As I look at my 100 favourite albums of all time, I realise very few are without fault. A duff track here or a naff vocal there. May be I am picky but even DSOTM and St Peppers have their weaker moments. The closest I get is Ziggy Stardust and strangely Camel Alive Record ( do not like their studio albums). So what are your ' perfect 10/10 albums? What are the duff moments that prevent your favourite albums being perfect?
2 thoughts on “OPINIONS VARY: The truly great albums with no duff moments?”
The problem with any “really great” adjective is that it is purely subjective. And I think we should leave ideas of “perfection” to higher forms of consciousness within our universe.
Nevertheless it is good fun to share such ideas of great albums and it may enlighten someone to listening to something new. After 50+ years of record listening and collecting I have only five 10/10 (non classical music) albums (a couple of them even rate as 11/10!). The first is a bit of a cheat as it is the Beatles remastered mono box set. What a canon of music and what sensational recordings. Nothing in the pop world comes remotely close. But perhaps this doesn’t really count as it is not one album, but I thought I’d set my ultimate benchmark.
My first almost perfect single album is from the above set. Revolver. If set in the context of the time it was released then it was like suddenly looking at the world in a new way. As great as Sgt Pepper is Revolver opened the doors to a new art form in popular music. Even before you get to the music the cover art is fascinating.
As for weaknesses, there aren’t any, only some variable levels of greatness. It is easy, 50 years on, to slate “Yellow Submarine” but it was written as a kids’ song and is still sung by them. That it may have been a reference to some exotic Utopian mind altering substance may be, but I like to see it, as I suggest it was intended be regarded, as a child’s view of the carefree world we would all want them to live in.
I mention this track as the only one which could be attacked as a “weakness” due to it’s almost banal simplicity, but that’s the point of it so I do not concur.
As for brilliance pick any other track. Even, perhaps the least brilliant, like “Love You To” or “Dr Robert” are part of this tapestry of the state of the art of pop music at the time and without them the whole would not have been so much greater than the parts.
“Eleanor Rigby”, “For No One”, Got To Get You Into My Life” and Good Day Sunshine” are some of McCartney’s contributions. All these on one album. I would think any songwriter would give much to come up with anything like these joyous songs. Even then these sublime creations are overshadowed by Paul’s own favorite “Here There and Everywhere”. Show me a better structured and delivered love song.
And then there’s Lennon’s input. By now becoming less prolific in the songwriting department he comes up with the somnambulistic “I’m Only Sleeping”, the dark and disturbingly insightful “She Said She Said” and his socially deprecating “And Your Bird Can Sing”. Three more tints and hues in this, supposedly psychedelic, sonic oil painting.
George starts to flex his musical muscle and throws in “Taxman” albeit with Paul’s blistering guitar solo, the aforementioned Indian influence and edgy “I Want To Tell You”.
But if you really are still unconvinced, perhaps you are of the 1980’s generation or, God help you, an X Factor child then just “Turn off your mind relax and flow down stream…”. Did I say John was becoming less prolific? When I first heard this at 15 years old I was stunned, numbed and viscerally moved. When I listen to it now 50 years later I am stunned, numbed and viscerally moved.
Maybe I’m just an soft touch. Or maybe Revolver is the best music album ever made.
Thank you SO much for this – from Neil and Howard, the editors. I have to say that I believe you make a valid point re Revolver. Neil is less certain, but that’s just him! Sincerely – Howard