Fav Consecutive Albums by An Artist

There are periods where an artist or a group reach a creative peak and release a series of consecutive albums that are all masterpieces. These are an artists' Golden Age. Just curious, but what do you consider the golden age records of your favorite artists. Must be consecutive and "Greatest Hits" not allowed.

My fav is Stevie Wonder from:

Music of the Mind
Talking Book
Forfillingness First Finale
Songs In the Key of Life

Five incredible albums in four years.
Joni Mitchell:
Miles of Aisles
Hissing of Summer Lawns
Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
Hope that I have the right order!
The following groups never released anything that was less than stellar material (and superb recordings)

-Steely Dan

-Steve Winwood

-Blue Rodeo

-Peter Gabriel

-Don Henley
Recently, Steve Earle has had an INCREDIBLE run in the past few years:
Train a Comin' 1995
I Feel Alright 1996
El Corazon 1997
The Mountain 1999
Transcendental Blues 2000
Jerusalem 2002

And that doesn't even include:
Guitar Town 1986
Copperhead Road 1988
All of Led Zeppelin's albums were IMO brilliant. Some maybe more than others but all made their mark on rock.
Bob Dylan performed quite a run ... twice ... and this is just counting my favorites:

Run #1

Bringing It All Back Home
Highway 61 Revisited
Blonde on Blonde
John Wesley Harding
Nashville Skyline
New Morning
Nashville Skyline
Self Portrait
New Morning

Run #2

Before the Flood
Blood on the Tracks
Basement Tapes
I guess we don't have any Beatles fans here... :o)
dave matthews band
For jazz fans, I think Paul Taylor's 4 releases are phenomenal. His sax has as unique a sound as any I have heard. No better way to wind down after a particularly rough day.
A favorite of mine, Singer and song writer Melissa Etheridge-- her first five albums:
1. Melissa Etheridge, 1988
2. Brave and Crazy, 1989
3. Never Enough, 1992
4. Yes I Am, 1993
5. Your Little Secret, 1995

I think I could also come up with a good list for the Cowboy Junkies, but these of Melissa Etheridge just sort of jumped out at me when I saw the question. Happy Holidays. Craig
Neil Young. I'm too lazy to list all 52 of them.
The first thing that came to mind was a band called "Wire" from the UK. They were a highly influential "underground" band that many punk, metal and "college artists" took to heart. Some referred to them as the "Pink Floyd of punk rock". Michael Stipe of REM once said that if it was not for Wire, he would have never wanted to be in a band.

Their first three albums are great and are probably my favorite of all time. The recordings really must be listened to in the order that they were released to fully understand the transition that took place within this band. Their album titles in order of release were as follows:

Pink Flag
Chairs Missing

The band split up and splintered into different directions, which were QUITE varied from one another. I had written a small novel on the band and the various recording efforts that came out of the various members, but i'll spare you my "enthusiasm" for this group. I would also add that these recordings sound FAR better on vinyl than on CD as something must have gotten lost in the "mastering". That "raw edge" just doesn't come across on digital : ) Sean
Rolling Stones:

Beggar's Banquet
Let it Bleed
Get Your Ya-Ya's Out
Sticky Fingers
Exile on Main Street

Hard to gainsay Audionut's list--as far as I'm concerned, that's as good as it gets. But in honor of Joe Strummer, how about this nomination for the late great Clash:

Give Em Enough Rope
The Clash
London Calling

Hey Y'all

Merry Christmas.

I like the run U2 put together:

Live/Under A Blood Red Sky (one of the most powerful live performances I've heard. The raw energy is captured quite vividly on this disc, although it is not a very good recording).
The Unforgettable Fire
The Joshua Tree

I would also like to second the mention of The Dave Mathews Band. I've just become acquainted with their music this year and they are nothing short of brilliant. I think he is an outstanding singer/songwriter. I love all of his albums and use them as part of my reference recordings when I test/audition gear, especially the album Crash.......John
Led Zep I-IV are a string hard to beat for rock-n-roll.

Steely Dan's Can't buy a Thrill, Countdown to Ecstasy, Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied, The Royal Scam, Aja is a pretty impressive run, as well.
The following statements are received wisdon and not open to dispute:

Steely Dan - all hi quality, but Countdown, Royal Scam & Gaucho a step above the rest. They're also non-consecutive so they don't rate an entry in this post. BTW, the best overall SD album is Fagen's "Nightfly" followed by Becker's "11 Tracks of Whack". It's a fact!

Led Zep - highly rated, but IV (symbols) and Houses of the Holy clearly superior to the rest. A tremendous 1-2 punch!

Clash - made only 1 masterpiece, London Calling. It's a fact!

Rolling Stones - Audionut, Ya-Ya is relatively weak, but the other four a so strong that they earn an "Advance to Park Place".

Neil Young - everybody knows that #s 8, 28, 37-39 and 43 are weak. Even Neil says so. It's a fact!

Mr. Dylan - Rar1, I agree with your first list. Maybe the strongest consecutive albums, ever. It's a fact!

Joni Mitchell - Viridian, my consecutive Joni list is #1 - Hejira & Don Juan and #2 Wild Things, Dog Eat Dog, Chalk Marks & Night Ride Home. To each his own.

Several people have posted that all the albums by an artists are masterpieces. WRONG!!! The only group that comes close is the original Little Feat, Time Loves A Hero is the weak link. It's a fact!
Onhwy61, I find your post highly objectionable. I don't know whether it was arrogance or ignorance which caused you to confuse your opinions with "fact".

That quality which makes a particular album or group of albums "great" is highly subjective and open to interpretation. The other posts have expressed their heartfelt opinions and I respect that. While I may agree or disagree with a particular post, I do not have the right to elevate my opinions above all others by calling them "fact". And neither do you.

One point I think we can all agree on is that it is an extraordinarily difficult task for an artist or group of artists to have 5 "great" albums in a row. Even the best will stumble from time to time.

Whew, have I ever been walking around in a fog. For years, I have been laboring under the delusion that the Clash's debut album, Steely Dan's "Pretzel Logic," and Joni Mitchell's "Blue" were all classics!

Thanks for setting us straight, Onhwy61. :-)
Can't argue with Joni, Gabriel, Steely Dan or the Beatles

Here's a stab at a few not mentioned yet

Genesis - Foxtrot, Live, Selling England, Lamb Lies Down,
Trick of the Tail, Wind and Weathering, Seconds Out
then it goes quickly downhill ala Phil Collins

Todd Rundgren Ballad of, 2nd album(?), Something/Anything, Wizard True Star, Todd, Hermit of Mink Hollow

Bowie - Alladin Sane, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station To Station

King Crimson - Larks Tongue, Starless, Red, Discipline, Beat

Tom Petty's late 70's early 80's although it sounds dated now

Elvis Costello - Aim is True, This Years Model, Armed Forces, Trust, Imperial Bedroom (oops almost blue)

pre stevie/lindsey Bob Green era Fleetwood Mac Future Games, Heroes are Hard to Find, Bare Trees,and Mystery to Me

Coltrane, Monk, Mingus
Kinsekd, my tongue was firmly in cheek and that's a fact! Waltersalas, I have multiple copies of every Steely Dan album because I've worn them out from so much listening. I also have 3 copies of Mitchell's "Blue" for the same reason.

Also, when starting the post I never meant to set a standard of 5 consecutive masterpiece albums. Just 2 or 3 in a row is truly amazing.

The word fan is derived from fanatic and be definition fanatics have a hard time agreeing on anything.
forgot one

talking heads 77
more songs about buildings and food
fear of music
name of this band is t h
remain in light
speaking in tongues

then quickly downhill
Some very good runs. . .

The Yes Album
Close To The Edge
(this run might arguably continue through Going For The One, but I think the post CttE albums fall just short of masterpieces)

In Rock
Machine Head
Made In Japan

The Blue Mask
Legendary Hearts
New Sensations

Face To Face
Something Else
Village Green Preservation Society
Lola v. Powerman and the Moneygoround
(not counting the Percy soundtrack--which isn't bad at all)
Muswell Hillbillies

I was going to list the Kinks and Yes as well
but thought there was a down album in the middle of some greats - like Tales of Topographic Oceans
Onhwy61, in that case please accept my apologies. Sometimes I'm a little dense. Great thread!
One would have to forward Miles Davis, but it would be more like 25 albums in a row, not five. Not enough room here to list them all.
How about Weather Report:
Tale Spinning
Mysterous Traveler
Black Market
Heavy Weather
Wholeheartedly agree with comments made on Gabriel, Crimson, Clash, Heads, Miles....

Here are two I'll submit:

Radiohead -

The Bends
OK Computer
Kid A


Oranges & Lemons
Apple Venus Pt.1
Absolutely agree with Zeppelin. For King Crimson, did Islands precede Larks Tongue? If so, I would add that to the list. For Little Feat, I would include Time Loves a Hero. I would add Pink Floyd (everything from Meddle through Division Bell) and the Moody Blues (who really had quite the run (Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, On the Threshold of a Dream, Seventh Sojourn, Every Good Boy Deserves Favor, Question of Balance -- not in order). Finally, the first two Santana albums were fantastic -- Santana and Abraxas. Good thread -- I'll have to check out Wire.
being there
yankee hotel foxtrot

black crowes
shake your money maker
southern harmony & musical companion

tom waits
closing time
the heart of saturday night
nighthawks at the diner
small change
foreign affairs
blue valentine
heart attack & vine
I would also add that you can pretty much jump in anywhere among Art Pepper's long list of LP's and count off one consecutive gem after another....
Amen to that one, 4yanx! I'd better stay away from jazz or we'd be here all night.

1) Santana
2) Abraxas
3) Santana (III)
4) Caravanserai(sp?)
5) Welcome
6) Borboletta

The Band:

1) Music From Big Pink
2) The Band


1) Are You Experienced
2) Axis: Bold As Love
3) Electric Ladyland

The above three are pretty obvious, though.
Moody Blues:
1. Days of Future Passed
2. In Search of the Lost Chord
3. A Question of Balance
4. On the Threshold of a Dream
5. To Our Children's Children's Children
6. Every Good Boy Deserves Favour
7. Seventh Sojourn

Probably the best consecutive albums every produced by ANY artist! (IMHO)
Thanks Treyhoss, I'd forgotten To Our Children's Children's Children. This was a great run indeed.
The first four by The Ramones (The best damn four in a row by anyone, anytime, ever)

The first five by The Clash (none of these were as good as any of the above Ramones albums, but there were no stinkers in this sequence either)

Everything by The Pogues (until Shane left)

Everything by The Rolling Stones (until Goat's Head Soup, whereupon The Stones proceeded to set a still unbroken record for the longest streak of totally crappy albums by any band!)

Truth be told, my fellow gonsters, the question as to who has released the most consecutive great rock dics has to come down to either Van Morrison or Bob Dylan. Both veterans are now in the midst of an astonishingly strong hitting streak.
Entertaining thread. Most of the obivious ones have already been listed so hows abouts some R&B

Otis Blue
The Soul Album
Dictionary of Soul
Live In Europe

I've Never Loved a Man
Aretha Arrives
Lady Soul
Aretha Now

Let's Stay Together
I'm Still in Love With You
Call Me

Mothership Connection
Hardcore Jollies
Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrom
One Nation Under a Groove
Motor Booty Affair
I would like to add Radiohead: The Bends - OK Computer - Kid A. Not only are all three of these albums great, they all have a markedly different sound and show the progression of one of the most creative bands of recent years.
New Order

Power, Corruption, and Lies
Low Life

Then they started slipping, but hey, 5 is a fantastic run!
Stones 68-72...this period will never be matched...not even the Beatles did it...(they were a better "singles" band...hence their success).....
Cool thread. Thanks, Tom Ryan, for picking up the Band. I'd include Stage Fright to make it three in a row... not as highly regarded as Big Pink and The Band by most, but to me it's also a great album.

Good one, Bld63, on the R&B. Is that the chronological order for those Funkadelic albums?
Thanks Jayboard. I might have cheated a little as the list includes parliament and funkadelic albums (figured it was all the same p-funk/george clinton thing, my understanding is the reason for two recording entities was not only that funkadelic allowed more 'artistic' freedom but there were record company contractual issues). As far as chronological order I might have a couple transposed but I'm pretty sure these five were consecutive.
Days of the New - I, II & III
Coldplay - Parachutes & A Rush of Blood to the Head
Radiohead - The Bends, OK Computer
Live - Mental Jewelry, Throwing Copper, Secret Samahdi
Paul Weller ....
1) self titled
2) Wildwood
3) stanley road

Dire straits...
1) self titled
2) communique
3) making movies

agree with Radiohead, Led Zep.
Queen ...
1) Night at the opera
2) day at the races
3) news of the world (I'm not sure these were consecutive)
John Coltrane 1963-66. This was the period of the "Quartet," featuring McCoy, Jimmy, and Elvin. The ablums are "A Love Supreme," "Sun Ship," "Transitions," "Meditations." These are all on Impulse, and they are noted for composition, improvisation, and virtuosity. This is easily my favorite of Trane's periods.
Patricia Barber:

The albums that I own are superb but I am missing a few in between so cannot say for sure.

Cafe Blue
(two albums missing)Mordern Cool and Split
Night Club

Here at agon most folks think all Patricia Barber's albums are great.

Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis have already been mentioned and rightly so.
A few more suggestions, amongst my favorites. Not all "masterpieces", but all stellar efforts:

Surfer Rosa
Trompe Le Monde

PJ Harvey:
Rid of Me
To Bring You My Love
Is This Desire?
Stories From the City, Stories from the Sea

Flaming Lips:
Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
Clouds Taste Metallic
The Soft Bulletin
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

Built to Spill:
There's Nothing Wrong with Love
Perfect From Now On
Keep It Like a Secret
Ancient Melodies of the Future

Guided By Voices:
Bee Thousand
Alien Lanes
Under the Bushes, Under the Stars
Mag Earwhig

Slanted and Enchanted
Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Wowee Zowee
Brighten the Corners
Steely Dan:

Can't Buy A Thrill
Countdown to Ecstacy
Pretzel Logic
Katy Lied
Royal Scam
Have to go along with the Dylan runs. Already mentioned, therefore no need to repeat them, except to say that if he comes out with another winner, then "Time Out of Mind," "Love and Theft," and whatever comes next will be a third or fourth great run.
John Hiatt:
Bring the Family
Slow Turning
Stolen Moments

Fleetwood Mac (modern incarnation):
Fleetwood Mac

Grateful Dead:
Workingman's Dead
American Beauty
Ooops...correction: Live/Dead precedes Workingman's and American Beauty.