The Perfect Album

Good thread at plastic.com about the phenomenon of the perfect album. “An album in which every track is great, each one worthy of being a hit. An album with not a single song you would skip past and nothing mediocre or even average.” Here’s the compiled list. Some Zappa picks: Waka/Jawaka, Apostrophe and Joe’s Garage. Can’t believe nobody mentioned Roxy & Elsewhere or OSFA…

9 Responses to “The Perfect Album”

  1. Bálint says:

    I think the more homogenous albums can get the “perfect” status. On Roxy one might wonder what that “Old Jazzman’s Church” thing is all about, on One Size Fits All the stupidity of Pojama People might bring some surprise, maybe, but other albums, like Hot Rats bring the same level (or what).

  2. rfrong says:

    Without question HOT RATS belongs on the list. It is FZ’s most coherent album to date…then again…his INcoherence is what attracts a lot of us to his music. My thing is that after over 27 years of FZ Addiction, there are very few Official albums that I can listen to without being at least tempted to hit that skip button at least once. Not because I don’t like a particular song, but because I am tired of it…and like Balint suggested…it’s usually those stupid songs. They are fun…but…
    Therefore…I would list (in no particular order): Grand Wazoo, Hot Rats, Lumpy Gravy and the Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar box…particularly Return Of The Son Of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar.
    Joe’s Garage Pt. 1 is NEARLY perfect.

  3. Barry's Imaginary Publisher says:

    Yeah it depends on the criterium really. Homogenousity (hope that’s a word) isn’t one for me. You can have radically different tracks next to one another — R&E is partly an example of this — and still maintain a general ambiance that for some reason ties it all together. With R&E I never ever skip a track. For me at least they just form one big undevidable whole — not in the least bit because of the fact that it is live (that’s Zappa’s definition of “live” I should add :) ).

  4. xorg says:

    Lumpy Gravy, We’re Only In it For The Money, Hot Rats and Grand Wazoo are unskippable. Not that I often skip tracks on FZ albums as even the stupid tracks are pretty good. It’s all relative! Mind you, there are some albums I never play such as Joe’s Domage, Thingfish and Playground Psychotics. In my view these albums are way below FZ’s usual standard.

  5. SOFA says:

    Freak Out! was listed, btw…

  6. bernard says:

    The perfect album is , well according to my listening, One Size fits all.
    By the way did you notice that most of the albums mentioned are min. 10 years old?

  7. Montana Wildhack says:

    We can for this purpose dismiss all the FZ/moi albums with “talking” of any length, as these holds no interest outside of Zappapology. So vast swathes of “Lumpy Gravy” and “Freak Out” rule them out, as does -especially- the reissued Uncle Meat! Also Trout has the 2 Hair Pies, it pains me to say it but it is thus disqualified. Also WOIIFTM with it’s repeated tracks and what uninitiates call “the long one at the end”.
    PS I am trying to find th FZ “play everything reggae” gig, does this exist or is it an urbane myth?

  8. SOFA says:

    My interest in the voracity of this “list” ended here:
    “David Bowie — The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust …
    David Bowie — The Spiders from Mars …”
    These were listed back to back in the “3 votes” section…
    This was only the first instance of a release garnering more than one slot on the list (there were at least 3 mentions of Johnny Cash ‘Live at Folsum Prison’ and – albeit the album is a classic, and does fit the criteria set – I wasn’t trying to count repeats when I noticed it) and I feel that went a lot towards negating the entire effect.
    A pity too, because a comprehensive list would have been most entertaining…
    And OSFA most certainly deserves to be there.

  9. bernard says:

    Yes, I fully agree : Return Of The Son Of Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar is 200 % perfect. Sounds like J S Bach :
    - with even more musical imagination
    - electric.
    Kunst der Fugue revisited.