The Best LP Side Ones Ever

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Spurred on by the realization that both David Bowie's commercial breakthrough Let's Dance and Queen's News of the World had solid, sturdy side ones on their vinyl releases, I then began the hunt for other great vinyl slabs with amazing side ones.

Of course, the idea is that this could only include albums from the (first) great rock vinyl heyday. I am sure that Wilco and others have turned in great side ones in the past decade, but only a select few of you have heard them on vinyl.

The secret to great albums, of course, has everything to do with genius and gripping songs, plus proper sequencing and editing. And you may remember a few years back, when I attempted to cut some of most popular double slabs down to one lean collection.

Not all double albums should have been double albums, just as some albums had to be double albums in order for their point to be made. Each case is different with each band or artist. Or something.

This was one of the most headache-inducing lists to come up with because you are inherently going to miss things, and you will have to shed some classic albums from monolithic bands.

Or your favorite band that I forgot to mention. Because I knew it would piss you off.

It took a lot of nerdery on my end, but here it goes. On a side note, every Pink Floyd album I looked at had amazing side ones, and I couldn't pick one out. Dark Side, The Wall - just look at them.

Also, why I am at it, I didn't include any Beatles or Bob Dylan albums. In fact, I wish we could leave them out of most lists of this sort. Let's argue about water, air, and sunshine too. Though Highway 61 Revisited has a great side one.

I also went by the standard U.S. versions of the albums' track listings whenever possible. Discogs.com is a cool tool if you want to do your own digging/hating.

Run-DMC, Raising Hell

"Peter Piper" "It's Tricky" "My Adidas" "Walk This Way" "Is It Live" "Perfection"

David Bowie, Let's Dance

"Modern Love" "China Girl" "Let's Dance" "Without You"

Queen, News of the World

"We Will Rock You" "We Are the Champions" "Sheer Heart Attack" "All Dead, All Dead" "Spread Your Wings" "Fight from the Inside"

The Minutemen, Double Nickels On the Dime

"Anxious Mo-Fo" "Theatre Is the Life of You" "Viet Nam" "Cohesion" "It's Expected I'm Gone" "#1 Hit Song" "Two Beads at the End" "Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?" "Don't Look Now" "Shit from an Old Notebook" "Nature Without Man" "One Reporter's Opinion"

Neil Young, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

"Cinnamon Girl" "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" "Round & Round (It Won't Be Long)" "Down by the River"

Rush, 2112

[Ed. note: Only because it's Rush.]

I: "Overture" - 4:33 (0:00--4:33) II: "The Temples of Syrinx" - 2:12 (4:33--6:45) III: "Discovery" (music: Lifeson) - 3:29 (6:45--10:14) IV: "Presentation" (music: Lifeson) - 3:42 (10:14--13:56) V: "Oracle: The Dream" - 2:00 (13:56--15:56) VI: "Soliloquy" - 2:21 (15:56--18:17) VII: "Grand Finale" - 2:14 (18:17--20:33)

Devo, Freedom of Choice

"Girl U Want" "It's Not Right" "Whip It" "Snowball" "Ton o' Luv" "Freedom of Choice"

Husker Du, Zen Arcade

"Something I Learned Today" "Broken Home, Broken Heart" "Never Talking to You Again" "Chartered Trips" "Dreams Reoccurring" "Indecision Time" "Hare Krsna"

Black Sabbath, Paranoid

"War Pigs" "Paranoid" "Planet Caravan" "Iron Man"

Frank Zappa, Hot Rats

"Peaches en Regalia" "Willie the Pimp" "Son of Mr. Green Genes"

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue

"So What" "Freddie Freeloader" "Blue In Green"

Beastie Boys, Licensed To Ill

"Rhymin & Stealin" "The New Style" "She's Crafty" "Posse In Effect" "Slow Ride" "Girls" "Fight For Your Right"

Captain Beefheart, Trout Mask Replica

"Frownland" The Dust Blows Forward 'n the Dust Blows Back" "Dachau Blues" "Ella Guru" "Hair Pie: Bake 1" "Moonlight on Vermont"

The Cars, The Cars

"Good Times Roll" "My Best Friend's Girl" "Just What I Needed" "I'm In Touch With Your World" "Don't Cha Stop"

Roxy Music, Roxy Music

"Re-Make/Re-Model" "Ladytron" "If There Is Something" "Virginia Plain" (not included on the original British release, tricky Discogs...) "2HB"

Talking Heads, Fear of Music

"I Zimbra" "Mind" "Paper" "Cities" "Life During Wartime" "Memories Can't Wait"

Willie Nelson, Stardust

"Stardust" "Georgia On My Mind" "Blue Skies" "All Of Me" "Unchained Melody"

The Doors, Morrison Hotel

"Roadhouse Blues" "Waiting For The Sun" "You Make Me Real" "Peace Frog" "Blue Sunday" "Ship Of Fools"

ZZ Top, Tres Hombres

[Ed. Note: I really wanted to put Eliminator here.]

"Waitin' For The Bus" "Jesus Just Left Chicago" "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers" "Master Of Sparks" "Hot, Blue And Righteous"

Gang of Four, Entertainment!

"Ether" "Natural's Not in It" "Not Great Men" "Damaged Goods" "Return the Gift" "Guns Before Butter"

Van Halen, Van Halen

"Runnin' With The Devil" "Eruption" "You Really Got Me" "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" "I'm The One"

Black Flag, Damaged

"Rise Above" "Spray Paint" "Six Pack" "What I See" "TV Party" "Thirsty and Miserable" "Police Story" "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie"

T. Rex, The Slider

"Metal Guru" "Mystic Lady" "Rock On" "The Slider" "Baby Boomerang" "Spaceball Ricochet" "Buick Mackane"

The Guess Who, American Woman

"American Woman" "No Time" "Talisman" "No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature"

The Velvet Underground & Nico, The Velvet Underground & Nico

[Ed. note: Loaded would have fit here nicely too.]

"Sunday Morning" "I'm Waiting For The Man" "Femme Fatale" "Venus In Furs" "Run, Run, Run" "All Tomorrow's Parties"

The Clash, London Calling

"London Calling" "Brand New Cadillac" "Jimmy Jazz" "Hateful" "Rudie Can't Fail"

The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experienced?

"Purple Haze" "Manic Depression" "Hey Joe" "Love Or Confusion" "May This Be Love" "I Don't Live Today"

The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main St.

"Rocks Off" "Rip This Joint" "Shake Your Hips" "Casino Boogie" "Tumbling Dice"

Kraftwerk, Trans-Europe Express

"Europe Endless" "The Hall Of Mirrors" "Showroom Dummies"

Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV

"Black Dog" "Rock and Roll" "The Battle of Evermore" "Stairway to Heaven"

Guns N' Roses, Appetite for Destruction

"Welcome To The Jungle" "It's So Easy" "Nighttrain" "Out Ta Get Me" "Mr. Brownstone" "Paradise City"

Ramones, Ramones

"Blitzkrieg Bop" "Beat on the Brat" "Judy Is a Punk" "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" "Chain Saw" "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement"

Follow Rocks Off on Facebook and on Twitter at @HPRocksOff.

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