Top 10 Best Double Albums in Rock

Here's what UG community considers as the best double LP ever.

Ultimate Guitar

In this week's edition of our traditional Wednesday Question we asked you guys to name the best double album the rock world has ever produced. You delivered as always, we rounded up your votes and now bring you the final Top 10. Check it out below.

10. The Clash - London Calling

The 1979 game-changing "London Calling" effort by punk rock legends the Clash gets to kick off the list as one of the few double albums within the punk genre.

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9. Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland

Jimi's third and final studio album, "Electric Ladyland," was fittingly a double LP, making sure that the icon ends his career with style.

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8. Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence

We're in the prog domain now as Dream Theater's 2002 double record "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" gets to claim the No. 8 spot. Apart from "A Change of Seasons," it's the only DT album ever to feature a title track.

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7. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

The record that basically brought us jazz rock, Miles Davis' 1970 double album "Bitches Brew," clocks in at over 90 minutes, making it a mammoth release in every way.

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6. Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile

Lasting over 100 minutes, NIN's 1999 masterpiece "The Fragile" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and ultimately sold over two million copies in the US alone. It might seem like an impossible task, but Trent Reznor and co. have accomplished it.

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5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium

Now this is what we call a lengthy album - featuring over two hours of music, RHCP's "Stadium Arcadium" became the band's best-selling album in the US. Apart from 28 tracks found on the album, the band has actually recorded nine more during recording sessions.

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4. The Beatles - The White Album

A true rock classic that needs no further introduction - the Beatles and "The White Album."

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3. Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Cracking open the big 3 in a bit of surprising manner, Smashing Pumpkins claim the No. 3 spot. Did you know that the album's extended edition lasts over 350 minutes?

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2. Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti

Capturing Led Zeppelin at the height of their critical and commercial acclaim, "Physical Graffiti" easily stands out as one of the most successful double albums in rock history, having sold over eight million copies in US alone.

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1. Pink Floyd - The Wall

Finally, the big No. 1 - Pink Floyd and "The Wall." As the album that commonly epitomizes what a masterful double album is all about, "The Wall" seems to have it all - the story, the music, the hits.

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183 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Apart from "A Change of Seasons," it's the only DT album ever to feature a title track." Uhm... Octavarium?
    Actually Octavarium is the only DT album to feature a title TRACK; A Change Of Seasons is an EP and the "song" Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence is 8 tracks, none of which are called Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence.
    I don't feel like looking it up, but I think I read that Portnoy said they broke it up into the 8 tracks so that it would be easier for fans to listen to. SDOIT is a single song, it's just split up for convenience.
    Yep, that's true. They actually do play separate sections of Six Degrees live, but then they do the same with A Change of Seasons. Or even Learning to Live.
    Baroness - Yellow & Green
    Anyone? No? Okay... ._.
    I like this album, but I also think it is their weakest album. A couple poor songs on there I think. "Little Things" comes to mind.
    Yes. Flawless album. I'd be willing to go ahead and argue that it is their best work so far.
    So... what about Quadrophenia?
    It seems UG places the ranking according to their liking. It was clear that the White Album got more votes than both the smashing pumpkins and Zepp. The wall is a deserving winner by the way
    I came here to scroll through and find Quadrophenia. It just seemed obvious.
    I'm glad to see Stadium made it up. I feel like it's become a sort of trend to hate on it- honestly, I can say I dislike probably 3 or 4 songs on that album- which, considering it's length, is not that many.
    I think everyone's just sick of hearing Snow and Dani California.
    I still love both Dani California and Snow, I think Snow particularly is one of the most beautiful songs in their catalog. Stadium Arcadium is my favorite RHCP album and I've never understood people's disliking of it.
    Hmm Its ok, but nothing more than that - too many uninteresting filler songs IMO
    hard to imagine the opinion that stadium arcadium is better than californication, or blood sugar sex magic (or for me any other rhcp album, but it's my opinion). don't know if it's a trend to dislike the album. at least it sold well for the band.
    I think a lot of fans dislike Stadium Arcadium because it's so different from what RHCP had ever done before that and they refuse to accept a band that is willing to change it's sound. There's a lot less pure funk, a lot less hip hot style singing from Kiedis, more acoustic, less slap bass from Flea, but in my opinion, there's a lot better songwriting, more tasteful and melodic bass playing, and just better musicianship overall by the band as a whole. The only thing that I have to say against Stadium Arcadium is that since I've listened to the album over the years I've noticed that they "bang away" at the chorus a lot to end their songs, but I'm okay with it because it allowed John to add a lot of texture, and sonic backdrops with his guitars and vocals that are something completely unheard of in a band that's as commercially successful as RHCP. They write good pop songs but they hadn't lost any creativity in the process. Listen to songs like we believe and the outro the death of a martian and say that they're aren't as creative as ever.
    I really just think it's not that great an album, especially when you hold it up against most of their other albums, and to me it really pales compared to other great double albums.
    Okay. Here's what I'll say about Stadium Arcadium. As I said above, I love the album and it would be in my top 10 or 15 favorite albums EASILY. But in terms of double albums, and what many of them offer in terms of stories, it does somewhat pale. Quadrophenia, Lamb Lies Down, The Wall, and (sorta) London Calling, are stories that are better to be listened to in order. Stadium Arcadium is really a pile of 28 really good songs.
    I think that's just because it's not a concept album like a lot of double albums are. That doesn't discredit it one bit though. It just means that the band had 28 songs that were all good enough to release. They also had several other songs from those sessions that they did release later on as b sides too. To me that makes it even better. Most bands struggle to release an album of 12-15 songs that are all pretty solid anymore, and the Chili peppers can write over 30. It's a credit to how good of a band they really are.
    Totally agree! That's why it's one of my favorite albums. It's a testament as well to how much each Anthony, John, Chad, and Flea contributed to their collective work. The current lineup is wonderful too, but their music with John will stand the test of time.
    Agreed. I enjoy their new music as well, but with John in the band he raises them to that next level. It's unexplainable, but obvious all at the same time. He's the most honest musician of our time. I would love to have just one more album with those four on it. A man can dream, right? Lol
    I'm dreaming with you haha. Couldn't agree more, he's one of my all time favorite musicians for that reason.
    I was scrolling down to see if somebody had said this, before I would state it myself. It literally warms my heart that the album is on this list, meaning people appreciate it as I do. Good for them!
    It is and you know what, it's one of their best albums IMO. Sure, it's not necessarily got a thematic element, but it's pretty solid from start to end and it's where the whole band just amped it up to 11 from every corner. A great achievement.
    Was there any doubt?
    Really surprised to see the Smashing Pumpkins over the Beatles when clearly the white album got more votes
    At least the Clash ended up on there. Seriously though, the Wall is full of filler. . .sooooo.
    If you thought it was filler, then you missed the point of the wall. It's a story, really.
    It's a concept album for god's sake of course it is going to be long with a lot of songs, mark my words Pink Floyd has never released a filler song.
    Probably already said somewhere, but Dream Theater's Octavarium had a title track also
    I dig the fact that you included Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence from Dream Theater, but,uhhhh, it is not the only DT album ever to feature a title track. Octavarium, their 2005 release, had a 24 min. title track.
    Darth Crow
    Glad to see DT there... but there could be no doubt that Pink Floyd would win!
    "Apart from "A Change of Seasons," it's the only DT album ever to feature a title track." They should have made a song named "Dream Theater" so it would read: Dream Theater by Dream Theater on the album Dream Theater. DTception!
    "Black Sabbath", from Black Sabbath's album called "Black Sabbath". Who needs original names?
    Good picks. The Fragile and Bitches Brew should be higher. Would have liked to see Aphex Twin, System of a Down, and/or Frank Zappa.
    EXCUSE ME?! No Genesis? Where is all the prog rock? This list should have more prog than that. God damn UG!
    Thought SOAD would make it for sure.....good list though.
    Mesmerize + Hipnotize isn't a double album, although the band intended to release it as such.
    Did you not hear them talk about Mezmerize and Hypnotize? Superman said they needed to make a double-type of record. Daron answered "Ok, Superman, we'll make a double type of record, but it won't be a double album because Batman didn't want a double album". Simple.
    redisni · May 23, 2014 03:24 PM
    Hahaha what?? The same comment posted four times and you're at +8, -10, +6, -11! UG <3
    Genesis's The Lamb and Quadrophenia are both required to be in a top 10 double album list. The wall of course deserves #1 so
    Quadrophenia and Songs In the Key of Life by far. Though there aren't many that I would take out of this top 10... damn it.
    Scott O
    Quadrophenia and Tommy. I think that all of the artists on this list would agree. Long live rock.
    No Exile On Main Street = counterfeit list. Someone tell me how the RHCP thing was better…
    Why don't you prove to us, beyond a shadow of a doubt (and without any form of bias on your part), that "No Exile of Main Street" is better? Fyi, you already have a bias, so there goes the "without any form of bias on your part" stipulation.
    100% agree... best double album of all time in my opinion, and one of the best period. Also, no GNR Use Your Illusion?
    For me, both The White Album and Physical Graffiti are better albums than The Wall. The White Album had some fillers, but man there are many great songs on that album!
    I agree, honestly the Wall wasnt that great. The White Album is arguably the greatest album in history. Physical Graffiti in the desert is the closet some people get to spirituality.
    No Guns n Roses Use Your Illusions I &II?! =(
    TBH, They could have edited that down to an insanely good EP. Lotsa filler on the released double.
    Disagree. It makes more sense to me as a double album, I don't see more than 2 or 3 fillers in both UYI combined, and I feel them like 2 versions of the same album honestly, which I consider really inspired. Also musically speaking, that album is one of the best made of the 90's in my opinion, it combines flawlessly 'soul' and technique in most of the tracks
    Yeah, while I don't think My World and the Alt version of Don't Cry belonged on there (bit of an anti-climax, especially after the killer later tracks on UYI2), I'd hate to see how much amazing music would need to get cut to get that onto a single CD. Yeah, I don't understand the GnR downvoting. They put some amazing stuff on that album, especially considering a good chunk of the list is debatably not rock.
    I honestly believe that the alternative version of Don't Cry is superior to the version released as a single, even though the edit of the "cryyy-yy-yy-yy, baby" vocal take ripped from the original version is a little odd
    Sorry to point this out to everyone who suggested it, but Use Your Illusion was not a double album. It was two separate albums released at the same time. You couldn't by 1 and 2 as one package, at least not when I was a kid. The same applies to Mesmerize and Hypnotize.
    Guns N' Chains
    You are right....But I still believe Use Your Illusion 1 and 2 go hand-in-hand. Though they were not released simultaneously, they are still related to one another. A "modern" example would be Coheed and Cambria's Afterman albums (Ascension and Descension). They weren't at first released at the same time and were released a few months apart, but they go hand-in-hand.
    Where is Quadrophenia and Blonde on Blonde?! I do agree with some with some of the picks on this list but I was shocked to see that you forgot about these classic albums.
    Hate on me all you want, but I think Physical Graffiti should be much lower on the list.
    Some great choices here, but I'm pretty appalled to see "Blonde On Blonde" missing.
    I'm so glad London Calling made it. That's my second favorite album of all time.
    I really wish i could get "it", i've tried to like it and i'm a big fan of the title song, spanish bombs and Lost in the supermarket but i think i hate the rest. Especially Jimmy Jazz! Maybe some day...
    The point of The Clash On London Calling and Sandinista was listen to what worked. Even dedicated Clash fans hate a lot of there songs
    Guns of Brixton is really similar to the title track and Death or Glory is a little similar to Lost in the Supermarket. Personally I like Train in Vain a lot but I'm not sure how you'd feel about that one.
    I dunno, stadium Arcadium was pretty week as a double album in my opinion. I think it really should of been condensed to one good album rather than two okay double albums.