Double albums that earn their girth

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Henry Vilas
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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:52 pm

Found this list. Many already mentioned in this thread. Others might jog our collective memories. The Allman's Eat at Peach, for example.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby hellogoodbye » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:06 pm

8:30 by Weather Report, double live album. I love this whole double super duper album. Fusion, so not everybody's cup of tea but Weather Report's kind was very different than Miles Davis' Bitches Brew style....even though Joe Zawinul & Wayne Shorter were instrumental to both groups. IMHO Weather Report are pioneers of World Music and 8:30 showcases that to a great degree.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby wallrock » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:09 am

The Center Square wrote:Lots of good stuff mentioned here.
I wonder about everyone's thoughts on a few Q's though.

- I get that cramming less tracks on a platter ups the fidelity, but what's the deal with regular LP's being broken INTO double LPs? (or LP3's as the Merge Records folks call 'em)
Recent culprits were Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, The National, Thee Oh Sees (3 sides with a doodle, but you still…), Darker My Love - I can go on and on. It bugs me as I I want to listen to an LP, not 2 EPS. Are other folks into these? - not the bands, save those jokes, but the format itself.

- I'm also seeing a ton more gate-folds for single LPs. Subpop and Matador seem to be digging this. - and it shows in their pricing. I'll pay it though, as I'm a sucker for interesting packaging. Are other folks buying into this?

I think most of this has to do with going with 180-gram vinyl and only putting three or four songs per side. It can be a bit annoying since you need to change sides more often but I'd guess the improved sound quality makes up for it. Plus those beefy 180g platters never skip.

I'm also a fan of the gatefolds though I haven't noticed the price varying too much versus standard sleeve vinyl. I did pay more to get the Explosions in the Sky Take Care, Take Care, Take Care double album with the quadruple gatefold sleeve, but that's the kind of thing that happens when I pop into B-Side after having a few.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:27 am

wallrock wrote:
The Center Square wrote:Lots of good stuff mentioned here.
I wonder about everyone's thoughts on a few Q's though.

- I get that cramming less tracks on a platter ups the fidelity, but what's the deal with regular LP's being broken INTO double LPs? (or LP3's as the Merge Records folks call 'em)
Recent culprits were Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, The National, Thee Oh Sees (3 sides with a doodle, but you still…), Darker My Love - I can go on and on. It bugs me as I I want to listen to an LP, not 2 EPS. Are other folks into these? - not the bands, save those jokes, but the format itself.

- I'm also seeing a ton more gate-folds for single LPs. Subpop and Matador seem to be digging this. - and it shows in their pricing. I'll pay it though, as I'm a sucker for interesting packaging. Are other folks buying into this?

I think most of this has to do with going with 180-gram vinyl and only putting three or four songs per side. It can be a bit annoying since you need to change sides more often but I'd guess the improved sound quality makes up for it. Plus those beefy 180g platters never skip.


Another factor to the single-LP-as-double reissues is that they play at 45RPM.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Kenneth Burns » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:47 am

It took me years, maybe decades, to get into Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. Now it's one of my favorites. Then there is the Clash's Sandinista!. Here is what Robert Christgau wrote about Sandinista!. Make of it what you will: "If this is their worst--which it is, I think--they must be, er, the world's greatest rock and roll band."

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Toonces » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:42 pm

Kyle Motor wrote:
wallrock wrote:I think most of this has to do with going with 180-gram vinyl and only putting three or four songs per side. It can be a bit annoying since you need to change sides more often but I'd guess the improved sound quality makes up for it. Plus those beefy 180g platters never skip.


Another factor to the single-LP-as-double reissues is that they play at 45RPM.


Man, do I feel for my late 70's - early 80's turntable. Imagine only spinning small 45's for all of your life then BAM! ...a 180g slab o' beef gets plunked down and expected to run at 45rpm. It takes a few minutes just to get the pitch control set. Luckily I only have one such album (Master of Puppets!) otherwise I would feel the need to upgrade to direct drive if I were into all these fancy 180g reissue doubles. MoP was a birthday gift so it's unlikely that I'll shell out for more 180g 45rpm slabs.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby scratch » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:14 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:It took me years, maybe decades, to get into Fleetwood Mac's Tusk. Now it's one of my favorites. Then there is the Clash's Sandinista!. Here is what Robert Christgau wrote about Sandinista!. Make of it what you will: "If this is their worst--which it is, I think--they must be, er, the world's greatest rock and roll band."


I thinnk I've seen that tidbit by Christgau before and appreciate it as much now as then, though I like most of Sandinista, especially the Mikey Dread dubs and collages.

But on one thing Christagau is dead wrong: Cut the Crap ended up being the Clash's worst. (Jones and Headon get a pass, having been fired by Strummer and Simonon before CTC)

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:33 pm

scratch wrote:But on one thing Christagau is dead wrong: Cut the Crap ended up being the Clash's worst.
Well, sure. But Christgau wrote that in 1981, so cut him some slack.

I know this is irrelevant and I've posted it before, but easily my favorite Christgau quote is his single-line review of Adrian Belew's entire solo career: "A welcome addition to other people's records." I've applied that observation to many others over the years.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby minicat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:35 pm

Kyle Motor wrote:
wallrock wrote:
The Center Square wrote:Lots of good stuff mentioned here.
I wonder about everyone's thoughts on a few Q's though.

- I get that cramming less tracks on a platter ups the fidelity, but what's the deal with regular LP's being broken INTO double LPs? (or LP3's as the Merge Records folks call 'em)
Recent culprits were Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, The National, Thee Oh Sees (3 sides with a doodle, but you still…), Darker My Love - I can go on and on. It bugs me as I I want to listen to an LP, not 2 EPS. Are other folks into these? - not the bands, save those jokes, but the format itself.

- I'm also seeing a ton more gate-folds for single LPs. Subpop and Matador seem to be digging this. - and it shows in their pricing. I'll pay it though, as I'm a sucker for interesting packaging. Are other folks buying into this?

I think most of this has to do with going with 180-gram vinyl and only putting three or four songs per side. It can be a bit annoying since you need to change sides more often but I'd guess the improved sound quality makes up for it. Plus those beefy 180g platters never skip.


Another factor to the single-LP-as-double reissues is that they play at 45RPM.


Thankfully, those are only fancy-ass audiophile reissues. Not the normal situation at all. I think the only non-audiophile 45 rpm double album I've run across was the last Portishead -- which, unfortunately, was also a Universal pre-warped pressing, not a good combo with 45.

The biggest reason for the double format is probably albums in the 50-60 minute range. They just don't fit on a single LP without some significant audio compromises. I really prefer it if they do these as three-sided ones. The new Heartless Bastards, for example, has one song on side 4. Sucktown.

Also: the Clash sucks too.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Huckleby » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:51 pm

Bob Marley & Wailors, Babylon by Bus

I wish I had that one on CD.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Kyle Motor » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:09 pm

minicat wrote:Also: the Clash sucks too.

Christgau sucks even more.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby minicat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:13 pm

OK, Christgau, The Clash and Ditka walk into a bar ...

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby minicat » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:15 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Found this list. Many already mentioned in this thread. Others might jog our collective memories. The Allman's Eat at Peach, for example.


Being There's one I'd add.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Igor » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:37 pm

Kyle Motor wrote:
minicat wrote:Also: the Clash sucks too.

Christgau sucks even more.


In his defense, Dave Marsh was even worse. The problem with rock critics (maybe all critics) is that they believe the most important aspect to criticism is the cleverness of their prose.

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Re: Double albums that earn their girth

Postby Vog » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:07 am

Possibly Miles Davis Big Fun, way better than Bitches Brew. For hard rock over-the-top excess perhaps Humble Pie Rockin' The Fillmore. That live Van Morrison Too Late To Stop Now was great. My currant favorite double is ex-Swans drummer Jonathan Kane's Jet Ear Party. It's a headphone treat. Blues-based (but only just...) guitar bass and drum minimalism. Dynamic and propulsive.


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