What is the most front-loaded album of all time?

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By "front-loaded," I mean an album that has the biggest drop in quality between its first half (or at least first few songs) and the remainder of the album. Doesn't mean the remaining songs are necessarily bad, just that they are seriously lacking compared to what came before.

Doolittle, anyone?

medelman, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

doolittle's best song is the last one

also, hey

mookieproof, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

Prefab Sprout: Two Wheels Good/Steve McQueen
Camper Van Beethoven: Key Lime Pie

Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

Gouge Away is the best song on Doolittle? Um, I don't think so. Though come to think of it, Surfer Rosa might be even more front-loaded than Doolittle.

medelman, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

Two Wheels Good/Steve McQueen otm

gospodin simmel, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Doolittle, anyone?

These are the thoughts of a madman.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Kid A starts with "Everything in its Right Place," and then after that I could give a fuck.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

lady gaga - the fame

flopson, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw u guys are retarded

flopson, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

boston s/t

mookieproof, Monday, 16 May 2011 05:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

fela - gentleman

mookieproof, Monday, 16 May 2011 06:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

mezzanine

mookieproof, Monday, 16 May 2011 06:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

off the wall

PΓ☼LΞG☼ (prolego), Monday, 16 May 2011 06:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

Gouge Away IS the best song on Doolittle.

― medelman, Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:30 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

medelman OTM

contenderizer, Monday, 16 May 2011 06:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

neu 2

contenderizer, Monday, 16 May 2011 06:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

the most top-loaded album of all time is Sonic Youth's Washing Machine, no contest.

every time you touch me (I get hives) (unregistered), Monday, 16 May 2011 06:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

The most top-loader album of all time is Sugarsmack's Toploader.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 16 May 2011 07:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

I thought the most Toploader album of all-time was Onka's Big Moka?

I don't dislike the second half by any means, but Hounds Of Love, perhaps. That first side is just extraordinary.

lol sickmouthy (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 16 May 2011 08:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

broodje kroket (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2011 08:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

the most top-loaded album of all time is Sonic Youth's Washing Machine

LOLling.

Had that album been made in recent years it probably would have been "front-loaded" too....

Lee626, Monday, 16 May 2011 10:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

ha, did they mean that as a funny or was it coincidence?

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 10:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

U2 - The Joshua Tree

Totally front loaded with singles. I'm not a big fan of U2 whatsoever but 'Exit' is a stonker of a track. Probably the best thing they ever did IMO.

AnotherDeadHero, Monday, 16 May 2011 10:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

The one that came to mind most clearly was Kate Bush and "Hounds of Love"

All but one track on side 1 were singles.

Nowt on side 2.

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 11:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

Much as I grew to despise them, the first Dodgy album opened with three crackers, all of which were singles (Water Under the Bridge, I Need Another, Lovebirds), and then didn't so much tail off as jump off a cliff for the remaining seven.

Now working on a documentary about Sham 69's recent tour of China (ithappens), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

ah, just re-read the question.

I'm not meaning a 'drop in quality', just that "loaded" means hits, amirite?

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 11:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

― broodje kroket (dog latin)

Nothing will beat this.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 16 May 2011 11:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

There Goes My Gun and La La Love You are a bit filler-ish but everything else on side B of Doolittle is awesome.

Surfer Rosa, I'd probably agree with that.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:29 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

― broodje kroket (dog latin), Monday, May 16, 2011 6:17 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Game over.

Spikey, Monday, 16 May 2011 11:31 (2 years ago) Permalink

Teenage Fanclub's Grand Prix - first side is the best run of their career, second side I can barely remember.

We need to talk about Bevan (DL), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I like that Joshua Tree was deliberately frontloaded by Kirsty MacColl, who was asked by Steve Lillywhite to suggest a running order and put all the songs in descending order of preference.

We need to talk about Bevan (DL), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

santogold's debut album was like this for me - got pretty obsessed with the first 4-5 tracks, listened to the second half maybe twice ever

that's my hair no horses up there (lex pretend), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

xpost ^^^ haha, the only way to do it really.

broodje kroket (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:37 (2 years ago) Permalink

lex, that's kinda right, but "Lights Out" is my favourite song by her.

broodje kroket (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Straight Outta Compton

"I like to wear tops that show my cleavage and show off my ladies," (sic), Monday, 16 May 2011 11:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

― broodje kroket (dog latin), Monday, May 16, 2011 6:17 PM (3 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Game over.

― Spikey, maandag 16 mei 2011 13:31 (28 minutes ago) Bookmark

...wow! (Le Bateau Ivre), Monday, 16 May 2011 12:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

The one that came to mind most clearly was Kate Bush and "Hounds of Love"

All but one track on side 1 were singles.

Nowt on side 2.

― Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 11:02

This only makes sense if you think that singles automatically = best tracks. And in any case Hounds of Love (and the second half in particular) has a very definite and intentional arc to it and kinda precludes picking singles from it.

There's a difference between having the singles near the front of the album and cynically shoving all your best songs at the beginning and your substandard ones right at the end. Bands like Pavement were pretty bad for this.

Matt DC, Monday, 16 May 2011 12:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

I know, see the next post by me after this one.

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 12:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

I mean, the post you cited, not this post now.

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 12:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

boston s/t

― mookieproof, Monday, May 16, 2011 1:58 AM (7 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

No way, Side 2 of that album is great, with the possible exception of the last tune. AFAIC, "Hitch A Ride" is the peak of the album!

Captain Hyrax (Phil D.), Monday, 16 May 2011 13:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

The obvious winner. Now it's all about 2nd place

kornrulez6969, Monday, 16 May 2011 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

Matthew Sweet: Girlfriend

kornrulez6969, Monday, 16 May 2011 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

I take it Love "Da Capo" is disqualified?

Mark G, Monday, 16 May 2011 14:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Pictorial Jackson Review by Felt kind of qualifies. The first side is eight really great short pop songs and then the second side is two boring jazz instrumentals one of which is 12 minutes long.

Kitchen Person, Monday, 16 May 2011 15:59 (2 years ago) Permalink

Straight Outta Compton

― "I like to wear tops that show my cleavage and show off my ladies," (sic), Monday, May 16, 2011 12:54 PM (4 hours ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

/thread

...wouldn't need the talcum powder (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Monday, 16 May 2011 16:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

By "front-loaded," I mean an album that has the biggest drop in quality between its first half (or at least first few songs) and the remainder of the album. Doesn't mean the remaining songs are necessarily bad, just that they are seriously lacking compared to what came before.

Doolittle, anyone?

― medelman, Monday, May 16, 2011 1:18 AM (10 hours ago) Bookmark

start over

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Monday, 16 May 2011 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

Thriller
Riptide
Invisible Touch

Leopard on the Cheetos Bag (MintIce), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 00:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon is really front-loaded to my ears: I only ever (evah?) listen to it up to Track 4, "Don't You Evah", and sort of think of it as an outstanding four-song EP.

(I then got into Transference all the way through, once that one came out.)

Just been offered an interview with him by his manger. (Craig D.), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 00:44 (2 years ago) Permalink

side two of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga has "The Underdog," "My Little Japanese Cigarette Case" and "Black Like Me." no way it that album front loaded.

the Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Poll

Bee OK, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 02:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

Madness.

sofatruck, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 02:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

not of all time but MGMT Oracular Spectacular is about as front loaded as you can get.

Bee OK, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 02:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

Kevin OTM with Camper Van B's Key Lime Pie. First side is essential, and then after that it's ehhhhh.

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 02:51 (2 years ago) Permalink

I don't totally dismiss side 2 of SOS Band's Just The Way You Like It, but DAMN... those first 3 songs!

Paul, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

Forgot about this, which would have to be on the Mt. Rushmore of frontloaded albums...

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

siamese dream

Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

but 'desire as' is my favorite on steve mcqueen. do people not love 'blueberry pies'?

keythhtyek, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

wish there was a sb feature for zing touch

blank, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

despite years of trying to believe otherwise, i only like the first three songs on 'different class.'

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 03:48 (2 years ago) Permalink

Bowie, Low

Pleasant Plains, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 04:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Glands s/t

I'm 11 and I love Gay Dad. Today's music is so formulaic its appalling. (will), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 04:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

Follow the Leader

The Reverend, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 07:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

some of you are coming out with some wacky choices... Siamese Dream is anything but frontloaded.

broodje kroket (dog latin), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:52 (2 years ago) Permalink

Kevin OTM with Camper Van B's Key Lime Pie. First side is essential, and then after that it's ehhhhh.

Hesitating to get all Camper Fan Boytoven over here, but "June" (side B track 1) is massive.

candlecart, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 09:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

The Glands s/t

That's insane. The songs are slower on side 2, but there's not a weak song on the entire record.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nite flights by the walker brothers

― broodje kroket (dog latin)

Nothing will beat this.

Scott Walker, "'Til the Band Comes In"

Tom D has taken many months to run this thread to ground (Tom D.), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

... Pulp even wrote a song about it!

"It's like a late Tom and Jerry
When the two of them could've talk
Like the Stones since the eighties
Like the last days of Southfork, ohh
Like 'Planet of the Apes' on TV
The second side of ''Til the Band Comes In'"

Tom D has taken many months to run this thread to ground (Tom D.), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

("Nite Flights" still wins tho)

Tom D has taken many months to run this thread to ground (Tom D.), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Good call Tom on "Til the band comes in"! All the covers at the back destroy the glow of that wonderful 7/8-track first run

...wow! (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

With the Beatles

Dr X O'Skeleton, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

Anal Cunt "It Just Gets Worse"

Horrible sequencing for such great songwriting

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:23 (2 years ago) Permalink

Doesn't virtually every album released after the CD became the dominant format qualify here?

Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:36 (2 years ago) Permalink

Otherwise, "Tarkus" by ELP.

Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

Couldn't give a fuck about anything on Surfer Rosa after Where Is My Mind

or the fuckin' die bit

Master of Treacle, Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

SOS Band actually used to be like this for a while. Something about using very hot producer/songwriters for the first side, and then substandard songs written and produced by less merited folks for the second side.

Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 18 May 2011 22:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

With the Beatles

― Dr X O'Skeleton, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 4:06 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Crazy talk. Everything from track 3 forward on side 2 is essential. .

Captain Hyrax (Phil D.), Wednesday, 18 May 2011 22:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

the white album then.

akm, Wednesday, 18 May 2011 23:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

Nevermind

herbal bert (herb albert), Wednesday, 18 May 2011 23:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Brick is Red, I'm Amazed, & Oh My Golly are all gems (demo vers. of Amazed is better)

Serious answer: Van Morrison, Blowin Your Mind

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 18 May 2011 23:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Also maybe Marquee Moon & the first Roxy Music album (<tho I love this all the way thru)

excitebikable boy (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 18 May 2011 23:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

'Genesis'

Beggar On A Beach Of Shite. (PaulTMA), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

Jesus Jones, Doubt

Dodo Lurker (Slim and Slam), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

Robert Palmer, Sneakin' Sally through the Alley

Dodo Lurker (Slim and Slam), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not feeling Key Lime Pie at all. I thought just about everyone loved "All Her Favourite Fruit" and yeah, "June" is great. "Come On Darkness" is an excellent closer, etc...

Two I remember from childhood also had the singles stacked onto side one. The non-singles, while never awful, were quite unmemorable:

Pet Shop Boys - Please
Crowded House - Crowded House (though strong through to the first track on the second side)

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd say "Woodface" is more obviously frontloaded than "Crowded House".

Hongroe (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:28 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'd say "Woodface" is more obviously frontloaded than "Crowded House".

Possibly. Although "Chocolate Cake" seems an increasingly goofy opener with the passage of time, diminishing the effect on WF.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

the Electrik Red album, much as I love it, is kinda frontloaded -- i listened to it on shuffle so often that it took me a while to realize that my 5 favorite songs are tracks 1-5.

Ted Leo has a tendency to frontload his albums, the best stuff is almost always in the first five tracks

lamp kind (some dude), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

i feel like the '90s was the peak of deliberate label-mandated frontloading -- so many albums where the first single is track 1, second single is track 2, third single is track 3, etc. (Soul Asylum's Grave Dancers Union comes to mind)

some dude, Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:50 (2 years ago) Permalink

Most They Might Be Giants albums

Beggar On A Beach Of Shite. (PaulTMA), Thursday, 19 May 2011 00:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

Probably lots of 60's Motown albums.

billstevejim, Thursday, 19 May 2011 03:29 (2 years ago) Permalink


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