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Considered A Classic Album ( But You Don't Call It That )

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Wildest cat from montana, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. Brian Doherty

    Brian Doherty Forum Resident

    Los Angeles CA
    While a Van Morrison fan who doesn't adore ASTRAL perplexes me, unless they just love medium-inspired jump blues or old soul single retreads, I am with you in being confused as to how TRANSFORMER, one of the most uncharacteristic of his core lps Lou made, got to be "the classic." I mean, I understand because it has the one, now two, "big iconic songs" which are fine songs, but as a whole, it's a thin, slight, lightweight entry in the saga of Lou.
  2. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    I don't know his work very well. I need to explore more, methinks.
  3. jas621

    jas621 Forum Resident

    Depends upon your tastes...Dreaming My Dreams is a hell of an album. But, Lonesome, On'ry and Mean defines "outlaw country" and the title is one of the greatest songs in all of country music. He really straddles the line between county and rock'n'roll.
    carlwm likes this.
  4. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Appreciate the advice! :righton:

    Looking forward to hearing some of those records!
    jas621 likes this.
  5. HughMacpherson

    HughMacpherson Forum Resident

    Returning to the theme of this thread.....

    I really love Joni Mitchell's records, mainly the mid-period Folk/Jazz LPs like Hejira, Hissing of Summer Lawns and Court & Spark etc.

    But I really don't get the "love-in" for Blue. :waiting: Anyway, to keep our record shops in business during lock-down, I have ordered a vinyl copy from Lost In Vinyl who are closed, but still doing online orders to keep busy.

    I'll give it a further listen, after all, everyone can't be wrong and I'm right. Can they? :shrug:
  6. The main contenders from my perspective for this:

    Van Halen I - OK, I have to admit that I just don't like VH much. I find DLR funny, I appreciate that the band were good musicians, and definitely agree that the 'classic' era of the band is way, way better than Van Hagar. I suspect that it may be a cultural thing - if I was American I might like them more, as over in the States classic VH seems at times to have been a thing one just grew up with. That said, there are loads of American bands I love, so it's probably more down to the music.

    VH1 just sucks, TBH. It's not an absolutely abysmal record, per se, but it's really average and lightweight. I tried it out when I was about 16 having heard that it was an all time classic, wild hard rock album, and with the exception of Ain't Talking 'Bout Love I can't recall feeling quite so underwhelmed by almost any other 'classic' record. The problem is that this album, I think, pioneered the trend of style and technical ability over substance and songwriting which would affect rock music greatly in the 80s. VH1 is basically the prototype for the entire hair rock era. The playing is impressive, but the songs are just so lightweight, no heaviness or oomph to them. The defence people often make for this record is that it's 'great party music for a good time', but if I want that I'll just put on AC/DC's Back In Black - a record made for having fun to that has actual proper riffs and actually rocks hard. I can't understand why one needs 'classic' VH if one has Back In Black, TBH.

    Megadeth - Rust In Peace - Widely considered to be the high point of Megadeth's career, but this is a seriously uneven record. If condensed down to an EP consisting of the first two and last two tracks (I don't consider Dawn Patrol to be a song, more of an interlude) it would be excellent. But the middle of the record is dead in the water. Songs like Take No Prisoners are just really forced and uninteresting, lacking hooks, melody and cohesiveness. When I first got this record I loved how it started and finished, but thought the middle was dull. I expected that it might grow on me eventually. Nope, never has done.

    QOTSA - Rated R - From the reviews after this came out I expected an entire record that sounded like Feel Good Hit Of The Summer, but was nonplussed by an album that was much more varied and laidback in sections than I was expecting. Eventually I got over this, and I think it's a good record with some classic songs, but no more than that. Often acclaimed as the band's masterpiece, but I think that title should belong to Songs For The Deaf, which blows this record (and everything else in their discography) away.

    Radiohead - OK Computer and Kid A - The Bends is Radiohead's highpoint IMO. OK Computer is a good record with some exceptional songs, but it is just not the greatest album of all time, and the constant critical arselicking of it by certain music critics and magazines really, really, really put me off the band as a whole. As for Kid A, sure it's an interesting move to make, but it's not that great. Too much of the record just doesn't work that well - Amnesiac is probably better.

    David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust - Good album, some classic songs, but I don't think it's his best - STS and Low are his pinnacle from what I've heard. I also don't think the glam/Ziggy aesthetic has dated as well as his other styles, although it's still entertaining.

    Pink Floyd - The Wall - This record does divide opinion, but also has its fair share of devotees. I would have said it was a classic when I was younger, but not so sure now. There are two main issues. First is the concept - it just seems (like a lot of Waters's themes post 1973) to be a bit.... obvious. It lacks subtlety, and humour (the live renditions of the piece are bit more balanced). It all comes across as a bit self absorbed too at times. Secondly, the music doesn't hold up for the entire record. The first disc is very good, and had it been a single album I'd rate it a fair bit higher. But then Don't Leave Me Now turns up and it's by far the worst Floyd song written up to that point. It's a warning shot for the second disc, which has about 3-4 worthwhile songs (Is There Anybody Out There, Hey You and Comfortably Numb - the latter of which redeems the album quite a bit) and stretches of flat out garbage (Vera, Bring The Boys Back Home, pretty much all of Side 4). This album is where Roger starts to tip from overt cynicism and bile into flat out whining. The lack of Rick Wright as a serious contributor really starts to tell here too, and the band by this point seems very far away from the group that made Meddle.

    Slayer - Reign In Blood
    - Too much speed, not enough songwriting. This is a pretty intense slice of headbanging fun, with some classic standards, but South Of Heaven is the better written record. Show No Mercy is more fun and catchy too.

    Iron Maiden - Killers - One of their weakest albums. Not a bad record at all, really, but by Maiden's standards it feels a bit lesser. The artwork is great and the production job is a definite improvement on the debut, but in terms of the actual songs it's pretty clear that the first two Maiden albums were composed of their entire repertoire up to that point, and it's equally clear that the strongest songs went on the debut, and the lesser ones mostly went on Killers. Harris has even admitted this in interviews. Does have some classics - the title track, Wrathchild and the total Jethro Tull worship of Prodigal Son - but a fair few songs are blatantly B-side material (Innocent Exile). Also lacks an epic a la Phantom Of The Opera, which otherwise would have lifted it to a higher score.

    The 'classic' Stones albums - I honestly just prefer the Stones as a singles/compilation band more than anything. Never been too much a fan of the roots rock style they adopted from '68 on, and while I enjoy the 68-72 output I just don't quite see any of the albums as 10/10, except possibly Sticky Fingers, and even there I find the pacing of the record odd. I like Exile the most in some ways as it's a sprawling snapshot of the band.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  7. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    I can think of a lot of them, since I usually can only handle their Greatest Hits and very little more.

    But one has always crossed my mind is Born In The USA. :shrug:

    Txs, I threw this on while reading this thread!:righton:
  8. Celebrated Summer

    Celebrated Summer Forum Resident

    For me it was the other way around. When I met my ex in the early 1990s, she was a big Dan fan, but I considered them boring classic rock. As the years passed, she gradually sold me on them. But I'd come of age during the punk/new wave era and it was a hard sell.
  9. jas621

    jas621 Forum Resident

    I think the cultural aspect of "Blue" is why most people rank it so high. And, by that, I mean, it appears that "Blue" seems to be seen by a lot of critics as earliest example of a strong feminine statement that seemed to pave the way forward for a lot of female artists, as well as the album where a lot of her peers stood up and took notice. Both Page/Plant and Prince have cited the album as a major influence. I agree with sentiment, as "Court and Spark is my go to Joni album. "Blue" seems a lot more dated to me. Whereas her later jazzier works feel more exciting to me.
    HughMacpherson likes this.
  10. jas621

    jas621 Forum Resident

    When you dive into the lyrics of Steely Dan songs, there's far too much wit and sarcasm to ever consider them boring classic rock, IMO. And, musicianship-wise, they are off the charts. Steely Dan, to me, has always been a gateway to jazz, through the combination of the music, as well as the character studies.
    El Rich-o and rodentdog like this.
  11. Also probably going to add The White Album. Too many crappy McCartney music hall songs.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
    Celebrated Summer and carlwm like this.
  12. breakingglass

    breakingglass Forum Resident

    Fun that so far we’ve already singled out the following albums as ones that may not deserve to be called “Classic Albums”. Also fun is how the OP’s premise of the term “Classic Album” perhaps being “tossed around too casually” manifests itself as well. As usual, an interesting thread here at the SHFtv.

    The Band – Music From Big Pink

    The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds

    The Beatles – Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Beatles – Rubber Soul

    The Beatles – Abbey Road

    The Beatles – White Album

    The Black Crowes – Shake Your Money Maker

    David Bowie – Heroes

    David Bowie – Station To Station

    David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust

    David Bowie – Young Americans

    Captain Beefheart – Trout Mask Replica

    Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue

    DJ Shadow - Introducing

    The Doors - L.A. Woman

    Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde

    Donald Fagan – The Nightfly

    Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction

    Iron Maiden – Killers

    Jethro Tull – Aqualung

    Judas Priest – Painkiller

    King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King

    Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti

    MC5 – Kick Out The Jams

    Megadeth – Rust In Peace

    Metallica – Black Album

    Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime

    Joni Mitchell – Blue

    Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

    Van Morrison – Moondance

    My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

    Nirvana – Nevermind

    Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted

    Tom Petty – Wildflowers

    Pink Floyd – The Wall

    Prince – Dirty Mind

    Procol Harum -A Whiter Shade Of Pale

    Queens Of The Stone Age – Rated R

    Radiohead – OK Computer

    Radiohead – Kid A

    Lou Reed – Transformer

    REO Speedwagon – Nine Lives

    The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street

    Slayer – Reign In Blood

    Skip Spence – Oar

    Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

    Steely Dan – Aja

    Supertramp - Breakfast In America

    Van Halen – I

    The Who – Tommy

    The Who – Who’s Next

    The Who - Quadrophenia

    Yes - Close To The Edge

    Yes – Fragile
  13. Donfrance

    Donfrance Forum Resident

    Vesoul, France.
    I have been consiously listening to music for 51 years and a few months and have been unable to listen to everything. You must be God or at least Dracula to have that kind of time...
  14. I probably haven't played a "classic" album in over a year so I have no opinion about this. I just listen to what I like.

    I guess a classic album is one that is generally considered so. My personal opinion of the album means nothing except to me and that is the way it should be.
  15. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Tarragona (Spain)
    DJ Shadow "endtroducing"

    It baffle me. It's a ****ing "cut and paste", for crying out loud
    El Rich-o likes this.
  16. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. I'm poor & sure wouldn't show off if I was rich.

    And the same with this thread;
    I can think of many albums considered classics that I don't.
    There is no universal consensus on any album being a classic or even great, no matter how much someone loves it.
    If others want to find an album considered a classic that I don't, they can. If I consider some album that's NOT considered a classic by some other people, it still is to ME.
    It doesn't matter, this thread can do no good except cause squabbling.
    We should all listen to whatever the hell we WANT to, and consider whatever we want as a classic to ourselves.
  17. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Have we established what makes an album a classic. That will take ten more pages to determine and then there will be no consensus, as usual.
  18. jas621

    jas621 Forum Resident

    But, it's the different perspectives and the details they come with that makes this place so fascinating. I don't expect anyone here to have the same exact opinions as me, simply because we've all experienced music in our own unique way. I love the fact that there are fellow music travelers that get musical listening experiences that jolt a variety of emotions and thoughts that prompt a wide range of discussions. I feel like I found a home for all of my musical obsessions that a large portion of the populace at large has never contemplated.
  19. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Ace of Spades

    I played some Steely Dan this week to my girlfriend. First time she had heard them (they are not that well known in the UK). She told me it was porn music.
  20. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    There are two that spring to mind, The White Album; good but too long and a few awful tracks. Pet Sounds; i have never understood it.
  21. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    Maybe she likes Porn. You lucky man:D
  22. bobcat

    bobcat Forum Resident

    London, UK
    I love The Byrds but yesterday was the first time I have listened to The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

    Frankly, I don't get it. So few memorable songs on it. Very disappointing after seeing so many people say it was their best album.

    Maybe it meant something when it came out.

    But then, it's all very subjective...
  23. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    It's a mystery to me why Pet Sounds, which I like, is considered an all time classic album but Sunflower and Surf's Up are not. One theory is that it has less to do with the intrinsic quality of the material and more to do with the musical context in which it was released. Albums cited as "classic albums" often tend to be ground-breaking in some way.
  24. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Perth Australia
    Blue is a good album, but I'm with you - I can't understand why so many rate it as the pinnacle of her career. She has at least six albums that I like better, including the three that you name.
  25. homeslice

    homeslice Forum Resident

    Sign o' the Times by Prince - Ugh.

    Love his work, but that album is weirdly elevated by critics and public.

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