Top 10 Double Albums That Should Have Stayed Single

Categories: Pop Life

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Not all double albums should have been double albums, just as some albums had to be double albums in order for their point to be made. Each case is different with each band or artist.

The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia had to be double albums to tell their stories of teenage wastelands and post-war angst. Personally, we would take Tommy over Quadrophenia any day, as far as albums go. As for their film adaptations, you can't go wrong with a pill-addled Ann-Margret rolling around in chocolate and baked beans.

Pink Floyd's The Wall, which will be performed in its entirety by main composer Roger Waters Saturday night at Toyota Center, is another album that absolutely had every right to be two slabs of vinyl.

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Whether or not anyone skips the quiet places for the eight or so radio hits like "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)" and "Run Like Hell" is immaterial. If you wanted to throw out any modicum of a story line and instead go for the anthemic pop throat, it could be pared down to 13 songs, slashing its 26 tracks in half.

Obviously, with the advent of compact discs, most double albums in the vinyl age became single round plastic mirrored discs, but some artists could still get away with charging double for two discs, or even three. Forget double-disc hits sets, that's cheating, but good on you if you can command two discs of "hits."

Speaking of three-disc sets, you try sitting down and paring The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs to ten songs without crying or calling your mother. Do you realize that Frank Zappa and Prince both made at least three triple albums? George Harrison's All Things Must Pass may be one of the best triple-albums ever made, with apologies to The Clash's Sandinista! juggernaut.

A core group of double albums cannot be trifled with. All killer no filler, to cop a phrase from one of the Killer's box sets. You can't mess with these albums for fear of social guillotine at the hands of a music-snob executioner.

Exile On Main St., Rolling Stones

Blonde On Blonde, Bob Dylan

London Calling, The Clash

Songs In The Key of Life, Stevie Wonder

Bitches Brew, Miles Davis

Physical Graffiti, Led Zeppelin

Not so with these...


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