Classic Rock Bottom

Hidden Treasures - Double the Pleasure, Double the Fun!!!

Were looking at Double Albums to open the New Year. Of all the playlists I've posted on here, I totally missed on this topic up to this point. Double ALbums have provided hourts of enjoyment, not just musically, but also with all the cool content. Were not talking about Live albums or Greatest Hits packagaes, but studio releases. These require a huge investment on your behalf, there twice the price (usually) and come with twice the music and twice the story.


Here's 5 tracks from albums that span a long long time, we'll stary in the late 60's and end up with a great track from just few years back. But first, heres some additional info courtesy of wiki ...


The first studio double album was French singer-songwriter Léo Ferré's Verlaine et Rimbaud chantés par Léo Ferré in 1964, on Barclay Records. The first live double album came early in the LP's history: The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert by Benny Goodman. The first rock double album was Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, released in June 1966, with Frank Zappa's Freak Out! released one week later. The best-selling double album of all time is Michael Jackson's HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I with over 33 million copies (66 million units) worldwide. The second best-selling double album and best-selling concept album double album ever is Pink Floyd's The Wall with over 30 million copies (60 million units) worldwide. Other best-selling double albums are The Beatles' White Album, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., and Billy Joel's Greatest Hits I & II.

The double album is not entirely obsolete when it comes to studio albums, however. Some artists still occasionally produce a large enough quantity of material to justify a double album. For example, progressive rock band The Flower Kings have released four double albums out of eleven studio albums.


Any memories of double albums for you?



The Who

1 - Go To The Mirror!

Tommy was originally released as a two-LP set with a booklet including lyrics and images to illustrate parts of the story. The cover is presented as part of a triptych-style fold-out cover. All three of the outer panels of the triptych are spanned by a single pop art painting by Mike McInnerney. The drawing is a sphere with diamond-shaped cutouts and an overlay of clouds and seagulls rendered with a figure-ground ambiguity. To one side a star-spangled hand bursts from the dark background, index finger pointing forward. Polydor Records re-released the album on compact disc in the UK in 1983. The CDs were packaged in a double CD case, with the front and back panels of the case reproducing the middle and right panels of the triptych respectively.


2 - In The Country

Although the official title of the album is Chicago, it came to be retroactively known as Chicago II, keeping it in line with the succession of Roman numeral-titled albums that officially began with Chicago III in 1971.

While The Chicago Transit Authority was a success, Chicago is considered by many to be Chicago's breakthrough album, yielding a number of Top 40 hits, including "Make Me Smile" (#9), "Colour My World" (#7), and "25 or 6 to 4" (#4). The centerpiece of the album was the thirteen-minute song cycle "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon". Guitarist Terry Kath also participated in an extended classically styled cycle of four pieces, three of which were co-written by the well-known, arranger, composer, and pianist Peter Matz. The politically outspoken Robert Lamm also tackles his qualms with "It Better End Soon", another modular piece. Peter Cetera, later to play a crucial role in the band's music, contributed his first song to Chicago and this album, "Where Do We Go From Here".

Released in January 1970 on Columbia Records, Chicago was an instant hit, reaching #4 in the US and #6 in the UK.

Columbia Records was very active in promoting its quadraphonic four-channel surround sound format in the mid-1970s, and nine of Chicago's first ten albums were made available in quad. The quad mix features elements not heard in the standard stereo mix, including additional guitar work from Kath in "25 Or 6 To 4" and a different vocal take from Lamm in "Wake Up Sunshine," the latter of which reveals a different lyric in the song's last line.

The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main St.

3 - Let It Loose

Exile on Main St. featured a gatefold cover and included a series of 12 perforated postcards with a sequence of images inserts, all of which were shot by photographer Norman Seeff. The back cover features various photos of the Stones; the "mystery woman" pictured in the lower left side is Chris O'Dell, their personal assistant. The album photography and concept was by Robert Frank and includes images from his seminal 1958 book The Americans. The "Joe Allen" pictured in the collage is of a postcard-style advertisement by Frank of the contortionist, Joe Allen, billed as "The Human Corkscrew" for his ability to wiggle and twist through the "13 1/2 inch hoop" approximately 25,000 times during his circus career, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on May 8, 1950. The man with the three balls (a tennis ball, a golf ball, and a "5" billiard ball) in his mouth is formally known as "Three Ball Charlie", a 1930's sideshow performer from Humboldt, Nebraska who could also not only balance on several balls at once, but could also juggle balls, and whistle, all while performing all 4 tasks simultaneously, according to Ripley's.

Pink Floyd
The Wall

4 - Mother

When the completed album was played for an assembled group of executives at Columbia's headquarters in California, several were reportedly unimpressed by what they heard. Matters had not been helped when Columbia Records offered Waters smaller publishing rights on the grounds that The Wall was a double album, a position he did not accept. When one executive offered to settle the dispute with a coin toss, Waters asked why he should gamble on something he owned. He eventually prevailed. The record company's concerns were alleviated when "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" reached number one in the UK, US, Norway, Portugal, Israel, West Germany and South Africa. It was certified platinum in the UK in December 1979, and platinum in the US three months later.

Porcupine Tree
The Incident

5 - The Incident Part 11: Octane Twisted

On 12 June 2009 details of The Incident were revealed on the Porcupine Tree website: "the record is set to be released via Roadrunner Records worldwide on 22 September as a double CD: the centre-piece is the title track, which takes up the whole of the first disc. The 55-minute work is described as a slightly surreal song cycle about beginnings and endings and the sense that ‘after this, things will never be the same again’; the release date was later moved to 15 September. The self-produced album is completed by four standalone compositions that developed out of band writing sessions last December - Flicker, Bonnie the Cat, Black Dahlia, and Remember Me Lover feature on a separate EP length disc to stress their independence from the song cycle." On 13 July the first preview of the album was posted at both Roadrunner and band's MySpace pages. The track Time Flies, described by Steven Wilson as "sentimental" and the "centerpiece" of the album, became a music video directed by usual Porcupine Tree collaborator Lasse Hoile, along with an edited single.

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I was all set to list some titles, then started thinking...I was going with LIVE stuff mainly. You actually forget the difference for a moment. I caught myself though. Here's what I got.

Genesis - Lamb Lies Down Last album with Peter Gabriel. Anything after that pretty much sucks.

Pink Floyd - The Wall. When I first heard this, my neighbour buddy was bragging about it as he bought it when it first came out. I asked to borrow it for a day or 2. I still have it.

Zepplin - Physical Graffiti A friend in school was telling me about her brother having this album. She liked me so I talked her into swipping it for me. (uh oh...I see a pattern developing with me getting free albums)

Humble Pie - Eat It - I will argue day in, day out. Steve Marriott is one of the all time best guitarists and an even better front man for any band. Humble Pie could have been so much bigger had egos not interfered.

Damn, that is all I can come up with right now. Double studio albums are rare in deed.

I did limit my playlist to studio cuts, but left the discussion open to double albums in general, maybe next week I will post some fromthe Live version of double albums. I would love hear that Humble Pie sometime soon. Going to look that one up.

The first double-album I ever knew of, was KISS Alive, and the first one I actually got, was KISS Alive II for just about 35 years ago. Then there were KISS Platinium, and one of my favorite live albums: Jethro Tull - Bursting out. In the end of the 70's, I loved double live albums, but they were expensive for a kid at my age, so I never got Thin Lizzy's Live & Dangerous or Queens' Live Killers.

The "real" double albums are very dear to me. some of my absolute favorite albums are double albums:

Physical Grafitti

Exile On Main Street

The White album


Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Other great double albums (non greatest hits):

The Clash - London Calling

Stevie Wonder - Songs in the key of life

George Harrison - all things muss pass (In fact a triple-album, but a double CD)

The Who - Quadrophenia

Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness (One of the best albums released in the 90's)

Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile (Another of the great 90's album)

Eels - Blinking Light and other Revelations (It's been a while, since I heard this one, but I loved it in 2005)

And I'm sure, there's more, but I've forgotten them right now.

Nice call on the All Things Must Pass, I have the remastered edition on CD. Very cool...

The first double album I remember receiving was the Grease soundtrack on 8 track.

The first double album I ever bought was Pink Floyd's "The Wall". Won't go into what this album means to me since it's been done before.

"London Calling" by The Clash was the second I remember buying. If I remember correctly, the album was too expensive, just a regular album cover, no gatefold sleeve, just the two lp's jammed into the cover. "The Wall" is #1 in my book, but "London Calling" is probably one of the greatest double albums since there are no bad tracks, no filler, plus the "hidden" track is a classic. 

I did buy "Tommy" but it was the soundtrack. I still like the soundtrack better than the original album for some sick reason. Maybe it's because of Jack and..... 

Since I have all these albums, I will rank them:

1. The Wall

2. The Incident

3. Chicago II

4. Tommy

5. Exile On Main Street

That is all.

Nice work Jon! Never seen the movie, but I may have to now that I've seen this still shot

Oh, I wouldn't bother, if I were you. It's not a good movie. Daltrey is cool, and Elton John's version of "The Pinball Wizard" is better than Daltrey's. Oliver Reed is very annoying, and it's has a late 60's "Hair"-style all over it. "Tommy" the album is one of the best albums ever, even if RJhog doesn't get it (yet!), but the movie is not worth seeing imo. See "The Kids Are Allright" instead.

I disagree. For the visuals, the movie is a must-see. For Who movies, Quadrophenia is another good one.

It's been decades since I saw "Quadrophenia". One of the movies, I would like to see again. "The Rutles" is another one.

I've just realized, that I can see both movies, "The Rutles - All you need is cash" and "Quadrophenia" at Youtube!

Have any of you seen "The Rutles"? It's quite funny, as I remember it, but I don't think, I've seen it since mayby '79-'80?! A "Mockumentary" about The Beatles, with Eric Iddle, Michael Palin (both Monty Python), John Belushi and Dan Acroyd among others. Very Funny!

Yeah, I saw it years ago. A Rutles anthology was released on bd/dvd about a month ago but don't know if I'll buy. It was mostly funny, there were some boring bits. 

What???? You've never seen Ann Margret swimming around in beans??!! That's wrong on so many levels.


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