Artists without a duffer in their entire back catalogue

Inspired by this thread, but oh so subtly different…

Was also just flicking through the Fugazi thread and got me to thinking that their albums all hit a certain level even by their own extremely high standards. Which other artists can you think of that have never over the course of their career put out an album that falls short of their own quality control level?

Let’s say for the purposes of this thread, artists that have five or more studio albums (we don’t need another Arcade Fire discussion thank you very much) and excluding live albums, side projects and the like.

I’ll start with Tom Waits - not a single album in his catalogue that I wouldn’t look forward to listening to all the way through right now:

Some of my favourite artists have had some right wobbles over the years (Bowie, Neil Young, The Cure). Others have managed to fuck it with a single installment (good one Swans with Burning World).

Any more for any more?

It’s a shame you specified 5 albums, otherwise RATM and Portishead would be up there.

It’s also a shame Blur made Leisure and Supergrass made Diamond Hoo Ha, otherwise Blur and Supergrass would be up there. For me.


Volta’s a bit of a slog. But only a bit.

Also, you have to consider the soundtracks she made for installations (not bad AT ALL, but some find them intolerable) and that album she made when she was 11.

I’d say you have to discount the album she made when she was 11. Everyone makes a shit album when they’re 11, she was just brilliant enough that it got released to the public.

Would happily listen to any Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album in full. Nocturama seems to be the obvious low point, but I quite like it - I don’t think it’s a bad album, although it’s the only part of the catalogue where everyone sounds like they’re coasting a bit.


Elliott Smith didn’t release an album that was below 8.5/10. Probably the only one I can think of.


Milk Eyed Mender - Ys - Have One On Me - Divers - TBC


Every Sigur Ros album’s worth hearing. Even Valtari.


Sleater Kinney and Ian William Craig are the first that come to mind. Could also throw in Grouper and Tim Hecker, though their earlier stuff isn’t quite on the same level as most of their releases.

Also Godspeed, depending on how harsh you are about Yanqui Uxo!

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I did think about Nick Cave as I enjoyed Nocturama well enough when it came out. Also, in fairness, it was recorded in one week so kudos for that…

I’d say Yanqui is better than the latest, which I’ve never really got into.


mark kozelek

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Each to their own, I think Yanqui is really good but all of the other ones do more interesting things. I really like Asunder even though the two drone tracks in the middle don’t add as much as they should.

The Doors. The Jim Morrison years.

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Which one? It absolutely doesn’t.

Think that The Soft Parade spoils this for The Doors unfortunately…

Super Furry Animals (I like the last three albums)


Kanye West

Shame about Around the Sun otherwise I might have had R.E.M. on here too.

RATM :smiley:


I bang on about this a lot, but Unwound were every bit the band Fugazi were


The Smiths (if you include Hatful of Hollow & Louder Than Bombs, which I do)

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