I've been thinking about my favourite album trilogies. Now, these aren't necessarily linked or thematically similar, but are consecutive releases. I'm talking about artists being on a roll and releasing three classic albums one after the other. Oh, yes, there are some mighty good ones.
1. THE BEATLES: Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) & Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Revolver is my favourite of the three, but to me, this is where The Beatles found their groove. It was also where they started to dabble with different recording techniques in the studio. These three albums contain so many classic Beatles songs and fabulous album tracks. Very hard to go past this triptych.
2. BOB DYLAN: Time Out Of Mind (1997), Love and Theft (2001) & Modern Times (2006)
These three albums almost span a decade, and kick off with an album that is hailed by many as a return to form and one of Dylan's best. I have to agree; it's a pearler. The following two albums are just as good, if not, better. You can pick almost any three Dylan albums from the 1960's for an excellent trilogy as well, but this set holds a special place in my heart.
3. MIDNIGHT OIL: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (1982), Red Sails In The Sunset (1984) & Diesel and Dust (1987)
I find it amazing that the breakthrough album, Diesel and Dust, is the weakest of the three, in my mind anyway. The Ten to One album (as it's known) is one of my faves of all time. These records are a great testament of the band's former glories.
4. THE ROLLING STONES: Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) & Exile on Main St. (1972)
It's interesting hearing the shift in the Stones' sound following the loss of Brian Jones and recruitment of guitarist Mick Taylor. I find it staggering that they continued to release albums of such high quality despite the death of a founding member and a relocation to France, for taxation purposes. 90% of my favourite Stones songs are from these albums.
5. THE WHO: Tommy (1969), Who's Next (1971) & Quadrophenia (1973)
Essentially two rock operas and a failed attempt at another, these three albums show the scope of Pete Townshend's grand music visions. Who's Next began as a project called Lifehouse which wasn't fully realised until Townshend recorded a radio play which aired on BBC in 1999. He issued this production with demoes and alternate versions of the songs used in a box set called The Lifehouse Chronicles in 2000. These records aren't really meant for casual listening, although many of the songs stand apart from their album's narrative quite well.
FLEETWOOD MAC: Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) & Tusk (1979)
DAVID BOWIE: Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust (1972) & Aladdin Sane (1973)
FRANK ZAPPA: Just Another Band From L.A. (1972), Waka/Jawaka (1972) & The Grand Wazoo (1972) - yep, all in the one year, folks!!
INXS The Swing (1984), Listen Like Thieves (1985) & Kick (1987)
NEIL YOUNG Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969), After The Gold Rush (1970) & Harvest (1972)