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Alt-rock and Punk’s Essential Double andTriple Albums

By Adam Morrison

Because sometimes a single album just isn’t big enough to house all of a band’s ideas. *Note that some of these are single albums in their CD versions*

1. On The Clash’s London Calling (1979), you’ll find punk, pop, rockabilly, reggae, and incorporated influence from dub, R&B, reggae and more. It’s essential in any rock collection.

2. Sandinista! (1980) was released as a triple album, and it found The Clash reaching even further outside of rock, with calypso, rap, and gospel making appearances in addition to styles they’d already touched on.

3. New wave met alt-rock on XTC’s fifth album, English Settlement (1982).

4. Hüsker Dü’s second album, Zen Arcade (1984), tells a story while incorporating non-punk genres like folk, jazz, and psych. It’s an influential album in the history of alt-rock.

5. The 45 songs on Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime (1984) include elements of country, jazz, and funk, in addition to punk.

6. Daydream Nation (1988) was Sonic Youth’s first double album and last album before signing to a major label. A lot of fans consider it the band’s best release.

7. Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995) includes pretty piano, sludgey metal, whimsical acoustic tunes, and much more, and somehow still comes across as a single statement.

8. Wilco’s Being There (1996) is a little bit alt-country; a little bit alt-rock and roll.

9. Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile (1999) is an immersive, surprising listening experience.

10. The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs (1999) is a three-volume concept album made up of, yes, 69 love songs.

11. B-sides and rarities collection Lost Dogs (2003) includes some of Pearl Jam’s best material, which isn’t a slight to their regular studio albums.

12. On their fourth album, Reflektor (2013), Arcade Fire blended Haitian music into their art/dance-rock mix.

Feel free to add to this list in the comments.

One thought on “Alt-rock and Punk’s Essential Double andTriple Albums

  • You are too kind. Sandinista! was a disco record.

    Laurie Anderson – United States Live 1984, 5 records.


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