Monday, February 12, 2018

Feelin Single-Seeing Double

Someone on Facebook referred to Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything?" as a masterpiece. My first thought was, "Right on!" But then I started thinking how I almost never listen to all four sides, which of course, reminded me of my post from a few weeks ago, where I condensed "The White Album" down to two sides, which of course, made me want to listen to "Abbey Road," which made me think, "Here comes the sun, my ass! The weather has been horrible for the last three days," so I thought, "I can't wait for summer," so I threw on "Pet Sounds," which made me miss Carl Wilson, so I listened to Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blues," because I don't like Carl's solo albums.

Welcome to my world.


How many double albums are really worth the weight of all four sides?

I always start "Blonde On Blonde" with "Pledging My Time" and never ever play "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands." But even without "Rainy Day Woman" and "Sad Eyed Lady," "Blonde On Blonde" still clocks in at 59 minutes, so bad example. I mean, two more brilliant outtakes from that era, and it could have been an essential triple album, that's how good "Blonde On Blonde" is.

The Clash "Sandinista" has been discussed on these pages before. I have made every effort to listen to all six sides, but it always ends up feeling like the wedding scene in "The Deer Hunter." I would love to see this epic, triple LP, edited down to one brilliant record. Any takers?

I am pretty sure "All Things Must Pass" could make an all time greatest list without half of its contents. Even tossing the third, unplayed "Apple Jam" LP, there are still a few too many songs I don't need to hear.

Like, "The Rhite Album" from a few posts back, I thought it would be a fun exercise to create stronger single LPs from classic double LPs. I know many argue that it's all about context, but the truth is, if the first two singles off of "The White Album" were "Bungalow Bill" and "Piggies," no one would be shouting from the rooftops, "I love the new Beatles singles!"

Here are my single LP takes of both "Something/Anything?" and "All Things Must Pass." If you've got a double you wish was a single, send it over with your new track list.

And, of course, when you are finished here, please take a look at the new post on "Definitive Vinyl," where I discuss both "Truth" and "Beck-Ola" from the Jeff Beck Group, and whether or not a record should be called "deluxe" just because the vinyl is green.

Todd Rundgren's "Something/Anything?"

Side One
I Saw The Light
It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference
Wolfman Jack
Sweeter Memories
Saving Grace

Side Two
Black Maria
Couldn't I Just Tell You
Dust In The Wind
Torch Song
Hello It's Me

George Harrison-All Things Must Pass

Side One
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp
Beware Of Darkness
Isn't It A Pity (Version 1)

Side Two
What Is Life
Apple Scruffs
My Sweet Lord
Awaiting On You All
All Things Must Pass


Anonymous said...

I can't disagree much on your single LP of Something/Anything, though I would have to find a place for Piss Aaron, a song I know many people don't care for, but I've always been rather fond of.

Quadrophenia is essential four sides of great listening. Randy

buzzbabyjesus said...

Readers may remember my edit of "Exile On Main St" from 2016 (Further Exiled).
It's a fun exercise. Most doubles don't carry their weight, but we like them anyway for songs we might've never heard on a single disc.
One of my favorite songs on "The White Album", George's "Long, Long, Long", didn't even make it to "The Rhite Album".

The best parts of "Sandanista!" are my favorite Clash album and I've been making edits of it since day one. I only needed to hear the one with sheep once.

I'll make a Weekend Mix out of it for Friday. I've been thinking about revisiting the Clash and I guess now is the time.

dogbreath said...

An album I played last week. May I cheat a trifle by offering up only the live disc of Pink Floyd's "Ummagumma" (classic performances of now classic tunes) and discard the studio disc (each member's half a side experimentalism). However, I would sneak Waters' "Grantchester Meadows" and some of Gilmour's "The Narrow Way" back onto my condensed single album version.

Charlie Messing said...

I absolutely agree, and maybe later on today I can put one together. for now, I'd just say I have one double that would Not compress for good effect, but it's not a "pop" album. Can's "Tago Mago".

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty much in sync with you on both with the following exceptions.

I would drop 'Black Maria' and 'Dust in the Wind'. I never clicked with either song. I'd add 'Cold Morning Light', 'It Take Two to Tango' and 'One More Day'. Three songs that for me were part of what made Todd Todd for me. I'd love to add 'Slut' but that'd be pushing the time limit.

All Things Must Pass
I'd replace 'Apple Scruffs' with 'I'd Have You Anytime'. The harmonica just always rubbed me the wrong way ;-)

Jeff Matthews said...


Side 1 (~22 min):
Magnificent 7
Hitsville UK
Ivan Meets GI Joe
The Leader
Somebody Got Murdered
Washington Bullets

Side 2: (~23 min)
Lightning Strikes
Up In Heaven
Call Up
Charlie Don't Surf
Police on My Back

buzzbabyjesus said...


A single disc promotional sampler called Sandinista Now! was sent to press and radio. The side one track listing was "Police on My Back", "Somebody Got Murdered", "The Call Up", "Washington Bullets", "Ivan Meets G.I. Joe" and "Hitsville U.K.". The side two track listing was "Up in Heaven (Not Only Here)", "The Magnificent Seven", "The Leader", "Junco Partner", "One More Time" and "The Sound of Sinners".

Sal Nunziato said...

Just posted that on Facebook, BBJ. Jeff's tracklist is off by two songs.

Chris Collins said...

I have no idea what I would cut out of "Metal Machine Music"!!


I love the "Sandanista" cut. That's a better album. For sure.

I wanna replace some songs on "The River" with the outtakes that have surfaced over the years on "Tracks" and the River Box set. Does that count?

Anonymous said...

I have a soft spot for "One More Day," too - representative of Todd's goofy charm, and I often sing the chorus to myself as I'm walking to the bus stop in the morning.

how many people do you think edited "Tusk" when they recorded their friend's album to cassette? I can't edit it due to sentimental value; I suspect Buckingham's songs are only meant to set up McVie's and Nick's.

"Rockin' the Fillmore" gets even more classic without "Rolling Stone."

Brian Auger/Julie Driscoll's "Streetnoise" is one of my favorite albums. it's almost sui generis in jazz rock, so I would drop the songs that are based in spiritual or folk, flip the two records and end up with a disc that's under 50 minutes:

Ellis Island/In Search of the Sun/Finally Found You Out/Looking the Eye of the World/All Blues

Tropic of Capricorn/I've Got Life/Light My Fire/Indian Rope Man/Flesh Failures/Save the Country

Shriner said...

I assume we are leaving "Live" albums, compilations and Soundtracks out of the conversation?

As mentioned in my "other 100" list a while back: I think some of Zappa's double albums (like Sheik Yerbouti, You Are What You is and Joe's Garage)-- I would not cut down in any way. Others, I certainly would...

XTC's English Settlement is a double-album (the initial UK release) that *maybe* I would kill "Melt The Guns" from, but that's about it.

Pink Floyd's "The Wall" -- is perfect. All 4 sides.

ELO's "Out of the Blue" -- I'm on the fence about. Just like "The River"

Sal Nunziato said...

RE: Todd-One More Day and It Takes Two To Tango versus Dust In The Wind & Black Maria.

I love all 4. There really isn't anything on S/A that I dislike. I was thinking of it as a tighter sequence of songs. But then thinking about it a bit more, Cold Morning Light, Tango and One More Day do seem more like the rest of S/A than Black Maria and Dust.

Sal Nunziato said...

"Melt The Guns" is my favorite song on English Settlement.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I was just listening to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and thinking the first two sides were pretty much a perfect records--except the blot of "Jamaica Jerk Off." So I'd sub in maybe "All the Young Girls Love Alice," but otherwise leave alone. And not that I don't love a lot of the other songs on Sides Three and Four!

Side One
1. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
2. Candle in the Wind
3. Bennie and the Jets

Side Two
1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
2. This Song Has No Title
3. Grey Seal
4. All the Young Girls Love Alice
5. I've Seen That Movie Too

Bruce H

Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

To my ears, U2's Rattle & Hum would be vastly improved by removing the live tracks and re-sequencing the remaining:
Side One:
1. God Part II
2. Angel of Harlem (god, then angels, dig? No, huh?)
3. Hawkmoon 269
4. Love Rescue Me

Side Two:
1. When Love Comes to Town
2. Heartland
3. Van Diemon's Land
4. Desire
5. All I Want Is You


A walk in the woods said...

Sal is questioning the power of Something/Anything?? What the hell is the world coming to??

Have they got to ya, Sal? Hold on, brutha, hold on!!!!

Kidding, but only kinda. Knowing you're a huge TR fan, I'm surprised you're not necessarily in for the whole ride that is S/A. For me, it's my favorite album. Ever. Sure, a few songs do kinda suck - but they're part of the whole mix. I cain't parse 'em!!

Sal Nunziato said...

To Walk/Woods,

1. Something/Anything is one of my favorite records ever.
2. I like every song on it. No songs suck.


I don't need to hear the intro to Breathless where he describes tape hiss and hum ever again. The medley of bad sounding Woody's Truck Stop live was fun once. The exercise wasn't to dismiss songs that suck, so much as trimming the fat for a healthier meal.

Just like the album battle- A Hard Day's Night VS. Rubber Soul, no one expected Rubber Soul to have less songs you wanted to hear, but it did. Rubber Soul is still brilliant.

buzzbabyjesus said...

How does "Todd" stand up to "S/A"?

Sal Nunziato said...

I've come to really appreciate "Todd" over the last few years, especially seeing him and the band play the entire record live. It's a different animal than S/A?" It's like "A Wizard/A True Star," only twice as long. He covers all bases from hard rock to Broadway to psychedelia to pure pop and electronica. There's a lot to choose from.

BUT...if I had to make one it is:

Side One
I Think You Know
A Dream Goes On Forever
Drunken Blue Rooster
The Last Ride
NO. 1. Lowest Common Denominator

Side Two
Useless Begging
Sidewalk Cafe
Izzat Love
Heavy Metal Kids
Don't You Ever Learn
Sons Of 1984

Dr Wu said...

Elton John's 'Blue Moves' stripped to the bone would've rightly been considered a stone classic:
Side One
One Horse Town
Boogie Pilgrim

Side Two
Cage the Songbird
Crazy Water
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

Sal Nunziato said...

Dr. Wu, I couldn't agree more. But is there room for "Between Seventeen & Twenty?" That's the only one I'd miss. Nice editing, by the way!

Anonymous said...

When it was new, I usually only listened to the first two sides of 'The River', but included Cadillac Ranch (side 3) on party mixes. Some of those songs on side 3 and 4 didn't really get my attention until I went back to it after 'Nebraska'--which I loved--came out. Still, my single-disk version ('The Creek'?) would be that first disk, but with 'Fade Away,' 'Wreck on the Highway' and 'Cadillac Ranch' replacing 'Two Hearts', 'Out in the Street,' and 'Crush on You.' The sequencing no longer makes sense but the songs I like the most are there this way.

Hey-Its Mike