Creating the Best Albums

This week, I finished asking about songs on albums track by track. This series of questions was relatively simple. I asked people to choose between two songs. The songs had the same placement on different albums. For example, Girls on Film is the first song on the first album and Rio is the first song on the second album. Which one makes a better first track? See, simple…well, at least the concept is easy to understand even if the choice is not!

I have done this set of questions before but this time I did it differently. Instead of comparing all first songs then second songs then third, etc, I put the albums into three distinct time periods. The first time period is classic Duran with the Fab Five in the early 80s. Next is the time with Warren that features the albums Notorious through Pop Trash. Lastly, there was the reunion period from Astronaut to the present. Therefore, I only compared the first tracks from each of the three time periods. So, now, I want to show the results. Did the fans end up creating the best album of each of the time periods or did they miss the mark?

Classic Period:

  • Rio
  • Planet Earth
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Careless Memories
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • New Religion
  • Last Chance on the Stairway
  • Save a Prayer
  • The Chauffeur

Warren Era:

  • Notorious
  • I Don’t Want Your Love
  • Skin Trade
  • Serious
  • Hold Me
  • Come Undone
  • Palomino
  • Meet el Presidente
  • Land
  • Proposition
  • The Edge of America
  • Lake Shore Driving
  • Sin of the City


  • All You Need Is Now
  • Want You More
  • What Happens Tomorrow
  • Pressure Off
  • Face for Today
  • Girl Panic
  • What Are the Chances
  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • Chains
  • Mediterranea
  • Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
  • The Universe Alone
  • Planet Roaring
  • Before the Rain
  • Northern Lights
  • On Evil Beach
  • Cinderella Ride

What do you think? Do these make the best albums? Other observations? Here are some of mine. First, there are obviously a lot more songs on the post-reunion list than the classic list. I did not include b-sides but did include bonus or extra tracks. I probably could have included them since bonus tracks act as modern day b-sides. Second, it seems to me that some albums’ songs are listed a lot more than other albums. For example, in the classic period, Rio is the most often represented. There are two songs from the first album and nothing from Seven and the Ragged Tiger. My conclusion is that fans think Rio was the best album of the three. Album representation is more interesting during the Warren years. Notorious and Big Thing both have 4 songs that made the list. The Wedding Album has two and Liberty has 1. There are no songs from Medazzaland and Pop Trash. Do fans think that the song quality decreased as the band went along? These results might say yes. Did the number of fans decrease during that time period so there are less fans now who loved Medazzaland and Pop Trash? Possible. Then, for post-reunion, Paper Gods is represented by 8 tracks, followed closely by All You Need Is Now with 6. Astronaut has a few but no songs from Red Carpet Massacre. One thing that clearly shows with the post-reunion choices is that the bonus tracks from Paper Gods are preferred over the ones for All You Need Is Now. Fascinating.

Overall, the results were not that surprising with a couple of exceptions. The most obvious one is I Don’t Want Your Love over Ordinary World. I also noticed that not every single that did well commercially made it on to the list. Hungry Like the Wolf comes to mind as does a song like the Reflex. So, what do you think of these fan-created albums. Are they solid or would you make some changes? What would be your classic period album? Warren era album? Post reunion album? I would love to know.


2 thoughts on “Creating the Best Albums”

  1. Fascinating list, and I was surprised Ordinary World was not listed.I have pondered my ‘best album. for each era and it is not easy as each album has strong points. I would agree that Rio is the strongest album from the classic line up… yet when it was all new the album I played to death was SATRT. Rio was good, but at the age of 18 the energy of the third album was more satisfying to me.At that time Chauffeur had not yet found it’s way into my heart. That happened as I matured and could appreciate the beauty of Chauffeur, which is possibly my favourite song (or Seventh Stranger) For the Warren era I’m tied between Medazzaland and Big Thing as favourite album. If I had to really decide i’d go with Medazzaland. It’s a very ‘honest’ album. The songs seem very personal, and some are filled with pain and to me it sounds like they are baring their souls. Post reunion I would probably go with AYNIN as it has Before The Rain, which is a song I can’t get enough of these days. The single album I have the most difficulty embracing is Wedding Album, despite loving three songs, Too Much Information, ordinary World and Come Undone- the album flows erratically for me.

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