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Old 04-11-2021, 07:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Discography Ranking Thread

Thought it might be fun to rank your favorite bands / artists discographies and make our cases for why we like what we like.

No strict format here, though I recommend TierMaker if you need a good template.

I'll start with Genesis




S Tier (Essential)

Trespass (1970) - The strongest of the Gabriel-era albums for me from a compositional and performance standpoint. Anthony Phillips guitar work is phenomenal and the material covers a lot of territory for 1970, with 'Looking For Someone' and 'Stagnation' being particularly nice.


A Trick Of The Tail (1976) - Phil Collins' debut as lead vocalist after Peter Gabriel left. It works really well as an album for similar reasons to Trespass, but it has the additional edge of having some arena-ready hooks at times like on 'Squonk' and the surprisingly poignant 'Ripples'. Basically, it has everything that was great about the Gabriel-era of Genesis but even better production and overall execution with less of Gabriel's meandering tendencies.


Duke (1980) - The best of the 80's era of Genesis, coincidentally, happens to be at the very start after yet another reinvention. Similar to the magic trick Yes would pull off a few years later with 90125, Duke is where Collins really takes off into big stadium AOR type territory. 'Turn It On Again' is a cool slice of pop (plus it's basically in 13/4 time which is ridiculous) and the New Wave-meets-prog aesthetic on 'Man Of Our Times' and the Duke's Travels suite are as good as pop-Genesis got. Very synth-heavy experience, but you can feel the energy just crackling off these songs.


A Tier (Almost Perfect)

Foxtrot (1972) - 'Watcher Of The Skies' is the one of the best opening songs by any band ever. You could get rid of every other song off this record besides this one and the 23 minute closer 'Supper's Ready' and it's still some of the best 30+ minutes of music ever made. The only reason it isn't S-tier is because the rest of the songs here aren't quite as memorable.


Genesis (1983) - The 2nd best 80's Genesis "pop" album. Side A is basically perfect with the skittish epic 'Mama' and the bouncy yet eerie 'Home By The Sea' being examples of Phil Collins doing his thing perfectly. Very close to S-tier overall, but the lulzy 'Illegal Alien' is just a joke song and 'Just A Job To Do' is pretty disposable.


The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway (1974) - Very ambitious concept album and pretty out there for '74. What holds it back from S-tier is that it lacks digestibility as a singular experience, too much meandering around and a tendency to jump between some great songs and questionable Beatle-esque diversions with little rhyme or reason. The best songs on this thing are great though, with my favorites being 'In The Cage' and the dreamy 'Carpet Crawlers'.


B Tier (Good-To-Great)

Nursery Cryme (1971) - The bridge between the glorious Trespass and almost-as-great Foxtrot, but not as strong as either album. 'The Musical Box' is one of the best songs from the Peter Gabriel era and the overall atmosphere is fairly nice, especially when those harmonies hit on 'Harlequin'.


Selling England By The Pound (1973) - 'Firth Of Fifth' is a legitimate slice of perfection, but otherwise it's easily the most overrated album from the Peter Gabriel era. A strong prog album objectively (Gabriel-era Genesis never did a "bad" album), just not a personal favorite.


Wind & Wuthering (1977) - Notable for being the last Genesis album with Steve Hackett's presence on lead guitar, this album has a lot of writing credits from him and it shows. 'Afterglow' has a 10cc vibe about it and 'All In A Mouse's Night' has a quirky charm to it, but I don't think the writing here (in an overall sense) measures up to the S-tier or A-tier albums. Production is pretty good though.


We Can't Dance (1991) - Of the albums I have here at B-tier, I think this one is probably the most underrated. Half of it is pretty nice, half it is meh. The songwriting at times reminds me of the best parts of the '83 self-titled, with my "I'd put this on a playlist' nods going to 'Driving The Last Spike', opener 'No Son Of Mine', the nifty 'Living Forever' and the 10-minute closer 'Fading Lights. Is it super cheesy? Oh yes. Should you probably own it anyway? Hell yeah.


From Genesis To Revelation (1969) - Surprisingly strong album at times. It doesn't sound at all like what Genesis would do just a year later, but Peter Gabriel is in fine form and the groovy 'In The Beginning' followed by 'Fireside Song' is one of my favorite sequences in their whole discography.



C Tier (A Few Good Songs But Generally Inconsistent)


...And Then There Were Three (1978) - I should love this album considering when it came out, but it really only has two great songs - the opener 'Down And Out' and the balladish but lovely sounding 'Snowbound'. I guess if I was feeling generous I would say it's on par with Wind & Wuthering with more accessible songwriting, but your mileage my vary. High C-tier / almost B-tier territory overall.


Abacab (1981) - The oscillating title track, the yacht rock-flecked 'No Reply At All', the proggy 'Dodo/Lurker' and the thudding yet catchy 'Like It Or Not' are all single-worthy and should be in your collection, but otherwise this is a case of a band basically treading water.


D Tier (Shrug/Meh/Etc.)

Invisible Touch (1986) - Not awful objectively but not all that interesting either. The problem with this album is that it sounds like a Phil Collins solo album at this point rather than something a band decided to put together...and his solo material is better than this. It's also the Genesis album that got played on the radio so much that you never want to revisit it unless you just adore the mini-keyboard break in the title track (very sample-able). It's not all a waste - 'Land Of Confusion' is a good single, 'Throwing It All Away' is a fair ballad...and 'Domino' is 10 minutes of decent progginess, but I consider this album the weakest of the Collins era overall.


Calling All Stations (1997) - This album has precisely two tracks worth owning - the crunchy and very well done 'The Dividing Line' and the surprisingly catchy 'Anything Now' that was buried and never even made it on the final record. It's not a terrible album, but it doesn't really feel like a Genesis record. With a different vocalist and writing approach it could have been A-tier material though.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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great idea, of course I'll do Sleater-Kinney. Albums are also roughly ranked within each tier.


S Tier
Either Dig Me Out or The Woods could be #1, it's basically a shared 1st place.

Dig Me Out (1997) - Where S-K perfected their punk sound into something highly sophisticated and powerful. The music is full of brilliant moments: a well-constructed anxiety and heartbreak trip as a whole, engaging from beginning to end, but every song is very strong and individually memorable (Heart Factory being the only semi-weak link). The subject matter has also matured: this is the perfect break up album.

The Woods (2005) - Strictly speaking this is probably my favourite; the unexpected ****ed up, swaggering, hurricane-like take on Led Zeppelin (although comparing it to Led Zeppelin is almost an injustice to this album) which also happens to be deeply moving. Everyone in the band is being an absolute powerhouse here. It's experimental (in a way) and takes risks, but somehow it also has virtually no weaknesses. Underrated moment: the absolutely gorgeous interlude in Rollercoaster.

A Tier

The Hot Rock (1999) - With the previous album being a perfect punk album, this one chooses complexity as the way forward. Relatively quiet and introspective, it's an album of intricately intertwined instruments and voices. That comes at the cost of the immediacy of their previous albums, meaning that it can sound a bit aimless at first, but it slowly unfolds its logic and brilliance and is relatively rewarding in the long run. It contains many of S-K's most beautiful songs.

Call The Doctor (1996) - Here is where the ranking starts to get difficult. Placing Call The Doctor here is largely a matter of personal preference, I suppose, but it is pretty much the perfect riot grrrl album: an immensely fierce and catchy burst of energy, and relatively consistent in quality. And of course I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is iconic. And Carrie still screams bloody murder here.


B Tier

One Beat (2002) - I feel like this one is usually slightly overrated compared to other S-K albums: it gets credit for being the brave album about 9-11 and motherhood leading up to The Woods, but I think people tend to forget how uneven the second half is. Still even the lesser songs have plenty of merits, and the best songs here are incredible. Combat Rock alone would make this a good album, and Oh! is so goofy it shouldn't work, but somehow it really does.

No Cities To Love (2013) - Fresh, streamlined, and coherent, I feel like you can tell the band considered this a high-stakes comeback album: it sounds like it was tweaked and perfected until the more doubtful bits were peeled off and a strong unified result remained. That means it's one of their most consistent albums, but also less adventurous and varied.

All Hands On The Bad One (2000) - This one is underrated, although I admit that I'm partial to it (I probably like it better than the two albums above). There are many fantastic songs here: Youth Decay has all the qualities of a song from Dig Me Out (but wrapped in the sound of this album), You're No Rock & Roll Fun is delightful, and so is Milkshake And Honey. As a whole it's uneven and they can get preachy (a trap they normally avoid) but most of the lesser songs here have at least some brilliant little moment making it worthwhile.

C Tier

Sleater-Kinney (1995) - This one is a rough diamond, sloppy but promising and brutal like a kick in the nuts. Corin sings about angels in the sky, Carrie sings about how sucking dick sucks. Good times.

The Center Won't Hold (2019) - I've talked about this one in more detail when it came out. It's less powerful, sophisticated and original than their other albums, lacking some essential things that made the band great. It has some great moments though.
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Old 04-12-2021, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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David Bowie

S Tier: (the greatest album ever made)

Low - Still my all-time favorite album and it pretty much has been since the day I discovered it. I've never really written about it because I don't know how I would start. I can't pick a favorite track off of it, I think I prefer side 1 but I find every track to be perfect for what it is so there's nothing I could ever point to as being a flaw with this album.

A Tier: (still legendary albums, like 9.5/10)

Hunky Dory: God damn this album is just banger after banger. Some of my favorite pop hooks and vocal performances by Bowie on this one.

"Heroes": how the **** did this mother****er make both this and Low in the same year

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: probably the best glam rock album of all-time? Crazy to think Bowie was only just beginning when this came out

Blackstar: So different from the rest of his catalogue. So dark and upsetting but also beautiful.

B Tier: (very solid albums but not amazing, this is most of his catalogue)

Lodger, Aladdin Sane, Station to Station, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Scary Monsters, The Next Day

C Tier: (okay albums, worth listening if you love his work but otherwise skippable):

Everything else.

Actively Bad:

Hours
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Old 04-12-2021, 01:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is pretty cool.

I'd love to make a tier list for all The Fall's albums - but they don't have a template for them - and it looks like I need a Twitter to login and make one. **** that.
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Old 04-13-2021, 04:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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S tier

Syotos- WIth the b sides this is a long album great album produced by atticus !!!

Untouchables- Production production !!!!!

SOS-Modern KORN !

issues-SOmething about playing this with the light off candles lit while playing FF8 awww childhood memories

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Old 04-13-2021, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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im stupid ..???
I've waited so long.
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've waited so long.
nvm i figured it out :P
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Old 04-13-2021, 05:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You were so close.
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There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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C'mon Charles, we need a tier breakdown for Bolt Thrower up in this ****.
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Old 04-13-2021, 06:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It's gonna be like a snake blowjob.
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