Every once in a while, I hear something from the past and am reminded that every once in a while, someone we love makes a bad song…a very bad song.

Call it what you will.  It could be that the sessions yielded not much worthy of putting on an album, but still, an album has to come out.  Labels (and fans) demand it.  And so, unwisely, the band puts it out maybe even knowing that the stuff is bad.

I’m brutal.  I don’t hesitate to call something bad even if from a band I love.  I don’t like giving passes to a band who should be more diligent in creating good stuff, even if the stuff isn’t as good as previous music.  But bad?  No excuse.

Sometimes, a band makes a bad album and it is a beginning slide that never really stops.  Feel free to indicate those too.

For the genuine sake of this commentary, let’s only choose music from bands and artists that you like.  (We can do just plain bad stuff from anyone later.)

You can choose a single song or go for the whole album.

Post away.

By MARowe

27 thoughts on “That’s The Worst!”
  1. Looks like you are back up. Glad to see it Matt. What a PITA it must be.

    OK. I’ll throw an obvious one out there Van Halen 3

  2. I have one. There are some okay songs on this CD, but overall the worst CD I have heard recently is Wrecking Ball from Bruce Springsteen.

  3. “T-Bone” from the best-forgotten Neil Young/Crazy Horse dud Re-ac-tor (1981). Nine minutes of wretched guitar wailing set to a single line “Got my mashed potatoes, ain’t got no T-bone” repeated ad nauseum. Neil Young is my favorite artist but this song is absolute torture and if his head wasn’t into making music, he shouldn’t have bothered.

  4. I love everything Beatles, but “Revolution #9” was a bad track. It’s interesting, but should have never made it on an album.

  5. Emerson Lake amp; Palmer Love Beach, even the album jacket is bad. I love the Beatles but never understood releasing Revolution 9 or You Know My Name Look Up the Number. Even the best are entitled to a bad one here and there. Welcome back Matt!

  6. Alice Cooper’s “I Am Made Of You” from Welcome 2 My Nightmare. No autotuning in my rock-n-roll please!!!!!!

  7. Marianne Faithful – “Why’da Do It”. Marianne why did you do it?
    and
    Don Covay- “Poontang” from Ad Lib. Would have worked far better as an instrumental.

      1. The song not the album. That song was the only blemish on the album. It is because of that song that I have not purchased any MF best ofs or for that matter replaced my vinyl copy of Broken English.

  8. You have to admit, what Revolution #9 lacks as a “song”, it makes up for as a historical footnote regarding the mindset of; the late 60’s pop culture, John Lennon himself, and how big The Beatles were that they could get away with it.

    number 9, number 9, number 9… I’m mentally in balance… number 9, number 9, number 9…

  9. Worst albums by great bands :

    Calling All Stations by Genesis
    Unmasked and Psycho Circus by KISS
    St Anger by Metallica
    Ballbreaker by AC/DC
    Forbidden by Black Sabbath
    Cyclorama by Styx
    the mix of Vapor Trails by Rush (songs were better live and on Retrospective 3)
    Seeger Sessions by Bruce Springsteen
    Long Road Out of Eden by The Eagles
    In the Hot Seat by ELP
    Jugulator and Demolition by Judas Priest
    The X Factor and Virtual XI by Iron Maiden
    The Final Cut and A Momentary Lapse of Reason by Pink Floyd (the former is great musically but lyrically dated whilst the latter was excellent but was superior in live recordings)
    Free As a Bird by Supertramp
    A Different Kind of Truth by Van Halen
    Endless Wire by The Who (missing John Entwistle though still great)
    Band of Gypsies by Jimi Hendrix
    Let it Be by The Beatles
    Made in Heaven by Queen
    original version of Coda by Led Zeppelin
    anything King Crimson did after Court of the Crimson King
    Yes – Talk (all albums after stunk)

    1. Terrence, while many of these are ones I’d agree with there’s three that I just can’t let pass without comment:

      The Seeger Sessions? That’s a great, fun, spirited album that’s easiyly the best thing Springsteen has done since the 80s. Maybe that’s a damning statement towards Bruce’s last 25 years of songwriting, but the Sessions album is a joyous celebration of Americana with great, important songs that still resonate today. Also, the tour supporting that album is one of the best shows I’ve seen in the past decade. I’d much rather see Bruce continue to work with that band than the E Streeters now.

      Band of Gypsies is a classic. Hendrix expanded on his sound, and I think it was just the first sign of great new things to come had he lived on. It’s not Are You Experienced, Electric Ladyland, or even Axis, but it’s still great. I will always wonder where Jimi would’ve gone with his music in the 70s and beyond.

      Let It Be is a solid, excellent album on its own terms, but it’s fair to be critical of Spector’s lavish production, and how the polish takes away from some key tracks (the title song, Across the Universe, and especially The Long and Winding Road). Those songs are still great though, but the original intention of the sessions (and the planned “Get Back” album) would’ve been even more interesting. Regardless, given how much bad music is out there, I’m not sure how Let It Be, or anything by The Beatles, could make this list.

  10. The acoustic remake of “Layla” by Eric Clapton.
    Completely sucked all the urgency and passion out of a brilliantly done song and turned it into a 50’s lounge lizard piece of crap.

    1. Bob, I’m certainly tired of hearing the acoustic “Layla” (which still gets a lot of radio play, it seems) but, at the time of the Unplugged concert and album, it was something of a radical reinvention of the song. At the time, it was unique and fun to hear that song reworked into that acoustic form. That whole performance was great, and going “unplugged” was the point of it all. Seeing Clapton play acoustic was a rare treat at that time.

      Since then, however, that album — and specifically “Layla” — has been overplayed to death and anything that was fun about has been sucked dry. I always preferred the original Dominos version too, and it is a shame that it’s overshadowed by the Unplugged take.

  11. Medazzaland by Duran Duran. As a fan from the beginning I had zero expectations left by this time and it still managed to disappoint.
    The new single by The Killers “Runaways” sucks pretty large too.
    Gotta agree with whoever said “Seeger Sessions” by Springsteen. Lifetime fan, die hard even, but that one tested me.
    David Bowie, Tonight and Never Let Me Down…(shiver runs down spine)
    Pink Floyd lite gets bashed pretty regularly, but Roger Waters Radio K.A.O.S. bit pretty hard.
    Can’t even remember the name of The Airborne Toxic Event’s second album, so there’s that one too.
    Anything put out by Genesis after 1986.

    1. Still surprised by the lack of love towards The Seeger Sessions here… After Born to Run and Darkness, it’s the Bruce album I listen to most (although I listen to Nebraska now and then too. And The River or E Street Shuffle on occasion).

      If anything, it’s that Human Touch and Lucky Town crap people should be ragging on here. Or Working On a Dream. Hell, I consider The Rising, Devils and Dust, and Magic to be extremely overrated albums too. Even Wrecking Ball, which I can admire for what Bruce was trying to do and say, hasn’t really grabbed me either.

      Or how about The Ghost of Tom Joad? Apart from the title song and “Youngstown,” that album is dull and just bad. I’d hoped it would it be another Nebraska, but it wasn’t.

  12. I know you asked for songs, but here are some albums. I call them “What Were They Thinking???” albums.

    Captain Beefheart – Unconditionally Guaranteed
    Beau Brummels – 66
    Electric Prunes – Mass in F Minor
    Eric Burdon and the Animals – Eric is Here
    Creedence Clearwater Revival – Mardi Gras
    Vanilla Fudge – The Beat Goes On

  13. Have you heard Neil Young’s latest, Americana? I would say that Neil is the greatest recording artist to have released the largest amount of garbage over the years. It’ comes with being a risk-taker.

  14. After taking exception with some people’s picks, I guess I should offer some of my own. I’ve already said I don’t care for most of Springsteen’s post-80’s output (except for the Seeger Sessions).

    Dylan: Plenty of stinkers here… Self-Portrait, Street Legal, the “Bible Bob” trilogy, and pretty much all of his 80’s output (although Infidels has a handful of great songs, and Oh Mercy is surprisingly good). Also, Under the Red Sky.

    Stones: I can’t say that I hate all of their work after Steel Wheels (the last really good Stones album, IMO) but it’s all sounded so inconsequential since then. Maybe a handful of good songs here and there, but mostly just product to use as an excuse to go on tour.

    McCartney: Wild Life, Red Rose Speedway, London Town, Back To the Egg, and most of his 80’s/90’s output. Amazingly, in recent years Paul’s re-established himself and made some surprisingly strong, excellent albums.

    Allman Brothers: The two albums they made in the early 80s for Arista. Total crap, as Gregg Allman readily admits.

    Gregg Allman: I’m No Angel. I love the title song, even though I felt Gregg wimped out by singing “darn” instead of “damn” in order to get radio play, but most of the rest of the album is marred in slick 80’s production. Worst of all, a duet with Don Freakin’ Johnson? Ugh.

    U2: Zooropa. With apologies to Spinal Tap, a two-word review: Shit Sandwich. The album Pop is really no better, but at least that album has “Staring at the Sun” on it. Their later stuff is better, but like the latter day Stones I find them completely irrelevant now.

    Clapton: That glossy, overproduced mid 80’s junk… Specifically, Behind the Sun and August. Also, Pilgrim from the late 90s (which sounded like it was from the mid 80’s).

    1. Shaun, while I agree with most of what you said the one big exception is your take on Paul McCartney. IMO it was after Wings at the Speed of Sound that Sir Paul began to stumble. Most everything after that only included a good song or two. No truly very good albums. By the way in recent years his voice has lost it’s pleasurable tone.

      1. Hmm, isn’t it funny how an album can be labeled as “sucks” by one fan and “great” by another.
        The McCartney albums that I think stand out as decent albums in their entirety are; “Ram”, “Band On The Run”, “Venus amp; Mars”, “Back To The Egg”, “Flowers In The Dirt” and “Driving Rain” (not counting “Wings Over America” or any other compilation based albums). IMO, all the other albums have a couple of really excellent songs on them and the rest of the album, not so much.

  15. Yardbirds-Little Games (used to love it).
    Animal Collective-Strawberry Jam.
    Pink Floyd-The Division Bell.
    David Crosby-If I Could Only Remember My Name.
    The last Faces album.
    There’s probably hundreds more.

  16. About half of Rush’s “Roll The Bones” album (most of side 2 on the LP version) is comprised of the worst songs the band ever recorded: “Face Up,” “The Big Wheel,” “Neurotica,” “You Bet Your Life”… just a painful load of trite, unlistenable dreck. Alex Lifeson admitted later that album was a “quickie,” mostly written and recorded in a matter of weeks. It shows.

    Tom Scholz completely screwed the pooch with the dreadful “Walk On” album. The Brad Delp/Barry Goudreau valedictory “Rockin’ Away,” released shortly after Delp’s suicide, is a better “Boston” song than anything the actual band called Boston has put out in decades. Boston hasn’t recorded an even moderately good song since “Third Stage,” and beyond “Cool The Engines,” even that album hasn’t aged well.

    When Roger Waters stated that Pink Floyd was “a spent force creatively,” I can only surmise that he had just listened to “The Final Cut.” I’d have had a hard time disagreeing with him at that moment.

    And this is more obscure, but if you’ve ever had the misfortune to hear Aldo Nova’s awful “Twitch” album from the late 80’s, it’s easier to understand why he retired from performing to produce Celine Dion…

  17. The song “Who Dunnit?” by Genesis. I love this band more than any other, but that song is painfully stupid. The 5.1 SACD mix improves it slightly with a silly surround mix, but it can’t turn this turd into gold.

    I have to agree with “Revolution 9” by The Beatles. It’s the one Beatles track I did not put on my iPod, and I still skip it when I listen to the album.

    The album Fugazi by Marillion. Apart from the songs “Assassing” and “Punch amp; Judy”, that is one awful album. Gives prog a bad name.

  18. What’s wrong with Street Legal? It’s a great album, and “Changing of The Guard” is one of Dylan’s best and most personal songs!

    And I’m sorry but “Revolution 9” is fantastic, incredibly influential and decades ahead of its time. Now “Don’t Pass Me By”….. even by Ringo’s standards that’s a stinker.

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