"Do you mean I get ALL these great genres on just ONE compact disc?"
December 21, 2010 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Can you name me some thoroughly cross-genre albums by a particular singer/band? If I ever made an album, I'd throw in a pounding hard rock song, a groovy disco number, twangy country, some crooning, new wave, a folksy Americana ballad, etc. But I'm sure this has already been done.

But no covers. And if you yourself have done this, that works too.

If a particular artist partook in a variety of genres throughout their career, and those are all covered in a particular compilation album, that might work. But not really something where they just dabbled here and there.

And not really something where most/all of the songs are under the same umbrella. Michael Jackson's "Bad" has rock songs and sappy ballads, but they're all sort of R&B/soul-flavored. I'm thinking of something that sounds like an iPod shuffle, but by the same artist, on the same album.

The first example that comes to mind is the White Album. Helter Skelter, Julia, Piggies, Yer Blues, and Honey Pie sound nothing alike, but the minus is there's still a lot of rock songs throughout.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Music To Mauzner By - J Ralph
posted by cyphill at 12:27 AM on December 21, 2010

They Might Be Giants and Lincoln.
posted by mykescipark at 12:35 AM on December 21, 2010

"Electric Landlady" or "Tropical Brainstorm" by Kirsty MacColl (a good sample of her works on this youtube page; also earning points for some of the best album titles ever)

"Quebec" by Ween
posted by holterbarbour at 12:48 AM on December 21, 2010

Odelay by Beck. Maybe.
posted by The Mouthchew at 1:31 AM on December 21, 2010

Nthing Ween.

Their music, even within one album, is successfully all over the show!
posted by jbenben at 2:02 AM on December 21, 2010

Frank Zappa - Sheik Yerbouti
posted by rhizome at 2:27 AM on December 21, 2010

I'd say Maggot Brain by Funkadelic could fit that description.
posted by saladin at 5:21 AM on December 21, 2010

Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs.
posted by hydrophonic at 5:33 AM on December 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Know Your Enemy by the Manic Street Preachers might work, if only for So Why So Sad and Miss Europa Disco Dancer.

Related bonus lolz for Manics fans.
posted by elsietheeel at 5:33 AM on December 21, 2010

Janelle MonĂ¡e - The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III)

Mr. Bungle - California All their albums would work, but that's the most accessible one. In fact, with Mr.Bungle you'll often get multiple genres in a single song.
posted by exolstice at 6:04 AM on December 21, 2010

Re, by the Mexican band Cafe Tacuba, is the best example of this I know. It's really awesome.
posted by neroli at 6:16 AM on December 21, 2010

Prince was the master of this for many years (though he always sounds exactly like Prince, whether he's doing electropop or gospel or hard rock or whatever).
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 6:34 AM on December 21, 2010

Tori Amos is musically all over the place, especially on her first four albums. A variety of songs that come to mind include: Jackie's Strength (pop ballad), She's Your Cocaine (loud raunchy rock), Raspberry Swirl (dance), Mr. Zebra (sounds like something you'd hear in a cabaret), and Yes, Anastasia (epic and orchestral).

She has a compilation album called Tales of a Librarian that offers a pretty good sampling, though just listening to Boys for Pele or From the Choirgirl Hotel would cover a lot of bases.
posted by wondermouse at 7:24 AM on December 21, 2010

I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One by Yo La Tengo covers an awful lot of bases (and it includes a cover or two, but one of them is a shoegaze version of "Little Honda" by the Beach Boys). Most of their other albums hit one or two genres, but over the course of their 20+ year career, the genres touched upon have changed significantly. Their early stuff is pretty folky, then they move into more noisy stuff in the early 90s, and then onto Sun Ra-inspired bossa-nova-ish stuff by the early 2000s, and their last couple albums have been a little more broad-ranging. If you want to run the full gamut they do have a compilation album called Prisoners of Love that I think includes tracks from everything but their last album.
posted by LionIndex at 7:51 AM on December 21, 2010

Wreckage by Overseer. Maybe.
posted by indigo4963 at 8:09 AM on December 21, 2010

Nilsson Schmilsson? "Jump into the Fire" doesn't sound anything like any other song on the album, so much so that I can't remember what the other songs sound like.
posted by scratch at 8:27 AM on December 21, 2010

I think A Night at the Opera by Queen might qualify here.
posted by mefireader at 8:49 AM on December 21, 2010

I think My Morning Jacket's latest would meet that. Evil Urges
posted by eggm4n at 9:04 AM on December 21, 2010

The Swimming Hour by Andrew Bird covers a pretty wide range of styles.
posted by bobafet at 11:10 AM on December 21, 2010

Love Is Overtaking Me by Arthur Russell fits the bill. it's a compilation but it reaches from modern composition to cowboy song to space disco to sunshine pop to breakup ballad, et cetera et cetera.
posted by tealsocks at 3:21 PM on December 21, 2010

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