Gateway albums to artists

We all discover artists at different times and fall for different albums. Often you might go back and find out their earlier classic albums really were their best, or they might grow and make their masterpiece after you become a fan

Sometimes though, the album you first heard remains your favourite, regardless of how acclaimed it is or if no other fans really rate it

Gimme some examples

(@Owensmaterob )

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Said this before but didn’t rate dogrel or heroes death and Fontaines as a band at all until Skinty Fia came out now i love all three albums


Mountain Goats is an obvious one for me - the first full album I ever heard/bought was All Eternals Deck, and it’s the one I keep going back to most often. Despite my love for lo-fi bands, since I discovered them this way with the clean production and full band, going back to their early beloved boombox stuff just feels a little under-produced. Full of great songs of course, but just doesn’t have the punch or depth of AET to me

Damn These Vampires is still one of his best sets of lyrics, and kicking right into Birth of Serpents for a gorgeous jangly pop hit followed by the raging anger of Estate Sale Sign is excellent sequencing - then High Hawk Season still stands out as being pretty unique in their whole catalogue, I love those vocals

should explore more of the first band stuff in the early 2000s but just havent got round to it yet (think maybe weren’t on Spotify or something equally lazy)


The first Low album I heard was C’mon, and I loved it. Listened to it loads, really liked it. Remember searching for threads about them on these here boards (or the old ones at least) and people almost all thought the album was shit, or at least underwhelming. Well you know what I have to say to those haters…?

I disagree


i reckon this is probably the case for pretty much everyone who likes Animal Collective (Sung Tongs for me)

I dunno, I first heard Here Comes the Indian and thought it was shit but because they were so constantly talked about I kept listening to their albums but it wasn’t until Strawberry Jam that I actually started to like them.

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I’d also like to clarify that I only like that album and Merriweather, but none of the others and yes I have heard the EPs

i did say pretty much everyone :wink:

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Ooh I’ve got a great one of these.

I discovered The Divine Comedy a few months after the release of their first best-of album. “Yes!” I thought, “a nice melodic, slightly pretentious band with strings and nice arrangements! I’ll love their next album.”

And I did love their next album. The weird, slightly angsty, early-2000s navel-gazing indie rock, Nigel Godrich-produced Regeneration.

An album that was nothing like anything they produced before or since and, to be fair in retrospect, is a bit rubbish.

It does have this cracking song on it though:


My three favourite artists are Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab for Cutie and Coheed & Cambria. I got into them on Bleed American (2001), Plans (2005) and In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 (2004) respectively.

With Jimmy Eat World, I immediately went back to Clarity (1999) and that’s my favourite, which also lines up with “consensus”. I think there are very good and obvious reasons why Bleed American was what them a massive platinum-selling success and Clarity wasn’t, but it was a hell of a discovery for me going from a short, sharp album of radio bangers.

Death Cab is probably where I deviate most from “consensus”. I don’t really enjoy anything they did prior to Transatlanticism (2003) - the consensus favourite - which is where both their current rhythm section (a huge part of their sound) debuted, and also where Ben found his voice. I also think Narrow Stairs (2008) is probably a better album than both of them, but Plans holds such a special place in my heart that I can’t see it ever not being my favourite.

Coheed on the other hand; I got into them on their second album, the consensus favourite is their third album, and they went into a major decline somewhere around 2009-10. They came back with a vengeance in 2015 and have been on incredible form since; with a few years of distance it’s possible their most recent album (released this year) could be my favourite. It’s certainly the best thing they’ve done in at least 15 years. When they release a new album, I’m prepared for it to become a new favourite in a way that stopped being the case for Jimmy Eat World sometime around 2007.

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I’ve really grown into C’mon. Nothing But Heart is one of their best songs imo


Think that’s a really interesting choice as I imagine Tallahassee or The Sunset Tree probably had this role for a lot of people (including myself). Was it the new one when you first heard it?

(I’ve still only really ever gotten into All Hail West Texas from the lofi era, lol)

Literally about to post the very same.

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yep, which i imagined would be the case for most albums that people might put in here. Artists you’ve heard of but never got round to listening to, then for whatever timing reason you decide to pay attention to a newly released album and it just clicks


i think something about it being new releases from an active band enhances this phenomenon, as much as it exists

like, to me, Mountain Goats just are a full band with that sort of sound. So I can really enjoy the old stuff, but that’s not representative to me of who they “really” are in my mind. Whereas if you liked the old stuff at the time it came out, then they probably are “really” a lo-fi band who are now play acting as a rock group

or something :smiley:


I think a lot of people feel similarly about death cab; plans is an objectively over-produced album but as it was what hooked me I was better able to hear through the OTT production on later albums (Kintsugi in particular) and appreciate the songs.

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Gateway to RATM and Muse was picking up their live albums/DVDs (Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium and HAARP respectively) in 2008, for no other reason than it seemed good value for my pocket money as I skulked around HMV. Had been vaguely aware of some of their songs in the culture, but both albums were amazing entry points to their whole discography, although I wore them out enough to prefer some of the live songs to their studio versions.

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“The debut cLOUDDEAD album was the genius one” - most people
“The second cLOUDDEAD album was the one I heard first and was better by far” - this person

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I was really into Free All Angels, and still think it’s kindof a perfect album (apart from a few bad tracks) (which, now that I think about it, probably makes it not a perfect album)

This song got me into Scott Walker and everything:


You can’t go wrong with any Pumpkins album as a gateway but I was lucky enough to have Mellon Collie be mine. Occasionally I think it would have been better to have experienced the massive evolution from 1991-1995 sequentially or to have started with Siamese Dream, but there’s something to be said for having your first taste of a band be a magical, violent musical universe that doubled as the greatest risk a highly successful commercial artist ever took (something which gets completely overlooked due to its massive commercial success and ubiquity on the radio).

How are these songs on the same album and how is it so perfect? (Could probably randomly pick almost any two songs and still have a good chance of being able to ask this question)

I think Siamese Dream, Pisces Iscariot, Mellon Collie, Adore, and Machina are the co-greatest albums of all time, but I still think the Mellon Collie era is the single greatest era of music produced by anyone ever. I’ve been listening for nearly 27 years now and nobody has ever come close to approaching it in any way - quality, scope, vision, etc. and certainly not all of those things combined.

(Also, having Mellon Collie as the introduction point sets up being caught off guard by the thick distortion of Siamese Dream. Going in without any knowledge and hearing the Cherub Rock intro for the first time and being hit with that aggressive, heavy distorted bit right before the main riff comes in was one of my all-time holy shit listening moments. Completely caught me off guard.)