Best three album run by an artist?


Question: What is the best ever three album run by an artist?

(Multiple answers allowed, I’m not a cop)

Just to name some of my own faves:

  • A Night at the Opera/A Day at the Races/News of the World - Queen (what made me think about this question originally)
  • Illinois/Age of Adz/Carrie and Lowell - Sufjan Stevens
  • Graduation/808’s and Heartbreak/My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West (don’t @ me)
  • Metropolis: The Chase Suite/The ArchAndroid/The Electric Lady - Janelle Monáe (aka suites I - V)


emotion, emotion b sides, whatever comes next, thank you


The Bends/Ok Computer/Kid A by Radiohead. It’s over stated for a reason those albums are killer


House of Balloons/Thursday/Echoes of Silence - The Weeknd (2011)

It’s called the Trilogy for a reason.


My only argument against it is I don’t find the bends nearly as strong as the other two, but for a duo of albums I think it’s tough to beat Okay Computer/Kid A


I would agree that The Bends is more lowercase great than uppercase Great for me but I love them all and I think there is something to be said for the way it sums up a period of music that I was less aware of in the US


Some favorites off the top of my head:

Section.80/good kid, m.A.A.d. city/To Pimp a Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar
Devotion/Teen Dream/Bloom - Beach House
Sound of Silver/45:33/This is Happening - LCD Soundsystem
Debut/Post/Homogenic - Björk


Everything Goes Numb/Keasbey Nights/Somewhere in the Between - Streetlight Manifesto

I know it’s an odd thing but I really don’t often listen to albums entirely, I often pick a few songs I like from them and just put them in a playlist but these three albums I can listen to from start to end and back to back and never get tired of them.


Hunky Dory/Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane - David Bowie
or if you want to go a little later in the 70’s
Station to Station/Low/ “Heroes”
Here Come the Warm Jets/Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)/Another Green World - Brian Eno
Fear of Music/Remain in Light/Speaking in Tongues - Talking Heads
3 Feet High and Rising/Is Dead/Buhloone Mindstate - De La Soul
Post/Homogenic/Vespertine - Bjork

And many more that have escaped thought.


Come on pilgrim/surfer rosa/doolittle by the pixies is one of my favorites
Buildings and food/fear of music/remain in light by the talking heads
ATLiens/aquemini/stankonia by outkast (although really those first five albums might be the greatest hip hop run ever)


Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power / Far Beyond Driven / The Great Southern Trendkill. Not because any of their other albums aren’t great, but because the progression shows that you can become progressively more successful while becoming more extreme and experimental. Sadly, it uh… might make you a white nationalist?

Also, Megadeth’s first three album are this explosion of aggressive thrash. It’s absolute mayhem and it’s beautiful. (Then Marty Friedman came around and made some sense of things, and then Mustaine sold out hard, and then became a white nationalist… sensing a pattern here)


Warning: Lots of text incoming

Short answer: Vektor with Black Future, Outer Isolation and Terminal Redux

Longer answer: Those three albums tell a 3 pronged story of artistic and creative maturation and evolution that has been unheard of in the thrash metal genre for a quarter century, and is qualitatively without peer.

in 2009 the metal community was coming up on the tail end of the revival thrash boom period. A weird, amorphous, well intended and initially appreciated movement at the beginning, it was quickly becoming readily apparent to the wider audience and community at large that maybe, just maybe, molding your entire sound, image and style after a movement that creative peaked and effectively died in 1990 wasn’t the most sustainable way to go about creating art. It become very clear, very quickly that for all those bands that liked to play dress up an pretend they were Slayer and Exodus, a very select few actually showed any real promise. In other words, the Revival Thrash movement was dying out, and the lack of true artistic merit it had actually produced made the prospect of it’s death seem not wholly unwelcome.

And then, out of god damn nowhere, or Tempe, Arizona to be exact, came Vektor, and almost singlehandedly justified the triteness of the entire movement put together. What at a quick glance seemed like yet another bunch of millenials nostalgia-tripping over a decade they barely remembered, though with a slightly more quirky inspiration in canadian weirdo thrashers Voivod, turned out to be one of the most gripping and unrelenting attacks on stale genre tropes the thrash genre had seen in decades. Look, I know this reads like utter fucking hyperbole, but trust me, it isn’t. Black Future was a fucking explosion.

From the very first down pick of the guitars and David DiSanto’s black metal tinged war cry tear through the aether to the very last crash of the cymbals, Black Future did not just Sci Fi, or Thrash, or Voivod. Rather, it clearly and conscisely drew from these inspirations and weaved them all into a sound, an image, a story, a feeling. It is such an overwhelmingly confident and brazen introduction to a band, that I still have a hard time believing it’s actually their debut record.

Then, 2 years after arguably one of the most impressive debut records of the century, with the entire thrash community waiting on eggshells to hear just what the fuck those Arizona dude were up to, and where nobody would have honestly faulted them for, let’s say resting a bit on their creative laurels and gotten a bit derivative with their sound, They throw out Outer Isolation which might just be even better than Black Future ever was. WIth an increased focus on melodies and a deeper infatuation with the tremolo picked stylings of black metal, Outer Isolation at it’s highpoints hints at a marriage between melodies and madness that puts Vektor in a stratosphere that is not only of their own but also by their own creation.

So far, so good. Two qualitatively speaking astounding records into their career you’d like to imagine that Vektor were feeling pretty darn good about themselves at this point. At the same time there has to be some sort of trepedation. You’ve hit the home run both times you were up to bat so far, so not expectations are, rightfully starting to get awful high. The last thing you want to do in such a situation is to rush something, and thankfully Vektor felt the same way. It took them 5 years before they released a new record. and oh my goodness what a record it was

Terminal Redux is, in my own estimation, the greatest metal record of the 21st century. It is at the very least the most creatively, and conceptually ambitious thrash record since 1990 and maybe even before that? The mere idea of writing a thrash space opera sounds like a damn stupid idea. When you then use said space opera to do a dark re-telling of Rush’s 1976 epos 2112, it sounds realistically unplausible. When you decide to make said thrash album over 70 minutes long it sounds like an abject disaster. The concept of this thing had all the making of a god damn tragedy, like a bloated, unwieldy mess of a record, stumbling over it’s own ideas and premises. And yet the end product when you listen to it is… It’s just as eternally confident and steadfast as Black Future was back in 2009.

Terminal Redux is not only the most experimental of Vektors 3 albums, it also marks the end, the speartip of Vektor’s 3 pronged offensive on a genre that was creatively destitute for close 20 years. Moreover it marks the final stage of Vektors own transformation as a band, almost fully removed from it’s own past inspirations and presents a band that stands fully formed in their own image. That is why it’s the greatest 3 album run by an artist. It not only perfectly encapsulated a uniquely talented and visionary band slowly growing themselves into an artistic paragon, it also did so with the backdrop of a flailing sub genre and at a time where so very few acts had any idea how to stand out, and it creatively eclipsed every other act to have come out in the same genre since 1990.

I feel like that’s a pretty good story, and a pretty good run.


The Strokes - Is This It, Room on Fire, First Impressions of Earth


Brockhampton - Saturation I, II, III

The Black Keys - Thickfreakness, Rubber Factory, Chulahoma

Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, Transference, They Want My Soul

Feist - The Reminder, Metals, Pleasure

Tame Impala - Innerspeaker, Lonerism, Currents

Gorillaz - Gorillaz, Demon Days, Plastic Beach


Vektor - Black Future / Outer Isolation / Terminal Redux

^ I didn’t think they would be able to top Black Future. Then I didn’t think they’d be able to top Outer Isolation. Now I’m not sure if they can top Terminal Redux. Like wow.

Brand New - Deja Entendu / The Devil and God… / Daisy

^This one’s a bit tarnished to me now, but the maturation between these albums is unreal.

GY!BE - F#A# Infinity / Lift Yr. Skinny Fists… / Yanqui U.X.O.

Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children / Geogaddi / The Campfire Headphase

the pillows - Little Busters / Runners High / Happy Bivouac

^ Honestly, I could extend this to like ten albums by them. At that time they were just pumping out awesome album after awesome album.


Kendrick Lamar - Section 80, GKMC, TPAB (I’d also add DAMN)
The Game - Documentary 2, 2.5, 1992 (1992 is sooo slept on)
Nirvana - Bleach, Nevermind, In Utero
The Weeks - Gutter Gaunt Gangster, Dear No Jackson, Easy
The White Stripes - Elephant, Get Behind Me Satan, Icky Thump

Being a local lad I also have to have the obligatory Beatles choice. Revolver,
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,
The White Album (The White album is the best Beatles album. Come at me)


First ones that come to mind are

Animal Collective - Feels / Strawberry Jam / Merriweather Post Pavilion (I’d also add Sung Tongs)


the Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas / Tallahassee / We Shall All Be Healed (I’d also add The Sunset Tree)

The Animal Collective run from Sung Tongs to Merriweather Post Pavilion is just a marvelous showcase of artistic growth and also breadth of style, transitioning from the experimental electroacoustic soundscapes of Sung Tongs to the tightly constructed psych-pop of Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The Mountain Goats run from AHWTX to The Sunset Tree contains pretty much every fan favorite mountain goats song (This Year, Up The Wolves, No Children, See America Right, Against Pollution, Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into The Water, The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton, etc etc), and they represent the Mountain Goats first real explorations into the concept album, which has come to define their output since. also it contains their shift from their early lo-fi boombox recording sound to their later full band and studio sound.

(the mountain goats have also done another incredible three-album run recently imo, with the very underrated all eternals deck, transcendental youth, and beat the champ [goths is pretty good too])


The Glow pt.2, Mount Eerie, No Flashlight (from Phil Elvrum) blows my mind, that this dude always made incredible music, and is never stopping.

Someone above mentioned Animal Collective (more music from my teenage years), and I do think Here Comes the Indian, Sung Tongs, Feels is a pretty damn good run. They got worse by each album after this, but whatever.

Tortoise, Millions now living will never die, TNT, from Tortoise. Forget about it!

You Forgot it in People, Broken Social Scene, Forgiveness Rock Record. Forget about it!!

Music is good.


pick any 3 autechre albums

Body Riddle / Totems Flare / Turning Dragon is a baller trio by Clark

also the saturation trilogy Of Course


elseq 1, elseq 2, elseq 3


I’m very partial to College Dropout/Late Registration/Graduation, maybe because that’s basically the soundtrack of my high school years.