Classic Rock Bottom

Jon's Bryan Adams post gave me an idea, not his post technically but the comment I made regarding an artist’s Holy Trinity. You see some time back I read an article on bands who went on to record a series of great albums and the writer referred to these runs as the Holy Trinity of that bands catalog. Not sure why this memory got recalled in the form of a comment n Jon's post, but it did, and now I get to showcase some of my favorite artist Holy Trinities! But first, some rules...


  • These are all studio albums, no Live releases.
  • Clearly there needs to be a substantial catalog of studio albums to pick from. A band who's only released 5 or less albums better be in the stellar category to make this work well.
  • They must be successive and uninterrupted studio releases, we're not talking about a bands best 3 but rather the best studio run of three.
  • If a live album was put out somewhere between the run of three, for example; if you consider "Dressed to Kill - Destroyer - Rock N Roll Over" as Kiss' holy trinity that's we can consider valid for the purposes of discussion.
  • This rule is because of RJ's recent disdain for EP's ... Studio EP's are interruptions and kill a run.

So I'm starting with Kansas for several reasons, one is that I've been enjoying a good bit of time going through their albums. Probably because their new album sparked some interest, but whatever it was, it's a good start. Would've been OK with me to start with Monolith and end up with Vinyl Confessions, but ultimately this is the Kansas Holy Trinity! Enjoy!


PLAYLIST --> http://www.podsnack.com/sgabbert/a13yh2ww


Masque
1975

1 - Child of Innocence

Musically, Masque foreshadows the tight melodies and instrumental interplay on the next two albums, Leftoverture and Point of Know Return, which together serve as the peak of Kansas' vision. The band deserves more respect than it gets for incorporating British hard rock and progressive rock to become the only U.S. progressive rock band of note during the genre's 1970s heyday. Robbie Steinhardt's violin work certainly helped give Kansas a distinctive sound. The liner notes indicate Masque is a "concept album" thanks to the title's definition: "A disguise of reality created through a theatrical or musical performance." "Child of Innocence" is a tough blast of hard rock with a soaring chorus.

Leftoverture
1976

2 - Opus Insert

For any art rock band, the fourth album means it's time for a self-styled masterpiece -- if you need proof, look at Selling England by the Pound or Fragile. So, with Kansas, the most determinedly arty of all American art rock bands, they composed and recorded Leftoverture, an impenetrable conundrum of significance that's capped off by nothing less than a five-part suite, appropriately titled "Magnum Opus," and featuring such promising movement titles as "Father Padilla Meets the Perfect Gnat" and "Release the Beavers." Of course, there's no telling whether this closing opus relates to the opener, "Carry On Wayward Son," the greatest single Kansas ever cut -- a song that manages to be pompous, powerful, ridiculous, and catchy all at once. That they never manage to rival it anywhere on this record is as much a testament to their crippling ambition as their lack of skills. And it's unfair to say Kansas are unskilled, since they are certainly instrumentally proficient and they can craft songs or, rather, compositions that appear rather ambitious.

Point of Know Return
1977

3 - Lightnings Hand

The band is in peak form and also churned out the single "Point of Know Return," which is still played daily on classic rock stations. While their pop-oriented approach and standard rock guitar sound helped define the classic rock sound of the '70s, careful listening reveals that this band's talent goes beyond colleagues such as Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Boston. Their arrangements and time signatures more accurately reflect the music of Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. "Paradox" and "The Spider" are both excellent examples of their progressive approach. Unfortunately, the band always struggled to maintain a healthy balance of progression combined with pop. That made for such awkward moments here as "Portrait (He Knew)" and "Lightning's Hand."




Well, do you agree? Or would you have selected a different run of 3?

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Def Leppard - High'n'Dry-Pyromania-Hysteria

Judas Priest - British Steel-Point Of Entry-Screaming For Vengeance

Beatles - Revolver-Sgt.Pepper-White album (Magical Mystery tour is an EP!!)

Led Zeppelin - II-III-IV (this is a bit questionable, could also be IV-Houses-Physical Graffitti)

The Who - Tommy-Who's Next-Quadrophenia

...and obviously Cheap Trick - Cheap Trick-In Color..-Heaven Tonight, probably one of the most clearest holy trinities.

I'm still relatively new to their early stuff.  I think Ive said this before but I bought Heaven Tonight on vinyl around the time it came out because of Surrender but then it sat in my collection untouched for years!!  ... until you guys came along.   Then with RJ's catalog review I connected with those early CT albums in a cool way, so youre right on the trinity but it being the most holy?  not so sure about that part...

Totally agree on DL, its the only run they got!  And it would be hard for me to not start with Hell Bent for Leather on the JP run but in reality that bands run started with Sin After Sin and ended with Screaming, that's impressive!

I like both suggestion for LZ as well and you're spot on with the Who.

Oh, we don't have to agree on everything, but forgetting CT on the first round, and suddenty in a meeting at work, thinking "Cheap Trick, off course!!" made me also think, that this is probably my number one holy Trinity.

Maybe it's The Who, but one of those two are imo the holiest of the holy trinities.

Agree on Priest, but since it's more 5-6 albums in a row, and Beatles have the EP, and Zeppelin have III and Houses (yes, I know, Scott), that aren't as awesome as I+II+IV+PG, and that Leppard's Hysteria, hasn't dated THAT well in 2017, I'll say The Who and Cheap Trick as the winners!!

...another one, I forgot:

Bob Dylan : Bringing It All Back Home - Highway 61 revisited - Blonde On Blonde. He never was this great again.

Queen would be : Sheer Heart Attack - A Night At The Opera - A Day At The Races

Even Metallica: Ride The Lightning - Master Of Puppets - ..And Justice for All, their 3 best albums in a row.

Yes--The Yes Alblum. Fragile, Close To The Edge

Opeth--doesn't matter where you start and end, and I don't want to hear whining about CM vocals.

Iron Maiden--Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave

King's X--Out Of The Silent Planet, Gretchen Goes To Nebraska, Faith Hope Love

Jefferson Starship--Earth, Freedom At Point Zero, Modern Times

Blue Oyster Cult--Cultosaurus Erectus, Fire Of Unknown Origin, The Revolution By Night

Megadeth--Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia

The Kinks--Misfits, Low Budget, Give The People What They Want

Pink Floyd--Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall

Rush--Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures

Kiss--Music From "The Elder". Oh, wait. That's just one. Guess they don't count.

EH, I'm done. Glad I gave you this idea, but was there even a SHT list this week? 

Oh. Kansas. I would go with Power, In The Spirit Of Things and Freaks Of Nature just to be different.

I would've changed a few of these...  like...

Jefferson Startship--Red Octopus, Spitfire, Earth

Blue Oyster Cult--Mirrors, Cultosaurus Erectus, Fire Of Unknown Origin

Kiss--Destroyer, Rock n Roll Over, Love Gun

But I did wrestle with which run of Rush I like the best and I landed in the same set that you did, but it wasn't easy!

Mirrors should be in there, but that would have made it a Holy Quadrilogy and TRBN is a bit under-appreciated.

No. I've already explained Kiss. Your list means nothing. Don't care if Oprah is gonna whine again.

Let's see:

Van Halen - I, II and WACF, or II, WACF and Fair Warning (take your pick).

I will say that growing up I wasn't crazy about WACF, but I've since changed my mind.

Night Ranger - Dawn Patrol, Midnight Madness and 7 Wishes

Winger - Pull, IV and Karma (I'm probably on an island by myself with this one)

Journey - Departure, Escape & Frontiers (this might be the holiest if they hadn't replaced those 2 songs on Frontiers)

Styx - Equinox, Crystal Ball and The Grand Illusion or Crystal Ball, The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight

Billy Joel - The Stranger, 52nd Street and Glass Houses

and I'll stop with one Especially For Scott:

The Smithereens - Especially For You, Green Thoughts and 11

Now, as far as Kiss goes, I could easily go with the first three, or the three Scott mentioned, or any combination within the first 7 studio albums.  

Kansas is a band that I own pretty much everything they've released, thanks to the complete albums set I bought a while back.  They are just a band that I've not spent any appreciable amount of time with other than the hits.  I love their hits.  The voice of Walsh is amazing.  But I think the proggy elements have always turned me off a bit.  But since their latest album, I actually like some of the proggy moments.  So, one of these days, I'll go back and really do some listening.  I liked all three of your selections, thought that first track really stood out.  Nice job.

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