Tell Us about an Album That Took a Long Time to Grow on You

I'd love to hear about records you own that left you cold or disappointed when you first heard them but really grew on you with time. I'll give two examples.
The first is Paul Simon's collaboration with Brian Eno from 2006 entitled "Surprise." I really, really disliked it at first – so much of it felt to me like noise. But over time, I came to appreciate it.
The second is Donald Fagen's "Sunken Condos." I am such a huge fan of him and Steely Dan that I was shocked by how little affection I felt for that record when I first heard it. Now, the better part of two years later, there are songs on the album that I can't get enough of. Strange how this happens…
Your examples?
Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints
Good idea for a thread, rebbi. One that immediately came to mind: The Finn Brothers’ "Everyone Is Here". I was a big Crowded House/Neil Finn fan. Still am. When first purchased, EIH was a disappointment. Not sure how long it took, but eventually the quality of the song writing and the downright beauty of the songs sank in. A well-loved album now.

Calling All Stations by Genesis. 
Believe it or not, Wish You Were Here. It was The Wall which opened my ears to (now) my all-time-favorite band. Go figure!
Roger Waters, Radio KAOS. The more I listened, the more I heard, the more I appreciated. 
@gsm18439 Yes, Rhythm Of The Saints. There's a lot of deep beauty in those songs and arrangements, but they don't reveal their treasures immediately. And those lyrics... wow.

"The open palm of desire wants everything
It wants soil as soft as summer
And the strength to push like spring."

Good golly, who else writes lyrics like that?  ;-)
John Cale's Paris 1919 album took a few listens to appreciate what a great album it is. I had his earlier albums and it was quite a departure from 
I'm really enjoying this thread, thanks for posting, everyone.
Miles Davis’, "Bitches Brew". It took me almost 40 years before I finally enjoyed this album. (Not just this one, but his subsequent releases as well.) It was not as if I listened to it every week for decades, but would periodically give it a spin to see if I had changed my mind ... and ... nope! Were this from any other artist I’d have given it only as much as two attempts before writing it off for good. But I loved Miles too much to not give it a go at least once every few/several years. Not sure how/why it finally clicked with me, but it happened after several extensive, mindful listening sessions to releases which had just preceded it. Perhaps that was the key: appreciating the journey to the mountain that was BB. I popped it in, turned up the volume and ... hey! I get this! I like it! I think what also helped was playing it on a good rig and playing it LOUD! Once conquering the BB mountain I was easily able to enjoy many subsequent releases as well.
I'm still working on really enjoying Bitches Brew.   Groundbreaking at the time but great music?   Not so sure.   One of my least favorite Miles Davis albums still.
Mikey Katz live at the Fillmore!!
@theo Did you manage to warm up to Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking?
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Let Love In for me. I bought this album many years ago and after a couple listens put it away. Can't recall what got me back into Cave but over the last few years he has become one of my favorites. I went back and listened with a new appreciation of the artist and see Let Love In as a wonderful album.
Amused to Death by Roger Waters.  It took me years to get through the entire album as before I was listening to just a few choice songs.  The Q sound is excellent as well.  The DSD version is incredible and the soundstage extends far beyond the speakers.
@stereo5 "Amused" hit me the moment it came out! I play it often to remind me of my younger self. Not much came after that would keep me in tune with times, so I am downgrading to classical...
Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica
Frank Zappa Uncle Meat
Bought them both in the early 80's & got rid of them shortly thereafter. Bought them both 20 years later and have them now in rotation. 
Another one is The Grateful Dead's Reckoning album. It sounded way to country for me on first listen. Even tried to give that one away. Now it's one of my favorites, & has been for over 30 years.  
Every Peter Gabriel album !
Since Peter was mentioned i would submit US . When it came out i would only play two tracks , Digging in the dirt and Steam . This was as a teenager . The album was so uncompressed that it did not show well in my car stereo or boombox . Once a proper hifi system was has it became a jewel sonically . Not a bad track on it . A desert island selection now .
I've had many records that I was initially very disappointed in for sure. Too many to remember for sure but here are a few I lovingly do remember the struggle.

Talking Heads - Little Creatures. This album was played a lot in the electronics shop I worked in while in the Navy. At some point it clicked and I've been subliminally thinking about playing it on Spotify for a few days now. First heard it over thirty years ago.

U2 - October. It was a very difficult hump to get over but boy (no partial pun intended) what a record when I could finally "hear" it. 

Wilco, several of their records but mostly Sky Blue Sky. When I began to get it I could not turn it off for weeks (and probably months). I still think this is their best effort.

Daniel Amos - Dig Here Said the Angel. I've been a fan of this band for over three decades. I played this disc three or four or five times when I bought it and really didn't like it. Then I put it away for some time before putting it in the disc player in my car. Over repeated playing I was able to crack the code. Now, after probably several months am having trouble considering it is time to put in a new disc. I don't drive to work everyday so take that into consideration but I feel so blessed to feel this way about a record. If you've never heard this band, check them out. You may just be happy you did.

Thanks Rebbi for having the thought tostart this thread. I can't wait to read others experiences.

Three that jump to mind:

"The Good Earth" by The Feelies. It was a very different application of a similar musical idea to the one that underpinned "Crazy Rhythms", the prior (debut) record from that band. At first, I just didn’t hear that or "get" it. I guess that it just took my brain a little time to understand what they were doing.

The first White Stripes record initially struck me as a weak attempt to channel Led Zep. After a couple of years, I started to hear it as a very cool job of channeling Zep.

The first Lou Reed solo album was a disappointment after hearing what he’d done with Velvet Underground. I later came to really love the record.

It’s not that Music From Big Pink by The Band took a long time to grow on me, but rather that I just wasn’t ready for it when it came out in early 1968. Some of my musician friends loved it immediately, and some particularly smart non-musician friends did as well. I was completely mystified, not at all understanding what all "the fuss" was about (the album caused quite a stir. It in fact started the "counter-counterculture", if you know what I mean).

I was loving the current leaders of the "musician’s musicians" movement in Rock (instigated imo by The Yardbirds): Cream, Hendrix, The Who, The Nice (Keith Emerson’s pre-ELP Group), and (I’m really embarrassed to say) Vanilla Fudge. Yes, I still loved The Kinks, The Beatles (though not their latest album, the vastly over-rated Sgt. Pepper’s whatever), Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and the last two Beach Boys albums, Smiley Smile and Wild Honey. The San Francisco Groups were making a lotta noise, but out of all of them I liked only Moby Grape’s fantastic debut album.

Music From Big Pink starts with "Tears of Rage", a slow song sung in almost-falsetto voice, the snare drum played with the snare wires "off". The song was rather "low-energy" (as Trump would put it), with no guitar solo, some New Orleans horns, and funeral-parlor organ. I had absolutely NO idea what to make of it. "To Kingdom Come" follows. and I could make no more sense of it. Then comes "In A Station", which has no guitar to speak of, the drummer playing only his bass drum. WTF?! Next was "Caledonia Mission" which kept starting and stopping, the drummer playing his snare drum in "cross-stick" fashion (the tip of the stick on the drum head, the drum’s metal hoop then hit with the stick’s shaft, producing a "click" sound). This is Rock ’n’ Roll?! I tried a couple more times, to no avail. I had to agree to disagree with those who were absolutely raving about the album (including George Harrison, who carried a carton of the LP in the trunk of his car, giving a copy to everyone he visited. Eric Clapton got his copy, and upon hearing it disbanded Cream, went to Big Pink and hung with The Band, waiting, he says, for them to ask him to join. It finally occurred to him his services were not required or desired. Eric talks about The Band and MFBP "correcting" the direction music---including his own---was headed in.).

A year later (Spring of ’69) my teen combo got a gig opening for The New Buffalo (Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin leading a 4-piece Band, the bassist being Randy Fuller, formerly of The Bobby Fuller 4). The contract stipulated that we allow our amps and drumset be used by them, as they traveled with only their guitars and Dewey’s own snare drum and bass drum pedal (drummers will appreciate what I’m talking about ;-).

We finished our set, and TNB mounted the stage, plugged in and tuned up, and started playing and singing. Those who have had a genuine epiphany will understand me when I say that midway through their first song, the infamous light bulb suddenly snapped on over my head, and I in an instant understood what all "the fuss" was about. Ensemble playing! Playing for the song! Musicality! It took awhile, but I finally got it. So did Neil Young; as good as Buffalo Springfield was, and Neil’s own solo albums, Music From Big Pink, and then it’s follow-up (s/t, aka the "brown" album) raised the bar WAAAY higher than it had been. Neil’s Harvest album (by far his best) was a direct attempt to equal the second Band album. He ditched his lame band (Crazy Horse) and assembled a world-class recording band, comprised of Nashville studio drummer Kenneth Buttrey (who played similarly to The Band’s Levon Helm, and had already been on several Dylan albums), bassist Tim Drummond (also from the Nashville studios), pianist Jack Nitzsche (L.A. studios, including doing all of Phil Spector’s orchestral arrangements), and pedal-steel played Ben Keith. What "a band"! Neil even recorded the album in his barn, to get the "dead", "thumpy" sound of Levon’s drumkit. As good as it is, Harvest falls far short of MFBP and TBA. The Band had three great songwriters (plus Dylan, with whom they co-wrote), three great singers, and had been playing together for eight years, often six nights a week, before they recorded MFBP!

Having that epiphany not only allowed me to now appreciate Music From Big Pink, but to be very ready for The Band’s second album, which I eagerly awaited. But much more than that, it completely changed the way I think about musicianship, and what I value in a player. Nothing was ever the same, everything had changed---all in an instant. Thank God for that gig!


Absolutely amazing and enlightening post. Thank you!
Bruce Springsteen's first 3 albums.
As soon as I read the reference 'The Next Dylan' my mind snapped shut like a steel trap.
Born to Run had been out about a year when my girlfriend practically locked me in her dorm room and forced me to listen to it. I heard Clarence's solo on Jungleland and I was a convert. I also married that girl.
Joan Armatrading "Show Some Emotion"

When it first came out, I was a teenager.

Now, upon listening through the lens of decades of all types of music and some knowledge of the "behind the scenes players", I've pronounced this lp as Great!

A damn good introduction into a female vocal, jazz effort. Let's not forget, the great Glyn Johns as producer. Awesome sonics!
bdp24, If you continue with these types of posts, I for one, will demand to become your listening friend!
Hey! I loved Crazy Horse.

Interesting post. I will add my 2 cents as well, without getting into specific albums/tracks

I have generally found that whenever I hear something new, and dismiss it altogether, upon giving it more and more plays it will grow on me, and typically stay in my favour forever, yet inversely, when something new comes to my attention, and I really get into it initially, the luster wears off pretty quickly, and it just becomes another boring album/track to rarely ever get played again. It's been like this for me since I was a kid, and now in my mid 50's, it is still the same.

Am I alone in this regard, or do other members have the same perspective?

I can relate to what you are saying. But there are some songs that got my attention the first time I heard them and I still haven't gotten enough of them. This thread seeks to identify those recordings.

But I, too, have a box full of 'What the F was I thinking?' recordings.
Pop music related;
circa 1986/87 George Michael left his musical partner Andrew Ridgely in the Pop duo- Wham! GM would venture out solo, delivered "Faith". It took me a year or so to fully grasp this masterpiece. (6) #1 hits made him a mega-star. This was territory for Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson.
Rock music related;
as the 80's came into a close and the 1990's began, I was still into Hard Rock and Metal!  Well, a new genre was being hyped for the mainstream, it was coined, "Grunge". Nirvana, Soundgarden and a band called Pearl Jam lead the changing of the guard.

I caught onto both Nirvana & Soundgarden early on. Pearl Jam "Ten" however took a little longer to grasp. Another year would pass before I truly grasped this release.  As this music flooded the air waves and MTV, I caved into submission.  After 10 years since its release, we now know that, it is a masterpiece. Still holds up in 2016.
I just recently, yesterday actually, put on Ornette's-This is our Music. I am really surprised how much I enjoyed it. Especially considering how I felt about it over 7 years ago when I first picked it up. Id listen to it only very occasionally to see if anything changed. Until yesterday I was ambivalent. My system is better now, maybe I'm a better listener now I don't know. But, I'm gonna put it on again right now and see if side two speaks to me like side 1 did. 

As as a band the Grateful Dead were not something I took a shine to, initially, at all. What is the big F'n deal was my exact attitude. As it turns out they and the rest of the dead family offshoots of the band have been over the course of it a very cool part of my life musically and I have had the honor to have experienced some of the best most joyful experiences of my life at shows. All the while I might add never taking anything stronger than a cup of coffee, a few beers and/or a bit of weed. 
Jah Wobble/Evan Parker "Passage To Hades" -- extremely sophisticated mixture of jazz, avangard and Irish folk.
Yes - Big Generator.  Only liked Shoot High Aim Low when it first came out.  Thought the album was too blatantly commercial.  Almost 30 years later, now thinking this is a great album.  Songs are strong; arrangements and sound quality are great.  
fourwnds, I didn't initially care for Workingman's Dead--I came to like every tune on the LP. 

bdp24, I liked your Big Pink post.  I took to that album immediately.  I was familiar with some of the tunes from the radio but didn't know who did them and was pleasantly surprised to find them on the new LP I was spinning.  BTW, I once played a couple of tunes with Bobby Fuller's drummer.  He was a hometown buddy of our drummer, ex-Mother Jimmy Carl Black. I had actually forgotten about that experience until I read your post about the bassist, so thanks for that!

Workingman's Dead is a classic, no doubt. When I heard it, it too sounded like it was at least in part inspired by the second Band album. The songs, the harmonies, the country feel. The Band and The Dead (as well as Janis Joplin & Big Brother) did a tour across Canada together, traveling in a train car. Too bad THAT wasn't videotaped! Though not thought of as part of the Rock 'n' Roll drug crowd like The Dead, three members of The Band did indulge pretty heavily, even in heroin.

Bobby Fuller had two different drummers, both good. The first place I visited when I moved to L.A. was Forest Lawn Cemetery, to pay my respects to Bobby. Anyone who does likewise, he is listed as Robert Fuller.

bdp24, have you not seen "Festival Express?"
Everyone must see the "festival express".
YES! I am drawn to Festival Express by my favorite band, The Band, but Buddy Guy doing the great Barrett Strong classic "Money" (later done in an also-good version by The Beatles), and Janis Joplin doing "Tell Mama", a tough R & B song originally by one of her heroes, the fantastic Etta James, doesn’t hurt! I have now acquired it, and will watch it asap. Thanks for the tip tostado, I somehow missed it!
Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits--not something I cared for at the time it came out, but in recent years I have come to find that I love the combination of her voice with the Bacharach/David songs, the arrangements and the production. 
I thought of another one, genre actually, finally I'm starting to get into classical music. It's wonderful. Helps having a recording not done half arse. Although I had bought a few audiophile ReferenceRecordings releases  that didn't help to turn me on either. Robert Ludwig and Bill Kipper mastering as well on a few MHS and Nonesuch titles in vg condition I've grabbed from used or thrift store bins have been part of the key I think. 

Celebrating the Music of Weather Report SACD on Telarc.  Always liked weather report since before Jaco but this compilation has really grown on me and sounds great. 
I'm still not sure I have warmed up to Ummagumma. Maybe in another 50 years it will grow on me? I'm sure there were some albums that were a slow burn but I just can't remember which ones, seriously. Most of the time, I can tell in the first 5 minutes if an album has a chance. I always play them through 3 times just to make sure but usually I know right away.
Having been a perhaps too big a fan for Aqualung it took me a few years to wrap my head around Thick As A Brick by Tull. I was expecting Aqualung Part Two but instead received something that made me re-listen to their entire - back then - catalogue. (Stand Up, Benefit...)

That more or less changed when I heard the record on a decent stereo system not long after it was released. That also more or less started me on high fidelity as well. I am not a purist audiophile in the sense that it's the artist, not the sound reproduction, that grabs one by the short hairs and has an impact. It's not the clubs, Laddie. 

Anyhoo, once I heard Thick As A Brick on a decent stereo I was hooked.  It remains in my rotation to this day, ahead of Aqualung, right along with Revolver, Exile On Main Street, and as an ode to my father, Classical Music Symphonic Orchestra Volume Two or something like that - a series that my mother would pick up at the A&P when she did out weekly marketing. 

It's never the clubs, Laddie. 

PS:  The first album I bought on the "new" CD format was Thick As A Brick - the very notion of not having to flip the LP seemed tailor made for that record.  Woof!
When I first listened to the latest U2 album - "Songs of Innocence", I was extremely underwhelmed. I got it free from the original iTunes promotion, and I thought I got exactly what I paid for it.....nothing. Anyway, I've been listening to it recently in preparation for seeing U2 in Louisville for their 30th anniversary tour for The Joshua Tree (even though they haven't been playing any songs from the latest album on the tour). It has grown on me. I now think it's a fairly sold album. Granted, it's not one of U2's best, but that is comparing it to some GREAT albums. Compared to other recent releases from other active bands, I think it holds it's own.
When I was first getting into progressive music, I had no problems enjoying most of the better known bands (YES, Genesis, Camel, ELP, etc) on first listen.

But then, Gentle Giant's "Octopus" was recommended to me. I had no idea what to make of it. With all that counterpoint, complex vocal harmonies, dissonance, mixture of Medieval and contemporary classical, etc, it was a real head scratcher. 

After a few attempts to get into it, I put it on the shelf for a few months. I kept hearing what geniuses these guys were, so I finally gave it more chances.

Now, most of their catalog are "desert Island" material for me. 

Since then, there have been quite a few more bands, mostly on the avant garde side of prog that took a while to grow on me. Henry Cow, Thinking Plague, Magma, are a few examples. 
Music From Big Pink.

Yes. It’s true. I was very late to the party.

Even though I was very familiar with "The Weight" I had never heard any other songs on the album. Eventually I bought the LP in ’72 because I heard "Chest Fever" on the radio and thought Garth Hudson’s organ wizardry was just too cool for school. So basically I listened to those 2 tracks and nothing else. I tried. I really did. But those other songs were just ’too folky’ for my young-buck-with-a-head-full-of-mush tastes.

6 years later someone asked me if I had the album and mentioned offhand that it was one of the greatest albums in the history of rock. When I replied that I had only listened to those 2 songs on the album I received an incredulous stare followed by several moments of silence. "Go home and listen to the whole album. Now. Please. You have no idea what you’ve been missing."

So I did. It was like an epiphany. And the rest is history. Today I have 4 versions of the album: MFSL vinyl, MFSL gold CD, Japanese vinyl and Japanese SHM-CD. I think I’m covered.
surprisingly, it took me a while to grasp nirvana's nevermind--when i first heard it, it sounded overpolished and overtly commercial, as if to sanitize a punk band for mass consumption. i still have issues with the production (much preferring the rawness of in utero), but the songs are brilliant.

Neil Finn - Dizzy Heights
In Search of the Lost Chord by the Moody Blues was a tough nut to crack. I could never get past side one. I gave my copy to a school chum. Years later in the late night on The Mighty Met KMET I heard lyrics Timothy Learys Dead (The Legend of a Mind)coming from the FM station and I loved it. I knew it was The Moody Blues and I knew their catalog but had never heard this and I assumed it was a song from a new album but they didn’t have anything new out.
I remember I never played side two of ISOTLC and I asked a friend to spin it one night and there it was and the whole album made sense and fell into place