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Carpe Weekend: 10 great albums, part one

“Brother Brother Brother” by Isley Brothers. | Supplied Photo

“Brother, Brother, Brother” by the Isley Brothers. | Supplied Photo

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Updated: December 30, 2012 6:14AM



There was a time when albums mattered.

Sandwiched between the two-sided record single of yesteryear and the current one-click MP3 download were albums constructed to be complete works of art.

Sure, a hit single might spring from these kinds of recordings, but the artists’ main goal was to create a pleasurable listening experience from start to finish, sans filler.

Not every artist succeeded in this endeavor, but some did.

This week and next, I’ll give you the lowdown on 10 lesser-known albums that are great from the first second to the last.

‘Brother, Brother, Brother’

The Isley Brothers are no strangers to hit singles. “It’s Your Thing” reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.

But when the Isleys released “Brother, Brother, Brother” in 1972, they took songwriting to a new level by crafting an album with no sonic weaknesses.

The album did yield the top 40 hit “Pop That Thang,” but tracks such as “Work to Do” and “Lay Away” were just as great.

‘Queens of the Stone Age’

Songs by Queens of the Stone Age are commonplace on the radio now, but there was a time when the band was about as obscure as the dark side of the moon.

In fact, the band was so unknown when it first hit the scene in 1998 that its self-titled debut album was out of print for years.

The album has since become a cult classic, thanks in part to the riff-heavy opening track “Regular John” and the catchy “If Only.”

‘Thick as a Brick’

Progressive rock artists often craft intricate songs that can stretch as long as 20 minutes.

In 1972, Jethro Tull took the bombastic tendencies of prog rock to new (and some say intentionally mocking) levels by crafting a single 44-minute song.

It’s the only track on “Thick as a Brick,” and it’s as melodic as it is multifaceted.

‘The Stooges’

While punk rock didn’t exist when the Stooges released its self-titled debut album in 1969, the genre sure did afterward.

While not a true punk album in its own right, “The Stooges” still laid the groundwork for the punk rock movement of the late 1970s with classic songs such as “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “1969.”

Is it Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

Not in the slightest. But in its own chaotic, sloppy way, the album rocks.

‘The Magnificent Void’

No album quite embodies the spirit of the electronic space genre like Steve Roach’s 1996 masterpiece “The Magnificent Void.”

It’s not so much an album of music as it is a sonic landscape littered with yawning chasms and shadowy spaces.

This album masterfully captures the essence of what it would be like to float forever through the dark and endless recesses of outer space.

Next week: five more “must hear” albums.



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