The first couple that leap to mind are Joni Mitchell's "Blue" and the Beatles' "Rubber Soul."
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Marvin Gaye "What's Going On", Tears for Fears "The Seeds of Love", Kinks "Something Else by the Kinks", Badi Assad "Chameleon", Ben Harper "Welcome to the Cruel World", Radiohead "In Rainbows", Calexico "Carried to Dust", Los Lobos "Kiko", Masters of Reality "Sunrise on the Sufferbus", Tom Waits "Swordfishtrombones", Rush "Exit...Stage Left", Leonard Cohen "Live in London", Miles Davis "Someday my Prince Will Come", Andrew Bird "Nobel Beast", Mozart "Le nozze di Figaro"
So many across so many genres:
Alternative: Dave Mathews "Busted Stuff", Liz Phair "Exile in Guyville", Pavement "Crooked Rain", R.E.M. "Life's Rich Pageant", The Replacements "Let It Be",
Americana: Calexico "Feast of Wire", Dave Alvin "Ashgrove", Willie Nelson "Teatro"
Aussie: Paul Kelly "May 1992"
British: Radiohead "Amnesiac", The Who "Sells Out"
Canadian: Rufus Wainwright "Poses"
Hardcore: Fugazi "13 Songs"
Indie: Anthony and the Johnsons "I am a Bird now", Cat Power "Jukebox"
Irish: The Pogues: "Rum Sodomy & The Lash"
Punk: The Clash "London Calling"
R & B: Aretha Franklin "Young, Gifted, Black". Steve Wonder "Songs in the key in life"
Reggae: Bob Marley: "Songs of Freedom"
Rock: Steely Dan "Countdown to Ecstacy"
Ska: The Specials "The Specials"
No album is perfect of course but these just seem to flow so well from beginning to end IMO.
In no particular order:
Hero and Heroine
Kind of Blue
Ten Song Demo
Thick as a Brick
The Royal Scam
Exile on Main Street
Heart Like a Wheel
Songs For Distingue' Lovers
Swings Schubert Alley
In the Wee Small Hours
ZZ TOP Trez Hombres... MOODY BLUES Days of Future Past..... LED ZEPPELIN Houses of the Holy.... THE DOORS 1st LP....... JOE JACKSON Night and Day.... HEART Dreamboat Annie........ DAVID BOWIE Ziggy Stardust... WILLIE NELSON Stardust....... PINK FLOYD Animals.... BB KING Live in Cook County Jail.... STEVE MILLER Fly Like an Eagle... FLASH AND THE PAN 1st .. IAN HUNTER Never Alone with a Schizaphrenic..................... SPIRIT Twelve Dreams of DR Sardonicus.......................... ROLLING STONES Goats Head Soup.... Queen 1st LP............ ALAN PARSONS Tales of Mystery and Imagination.............. BEATLES Rubber Soul.... CHRIS ISAAK Heart Shaped World.... DIRE STRAIGHTS Brother in Arms.... THE WHO Who's Next..... SUPERTRAMP Crime of the Century... CSN+Y Dejavu ...... ELVIS COSTELLO My Aim is True.... LOWEST OF THE LOW Shakespere My Butt......Thats a few off the top of my head that well maybe not perfect but one can easily listen to the entire album versus 1 or 2 songs .
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
The Beatles - Abbey Road
Stone Temple Pilots - Core
Sade - Promise
U2 - The Joshua Tree
Tierney Sutton - Dancing in The Dark
Shelby Lynne - Just a Little Lovin
The Police - Synchronicity
Stealy Dan - Aja
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Led Zeppelin - II
The Beatles - Sgt Peppers
The answer is "probably not" (at least for pop/rock).
A couple of Beatles records (add Revolver to the list) come close, but I can't think of any other band that matches their track to track consistency. I guess that there's always a track or two that I tend to skip. Graham Parker's "Squeezing Out Sparks" and "Who's Next" might deserve some consideration.
If we're allowed to cheat, a couple of "Live" albums come to mind, but that's like picking a Greatest Hits compilation.
For Jazz, Duke Ellington's "Far East Suite" and "Intimacy of The Blues" get awfully close, as do a few others (Body&Soul, Nancy Wilson w/ Cannonball Adderly, Kind of Blue).
I second the following suggestions:
Marvin Gaye "What's Going On
The Beatles "Abby Road"
Hotel California by the Eagles
Willie Nelson "Stardust"
Here's a few more:
Allman Brothers "Live at Filmore East"
R.E.M. Automatic for the People
Guns and Roses "Apetite for Destruction"
Nirvana "Never Mind"
Bob Marley 'Exodus"
Bruce Springsteen "Born To Run"
Derick and the Dominoes "Layla"
The Yes Album
Stop Making Sense
Led Zep II
Steely Dan -Do it Again
Allman Brothers -Eat a Peach
SRV -Couldn't Stop the Weather
A Hard Days Night
Bonnie Raitt Give it up
Dire Straits- Brothers in Arms
Grateful Dead -American Beauty
Grateful Dead -Europe 72
Jackson Browne -Running on Empty
Joni Mitchell -Court and Spark
Little Feat- Waiting for Columbus
Pink Floyd -DSOTM
Quincy Jones - The Dude
Sheryl Crow -Tuesday Night Music Club
If you're into some acoustic guitar-
Craig Chaquiso - Acoustic Highway
afghan whigs "gentleman"
mark lanegan "bubblegum"
bob dylan "time out of mind"
joni mitchell "hejira"
laurie abderson "life on a string"
peter gabriel "us"
shirley horn "may the music never end"
emmylou harris "wrecking ball"
paul simon "surprise" and "your the one"
i'm sure i am leaving out a few...maybe the twilight singers "blackberry belle" or the gutter twins "saturnela"...
Yes, but that doesn't make it perfect. It only makes it perfect to me.
"The Hermit of Mink Hollow" by Todd Rundgren won't make too many lists of "great" or "perfect" albums, but that record has a certain magic for me that few other records have. The "magic" I refer to goes way beyond the music itself, which I would simply categorize as "quite good". It has a "sound", and a "feel" to it that have a profound effect on me. It's like the difference between hearing an old record and thinking "That's an old song." and hearing a record and really feeling like it's 1975 again and the music is brand new.
But, you see, I had as much a part in making it perfect as Todd did. Because it isn't just the music. It is the music, and my reaction to it, that creates "perfection".
Boy, my standards seem to be doing me no favors. Love many tracks on nearly all of the albums suggested, but I don't think there's a single one (save maybe Abbey Road) I'd listen to straight through. I'll just go ahead and say it: don't think I've encountered an album I'd consider perfect. Not by a very, very long shot.
Now that you've got an ipod, you may well realize that the only thing close to a "perfect" album is the playlist that suits your fancy, stringing the high points together just so from many, many albums.
Near-complete non sequiter -- reminds me of a Danish fellow named Donald I met on a train when I was but a wee lad who explained that, as swell as it was living all over the world, in the end it renders you somewhat of a permanent nomad. Comes the point where no one country is "home" save the pastiche compiled of the best parts of many places within the four walls of your house. There's a lot of truth in that. And, have to say, feel much the same way about music. The only approximation of perfect is borrowed bits from all over. The real value of the ipod is making that whole process fantastically easy. Or, maybe it's just me.
Your point is taken , but I would argue that you didn't have quite as much a part as Todd did because that record IS nearly perfect (as in the absolute truth dictated by the supreme being). However, IMHO, "Nearly Human" comes even closer to that ideal.
Yes, I drink the cool aid and am a charter member of the Todd is God club. (A fair number of reasonably prominent musicians are members, as well). The lack of recognition in the "mainstream" music press for Rundgren's best work says (again IMO) more about the critics than the music. In my book, you never need apologize for choosing Todd above all others.
Moody Blues - Seventh Sojourn
Yes - Relayer The Yes Album and Close to the Edge
Savoy Brown - Jack The Toad
Who's Next and Tommy - The Who
Hope - Klaatu
In The Court Of the Crimson King - King Crimson
Moonmadness, Breathless, and Stationary Traveler - Camel
In The Land Of Grey and Pink - Caravan
Love and Theft - Bob Dylan
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Band On The Run - McCartney
Foxtrot and Selling ENgland By The Pound - Genesis
Tab in the Ocean - Nektar
Darkness on the Edge of Town - Springsteen
Grand Illusion - Styx
Machine Head - Deep Purple
Paranoid - Black Sabbath
Let It Bleed - The Stones
American Beauty - Grateful Dead
Moving Waves - Focus
John Barleycorn Must Die - Traffic
The Stranger - Billy Joel
Abba Greatest Hits
Electric Nights - Jim Capaldi
Brothers and Sisters - Allman Brothers
Aja - Steely Dan
Meddle and Animals - Pink Floyd
The Doors and LA Woman
Rubber Soul and Hard Day's Nght - The BEatles
Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison and "The Sun Years"
Lindsay Buckingham. Out of the Cradle. Awesome from the first note to the last. No filler. After hearing this, there is no doubt Buckingham was the engine that powered Fleetwood Mac at it's peak. I agree on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Other contenders: Tommy Bolin, Private Eyes. Tasty rock and roll from a little appreciated artist. Sonically well recorded.Very dynamic. Todd Rundgren's Nearly Human has great energy and excellent sonic qualities. Recorded live in studio. Elvis Costello, My Aim is True. Punky perfection.
Although I don't think there is a "perfect album" there are several that I consider near perfect in the fact that I can listen to the first song thru until the last with no thought of skipping one:
Roxy Music Avalon
Bryan Ferry Boys and Girls
Moody Blues First 7 albums
Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers
Aftermath (US pressing)
Kitaro Silk Road
Michael Hedges Aerial Boundaries
Eric Johnson Tones
And several others already mentioned
I think also their are a couple of major groups whose primary albums as a group together are close enough to perfect to acknowledge as a whole:
The Moody Blues
The Moody Blues in particular deserve credit in that they have been around for so long compared to the other two and I cannot think of any Moodies album is not near completely enjoyable for me.
"Yeah, I love "Brain Salad Surgery", but Benny the Bouncer blows it for me. Otherwise, it's a perfect LP, IMO."
Point taken, but even BTB is fine in the context of the rest of the album.
ELP liked to lighten up most of their albums with at least one lighter cut like BTB, FBOFW. I think their producers made them do it so to show that they had a sense of humor and lightness to go along with the rest of the stuff often criticized as "pretentious" by the pop/rock media.
Then again I loved "Cie La Vie" when it used to be played on the radio (and still like it) so you have to take my opinions with a grain of salt. IS there any song more schmaltzy and over the top than that?