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Before the advent of the longer running time of CDs, the triple vinyl album was a rare and exotic beast and they were never anything less than exciting. It seemed so incredible that you could buy an album and get 2 hours of music on it. Also it required more elaborate packaging, so it felt like A Big Thing.
Now, there are a few must-have triples. These include Yes - Yessongs, Welcome Back My Friends by ELP, Wings Over America by Wings, Woodstock vol 1, Concert For Bangladesh, The Last Waltz - The Band, Europe 72 - Grateful Dead, Lotus by Santana, Neil Young - Decade, All Things Must Pass by George Harrison and No Nukes.
There are others, but this is the core classic rock triple collection. All of them featured big fold-out sleeves and booklets or came in box of some sort. None of them are rare, to this day and shouldn't cost you much cash.
But of all these wonderful records, which was the best seller? Record companies were always worried that a triple was too expensive and that would restrict sales and, to a degree, that was right. Million-selling bands like Santana, struggled to sell big numbers of the magnificent Lotus record - a triple originally only available in Japan.
But there is a clear winner.
Wings Over America has sold over 4 million in USA alone according one Wings biographer and no other record comes close to that for a triple. It's an exuberant love record and as good a cross-section of the band's career as you could wish for. My own favourite would have to be Europe 72 and especially Jack Straw featuring a tour-de-force of rhythm guitar by Bob Weir.
Nowadays there are plenty of box sets of 3 CDs but it's not the same. A triple album used to cause an intake of breath as a concept, and that was before you dropped the needle of the record.