There are so many artists coming to Houston this summer and fall who should pick up on the "classic album" trend Rocks Off could hardly stop at just five. See our picks for Nos. 6-10 here.
5. Blondie (Arena Theater, August 23) Album: Eat to the Beat (Chrysalis, 1979) After 1978's Giorgio Moroder-assisted "Heart of Glass" ripped Blondie's CBGB past to shreds but brought the band massive pop success, Eat to the Beat, which opens with the practically perfect "Dreaming," continued down those parallel lines. Epic dance-floor diary "Atomic" - a huge UK hit, covered by Sleeper on 1996's Trainspotting soundtrack - showed Debbie Harry comfortably growing into those disco platform heels, and "Die Young Stay Pretty" laid the groundwork for the island riddims of "The Tide Is High." They remained an NYC band through and through, though - check out the gorgeous Spectorian swells on "Union City Blue," while the title track and "Accidents Will Happen" proved Blondie could never shed its downtown punk days entirely.
4. Green Day (Toyota Center, August 8) Album: American Idiot (Reprise, 2004) Billie Joe and the boys might as well play this album through, since they just remade it anyway on 21st Century Breakdown. Burn! Seriously, though, American Idiot is this decade's The Wall. George W. Bush may be long gone - though, of course, our troops in Iraq aren't - but that boulevard of broken dreams gets more crowded every day. 3. The Allman Bros. Band (The Woodlands, October 17) Album: Eat a Peach (Polydor, 1972) or Enlightened Rogues (Polydor, 1979) Toss-up. Duane memorial Eat a Peach gets you "Melissa," "Blue Sky" and a killer live version of "One Way Out"; Rogues answers with "Crazy Love," "Pegasus" and "Blind Love." (However, given its abundance of Dickey Betts cuts, Rogues seems the more unlikely of the pair.) Besides, won't they be onstage for, like, three and a half hours? Hell, maybe Gregg and the brothers should just play 'em both.
2. Depeche Mode (The Woodlands, August 31) Album: Violator (Sire, 1990) Violator finished what 1988's Music for the Masses started, adding a rock-guitar edge that brought Depeche Mode out of the shadowy synth-pop/Goth underworld and up to arena level. It's just as dark, moody and stinging as '86's Black Celebration - which came in a close second - and almost 20 years old (lead single "Personal Jesus," released in fall 1989, actually is). And even the gloomiest DM devotee would have to crack a smile when they heard "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth" back-to-back.
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1. U2 (Reliant Stadium, October 14) Album: The Unforgettable Fire (Island, 1984) Evocative warmup "A Sort of Homecoming" notwithstanding, practically the very first notes the 70,000-plus on hand at Reliant (tickets are still available) would hear would be Edge's immortal ringing guitar on "Pride (In the Name of Love)." About 30 minutes later, we'd get "Bad," probably for about 20 more minutes of soul-searing ecstasy. Don't forget stirring closer "MLK" and the title track, which is "City of Blinding Lights" meets the A-bomb. (Check the video.) The band loses the plot a little on "4th of July" and "Elvis Presley and America," but hearing the heart-racing "Wire" live would more than make up for it.