May 16, 2008

The whole album and nothing but the album

This afternoon I was reflecting on the idea that thanks to the ipod my usual listening pattern is to shuffle tracks rather than listen to a specific album.

This was whilst listening to a single album in its entirety – a rare event. The reason for this was that the album was The Boatman’s Call by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. This is one of those albums that is stronger when you listen to all the tracks together. It has a mood that builds and builds with each track and there is a clear narrative through the album.

So which other albums demand that you listen to them whole as the artist intended? Which albums should you not shuffle?

I was thinking along the lines of:

- Pink Floyd: The Wall – just does not make sense to play this out of order
- Divine Comedy: A Short Album about Love – a story which it doesn’t pay to muck about with
- Air: Moon Safari – not a narrative as such but a mood thing
- Talking Heads: True Stories – again, a great narrative album. Probably helped by being a film
- Three Feet High and Rising: De La Soul – because there are so many ideas that cross song to song.

Over to you…


- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Andrew Ingram

    Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt2: Scenes From A Memory
    Vision Divine – Stream of Consciousness
    VIsion Divine – The Perfect Machine

    namely progressive metal concept albums.

    16 May 2008, 15:32

  2. yeah I guess prog rock and shuffle don’t go well together.

    16 May 2008, 15:43

  3. Eleanor Lovell

    The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free

    I also think Coldplay – Parachutes is a good album to listen to as a whole although there is no narrative or any particular reason – I just like it : )

    16 May 2008, 15:52

  4. Sue

    I rarely listen to an album all the way through because I get bored. My fondness for the “skip” button has at times caused friction in the car as my partner is a “whole album” man, he also likes Paul Weller too much for my liking but I forgive him that because he has introduced me to lots of good music or, at least, music that I really like. He re-introduced me to the Rolling Stones and Gimme Shelter is one of the tracks we both play most on our Ipods. Having both got Ipods because our taste in music differed quite a lot we now find that we like to swap Ipods, in fact this is something the whole family like doing, sometimes it’s more fun than listening to your own. Shuffle songs is not an option I use very often because I’m quite discerning in what I listen to according to my mood. At the moment I’m into Leonard Cohen in a big way and my favourite songs are Bird on the Wire, Take This longing, Suzanne and Anthem. other songs I’m playing a lot are Behind Blue Eyes by The Who, Can’t Stop – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin, It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys, Living Well is the Best Revenge, Night Swimming, Perfect Circle, Talk About the Passion – REM, Berceuse in D Flat – Chopin, Feel – Robbie Williams.

    19 May 2008, 23:20

  5. Sue

    There are some songs I have in my head which I don’t have on my I-pod. These two are ones that we sang when I was in the school choir and we went to an old peoples home when I was about nine or ten:-

    Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
    And smile, smile, smile
    While there’s a lucifer to light your fag
    Smile boys, that’s the style
    What’s the use of worrying
    It never was worthwhile
    So, pack up your troubles in your old kit bag
    And smile, smile, smile.

    It’s a long way to Tiperary
    It’s a long way to go
    It’s a long way to Tiperary
    To the sweetest girl I know
    Goodbye Picadilly, farewell Leicester Square
    It’s a long, long way to Tiperary
    But my hearts right there.

    We sang Ilkley Moor bar t’at as well but I didn’t like it.

    20 May 2008, 06:57


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