533. Jason + the Argonauts

Five albums into their career and XTC were simultaneously sick to death (literally) of the obligatory punk-pop-new-wave bullshit and ready for something big. And big was definitely the word for English Settlement, a double album at a time when bands just didn’t do that anymore. And an album it was. Yes, a few singles were released, but the songs worked best together, all in a rich, sumptuous flow, with Jason and the Argonauts stretching things out almost progressively – whatever that word even meant anymore come 1982.

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889. Odessa (city on the Black Sea)

In which the Bee Gees take a grand and ambitious swing for the heart of all things (or wherever), it being the thing to do in 1969. The big double album is called Odessa, and though all the songs may not be conceptually linked, it does have a nifty plush red velvet fold out sleeve. And the title track is definitely an epic, like something from a lost century where vicars still figure in love triangles and heroes get marooned on icebergs, and great choirs and orchestras rise in yearning and empathy.

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