Wednesday Question: Artists With Flawless Discographies

Aka bands whole discographies you should own in full...

Ultimate Guitar

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we'd like to kindly ask you folks to think about artists whose opus everyone should own in full and answer this little thing:

Which artist has a flawless discography?

NOTE: If you're downvoting someone's opinion, it would be cool to point out why you don't see the given act's opus as flawless so others can join the discussion.

THE RULES - post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).Multiple nominations of one artist create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given act to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same group, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.

Finally, vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike. We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG top list. Show us what you got now!

1,150 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Incredible band. Not only did their albums hit the mark and some very impressive musicians were involved in Death (Andy Larocque as an example), but the evolution of their sound was inspiring.
    i hope this wins but it will be hard to beat steve wilson and devin townsend
    Jeff Buckley, he never got a chance to screw up.
    Weirdly, I was thinking of Jeff as the example of why this question doesn't work well. Firstly, the question puts bands that have been around a long time at a major disadvantage. Most bands put out an album every 2-3 years due to their contracts. It's hard to make a flawless album every time under the recording / touring pressure cycle. The only bands I can think of that are more than 10 years old and only have a few albums are Tool and Cynic (both solid nominations). The other problem is that even an artist that dies 'before they can screw up' can have their discography screwed up for them by record labels and family. Jeff's discography is now two albums (Grace and Sketches...) and a bunch of live albums. It's an imperfect collection, not that he could control that. And, for all that I think Grace is a great album, it's not perfect. Corpus Christi Carol shows up and sucks the life out of the album just before it hits a great peak with Eternal Life and Dream Brother.
    Alice in Chains/Layne Staley (Duvall is good, but the material isn't as flawless).
    The Duvall records are still incredibly solid, even if they can't touch the classics. I think that warrants including them. Jerry and company still sound amazing.
    Agreed. The DuVall era albums in my opinion aren't as good the Staley era but they are very much worthy of being a part of the AIC legacy and I am looking forward to what else they do in the future.
    It's about an artist, not one particular singer. I think their work is close to flawless though.
    Right, but that's unfair to Layne Staley then. How about I change it to just Layne Staley? That would include Mad Season, too, which is not a bad thing.
    No it isn't because he was part of the band in an era that was flooded with great artists and he was among them. No need to glorify a single person in a band that all had it together in the moment.
    Right again, but when the only thing disqualifying them is the fact that he died and they eventually continued without him, you gotta have some discretion. Layne Staley has a flawless track record. Alice in Chains would as well if they had died with him. They're still not bad, just not quite at the same level as they were with him. This is like saying Sublime wouldn't count because they made new music with Rome.
    Everything ever touched by these guys is gold imo. AiC, Cantrell solo and Mad Season. Every single album & EP released is like 8/10 minimum.
    If you can vote just Layne Staley AIC, then what about just Bon Scott AC/DC? For the type of music it is, they got it right every single time with Bon.
    Duvall is a scab like Chester Bennington in STP. Everybody knows the real AIC ended when Layne died.
    I don't hate Duvall, but I agree with the second statement. Everything AiC did with Layne was GOLD. And I think the heart of the band died when he died. RIP Layne!!
    AiC was more Jerry than it was Layne. And the fact that they're still putting out good albums proves this.
    So true. You could put AIC on shuffle and always come up with a masterpiece. Solid band.
    I've probably said this countless times. But Rooster changed my life, and then I heard Jar of Flies and it changed my life. It changes my life every time I pop it in my Pontiac with no muffler or working windows. It keeps me sane while my life goes in a downward spiral.
    Steven Wilson Edit: everything from his solo work to Porcupine Tree to Blackfield to Storm Corrosion (and even his contributions on Opeth alums) is all a stroke of genius.
    I really want to like his stuff, because those guys are clearly talented as hell, but his solo material just isn't anything special to me.
    Try it again in a few years.I think it has something to do with where you are in life etc. Wilson is truly an amazing artist!
    Totally agree with you, I also recommend listening to the albums from start to finish, they really take you on a never ending journey.
    Opus Eponymous was really good, and Infestissumam was also really good (not as good as Opus though, in my opinion). Haven't listened that much to Meliora yet, but from what I've heard, it's good.
    It is. It's not AS good as their previous albums but I guarantee you'll find a couple songs you'd like.
    Stevie Ray Vaughan!
    Indeed, I was going to add him but luckily found another sane person And while he left us way too early, he did put out quite a lot and there are absolutely no fillers whatsoever. Even great bands with a constant output find themselves with a few fillers.
    System Of A Down. I find Steal This Album! quite weak at some points but their whole discography is pretty much top-tier stuff.
    Steal This Album! is my favorite release of theirs, so I can balance that out for ya
    Innervision, Boom!, Nüguns, A.D.D., Mr. Jack, I-E-A-I-A-I-O. I mean there were some tracks on the album I wasn't a huge fan of, but they got some great tunes on "Steal This Album"
    Completely disagree. Mesmerized and Hyptonyzed were extremely weak compared to the first 3 albums. Both terms of both songwriting and lyrics.
    sinForge xJp
    Those weren't "weak" they were just very different. More polish while still being very raw and in your face.
    Different isnt always good. I get what you mean about they polished up, but in the process they lost a lot of of their punch. The Mezmerized album gets old fast, specially the lyrics in which half the songs are the same verse with minor changes. Hypnotized was... I dont know what that was but that wasnt system. Of course they have strong following, Which is one of the reasons why they are being upvoted.... but if you really compare albums the last 2 are like from a completely different band.
    sinForge xJp
    I don't know if you noticed, but their self-titled is probably my the most different of all their albums. None of their albums sounded the same at all. And because of that you can't really say the last two didn't sound like them.
    I feel like that album shares similarities with Toxicity. They have a lot of aggression in both of those albums, and certain songs have a weird vibe to them that just fit them. It was in Steal this Album where they toned it down a bit with certain songs, and where they had their first true ballads. Of course no 2 albums are the same unless youre AC/DC or Motorhead. But System had progression, which I feel they lost in the last 2.
    Also, they gave us lines like "Chinese tricks in rooms with ghosts of hooker girly-dudes", "Choking chicks and sodomy", and "Beat the meat/Treat the feet/To the sweet/Milky seat". Can't forget that kind of stuff.
    sinForge xJp
    I was hoping someone mentioned them. I used to be so die-hard for them when I was younger. But while my enthusiasm has died down, my respect hasn't. Those albums are all very unique from each other and very very solid.
    Aryan Death Man
    Rage Against The Machine
    Kinda the same hing over and over.
    Oh hell no, compare the self titled to Evil Empire. Iy's a total new sound, and then, on TBOLA they brought on the sound even further. Even a fucking cover album is amazing by those dudes! They even managed to switch vocalist and make a new band with a new sound.
    Some dude got thumbed down to hell for mentioning ACDC even with the same reason.
    Aryan Death Man
    It was me,the same dude. I'm the one who suggested Ac/Dc and got downvoted,but for the same reason I got upvoted for RATM here
    Well if there's anything you can expect in a UG comments section, it's hypocrisy, inconsistency, and bandwagoning. And memes.
    To be fair though, AC/DC had a lot of "meh" albums in the 80's between For Those About To Rock and The Razor's Edge. That would equal a few flaws to me.
    I agree. Yes, all of the albums are very similar. But they're all quite good, in my opinion.
    Queens of the Stone Age
    I love them but I don't think Era Vulgaris qualifies as flawless.
    Love love love that record. Those songs are all so great live, especially Misfit Love.
    I think it's a great record with its very own quirky personality, it's very different from the rest of their output and that's admirable. If instead it was just another copy of StfD or LtP maybe it wouldn't be as interesting and unique. (another point to the Queens in always changing their sound and not taking the easy way out).
    In my own opinion, their weakest record is the debut, and even that one still kicks ass - Come to think of it, QOTSA is one of those few rare bands that don't have an unblemished discography only because they released only a few records or disbanded after a few years - Their discography has remained flawless because they've simply never dropped below a certain level of quality despite their relatively long run.
    Temple of the Dog
    This one right here! Beat me to it. I don't care if it's cheating; pretty much every song is emotional in just the right way.
    Bedside Shred
    So don't fuck up this next one MIKE jk man the single is gold, we all know Sorceress will be the law.
    Even if you really can't "get into" Heritage and Pale Communion, they are still extremely well written, produced and you can find lot of the best elements of their "heavier" albums
    Even their slightly underrated albums like Orchid and Still Life are amazing, the last two albums are polarizing though, but it's indisputable that they are not as top notch, production-wise at least.
    Is Still Life considered underrated?? I thought most people considered it to be their best along with Blackwater Park. I know I personally do!
    Still Life was actually the first Opeth album I heard, so it's always gonna be special to me. What I am saying that Still Life is somewhat overlooked by fans, it kinda pales in comparison with Blackwater Park in terms of popularity.
    That I agree with you, it was my first Opeth album and it still is to this date my favourite. Quality-wise it's on par with Blackwater Park in my opinion, but the overall dark and raw tone gives it a slight edge over BWP.
    So close for me but the last two just don't grip me...
    Bedside Shred
    They are very challenging albums, but stick with them. True art.
    I've just dug Heritage out. I feel like I never listened to it before. The outro of "Folklore" just finished. Superb. Thank you.
    Radiohead. Pablo Honey was maybe a bit weaker, bit given it was their album, i wouldn't consider it a flaw.
    I can't think of any other band that has consistently been so creative, innovative, and just simply good, throughout their entire career. Pablo Honey is only weak by Radiohead's own standards, otherwise it's a pretty decent album.
    Great Choice, but King Of Limbs kind of sent my interest elsewhere, but the new one brought it back
    Pablo Honey gets a lot of flak, but that's mainly because that it has such stiff competition compared to all their other albums, and on its own, it's actually pretty great - Just listen to the closer "Blowout", which absolutely levels everything in its path in the outro jam.
    Love Gojira but I was left pretty disappointed by the latest album. It wasn't bad but it was just totally forgettable. I'm curious to see how other people feel about it.
    I generally don't like Gojira much, but I thought their latest album was their best sounding one yet.
    I agree about their latest, but it's still a great album according to most fans. I'm just heavily biased by loving their earlier style.
    Baroness. Although they've only released four albums, not one of them can be considered "bad"
    I wasn't a huge fan of Yellow and Green but it is by no means a bad album. Purple however, I loved Purple.
    I'm the opposite. I loved Yellow and Green but wasn't a huge fan of Purple at first even though I don't think it's a bad album.
    For bands with only a handful of albums I'd say The Sheepdogs are doing really well also.
    Baroness is an awesome band and I think that all of their albums are fantastic - each new album becoming my favorite.
    Alter Bridge
    Just wanted to separate my opinion from my nomination, but if we can separate Tremonti's solo work out from his work with Creed/Alter Bridge then that is a discography I can listen front to back without skipping a track.
    There are a couple of Alter Bridge songs I can't listen to, Burn it down, Lover and Bleeding it dry so I wouldn't say their discography is flawless. The albums as a whole don't disappointed it's just those songs I feel let them down, which isn't bad.
    Wow, those are three songs I absolutely love. Especially Burn it Down and Lover.
    The more I think about it the more I dislike Fortress. I can add cry a river and the uninvited to that list. Just don't enjoy Myles vocals on the album really. If it wasn' for the remaining songs I wouldn't enjoy this album at all...
    Yeah feel the same way about Lover and Bleeding It... But I guess there is no band with 100% flawless song catalog haha...
    Aryan Death Man
    Led Zeppelin
    Love Zeppelin, but respectfully disagree. In Through the Out Door has it's moments, but it's far from flawless.
    Still A LOT BETTER than Coda.
    Coda was a sessions album with unfinished and unreleased stuff released after bonham died wasn't it? I guess it's by Led Zeppelin but I wouldn't say it counts?
    Kinda true, but still the only thing worth listening to on Coda is just the outtake from I Can't Quit You Baby. Everything else is just mediocre. In Through The Out Door still has some good songs like Fool In The Rain and I'm Gonna Crawl.
    Also love Zep, and maybe this is going to be a very unpopular opinion, but I think Houses of the Holy is not great at all. Over the Hills and Song Remains the same are great, but the rest is mediocre to me. Also, I cannot fucking stand The Crunge. It sounds so silly.
    No Quarter? The Rain Song? The Ocean? Sorry I disagree, that album is perfect. Best sex music ever.
    Many fans will roll their eyes at albums like Vapor Trails and Presto.. but it's hard to call those albums "bad", just unexpected and a not in line with fan favorites. Rush never stopped innovating and never stuck to a formula. Every album is a key piece in their discography.
    I never understood why Vapor Trails is so hated. It's very raw and honest. The remaster version is more pleasant sound wise though.
    Power Windows is one of the most god awful albums I have ever heard. I love rush, and I consider them one of my favorite bands, but that cd is horrible. Of course, only my opinion..
    Lamb of God, I honestly love every album, including Burn the Priest.
    I wish they would remaster some of the earlier stuff. I think it would be appreciated by a lot more people with better production. "New American Gospel" is mostly what I'm referring to. The songs aren't bad but there is just something I can't quantify in words about the sound that album has that just hits my ears wrong. LoG has a great line of albums though with that being said.
    The comment near the top on the link below made by @Maiden95 not only is fucking hilarious but pretty much perfectly supports this point about the band. And if and when Tool makes the list, I ask UG to give quote and give credit to Maiden95 for his words
    You know, seeing your profile pic, I almost voted for Rishloo, but then realized Terras Fames was very much a juvenile effort. Though, everything after that album was amazing, imo.
    Aryan Death Man
    You, sir, have my vote. Although I can't really get into Adrenaline, it is by no means flawed. And all the other albums are just incredible.
    Saturday Night Wrist and their latest Gore are underwhelming.
    For me, right now, Gore is their best album. I have to give it more time, but the music and especially the lyrical content are amazing. But really, the Deftones have had an A+ career and their discography is flawless IMHO.
    I really enjoy both of those. I'm glad they did something different with Gore. The two previous albums were great but they sounded very similar. It was nice they did something new this time
    I didn't downvote because I don't know them well TBO, but I think the album Koi No Yokan is waaaaay too overrated. People say it's the best thing that ever happened to music, but IMO it's very generic and bland.
    Excellent Entry, the only issues I have are with the new one, and Saturday Night Wrist - other than that these guys are completely solid
    Why do people not like "Saturday"? I enjoyed the hell out of it and Cherry Waves is one of my favorite songs by them. I'm just surprised that no one has attacked the self titled yet and instead honed in on SNW.
    I'm as confused as you are there. SNW is my 2nd favorite Deftones albums, but most fans don't seem to care for it.
    Absolute Rock-O
    I personally find their eponymous album unmemorable, but the rest of their discography is tight (especially their 3 last records!).
    I would argue Audioslave. I don't think they wrote a bad song in 3 albums
    Yes! Don't get me wrong I listened to revelations a couple of times and it didn't impress me. Even the singles. Years later (actually a few months ago) I've been going through bands I like but of their albums I didn't enjoy just to give them an extra go. I've realised the third album is actually great! It's just a grower is all. You've got to give it time
    I'm so happy someone else thought of Audioslave too. Breaks my heart that I never got a chance to see them live
    Out of Audiosoave's three albums, you could make up one good album's worth of songs.
    Really? I love Mastodon but I thought The Hunter was a snooze fest save 1 or 2 tracks.
    Revisit it. I've been listening to it here and there and it's a fun album. I think people consider it a let down because it followed Crack The Skye, which is universally acclaimed
    I actually got in to Mastodon after crack the Skye, Black tongue was the first song of theirs I heard (one of the few gems of that album), so the whole crack the Skye hype wasn't a factor for me at the time. I've tried going back to that album a few times, but it just feels flat, like background music. OMRTS to me was what the Hunter should have been.
    The Hunter used to be my favourite album of theirs for a long time. Currently not so much due to a bit boring second half, but I still think it has a really strong core. Black Tongue crushes balls, Curl of the Burl is groovy af, Blasteroid is really goofy and Townsend-ish, Stargasm is epic, Octopus is a great drug-fest and true homage to the Yellow Submarine, All the Heavy Lifting has a heartbreaking chorus, The Hunter is so emotional especially in the solo and Dry Bone Valley is just solid in its heaviness. The album starts lacking afterwards, but 8 starting powerful tracks + some good moments in Creature, Fingernails and Sparrow ain't bad by all measures!
    Leather Sleeves
    The Hunter's pretty cool, except for that horrendous Creature Lives. Crack the Skye was just hard to follow.
    I find it weird how much hate that song gets. I mean, it's a very basic song, especially by Mastodon standards, but there's nothing wrong with occasional simplicity. I think the band knew how tough it would be to follow CtS, which is why The Hunter was a huge step back from the path they'd been walking since Leviathan. It's a smart move artistically, because it both took the pressure of them as writers and proved that they very aware of what they're doing and how their music is perceived by fans. Weirdly, though The Hunter isn't my favourite Mastodon album, it's probably the one I listen to the most because it's their most accessible. I can just chuck it on and listen instead of wondering whether I can 'get away' with hearing a whole album start to finish without being interrupted by life.
    Bedside Shred
    ehhhh they didn't have a truly great album until Leviathtan
    Ole' Nessie
    Remission is pretty damn good!
    I'd say so. The first album I heard was OMRTS. I went and seen them live, and ended up buying all their records and loving every minute of them.
    Devin Townsend
    Which project?
    Is he not an artist?
    You didn't read the question, did you?
    Is Devin an artist ? Yes. The question is : "Which artist has a flawless discography?". So Devin can compete ! Cheers
    Yes. It asks which artists. It doesn't specify for one particular project out of someone's career. It leaves that up for debate. Is Devin Townsend not the same artist in one band as he is in another? The question doesn't specify one way or the other whether it means entire careers or specific projects.
    "Is Devin Townsend not the same artist in one band as he is in another?" : Yes and no. Technically, it depends on how much authority the artist has over their bandmates, whether they have any sort of direction or contribution to the final product, which in this case, Devin Townsend solely directs all his projects, so we are discussing his work as a whole.
    Doesn´t matter. If you want to be technical, think just Devin Townsend Project and you will agree. If SYL is your think, think SYL. Or Casualties of Cool.
    Even Devin's demo albums are orgasmic. Epiclouder. Stuff that was almost Stuff. Ass-Sordid Demos. All classics imo. Dev is the real deal.
    Arguably, "Physicist" isn't a great album. But I'd still rather listen to Devy's worst album than most band's best records.
    Physicist suffers from a bad production. But the songs in it are all awesome. And this wall of sound in your face with Namaste !
    From death/black/industrial infused extreme metal, to space country, to new wave, to prog metal, to experimental, to punk rock, to straight up heavy metal with joyful glee. Devin has run the gamut in rock and metal and even dabbled in other genres and while not everything has been outstandingly amazing, none of it is bad or even just mediocre, all of it is good.
    Oh how I agree with you. Not even a single album in his whole discography (22 studio albums + 1 with Steve Vai) where you can say "Meh.".
    Joy Division. I mean yeah, they only released two full lenght albums but both of them are amazing and I don't see any rules against that.
    Yes! Three solid albums, each different from the last, and each fantastic. But it's not just those studio recordings worth owning. Inscesticide and the MTV Unplugged should also be included. The unplugged album has become a classic, and Incesticide is phenomenal. Though it's just B sides, it's really interesting, and it's in my rotation as much as their other albums.
    Periphery Even though so many people hate their latest albums, I think they're just getting stronger and more cohesive
    Honestly I'm disappointed I had to scroll this far to find Periphery. All of their albums, even Clear and the Icarus EP, are at the very least solid, and Juggernaut is a goddamn masterpiece
    I've only listened to the first two albums yet and I think they are quite fucking awesome.
    So under-rated, even as big as they are. They can headline anywhere in the World and very few people ever "dislike" them. So why aren't they more famous? - Love is for every one.
    David Bowie - 45 years of perfection
    No no no it's just not true. His first album was a really bad start. He made a good discography but never a "flawless" discography.
    His first 'album' was an EP, which had a couple of super Mod songs you've heard in more movies than you know. It came out in 1966. Literally everything he released was critically acclaimed, inspired other musicians, or made a crap-ton of money. That includes Tin Machine. I wouldn't say it was 'flawless', but I would say every release was a success.
    I don't know if "flawless" is the right word for all of Bowies records, but he was remarkably consistent even during rough times. He's said his two mid-late eighties records are weak because he wasn't enjoying writing music at the time.
    I bet you wouldn't even mention his name if he wasn't dead recently
    I bet you I've listened to him for over 6 years (I'm 21) and i've always thought he was the shit.
    Even though I listened quite a few albums he's a fucking genious, the first album I listened from him was Heathen, that album IS THE SHIT
    Aryan Death Man
    A Perfect Circle
    Came here to say that. Mer De Noms and Thirteenth Step are two of the greatest albums ever made. The only issue with APC's discography is that there isnt more.
    I'm gonna create 1000 new accounts to upvote this one. Not every album is as memorable as Odelay but they all are very solid and I cannot think of any as "weak". Love absolutely everything he made since 1994
    Death Grips
    They're great. too bad theyre so underrated.
    Death Grips are by no means underrated.
    How? You guys really think they get the recognition and popularity they deserve? I'm not saying they aren't appreciated by those that know about them, I'm saying that there aren't enough people that know about them.
    But that's the thing. They're not exactly unknown. Everyone who cares about alternative music (and is a potential listener) already knows about them and the rest wouldn't appreaciate them anyway.
    Underrated? Maybe here since they're not Metallica or Led Zeppelin but they get enough appreciation (that they completely deserve) everywhere else.
    Jim Croce Y'all can downvote all you like, but those 3 albums are perfect.
    So true. I wonder how many more masterpieces he could have made if he hadn't died.