22 votes

The best album ever

In your opinion, what was the best album ever released?

38 comments

  1. [7]
    girl (edited ) Link
    Rumours by Fleetwood Mac Edit: actually if we're talking about bangers front to back then I gotta go with Led Zeppelin II.

    Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
    Edit: actually if we're talking about bangers front to back then I gotta go with Led Zeppelin II.

    12 votes
    1. Dovey Link Parent
      Rumours was my first thought too. I've been listening to it for decades and I never get tired of it.

      Rumours was my first thought too. I've been listening to it for decades and I never get tired of it.

      1 vote
    2. [2]
      rkcr Link Parent
      The Onion: Album That Has Nothing On Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ Wins Grammy Award
      1 vote
    3. InherentlyGloomy Link Parent
      My wife just recently discovered the greatness that is Fleetwood Mac, which gave me a great excuse to listen to Rumours a dozen more times. The one weird downside is, I accidentally Google'd...

      My wife just recently discovered the greatness that is Fleetwood Mac, which gave me a great excuse to listen to Rumours a dozen more times.

      The one weird downside is, I accidentally Google'd "Fleetwood Mac Rumors" (wrong spelling) once and now Google News keeps shoving actual rumors about the band at me. I don't need two articles every day about what Fleetwood Mac is up to, Google.

    4. [2]
      ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
      Listen, off-topic, but: good on you for snatching such a good username.

      Listen, off-topic, but: good on you for snatching such a good username.

  2. [3]
    Whom Link
    Joanna Newsom's Ys. Writing down my thoughts and feelings on this one in any comprehensive way has been something I've put off for quite a while and will continue to do so...but I think its appeal...

    Joanna Newsom's Ys. Writing down my thoughts and feelings on this one in any comprehensive way has been something I've put off for quite a while and will continue to do so...but I think its appeal to me mostly lies in it being a lyrical package that I feel like I can always return to and find new wisdom or recontextualize with the thoughts currently bouncing around in my head. It's like a companion for me as I change, like rereading Frankenstein and finding new reasons for it not to leave my brain. Of course, Joanna Newsom also has my favorite voice in music, the arrangements are beautiful, and the absolute massive ambition of this project in particular are all major factors, but it's special for taking up a more "literary" spot in my headspace.

    I've traditionally said Souvlaki by Slowdive for a long time now, but I find that my love for Ys is a bit more...active. I think about that album all the time, it's constantly on my mind, and I think that pushes it just a bit above :)

    6 votes
    1. mat Link Parent
      Oh I adore Souvlaki and I haven't heard it for years. That's going on my out and about playlist right now (and I'm going out and about later today). Thank you for reminding me about that.

      Oh I adore Souvlaki and I haven't heard it for years. That's going on my out and about playlist right now (and I'm going out and about later today).

      Thank you for reminding me about that.

      1 vote
    2. TooFewColours Link Parent
      Ys is a real landmark. I'm honestly torn between it and Have One On Me, which is definitely the softer, more drawn out and more mature record. But Ys is minute-for-minute packed with imagination,...

      Ys is a real landmark. I'm honestly torn between it and Have One On Me, which is definitely the softer, more drawn out and more mature record. But Ys is minute-for-minute packed with imagination, you can tell it was an album she was itching to put down on paper. I can't imagine what the songwriting process must have looked like - it's difficult not to hear something new every time.

      1 vote
  3. [3]
    45930 Link
    The Wall by Pink Floyd for me. Incredible music, well-executed concept.

    The Wall by Pink Floyd for me. Incredible music, well-executed concept.

    6 votes
    1. InherentlyGloomy Link Parent
      I would second this pick. There are very few albums I would sit and listen to, in entirety, in order, and The Wall is easily the best of them.

      I would second this pick. There are very few albums I would sit and listen to, in entirety, in order, and The Wall is easily the best of them.

      1 vote
    2. helbonikster Link Parent
      I actually think Animals is better. IMO it has all the thematic presence of The Wall, without any of the “filler”. Also, it places the emphasis on the music rather than the narrative, which I prefer.

      I actually think Animals is better. IMO it has all the thematic presence of The Wall, without any of the “filler”. Also, it places the emphasis on the music rather than the narrative, which I prefer.

      1 vote
  4. [2]
    Krentatret Link
    I would say What's going on by Marvin Gaye. Really like the message of the entire album.

    I would say What's going on by Marvin Gaye. Really like the message of the entire album.

    4 votes
    1. TooFewColours Link Parent
      It's such an easy listen too. Back in high school I remember listening to it every Sunday just to chill me out for the Monday ahead. Not a second of filler, just the smoothest, most orchestrated...

      It's such an easy listen too. Back in high school I remember listening to it every Sunday just to chill me out for the Monday ahead. Not a second of filler, just the smoothest, most orchestrated soul record packed into 35 minutes. Awesome choice.

      1 vote
  5. bilbodwyer Link
    I'm going to have to say Iron Maiden's Brave New World. The album was released before I came to hear of the band, and it's admittedly one of the ones it's taken me the longest to get into. But...

    I'm going to have to say Iron Maiden's Brave New World. The album was released before I came to hear of the band, and it's admittedly one of the ones it's taken me the longest to get into. But it's absolutely stunning. There's not a bad song on it, and even my least favourites are still absolute bangers.
    It's the first album they did after Bruce returned to the band, also bringing Adrian Smith back with him. Taking the sound from 2 to 3 guitars is fantastic, but made more so by the fact that this album started to be written for Blayze and 2 guitarists. In later albums all 3 will play a solo in pretty much each song... Not a bad thing for some tracks, but when they do 2 it feels tighter to me. Having the lyrics and vocal melodies pitched more towards Blayze than Bruce is great, because Bruce is so powerful on this album, but the choruses are also some of the simplest in Maiden's repertoire.

    The Wicker Man is a huge opening track, when it all kicks in it's like an explosion - not too fast, but thick and heavy. The chorus hits and you're singing along from the second go around. A meaty solo from Adrian Smith before a final chorus and a singalong chant at the end. This is a 10/10 opening track for any album.
    Ghost of the Navigator is vintage Maiden; an eerie introduction followed by a riff that really feels like you're aboard a vessel navigating dangerous, stormy waters. A chorus that lurches from chord to chord keeps you off balance until the wind hits the sails and you're storming ahead into a post-chorus hook.
    Brave New World. The title track. And oh so worthy of that position. Fantastic use of three guitars throughout this song, including some clever use of a clean sound when the distorted verses kick in. This is one of the simpler songs on the album, but all the better for it. The chorus doesn't gallop so much as march inexorably forwards, towards the enormous solos and harmonies. Another singalong classic.
    Blood Brothers is one of the first Maiden songs I learned to play, so I have a soft spot for it already. But each time I listen I notice new things about it. It's an exploratory song, rarely repeating sections except for that massive chorus (WE'RE BLOOD BRO-OTHERS!). Riffs grow in breadth as they are played, before one of my favourite slow guitar solos ever. I'll never not hear a sold-out stadium singing along to this one.
    The Mercenary is a welcome return to a faster pace. No clean guitars or melancholy lyrics here; this is Maiden recalling their Piece of Mind and Powerslave eras. An aggressive riff throughout, it's to the point, much like the titular character.
    Dream of Mirrors is potentially my favourite song on the album. A 9 minute epic that has some of the most impressive one-footed bass drum work you'll ever hear. The verses build and build and build, taking their time to get you to the chorus that will have you standing and screaming "I ONLY DREAM IN BLACK AND WHITE", before dropping back into another clean verse. When the middle section kicks in it's a flurry of riffs, solos, and galloping drums, you feel almost lost in the dream of mirrors yourself.
    The Fallen Angel is another short, punchy interlude after an epic. The shortest song on the album in fact, but there's no shortage of excellence here. The main riff will have you banging your head right away, and the guitar work during the chorus is top notch.
    The Nomad is another 9 minuter, but instead of starting slow and building, it's off at full tilt. Some sinister sounding riffs precede a vocal line that continues to build the tension, never quite resolving. The long, calm middle section is fantastic; exploratory without meandering, and with tasty bass runs throughout.
    Out of the Silent Planet, the second single from the album is a bit of a strange one, and possibly my least favourite on the album. The lyrics are fantastic, and it's another huge singalong chorus, and once the bizarre intro is out of the way, you're back into heavy, familiar territory.
    The Thin Line Between Love and Hate is the closer, and it's a driving pseudo-ballad peppered with guitar solos throughout and some absolutely gorgeous melodies. Caught on mic at the end are the words "I fucking missed it". Only having come to the band after this album was released, I can only imagine how that sentiment must have resonated with fans after several albums of very patchy quality.

    Up the Irons.

    4 votes
  6. Jepe Link
    It's hard to pick one. But I do love these threads, since I can always listen to stuff I didn't know about, and also I find the album evaluation to be richer than of a single song (similar to...

    It's hard to pick one. But I do love these threads, since I can always listen to stuff I didn't know about, and also I find the album evaluation to be richer than of a single song (similar to picking a great photo or a great photo project / essay, the message is stronger and more nuanced). For me it's OK Computer, by Radiohead. So much on that one topic, with so many different and rich approaches, just make me love the damn thing.

    4 votes
  7. mat Link
    This is the kind of question it pays not to think about too hard. So, right off the top of my head, Orbital's Brown Orbital are the greatest band in history (I have extensive evidence to prove...

    This is the kind of question it pays not to think about too hard. So, right off the top of my head, Orbital's Brown

    Orbital are the greatest band in history (I have extensive evidence to prove this before anyone asks or has other suggestions ;)) and this is their best album. Ergo, best album ever. It's 25 years old now and still sounds fresh. I can't count how many times I've listened to it and there's still more to hear every time.

    Ask me again in a few hours and I'll have a different answer.

    3 votes
  8. Staross Link
    According to my last.fm it should be Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - Dance of Fire, she's a jazz/classical pianist from Azerbaijan. There's other albums I've listened to more on my list but they usually are...

    According to my last.fm it should be Aziza Mustafa Zadeh - Dance of Fire, she's a jazz/classical pianist from Azerbaijan. There's other albums I've listened to more on my list but they usually are composed of shorter, less intricate songs. Plus her others albums are also up there, so she wins.

    3 votes
  9. TooFewColours Link
    My answer for the last five years have been Arthur Russel's 'Another Thought'. Croaky cello, vast acoustics, fluttery vocal melodies, occasional rhythmic sections that make you feel like you're at...

    My answer for the last five years have been Arthur Russel's 'Another Thought'. Croaky cello, vast acoustics, fluttery vocal melodies, occasional rhythmic sections that make you feel like you're at a disco in a cave. Russel's music is unlike anything else, and 'Another Thought' is the release of his that strikes the perfect balance between accessibility and other-worldliness.

    That said, it is a posthumous record. Arthur Russel never heard it himself, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Without it we wouldn't have 'This Is How We Walk On The Moon' or 'A Little Lost', but what would Russel have done differently if he was alive?

    'World of Echo' is the only album he released while breathing. It's a denser, colder album, but maybe it's the real choice here for me. It's still one hell of an experience.

    2 votes
  10. stonetheman98 Link
    I think that, at least when it comes to EDM, Daft Punk's Discovery is probably the best album. It's hard to put into words why I think its so good, but I don't think there's a bad song on the album.

    I think that, at least when it comes to EDM, Daft Punk's Discovery is probably the best album. It's hard to put into words why I think its so good, but I don't think there's a bad song on the album.

    2 votes
  11. JXM Link
    For me, it's Superfly by Curtis Mayfield. As many others in this thread have said, it's hard to put into words why it strikes such a chord with me. It's a masterpiece of a soundtrack and an...

    For me, it's Superfly by Curtis Mayfield. As many others in this thread have said, it's hard to put into words why it strikes such a chord with me.

    It's a masterpiece of a soundtrack and an incredible album in it's own right. When paired with the movie, the soundtrack is a stark contrast to what's happening on screen. Curtis Mayfield pioneered a whole field of music that is still influencing artists to this day.

    Just by itself, I love the vocals and the music. To me, he has a singing voice that's so singular you can recognize it instantly (sort of like John Fogherty of CCR).

    2 votes
  12. mbc Link
    Slayer, Reign In Blood. Clearly you have not heard this gem, or you would not have posed the question at all.

    Slayer, Reign In Blood.

    Clearly you have not heard this gem, or you would not have posed the question at all.

    2 votes
  13. [2]
    escher Link
    Gonna buy me a condo Gonna buy me a Cuisinart Get wall-to-wall carpeting Get a wallet full of credit cards Gonna buy me a condo Never have to mow the lawn Gonna get me a t-shirt With the alligator on

    Gonna buy me a condo
    Gonna buy me a Cuisinart
    Get wall-to-wall carpeting
    Get a wallet full of credit cards
    Gonna buy me a condo
    Never have to mow the lawn
    Gonna get me a t-shirt
    With the alligator on

    1 vote
    1. CrazedGeek Link Parent
      That's "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Buy Me a Condo" from In 3-D, for those curious.

      That's "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Buy Me a Condo" from In 3-D, for those curious.

      4 votes
  14. Chopincakes Link
    Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans Trio

    Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans Trio

    1 vote
  15. babu Link
    What is the best album ever is an almost impossible question to answer. Then again, it’s all a matter of personal taste, so, I have to go with The Beatles (the “White Album”). With a track list...

    What is the best album ever is an almost impossible question to answer. Then again, it’s all a matter of personal taste, so, I have to go with The Beatles (the “White Album”). With a track list spanning from the experimental “Revolution 9” to the uplifting ska pop “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, there’s so much diversity on this album. I particularly love some of the ballads, “Julia”, “Blackbird”, “Dear Prudence”, for instance.
    Yeah, it’s old school, I know.
    By the way, Prince and the Revolution’s Around the World in a Day comes in second.

    1 vote
  16. [3]
    suspended Link
    Laid by James

    Laid by James

    1. [2]
      Badger28 Link Parent
      I never expected a James album to be suggested for this! I love James, so many good albums. The morning after / the night before are great examples of their recent work.

      I never expected a James album to be suggested for this! I love James, so many good albums. The morning after / the night before are great examples of their recent work.

      1. suspended Link Parent
        Yeah right. That particular one, imo, is absolute gold.

        Yeah right. That particular one, imo, is absolute gold.

  17. CrazedGeek Link
    The one album I've come back to most since I first listened to it is They Might Be Giants' Join Us. I'm not even sure I can explain it well -- each and every song continues feeling just incredible...

    The one album I've come back to most since I first listened to it is They Might Be Giants' Join Us. I'm not even sure I can explain it well -- each and every song continues feeling just incredible to me.

  18. tomf Link
    Milt Jackson's Bags & Trane (with John Coltrane) -- start at track 3. The rerelease has a different order that isn't as good, in my opinion. This is a pretty short record, so as a back up pick...

    Milt Jackson's Bags & Trane (with John Coltrane) -- start at track 3. The rerelease has a different order that isn't as good, in my opinion.

    This is a pretty short record, so as a back up pick I'll suggest Martin Denny's Exotica.

  19. NoblePath Link
    Late to this party, but it's my kind of party :). So tough to choose between dark side of the moon, sgt peppers, or bitches brew. So i'm going to go with signals by rush.

    Late to this party, but it's my kind of party :).

    So tough to choose between dark side of the moon, sgt peppers, or bitches brew.

    So i'm going to go with signals by rush.

  20. lepigpen Link
    An impossible question but when I heard this album I told myself I would always answer it for questions like this. Because there have been many great albums where one song feels off or the style...

    An impossible question but when I heard this album I told myself I would always answer it for questions like this. Because there have been many great albums where one song feels off or the style is really repetitive or maybe all over the place. But no album has ever flowed from beginning to end like...

    Morning View by Incubus

    I truly think it is the pinnacle of music making for a traditional rock group doing "mainstream" music. Everything about it is good. Every second of every song

  21. EightRoundsRapid Link
    The Clash - Sandanista! This has everything. A triple album of anger full of reggae, dub, jazz, rock-'n'-roll influenced punk attitude that opened up my early teenage ears to so many types of...

    The Clash - Sandanista!

    This has everything. A triple album of anger full of reggae, dub, jazz, rock-'n'-roll influenced punk attitude that opened up my early teenage ears to so many types of music and to politics at a global level. I still listen to it regularly, nearly 40 years after its initial release.

  22. AresUII Link
    The Ecophony trilogy. Every song flows into itself and the next, every album flows into itself and the others, and every second will give you the chills. Geinoh Yamashirogumi knew they could never...

    The Ecophony trilogy.

    Every song flows into itself and the next, every album flows into itself and the others, and every second will give you the chills. Geinoh Yamashirogumi knew they could never top it, so they went silent right after. Give it a spin before JVC takes it all down again.