Four Album Run

Stemming from my post (and the subsequent comments) yesterday, it occured to me that this might be a fun mental exercise for us all…

The subject was runs of four albums in a row. I’d said that the Rolling Stones’ run from 1968 to 1972 was the best ever. Check it:


1968 Beggars Banquet
1969 Let It Bleed
1971 Sticky Fingers
1972 Exile On Main St.

I mean, holy moly. That’s an untouchable string of classic albums that belong in everybody’s collection!

But then I got to thinking that my saying it was the best ever was only my pure bias towards the Stones showing itself. I mentioned this to Scott, our benevolent and malevolent Heavymetaloverlord, and he said he thought Manowar would have been the one:

1982 Battle Hymns
1983 Into Glory Ride
1984 Hail To England
1984 Sign Of The Hammer

You may agree with either! Others I had mentioned were Black Sabbath’s first four:

1970 Black Sabbath
1970 Paranoid
1971 Master Of Reality
1972 Vol. 4

And then there’s Metallica’s amazing run…

1983 Kill ‘Em All
1984 Ride The Lightning
1986 Master Of Puppets
1988 …And Justice For All

Or what about Iron Maiden? Although arguably, this is a five album run… but maybe that’s just me not wanting to exclude Seventh Son…

1982 The Number Of The Beast
1983 Piece Of Mind
1984 Powerslave
1986 Somewhere In Time
1988 Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

Anyway, according to these options, the Stones are the one thing here not like the others. But Surely you can think of others in other genres, maybe your favourite bands fromwherever and whenever.

Like the Tragically Hip:

1989 Up To Here
1991 Road Apples
1992 Fully Completely
1994 Day For Night

Or the mighty Sloan!

1992 Smeared
1994 Twice Removed
1996 One Chord To Another
1998 Navy Blues

There again, it’s my bias showing with those last two, and if it really came down to it with having to choose Greatest All Time, well, I’d really struggle but probably default to the Stones.

What about you? Drop a comment if you have a Greatest Four Album Run to add!

46 thoughts on “Four Album Run

  1. Phillip Helbig says:

    A Farewell to Kings
    Permanent Waves
    Moving Pictures

    I don’t think that anyone has ever topped those.

    Also very good:

    Rubber Soul
    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Rush! Yes! And another vote for the Beatles. Man, I need to spend more time with those again now that I’m in my 40s. I burnt out n them early, maybe I have better perspective now.


  2. Phillip Helbig says:

    “Or what about Iron Maiden? Although arguably, this is a five album run… but maybe that’s just me not wanting to exclude Seventh Son”

    You could pick any four Maiden albums!


  3. 1537 says:

    First 4 Ramones LPs for me, as a warm up for:

    Overkill, Ace of Spades, Bomber & No Sleep til Hammersmith, as a warm up for:

    High Voltage, Dirty Deeds, Let There Be Rock and (the summit of all human culture thus far) Powerage .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 80smetalman says:

    I’d like to say Savatage with Hall of the Mountain King 1987, Guitar Ballet 1989, Streets 1991 and Edge of Thorns 1993 but some might argue that Guitar Ballet shouldn’t be there as there are better ones not in this sequence.


        1. J. says:

          Hard to argue with the Stones being the best four album run in rock, but how about heading a wee bit out of the field here, but what about The Flaming Lips?

          Clouds Taste Metallic
          The Soft Bulletin
          Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
          At War With The Mystics

          Or Lambchop

          Is A Woman
          Aw C’mon / No You C’mon

          Silver Jews

          Starlite Walker
          Natural Bridge
          American Water
          Bright Flight

          Scott Walker’s first four albums are all majestic. As are Climate of the Hunter, Tilt, The Drift and Bisch Bosch.

          And let’s not forget Saxons run from Wheels of Steel to Power & the Glory.

          Oh, and Wilco… Being There, Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, A Ghost Is Born.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. J. says:

              Of course, Lanegan had an incredible run.

              Winding Sheet
              Whiskey for the Holy Ghost
              Scraps at Midnight
              I’ll Take Care of You
              Field songs
              Blues Funeral

              Depending on the day, I could take the first 4, last 4, 4 from Whiskey…

              And let’s not forget Neko Case…

              … or The Afghan Whigs.

              Pick a favourite run? Might just be The Flaming Lips’.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      This is an excellent point. Sabbath definitely had more than 4 in a row that were massively awesome… they are not disqualified from this category, they simply transcend it!


  5. steveforthedeaf says:

    I’d argue that Kill ‘Em All is pretty flawed and FNM too inconsistent but they’re still great records.

    How about Jane’s Addiction?
    Jane’s Addiction
    Nothing’s Shocking
    Ritual De Lo Habitual

    Trouble is it took 20 years to get four albums.

    OK try this

    Leave Home
    Rocket To Russia
    Road To Ruin


    The Man Who Sold The World
    Hunky Dory
    The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
    Aladdin Sane
    1970-1973. That’s a pretty purple patch.

    Speaking of purple… Nah Prince can’t do 4 five stars in a row. Who can. The Who

    A Quick One
    The Who Sell Out
    Who’s Next
    Five albums from 66-73. All of them Towering Works Of Art

    Liked by 3 people

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Wow those are also all awesome. FIRST FOUR RAMONES!! HOW DID I MISS THAT?!?! Haha

      Are any of these your absolute #1?

      Also: I just thought of the beastie Boys:

      Licensed To Ill
      Paul’s Boutique
      Check Your Head
      Ill Communication


      Liked by 1 person

      1. steveforthedeaf says:

        Beastie Boys is a great shout. I mean there isn’t a better run than those four Stones albums in rock and roll history but it’s great trying to get close. The Maiden argument is pretty solid but what about Primal Scream

        Give Out But Don’t Give Up
        Vanishing Point

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Aphoristical says:

    Stones is right up there but would also choose:

    Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour

    Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde On Blonde, John Wesley Harding

    Talk Talk/Mark Hollis:
    The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden, laughing Stock, Mark Hollis

    Foxtrot. Selling England by The Pound, Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Trick Of the Tail

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Aphoristical says:

          Could make pretty good cases for for classic rock acts like Pink Floyd (I’d take Meddle, Obscured, Dark Side, Wish), Led Zep (would probably pick the middle 4), Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Wonder too.


            1. Aphoristical says:

              According to my ratings:
              The Rolling Stones: 9.5 + 8.5 + 10 + 10 = 38
              Bob Dylan: 8.5 + 9 + 10 + 9 = 36.5
              The Beatles: 9 + 10 + 10 + 9.5 =38.5

              Looks like The Beatles win…


  7. mikeladano says:

    This is a GREAT idea for a post, and I actually happen to have a favourite of my own:

    Faith No More
    Introduce Yourself – 1987
    The Real Thing – 1989
    Angel Dust – 1992
    King For a Day – 1995

    Brilliant post idea. Anyway that’s my favourite run of four!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Zack says:

        I want to suggest Elton John, but I’m not a big fan of Honky Chateau. He’s the only artist who comes to mind.


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