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The Three Greatest Back-To-Back-To-Back Rock Albums Ever Recorded


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A few years back I asked myself which albums are the three greatest back-to-back-to-back rock albums ever recorded. While I love Led Zeppelin infinitely more than The Rolling Stones, I have to admit that my choice is three albums recorded by the Stones.

I am not sure if the word should be “greatest,” or “favorite.” A blend of both, I guess.

Looking at band’s discographies to arrive at this list can be a challenge. I would have loved to have included The Red Hot Chili Peppers, but cannot, because of One Hot Minute. Pink Floyd would be a shoe-in, except that some can get hung up on Wish You Were Here, or Animals, depending on your personal preference (I’m not the biggest fan of WYWH, but love Animals, for example). I would love to include U2, but cannot because of The Unforgettable Fire and Rattle And Hum.

Et cetera.

Led Zeppelin has two albums in my personal Top Ten albums of all-time (fourth album and Physical Graffiti), and the Stones one (Let It Bleed). It’s not that these three albums are better than any of Zeppelin’s, its just that I feel that between 1968 and 1972 The Rolling Stones hit a extremely rare sweet spot and recorded three stunning albums, all in a row.

Implicit in my choice in this three-in-a-row thing is the fact that Led Zeppelin III and Houses Of The Holy, while awesome, are not among my favorite Zeppelin albums for various sundry reasons.

Are Signals, Synchronicity, or El Loco three of the greatest rock albums ever recorded? Probably not. And that’s where subjectivity comes into play. I just happen to love those three albums, and saw the tours. I have a soft spot for them, and they happen to be connected to two other great albums by Rush, The Police, and ZZ Top.

While my choice is three albums by the Stones, I feel this post belongs in Other Bands, not The Rolling Stones, since the thread may wind up being what your answer is to the same question.

The list of bands that put together two great albums in a row is long. But three in a row is really hard to pull off. In preparing this post I had an interesting time in considering other albums that are great examples of the three-in-a-row thing. Perhaps you love some of the ones listed below or have some others in mind.

Here then, are my three greatest back-to-back-to-back rock albums ever recorded.

(and some others that I am very fond of)

Let It Bleed/Sticky Fingers/Exile On Main Street

Super F***cking Honorable Mention:

Tommy - Live At Leeds - Who’s Next

Toys In The Attic – Rocks - Draw The Line

Fourth Album - Houses Of The Holy - Physical Graffiti

Black Sabbath – Paranoid - Master Of Reality

Sgt. Peppers - Magical Mystery Tour - The Beatles

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin III

Permanent Waves - Moving Pictures - Signals

Fresh Cream - Disraeli Gears - Wheels Of Fire

Pretty Hate Machine – Broken - The Downward Spiral

Nevermind - In Utero - Unplugged In New York

Also:

Killer - School’s Out - Billion Dollar Babies

Diamond Dogs - Young Americans - Station To Station

Zenyatta Mondatta - Ghost In The Machine - Synchronicity

The Clash - Give ‘Em Enough Rope - London Calling

Van Halen - Van Halen II - Women And Children First

Sheer Heart Attack - A Night At The Opera - A Day At The Races

In Color - Live At Budokan - Heaven Tonight

Aenima – Lateralus - 10,000 Days

Tejas – Deguello - El Loco

Rated R - Songs For The Deaf - Lullabies To Paralyze

The Yes Album – Fragile - Close To The Edge

Powerage - Highway To Hell - Back In Black

Badmotorfinger – Superunknown - Down On The Upside

Kill ‘Em All - Ride The Lightning - Master Of Puppets

Everybody Knows This Nowhere - After The Gold Rush - Harvest

Maybe not “rock,” but sublime nonetheless:

Discipline - Beat - Three Of A Perfect Pair

Road Games - Metal Fatigue - Atavachron

In The Light since 1972.

Trampled Under Foot. My life with Led Zeppelin.

http://petedelorean.tumblr.com/

Edited by the body electric
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My thought is The BOSS....

Born to Run/ Darkness on the Edge of Town/The River..........then Nebraska and then Born In the USA.....could be a fiver!

Dylan - Bringing it all Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde

Electric/Sonic Temple/Ceremony - The Cult

Nice.

In The Light since 1972.

Trampled Under Foot. My life with Led Zeppelin.

http://petedelorean.tumblr.com/

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Some off the top of my head:

Beatles: Rubber Soul-Revolver-Sgt. Peppers

Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet-Let It Bleed-Sticky Fingers-Get Your Ya-Yas Out-Exile on Main St.(5 in a row!)

Led Zeppelin: I-II-III-IV-HotH-PG-Presence(sorry...tried to limit it to three...but I couldn't)

Radiohead: Bends-OK Computer-Kid A

Neil Young: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere-After the Gold Rush-Harvest-On the Beach-Tonight's the Night-Zuma(6 in a row!!!)

Bob Dylan: Bringing It All Back Home-Highway 61 Revisited-Blonde on Blonde

Velvet Underground: VU w/ Nico-White Light White Heat-Velvet Underground

Stevie Wonder: Talking Book-Innervisions-Fulfillingness' First Finale-Songs in the Key of Life

Joni Mitchell: Clouds-Ladies of the Canyon-Blue-For the Roses-Court and Spark

Alice Cooper: Love it to Death-Killer-School's Out

Elton John: Honky Chateau-Don't Shoot the Piano Player-Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Bruce Springsteen: Born to Run-Darkness on the Edge of Town-The River

Elvis Costello: My Aim is True-This Year's Model-Armed Forces

Van Halen: I-II-Women and Children First-Fair Warning

The Cure: 1) 17 Seconds-Faith-Pornography; 2) Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me-Disintegration-Wish

Cocteau Twins: Treasure-Victorialand-Blue Bell Knoll

Sonic Youth: Evol-Sister-Daydream Nation-Goo-Dirty

Stereolab: Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements-Mars Audiac Quintet-Emperor Tomato Ketchup-Dots and Loops

Wilco: Being There-Summerteeth-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot-A Ghost is Born

Goldfrapp: Felt Mountain-Black Cherry-Supernature

PJ Harvey: To Bring You My Love-Is This Desire?-Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

I'll think of more tomorrow.

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Queen : Queen I, Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack

Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin I, Led Zeppelin II and Led Zeppelin III

The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Are You Experienced?, Axis : Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland

Oh and if I may include a very recent band:

Graveyard : S/T, Hisingen Blues and Lights Out

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
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Floyd-Meddle, DSOTM, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall

Pearl Jam-Ten, Vs, Vitalogy, No Code, Yield, Binaural

Black Crowes-The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, Amorica, 3 Snakes and One Charm

Tool-Undertow, Aenima, Lateralus

Zeppelin-I,II,III,IV, Houses, Physical Graffiti

Radiohead-The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A

Beatles-Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper's..., White Album, Abbey Rd

Hendrix-Are You Experienced, Axis:Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland

My Morning Jacket-At Dawn, It Still Moves, Z

Neil Young-Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Goldrush, Harvest

Red Hot Chili Peppers-Californication, By The Way, Stadium Arcadium

Rolling Stones-Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky FIngers, Exile On Main St.

The Who-Tommy, Live at Leed's, Who's Next, Quadrophenia

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Jane's Addiction: Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking - Ritual de lo Habitual

Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy - Darklands - Automatic

Pixies: Surfer Rosa - Doolittle - Bossanova - Trompe le Monde

Aimee Mann: Whatever - I'm With Stupid - Bachelor No. 2 - Lost in Space

Elliott Smith: Either/Or - XO - Figure 8

Talk Talk: Colour of Spring - Spirit of Eden - Laughing Stock

Sigur Rós: Ágætis byrjun - ( ) - Takk...

Miles Davis: 1) Porgy & Bess - '58 Miles - Kind of Blue - Sketches of Spain; 2) Filles de Kilimanjaro - In A Silent Way - Bitches Brew - A Tribute to Jack Johnson - Live-Evil - On the Corner

Frankly, you could list a longer run than even that above...the man was frighteningly prodigious.

John Coltrane: 1) Blue Trane - JC w/ the Red Garland Trio - Soultrane - Giant Steps- Coltrane Jazz - My Favorite Things - Olé Coltrane; 2) Coltrane - Ballads - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - Impressions; 3) A Love Supreme - The John Coltrane Quartet Plays - Ascension

Another giant with so many albums to his credit.

Frank Sinatra: Songs for Young Lovers - Swing Easy! - In the Wee Small Hours - Songs for Swingin' Lovers! - Close to You - A Swingin' Affair!

Nina Simone: Pastel Blues - Let It All Out - Wild Is the Wind

Anita O'Day: Pick Yourself Up - Anita Sings the Most - Anita Sings the Winners - Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter with Billy May

David Bowie: 1) Hunky Dory - Ziggy Stardust - Aladdin Sane; 2) Station to Station - Low - Heroes

The Stooges: The Stooges - Fun House - Raw Power

Robin Trower: Bridge of Sighs - For Earth Below - Robin Trower Live

Pink Floyd: Meddle - DSotM - Wish You Were Here

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Strider-

Can't believe you listed both Anita O'Day and Sigur Ros. U got mad skills brother.

A close friend of mine met Anita back in L.A. in the 80's or thereabouts. I think she was on a book tour or some type of signing. She sat on his lap and spoke of her druggy days. I have Pick Yourself Up With Anita O'Day on original vinyl.

Jane's Addiction is one of my Top Ten bands, but I have never had their first album. I need to get it. Do you have Live At The Palladium boot? If not I will mail one to you.

I wanted to include Miles but I couldn't find three in a row that I am partial to. My favorites are Miles Smiles, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew.

Same with Eric Dolphy. My favorite Jazz musician but not one with three in a row.

In The Light since 1972.

Trampled Under Foot. My life with Led Zeppelin.

http://petedelorean.tumblr.com/

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Graveyard : S/T, Hisingen Blues and Lights Out

A co-worker of mine is a fanatic about Graveyard! I heard them yesterday for the first time!

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91

Someone plays the P.E. card. Love it!

In The Light since 1972.

Trampled Under Foot. My life with Led Zeppelin.

http://petedelorean.tumblr.com/

Edited by the body electric
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Strider-

Can't believe you listed both Anita O'Day and Sigur Ros. U got mad skills brother.

A close friend of mine met Anita back in L.A. in the 80's or thereabouts. I think she was on a book tour or some type of signing. She sat on his lap and spoke of her druggy days. I have Pick Yourself Up With Anita O'Day on original vinyl.

Jane's Addiction is one of my Top Ten bands, but I have never had their first album. I need to get it. Do you have Live At The Palladium boot? If not I will mail one to you.

I wanted to include Miles but I couldn't find three in a row that I am partial to. My favorites are Miles Smiles, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew.

Same with Eric Dolphy. My favorite Jazz musician but not one with three in a row.

Your friend is a lucky devil. Anita was one sexy dame. If you only can have one Anita album, "Pick Yourself Up w/ Anita O'Day" is a great one to have. The way she plays with the time and rhythm in "Pick Yourself Up" is dazzling...and IMHO she owns "Sweet Georgia Brown".

I had the same problem with Dolphy and Dave Brubeck...two in a row, no problem. But not three in a row.

Brother, you could say I was addicted to Jane's back in the 80s. From 1986 to 1991, I saw JA around 40 times. I even taped quite a few of their shows, including the last night of their 3-night stand at the Hollywood Palladium in Dec. 1990. It was among the cache of live tapes that were stolen during a home invasion robbery on Nov. 18, 1992. I do have a video of the first night, Dec. 18, and I have a boot tape and the official release of the second night of Dec. 19. The only JA show that I taped that I managed to salvage from the robbery was one of two Universal Amphitheatre shows I taped the following Jan-Feb 1991. Unfortunately, none of the opening sets I taped...Pixies and Primus in 90, Nine Inch Nails in 91...survived.

You win some...you lose some. In this case, I lost about 200 or so concerts I taped from 1983-1992.

Back on topic...my rap choices:

Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill - Paul's Boutique - Check Yo' Head - Ill Communication -

Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show - It Takes a Nation of Millions... - Fear of a Black Planet

A Tribe Called Quest: People's Instinctive Travels... - Low End Theory - Midnight Marauders

Run-DMC: Run-DMC - King of Rock - Raising Hell

Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang Forever - The W

Edited by Strider
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