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  1. #1
    Good Enough Ace Ventura's Avatar
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    01.01.13 @ 04:06 PM
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    Default The Most Self-Indulgent Albums EVER!

    According to Yahoo.com----- I personally have a big problem with Mindcrime and Scenes From A Memory....

    Posted Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:54am PST by Shawn Amos in GetBack

    We are in the midst of two album landmarks: the 40th anniversary of the self-titled Beatles double LP known as The White Album and the release of Guns N' Roses' 17-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy. When someone suggested that perhaps the two-disc White Album was a bit self-indulgent and would have been tighter as a single disc, Paul McCartney famously replied, "It’s the bloody Beatles White Album. Shut up." 'Nuff said.

    Chinese Democracy, however, is another story. Even though it's only one disc, it's about as self-indulgent as you can get: millions of dollars spent, hundreds of musicians used, and arrangements so dense that only Axl can understand them.

    Self-indulgence is a rock rite of passage for many musicians. Every generation has a bunch of artists who decide to make an album (or two or three) that's nearly indecipherable to anyone except the band and their followers. These records have one or more of the following hallmarks:


    1. Lyrics with lots of medieval words, such as tempest, screed, manor, shire, cloister, parchment, and pilgrimage.


    2. Songs that run more than ten minutes on at least half the album.


    3. Covers that look like a Harry Potter book or a Dungeons and Dragons game.


    4. Packaging that includes two or three discs.


    5. Tracks that feature at least one keyboard solo.


    Beyond these characteristics, there's just the vibe of a self-indulgent album. It reeks of self-importance and humorlessness. There's no sense of irony, humility, or humanity. Ultimately lifeless, these projects feel more like musical dissertations than real rock ’n’ roll. The White Album is full of playfulness, humor, heart, and soul. The ones listed below? Not so much.


    Here are the five most self-indulgent albums in recent memory. I'm refraining from hitting the easy targets, like ELP's Tarkus, Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans, and the Moody Blues' Days of Future Passed. In fact, I'm avoiding all of the late-'60s/early '70s rock album output. Been there, done that. Here's the new self-indulgence.



    Smashing Pumpkins
    MACHINA/The Machines of God
    Billy Corgan has made a career out of indulging himself musically. This album includes songs with titles like "The Crying Tree of Mercury" and such lyrics as "Into the flow of encrypted movement/Slapback kills the ancient remnants." As if this wasn't enough, Corgan followed up MACHINA with his first solo album, TheFutureEmbrace.

    Styx
    Kilroy Was Here
    From the band that brought us The Grand Illusion and Paradise Theater comes this 1983 concept-album about robots replacing man. The centerpiece? "Mr. Roboto," a song almost too unintentionally funny to be self-indulgent. Almost.

    Dream Theater
    Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory
    Dream Theater has the perfect prog-rock pedigree: former students at Berklee College of Music, they spent their early years covering Iron Maiden and Rush tunes, and first named their band Majesty. Any of their albums is worthy of this list, but Scenes From a Memory contains nearly all of the self-indulgent hallmarks.

    Queensr˙che
    Operation: Mindcrime
    Yeah, I know people put this album in the pantheon of Pink Floyd's The Wall and the Who's Tommy. I know it's a considered a metal masterpiece. Still, I'll take Racer X over Dr. X any day. Especially when he's played by Ronnie James Dio.

    Sting
    Songs from the Labyrinth
    Some would argue that Sting's entire life is an exercise in self-indulgence. This album of 17th-century lute music might prove them right.
    "It doesn't mean that much to me to mean that much to you..." -Neil Young

    "The sun's not yellow, it's chicken." -Bob Dylan

    "If you go out and buy a Van Halen record and put it in your collection, it'll melt your other records." -David Lee Roth, 1981.

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  2. #2
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    I'd go with Sting there.


    Also anything by Boston, especially the 3rd album. Was it 8 years to make? And from what i remember, he invented a new electronic device for just about everything on there....

    "I want this sound. I know, I'll invent a new effect. Just for this sound."

    As for the beatles. Dunno. I've never yet managed to sit through an entire album of theirs. This coming from an ex professional musician Brit.

    I would also put Fleetwood Mac on there for Tusk (cocaine binge) and perhaps even Rumours, though that obsession with production paid off pretty handsomely there.

    Personally, I think every band needs to have at least one "look at how important I think i am; i can do anything and take myself very seriously" album.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

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  3. #3
    Future's in the past....
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by graeme View Post
    Also anything by Boston, especially the 3rd album. Was it 8 years to make? And from what i remember, he invented a new electronic device for just about everything on there....

    "I want this sound. I know, I'll invent a new effect. Just for this sound."
    I thought the only truly new thing on Third Stage was the Rockman (which were actually pretty cool, IMO). I do recall in the liner notes about using a few processors that weren't quite working correctly to get certain sounds. Otherwise, Scholz definitely fits the pattern.
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  4. #4
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    Couldn't agree more about that Styx album. That album has to rank as one of the absolute worst pieces of shit albums ever put out by a band of that magnitude. It makes VH3 look like the White Album.
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  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Rokgtar's Avatar
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    Self-indulgent doesn't have to mean "bad".

    I love Steve Vai's "Passion and Warfare" but that record is pretty damn self indulgent IMO...

  6. #6
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokgtar View Post
    Self-indulgent doesn't have to mean "bad".
    I suppose not, but in the case of that Styx album it sure did.
    .
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    VH with Sam ('86-'96) - Incredible era....."We have renamed this town 'New Halen!'.
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    VH with Wolf/Dave ('12-'15) - Amazing comeback. Smokin' album and tours.

  7. #7
    Future's in the past....
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    I suppose not, but in the case of that Styx album it sure did.
    Only tune halfway worth listening to off the whole album is Heavy Metal Poisoning.
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk
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    06.25.15 @ 09:06 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Couldn't agree more about that Styx album. That album has to rank as one of the absolute worst pieces of shit albums ever put out by a band of that magnitude. It makes VH3 look like the White Album.
    Pretty much ruined that great lineup they had Not to mention, the album is bloody horrendous, I agree there.

    The funnier thing about it is watching the whole Mr. Roboto gag on the "Caught in the Act" video from 1984. Wow, its so pathetic and sad, beyond belief. And DeYoung thought he was doing wonders for the band, I'm sure.

    VHR is dead on about the only halfway decent song being Heavy Metal Poisoning. Though I would always give Mr. Roboto a listen for a sheer comedic value of it.
    "I respect that youre passionate about this but what your saying is complete idiocy..." - MF5150 on McDonald's "preying" on young kids.

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  9. #9
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    No list of The Most Self-Indulgent Albums is complete without " III Sides To Every Story"......

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Works, Volume One. A two record set, 3 sides solo stuff, one side combined band. And only about 1/8 of it worth listening to.

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Couldn't agree more about that Styx album. That album has to rank as one of the absolute worst pieces of shit albums ever put out by a band of that magnitude. It makes VH3 look like the White Album.
    That album wrecked a great band. I actually like their current lineup, but Dennis DeYoung's voice is pretty hard to replace.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve mcqueen View Post
    No list of The Most Self-Indulgent Albums is complete without " III Sides To Every Story"......
    Good call!

    I love Operation Mindcrime however, so I disagree there. It is one of my stuck on a deserted island discs.

    Of course I would need the Professor from Gilligan's Island to make an electrical turbine from coconut shells and jungle vine, but that is a dicussion for another day.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Down View Post
    Couldn't agree more about that Styx album. That album has to rank as one of the absolute worst pieces of shit albums ever put out by a band of that magnitude. It makes VH3 look like the White Album.


    Now that's sayin something.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  14. #14
    Sinner's Swing!
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    I love Pink Floyd and would take most any of their albums over 99% of what passes for Rock. However, before they started hitting their post-Syd stride, they got pretty pretentious with Atom Heart Mother. That being said, aren't most creative endeavours "self indulgent" by nature? Not a terrible sin. Of the list from Yahoo, there are a couple that I would classify as "sucking" (yeah, I'm looking at you Dennis DeYoung).

  15. #15
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Chinese Democracy anyone?







    Don't read this.

 

 

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