Perfect Albums And Other Music Stuff

First, here’s the inside scoop on the end of the X, the replacement, and other options for B’ham Alternative music fans.

Second, the folks at Positive Liberty are each answering this question:

It seems that most of my favorite albums have one or two songs that’s just filler, and when I listen to the CD, I end up hitting the “skip” button to go to the next really good song. This is true, for example, of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s great 1969 album, Bayou Country—the best album by my favorite group, which has the long “Graveyard Train” in it. Of course the song is good,because it’s Creedence, but it’s not great, like the rest of the album, and I end up skipping it much of the time. This got me to thinking: what are the truly perfect albums?—albums you can listen to all the way through, over and over again, and never get tired of them, and never want to skip any of the songs?

That’s a high standard. I own upwards of ten Bruce Springsteen albums, for example, yet I don’t think any would make this list. From my entire cd collection, I can only think of four possibilities.

Johny Cash, Live at San Quentin. The only artist I know who could sing “Peace in the Valley” and “Folsom Prison Blues” back to back and sound one hundred percent authentic doing each.

Drive By Truckers, A Blessing and a Curse. It may be too early to put this one on the list, as it’s less than a year old, but 1) I’ve listened to it at least a hundred times, 2) have never skipped a song, 3) still reach for it almost every time I go to my collection, and, 4) if I don’t pick it up it’s because I force myself to leave it alone lest I wear it out.

Caedmon’s Call, Forty Acres. These guys are a contemporary Christian band that I enjoyed in my fundie/evangelical days. That I still listen to this album now that I’m a really lousy papist says a lot about the album.  

Beastie Boys, Ill Communication. One of the first cd’s I ever owned.

How about your classics?

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14 Comments on “Perfect Albums And Other Music Stuff”

  1. Texas Redhead Loser Says:

    Aimee Mann – Lost In Space. It’s the only one I never skip any songs and never get tired of them. The two next closest to perfect are Foo Fighters – In Your Honor (the accoustic cd) and Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway. (Laugh if you want – it’s greatness.)

  2. A.F. Says:

    I think back to the CD’s that got me through the 80’s, mostly: #1, hands-down was The Cure, Staring at the Sea, the Singles, with a close second by the Smiths, Strangeways Here We Come and The Clash, London Calling. Honorable mention to Indigo Girls, self-titled, and yeah these are commercial but… (groundbreaking in their own way) REM’s Out of Time; and U2’s Joshua Tree. And I’ll match your Kelly Clarkson with Dido’s No Angel.

    Others from Other Eras but Perfect: Beatles Sergeant Pepper’s (always) and Billie Holliday, Lady Sings the Blues.

    And I completely agree with the Johnny Cash choice and will check out Aimee Mann — thanks!

  3. Disturbed “Sickness” and Savage Garden “Savage Garden”.

  4. The Truckers album can definitely be on there. I would also include Bobby Bare’s “Live @ Gilley’s”, Hank Jr.’s “New South” among many others.

  5. swissarmytoothpick17 Says:

    The Band’s “The Band.” American myth-making from four Canadians and an Arkansas drummer, circa 1969. Now categorized as roots music, I believe.

  6. walt moffett Says:

    Velvet Underground and Nico

    A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

    Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra

    Love Devotion Surrender – McLaughlin/Santana

    Yo-Yo Ma – Silk Road Journeys

    As subsets of what has been offered before.

  7. Anon Y Mous Says:

    Sixpence None the Richer — Sixpence None the Richer

  8. wheeler Says:


    after finishing the post, i almost edited it to include “this beautiful mess.”

  9. Anon Y Mous Says:

    and “divine discontent” should be on there, too.

    I miss Sixpence.

  10. JPW Says:

    Obviously I’m biased on this one but……

    Due to the wonder of iTunes I start with the first disk of DBT’s Southern Rock Opera and listen all the way through the 2nd disk… then Decoration Day… then The Dirty South… the A Blessing and a Curse… THEN through the ABAAC bonus disk.

    That right there is a perfect listen for me.


  11. wheeler Says:

    “the ABAAC bonus disk.”

    that is pretty awesome in its own right.

  12. JPW Says:

    Jason Isbell’s ‘When the Well Runs Dry’ is a great song. I’m fairly certain that Jason soon to be solo album will fit into this post and I haven’t even heard it yet.

  13. To trifle: I think I might lean a little towards the Drive-By’s “Live at the 40 Watt” dvd. Play it without watching it. Like Jerry Lee says, “All Killer…”

    Besides Shonna and the boys, who disappointed their fans ’round here terribly by cancelling their show this year, I would like to draw a teensy bit of attention to DOA’s “13 Flavours of Doom.” All fury, no worries.

  14. adiktd2musik Says:

    Check out my blog, I did a post on exactly this subject. Great minds think alike!

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