I think the title is clear enough: these are the 10 best 3-consecutive album runs. The only general guidelines were: no live albums, no ep’s, no greatest hits/collections, and of course they had to be 3 in a row by the same artist. here’s the list, in no particular order:
1. Bob Dylan
Bringing it All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, and Blonde on Blonde. If you don’t automatically nod your head in knowing concurrence with the greatness of these three releases, stop wasting time on the computer and go buy these CD’s. And to think that 40 years later he posted Time Out of Mind, Love and Theft, and Modern Times. A solid run that late in a career, but not great enough to make this list.
2. Rolling Stones
Let it Bleed, Sticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante, E Street guitarist, and underground garage rock DJ extraordinaire) once said, “Beggars Banquet to Exile on Main Street make up the greatest run of albums in history—all done in three and a half years.” Sorry Little Steven, we only have room for three on this list.
3. The Beatles
Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Or: Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and the white album. Or: Help!, Rubber Soul, and Revolver… or… you get the idea.
4. Jimi Hendrix
Are You Experienced?, Axis Bold as Love, and Electric Ladyland. Wow. Three amazing albums that each stand on their own as bonafide “desert island classics” on their own. Not bad considering this was almost his whole studio output during his lifetime. Incredible considering this was done within about two years.
5. Neil Young
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest. Once again, with an artist this good you could pick a different three. I picked these.
6. Bruce Springsteen
The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, Born to Run,and Darkness on the Edge of Town. This has it all, from funky seaside sound and rambling lyrics of the early days, to his definitive classic, and on into Darkness, where the dreams imagined on Born to Run awoke to stark realities. (A more consistent thematic trilogy might be BTR, Darkness, and The River, but for overall quality I’ll stick with these three.)
Under a Blood Red Sky, Unforgettable Fire, and The Joshua Tree. I skipped Wide Awake in America because it’s an EP. While many people hail War as one of their best (and I agree), I think Under a Blood Red Sky is a good live representative of most of the War tunes. If I could skip Rattle and Hum for not being a “real” proper studio release, then Unforgettable, Joshua, and Achtung Baby would also be a good trio.
The Bends, OK Computer, and Kid A. I was tempted to start with OK and go through Amnesiac. And some people might start with Kid A, skip the Live Recordings release and go through Hail to the Thief.
Aquemini, Stankonia, and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. No explanation necessary. If you don’t know you better axe somebody.
Wilco: Being There, Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.