You are here

Log in or register to post comments
mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

So what are some your favorite obsure albums by major artists? These can include solo albums from members of major bands as well.

I'll start it off. Paul McCartney-

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Hi, Mrlowry!

I've been pondering your question, but my brain keeps foiling me. Every time I think of and answer in one part of my skull, another part says, "Hey, that's not obcure, it's a classic!"

I'm trying, though!

The Stones "Black and Blue" comes to mind. It sold fewer units than almost any of their LP's, but has some real nuggets.

I love their takes on Cherry Oh Baby, Hot Stuff, Fool To Cry, Memory Motel, and Hand of Fate.

Really a killer LP that sold something under a million copies.

_________________________________
_________________________________

Hmmm, what else...

I think every Los Lobos disc is an obscure album by a major artist.

Same with...well...way too many artists I like.

OK, back on track:

Would "American Stars and Bars" be an obscure Neil Young album? Star of Bethlehem and Like a Hurricane are top ten Neil songs, but the album seems under appreciated.

John Lennon's "Rock and Roll" is a truly great disc, but it seems under appreciated, I guess.

David Bowie's "Earthling" seemed almost totally ignored, but I love it. It's in my top five Bowie discs.

"Across the Borderline" by Willie Nelson was rather unremarked upon, as well, but it's a killer disc.

The Who's "Emminence Front" is kind of a lost middle child, too. I think it has John Entwistle's best work on it.

OK, brain rest now. Let's try and keep this alive.

mmole
mmole's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 day ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 7:29pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Here's a few more:

Bob Dylan-"Live at the Gaslight 1962"-Not sure if this is still a Starbucks' exclusive but it's a very enjoyable set recorded at a small Village club between his first and second albums.

Yardbirds-"Live Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page"-I remember this show. They were at the end of their career and were billed as "The New Yardbirds." Epic released it in 1971 to capitalize on Led Zep's popularity. Even includes an early version of "Dazed and Confused" titled "I'm Confused."

Fleetwood Mac-"Then Play On"-After Peter Green but before Buckingham/Nicks. Features "Rattlesnake Shake," the all-time best, uh, personal pleasure
song, ever written:

"I know a guy.
His name is Mick.
He don't care if he ain't got no chick..."

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers-"A Hard Road"-Clapton is gone but Peter Green joins the band. A worthy successor to the "Beano" album.

BB King-"Blues is King"-From the same era as the classic "Live at the Regal" and almost as good.

The Band (really John Hammond backed by the Band)-"So Many Roads"-For my money Robbie and Garth were never as good under the Band name as they were here.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Here's two more.I've mentioned these some time ago but here they are again.
1) Genesis - A trick of the tail
2) Rolling Stones - Goats head soup

jazzfan
jazzfan's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 2 days ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 8:55am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Can we do major albums by obscure artists?

If so, I then I would say "Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Roy E.

"You Da Man" (I can say that I'm from Chicago.) The live Yardbirds album is truly an obscure album by a major artist AND major band. I'm a huge Zeppelin/Jimmy Page fan and have been trying to find a copy for years. Of course I've seen mint copies on LP but they are going for between $75 to $150. I hope to stumble accross a copy much cheaper at a Salvation Army or something someday. I do love the song, "I'm Confused." Where else have I heard that?

P.S. If you had a way to make a CD of that LP you'd instantly become my favorite forum member (That and a dime will get you a cup of coffee, that is unless coffee is $0.15.) Unless of course you're Jimmy Page's lawyer, then forget I mentioned it.

mmole
mmole's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 months 1 day ago
Joined: Aug 31 2005 - 7:29pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Thanks mrlowry. If I had the tools to burn LPs to discs I would do that for you.

Isn't the Yardbirds discography disorganized and confusing? I thought i'd heard it all but last year I found a Yardbirds import LP on Charly at a garage sale with some terrific alternate takes and better sound than the American standard releases.

Jeff Wong
Jeff Wong's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 3:28am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

I think the Yardbirds/Jimmy Page album was released on CD in 2000, but, Page has suppressed that edition as well, or at least prevented any repressings.

mjalazard
mjalazard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 4:38pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Jethro Tull's "This Was" has that wonderful bluesy feeling.
The Who By Numbers...'Blue Red and Grey' is a gem.
Yes's "Tales from Topographic Oceans"...True 70's bombastic art rock, but you'de put this on and an hour drifts by.
Pink Floyd's "Meddle" 'San Tropez' is a nice ditty.
Elvis Costello's "Trust" 'From a Whisper To a Scream' has great lyrics and is fun duet with Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook.
Los Lobos' "Colossal Head" This album really grew on me...probably because they play an number of the songs in concert.
Check out this website: http://www.oldielyrics.com/
I could go on for hours!
M
I whole heartedly agree with the McCartney "Unplugged". If you can find a vinyl copy get it! 'And I Love Her' on that album is breathtaking.
Along that line, I really enjoy "With The Beatles" The Fab 4's best tribute to their love of R&B.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Now this is one alnum i did not expect to see.Tales from topographic oceans ! Personaly,i rate it second only to Pink Floyd's "wish you were here" !Only 2 versions (Tales..)
are worth the while though,sonicaly.lp versions and the Japanese lp sleeve cd version.All the others are kinda
"thin and flat" sounding.

mrlowry
mrlowry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: May 30 2006 - 1:37pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Roy E.

You jumped into my top ten just for mentioning the album. The Yardbirds discography is beyond confusing. I feel sorry for the Yardbirds fans that are completests. A couple of years ago I bought a copy of

SpecificOcean
SpecificOcean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 10 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 25 2006 - 8:19pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

I could come up with a whole list, but a personal favorite is Steve Miller's 'Born 2B Blue'. Steve covers his favorite tunes (the title track is Mel Torme's), and his take on Horace Silver's 'Filthy McNasty' made me explore Silver's own repertoire.

MUDSHARK
MUDSHARK's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 5:28pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Cardiff Rose- Roger Mcguinn (Byrds)
Get Yourself Up- Head East
Tejas-ZZ Top
Through the Fire-HSAS

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!
Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Perhaps not obscure so much as albums that may have not have been given much radio play or sandwiched between frequent releases that were overshadowed by popular hits from the other two.

ZZ Top, Antenna. Reference quality recording from ZZ Top? Whodathunkit? A seriously well recorded album that produced no major radio hits and might have slipped under the radar. This one's just plain fun to listen to.

Supertramp, Brother Where You Bound. Released about the time the band disolved and an album that you will be listening to over and over and over.

Supertramp, Some Things Never Change. Released in '97 as a comeback effort for Rick Davies. This album actually received a healthy push by the industry, but never seemed to catch on. A more sophisticated sound that mirrors the band's progression to middle age. Very well recorded with a bit more jazz feel than what you might expect.

Steve Winwood, About Time. Released in the last few years and received zero promotion. I almost missed it and part of it was recorded here in Austin! This album is worth having for one song, Why Can't We Live Together. I was driving home from Dallas late one night and caught a live broadcast of Austin City Limits with Winwood as the performer. This tune slapped me up side the head and I immediately called Waterloo Records and had them order me the disk. Hard to find, but worth it.

Dire Straits, On Every Street. If you don't have this album, go buy it. You'll listen to nothing else for about 3 months.

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Monty,since you like Steve Winwood,check an album by Traffic
It is called "when the eagle flies".

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Slade Alive and Aphrodites Child "666" Vangelis went on to make many solo labled ablums, even a movie theme epic..under Vangelis His last name is a Beast Papathan......greek?

Yiangos
Yiangos's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 7 2005 - 8:41am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Papathanasiou.Yes,he is Greek.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

So is every GREAT diner in N.J. They do it best. With such great diners, why do people eat McDonalds and Burger King crap? When you get REAL FOOD at the Greek diners.

gooddogbad
gooddogbad's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 11 2007 - 6:28pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Great question! In my mind, some of the nominations already posted are far from obscure - I guess it's very subjective. So, how about Santana/John McLaughlin - A Love Supreme? A really sublimely beautiful album, that, at least to me, has been greatly overlooked by both Santana and McLaughlin fans.

Some other cooperative efforts that have limited audience might include:
David Byrne/Brian Eno - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Robert Fripp (+ lots including Peter Gabriel) - Exposure

I'm wracking my brain for the name of the band, and the album, (proof of it's obscurity?) but draw a blank - But band members included the likes of Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, and I think Steve Winwood. How about that?

df

Buddha
Buddha's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!


Quote:
Great question! In my mind, some of the nominations already posted are far from obscure - I guess it's very subjective. So, how about Santana/John McLaughlin - A Love Supreme? A really sublimely beautiful album, that, at least to me, has been greatly overlooked by both Santana and McLaughlin fans.

Some other cooperative efforts that have limited audience might include:
David Byrne/Brian Eno - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Robert Fripp (+ lots including Peter Gabriel) - Exposure

I'm wracking my brain for the name of the band, and the album, (proof of it's obscurity?) but draw a blank - But band members included the likes of Eric Clapton, Charlie Watts, and I think Steve Winwood. How about that?

df

Absolutely home run knock-out first post, Gooddogbad!

I agree about that Santana/McLaughlin choice!

Same with the Eno/Byrne and Fripp discs.

Sadly, the last two are obscure artists to too many!

For that disc you mention, are you thinking of Blind Faith with the naked girl and the hood ornament on the cover?

Well, no, sorry, no Charlie Watts.

Hmmm...

Perhaps "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions?"

Anyway, welcome aboard and thanks for a great reminder of some great discs.

gooddogbad
gooddogbad's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Apr 11 2007 - 6:28pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

YES! That is EXACTLY the album I was thinking of. I haven't heard it, or seen it since college - so the fog of years (20 or so) and the fog of, well, college

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - The Impossible Dream, had it on LP and CD. Stand out tracks to my ears, Sergeant Fury, impossible Not to want to dance and sing up a storm to this number,Hot City Symphony: Vambo/Man in the Jar,Weights Made of Lead.

Roger Waters - Amused to Death. In Q sound. Plays mind games by being able on a good system fool you again and again and any one in the room into thinking a dog is outside in your back yard. And through stereo. To me, Waters greatest album lyrically and of all Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, David Gilmoure's works, I play this CD the most. Stand out tracks Track 12. Three Wishes. One of the greatest torture Bass tracks I have ever heard on any format. Watching TV,It's A Miracle.

Yello - Flag under rated Masterpiece. Track 2 in my mind is one of the best tracks ever to be put down by any group in the last 50 years. Of Course I'm Lying is a track for those who love a song that tells a story in a beautiful and musical way. It catches you from its opening bar and doesn't let you go. Majestic bass, strings, and vocals..dreamy and creamy. The better your system, the better it sounds. Track 12 The Race will show off just how quick your bass really goes. Bass guitar and drums race along at tremendous speed that will have any system gasping.

David Bowie - Heathen I rate as Bowies most under rated album and one of his best ever. And I was a huge fan of the trilogy German period in the 70's with Eno. But Heathen is Bowie at his best and Happy about it! It is still the classic Bowie in every way, but the guy sounds happy, and the CD is infectious in a good way. Stand out tracks are,
Everyone Says 'Hi' at first listen this is almost throw away bop pop. But LISTEN to the words. Sunday the opener is a Killer track that harks back to Low and Hero's.

King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King Another oldie that I love. I talk to the wind and The Court Of The Crimson Song are my favourites.

Chris Rea - The Road to Hell From the opening of the album with rain on a windscreen and windscreen wipers and an FM radio leading into some mean guitar, the whole album is one that demands a listen as a whole. A look at Texas, the Road to Hell from an English blues/rock player surpreme.

Stnd out tracks for me are Texas,Tell Me There's A Heaven, and Looking For A Rainbow.

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

I would agree that Water's-Amused To Death is a remarakble piece, sonically.

I would nominate Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaways' duet album from 1972 on Atlantic. What a terrific collaboration and the lp sound is remarkably good.

His tragic suicide only makes it more so for me. This music talent enclosed in an unhappy soul is pure sorrow.

I understand his daughter is quite a singer in her own right. I will search her out.

Monty
Monty's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2005 - 6:55pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Well, somebody else besides me likes Chris Rea! The guy has a very, very deep album selection and even though I would agree that "Road To Hell" would be a great start for anyone who isn't familiar with his work, "On The Beach" is an equally good album and the one to go for if you are over 40.

For the download crowd, if you were to select one song to get a taste of his talent, I would suggest "Miles is a Cigarette."

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Lee Michaels and Aphrodites Child 666. Vangelis P. Before he was just Vangelis, his origianl group Aphrodites Child.

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Speaking of Aphrodites Child...if you have the ARCHIVES, I recomended it to Gordon Holt and crew back in the original SteroPhhile sometime about 1972 oor 73? They reviewed it in print...thought it was one of the most unique albums ever. Search the archives. Aphrodites Child on double Large Advents (4) AR2aX's (2) Dyna A-25(2) Micro Acoustic Tweeters (2)all in series parallel, running off a Dyna 400 Even then I KNEW WATTS and drivers to MOVE AIR!!!! That ain't changed, it never will.

Colnmary
Colnmary's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 3:32am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

I forgot to add one of my all time favourites I have listened too since I found it in my brothers LP collection in the early 70's.

The Original Soundtrack by 10cc.

I first listened to it on my turntable after spying the cover in my elder brothers LP collection and thought it was a country and western album.

How wrong was I when the opening strains of Une Nuit A Paris started and I was transported to a French brothel at the tender age of 17.

I'm Not In Love just blew me away... wow talk about harmonies, and wall of sound. The Film Of My Love, and Brand New Day are other favourites of mine on the album.

But if you want to know just how good analogue is, listen to the LP version and I'm Not In Love. It even sounds spectacular on the ORIGINAL RECORDING REMASTERED CD. Polygram Int'l B000006U4N

misterdecibel
misterdecibel's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Jul 8 2006 - 9:31am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!


Quote:

Not only do I LOVE "Meddle", but

CECE
CECE's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 17 2005 - 8:16am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

RARE EARTH...recorded at MoTown..they did a blsitering version of Get Ready written by Smokey Robinson done by teh TempTations...Rare Earth 1969 recording sounds GREAT get it, try it.

GreenMan
GreenMan's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 6 2007 - 7:38pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

I can't believe that no one has mentioned Elliott Smith. That man's lyrics and voice have so much depth that it'll kill you. And the vinyl is oh so succulent. Vote of the moment is From A Basement on the Hill (although I've gotta say that's a tough choice).

LouisP
LouisP's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: May 20 2006 - 7:27pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!


Quote:
Dire Straits, On Every Street. If you don't have this album, go buy it. You'll listen to nothing else for about 3 months.

Yes indeed. There weren't any 'Money for Nothing' hits, so I didn't buy the album when it came out. But I heard it being played in two rooms at the HE 2007 show, so I picked it up last week. The remastered sound is superb, and I probably appreciate the material a whole lot more now than I would have sixteen years ago. The slower tracks are where the album really shines, IMHO.

altair
altair's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 19 2006 - 4:11pm
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!


Quote:
<snap>
I would nominate Roberta Flack and Donnie Hathaways' duet album from 1972 on Atlantic. What a terrific collaboration and the lp sound is remarkably good.
<snap>

Haven't heard that one, but in 1972. Donny Hathaway also released "LIVE" album. If you run across it, I recommend you give it a chance/listen.

Brian E
Brian E's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 22 2007 - 2:27am
Re: Favorite obscure albums by major artists!

Obscure album by an obscure artist - Long John Baldry's debut album "It Ain't Easy". One side was produced by Elton John and the other by Rod Stewart. I especially love the opening cut "A Year's Conditional Discharge". Bought it off of ebay and sacrificed a pair of woofers the first listening session.

John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra - a friend saw them years ago right after Orlando had enacted a loud music ordinance. The fine for a concert was something like a thousand dollars or so. At about 11:50 PM John announced that in accordance with the new law they were only going to play one more song - which turned out to be their latest album in its entirety played at high volume. Needless to say, they were fined for doing so.

Any of the early Stones albums also work for me. I don't care that the mix board dated back to the 1950s (allegedly), I like the sound of their music prior to the death of Brian Jones.

Used to own the London Howling Wolf sessions, good album there. Also trying to recall the BB King album called if I remember correctly Live at Cook County Jail. I have seen BB King in Gainvesville, Florida and the man was amazing.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading