Classic Rock Bands That Released Four Perfect Albums In A Row

Classic Rock Bands That Released Four Perfect Albums In A Row

Feature Photo: Jack Fordyce / Shutterstock.com

Our Classic Rock Bands That Released Four Perfect Albums In A Row list picks up where our last one in which we listed three in a row left off. One of the challenges we faced when we did our original article was that many of the bands had actually released more than three in a row. That forced us to pick a place to start in a band’s catalog which sadly left off a great album.  We face the same situation again where there are many bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd that released more than four perfect albums in a row. So what that does is force us to pick the most perfect four in a row which in many ways makes it more fun to do. So the article becomes just not about which bands released four in a row, but what part of a band’s catalog featured the best four in a row.

The second big question to answer when composing an article like this is what constitutes a perfect album.  Of course, that is a subjective answer and opinion. To us here at classicrockhistory, a perfect album is a record in which every song is great. It’s as simple as that.

The big question we had with this list was should we include live albums. We decided that because the live album was such an important element in the story of classic rock we would include live albums in our picks. Of course, that choice just made it more difficult to decide where to start and end in a band catalog.

The list of bands are in no particular order……. we just kind of start out the list with our favorites and the first ones that came to mind.

Blue Oyster Cult

One of our favorite bands of all time and possibly one of the most underrated classic rock groups in history is the legendary Blue Oyster Cult. The group made our three in a row list very easily. We were torn as to whether to start with their first album and leave out Agents of Fortune on that original list, but with four in a row we did not have to. With Blue Oyster Cult, their first four in a row were chosen from their first four amazing rock and roll records.

# 1 – Blue Öyster Cult (1972)

# 2 – Tyranny and Mutation (1973)

 # 3 – Secret Treaties (1974)

 # 4 – Agents of Fortune (1976)

Foghat

With the band Foghat we struggled with whether we should we start at Rock And Roll Outlaws and end at Foghat Live or start with Fool For The City and end at Stone Blue. Foghat stands as one of our personal favorite bands of all time. We saw them many times in the 7os. They were so loved by rock and roll teens during that decade.

# 1 – Fool For The City – 1975

# 2 – Night Shift -1976

# 3 – Foghat Live – 1977

# 4 – Stone Blue – 1978

Queen

Queen’s first two albums are very much underrated rock and roll records. Their second album in our opinion is their best. This one takes a different approach from our previous list.

# 1 –  Queen – 1973

# 2 –  Queen II -1974

# 3 – Sheer Heart Attack – 1974

# 4 –  A Night At The Opera – 1975

Pink Floyd

This one was pretty easy. This is one of the most impressive four album stretches in classic rock history. We saw them live in 1977 and it was one of the greatest concerts we have ever seen. It was also only two weeks after seeing Led Zeppelin. What a summer!

# 1  Dark Side Of The Mood – 1973

# 2 – Wish You Were Here  – 1975

# 3 – Animals – 1977

# 4 – The Wall – 1979

Led Zeppelin

And speaking of Led Zeppelin. Our favorite band here at classicrockhistory.com would actually make the list of 8 perfect albums in a row if we had one. Nonetheless, this list limits it to four so that makes it pretty tough to pick which four album stretch we thought was their best. There will probably be a lot of arguing over this one…… We had to have Physical Graffiti and Led Zeppelin IV in the mix so the choice came down to Led Zeppelin III or Presence. Since we saw the Presence tour and love “Achilles Last Stand” and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” we went with the latter.  Of course, it’s so painful to not include Led Zeppelin I or II on this list.

# 1-  Led Zeppelin IV – 1971

# 2 – Houses of the Holy – 1973

# 3 – Physical Graffiti -1975

# 4 – Presence – 1976

or

Led Zeppelin  – 1969

Led Zeppelin – 1969

Led Zeppelin III  – 1970

 Led Zeppelin IV – 1971

The Beatles

And here we go again with another group in which would could actually pick way more than four perfect albums in a row. The Beatles only released thirteen original albums. All of them are perfect with the exception of maybe Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery tour which kind of throw a wrench into the four in a row concept because they isolate The White Album and Abbey Road from being included in this list.  Nonetheless, it’s still hard to argue against the four we picked below.

# 1 – Help! – 1965

# 2 – Rubber Soul – 1965

# 3 – Revolver -1966

# 4 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 1967

The Rolling Stones

The Beatles and Rolling Stones go hand in hand in many ways. Like The Beatles, there are amazing stretches of spectacular albums with an occasional release that kind of throws everything off. We could have started in a few different places on this one.

# 1 – Beggars Banquet – 1968


# 2 – Let It Bleed – 1969

# 3 – Sticky Fingers – 1971

# 4 – Exile on Main St. – 1972

The Who

Should we start with The Who’s Sell Out and leave off The Who By Numbers, or vice versa? That was the tough one if we were just going with studio albums but Live at Leed saves the day.

Tommy – 1969

Live At Leeds – 1970

Who’s Next – 1971

Quadrophenia – 1973

Elton John

W could have started with Elton John’s Madman Across The Water and included Honky Château and then moved on to Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Yet that would have left out Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy which we could not leave out so we went with starting at Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player and it’s still four amazing albums in a row.

Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player -1973

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – 1973

Caribou -1974

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy – 1975

or

Madman Across the Water (1971)

Honky Château (1972)

Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (1973)

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Bruce Springsteen

If we ever get to bands and artists that released eight perfect albums in a row, Bruce Springsteen will still be on this list. There are our four favs by Bruce in a row. No doubt about this one.

The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle -1973

Born to Run -1975

Darkness on the Edge of Town -1978

The River -1980

Van Halen

These guys’ first four albums were 100 percent perfect!

Van Halen – 1978

Van Halen II -1979

Women and Children First -1980

Fair Warning -1981

and all the rest……..

Elvis Costello

My Aim Is True – 1977

This Year’s Model – 1978

Armed Forces – 1979

Get Happy!! – 1980

Yes

The Yes Album – 1971

Fragile – 1971

Close to the Edge – 1972

Tales from Topographic Oceans – 1973

Genesis

Selling England by the Pound – 1973

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – 1974

A Trick of the Tail – 1976

Wind & Wuthering – 1976

Grand Funk

Phoenix – 1972

We’re an American Band – 1973

Shinin’ On – 1974

All the Girls in the World Beware!!! – 1974

Rush

2112 – 1976

A Farewell to Kings -1977

Hemispheres – 1978

Permanent Waves – 1980

or

A Farewell to Kings (1977)

Hemispheres (1978)

Permanent Waves (1980)

Moving Pictures (1981)

Jethro Tull

Stand Up – 1969

Benefit – 1970

Aqualung – 1971

Thick as a Brick – 1972

The Allman Brothers Band

The Allman Brothers Band – 1969

Idlewild South – 1970

At Fillmore East – 1971

Eat a Peach – 1972

Aerosmith

Aerosmith – 1973

Get Your Wings – 1974

Toys in the Attic – 1975

Rocks – 1976

Metallica

Ride the Lightning – 1984

Master of Puppets – 1986

…And Justice for All – 1988

Metallica – 1991

Billy Joel

Turnstiles -1976

The Stranger -1977

52nd Street -1978

Glass Houses  – 1980

Joni Mitchell

Blue – 1971

For the Roses – 1972

Court and Spark – 1974

The Hissing of Summer Lawns -1975

AC/DC

Powerage (1978)

Highway to Hell (1979)

Back in Black (1980)

For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981)

David Bowie

The Man Who Sold the World (1970)

Hunky Dory (1971)

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972)

Aladdin Sane (1973)

or

Diamond Dogs (1974)

Young Americans (1975)

Station to Station (1976)

Low (1977)

Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath (1970)

Paranoid (1970)

Master of Reality (1971)

Vol. 4 (1972)

Journey

Evolution (1979)

Departure (1980)

Escape (1981)

Frontiers (1983)

The Doors

The Doors (1967)

Strange Days (1967)

Waiting for the Sun (1968)

The Soft Parade (1969)

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Bayou Country (1969)

Green River (1969)

Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)

Cosmo’s Factory (1970)

Steely Dan

Pretzel Logic (1974)

Katy Lied (1975)

The Royal Scam (1976)

Aja (1977)

Frank Zappa

Over-Nite Sensation  -1973

Apostrophe (‘) -1974

Roxy & Elsewhere  -1974

One Size Fits All – 1975

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Texas Flood (1983)

Couldn’t Stand the Weather (1984)

Soul to Soul (1985)

Live Alive (1986)

The Police

Reggatta de Blanc (1979)

Zenyatta Mondatta (1980)

Ghost in the Machine (1981)

Synchronicity (1983)

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Nuthin’ Fancy – 1975

Gimme Back My Bullets – 1976

One More from the Road – 1976 

Street Survivors – 1977

Bad Company

Bad Company (1974)

Straight Shooter (1975)

Run with the Pack (1976)

Burnin’ Sky (1977)

Van Morrison

Astral Weeks (1968)

Moondance (1970)

His Band and the Street Choir (1970)

Tupelo Honey (1971)

Bob Dylan

Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964)

Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

Highway 61 Revisited (1965)

Blonde on Blonde (1966)

Bob Seger

Night Moves (1976)

Stranger in Town (1978)

Against the Wind (1980)

The Distance (1982)

Foreigner

Foreigner (1977)

Double Vision (1978)

Head Games (1979)

4 (1981)

The Ramones

Ramones (1976)

Leave Home (1977)

Rocket to Russia (1977)

Road to Ruin (1978)

Linda Ronstadt

Heart Like a Wheel (1974)

Prisoner in Disguise (1975)

Hasten Down the Wind (1976)

Simple Dreams (1977)

Tom Waits

Nighthawks at the Diner (1975)

Small Change (1976)

Foreign Affairs (1977)

Blue Valentine (1978)

or

Blue Valentine (1978)

Heartattack and Vine (1980)

Swordfishtrombones (1983)

Rain Dogs (1985)

Kiss

Dressed to Kill (1975)

Destroyer (1976)

Rock and Roll Over (1976)

Love Gun (1977)

R.E.M

Murmur (1983)

Reckoning (1984)

Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

Electric Light Orchestra

Face the Music (1975)

A New World Record (1976)

Out of the Blue (1977)

Discovery (1979)

Alice Cooper

Love It to Death (1971)

Killer (1971)

School’s Out (1972)

Billion Dollar Babies (1973)

Emerson Lake & Palmer

Tarkus (1971)

Pictures at an Exhibition (1971)

Trilogy (1972)

Brain Salad Surgery (1973)

Deep Purple

Deep Purple in Rock (1970)

Fireball (1971)

Machine Head (1972)

Made In Japan  (1972)

Iron Maiden

Killers (1981)

The Number of the Beast (1982)

Piece of Mind (1983)

Powerslave (1984)

Stevie Wonder

Talking Book (1972)

Innervisions (1973)

Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974)

Songs in the Key of Life (1976)

The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

White Light/White Heat (1968)

The Velvet Underground (1969)

Loaded (1970)

Kansas

Song for America (1975)

Masque (1975)

Leftoverture (1976)

Point of Know Return (1977)

Neil Young

After the Gold Rush (1970)

Harvest (1972)

On the Beach (1974)

Tonight’s the Night (1975)

Jimi Hendrix

Are You Experienced (1967)

Axis: Bold as Love (1967)

Electric Ladyland (1968)

Band of Gypsys (1970)

 

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