Second round, maybe it's time for some comments:
1. Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy vs. Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
Gold prize to innovation vs. formula. While Zep was a widely innovative band (they created with their 4 first albums a whole style that for good or bad is here to stay) in their fifth album they seemed unsure about to follow their succesful formula or embark in some adventures (failed in this album but not in the next one, “Psychical Graffiti”, in which their attempts on funk or world music crystallized properly). On the other hand, the Kate Bush album today still sounds fresh, imaginative and out of the blue. I know it’s not fair comparing a debut album with the fifth album from an established band, but anyway Kate Bush opened a path that many females singers traveled since then, singers with peculiar voices that sang unusual melodies in a technically demanding way (from Björk to Joanna Newsom). Well, that was not exact, Joni Mitchell was first.
2. Dr. Octagon - Dr. Octagonecologyst vs. Fela Kuti - Zombie
Two very good samples of black music but my vote goes without hesitation to Fela Kuti and the exciting sound of afro-beat. The guitars, the horns, the beat, the voices, the message, everything is outstanding there.
3. The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go vs. Kevin Coyne - Marjory Razorblade
Kevin Coyne has been one the discoveries of MA3 for me (and there has been quite a lot). But "Where Did Our Love Go" was Holland-Dozier-Holland golden moment in album, and that's saying a lot. This team of composers-producers were going to produce many more gems for Motown (including "Nowhere to Run", "You Can't Hurry Love" or "Reach Out I'll Be There") but this album that included their first five singles with The Supremes really defined a sound (some could say even a time in history).
4. The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge vs. The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
The Chameleons are the favourite band ever of a good friend of mine (in fact we've played a cover of "Swamp Thing" many times on stage). They are nowhere near for me (not even in my Top 100) but I find their "epic post-punk" sound (if I'm allowed to call it like that) quite enjoyable. Moreover "Script of the Bridge" is not my favourite album from them (it is "Strange Times") but it includes my favourite song, "Up the Down Escalator".