Follow TV Tropes


Distinct Double Album

Go To
Dance in the day, groove in the night.

Sometimes one disc isn't enough for an artist. Their artistic vision is so big, it cannot be condensed to 80 minutes. This is where the double album comes into play, where two CDs (or LPs/cassettes before the coming of the digital era) are packaged together and released. According to The Other Wiki, a double album is typically, though not always, released because the recording is longer than the capacity of the medium. Recording artists often think of double albums as a single piece artistically.

The second CD is often times just an extension of the first or just a simple "bonus" disc, but some musicians and artists take it a step further and make two distinct CDs. This can range from the second CD being live, or older material, or different themes and experimenting with different sounds.

A similar approach can be taken for a double-disc Greatest Hits Album. Disc A might contain the artist's biggest commercial hits, while Disc B might be new material, the artist's personal favorites outside the big hits, obscurities like B-sides and unreleased songs, or the discs might be devoted to different eras or themes in the artist's career. Sometimes you might get a combination of the above. A common approach to reissues is to have the regular album on one disc and the other full of rarities, demos, B-sides, and live tracks.

The vinyl era had a variant on this trope with the Distinct Single Album, on which each LP side would have its own theme (an acoustic side and an electric side was popular, for example). This tendency disappeared as vinyl became less prominent, but with the resurgence of vinyl as a popular media format, it is possible that it will make a resurgence.

Please note that this is not simply an album with multiple discs, as with the Beatles' White Album, but albums where the discs follow different themes, such as Foo Fighters' In Your Honor having all the electric songs on the first disc and all acoustic songs on the second.


    open/close all folders 

  • The Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is one of these. They're even titled differently — Disc 1 is 'Dawn to Dusk', and Disc 2 is 'Twilight to Starlight'.
    • The original 3xLP version takes this even further, with six separately named sides: Dawn, Teatime, Dusk, Twilight, Midnight, and Starlight
    • The 4xLP version does not follow this labelling, even though it's the same track listing as the original 2xCD.
    • The deluxe 5xCD + DVD reissue has the bonus discs labelled: Morning Tea, High Tea, and Special Tea.
  • The Foo Fighters' In Your Honor has a first disc with a hard rock sound, and a second disc of more mellow music. The sticker on the cover advertised the discs as "one loud, one not so loud".
  • Tori Amos' To Venus and Back has one disc studio recordings of new songs with an electronic sound quite unlike her normal fare, and one live disc of more familiar songs.
  • The Sigur Rós double album (really a double EP, all the tracks could fit on one disc, if barely) Hvarf/Heim has one disc (Hvarf) of unreleased songs and re-recordings of old songs, and one disc (Heim) of stripped-down live versions of previously released songs.
  • Thrice's collection The Alchemy Index, released as two double disc sets: Fire & Water, and Air & Earth. Each element was represented on it's own disc, each showcasing a different musical style. Fire contained harder hitting songs, with the only screamed vocals in the set. Water was mostly electronic based. Air was a softer alternative rock sound. Earth was purely acoustic with an echo-y sound to it.
  • Frank Black's Frank Black Francis was a two CD set where the common thread was versions of his Pixies songs: The first disc consisted of acoustic solo demos that had been recorded shortly before Come On Pilgrim. The second was a set of new, experimental reinterpretations of Pixies songs that Frank Black recorded in collaboration with Keith Moliné and Andy Diagram from the band David Thomas And Two Pale Boys.
  • Emilie Autumn:
    • Laced/Unlaced is a collection of two discs. One with new electric violin work based upon her stay in a mental institution (Unlaced) and the other a repackaging of her old On a Day... music collection of classic tracks she loves to play, some new songs and additional bonus live tracks (Laced).
    • Her 2006 Opheliac album also qualifies. The bulk of the tracks are on the first disc with a second of instrumental and live tracks. She has since released a deluxe edition with a much more even distribution of materials.
    • Not strictly a double-disc, but 2012's Fight Like a Girl is deliberately thematically and musically similar (compare lyrics and melody from Opheliac's Misery Loves Company versus Fight Like a Girl's title track). It could be said that Opheliac is the first act and FLAG the second.
  • Red House Painters' second album, the first self-titled (usually dubbed Rollercoaster by fans) was supposed to be a double album. Since 4AD Manager Ivo Watts-Russel didn't trust them to be able to sell a double album as a new band they were forced to shorten it down to a single album. They did get to release the remaining tracks onto Bridge, the second self-titled release. If you look long and hard on the internet, you can find the original intended track listing and recreate the album yourself using files from the two albums.
  • Rufus Wainwright's Want One and Want Two: similarly to several other examples on this page, the project was initially envisioned as a double album, but it was originally released separately as two different albums. The first album has a more personal focus, while the second album is darker and, according to Wainwright himself, is focussed on "the world we live in". They were later repackaged together as Want.
  • Juliana Hatfield's Beautiful Creature and Total System Failure, simultaneously released in 2000. Beautiful Creature was a largely acoustic-based solo album, recorded with various studio musicians instead of a consistent backing group. Meanwhile Total System Failure was recorded as a trio under the name Juliana's Pony, and had a heavier alternative rock sound. Beautiful Creature was generally better received critically than it's counterpart.
  • Cracker's From Berkeley to Bakersfield consists of two discs that were recorded in different styles and with different musicians appearing on each disc note : Berkeley focuses on their more straightforward rock material, and is a reunion for the lineup that recorded the album Kerosene Hat, while Bakersfield is an Alternative Country album recorded with a group of musicians who had never worked with the band previously. Taken together, the album is about 71 minutes long, so it could have fit on one disc if they didn't decide to separate the songs that way.
  • Pearl Jam's rearviewmirror has an "Up" disc with rockers ("Even Flow", "Do the Evolution"), and a "Down" disc with calmer songs ("Black", "Last Kiss").
  • On the exact same date Eels put out both the best of album Meet the Eels and the two cd b-sides/rarities collection Useless Trinkets.
  • Starflyer 59's compilation Easy Come, Easy Go. Disc 1 is Greatest Hits. Disc 2 starts with b-sides and rarities, then ends with a live show.
  • Matchbox Twenty's compilation Exile on Mainstream has one disc containing six new songs, and a second disc containing songs from their first three full-lengths.
  • The Early November's second full-length is a triple album titled The Mother, the Mechanic and the Path. Disc one (The Mechanic) is a rocker and disc two (The Mother) is mellow. Disc three (The Path) combines spoken word and loads of different styles to form a kind of audio drama.
  • Switchfoot's Jon Foreman released four EPs, titled Fall, Winter Spring, and Summer. They were all available individually digitally, or in a pair of double-disc CD releases (Fall and Winter, Spring and Summer), despite the fact that each pair would have fit snugly on a single CD. Additionally, the digipak covers of each set could be combined to make a single package.
  • Frank Zappa's debut album Freak Out! was a double LP, featuring parodies of love songs on the first record and political commentary and complete zany mayhem on the second record. Zappa released many double albums throughout his career, although most of them were not examples of this trope.
  • System of a Down's Mezmerize/Hypnotize was intended to be one double album before the songs were split between the two. The cover artwork for both albums overlap, the song "Soldier Side" Bookends both albums, and the songs are laden with political and social commentary.
  • My Chemical Romance's double live album The Black Parade is Dead! is a CD/DVD double album, with the CD being a live concert in Mexico of The Black Parade album in its entirety, while the DVD had the same live concert taped plus another live gig in Hoboken, New Jersey, where they played a variety of songs of all their albums to that date, including an unreleased, untitled new song.
  • When the Red Hot Chili Peppers' album Stadium Arcadium came with the discs Jupiter and Mars. It was originally planned to be a trilogy of albums, but those plans fell through. Either way, Jupiter was more single-heavy while Mars was... not.
  • Cream's Wheels of Fire: the first disc is "In the Studio", the second is "Live at the Fillmore".
  • Donovan's 1967 album "A Gift from a Flower to a Garden" consists of "Wear Your Love Like Heaven", a collection of pop songs intended for an adult audience, and "For Little Ones", an acoustic folk set intended for children. The two discs were also released individually.
  • The first two discs of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass are standard songs; the third is improvisational music ("jams" to old-school rock fans).
    • With the very punny name Apple Jam.
  • Wingspan was a Greatest Hits double album. Disc 1 was (almost) all of Paul McCartney and Wings's biggest hits. Disc 2 was History, containing other McCartney and Wings songs of varying catchiness and historical importance.
  • Rod Stewart's 2001 UK compilation The Story So Far had uptempo numbers on the first disc, "A Night Out," and slow numbers on the second disc, "A Night In."
  • Voodoo Child: The Jimi Hendrix Collection: disc 1 is studio tracks, disc 2 is live tracks.
  • Al Kooper's Rare and Well-Done. Rare collects a bunch of demos and previously unreleased songs. Well-Done is an anthology of his released work.
  • Jeff Buckley's Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk is a double album, released posthumously; the first disc consists of polished studio recordings, while the second consists of unfinished home demos.
  • During the vinyl era, Todd Rundgren took this to its logical extreme by releasing Something/Anything?, on which each of the four LP sides had its own individual concept.note  Several other albums of his qualify as Distinct Single Albums, some of which were as long as other bands' double albums (A Wizard, a True Star, at fifty-six minutes, and Initiation, at sixty-eight minutes, are long enough to be double LP sets; Initiation, at fifty minutes, straddles the line; Hermit of Mink Hollow, at thirty-six minutes, is definitely not long enough. Note that Hermit is only a Distinct Single Album due to Executive Meddling; Rundgren intended a different running order, but the record label insisted on dividing the record into "The Easy Side" and "The Difficult Side").
  • Everclear's Songs From An American Movie Vol. One: Learning To Smile and Songs From An American Movie Vol. Two: Good Time For A Bad Attitude, released within four months of each other. Both albums formed a loose concept about divorce and crumbling relationships, inspired by Art Aleksakis' recent divorce. Volume One was the Lighter and Softer take on the theme, with mellow, seventies pop/soul inspired songs, while Volume Two had an angrier tone and combined elements of Post-Grunge and Hard Rock.
  • 16 Horsepower's compilation Yours Truly. The first disc is a standard Greatest Hits Album. The second is a collection of non-album singles and alternate versions of songs.
  • Journey's album Revelation, released in 2008, featured one disc full of covers of songs from the Steve Perry lineup years by then-current frontman Arnel Pineda, and another disc full of new original songs.
  • Melvins' A Walk With Love And Death: the Love disc is an avant-garde instrumental soundtrack to a short film (also titled A Walk With Love And Death), while the Death disc is a rock album more akin to their usual style.
  • HIM actually did this with a collection of B-sides. In the days of the CD single, they were prolific users of the flip to release new or alternate versions of their music, some of which was collected in the Uneasy Listening series (specifically, vault goodies from before Dark Light). Volume 1 comprises softer tunes, mostly acoustic renditions, while Volume 2 makes use of hard rock covers and heavier versions of songs released previously. Making the distinction clearer, Volume 1 has a blue cover with a female figure on it while Volume 2 is red with a fanged gentleman peering out from under his awesome top hat on the front.
  • All three albums in David Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy" are distinct single albums: Low and "Heroes" both consist primarily of lyrical songs on side A and instrumentals on side B, while Lodger features songs about travelling on side A and lyrically introspective songs on side B.
  • Kate Bush:
    • Hounds of Love is a distinct single album: the first side, "Hounds of Love", is a collection of standalone songs, while the second side, "The Ninth Wave", is a Rock Opera about a woman stranded at sea over the course of a single night. Each track on the latter flows directly into the one after it.
    • Aerial takes a similar approach to Hounds of Love, but is a proper double album this time. The first disc is A Sea of Honey, a Concept Album about various figures (both real and fictional) relevant to Bush's life. The second disc, A Sky of Honey (retitled An Endless Sky of Honey on the 2018 remaster), is a Rock Opera detailing various events that occur over the course of a 24-hour period. As with "The Ninth Wave", every song on A Sky of Honey fades seamlessly into the next.
    • The 2019 rarities compilation The Other Sides includes the 12" mixes for Hounds of Love and The Whole Story on disc one, various B-sides and rarities from 1989-2012 on disc two, B-sides and rarities from 1980-1993 (plus a previously unreleased demo from 1975) on disc three, and Cover Versions on disc four.
  • New Order has a couple examples:
    • Brotherhood is another distinct single album: side one consists of straight Post-Punk songs while side two consists of straight Synth-Pop songs.
    • Substance is divided up differently depending on the format. CD, Digital Audio Tape, and UK cassette copies feature an A-sides disc/tape and a (mostly) B-sides disc/tape. On LP and US cassette copies, only the A-side section is featured, but it's split up between 1981-1984 singles and 1985-1987 singles, with the LP release using separate discs and the US cassette using separate sides of one tape.
  • New Order's previous incarnation, Joy Division, has a couple examples of their own:
    • The first disc on Still is a rarities and outtakes collection with the exception of a live cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray", while the second contains the band's final live show weeks before Ian Curtis' suicide.
    • The band's own Substance compilation is a Distinct Single Album on CD and some countries' cassette releases. The main album collected the A-sides of the band's non-album singles, while the "Appendix" collects the B-Sides. The album received a double LP reissue in 2015 that made it a Distinct Double Album.
  • Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady compilation is another Distinct Single Album variant, similar to New Order's and Joy Division's compilations above, with the "A" side featuring the A-sides of their singles and the "B" side featuring their B-sides. Even an expanded CD reissue of the album that added a few more singles followed suit- placing half of its added songs in the middle of the album and the other half at the end, instead of putting them all at the end as bonus tracks
  • Cafe Tacuba's Reves / Yo Soy - Reves is an experimental, instrumental album. Yo Soy is a more conventional song-based collection.
  • The limited vinyl edition of Reel Big Fish's "Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free" comes as two discs: the first disc, presented as a picture disc, has all-new songs. The second disc, colored lime-green, has rerecorded songs from earlier on. The two discs are even identified as "Monkeys" & "Chimps".
  • Guns N' Roses:
    • The twin Use Your Illusion albums. It would seem most of the harder stuff went on the first one (yellow and red cover) while the second one, to match the mood of the violet and blue-tinted cover, had more melancholy songs. Guess which of the albums produced more singles? If you said the hard-rocking one, you'd be absolutely right (although II had "You Could Be Mine", which had been solicited for the Terminator 2: Judgment Day soundtrack).
    • Although it is only a single album, Appetite for Destruction has the same dichotomy. Most of the vinyl and cassette versions are split into Sides G (hard-rocking songs about the L.A. nightlife and hedonism — "Welcome to the Jungle", "Nightrain", "Mr. Brownstone"), and R (pensive songs about relationships, often of the self-destructive kind — "My Michelle", "Think About You").
  • Sloan has their 11th album "Commonwealth." All four members write & perform their own material, but they didn't think releasing four solo albums like KISS would be commercially viable, so instead they did four solo album SIDES. This also allowed their drummer, Andrew Scott to indulge in his experimental impulses and devote his side to a nearly 18-minute suite of unfinished songs that he titled "Forty-Eight Portraits." This song would open the show on the supporting tour.
  • Peter Gabriel's Greatest Hits Album Hit is divided between a "Hit" disc, which is a standard compilation of well-known hit singles (plus the new song "Burn You Up, Burn You Down"), and a "Miss" disc, which focuses on less successful but fan-favorite songs.

    Christian Rock 
  • Showbread's Anorexia and Nervosa were released simultaneously, and featured songs by the same names, however, every song is completely distinct from "Anorexia" and "Nervosa"; for example, "The Beginning (Anorexia)" is an instrumental piano aria, while "The Beginning (Nervosa)" is not instrumental and features multiple movements by multiple singers.
  • Jars of Clay's first retrospective, Furthermore: From the Studio, from the Stage. The first disc had re-recordings of prior songs, and the second disc was a live recording.

  • Shania Twain's Up! was released as a double-disc thing, with the same track listing on both discs, but one disc being a pop-mix and the other disc being either a country-mix (in the US) or a Bollywood-style-mix (everywhere else).
  • Vince Gill's These Days is a distinct quadruple album. It consists of four discs, each comprising songs recorded in a different style: country-rock, country-soul, neo-traditional country, and acoustic gospel.
  • Toby Keith's second Christmas album, A Classic Christmas. One disc is more secular stuff like "Frosty the Snowman" and "Silver Bells", and the other is hymns and carols like "Joy to the World".
  • Alan Jackson has a rare double-disc Greatest Hits Album. The second disc of Greatest Hits II... and Some Other Stuff includes eight album cuts that he liked.
  • Rascal Flatts took a similar approach, with the second disc of their first Greatest Hits comprising Christmas music to coincide with its late-year release.
  • Hank Williams' Turn Back the Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection is a triple compilation album of songs according to themes (bar room anthems, lonesome heart break songs, and God-Is-Love Songs).
  • Actress Laura Bell Bundy did a variant with her debut Achin' and Shakin'. The album, though only one disc, was separated into "Achin'" and "Shakin'" sections, the former being heartbreak ballads and the latter being more cheery upbeat material, exemplified in lead single "Giddy On Up". Both halves even had separate liner notes and producers.
  • Jamey Johnson's The Guitar Song featured two discs that told a story. In his words, "The first part note  is a very dark and sordid story. Then everything after that note  is progressively more positive, reassuring and redemptive."

  • Yellow Magic Orchestra:
    • Both their self-titled debut and Naughty Boys came in two different versions back in the day: the former had different mixes for the Japanese and American markets, while the latter had a second instrumental version released concurrently with the original. For the band's 2003 remastering campaign, the two different versions of each album were collected as double-CD packages, one disc for each rendition.
    • The 1984 retrospective compilation Sealed was originally released as a four-LP Boxed Set. Each of the first three discs corresponds to each of the band's three members and contains YMO songs that they wrote, while the fourth disc focuses on full-band compositions. The CD release meanwhile squeezes the album onto two discs (albeit dropping some songs due to space constraints): one for the Ryuichi Sakamoto & YMO songs and another for the Haruomi Hosono & Yukihiro Takahashi songs.
    • Faker Holic, the 1991 expanded edition of the band's first live album, features one CD containing performances from London & Paris and a second CD containing performances from New York City.
  • Quoth Wikipedia on Pan sonic's Kesto (234.48:4): "Each of the discs reflects elements of their style of music, with the dynamics and tempi generally decreasing throughout. The first CD consists largely of shorter compositions, reminiscent of the synthesis of pop structures and electronic noise found in industrial precursors like Suicide, while the second consists of less intense, electro influenced songs, using the same processed sine tones with more restraint and rhythmic consistency. The third and fourth CDs are more amorphous, the former incorporating Musique concrete elements and the latter is a single hour-long track that recalls early electronic composer Eduard Artemyev."
  • The album Hotel by Moby is another classic example. The first disc is mainly rock-oriented songs, all with vocals (except for the intro, coda, and hidden track), while the second disc is entirely ambient techno.
  • The Trope Maker, as it applies to House Music and Trance Music, is the Global Underground series.
  • Armin Van Buuren's A State of Trance series. The 2005 installment labelled the CDs as Light/Dark; all subsequent installments were billed as On The Beach/In The Club.
  • Pet Shop Boys:
    • Their 2003 Greatest Hits Album, PopArt, had a "Pop" disc with their upbeat dance-pop numbers and an "Art" disc with their more introspective, artsy stuff. The limited edition came with a third disc, "Mix", which contained remixes.
    • The 1993 album Very was briefly available as a special 2-disc edition, Very Relentless. The first disc was the normal Very album, vocal synthpop tracks. The second disc, Relentless, was six extended dance tunes, five of them with barely any singing or completely instrumental.
  • Cornelius simultaneously released two remix albums, CM: Cornelius Mix and FM: Fantasma Mix: CM compiled seven remixes Cornelius had done of other artists, while FM had most of those same artists remixing seven songs from his album Fantasma .
  • Some issues of LCD Soundsystem's self-titled debut included a second disc of singles that had been released prior to the album.
  • Joy Electric:
    • For the compilation The Art and Craft of Popular Music, Disc 1 has a bunch of rare (or previously unreleased) non-album tracks and remixes, while Disc 2 is a standard Greatest Hits Album.
    • The album The Otherly Opus was a distinct double-EP: the first half of the album is JE's usual, impenetrably surreal lyrics, while the second half is a miniature Concept Album about the period between the Fall of Man and Noah's flood. He almost titled the whole thing The Otherly Opus / The Memory of Alpha to reflect the bifurcation.
  • Mauro Picotto's Superclub double album consists of the dance disc Giganite and the chill-out disc Megalounge. The deluxe edition of Mauro Picotto: The Album is configured the same way, with its bonus disc consisting of downtempo and trip-hop in contrast to the trance and techno of the main album.
  • A.G. Cook's debut album 7G is a septuple album, with 49 total tracks spread across 7 discs, each one being based around a specific instrument: drums, guitar, supersaw synths, piano, nord keyboards, spoken word, and "extreme vocals". Many of the tracks average between 3-4 minutes, and the entire experience lasts just over 2 and a half hours.
  • Laserdance's The Guardian of Forever accomplishes this on a single disc. The first six tracks are their traditional italo-spacesynth, but afterwards, it switches to progressive trance.
  • Machine Girl's Gemini is separated into HEAVEN and HELL halves, with HEAVEN containing the more upbeat, smooth, happy hardcore tracks, and HELL containing harder, darker synths.
  • The deluxe vinyl edition of Clan of Xymox's Spider On The Wall is a distinct triple album, with the first LP being the main vanilla album, while the second and third compile the remix EP's for "She", "Lovers", "All I Ever Know", and "Spider", along with their B sides.
  • Information Society have the 2-CD rarities compilation Apocryphon: Electro Roots 1983-1985; the first disc, "Unobtainium", combining the tracklists of their long out-of-print Insoc EP and Creatures of Influence LP; the second, "Prophets Without Honor", showcasing previously unreleased recordings.
  • Menno de Jong's Greatest Hits Album Collected Works is set up this way in its vinyl edition. The first LP consists chiefly of slower progressive trance, while the second LP is devoted to his faster uplifting works.
  • Autechre:
  • Blue Amazon's The Javelin has two double-CD editions, the first disc of both containing the main continuously-mixed album. The Australian edition's second disc includes the full-length 12" mixes of "No Other Love", "Four Seasons" and "The Runner", along with the otherwise non-album single "Star of David", the B-Side "The Blessing Part II", and two bonus remixes of "And Then The Rain Falls". The German edition has the Remix Album Spearhead, which contains previously unreleased remixes of "Four Seasons", "And Then The Rain Falls", "No Other Love", Skunk Anansie's "Twisted", and Placebo's "Nancy Boy", along with "Trip To Heaven", a track originally only available on the album's vinyl edition.
  • Zanias's Chrysalis is a mix of Ethereal Wave and Synthwave, while its concurrently produced companion album Ecdysis revisits the Neoclassical Dark Wave of her first album, but with completely wordless vocals and Trip Hop elements.

  • Experimental rock band Have a Nice Life's debut Deathconsciousness came in two discs: the shoegaze-meets-drone The Future, and the decidedly more post-punk-influenced The Plow That Broke the Plains. In a release packed with weirdness and innovation, that it's in two distinct-yet-complementary volumes is the least strange thing about it.
  • Not unlike Outkast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, Hella's Church Gone Wild/Chirpin' Hard functioned as one solo album each from the two members. Zach Hill's Church Gone Wild is the more chaotic and noisy of the two, while Spencer Seim's Chirpin' Hard is more melodic, and was often compared to his work with Game Music cover band The Advantage.
  • Instrumental group Sky's second album, the imaginatively named Sky 2, has four distinct sides. Side one has rock-and-roll numbers similar to the first side of their first album; side two is the Progressive Rock symphony "FIFO". Side three has one piece for each member: John Williams and Kevin Peek play classical guitar pieces, Franis Monkman a harpsichord gavotte, Herbie Flowers plays "Tuba Smarties", and Tristan Fry abuses the drum kit for five minutes in "Tristan's Magic Garden". Side four has their electrifying covers of Antonio Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
  • Animal! and Not Animal!, simultaneously released by Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, are sort of an unusual case because they're actually two different versions of the same album: The band and their label disagreed on what songs should make the album and what the track order should be, so Animal! was the album as the band wanted it, whereas Not Animal! was the album as the label wanted it. A handful of songs are shared between the two versions, but each also has an equal number of exclusive tracks.
  • Popular Soviet Songs and Youth Music by Zoviet France. The album consists of two cassettes sandwiched into a clay pot with radioactive seagull feathers glued to the back.
  • Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards is a triple album consisting of the blues-rock "Brawlers", the piano-driven, ballad-heavy "Bawlers", and the experimental, often spoken-word stuff on "Bastards".

  • Neil Young:
    • Arc/Weld: Weld was a straightforward two-disc Live Album, while Arc was a 35-minute sound collage of tune-ups and big rock endings from live performances that verged on Sensory Abuse. They were originally released as a three-disc set, but later got individual releases.
    • The division into a quiet, acoustic side and a stomping electric side makes Rust Never Sleeps come off this way, although strictly speaking it was always a single album.
  • Canadian singer/songwriter Joel Plaskett released a distinct triple album, appropriately entitled Three. In addition to overlapping lyrical motifs, the discs were described by accompanying press as respectively about "Leaving, being gone, and coming back."
  • Eliza Carthy's Red Rice. Red is a mixture of folk with dub, pop and electronica; Rice is straight folk. Critics loved the Distinct Double Album but it proved a little too distinct for record buyers and was later split up and reissued as separate albums.
  • Bob Dylan:
    • Dylan used the "electric side and acoustic side" Distinct Single Album variant with his first folk-rock album, Bringing It All Back Home, but in contrast with Rust Never Sleeps, the first side here is the electric one.
    • Some of Dylan's live concerts also end up as examples of Distinct Double Albums. The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Live 1966, The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert consists of a solo acoustic disc and an electric disc recorded with The Band, for example. The first set was warmly received while, infamously, the second set was widely heckled (one fan shouted out "Judas", to which Dylan responded, "I don't believe you; you're a liar," and then commanding The Band and to "Play it fucking loud!"). Interestingly, the reputation of the sets in posterity has now reversed; the electric set is now regarded as one of Dylan's finest performances, while the acoustic set is regarded as somewhat inferior. This may actually have been partially due to an inferior sound system; according to people who were actually at the show, including one who claims to have been the "Judas" heckler himself, the concert recording of the live set sounds much better than the set itself did live (which has been described as sounding like "a wall of mush").
  • Gordon Lightfoot's Gord's Gold has one LP consisting of re-recorded versions of songs originally recorded for United Artists Records, and the 2nd LP consisting of original Reprise recordings such as "If You Could Read My Mind," "Sundown," "Carefree Highway," etc.

  • Bright Eyes did this, releasing albums "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn" and "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" simultaneously. The former is darker with music that is mostly electronic, while the latter is more upbeat with live instrumentation.
  • James released the uptempo "The Night Before" and the slower "The Morning After" (intended as a full blown melancholy hangover album, but they lost track of it in the writing) as mini-albums a few months apart, later combining them into a single two-disc release.
  • Manchester Orchestra released their albums "Cope" and "Hope" five months apart, the latter being more emotional, acoustic versions of the former's relatively heavy tracks.
  • My Brightest Diamond's This Is My Hand does this over the length of a single album. The first side of the LP is the faster, more intense songs; the second side is the slower, ambient tracks.
  • Eldritch Rodriguez's The Castrati Menace never had a physical release, but is sort of two different album-length presentations of same material: The first 9 tracks are standard length songs. The 10th track, "The Castrati Menace (Continuous Mix)", is presented as a bonus track only available when you download the whole album, but is really an alternate, Director's Cut style version of the whole album indexed as one track, with added interludes to turn the individual songs into one continuous work.

  • Bernstein Plays Brubeck Plays Bernstein was a Distinct Single Album on LP. Side I was dedicated to Howard Brubeck's Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra performed mainly by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein, with the Dave Brubeck Quartet contributing improvisations. Side II had the Dave Brubeck Quartet by itself covering showtunes from Bernstein's West Side Story and Wonderful Town scores.
  • Kamasi Washington's second full-length album, Heaven and Earth, manages to be a Distinct Double Album twice over: the first half, Earth, contains songs dealing with more, well, down-to-earth issues; while the second half, Heaven, has a more abstract/utopian theme to it...but then there is also an entire extra album, The Choice, on a disc hidden inside the album's packaging — making the entire package a Distinct Double Album with another Distinct Double Album inside it!
  • Makaya McCraven's Universal Beings is a live compilation album. For the two-LP version, each side was recorded in a different city, playing with a different ensemble. In fact, instead of labeling the sides with letters, they're just called "New York Side", "London Side", "Chicago Side", and "Los Angeles Side".

  • Therion's double live album The Miskolc Experience has one disc featuring metal covers of classical/opera pieces and one disc of original songs accompanied by a full orchestra.
    • Their two albums Lemuria and Sirius B were recorded together and released as a double album, but each one is structured like a distinct album.
  • Opeth's Deliverance & Damnation albums sort of count, as they were recorded together but released five months apart: Deliverance contains some of the band's heaviest metal songs, while Damnation consists entirely of mellow Progressive Rock. When they were remastered, they were re-released together as the band intended them to be.
  • The Axis of Perdition have the Urfe album, which is actually the first two installments in a Concept Album trilogy: Disc one, Grief of the Unclean, consists entirely of ambient music with dramatic narration, telling the first part of Urfe's story; disc two, The Great Unwashed, uses a combination of metal and ambient and tells the next part of the story. The conclusion, Tenements, was released separately in 2011.
  • To celebrate its 20 years of existence, metal label Nuclear Blast released two albums made by musicians on the label, under the moniker Nuclear Blast All-Stars. Both albums are two-disc compilations with one disc made of exclusive songs and the other being a recompilation of singles released by the label throughout the years; the first album, Into the Light, is focused on the more traditional heavy metal and power metal and the such, and the other one, Out of the Dark, features melodic death metal and similars.
  • Moonspell's 2012 double album contained two halves, one being called Alpha Noir, which contained heavier and more aggressive material, and the other being called Omega White, which contained mellow goth rock tunes.
  • Metallica
  • Apocalyptica's Amplified: A Decade of Reinventing the Cello: first disc is all instrumentals, second consists of songs with vocals (some of which were previously released as instrumentals.)
  • Isis have Celestial and SGNL>05, released separately because they didn't want their first full-length release to be a double album. The second is still a sequel to the first, though.
  • maudlin of the Well have Bath and Leaving Your Body Map, which are intended to be listened to one after the other but were nonetheless released separately.
  • Swallow the Sun's distinct triple album, Songs from the North I, II, & III. The first disc is melodic death/doom metal of the sort the band is known for, featuring both clean and harsh vocals; the second consists entirely of mellow, mostly acoustic and piano-based music and uses only clean vocals; and the final disc is full-on funeral doom and uses harsh vocals exclusively.
  • The Ocean released Heliocentric and Anthropocentric separately but both in 2010. They are scathing critiques of religion, the former focusing on Catholic doctrine and the treatment of heretics, the latter focusing on apologetics.
  • Cult of Luna have another "recorded too much material during album sessions and didn't want to release a double album" example with Vertikal and its companion EP Vertikal II. The latter consists of songs that the band didn't fit into the story of the former, plus a remix that Executive Meddling insisted be added (but the band liked after it was done). Put together the two releases run for almost two hours.
  • Periphery has Juggernaut Alpha/Omega with the former being the Backstory to the story presented in the latter.
  • Die Apokalyptischen Reiter did this with their albums Tiefnote  and Tiefernote . The first was a Metal album, the second an acoustic album primarily containing acoustic versions of older songs. Both were released at the same time, also there was a bundle containing both and a small artbook.
  • Nightwish's ninth album Human. :II: Nature. The first disc is a standard Nightwish Symphonic Metal album. Disc two is a Classical Music suite with some spoken word parts titled All the Works of Nature that Adorn the World.
  • Sabaton recorded their sixth album Carolus Rex with both English and Swedish lyrics (barring the closing track "Ruina Imperii" which is only in Swedish) and released it as a double album. The English lyrics are a fairly standard badass-praising Sabaton album, barring the focus on 17th century Swedish history rather than the world wars, but the Swedish lyrics are firmly My Country Tis of Thee That I Sting, taking their native country to task for its past misdeeds.
  • Butcher Babies' Eye for an Eye.../...'Til the World's Blind, with Eye... being more commercial, traditional metal fare, and ...Blind being a more experimental mix of heavier metal styles, with a couple of slower, ballad-y songs thrown in. They were even recorded in separate locations, Eye... in the Arizona desert, and ...Blind in Michigan during winter, Carla Harvey describing the two as representing "light and darkness, fire and ice".

    New Wave 
  • George Michael's 1998 Greatest Hits Album Ladies and Gentlemen was a 2-CD set. The first disc was titled "For the Heart" and composed of ballads, the second disc was titled "For the Feet" and composed of pop and dance numbers. This was a similar idea to his original plan for Listen Without Prejudice to be a Distinct Double Album, with Volume 1 being pop and ballad based and Volume 2 being dance-based. In the end, only Volume 1 was released, but a few Volume 2 tracks were released via a charity album and single B-Sides.
  • David Sylvian's album Gone to Earth was released as a double album with the first album having vocals and the second being purely instrumental. The initial CD release crammed the entire album on one disc by dropping four of the instrumental songs; subsequent releases have restored the two-disc format (with some versions adding bonus tracks.)
  • Talking Heads' first Live Album, The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, features assorted live performances from 1977-1979 on disc one and recordings from the 1980-1981 Remain in Light tour on disc two.

  • The Silent Hill 4 soundtrack has two discs: the first is the soundtrack itself, and the second is an unrelated audio drama called Inescapable Rain in Yoshiwara.
  • From the Homestuck soundtrack, there is coloUrs and mayhem, Universe A and coloUrs and mayhem, Universe B, which are themed around the universes they are named after. Each has a Disc 1 and Disc 2, containing themes for characters from that side of each universe's scratch, and an Additional Mayhem section for other songs.
  • The soundtrack for Halo 2 was released in two volumes. Volume 1, released alongside the game, had to be prepared prior to the game being finalized, and thus some pieces have somewhat different arrangements than they do in the game. It also includes some Halo-themed contributions from some outside music artists, such as Breaking Benjamin and Incubus. Volume 2 was released later, and contains the music as it appeared in the final game.
  • The Season 2 soundtrack of songs from Hannah Montana, titled Hannah Montana 2, was packaged as a double album with "Hannah" star Miley Cyrus' first album under her own name, titled Meet Miley Cyrus on the second disc.
  • The first NCIS soundtrack album had two discs, subtitled Special Agent and Abby's Lab. While Special Agent is a mix of various songs from the show with no other over-riding theme, Abby's Lab is meant to reflect the musical tastes of the character Abby Sciuto and, accordingly, it's heavy on Industrial, EBM, and related genres. Further tying into the theme, the Abby's Lab disc includes the track "Fear" by Stop Making Friends, a band featuring Abby's actress Pauley Perrette. Also, the Special Agent disc ends with the normal version of the show's theme song, while Abby's Lab opens with an Industrial Metal remix of it by Ministry.
  • A peculiar Video Game example is in Celeste, where not only are the B-side levels provided with unique remixes of the original tunes, the character has to actually grab those tapes in order to unlock them. The OST album is also different, so interested listeners will have to buy both cassettes.
  • The physical version of the RWBY soundtracks have the vocal tracks in one disc and the score in the other.
  • In the physical soundtrack for Red vs. Blue: Season 15, the tracks written by David Levy and Trocadero are split into their own discs.

  • Michael Jackson's HIStory: Past, Present, and Future -- Book I. The first disc (HIStory Begins) was a Greatest Hits Album, and the second disc (HIStory Continues) was all new material.
  • Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics album. Disc one was standard pop with a throwback to jazz, funk, and soul. Disc two was comprised of live music reminiscent of the The Twenties and The '30s.
  • Koda Kumi loves to release these (selling them both separately and as a package):
    • W FACE (inside) (more introspective, with most of the tracks being ballads) and W FACE (outside) (composed almost entirely of dance tracks), in 2017.
    • angeL (bubblegum pop tracks and soft ballads) and monsteR (dance tracks with hip-hop and trap elements), in 2020.
    • She has even had a Distinct Double Tour in 2019, having simultaneous tours revisiting her Black Cherry and Japonesque tours (the former with a pirate theme, the latter inspired in traditional Japanese settings).
  • BTS tend to be very deliberate in their track sequencing, which has resulted in this type of double albums.
    • Their anthology album Proof has 3 discs, with an original track in each:
      • Disc one is themed after the group's career path, starting with the 2013 song "Born Singer", followed by every title track in order (plus "Dynamite" and "Butter"), ending with the self-explanatory original song "Yet To Come".
      • Disc two starts with the more upbeat original track "Run BTS", followed by side-tracks hand-picked by the group (one solo song and one group song for each member).
      • Disc three contains demos and alternate versions of released songs (available only in the physical version of Proof), and ends the album with the original song "For Youth".
    • The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever and LOVE YOURSELF: Answer are compilation albums of their respective album series. Both have a disc one with specific (old and new) tracks sequenced in a way that conveys the overall message of each series, particularly intros and main singles note . Disc two contains some other notable side-tracks that don't necessarily focus on the series' concepts, plus remixes of the singles.
  • Rick Astley's 2019 compilation album The Best of Me features a first disc that's a standard Greatest Hits Album and a second disc containing re-recordings of old material, billed "Reimagined Classics".
  • Hanson's 2022 album Red Green Blue can be described as a blend of three 5-song mini albums, each one crafted by each individual brother: Taylor's Red portion tends to lean more towards a rootsy Americana sound, while Isaac's Green portion has more of an intimate and vintage sound, and Zac's Blue portion has a more contemporary sound, mixing in pop, rock and alt-country. Each portion got its own single, accompanied by their respective music videos.
  • Beyoncé's I Am... Sasha Fierce had the I Am... disc being filled with introspective ballads and Sasha Fierce with Beyonce's signature R&B/Pop style complete with a new persona, Sasha Fierce.

    Prog Rock 
  • Deep Purple's Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) is a double set where the band performs together live with a classical orchestra. The second disc is given over entirely to the suite that gives the album its title. (Note that this only applies to CD versions of the album, since it was initially released on a single LP with only the title suite; the remaining material has been added to more recent reissues. Recent LP reissues stretch the entire concert to three discs).
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Works, vol. 1 was effectively four half-albums. The original double LP was arranged into one side each of individual works — a piano concerto by Keith Emerson, five songs by Greg Lake, six percussion-heavy pieces by Carl Palmer — and one side of collective works, which consisted of their interpretation of Fanfare to the Common Man and their own composition Pirates.
  • Yes released the two Keys to Ascension albums as double albums, each containing a live disc and a disc of new studio recordings. The new songs were later released one on album as Keystudio.note 
    • A more noteworthy example of this by Yes would be the monstrous Tales from Topographic Oceans, which stretched out a mere four songs over two LPs, one on each side. Upon its release, it split the fanbase in half; Rick Wakeman said that, when it was played live, the audience would be in two halves — "one half would be on some faraway planet, and the other half would be bored shitless". This was the album that caused him to leave the band, due to not enjoying the material he was playing. He was in the "bored shitless" category, and he was playing the music.
  • Pink Floyd has two of them:
    • Ummagumma: The first disc is a live album, while the second disc is a studio album. All four members of the band have one fourth of the studio disc all to themselves, and the results are mostly lengthy experimental pieces with only two actual "songs": Roger Waters' "Grantchester Meadows", and David Gilmour's "The Narrow Way (Part 3)".
    • The Wall: The first half covers the building of the Wall, the second half covers what happens behind the Wall.
  • Progressive Metal musician Devin Townsend released a Distinct Quadruple Album under the moniker "The Devin Townsend Project": A series of four albums, each with a different set of session musicians and a different musical style. The first, Ki, is described by Townsend as "tense" and "quiet". The second, Addicted, is "commercial, yet heavy". The third, Deconstruction, is "chaotic", and the fourth, Ghost, is "ambient".
    • After all four albums had been released, Townsend proceeded to re-release them together as an eight-disc box set, containing six CDs and two DVDs. The two extra CDs consisted of outtakes from the sessions, B-Sides, and demo material.
    • His 2014 album Z2. The first disc, Sky Blue, is the familiar Devin Townsend Project the fans know and love. The second disc, Dark Matters, is a sequel to Townsend's goofy 2007 sci-fi Rock Opera, Ziltoid the Omniscient.
  • Dream Theater's album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence has two discs. The first contains a collection of experimental, contemporary sounds, the second contains the 42-minute long title track — a classically-influenced progressive rock opus and one of the band's greatest pieces of Awesome Music.
    • Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, while on a single CD, is a distinct double album on vinyl, with the album's two acts taking up one disc each. Their other Rock Opera, The Astonishing is formatted similarly, and is a distinct quadruple album on vinyl, with Act 1 taking up sides 1-5 and Act 2 taking up sides 6-8.
    • Dream Theater's Greatest Hit is split into a "Dark Side" covering the more metal influenced material and a "Light Side" covering their Lighter and Softer tracks.
  • Muse have Hullabaloo — one CD is live recordings from the band's concert in Paris, 2001, while the other CD is a collection of B-sides.
  • Porcupine Tree's The Incident: the first disc is devoted to the title suite, while four unrelated songs are included on the second disc. The album, at around seventy-six minutes long, is short enough to fit on one CD, but Steven Wilson really wanted people to think of the four bonus songs as unrelated.
  • Rush did the Distinct Single Album variant three times, in each case with one album side devoted to a Rock Opera and the other side devoted to unrelated songs. Caress of Steel, 2112, and Hemispheres are the band's three examples. In the final case, the rock opera was so long that it actually extended back to the final song of the band's previous album, A Farewell to Kings.
    • They also did a variation with their 1998 triple-live album Different Stages. The first two discs fit the standard live album format being (mostly) recorded on their most recent tour in support of Test for Echo (with a few songs from the previous Counterparts tour mixed in) but disc three consisted of an incomplete recording of their 1978 Hammersmith Odeon show in support of the aforementioned A Farewell to Kings.
  • Ayreon: Universal Migrator was released as two separate albums with different styles: The Dream Sequencer is lighter and meant to appeal to the prog-rock fans, while Flight of the Migrator is heavier and geared towards fans of Power Metal. Despite the difference in styles, the plotlines of the two albums are connected.
  • Genesis did a variation with the initial release of their The Way We Walk live album, splitting the show into two volumes: The Shorts and The Longs separated by a few months. As implied by the titles, vol. 1 consisted of the more commercial, relatively shorter hit songs like "Invisible Touch," "I Can't Dance," and "Land of Confusion," among others, while vol. 2 consisted of a few longer, more progressive numbers such as "Domino," "The Old Medley" (a medley of earlier fan favorites from their more progressive era), and even the Phil Collins/Chester Thompson "Drum Duet." This only applies to the original release, though, as a later reissue in their Genesis Live 1973-2007 box set sorted the songs back into concert order, eliminating the distinct structure.

  • Outkast's 2003 double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below also functioned as solo albums for the duo, with Big Boi's Speakerboxxx being a traditional hard-hitting Hip-Hop album and The Love Below showing Andre 3000 experimenting with different genres. Unfortunately, this wasn't just a creative choice but the first indication that the duo was drifting apart due to Creative Differences. Their last conventional album together was Stankonia four years earlier.
  • Nelly's Sweat and Suit were not packaged together, but released simultaneously. Sweat was Hip-Hop party songs and Suit was traditional R&B music with Hip-Hop rhymes.
  • Jay-Z's The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse was spread across two discs, one labeled "The Gift" and the other labeled "The Curse" (hence the title). The Gift is a lighter, more radio-friendly disc (with a blue label), while the material on The Curse is a bit darker (with a black label). Interestingly, the album's reception was mixed because many felt that it had too much filler, so Jay-Z took the best bits from both The Gift and The Curse, put them on one disc, and released it as The Blueprint 2.1.
  • Danny Brown's Old is on a single disc but is structured like a double album: the first half is something of a throwback to the more raw, stripped-down style present on The Hybrid (albeit with some of the more experimental elements seen on XXX), while the second half consists of heavily grime and dancehall-influenced club/party tracks with the same dark, experimental edge.
  • Death Grips: The Powers That B consists of two separate halves. Niggas on the Moon uses extensive Björk samples and more unconventional songwriting, while Jenny Death utilizes a near Rap Rock approach to Death Grips' usual sound.
  • Eminem:
  • Kendrick Lamar's Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers features two nine-track discs, each broadly sharing themes on dealing with varying personal topics, from coping with trauma, fatherhood, the pressures of fame, etc. The tracklists of either disc is meant to mirror the other, both in structure and tone — the first disc examines topics in a rather cynical and deconstructive light, while the second is more reconstructive and affirmative, and the tracks correspond to each other in a chiasmus fashion (example: both the first and last tracks are about processing grief, with "United in Grief" being about doing so through toxic external means, while "Mirror" is about choosing to move on through introspection). Taken as a whole, the project reflects Kendrick as featuring simultaneously harsh yet hopeful thoughts on himself and the world around him, and both sides are equally important in informing who he is.

  • Mariah Carey has released two double albums. One is a typical Greatest Hits album that simply required the space of two discs, and was released as a contractual agreement beyond Carey's control and had no creative input or personal touches from her. The other is a Remix Album that she was more enthusiastic about promoting and plays this trope straight: the first disc contains dance mixes, while the second contains hip-hop mixes and collaborations (though some famous remixes are conspicuous in their absence, probably due to licensing).
  • Whitney Houston's first greatest hits release consists of two discs, "Cool Down," a collection of her ballads, and "Throw Down," remixes of her dance songs.
  • The 1991 compilation album Star Time by James Brown consists of four CDs with the best from his entire career; all of the tracks are comprised in chronological order, unintentionally resulting in this trope as each disc covers a certain span of time.

  • Rodney Carrington's Greatest Hits (a misnomer, as he's a singer/comedian who's a No-Hit Wonder) consists of comedy routines on the first disc, and comedic songs on the second.
  • The two-disc Woodstock 1999 companion album roughly separated its performance highlights by genre: The Red Album focused on the more aggressive bands on the bill — mainly Post-Grunge, Nu Metal, and Alternative Metal (with a token nod to Hip-Hop in the form of a DMX track). The Blue Album was mainly the mellower acts, but also threw in basically everything else that wouldn't have fit on the other disc, be it Hip-Hop (The Roots), Electronic Music (The Chemical Brothers), or swing revival (Brian Setzer Orchestra). The two discs were originally made available as one set, but were later released separately too.
  • Brentalfloss's first album, What If This CD... Had Lyrics? has a second version (What If This CD... Had G-Rated Lyrics?) which consists of the same songs from the original album, but with all swear words and other sexual references omitted (essentially making it a Lighter and Softer version of the original album).
  • George Carlin's Distinct Single Album from 1970, FM&AM. The two sides of the same vinyl LP, labeled "FM" and "AM", made reference to the contemporary shift from the latter technology to the former, which Carlin reflected in his material. The "FM" side is recorded in stereo, and features the beginnings of his newer, more introspective comedy style, that he would refine further in Class Clown and Occupation: Foole. The "AM" side is recorded in mono, and features the last vestiges of the TV-friendly act he was trying to leave behind, including new sketches featuring his Wonderful WINO disc jockey character and "Al Sleet, the hippy-dippy weatherman".
  • Doug Benson's Smug Life album is two discs of the same material, the first one performed sober and the second one performed high later the same day.
  • The third and final tie-in LP for Not the Nine O'Clock News had sketches from the TV series on one disc, and a live recording of the cast's short-lived stage show (mostly new stuff that hadn't been on TV) on the second.
  • Joseph Scrimshaw and Friends' Flaw Fest: Disc one is a standup comedy album performed by Joseph and themed around his flaws, disc two is musicians such as Paul and Storm and The Doubleclicks doing humorous songs inspired by these same comedy routines.
  • Corey Feldman's infamous album Angelic 2 The Core is split between two discs: "Angelic Funkadelic" and "Angelic Rockadelic." While the second half is pretty consistently a rock album, the first half has an array of different collaborators and genres. The Concept Album aspects dissolve by the second disc, however.