Most underated albums......

Here it goes...

Gang of 4:Entertainment

The Fall:Bend Sinister,This Nations Saving Grace..

Jonny Thunders and the Heartbreakers: LAMF

Wire:Pink Flag,154,chairs missing

THe Vibrators

The Saints
Eagles "On The Border" I think this is their best but i never see it see it mentioned.
Its about the only Eagles album I can listen to beginning to end.
Here's six LPs and two CDs that have given me a great deal of pleasure (and that you may have to hunt for):
Louis Armstrong: Louis With Guest Stars, Jazz Heritage Series Vol. 7, MCA-1306
Johnny Hartman: Once In Every Life, BH 7012
The Tony Rice Unit: Backwaters, Rounder Records 0167
Jazz Critics Choice, Columbia Records, PC 36807
Norman Grantz Jam Session/The Charlie Parker Sides, VE-2-2508
Pharoah Sanders: Rejoice, Theresa Records TR112/113
Claudio Roditi With Paquito D'Rivera, Milestones Candid CD79515
Trio da Paz: Black Orpheus, Koko 1299
Phasecorrect every single one of your list has been critically lauded and are very well known in the alternative world.
They may be obscure to the mainstream/average music fan but they've certainly never been underrated.
Sorry for raining on your parade but Audiogon is creaking at the seams with misread replies and countless suggestions that don't fit the description either in country of origin,timescale or whatever.
Here's one I have never heard about on the 'gon and it's a killer album: Dreamland by Madeleine Peyroux. Not too many white girls, who can sing like Billy Holiday. Beautifully recorded, as well. Try her.
Any early Lindisfarne or Alan Hull record. Brilliant song-writing, brilliant playing.
How about Odyssey and Oracle by the Zombies?
Ben Campbell is right.
I could list hundreds of great releases and rarities by largely ignored Soul, Reggae, and Country & Western musicians that, though totally ignored by radio programmers, MTV & Rolling Stone magazine, are nevertheless acknowledged masterpieces among the geeky subcultures that collect these sorts of things.

I have a proposal for saving this thread. Let's stick our necks out and say a word on behalf of albums by well-known performers that were unfairly labeled as duds, or as being inferior to the band's best work. So here goes:

"London Calling" by The Clash gets all the hype, but I find it to be a mere mediocrity in comparison to "Sandinista!"

Les Zeppelin's "Presence" is almost never cited as their best work, but I love it. Here is Led Zep album mercifully free of airy-fairy songs and dopey lyrics about The Lord of the Rings and other such hippie nonsense.

Elsewhere on Audiogon, I have argued that Iggy's "New Values" is the equal of some of the best Stooges material.

I have often pitched a bitch about the US market's fixation on the overproduced recordings of Bob Marley. This fixation includes/entails ignorance of the great volume of far better music that has come out of Jamaica. That being said, there is one relatively overlooked disc by Bob Marley and the Wailers that I could not do without. "African Herbsman" benefits from Lee Perry's signature lo-fi production. "African Herbsman" allows you to hear The Wailers at a critical point in their evolution, in transition from the Rock Steady to the Roots idiom, and before they were sanitized and packaged for the US/UK market.
yeah phasecorrect those albums are well know in indie/alt. not only that but everything you list about 20 years old. ok 'bend sinsiter'ok was released in 1986 yes??

are this recording deseving as being taken as seriously as 'audiophile recordings' *i'd agree*..:)

i'm not a fan of anything you list besides the fall..:)

ok how about this for underarted, the band of susans. unlike evrything you list no one lists them as an influence ever....and i'd much rather listen to there stuff than sonic youth. which was the only band of that sort to count. to be known at all.

the most over rated had to be nirvana....(the band)
I think Tweakgeek has the right idea (and I agree with him about "Presence").

I'll nominate the Stones "Goat's Head Soup". Yeah, it may have been a let down after the run of brilliance that preceded it, but it's not the waste of tape most critics would lead you to believe. The album has a great drugged out and dreary atmosphere about it and all the songs are good except the stupid "Dancing With Mr.D", which is still partially salvaged by the awesomely nasty guitar riff it's built upon. I'd say it's the last fully satisfying Stones album.

Another overlooked goody is Aerosmith's "Done With Mirrors". This is a pretty solid piece of work and the last good record they made before sliding into overproduced MTV powerballad sorryness. It lacked hit singles which sunk it critically and commercially, but that is probably one of the reasons it's so good compared to the dreck that followed.

Finally, I'll nominate all of the Kinks' mid 70's rock opera albums. "Preservation Act I", "Preservation Act II", "A Soap Opera", and "Schoolboys In Disgrace" were all pretty well savaged by critics, but all of them are perfectly good. I'd easily rank the Preservation set among Ray Davies' best work.
That's a big 10-4 on The Kinks albums that you listed, Curbach
I will admit...this probably wasnt my most well conceived post...I was just trying to stimulate some any that I look back...most of these releases are pretty old and in some light probably received the attention they deserved justified or not...not to mention recording quality which varies heavily...but hey...nobody died...or wet themselves...or at least that Im aware of...
For underated reggae...Black Uhuru "sensimilla" gets my vote...more extended dub sound...with classic echoey vocals,L to R panning,and some interesting production effects...only downside to alot of dub music...the bass seems to be recorded a bit "hot"...I assume to fatten it up...but I would prefer it more clean if I had my way....
I think of this category as albums people have not heard of and when listen, demand to know who they are and where to acquire them. Using this criteria, items that come to mind are Milla's The Divine Comedy and Eros Ramazzotti's Eros in Concert.

Milla's album is "her," meaning all lyrics were written and performed by her and all music was written by her. The lyrics are sincere, clear and well recorded. The choices and layering of instruments is outstanding. After this album, she lost all musical talent. All musical performances I have seen from her since this album make this album seem a fluke... but, I'll take it anyway.

The Eros disc is something completely different. It is the finest recorded live concert I have ever heard. Admittedly, I have the difficult to find, double-disc German import, but the single disc American disc is also pretty good. Everything is clear, which is unusual for a live recording in a stadium. The performance is better than his studio recordings. He was definitely "on" when he was performing for this disc. If someone could only have one Eros disc, this is the one to have

Unfortunately, as many of my friends have found, neither of these CDs are easy to find these days. They are both worth the search, though.

Best Regards,
Phasecorrect: I won't say anything that hasn't already been said except for that we share common musical tastes. VERY much so... : ) Sean
sean, we never would have known...:)
Sean...good to know that there are still people with "superior" tastes like ourselves..HA!...the only new system is a bit unforgiving in nature...more so than I anticipated...and some of my favorites listed are exposed warts and all...anyhoo...have any Swell Maps records? a Zep freak ..."Presence" is highly overlooked...and void of Goblin,Fairies,and Elves references...I also have to nominate the last decent Stones album..."SOme girls"....and since Im in a cock rock mood...Ac/dc's "Flick of the Switch"
Are these "under-rated" (which assumes widely known, but largely panned) or "under-appreciated?"

Whatever, I'm throwing the following into the mix:
Richard Thompson: "Henry The Human Fly"
Procol Harum: "A Salty Dog"
Joni Mitchell: "Hejira"
anything by Nick Cave

Well, the term "underrated" can mean different things, obviously. In the context of the original post, it seems to mean underrated by the general public and not necessarily by critics. For the purposes of this discussion, I would operationally define "underrated" as either a record generally regarded as a "lesser" record, either in sales or in the estimation of critics. For example, I regard Fleetwood Mac's 'Mirage' as an underrated album. It didn't sell as much nor was it as well-reviewed as 'Rumours' or 'Fleetwood Mac', but it is better, in my opinion, than either its sales or reviews indicate. As mentioned earlier, Led Zep's 'Presence' falls into this category (not so much for me--for me, their third album is the charm, although I'm not sure I see it as underrated).

Then there are the bands that are critical darlings, including many of those already named. In this context, I think "underrated" applies to very good or possibly great albums not as highly thought of by the critics or the band's/artist's cult following as other albums.
As completely random examples, I would choose REM's "Automatic For the People," Television's "Adventure," and perhaps Miles Davis' fusion-period albums ('Dark Magus,' 'Black Beauty,' etc.).

At least it's easier for me to think of it this way. We could name underappreciated albums all day. I don't see that as the same thing as underrated. But I wouldn't want to be forced into debating the merits of my case. :-)

BB King's "Blues is King". Although "Live at the Regal" is considered by many to be the ultimate live blues recording "Blues is King" recorded live in Chicago in 1964 I think surpasses "Regal" in all aspects.
Deluxe: Is that a good or bad thing ??? : ) Sean
Anything by Rashaan Roland Kirk!
Edgar Winter, Entrance
The Dave Frishberg Songbook, volumes 1 and 2
Duke Lamumba, Jungle Funk
Mathew's Southern Comfort, Later That Same Year
Ten Year's After, Undead
Leo Kottke: "Greenhouse"
Rod Stewart: "Gasoline alley"
Gram Parson: "Grievous Angel"
John Prine, Iris DeMent. Take your pick, they are all good.
Flying Burrito Brothers: "The Guilded palace Of Sin"
Buddy Guy: "Damn Right I Got The Blues"
Tim Hardin: "Reason to believe"
Tim Hardin: "Live In Concert"
Francis Dunnery: "Tall Blonde Helicopter"
Nanci Griffth: "Other Voices-Other Rooms"
Peggy Lee: Bewitching-Lee
Laila Dalseth: "Time For Love"
Valerie Carter: "Just A Stones Throw Away"
Charlie Musslewhite, Can't remember the title.
Rita Coolidge: "Rita Coolidge"
ha ha sean..:) you know it's good ! :)
The Police:Ghost in the Machine...coming to SACD...
Santana's Carvansari, great album that no one remembers. Greg Rolli on Keyboards and Neil Schane (spelling)on guiter. very very very nice album.
The Jayhawks " Hollywood Town Hall" a true hidden gem
Tweekerman, you have it absolutely right, Caravanseri is a terrific, underrated, album. Neil Schon's guitar work is a fantastic counterpoint to Santana's and Mike Shrieve's drumming is out of this world. I had the good fortune of catching them live on that tour at the Springfield Civic Center; seems like so many worlds ago.
Yes, Santana had an all-star band, that later went on to form Journey, (pre-pop Journey). Journeys first album was great, another underrated album. So you got to see the Santana,Rolli,Shreve,Schon Band, as you see all were allstars, it was not THE Santana Band. All the songs on Caravanseri flowed one into the other. Probably out of print on cd, but i'll check. For those still into early 70's and missed this one, get it!
According to "Caravanserai" is indeed out of print. However, "Borboletta" is still available and for my money it's just as good.

I would think both of these albums are due for a Columbia/Legacy series remastering.
Just my opinion, but "Welcome" is better than "Caravanserai". "Yours Is the Light" is my fav Santana guitar solo. My all-time fav Santana in the eponymous third album, the one with "Toussaint L'Overture". It's the first album with Neal Schon.
hummm, So what say you Viridian on Onhwy's vote here, verify?... never knew there was any other album with Shriev,Rolli,Schon, So welcome is better and yet the third "eponymous(?=meaning?) is even better??? Maybe, i'll try to locate something. BTW seems lots of good early 70's stuff is gone. Like Jethro Tull's Living In The Past is now "lost to the pas", especially with the horrible version of Living In The Past on the cd "Living With The Past"....Oh Well..hey that was a great Fleetwood Mac song with Peter Green himself on guitar. Anyone remember??
What is underrated? Some obscure band you heard and liked
but nobody else did? Or some band that was popular but the
album did not get airtime or nobody liked except you???
Everything in life might be "rated", but not necessarily rated the way you like. Why under or over rate everything? Why put things or ideas in a hierarchy? Just enjoy the things you like and forget about under or over anything!
To clarify, Santana's third album, titled "Santana", features the original band plus Neal Schon. "Welcome" features a completely different lineup (except for Jose Areas). The Santana/Rolie guitar/organ combo were great, but Carlos and Tom Coster click even better. "Welcome" also features Doug Rauch on bass. I'm not familiar with anything else he did, but he's a phenom on this album.
Since you're asking, I love "Welcome". The Organ playing is simply ethereal. But, to me, it doesn't comprise a whole the way that "Caravanserai" does. "Barboletto" falls somewhere in the middle. What makes Caravanserai unique is that it is the sound of a rock band of the greatest musical facility discovering jazz for the first time and looking backward to the traditions of jazz while looking foreward to hybrid jazz-rock forms. For my money Greg Rollie is the best keyboard player to have played with Santana and Shreve the best drummer. A quick look at "Soul Sacrifice" from the film "Woodstock" tells the whole story. I also believe that Cuban phenom Conga player Armando Pereza played on all of these albums in addition to Chepito Areas on timbales but memory may fail me. I really think that Edgar Winter's "Entance" that I recommended above falls into much the same magical category, and yet the two sound nothing alike.
Thanks, I'll look Welcome up , if still in print??? Yes Shrive was great on percussion, but not as good as Billy Cobham with John Mc Laughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra Live in New York's Central Park. The cd is stll avaliable Between Nothingness and Eternity. 3 songs. Man! really "trancen"adental music. For those who missed this most underrated albums" may want to consider this one. This maybe more looked over than Caravanseri.
Mahavishnu Orchestra Live from Central Park 1973?, cd still in print called Between Nothingness And Eternity. huumm, nice playing here, but this was about the only things I like by John Mc Laughlin, ...except his work with Santana on Love Devotion Surrender. Another underrated album. At least no one talked much about it in the 'hood at the time it came out.
I was at that Mahavishnu concert in Central Park. Saw them several times during that time period. Always amazing performances. Sadly, none of their albums capture the savagery of their sound. Still the live album is excellent fusion music.

Tweekerman, never warmed up to E. Winter's "Entrance", but loved "Shock Treatment". It's more pop oriented than some of his other records. His band included Rick Derringer and Dan Hartman. Some great songwriting and playing.
I saw Edgar Winter once, Frankenstein circa 1974, good show, but was a bigger fan of Johnny. Lucky you to have seen the Mahavishnu Live, WOW!
I love McLoughlin too! "Birds of Fire" is a great album, but the high water mark of his career is "Friday Night In San Francisco".
John McLaughlin with Shakti is outstanding! He's always had an eastern infusion to his music, and the Shakti stuff is great!

I also really like the disc he did way back when with Carlos Santana, "Love, Devotion, Surrender."
If you're into J. McLaughlin then be sure to check out "My Goal's Beyond". It's an acoustic album with two longer tracks with a band (eastern influenced jazz), but the highlight is side 2 where it's just him on guitar (with overdubs) playing some of his own compositions and a few jazz standards ("Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" and "Blues In Green"). Also be sure to get a listen to his work with Miles Davis - my fav being "Tribute to Jack Johnson".

roger waters - radio kaos
tom waits - blue valentine
ben harper - fight for your mind
richard thompson - mirror blue
pink floyd - obscured by clouds
crosby,stills and nash - CSN (from 1977)
k.d. lang - Absolute Torch and Twang
Mark Knopfler - Soundtrack from Local Hero
Grateful Dead - Reckoning
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon
Marshall Tucker Band - Where We All Belong
I guess I must be one of the people who under-rates "Mirror Blue". I'd probably rank it dead last among Thompson's solo work. Some good songs, but the production is a disaster. Mitchell Froom should be tarred and feathered. But I can see where someone else might like it. . .
I could list hundreds here but I'll only mention one....."This Was" by Tull.. Their first and way best album. A blusey great with Mick Abrahams on guitar. Abrahams, also overlooked and underated,left after this album to form Bloodwyn Pig and a couple of solo albums then fell off the map.Tull never made an album to get back to the heights of "This Was". The whole band was on fire for that disc and never sounded or played better. They had far more commercial success and recognition later with "Aqualung" and several others but they never made another as good.
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A masterpiece from the 80's;

Tears for Fears- Songs from the big Chair.
john hiatt, "two bit monsters" and 'all of a sudden"--before he did the americana thing hiatt was marketed as a sort of american elvis costello; "all of a sudden" in particular got dressed up in all sorts of new wave sonic dross. underneath it all, however, are many of his best songs (pink bedroom, which was covered by roseanne cash being the best known, but "something happens" and "cop party" really show what a great writer he was).
"Jack the Toad" by Savoy Brown.

One of the most fun of its kind overall and coherent from start to finish.