Not One Wasted Second; The Pursuit of the Perfect Album


Active Member
The problem with lists like this is that it's impossible to define what makes an album perfect. It is the best collection of songs? The perfectly coherent album? A albums that captured the zeitgeist?

I love some of the albums picked, but is Born to Run the best collection of hits by Springsteen? I would say Born in the USA was. Is it his most coherant album? I would say that was The River. Is Transformer the best Loud Reed did? New York starts with Romeu had Juliette, Halloween Parade and Dirty Blvd. That's hard to beat. And Berlin is a much more coherent album. Is Violantor better than Music for the Masses or more career defining than Black Celebration.

Anyway, here are some more (flawed) picks:

Electric Warrior; Raw Power; Lust for Life; Psychocandy; Juju; Violent Femmes; Floodland; Tim; Disintegration; Blue Bell Knoll; The Trinity Session; The Downward Spiral; Different Class; Garbage; The Holy Bible; Murder Ballads; Without You I'm Nothing; Is this it; Up the Bracket; Silence Yourself.

All flawed choices.

Velvet Underground & Nico is the only album I could confidently call perfect.
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Active Member
From my perspective

Kraftwerk The Man Machine - the electronic album for me. If the Robots don't get you, Neon Lights will.

The Human League Travelogue - a stunning electronic album, The Black hit of Space is sublime comedy, but the album flows all the way to the ending of WXJL Tonight. Dreams of Leaving is the cream on this one.

Vangelis China - easy to listen to this one as it feels more like movements of a complete piece rather than tracks and is so evocative and imaginative.

Stars of the lid And the refinement of their decline - need a couple of hours to do this one, in one go, but I have on loads of ocassions and it really is the definition of modern ambient

A Winged Victory for the Sullen Atomos - I didn't stop playing this daily for 6 months from release, had heard it live before it was released in a church in Leicester, again like the Vangelis it is more of a complete piece with movements, but all the same I never play tracks from this one, just the whole thing.

There are more, but I want to enjoy what others have to say, these are ones that have done the most for me over my listening years, many others have been enjoyed and looks like this thread is going to lengthen the list
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Too hard, just couldn't pick one. Those that come close are, in no particular order.
Joni Mitchell Blue
Jackson Browne For Everyman
Jethro Tull Aqualung
Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks
Peter Gabriel So
Cat Stevens Teaser and the Firecat
Duffy Rockferry

and just about anything by Laura Marling.


Active Member
I've never got into playlists. I love listening to albums and tend to do this rather than going to individual songs.

There are a few albums I'd define as perfect:

Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
The Gathering - How to Measure a Planet
Megadeth - Rust In Peace
Opeth - Blackwater Park
Carcass - Heartwork
Led Zeppelin - IV
Deep Purple - Machine Head
Marillion - Brave
The Chicks - Taking The Long Way
Paradise Lost - Draconian Times
Bruce Soord & Jonas Renkse - The Wisdom of Crowds

There are albums I like more. Plenty of Black Sabbath for example, but I couldn't really decide on one I'd call perfect.


Well-known Member
Smashing pumpkins - Siamease dream
Radiohead - the bends
Nirvana - nevermind
U2- Joshua tree
Depeche mode- songs of faith and ...
Slayer - reign in blood
Portishead - Dummy

Sorry, I should not be picking, I have 40 more in my head

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
OK, these maybe controversial on this list but here we go:
Renaissance The Mix Collection - Sasha & Digweed. (The original release, not the 10th anniversary one). Yes I know it's essentially a compilation of different artists, but Sasha and Digweed combine these tracks into 3CDs of progressive house perfection. I've yet to find an album like this (apart from the next one). At the time this was an instant classic and I've lost count how many times I've listened to it. Artfully mixed tracks to create a fantastic album.
Renaissance The Mix Collection - Part 2 - Digweed. For the same reasons as the first one, this is a perfect mixed album but for a more trance themed collection of tasks. Again, another album I've hammered and will continue to do so.
Hacienda - Play By 01/96 - Graeme Park. This is a full on house mix from the mega Manchester club. As well bringing me right back to those days at the Hacienda, it's a sensational collection of house tracks, again wonderfully mixed to create another perfect album for me.
Nope, kudos to you for bringing this up, even though I disagree!:D

Not about your list per se, but more about the nature of Mix CD's. Look, I do understand that they're meant to replicate the club experience, that they're a DJ set at home (or the car, or the gym, or running) and that you immerse yourself in the flow and go on a journey.

But they're also bloody annoying! You're just getting into a particular track and then it ends! And it goes into another track without any break, so if you're recording just one song for someone else, then it just ends abruptly at the CD edit point.

I have a few Dance Mix CD's in my collection, mostly because of one or two tracks that have never been released on CD and this is the only way to get them, but there's usually one or two songs on every album I've ever heard that I don't like.


donna summer once upon a time 1977 showcases her gospel singer roots and the start of her collaberation with georgio moroder too become the queen of disco a genre and title which she hated b

The original jeff wayne War of the worlds 1978 ( not the later reboot) narration by Richatd Burton tracks by david essex julie covington justin hayward phil lynott and more a great story and a piece of music for every one i used the opening track too showcase hifi systems at the end of the 1970's still do it today on my system now


Standard Member
Nuyorican Soul. This album holds a special place in my heart. With guest appearances from George Benson, Roy Ayers, Tito Puente, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jocelyn Brown, Vincent Montana Jr., Salsoul Orchestra, and La India singing Runaway, ooh la la.
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Well-known Member
For me it would have to be coherent album from beginning to the end, and that is Amused to Death by Roger Waters.

It's one of the few where I won't put it on unless I have time for all of it.
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Active Member
This is so difficult Ed! I'm genuinely struggling to think of one album where I don't skip at least one song...
Someone else suggested Marvin Gaye's What's going on? and I'd probably 2nd that.

Rumours is another belter. Maybe Thriller, Purple Rain, Nevermind but I honestly don't think I could nail my colours to the mast for any of them. You've properly stumped me with this!


Active Member
Nuyorican Soul. This album holds a special place in my heart. With guest appearances from George Benson, Roy Ayers, Tito Puente, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Jocelyn Brown, Vincent Montana Jr., Salsoul Orchestra, and La India singing Runaway, ooh la la.
Oh my god I'd forgotten about this! This was a party favourite back in the day. Thanks for suggesting this I'll need to listen to this again.


Well-known Member
Thomas Dolby: The Golden age of wireless. The perfect and game changing album.

Craig uk

Well-known Member
Tough to chose but I never tire of these..

Tracy Chapman ~ Tracy Chapman
Aja ~ Steely Dan
Tango In The Night ~ Fleetwood Mac
An Innocent Man ~ Billy Joel
Tigerlily ~ Natalie Merchant

jeremy bender

Active Member
Avalon by Roxy Music - perfect blend of gorgeous songs, incredible arrangements and playing, and a sound that is both shimmering, clear but also somehow translucent. I never tire of listening to it.


Distinguished Member
Great article, but what...the hell... is with the picture of some buffoon holding that precious record like that?! 🤬
It's a see through pink vinyl, I'm not sure it's got any music on it that needs to be treated with care.

Matt Horne

Well-known Member
Omar - Love in beats

Never off the player since it came out....


Active Member
Simple Minds - New Gold Dream ( after this they turned to sh*t )
Massive Attack- Mezzanine
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Well-known Member
The Human League - Dare
Probably still Britain's best electronic Pop album, all the tunes are magnificent and they've simply never topped it. Known obviously for its singles, it's a remarkably consistent work with groundbreaking production and a timeless sound.
Oh yes! This album is single-handedly responsible for my electronic musical journey. This is so hard though because I still skip Don't You Want Me for the more complex and harder hitting tracks.


Well-known Member
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
My favourite Iron Maiden album, the whole album is amazing start to finish, and has Steve's best bass playing on this album in my opinion. Just wow! Awesome artwork and one of the best Eddies too.

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