14 Underrated Albums by Celebrated Musicians

Here's a list of albums that were too forward-looking, too weird, too out of character, or simply too unlucky to get their due.

Anton Webern: Concerto for Nine Instruments (1951)— Rene Leibowitz, Jacque Louis Monod, Bethany Beardslee

If you aren't an enthusiast of impenetrable art music already, this is a great place to start.

Pain in My Heart (1964)—Otis Redding

Remarkable as his later recordings are, there's no joy like listening to one of the best performers of all time find his rough, exuberant soul.

A Whole New Thing (1967)—Sly and the Family Stone

Sly and the Family Stone's first effort doesn't have any of their signature hits and is generally slept on these days. But put it on, and you'll hear transmissions from another planet of funk.

The Soft Parade (1969)—The Door

This is impassioned, utterly bizarre music that belongs beside The Shaggs' Philosophy of the World as one of the great avant outsider anti-pop albums of all time.

Soundtrack from the Film More (1969)—Pink Floyd

Recorded shortly after Syd Barrett left the band, this is a transition between early up-to-their-eyeballs-in-acid-and-folk Floyd and the classic rock juggernaut they were to become.

Metal Machine Music (1975)—Lou Reed

On close listening, snippets of melody, harmony, and choral voicings slip in and out of the churning abstract sea—a beautiful, unique exercise in ecstatic annihilation.

Midnight Love (1982) —Marvin Gaye

Midnight Love was hugely popular when it was released. Since then, though, it's been little discussed. That's a shame because it's brilliant.

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