD & mp3 but Bruce Springsteen tops the list for me.

Clearly I am more a child of the 70s than I thought I was.
posted by headnsouth at 8:05 PM on September 15, 2009

Nthing all the early Costello, Pixies - Surfer Rosa, White Stripes - White Blood Cells and Bowie - Ziggy.

Also: Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain; The Clash - The Clash; Give 'Em Enough Rope
posted by maudlin at 8:07 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Well, my wife already posted several of mine...

"Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground" Bright Eyes
"My Aim is True" Elvis Costello
"Village Green Preservation Society" The Kinks
"Scott 1-4" Scott Walker
"Pershing" Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
"Eveningland" Hem
"All I Intended to Be" and "Luxury Liner" Emmylou Harris
"Live at Folsom Prison" Johnny Cash
"Alas I Cannot Swim" Laura Marling
"Lost Souls" and "Kingdom of Rust" Doves
"Absolution" "Black Holes and Revelations" "Origin of Symmetry" "Showbiz" Muse
"Floating World" Anathallo
"The Shepherds Dog" Iron and Wine
"Places" Canoe
"The Decline of British Sea Power" British Sea Power
"Lie Down in the Light" Bonnie Prince Billy
"Live and Let Ghosts" Jukebox the Ghost
"Leaders of the Free World" "Cast of Thousands" "The Seldom Seen Kid" Elbow
"Common People" Pulp
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:08 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

U2's Achtung Baby
posted by mmascolino at 8:10 PM on September 15, 2009

Arcade Fire - Funeral
Metric - Fantasies
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring
Chester French - Love the Future
Frank Turner - Love, Ire and Song
Jenny Own Youngs - Transmitter Failure
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:11 PM on September 15, 2009

Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chili Peppers.
posted by deezil at 8:12 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]

Jenny Own Youngs - Transmitter Failure

*Jenny Owen Youngs.
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:12 PM on September 15, 2009

Setanor: That's just weird.

Joanna Newsom - The Milk-Eyed Mender
Bob Dylan - Another Side of Bob Dylan
Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible
Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
Patrick Wolf - Lycanthropy (The Bachelor would be on here too if it weren't for Battle)
Page France - Hello, Dear Wind
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
British Sea Power - Open Season
The Good, the Bad & the Queen
Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
every album by Interpol
posted by elsietheeel at 8:12 PM on September 15, 2009

Weezer, Blue Album
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:14 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

+1 albums: The Cars; Rockin' The Suburbs; Space Oddity; Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea; Trinity Session; Little Earthquakes; Let's Get Out of This Country; Achtung, Baby

+1 bands, alternate albums: Firewater, The Golden Hour; Decemberists, Castaways and Cutouts, Ani Difranco, Not a Pretty Girl

The Wrens, The Meadowlands
Wye Oak, The Knot
The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:14 PM on September 15, 2009

Hmmm... when thinking about this question I can more think of artists to which this applies and it may apply to more than one album. Check out Maktub. They are kind of funk, soul but also rock and roll.
posted by Wood at 8:16 PM on September 15, 2009

DEVO -- Q: Are We Not Men?
Lady GaGa -- The Fame
Neutral Milk Hotel -- In The Aeroplane Over the Sea (which has already been mentioned, but it's worth listing again).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 8:18 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Who - Who's Next
FM - Black Noise
The Alan Parsons Project - Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (feels like cheating though; only two songs :)
Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos by Wendy Carlos
Pink Floyd - Animals
Beatles - Abbey Road
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:19 PM on September 15, 2009

The Beatles - The White Album
Paul Simon - Graceland
Foreigner - 4
Fine Young Cannibals - The Raw and the Cooked
Lenny Kravitz - Mama Said
The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl
Depeche Mode - Violator
Carole King - Tapestry
Bruce Springsteen - The Essential Bruce Springsteen
John Mellencamp - The Best That I Could Do
Tom Jones - The Complete Tom Jones
Elton John - Honky Chateau
The Dazed and Confused soundtrack

That's from just a quick perusal of my music shelves. I'll probably think of more later.
posted by amyms at 8:25 PM on September 15, 2009

Okkervil River - Black Sheep Boy
Why - Elephant Eyelash
Joanna Newsom - Milk-Eyed Mender
Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday
The Brunettes - Mars Loves Venus
Gomez - Bring It On
Ugly Duckling - Taste the Secret
posted by scarykarrey at 8:26 PM on September 15, 2009

Any Sigur Ros album
The Verve - A Northern Soul
posted by KokuRyu at 8:30 PM on September 15, 2009

Mine are not particularly exciting or obscure... but nonetheless, here they are...

Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
The Decemberists - The Hazards of Love
Pedro the Lion - Control
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Showbread - No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical
The White Stripes - Elephant
The Beatles - Love
posted by joshrholloway at 8:34 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Poe - Hello
Shinedown - Leave a Whisper
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon-Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Lacuna Coil - Comalies
Jamiroquai - Traveling Without Moving
posted by Verdandi at 8:40 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ys by Joanna Newsom

Has A Good Home by Final Fantasy

The Sophtware Slump by Grandaddy

When The Pawn... by Fiona Apple

Pink Pearl by Jill Sobule

I Am A Bird Now by Antony and the Johnsons

The Source by Little Jimmy Scott
posted by hermitosis at 8:43 PM on September 15, 2009

The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies
Flamin' Groovies - Supersnazz, Teenage Head, Shake Some Action
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Goldfrapp - Supernature
Kraftwerk - Computer World
The Shadows Of Knight - Back Door Men
Television - Marquee Moon
Nick Lowe - Pure Pop For Now People (aka Jesus Of Cool)
posted by rfs at 8:48 PM on September 15, 2009

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:49 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

71 comments and no U2's Joshua Tree?

For shame.

Also, seconding Weezer's Blue Album.
posted by 5ean at 8:55 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

A Band of Bees - Free The Bees
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd (plus the other Floyd albums already mentioned)
The Division Bell - Pink Floyd
I'm Wide Awake It's Morning - Bright Eyes
August and Everything After - Counting Crows
Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
11-17-70 - Elton John
How to Save a Life - The Fray
American Idiot - Green Day
Glow - The Innocence Mission
Graceland - Paul Simon
The Man With the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar - Peter Case
Afterglow - Sarah McLachlan
Fumbling Toward Ecstasy - Sarah McLachlan
North - Something Corporate
posted by The Deej at 8:59 PM on September 15, 2009

Carole King - Tapestry
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Esthero - Wikkid Lil Girls
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Jill Scott - Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
Madonna - Immaculate Collection
Poe - Haunted
Portishead - Dummy
Queen - Greatest Hits
Rachael Yamagata - Happenstance
Ryan Adams - Gold, Heartbreaker, and especially Cold Roses
posted by pised at 9:02 PM on September 15, 2009

These are the albums that I need to listen to start to finished, and I feel deprived or teased if I just hear one track. Lots of "acquired taste" and difficult listening in this list.

Butthole Surfers - Locust Abortion Technician
Talking Heads - Remain in Light
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Merzbow - Pulse Demon
Merzbow - Rainbow Electronics 2 (the Jim O'Rourke remix)
Brian Eno - Here Come The Warm Jets
Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain (by strategy)
David Tudor - Neural Synthesis
Paul Rutherford - The Gentle Harm of the Bourgeoisie
Peter Brötzmann - Sacred Scrape
Boredoms - Super Roots
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Airoplane Over the Sea (I think I am the fifth to recommend this so far in this thread)
John Cage - Daughters of the Lonesome Isle, as performed by Margaret Leng Tan
Bob Ostertag - Getting Ahead
posted by idiopath at 9:07 PM on September 15, 2009

Sign of the Times -- Prince ... Surely, there should be more Prince.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:10 PM on September 15, 2009

La Monte Young / The Well-Tuned Piano.
posted by The_Auditor at 9:10 PM on September 15, 2009

Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity, Futures (everything from Clarity forward, really, but these are my two favorites
Post-rock bands (some mentioned here, some not) such as Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Saxon Shore
The National - Alligator, as well as Boxer which I see has been mentioned a few times here
Thursday - War All The Time
Say Anything - ...Is A Real Boy
Wolf Parade - Apologies To The Queen Mary
Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives (EP), Raised By Wolves (EP), Voxtrot (LP)

Also nthing Transatlanticism, even though it destroys me me often than not.
posted by andrewcilento at 9:15 PM on September 15, 2009

Keeping it down to rock, pop and folk (is slack key folk?), and off the top of my head:

Led Zeppelin: 1-4
Pink Floyd: Meddle, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall
Tom Waits: Bone Machine
Black Sabbath: Paranoid (let out your inner Beavis)
Sarah McLachlan: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (even though all the lyrics which aren't cliches don't make any sense)
Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense
Nirvana: Nevermind, In Utero
Barenaked Ladies: Gordon, Rock Spectacle
Ledward Kaapana: Grandmaster Slack Key Guitar, Force of Nature
Tool: Aenima
U2: Joshua Tree
The Pretenders: Learning to Crawl
Peter Gabriel: Us
Prince: Purple Rain
Primus: Seas of Cheese, Suck on This, Pork Soda, Frizzle Fry
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:15 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have one.

Blue Man Group - Audio
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 9:21 PM on September 15, 2009

Punch Brothers - Punch
Not just because I have a giant man-crush on Chris Thile, but because Chris Thile can write a mind blowing four piece suite in the middle of some great jams.
posted by piedmont at 9:37 PM on September 15, 2009

Central Reservation, by Beth Orton.
Feel Good Lost, by Broken Social Scene.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, by Neutral Milk Hotel.
Lost In Translation (soundtrack).
Trainspotting (soundtrack).
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2009

Giant Steps by The Boo Radleys
posted by jontyjago at 9:42 PM on September 15, 2009

Lost In Translation (soundtrack).

posted by setanor at 9:45 PM on September 15, 2009

some nths here, others not mentioned before, all pop(ish) but generically over the shop:

Radiohead - The Bends
The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
Crowded House - Together Alone
Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
Maria McKee - Life Is Sweet
Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson
PJ Harvey - Stories from the City Stories from the Sea
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Björk - Debut
Pixies - Doolittle
Carole King - Tapestry
Free - Fire and Water
Gus Gus - Polydistortion
Stereolab - Emperor Tomato Ketchup
The The - Dusk
The Cardigans - Life (UK version)
Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
posted by holgate at 9:52 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, and after preview, Central Reservation and Giant Steps (Boo Radleys). They're not "all songs individually brilliant" albums, but they are ones where there's nowhere I ever feel like skipping.

Also: Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space. (Anyone willing to pay for my flight and ticket to the Barbican, please let me know.)
posted by holgate at 9:59 PM on September 15, 2009

Hold time - M.Ward
Casadega - Bright Eyes
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco
posted by nestor_makhno at 10:02 PM on September 15, 2009

Question for everyone who listed The White Album: You seriously don't skip "Wild Honey Pie"? I mean, it's only 52 seconds, but still...
posted by Lucinda at 10:06 PM on September 15, 2009

Rock, folk, or pop:
Weezer's first album
Weezer - Pinkerton
British Sea Power - The Decline of British Sea Power
Led Zeppelin's fourth album
Queen - A Night at the Opera
Johnny Cash - Live at Folsom Prison
The Clash
The Clash - Give 'Em Enough Rope
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Have a Ball
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Dragonforce - Ultra Beatdown

None of the above:
Beastie Boys - Licensed to Ill
Daft Punk - Discovery
Stevie Wonder - Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants
A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
posted by clorox at 10:08 PM on September 15, 2009

The two that came to mind immediately were Todd Rundgren's Nearly Human and Steely Dan's Gaucho. I'm going to go with that.
posted by mintcake! at 10:19 PM on September 15, 2009

Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street

Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried
Big Star - #1 Record
Paul Simon - Paul Simon
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 10:32 PM on September 15, 2009

At the moment:
The National - Boxer
The XX - 2.0
Kurt Vile - Constant Hitmaker
Cat Power - You Are Free
Vivian Girls - Vivian Girls
posted by sartre08 at 10:35 PM on September 15, 2009

Amazing list so far. Add onto the heavier/nerdier end of the spectrum:

Dream Theater - Scenes from a Memory
Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle Earth
posted by Wulfhere at 10:39 PM on September 15, 2009

Sea Change - Beck
In Loving Memory Of . . . - Big Wreck
Man Mountain - Blue States
When I Was Cruel - Elvis Costello
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy - Sarah McLachlan
The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place - Explosions in the Sky
Hell Among the Yearlings - Gillian Welch
The Night - Morphine
Us - Peter Gabriel
Superunknown - Soundgarden
Innervisions - Stevie Wonder
The Richest Man in Babylon - Thievery Corporation
posted by secret about box at 10:40 PM on September 15, 2009

(I would've put Metallica's Ride the Lightning on my list, but I realized that I only listen to the last track once out of every five to ten listens.)
posted by secret about box at 10:43 PM on September 15, 2009

You mention you like folk, so: Unhalfbricking - Fairport Convention
self-titled album, The Band

Some country: Wrecking Ball - Emmylou Harris
Across the Borderline - Willie Nelson

Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty
Which naturally leads me to: The Travelling Wilburys, Vol. 1 (a perfect album)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:43 PM on September 15, 2009

Arcade Fire - Funeral. 48 minutes of Love. Hope. Fear. Joy. Sadness. Each track standing out on its own, yet matching its neighbors and the overall flow of album. It's perfect. Hurfdurfhipstermusic, my ass...
Placebo - Meds
The Gaslight Anthem – The '59 Sound
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America

And seconding these:
Explosions in the Sky – The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place
Explosions in the Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism
The National - Boxer
Jimmy Eat World - Clarity
posted by starzero at 11:02 PM on September 15, 2009

Ben Folds Five - Whatever and ever Amen

Silverchair - Diorama

if compilation albums count

Queen - Greatest Hits
posted by trialex at 11:05 PM on September 15, 2009

Yes -- 'Tales from Topographic Oceans.'
posted by ericb at 11:08 PM on September 15, 2009

Joni Mitchell--Blue
Leonard Cohen--Greatest Hits/Best of Leonard Cohen 1975
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:24 PM on September 15, 2009

About three years back, I got asked the Friday 13th meme of what were the 13 albums that I could listen to without stopping. At the time I said:

Better Than Ezra - How Does Your Garden Grow?
LTJ Bukem & MC Conrad - Progression Sessions
Weezer - Blue Album
Tricky - Maxinquaye
Nizlopi - Half These Songs Are About You
Frou Frou - Details
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
John Mayer - Room For Squares
The Beatles - Abbey Road
Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
Nirvana - Nevermind
Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
John Coltrane - Love Supreme

I have to admit that all these years later, while that might not be the thirteen I'd choose today it still represents a good selection.
posted by jaybeans at 11:30 PM on September 15, 2009

More poppy:

Erasure, The Innocents
Lighting Seeds, Jollification
The Proclaimers, Sunshine On Leith
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:48 PM on September 15, 2009

the wedding present - "seamonsters"
my bloody valentine - "loveless"
new model army - "thunder & consolation"
autechre - "incunabula"
boards of Canada - "music has the right to children"
posted by spyke23 at 11:51 PM on September 15, 2009

Decoration Day by the Drive-By Truckers.
posted by essexjan at 12:18 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Paul Simon - Graceland, Rhythm of the Saints
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Portishead - Dummy
Beatles - Abbey Rd
Richard Tognetti's Bach sonatas and partitas for violin
posted by procrastinator_general at 12:51 AM on September 16, 2009

seconding Ys and Music has the right to children

Horses-Patti Smith
Safe as Milk-Captain Beefheart
posted by minkll at 1:41 AM on September 16, 2009

The Art of Noise - In No Sense? Nonsense!
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique

I can handle a random track or two off both of these in shuffle, but I end up having to go back and listen to the whole thing, looped if possible

Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (ingrained from a cassette in highschool, skipping wasn't an option)
posted by pupdog at 1:43 AM on September 16, 2009

Summerteeth - Wilco

I see several people going for YHFT, but i always skip Radio Cure.
posted by holdkris99 at 1:50 AM on September 16, 2009

Velvet Underground - Loaded
Stooges - Raw Power
Minutemen - Double Nickels on the Dime
XTC - Oranges & Lemons
Replacements - Tim
Brian Eno - Ambient I/Music for Airports
Residents - Commercial Album*
Drive-By Truckers - Southern Rock Opera
Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
Hold Steady - Separation Sunday

*I'm sure eyebrows raised at this choice. I'll explain: sometimes intensely irritating music helps me focus on a text. It's like my brain is running from the music into the text for refuge.

I'm intrigued by the underlying premise of this question. See, it used to be that you HAD to listen to at least half a record at a go, unless you wanted to hover over the stereo. The album is dead. Long live the album.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:01 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Too many - I tend to listen to albums rather than songs.

But most recently "Polly Scattergood" by Polly Scattergood has been the album which I consider to have no bad songs whatsoever on it, from beginning to end.
posted by benzo8 at 2:05 AM on September 16, 2009

My motto is:

Shuffle mode is for fuckwads.
posted by secret about box at 2:31 AM on September 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

Radiohead, Kid A (apparently the only Radiohead album not already mentioned in this thread)

Beck, Modern Guilt

And I second with the already-mentioned Serge Gainsbourg's Historie de Melody Nelson, Beck's Sea Change. Weezer's Blue Album, Fiona Apple's When the Pawn..., and Abbey Road.
posted by Locative at 3:53 AM on September 16, 2009

maudlin of the Well - bath, leaving your body map
posted by (lambda (x) x) at 4:02 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Our Lady Peace - Happiness...Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch
posted by evening at 4:23 AM on September 16, 2009

The Doors - The Doors
posted by telstar at 4:33 AM on September 16, 2009

I'm also anti-shuffle. Here's some I haven't seen mentioned yet:

Against Me! - As The Eternal Cowboy
Built To Spill - Perfect From Now On
Big Black - Atomizer
Big Black - Songs About Fucking
Boredoms - Vision Creation Newsun
Slint - Spiderland
Mission of Burma - Vs.
Jawbreaker - Bivouac
Thurston Moore - Psychic Hearts

and I must nth Seamonsters, Aeroplane, Tim, Animals, Loveless, Alligator, Are We Not Men?, Pinkerton...
posted by namewithoutwords at 4:40 AM on September 16, 2009

Errol Garner CONCERT BY THE SEA . Am on my fifth copy.
posted by Raybun at 4:57 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yet another vote for Ziggy Stardust. It's pure genius. I remember the first time I ever listened to it. He had me at track one.

Streetcore by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. And The Clash by The Clash. I've always felt that when Joe Strummer speaks, we should listen. I never skip any of his songs.

This is a GREAT question -- thank you. I'll be spending lots of money on iTunes today.
posted by junipero at 4:59 AM on September 16, 2009

OH, and Weezer's Pinkerton. I'm sure it's been mentioned but I haven't had time to read through everything yet.
posted by junipero at 5:00 AM on September 16, 2009

And the purple tape by the Pixies. I think it may just be their self titled album, but I've heard it called "the purple tape" so that's how I've always referred to it. The whole thing lasts about 20 minutes so listen to it two times!

Okay, I'm going to stop now and go to work!
posted by junipero at 5:01 AM on September 16, 2009

How has noone suggested Guster's Lost and Gone Forever yet?
posted by alygator at 5:04 AM on September 16, 2009

The Kinks - The Kinks
Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
Stereolab - Refried Ectoplasm (this might be a compilation -- not sure but it's really good)
Ramones - Rocket to Russia
Radiohead - The Bends
Janis Joplin - Pearl

Done. For Now.
posted by junipero at 5:13 AM on September 16, 2009

Brand New - Deja Entendu
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:15 AM on September 16, 2009

Pixies - Surfer Rosa, Come On Pilgrim (EP)
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (so happy to see someone else list this)
Radiohead - OK Computer
Tool - Aenima
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
This Mortal Coil - It'll End In Tears
Luna - Bewitched
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
posted by Diginati at 5:57 AM on September 16, 2009

Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy
posted by josher71 at 6:01 AM on September 16, 2009

I don't usually put on an album unless I plan on listening to it all the way through, and if for some reason I can't, 90% of the time I'll resume where I left off. So I guess this is a list of albums that I have a lot of trouble interrupting and resuming later, I have to listen to them in one go. If I ever buy a turntable, these would be among the first I get on vinyl:

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
The Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy
KMFDM - Nihil
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (most of NIN actually doesn't lend itself to song skipping)
Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York
Pearl Jam - Ten
Pixies - Trompe Le Monde
Radiohead - In Rainbows + Bonus Disc
Skinny Puppy - Too Dark Park
Slayer - Reign In Blood
Tool - Aenima
U2 - Zooropa
Neil Young - After The Gold Rush
posted by exolstice at 6:29 AM on September 16, 2009

If you have been so unfortunate to be on the receiving end of one of my mixes, this will make perfect sense:

Heartbreaker - Ryan Adams
Rain Dogs - Tom Waits
Radio City - Big Star
Time (The Relevator) - Gillian Welch
Transcendental Blues - Steve Earle
For Emma, Forever Ago - Bon Iver
Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan
Neon Bible - Arcade Fire
Weather Systems - Andrew Bird
Abbey Road - The Beatles
The Soft Bulletin - The Flaming Lips

Final proof I'm insane:
The Anthology of American Folk Music - Various Artists
(At least once, you should take the four or so hours required to do this)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:56 AM on September 16, 2009

Garden State soundtrack
posted by chalbe at 6:58 AM on September 16, 2009

Let me be the third to say that Serge Gainsbourg's Melody Nelson is a corker, and short, and has a narrative across the album, and is generally as good a complete album as you're likely to hear.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 6:58 AM on September 16, 2009

Demon Days - Gorillaz
Person Pitch - Panda Bear
The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

And, I know this isn't what you're looking for, but most of Jay-Z's albums are good all the way through. Give it a chance! :P
posted by Gotham at 7:07 AM on September 16, 2009

Response by poster: Oh! I was not expecting this extensive response. Thank-you all for your thoughtful suggestions. I'll award best answers in about 50 years when I've had time to listen to the albums. Thanks again :)
posted by cranberrymonger at 7:12 AM on September 16, 2009

Many good choices above, especially The Stone Roses, Fables of the Reconstruction, and The Village Green Preservation Society, but sweet zombie Jesus, 130 replies and no mention of:

Love - Forever Changes
Zombies - Odessey and Oracle
Buzzcocks - any of the first three albums

a few others from a mental scan of the CD shelves:
Able Tasmans - Songs From the Departure Lounge
The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
The Cure - Disintegration
The Dentists - Some People Are On The Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now
The Feelies - The Good Earth and Only Life
For Against - Coalesced
The Go-Betweens - Oceans Apart
The Icicle Works - The Icicle Works
David Kilgour - Here Come the Cars
Maximo Park - Our Earthly Pleasures
New Order - Technique
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Ride - Nowhere
The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
The Wedding Present - Bizarro
Paul Weller - Wildwood
posted by otters walk among us at 7:55 AM on September 16, 2009

Gimme Fiction by Spoon.
posted by elder18 at 8:05 AM on September 16, 2009

Was coming in to say:
Love - Forever Changes
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 8:11 AM on September 16, 2009

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five
Ted Nugent (self titled)
Cheap Trick (self titled) & In Color
posted by torquemaniac at 8:13 AM on September 16, 2009

Daft Punk- Alive 2007
Sufjan Stevens- Illinois
LCD Soundsystem- Sound of Silver
posted by ms.v. at 8:18 AM on September 16, 2009

All subjective of course

Weezer - Blue Album
Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
10,000 Maniacs - Our Time In Eden
Crash Test Dummies - The Ghosts That Haunt Me (before they were known/sucked)
Prince - Purple Rain
Postal Service - Give Up
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV

Cheating - Greatest Hits:
Abba - Gold
Allman Brothers - A Decade of Hits

Perfect minus one or two:
Sugar - Copper Blue
Van Halen - 1984
Smiths - Queen Is Dead
Morrissey - Bona Drag
Lyle Lovett - Road to Ensenada
Michelle Shocked - Arkansas Traveler
Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever
posted by Askr at 8:20 AM on September 16, 2009

Alanis Morrisette – Jagged Little Pill
John Mayer – Continuum
ABBA – Gold
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
TLC – CrazySexyCool
Boyz II Men – II
Erasure – The Innocents
Depeche Mode – Violator
Jann Arden – Living Under June
Pink – Misundazstood
posted by yawper at 8:24 AM on September 16, 2009

Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
posted by slimepuppy at 8:46 AM on September 16, 2009

Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
posted by milestogo at 8:57 AM on September 16, 2009

DJ Shadow's Endtroducing......
posted by sillygwailo at 10:07 AM on September 16, 2009

KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
Corrine Bailey Rae - Corrine Bailey Rae
A Girl Called Eddy - A Girl Called Eddy
Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Keith Jarrett - The Melody at Night, With You
Mat Kearney - The Chicago EP
Over the Rhine - Ohio, and Changes Come
Sondre Lerche - Two Way Monologue
Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales
Switchfoot - Nothing is Sound, and Oh! Gravity
Vienna Teng - Inland Territory, and Waking Hour
The Weepies - Happiness, Say I Am You, and Hideaway
posted by MeowForMangoes at 10:10 AM on September 16, 2009

So...some already mentioned, some not...

Achtung Baby!- U2
Hats- The Blue Nile
To Emma, Forever Ago- Bon Iver
Master of Puppets- Metallica
Together Alone- Crowded House
Everclear- American Music Club
Guitar for Mortals- Adrian Legg
Amused to Death- Roger Waters
Little Earthquakes- Tori Amos
Symphony No. 3 (Symphony of Sorrowful Songs)- Gorecki
AirDrawnDagger- Sasha
The Soul Cages- Sting
Maybe You've Been Brianwashed Too- New Radicals
OK Computer- Radiohead

All of them really complete pieces IMHO that really do gain cumulative emotional power by being listened to beginning to end.
posted by Rufus T. Firefly at 11:34 AM on September 16, 2009

This is mostly dark-themed gothic/industrial/electronic music which would probably be considered an acquired taste.

Imperative Reaction - Minus All
Imperative Reaction - As We Fall
Imperative Reaction - Redemption
Informatik - re:vision
Skinny Puppy - Last Rights
Peter Murphy - Dust
De/Vision - Two
Anything Box - Elektrodelica
Arcana - Cantar de Procella
Sephiroth - Cathedron
Dead Can Dance - Dead Can Dance
The Church - Gold Afternoon Fix
Azam Ali - Elysium for the Brave
Hedningarna - Trä
Peter Gabriel - Passion
posted by velvet winter at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean by Jimmy Buffett
posted by mmascolino at 12:14 PM on September 16, 2009

Whatever - Aimee Mann
August and Everything After - Counting Crows
Exile in Guyville - Liz Phair
Murmur, Green, Out of Time - R.E.M.
Some Kind of Wonderful OST
posted by adverb at 12:22 PM on September 16, 2009

Marillion's Misplaced Childhood. It is actually structured as a continuous suite of songs, with only a break in the middle due to it being released on LP originally. This is the album that introduced me to Marillion, and I highly recommend it.
posted by CMcKinnon at 12:25 PM on September 16, 2009

A couple others I thought of driving home today

Ministry - Land of Rape and Honey (partly because by the end it's just gnawing at you and the mean feels good)

Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films - Perfectly built for a solid experience.
posted by pupdog at 12:29 PM on September 16, 2009

Steely Dan - Aja, Gaucho, and Royal Scam
Crowded House - Crowded House
Billy Joel - The Stranger
Johnny Hodges - Everybody Knows Johnny Hodges
posted by kristi at 1:24 PM on September 16, 2009

nthing Who's Next. Also:

The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico
Garbage (self-titled)
Stone Temple Pilots - Core
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 2:17 PM on September 16, 2009

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, by Pavement.
posted by hot soup girl at 2:46 PM on September 16, 2009

Richard Buckner's 'Bloomed'
posted by littleredwagon at 3:01 PM on September 16, 2009

The answer you are looking for is:
Pearl Jam - Ten
posted by jpdoane at 3:42 PM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Bajillionthing Paul Simon's Graceland. Seconding Joni Mitchell's Blue. Seconding Neil Young's After the Gold Rush. Thirding Portishead's Dummy. Seconding Tom Waits' Rain Dogs.

Also, Dave Matthews Band's Before These Crowded Streets, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper, Beck's Odelay, and They Might Giants' Flood.
posted by waldo at 5:24 PM on September 16, 2009

The vast majority of my albums! I mean, that's why you buy it instead of downloading (or taping, as at 30, I'm officially OLDZ) the good stuff and ignoring the rest. Any album I buy that has me repeatedly skipping even a single song tends to end up being sold back.

It's also funny to see what people are stanning here, even though I know it's all subjective. The only reason I sit through Daltry's fey crooning of, "The song is over… It's all behind me…" is because I've got it on vinyl and don't feel like jerking the needle off. Likewise, Diamond Dogs? Srsly? There's precisely one Bowie album that I never skip anything on it ever, and that's Low.

But I also tend not to be able to make it all the way through the Trinity Sessions, not because it's bad, but because it makes me all weepy and maudlin.

Here are ones I didn't see above that are very great and awesome and anyone who doesn't own them and listen all the way through every time is probably a terrorist who hates freedom (and I would seriously consider comparing them to Hitler):

Africa Brass 1&2—John Coltrane
Angst in my Pants—The Sparks
s/t—The B-52s
Beauty and the Beat—The Go Gos
Beggar's Banquet—The Rolling Stones
Berlin—Lou Reed
s/t—Black Sabbath
Clues—Robert Palmer
Deja Vu—Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes—TV on the Radio
Elevation—Pharaoh Sanders
Entertainment!—Gang of Four
First Base—Babe Ruth
Fishscale—Ghostface Killah
Folklore—16 Horsepower
Follow the Leader—Eric B. and Rakim
Fun House—Stooges
Future Days—Can
Guitar Romantic—Exploding Hearts
Huntington Ashram Monastary—Alice Coltrane
Intolerance—Grant Hart
Invisible Cities—Nomo
Ladies and Gentlemen we are Floating in Space—Spiritualized
Last Splash—The Breeders
Lawrence of Newark—Larry Young
The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In—The Oh Sees
Pink Flag—Wire
Prepare Thyself to Deal With a Miracle—Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Ptah, the El Daoud—Alice Coltrane
Replicas—Gary Numan/Tubeway Army
s/t—Roxy Music
Sahara—McCoy Tyner
Sama Layuca—McCoy Tyner
Sanders' Truckstop—Ed Sanders
Soon Over Babaluma—Can
Soul Mining—The The
Sweetheart of the Rodeo—The Byrds
Tago Mago—Can
13-Point Plan To Destroy America—Nation of Ulysses
s/t—Violent Femmes

There are plenty more albums that are great front to back, and stuff like The Cars s/t and pretty much every Talking Heads album before Naked got mentioned upthread. And there's stuff like The High Strung's Moxie Bravo or The Avaatars' Never a Good Time or The Rants' get Back Into It that are too obscure to bother calling someone Hitler because they don't have it. Aside from that, this is a good start.
posted by klangklangston at 6:55 PM on September 16, 2009

These are all mentioned above and repeated here, so in the future, when someone clever using Advanced Computer Technology compiles this list (a la MetaCritic) they'll get a +1:

This Perfect World - Freedy Johnston
Get Happy! - Elvis Costello [best workout album ever!]
Graceland - Paul Simon
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
Trace - Son Volt
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
Girlfriend - Matthew Sweet
Fisherman's Blues - The Waterboys
Doolittle - Pixies
Avalon - Roxy Music [not their rock album, but absolutely perfect]
The Pretenders - The Pretenders
The Clash - The Clash [first album, UK version only]
Purple Rain - Prince
Maxinquaye - Tricky
Exile on Main Street - Rolling Stones

And if we're doing soundtracks:
Until the End of the World

And I don't believe anybody has mentioned Rattlesnakes - Lloyd Cole & The Commotions (I mean, check out the Amazon ratings: 31 reviews, 31 5 star ratings. An amazing, timeless record.)
posted by Bron at 7:53 PM on September 16, 2009

Ike & Tina. Live in Madison Square Garden.
posted by ws at 8:11 PM on September 16, 2009

Joni Mitchell's Blue (I know this has been mentioned but I could listen to this album over and over again, beginning to end)
Bruce Springsteen's Tunnel of Love
Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:51 PM on September 16, 2009

Anyone who says Pearl Jam's Ten is right on the money. Okay, so the early 90s radio stations burned you out on whatever the fuck they were labeling "grunge" and that dramatic girl in high school couldn't get over how deep Eddie Vedder was, but Jesus Christ this record is so good from start to finish that it still destroys everything being spun on modern rock stations today.
posted by secret about box at 12:10 AM on September 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

...that great October sound by Thomas Dybdahl
Changing of the Seasonsby Ane Brun
Við Og Við by Ólöf Arnalds
Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris
Time (The Revelator) by Gillian Welch
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:30 AM on September 17, 2009

Fisherman's Woman by Emiliana Torrini
Takk... by Sigur Rós
Revolver by The Beatles
Vampire Weekend
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:40 AM on September 17, 2009

- The last three Everything But The Girl albums are phenomenal.
- Elastica's first album is great.
- Lady in Satin by Billy Holiday.
- Esthero's first CD.
- Dummy by Portishead
posted by chunking express at 10:12 AM on September 17, 2009

David Bowie - Santa Monica '72 (live)
posted by jouke at 12:45 PM on September 17, 2009

Jethro Tull, Thick As A Brick
posted by scrowdid at 12:09 AM on September 18, 2009

The first three Shiina Ringo studio albums, Muzai Moratorium, Shousou Stirp and Karuki Zaamen Kuri no Hana.
posted by NemesisVex at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2009

Okay, I'm going to be contrarian and say that I usually shuffle; I really don't get the time to listen to a whole album In other words, the album is dead, and I'm driving the knife deeper (I WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING YOU LOVE BWAHAHAHA). I can't manage "never," but there are a few where "usually don't" definitely applies:

Jamie Lidell - Jim (this ended up in the car stereo, and I played it end-to-end nonstop six or seven times. Didn't get old.)

Amusement Parks on Fire - s/t

Kocani Orkestar - Alone at My Wedding

Bulgarian Women's Choir - Melody, Rhythm and Harmony

Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape

Nickel Creek - s/t

the pillows - Little Busters (I'll admit this is a lie, but judging by iTunes' play count for every track on this, I should.)

That's all that comes to mind. -1ing In an Aeroplane over the Sea. That's right, take n and subtract one. I recommend against listening to it, at least if you've been led to expect the best album EVER. It's decent; I like it OK; but it's not AWESOME.

Okay, that's one leg in the asbestos trousers... And a two... OK, I'm ready.
posted by gabrielbenjamin at 9:26 PM on September 18, 2009

The Mekons / The Edge of the World
posted by The_Auditor at 11:28 PM on September 18, 2009

Best answer: I had some free time and compiled all the mentions of albums in a Google Spreadsheet that I published here.

Obviously I don't recognize all the bands, so there is the possibility that I might have swapped an album name for band. Also, I might have skipped an album; if this was the case it was purely accidental. Very few of the last comments havent (yet) made it to the list.

Quickly perusing the list, you can tell some albums that are quite popular (in proportion to other mentions), like:

- Beck, Sea Change
- David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust
- Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism
- Neutral Milk Hotel, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
- Paul Simon, Graceland
- Pink Floyd
- Portishead, Dummy
- Radiohead
- Sarah McLachlan, Fumbling Toward Ecstasy
- The National, Boxer

Lots of listening to do.


(I couldn't have done this without the help of emacs :P)
posted by edmz at 10:46 AM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Cool, I'd love to see that spreadsheet ... but my gmail address doesn't have access to it. Prepare for a bunch of access requests, edmz.
posted by headnsouth at 1:40 PM on September 19, 2009


I think i messed up the permissions. It should be fixed now.
posted by edmz at 1:43 PM on September 19, 2009

Nothing anymore, but I used to swear by the last three albums by Talk Talk (Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock, Colour of Spring), and by their frontman Mark Hollis.

I say "nothing anymore" because iTunes shuffle and the library have teamed up to take advantage of my ADD.
posted by not_on_display at 5:24 PM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

OK, I'm seconding both Elastica's and Weezer's first albums, and throwing in a vote for The Point by Harry Nilsson.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 2:58 PM on September 21, 2009

Peter Gabriel: So
Genesis: Duke
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:27 AM on September 22, 2009

I just wiped and reloaded my iPhone (16gig)... so because of limited space it only gets albums I'd listen to all the way through. Here are my suggestions (that haven't already been mentioned)

1.) A Perfect Circle - 13th Step
...take everything thats awesome about TOOL, but replace the intense/heavyness with a little more ambient/subtle/fluidity. (and yet, its still creepy.. I really love the softer tracks like "Lullaby" and "Gravity")

2.) Anna Nalick - Wreck of the Day
You'd be remiss to write this one off as just another female pop album... Anna's got an incredible voice (and vocal delivery) ... gives me goosebumps. (Don't believe me? Go watch this Youtube video of a live performance of her new single "Shine"--> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vw0lpJ74Us ) When she hits the first chorus... makes me cry. )

3.) Augustana - All the Stars and Boulevards
Nothing incredibly unique on this album,.. its pretty standard indie stuff,.. but its definitely worth listening to.

4.) Allison Krauss & Robert Plant - Raising Sand
Allison Krauss is the most Grammy award winning female artist of all time... (she's got 26)... that should be reason enough. Being paired with Robert Plant on this album of folky awesomeness.... creates something truly magical.

5.) David Gray - Life in Slow Motion, White Ladder, Sell Sell Sell
Not sure yet what I think of his new album.. but David Gray's previous efforts are solid, solid, solid. I can't believe no one mentioned him yet.

6.) Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
Speaking of not being mentioned. Seriously?.. not one mention?... I am seriously disappointed in every one of you. This album destroyed everything I thought I knew about music. Thanks Craig!.

7.) Flobots - Fight With Tools
Hailing from my home state (Denver,Co)... the Flobots freshman effort debuted in October 2007, and by June 5th, 2008 they were performing on Letterman. They exploded onto the scene with the song "Handlebars".. but really the entire album is very well crafted start to finish.

8.) The Crystal Method - Vegas, Tweekend, Legion of Boom
Wikipedia says: "On September 8, 1997, The Crystal Method released what would become one of the best selling and most recognized electronic albums ever released in the United States. Titled "Vegas", it reached #92 on the Billboard 200. Though 92nd place is the worst ever achieved by a studio album from the band, it is their best selling, eventually being certified platinum by the RIAA in 2007. Most electronic albums do not make it to this level, and Vegas has made The Crystal Method one of the best selling electronic bands in the United States."

9.) Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself
Heap has a way of creating albums full of lush sonic landscapes... its a beautiful thing.

10.) Half-Life 2 soundtrack by Kelly Bailey
Half-Life and Half-Life2 are often considered the most critically acclaimed and awarded 1st person shooter video games of all time. (over 40 Game of the Year awards, and earned its place in the Guinness Book of World Records) Part of the reason is due to tightly integrated mix of gameplay, physics, graphics and audio/music. Kelly Bailey creates an atmospheric sci-fi electronic soundtrack that flat out raises goosebumps.

11.) Jack Johnson - Thicker than Water
Better known for popular efforts such as "Brushfire Fairytales" and "In Between Dreams".... Jack Johnson's surf movie soundtrack "Thicker than Water" has a little more "world music" influence, but still very approachable, enjoyable and relaxing.

12.) Pretty much anything by Ray LaMontagne
Listen to these three albums as you consider that this guy quit his day job at a shoe factory to pursue a career in music. Where was he hiding all that emotion?... It's bluesy.. and dark.. and eminently therapeutic.

13.) Yonderboi - Splendid Isolation
The first track opens with the sound of crows and gypsy music and then sucks you in with a mixture of Hungarian Trip-Hop and unexpectedly delightful samples (Jack Nicholson, anyone?) that will make your brain tingle.
posted by jmnugent at 4:24 PM on September 27, 2009

It's already been mentioned seven times, but I'll repeat by saying In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel is a fantastic album that I absolutely must listen to without skipping. It's one of those albums you can put on and sit down in the dark and just let the story and emotion wash over you.

... yes, I gush about that album.
posted by abstractdiode at 8:45 PM on September 27, 2009

I would feel remiss if I didn't recommend the following, late as I am -

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Brian Eno - Another Green World
David Bowie - Low
U2 - The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby, The Unforgettable Fire
Parliament - Mothership Connection
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 1:01 AM on October 2, 2009

Pamelo Mounk'a, his titleless red album, download here, probably recorded in Congo or France in the early '80s.

The Congos - Heart of the Congos, Jamaica, 1977.

Most of the albums of the Icelandic Bowie / Dylan / Crowley / Milton-esque Megas. The guy released great, great albums in the '70s, and some VERY interesting stuff with the Sugarcubes in the early '80s. Á bleikum náttkjólum is an absolutely unskippable album. You probably have to know Icelandic to appreciate it, but I'm not 100% sure.
posted by krilli at 6:10 AM on October 27, 2009

"Before I Sold Out" - Eric Hutchinson
posted by meta.mark at 2:59 PM on March 13, 2010

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