Double albums are often seen as exercises in self-indulgence, so the only time an artist can usually get away with releasing one is well into their career, such as the Beatles' "White Album" or Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. However, there have been some artists who where so confident in themselves that they chose to release double albums right off the bat. Here are six artists who debuted with double albums.
1. Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out! (1966)
Not only was 1966's Freak Out! the world's introduction to the madness of Frank Zappa, it was also many people's introduction to the double LP format itself. Though some would argue that Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde was the first double album in rock history, its exact release date remains uncertain (theories range from May to July 1966), which means that Freak Out!, released in late June 1966, could have possibly been the actual first rock double album.
2. Chicago - Chicago Transit Authority (1969)
Though Chicago's 1969 debut album Chicago Transit Authority is a nearly 77-minute double LP, the band didn't stop there. In fact, their next two studio albums were also released as double LPs, and their fourth album, the live Chicago at Carnegie Hall, was released as a staggering quadruple LP (and re-released with an hour-long bonus disc in 2005). The band didn't release a single LP until 1972's Chicago V, their fourth studio album and fifth album overall.
3. Derek and the Dominoes - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970)
Eric Clapton's legendary Derek and the Dominoes released just one studio album during their brief career, but they made it count. 1970's Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs is a 77-minute double LP, and widely considered to be one of the greatest albums in rock history.
4. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome (1984)
Though double albums were pretty common in rock and jazz, they didn't show up very often in pop music during the vinyl era. One notable exception is British new wave group Frankie Goes To Hollywood, whose 1984 debut Welcome to the Pleasure was released as a double LP, though if they had excised the album's five cover songs, it could have easily fit onto one record.
5. Cody Chesnutt - The Headphone Masterpiece (2002)
Following the popularization of CDs, which could hold more music than a vinyl record, artists were able to create longer albums without having to release them as expensive double-disc sets. However, some artists still managed to create works that couldn't fit onto a single CD, such as neo-soul artist Cody Chesnutt, whose debut album The Headphone Masterpiece comes in at nearly 100 minutes, which is twenty minutes longer than a typical CD can hold.
6. LCD Soundsystem - LCD Soundsystem (2005)
Though some versions of LCD Soundsystem's self-titled debut were released as single disc albums with just nine songs, others were released with a second disc, containing all of the singles that the band had released up until that point, including classics such as "Losing My Edge."
Who are some other artists who debuted with double albums? Let us know in the comments section!