Triple (or more) Threats

For my birthday, my wife got me the Neil Young disc “Live at Massey Hall 1971”.  It is quite stunning to hear this great artist at the height of his talent.  As I listened, I went back to see what albums of Young’s were released when.  I was stunned to realize that from 1969 to 1972 he released Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, After the Gold Rush, and Harvest, three of his greatest albums and undoubted masterpieces.  This got me thinking of other artists who have released three or more excellent albums.  So, here is my list of artist’s who had a serious run of sustained brilliance:

  • Simon & Garfunkel: Wednesday Morning, 3 AM (1964) , Sounds of Silence (1966), Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (1966), Bookends (1968), and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  • Neil Young: Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (1969), After the Gold Rush (1970), and Harvest (1972)
  • Elvis Costello:  My Aim is True (1977), This Year’s Model (1978), and Armed Forces (1979)
  • Talking Heads: Talking Heads ’77 (1977), More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), and Fear of Music (1979)
  • U2: Boy (1980), October (1981), War (1983), Unforgettable Fire (1984), and The Joshua Tree (1987)
  • R.E.M.: Murmur (1983), Reckoning (1984), Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), Life’s Rich Pageant (1986), and Document (1987) (and from there it is a rapid and extended turn downhill)
  • Husker Du:  Zen Arcade (1984), New Day Rising (1985), and Flip Your Wig (1985)
  • Uncle Tupelo: No Depression (1990), Still Feel Gone (1991), March 16-20, 1992 (1992), and Anodyne (1993)
  • Drive-By Truckers: Southern Rock Opera (2001), Decoration Day (2003), and The Dirty South (2004)

And, though it combines a group and then a solo career, I must include:

  • Flying Burrito Brothers: The Gilded Palace of Sin (1969) and Burrito Deluxe (1970)
  • Gram Parsons(left FBB in 1971): GP (1973) and Grievous Angel (1974)

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