That Tricky Third Album

Having looked at Google Analytics to see which I of my blogs are the most popular, it seems that arbitrary lists draw many more readers than anything else. This time it’s a list of the greatest tricky third albums. The third album is often seen as the test of true great band or artist, after the first two albums have consumed all of the original material and gusto, what happens when they dig deep to follow up their initial success, can they pull off a classic third album or have they run out of steam? Here’s my top 40 of the very best third albums:


40.
Queen:
Sheer Heart Attack
1974


39.
Rainbow:
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll
1978


38.
The Waterboys:
This Is The Sea
1985


37.
Kaleidoscope:
Incredible
1969


36.
Yardbirds:
Yardbirds (aka Roger the Engineer)
1966


35.
Simon & Garfunkel:
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
1966


34.
Jethro Tull:
Benefit
1970


33.
Siouxsie and the Banshees:
Kaleidoscope
1980


32.
Genesis:
Nursery Cryme
1971


31.
Status Quo:
Ma Kelly's Greasy Spoon
1970


30.
ZZ Top:
Tres Hombres
1973


29.
U2:
War
1983


28.
Elvis Costello:
Armed Forces
1979


27.
Kings Of Leon:
Because Of The Times
2007


26.
The Cure:
Faith
1981


25.
Black Sabbath:
Master Of reality
1971


24.
The White Stripes:
White Blood Cells
2001


23.
Porcupine Tree:
The Sky Moves Sideways
1995


22.
Iron Maiden:
The Number Of The Beast
1982


21.
The Stranglers:
Black and White
1978


20.
David Gilmour:
On An Island
2006


19.
Talking Heads:
Fear Of Music
1979


18.
Nirvana:
In Utero
1993


17.
The Who:

The Who Sell Out
1967


16.
Jimi Hendrix:

Electric Ladyland
1968


15.
Paul Weller:
Stanley Road
1995


14.
Can:
Tago Mago
1971


13.
The Smiths:
The Queen Is Dead
1986


12.
Love:
Forever Changes
1967


11.
The Verve:
Urban Hymns
1997


10.
Cat Stevens:
Mona Bone Jakon
1970


9.
Captain Beefheart:
Trout Mask Replica
1969


8.
Pixies:
Doolittle
1989


7.
Leonard Cohen:
Songs Of Love and Hate
1971


6.
The Clash:
London Calling
1979


5.
Neil Young:
After The Goldrush
1970


4.
Smashing Pumpkins:
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
1995


3.
Blur:
Parklife
1994


2.
Led Zeppelin:
Led Zeppelin III
1970


1.
Radiohead:
OK Computer
1997

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your top two are right on the money. Hard to go wrong with Led Zeppelin and Radiohead.

Mully410 said...

Pearl Jam bucks the trend in my opinion. Their first album was their best. They went downhill quickly.

The Spaghetti Incident said...

DAvid Gilmour? Really - if you are talking about creative talent as the bar - what about his Pink Floyd efforts? You could argue that MLOR and Division Bell are David Gilmour Solo albums! ;)

Crispian Jago said...

Yeah, Gilmour's 3rd was a vast improvement on his first 2 albums. No Floyd included as their 3rd album (Umugumma) is probabbly their weakest. Expect some Floyd in the next list though.