Top 11 Double Albums of All Time…

The Double Album.  Some may call them excessive, egotistical, self serving, and sometimes pointless.  But when done well they are true masterpieces.  In my mind the double album can only be pulled off by truly great bands.  And many of the selections in my list were recorded by some truly great bands.

The double album often displays the artistic breadth of a band, and the great ones leave you wanting for more.  I didn’t include any greatest hits albums or live albums (because in essence they’re usually a type of greatest hits album, only live), just albums that have never released studio version songs from the respective bands.

And to answer the question, why 11, all I can say is, quoting Nigel Tufnel, “this one goes to eleven.”  Plus, try to decide which one of these albums YOU would leave off the list.  Not so easy is it?  So here we go:

11. Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago Transit Authority (or just Chicago as they would later become).  It takes real cajones to make your debut album a double album.  Most bands can barely write 10 songs to fill an album on their first try but Chicago was able to fill 4 sides on their first try.  Albeit this double album only has 12 songs on it.  But they are all great.  From “Beginnings” to “Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?” to the best cover of “I’m a Man” that I’ve ever heard, this album really is one you’ll want to play over and over and over.

10. Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack – Yes, yes, I know. Disco?! And it’s not even one band.  But no other album represented the energy and movement of Disco more than this album.  Plus, it’s the best selling soundtrack of all time.  So I’m not the only one that thinks it’s great.  And a lot of the tunes still hold up today.  Just try not getting up to dance when “You should be dancing”  plays, or not strutting your stuff when the bass line of “Staying Alive” comes on.  Yeeeaaaaah, I thought so, couldn’t do it could you?

9. All Things Must Pass – George Harrison. Not only was this a double album, but it was a TRIPLE ALBUM!!  It was as if George Harrison had been socking away tunes during his tenure as a Beatle and then let them all spew forth on this triple album magnus.  Which is pretty much what happened. Lots of great tunes on this one, my favorites being the more pop oriented “My Sweet Lord” and “What is Life?” (which I can’t hear anymore without envisioning Ray Liotta portraying Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” being followed by a helicopter through the suburban streets of New Jersey).

Click here to see the rest of the list


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