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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No, but I want to... And strangely, a young Ann Margaret swimming around in beans sounds good to me!

I have The Wall, Tommy and just picked up Exile.  Can't say anything about Exile yet, but I will say that I don't see why people love The Wall and Tommy so much.  I'll listen to this at work this morning.

By the way, out of all the double albums (live and greatest hits not included) listed by everyone here, I'd say Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the best.

Hard to argue that, John also released another double LP in 76, Blue Moves, which is also very good.

I agree about "The Wall". Floyd only made 2 really good albums, and this is not one of them.

It took me quite a while, to love "Exile", but now it's one of my absolute favorites, and I never get tired of it.

Some other really good double albums:

The Who--Quadrophenia


Ayreon--The Human Equation, 01011001, The Theory Of Everything

Neil Young--Psychedelic Pill

Todd Rundgren--Something/Anything

Miles Davis--Bitches Brew

Spock's Beard--Snow

Prince--1999, Sign O' The Times

I picked up Snow a few months back, it's one of the CDs I've been waiting to get to... Curious you mention Prince and 1999/Sing O The Times.. Isn't that really two albums repackaged together?

No, 1999 and Sign are two different double albums. It went 1999, Purple Rain, Around The World In A Day, Parade and then Sign O' The Times.  Two double albums in 5 years. 

Thanks ... Had no idea

Well, no one has mentioned the first "true" double album...GNR's Use Your Illusion 1&2.  Now, before you go dogging that release out, the coolest thing about it was that you could buy them separately, which you couldn't do with any of these other's mentioned.  

Here's how I rank these individual songs:

5. Go To The Mirror!

4. Mother

3. In The Country

2. The Incident Part 11: Octane Twisted

1. Let It Loose

The Stones song surprised me.  Like I said, I just picked this up and I have to spin it soon.  An even bigger surprise was my appreciation for the Porcupine Tree song.  That band has a very specific sound if you ask me, and no matter where they go, it sounds the same (I don't mean bad here, what I mean is you can tell it's them).

I also thought the Chicago song was cool.  I really must pick up some back catalog from this band.  I think Kath was amazing (at least what I've heard anyway).  

Mother is an okay song, but like I said earlier, I just don't see the love for The Wall or Tommy.  

Again, nice idea for a post.  I'm glad you only included studio albums.  Now, how 'bout getting to some of my back logged requests (at least I think I have a couple in, I really can't remember what they are though).

Yep... Sorry haven't had the time to do good research on it yet, but it's coming soon. I haven't forgot, I promise

No sweat, like I said, I don't even remember what it was...

Another one I just thought of and only recently got into (as recommended by someone here in the group, sorry can't recall who know) is YES - Tales From Topographic Oceans and also I was thinking, but not sure if it qualifies, is Guns N Roses Use Your Illusion I + II. Seeing as they were released at the same time (if I recall correctly)


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