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Worst album in db?

bgzimmer·6 replies

Worst album in db?
17 years ago
Mar 25, 2006 - 5:00am
We have two contenders for the worst album in the db -- unfortunately (?) I've heard neither:

Mott, "Shouting and Pointing"
Allmusic says: "Shouting and Pointing isn't necessarily unlistenable, since it's so bad that it inspires a sort of perverse fascination. With each track, you can't believe that it can get worse, but it does, culminating in a ludicrously inept reading of the Vanda/Young classic 'Good Times,' the only time those words and this record could reasonably be put in the same sentence. Shouting and Pointing follows the same form as Mott the Hoople, but gets it hideously wrong, resulting in one of the true nadirs of '70s rock."

Attila, "s/t"
Allmusic says: "Many critics, fans, and college students have spent hours debating the serious question of what the worst album in the history of rock actually is. One listen to Attila would provide them with a definitive answer. Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll -- hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila. There's a reason why they're the only heavy rock organ-and-drums duo in the history of rock & roll -- it's an atrocious combination."

Any other candidates?

(By the way, good job by misterpomp getting Billy Joel's bands in the tree. Who'd've guessed Gregg Allman to Billy Joel only took three steps?)
Far too subjective a question
Matt Westwood
17 years ago
Mar 25, 2006 - 8:57am
That Attila album sounds excellent. Must hunt it down.
17 years ago
Mar 25, 2006 - 9:50am
It's all down to musical taste which is the one thing we discuss least around here: a good idea to keep the peace. But since I've been asked; I had this Mott album and have heard the Attila. Mott is pedestrian and uninspired in ways you've never imagined; Attila is a failed and slightly bizarre attempt at what was, probably, a failing concept. That said, there are literally thousands of albums in the dB which would mean neither of them even get a look in for my personal 'worst album'.

PS: Getting Joel in was just a fluke - I was trying to get Ram Jam in and noticed the reference somewhere to Howie Blauvelt having played with Joel.
17 years ago
Mar 27, 2006 - 8:36am
I have often felt that critics and I have completely different ideas of what "bad" is. To them, seemingly, "bad" is something so boringly pedestrian that it fails to inspire any interest at all. To me "bad" is something so cacophonously out of tune, ineptly performed, atrociously mixed and awfully packaged that the entire mixture is downright _offensive_. It actively hurts you to try to listen to it.

In that sense, a couple of the garage bands I've heard are easily the worst bands ever.
17 years ago
Mar 28, 2006 - 8:39am
I think that the contrast between ambition or commercial success on the one hand and musical failure on the other is a good way to measure something (album/artist) as bad.

I agree that there are too many albums worse than, let's say, Attila. But I think this album could qualify as one of the worst albums because of A. its ambitiousness and B. the fact that Billy Joel is in it, who is mainly known for his hit albums.

Then there are abums that once represented quality in some circles (let's say an early Kenny G album), but are regarded as tasteless nowadays- they also have this incongruence in them.

Another good contender for worst album in the db could be 'Two The Hard Way' by Allman and Woman:
"The perversely fascinating thing about this legendary, largely unheard disaster is that, in their Southern and Southern California conceptions of blue-eyed soul, Gregg Allman and Cher really are not that far apart. Allman, steeped in the sound of his blues heroes, emotes convincingly, of course, and Cher can act the part, so their duets aren't entirely without merit, at least when the material is as pedestrian as it is here. Although the music is mostly in Allman's Southern folk-blues-rock style, nobody is asking Cher to sing "One Way Out," and by following her husband's lead most of the time (a habit she no doubt learned with Sonny Bono), she doesn't get into too much trouble. (In fact, on Jackson Browne's "Shadow Dream Song," which wouldn't sound out of place on Allman's Laid Back solo album, you hardly notice her.) And Allman's grittiness frequently makes the songs sound more substantive than they are. Still, it's hard to get over the head-shaking unlikeliness of this musical union, and when they tackle a song standard such as "You've Really Got a Hold On Me" or (God help us!) "Love Me," you can tell how far below Allman's usual standards they actually are."
The way I see it ...
Matt Westwood
17 years ago
Mar 28, 2006 - 5:47pm
A contender for "worst album" would be one where a band has shown their ability to do *so* much better, but instead opts for producing something boring, run-of-the-mill and complacent.

A contender to my mind is Acting Very Strange by Mike Rutherford which is IMO completely unlistenable. When you consider what the man is otherwise capable of (and *nothing* comes close to the sublimity of "Compression", the B-side of his otherwise nondescript "Working In Line" single from about 1979), this has to be one of the contenders for worst.
American Lesion
17 years ago
Apr 4, 2006 - 3:42am
Now that it is up, i have to say that the American Lesion LP is so inanely horrible that it warrants mention in this thread.

I reviewed it at the time it came out and said something like, "Bad Religion likes to pretend 'Into The Unknown' never existed [it wasn't listed in their discography at the time] because it is so embarrassing. Ten years from now, Greg Graffin will pretend like this album doesn't exist as well."
Mapping the Rock 'N Roll genome since 2005