Redd Five625,809 (381,140)New Jersey

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Redd Five

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PermalinkWhat is a perfect album?
For those younger than 25, an "album" is a collection of songs which often are arranged to create an overarching mood or message. Before the 1990's, vinyl records and cassettes were popular and both featured two separate sides where music could be recorded, creating the opportunity for each side to become it's own mini album. In the early '90s, Compact Discs eliminated the separate sides, allowing artists to more easily create a continuous 74 minutes of music.

I've been debating the merits of a "perfect album" with co-workers for some time now. Of course, with anything this subjective, the rules are fluid, but I've come up with a few guidelines:

The album should:
-Create an emotional journey with highs and lows
-Contain an overarching theme
-Make the listener lose track of time/other emotions

The album should not:
-be a "greatest hits" record. The perfect album is about much more than a collection of hit singles.
-contain any tracks that disrupt the flow of the album
-contain any tracks that you frequently skip
-feature any tracks with a guest vocalist shoehorned in.

In short, a perfect album creates a pervasive emotional journey in which the listener can get lost. There are no wasted notes, songs, or moments. Not every song needs to be great, but everything must serve a role in creating the larger work that is the album. It does not need to tell a story like those often contained in "concept albums," although concept albums do hit many of my criteria by design.


I want to start creating the arguments for some of my perfect album selections, but first I'd love to hear any other criteria I should consider. I'd also like to hear your selections for perfect albums.
Posted by Redd Five on 13 January 18 at 01:04
SpiralGamerpro My Gamerpic
Posted by SpiralGamerpro on 13 Jan at 01:32
Redd Five You made me work for it. I never heard of Steven Wilson. Listening to Hand. Cannot. Erase. now. I hear a lot of Pink Floyd, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and Rush in there. Some beautiful instrumentals in there. Thanks!
Posted by Redd Five on 13 Jan at 02:36
oMike Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence by Dream Theater.
Incredible album
Posted by oMike on 13 Jan at 02:51
SpiralGamerpro ^Agreed

I'd also recommend checking out the Twelve-Step Suite.
Posted by SpiralGamerpro on 13 Jan at 02:55
Angels Kill Too Discovery - Daft Punk
Cigarettes After Sex - Self Titled album
Abandon Ship - Knife Party
Posted by Angels Kill Too on 13 Jan at 06:59
Redd Five I haven't listened to Dream Theater since Images and Words!
I love Daft Punk, but I'd go with RAM before Discovery. That one loses me for a while in the middle.
I know I've heard Cigarettes after Sex, but I need a refresher. A quick search compared them to Mazzy Star, who I love (along with Portishead).
I don't know 12-Step Suite or Abandon Ship. I'll listen to them after Steven Wilson (which is really growing on me!)

Great suggestions!
Posted by Redd Five on 13 Jan at 14:07
scotwolf2 as a bit of an old fart gaming and age wise, some of my fav albums are from 70's 80's. they may have that quality where the music and lyrics take you away and you picture yourself somewhere, someone, a special moment, memories, love, loss barchetta on Rush's moving pictures i picture i am in a 1960's red alpha romeo spider driving the road from Glasgow head out the city then head past loch lomond to the small town of Crianlarich in Scotland. some nice straights some brilliant curves beautiful scenery roof down ahhhh...someday?

here's a few that do that for me

Rush... 2112 and moving pictures
Black Sabbath... 4
Queen.. A day at the races and New world record
journey ...Escape
AC/DC... Highway to hell and Back in black
Cheaptrick... live at the budokan
Motorhead ... Bomber
Elton John..Goodbye yellow brick road, captain fantastic
dire straits..telegraph road
chris rea..wired to the moon, road to hell, shamrock diaries
Fleetwood mac...rumours

i could go on, there are loads more mostly 60/70/80's classic rock, but include Creedence clearwater revival, blondie, buddy holly, the kinks, the who, muddy waters, bo didley, iron maiden, judas priest,christopher cross, judy tzuke, saxon, scorpions, ELO, Heart, Pat benatar, krokus, UFO, Slade........etc etc mainly metal/punk/blues...good pop
i wrote a blog early last year i think regarding my record collection.

you can't beat vinyl got my daughter who's at uni into LP's she loves them the covers, lyrics, artwork etc.
Posted by scotwolf2 on 14 Jan at 14:12
Redd Five You and I are probably about the same age, scotwolf2. I'm trying to do something slightly more objective here, but that power that music has to transport us is what makes it so important to so many of us.

For me, Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil" takes me to my 6th grade picnic. That was the first time I was exposed to hard rock. I've been hooked ever since.

The debut album from W.A.S.P. puts me on my 10-speed bike riding home from work thinking about how I also "wanna be somebody soon."

I remember finding an unlabeled, dubbed cassette in the street. I played it and didn't know who made the albums copied there, but I knew music couldn't get much more powerful. This is before we had the Internet, and radio didn't play metal, so I had to share it with others and search out the answer. I know now that I had Master of Puppets on one side and Somewhere in Time on the other. I feel bad for whoever lost that, but it changed my life.

Guns 'n Roses: Appetite for Destruction
Slayer: South of Heaven
Prince & the Revolution: Purple Rain
Nuclear Assault: Handle with Care
Led Zeppelin: Hell, all of them!

There are lots of bands important because they are connected to some aspect of my life. Mott the Hoople, Heart, Aerosmith, PJ Harvey, Gwar, Ween, Kix, Alice Cooper, Dangerous Toys, Death Angel, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead, Stone Temple Pilots, Misfits, Ramones, so many more... all tied to some important time or place.

I think that whatever you are listening to when you are having the time of your life becomes your favorite music. That is why, although I never liked electronic music, I came back from a trip to Las Vegas with the wife as a fan of Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, and other electronic artists. (That's all they played there!)

My older daughter loves Imagine Dragons. By extension, I've come to appreciate them. It was at a Dragons show that we discovered Halsey, who has become one of out favorites!

My younger daughter is getting into country music. Maybe Sam Hunt is next for me!
Posted by Redd Five on 14 Jan at 14:58
LuckyConquerer2 Little fact for you that may intrigue you. Albums did not exist until the mid-50's, when LPs started to replace 45s.

Good read although my music tastes are not very similar. When I think of great albums, I am thinking of Nas' Illmatic, Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt, Yelawolf's Love Story and Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.a.d.d City.

My favourite album is Lindsey Stirling's Shatter Me album, which is crazy as that is not my genre type.

Rap and country for me.
Posted by LuckyConquerer2 on 14 Jan at 18:25
Redd Five Rap isn't my first choice, but I always liked N.W.A., Digital Underground, Ice-T, Beastie Boys, Eminem, and similar artists.
Posted by Redd Five on 14 Jan at 19:52
happibivouac You pretty much nailed it. An album should be an experience that is made better by the inclusion of all the other songs. The occasional track can be heard out of the context of the record, but is made better by the surrounding tracks.
Posted by happibivouac on 11 May at 13:50