The Let Downs -Most Disappointing Albums
51 6.61. Let's Dance - David Bowie
After all these years, I still can't figure out WTF went wrong with this album...
This is a special album for good and bad, I'll start with the good.
The introduction to Stevie Ray Vaughan into the world...and the bad, this was the end of Bowie's long run.
No matter how you look at it, this album was a major disappointment. Let's ignore the Stevie Ray factor for a minute and really take this into notice. Before this abomination, Bowie had a streak going. Starting in 1976 with Station to Station, then the epic Berlin trilogy where he worked with Brian Eno from 1977-1979. Then in 1981, with Scary Monsters, the man proved he still had his game on going into the new decade of the 1980's.
The Stevie Ray factor - The only good thing about this album is his godly presence. Bowie picked up SRV after he was blown away watching him perform at the Montraeux Jazz Festival. So with Bowie knowing the full potential of the guitar player he chose, there should be a lot more heavy Texas R&B and Blues shuffling going on, but there isn't. And anyone that listens to this knows straight up, if it weren't for the solos in China Girl and the title track, no one would give a damn about this album or try to defend it.
With the big momentum built up after Scary Monsters, and then having one of the best guitar players to ever live on this album, that's why it's Number 1. And sadly, the title track is remembered in the top 5 of Bowie's songs, right up there with Golden Years and Rebel Rebel.
There is one good thing on this album, I have to admit -
Cat People (Putting Out Fire With Gasoline)
Stevie Ray just tears it to pieces on this track, rips it a new one. This song is what the entire album should have sounded like.
28 7.22. It's Only Rock 'N Roll - The Rolling Stones
What went wrong with the Rolling Stones?
You could spend your entire life trying to figure that out, and come up with the same answer as you did in the beginning.
This album alone had a lot to live up to. It's very hard to exceed the albums that came before IORNR. The Stones had their " famous streak" starting in 1967 and ending here in 1974, but why did this album have to be a failure when Goat Head Soup still showed promise?
MICK TAYLOR LEAVING THE BAND
Mick Taylor will always be my favorite Rolling Stone. You ever sit there and wonder why the Stones have sounded so flat since this album? There you have it. When Mick Taylor was in the band, you got the best work. He made the real Blues roots come out of them, and they sounded like what they always were meant to be, a Blues Rock Band. Forgot all that shit you hear about how Kieth Richards' being one of the best guitar players of all time, and listen to Mick Taylor's solo in Time Waits For No One. I love Kieth too, but he didn't do all those solos on Sticky Fingers, and Exile, yet he gets all the credit.
Ronnie Wood is no Mick Taylor either (I seen the Stones live myself to tell you he can't play his solos worth a shit), but it's not all his fault this album was a disappointment. Mick Jagger should have went to his knees and begged Taylor to come back and finish this album.
This solo shows the album had potential to be a great one
44 5.33. Risk - Megadeth
You knew this was coming, Metal fans....
Megadeth was probably my favorite band as a teenager. They gave me a reason to be angry (and indeed I was a hateful punk!) and also gave me reason to believe in music.
While many people say Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings were disappointments, I actually liked them. Granted, it's not as good as Peace Sells or Rust In Peace, but they were still good albums, but even so, the writing was on the wall...It was just a matter of time before Megadeth put out a real stinker...
Then Risk came...The album itself sounds nothing like Megadeth, and everyone knows, this was the end. Dave Mustaine still has not found a guitar player to match Marty Friedman (no disrespect there, I LOVED that guy he had on United Abominations, and Chris Broderick is a great guitar player)but this album just felt like the end of many things. The whole "Crush 'Em" song being a wrestling anthem at the time just felt like it was sucking the life out of this band.
Luckily Dave got it back together, and Megadeth didn't die from this album thankfully (United Abominations and Endgame were great top notch records)
The only good song
24 6.54. Ram It Down - Judas Priest
"Thousand of cars and a million guitars
Screaming with power in the air
We've found the place where the decibels race
This army of rock will be there..."
Words cannot express my reaction to this album when I first got my hands on it. First off, cool album cover, Priest albums had nice covers. The screeching intro of Halford's wailing, that annoying drum, then a nice guitar solo, but then you start listening to the lyrics....Your jaw drops....you start wondering. "Is this really Judas Priest?", wait what? Thousands of cars, and a million guitars!? This can't be Judas Priest! No way! That don't sound like thoughtful lyrics like 'The Sentinel' or 'Beyond the Realms of Death'!
On a scale, this is the worst Judas Priest album to date. The lyrics I posted is just a good example of horribly written cheese at it's finest. I try to over look this album, because in the 80's most bands were so fueled in that embarrassing era of glam rock (Men dressing up like strippers and prostitutes) but I somewhat felt bad for KK Downing and Glenn Tipton here. Priest, has never half assed their music, until Ram It Down. Even though the lyrics are absolutely terrible, the axe men still wrote some nice speedy solos. As far as the terribly written lyrics are, when you have read titles such as "Heavy Metal" and "I'm a Rocker" and "Monsters Of Rock" you are probably already laughing at it.
But the real problem here, is the cover and butchering of Chuck Berry's Johnny B Good. I know Johnny B Good has been covered countless times, but I never thought in my right mind that Priest would totally butcher that song. Just listen to their cover version of Diamonds and Rust, and you know they can do better, much better.
The only positive out of this negative was the transition. Tipton and Downing delivered speed metal influenced solos on this album. Their next album "Painkiller" carried the same style of speed metal solos, but it wasn't a disappointment. Painkiller is by far one of their best albums ever made, but we have to give it to the disappointment of Ram It Down to forcing them to finally give us another classic record.
94 6.25. No Prayer for the Dying - Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden was probably the best Heavy Metal band in the 80's and they went a long time, they were like the Stones back in the 70's...I am talking about "streak" having album after album after album that delivers total excellence.
Most people say Maiden's streak started when Bruce Dickerson entered the band, but I like to say it started with the first album. Don't discount their first 2 albums, Paul DiAnno or Bruce Dickinson, from 1980-1987, all their albums were worth Gold to me, They absolutely refused to put out a half assed record.
Before No Prayer For the Dying, Maiden had proved so many people wrong with the albums Somewhere In Time, and 7th Son of a 7th Son. But after those great albums, no one had a clue they would start to decline....
Then Adrian Smith left the band...
Now first off, I am going to clear this up. The disappointment and lack luster in No Prayer For the Dying has nothing to do with hating on Janick Gers. (This isn't like my Ronnie Wood/Mick Taylor comparison) The guy is a good guitar player, but filling in the shoes of Adrian Smith is a big job, and it don't help when the band seems to have lost an edge from their previous albums.
When compared to all their previous albums, No Prayer comes off very sloppy. Just the opening song, Tailgunner pretty much sums up what to start expecting. Holy Smoke reminds me more of an 80's Judas Priest song (I DO NOT compare Maiden and Priest. Without Priest, there would no Maiden). The single here, Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter is possibly the worst single Maiden has ever released. I don't know what all went wrong with this record, but this was when Iron Maiden as a band truly started to die for me. When Adrian left the band, it was like a downward spiral, similar to the Stones when Mick Taylor left the band, but I am going to praise Iron Maiden's last decade. 'Brave New World' was a really good album, and they proved people wrong that they still could write a good record all these years later.
Compare this to any song from 7th Son of a 7th Son and you see how disappointing it sounds.
18 5.96. Dark Side of the Spoon - Ministry
Why? Just why?
I loved Ministry as a teenager. I got 2 of their albums in a pawnshop as a kid and was hooked...I remember buying Psalm 69 back in '94 and loving the record. Then Filth Pig came out, I bought it the week it was released. Despite all the negative backlash Filth Pig received, I liked it. It's not the best Ministry album, but it has it's moments, and a really nice cover of Lay Lady Lay.
Though the writing was on the wall with Filth Pig. The album just reeked with problems, you could tell Heroin was getting the best of Al Jourgensen. Then Dark Side of the Spoon came out, and it was very, very obvious.
Just by looking at the album cover, I had a bad feeling about this album. Then I heard Bad Blood, and was mind blown. It sounded great! Like old Ministry...but when I sat down and listened to Dark Side of the Spoon, I was very shocked at how much it lacked.
Ministry gets it's kicks off with aggression. Think about Woody Allen as a director; his films are always amusing and everything he does has something amusing. With Ministry, it's the rage, the sheer anger that makes you want to kick the chair. This even goes for With Sympathy (which Al did write), that synth pop tune "Revenge" was so full of hate, it pretty much made the album. With Dark Side of the Spoon, I just didn't feel any kicks of anger outside of Bad Blood. The whole album just sounds really cheap and half assed. Bad Blood could have been on Filth Pig, and it would have made it one of the best Ministry albums to date.
5 67. Abigail II: The Revenge - King Diamond
King Diamond was one of my favorites growing up. I taught myself how to play the guitar by listening to his album Abigail and his band Mercyful Fate's, first 2 records (Melissa and Don't Break the Oath)
This is a bit off the wall to compare, but the thing I loved the most about Jazz legend Miles Davis, is that the man never went back to his old sounds of the past just to sell records. Miles got egged on by critics for the last 20 years of his life, people begged him to go back to his late 50''s and early 60's Jazz sounds, but the man never, ever went back to his catalog just to sell records like he used to.
When King Diamond decided 15 years later that he would write a "sequel" to his classic album, it was a means of selling. This is exactly how I feel about the Star Wars prequels, they were stories that did not need to be told.
The story to Abigail ended on the final track, but for the sake, the story here totally ruins it. It's pretty bad when when King decided to make Jonathon a creepy guy that thinks Abigail is Miriam. His life should have ended when she pushed him down the stairs in the first album with that, there was absolutely no need to tell this story and ruin the first album's creepy horror story.
The disappointment is more in the music than the storyline though. It's so hard to replicate an old sound you had 15 years ago. Countless bands have tried it and failed miserably, as does King here. This is in no way like Abigail and turns out sounding more like King's newer work which is more power rock than melodic metal.
164 6.18. eMOTIVe - A Perfect Circle
There's a lot of failure in super group bands, but A Perfect Circle proved people wrong when they came out of the woodwork. I absolutely was in love with Thirteenth Step. It was like a breath of fresh air, and I never was a big tool fan, and absolutely hated Marilyn Manson, yet Jerodie White on Bass proved just how talented he really is, as the rest of these musicians did.
First off, eMOTIVe is a cover album. Now first I must say, the fact these are all covers, is not the problem of the album. There is great cover albums when bands don't totally half ass and put barely any effort into the songs.
Only two songs aren't covers. Passive, which was written by Trent Reznor, yet sounds like a Tool song. Then "Counting Bodies Like Sheep......" this is a remix of 'Pet' from Thirteenth Step, a VERY VERY BAD remix. Take out a good guitar solo and a song of rhythm for some pointless drum loops.
These covers are some of the most lazy versions I have ever heard.
Particular the version of Depeche Mode's "People Are People", I know there's been countless versions of this song, but they totally half assed this one, and it sounds nothing like the original. If I want a depressing album of covers.
The WORST cover on this album is the absolute butchering of (what I am guessing to be) Led Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks". If you're going to cover that song, you better play guitars, Jimmy Page deserves some kind of admiration for his solo work. APC just pissed that song away, without even trying to attempt to give it justice.
I don't listen to Punk Rock to compare the Black Flag cover or any of the others, but they all sound exactly the same. Just half assed, lazy, depressing covers. Even upbeat Happy tone songs like When the Levee Breaks and People Are People.
Worst cover album ever, and sadly it had a lot of potential to be good after the success of Thirteenth Step.
36 6.29. Turbo - Judas Priest
This belongs on this list for many reasons. No matter how you look at it with Judas Priest, they had everyone loving it with their great albums in the 80's. They came out with British Steel, then Screaming for Vengeance, then Defenders of the Faith was even better. After 3 albums back to back to back that had them getting better and better, no one really expected a bad album.
This was before Ram It Down and with that, it's probably a worse album, but the real problem was Turbo felt like a sell out. It's hard to believe they went from Freewheel Burning to "I'm your Turbo Lover! Tell me there's no other!" and such cheesy horrible lyrics like Parental Guidance and "Get your hands off private property" .
I think this album just proved in the 80's that bands were not bullet proof and made of steel. Similar to the Stones in the 70's, all good runs eventually come to an end. I carry on with Priest, every album up to Turbo, including their 70's work, were masterpieces.
17 710. Speak of the Devil - Ozzy Osbourne
This album seems to be forgotten as time goes by. Even when remastering works came for Ozzy's catalog, he has tried to erase this album, as it's now out of print, and only copies of the original or 1995 remaster are hard to come across.
After Randy Rhoads' tragic death, Ozzy put out a live album of just Black Sabbath songs. It already was a disaster in the making.
Randy Rhoads himself claimed he hated playing the old Black Sabbath songs with Ozzy, and chronicled by his sisters, he used to complain about it. One with guitar experience can easily tell, because he plays Children of the Grave very angry, and somehow manages to make it sound so much better than the originals.
The thing with Speak of the Devil is that it's just a bad idea to begin with, but time has been so mean to this album, I almost feel terrible putting it on this list.
More embarrassingly, the album claims it was recorded recorded at The Ritz in New York on the 26th and 27 September 1982. Yet backin 2007, engineer and producer Max Norman admitted that 3 of the songs were recorded from a rehearsal in studio and crowd noise was edited in there (didn't say which songs though) So maybe there is a reason Ozzy has tried to erase this album.
71 711. Coda - Led Zeppelin
I probably shouldn't include this album, but I felt it to be a big disappointment.
Released after John Bonham's death, most of these songs were never released, some during sessions of Led Zeppelin III, but the album sounds like those songs that didn't need to be released. As if the band was just scraping the bottom of the barrel to cash in some money after the death of Bonham.
But we have to give it to Led Zeppelin. Page and Plant deserve a lot of credit for letting this be the end and not replacing their drummer just to keep it going. It wouldn't have been the same with another guy in the band. Both Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have done some nice solo work since then.
8 512. Season of Poison - Shiny Toy Guns
I don't listen to too much Electronic stuff anymore. After I grew up, I stopped listening to keyboards, but when I heard Shiny Toy Guns' We Are Pilots, I had a soft spot and they were immediately my new guilty pleasure.
Similar to other albums, there is a major problem here in the line up.
Female vocalist Carah Faye Charnow is not on this album
And with that, they lose 50% of what makes their band. Carah knows how to sing, and that's what made We Are Pilots such a wonderful album, her lovely voice.
Sisely Treasure does not deliver here, and sounds bad with this band. In times she sings far too fast, and then not so much at all. I have no clue why she was on this record when they picked her up off a reality show.
The other problem with Season of Poison is the absence of keyboards. This sounds like a punk rock album rather than a synth pop/electronic album as We Are Pilots did.
18 6.613. Houses of the Molé - Ministry
After falling off the edge of the world in the late 90's, and other albums that no one quite remembers, Ministry tried to make a huge comeback. Houses of the Mole was the comeback album for Al Jourgensen.
Now I don't get into politics and I don't judge this on a political view. When I heard Houses of the Mole the first time, I thought it all sounded the same, and then I seen that something was missing...
Paul Barker left Al Jourgensen.
Now it all made sense. Does anyone wonder why every Ministry album since Paul lefts gets faster and faster and faster to the point it's just really fast loud metal? I know Ministry is known as a one man show now with Al up front, and his beating of a dead horse with politics (Don't tell me Ministry was always political cause Filth Pig, Dark Side, Animosity, were NOT political albums)
Ministry didn't really "comeback" for me. This album just started it all. Everything is bashing into politics, each album gets faster and faster to the point you can't even recognize this band at all anymore.
I say Ministry was all about aggression in times, it was their kicks, but this was just over board. Paul Barker was the person that kept Al together. Al needs Paul just like Axl needs Slash.
9 7.614. Rude Awakening - Megadeth
I have a thing for Live albums. They are the way I judge bands. So when this album came out, I had to go buy it even though the album before (The World Needs A Hero) was very disappointing.
Megadeth after Dave lost his great lineup of Marty Friedman, and Nick Menza, was quite a change. I try not to really give Al Pitrelli a hard time, but as far as Megadeth goes, he was not the best guitar player.
For a set list, this is nice. Lots of old tracks, Ashes In Your Mouth, In My Darkest Hour, She-Wolf. I can ignore all the World Needs A Hero Tracks that sucked, cause they sound better live, but the real disappointment is how butchered the classics are live. Al Pitrelli sounds totally lost on tracks like Hanger 18, Holy Wars, and Tornado of Souls when he's forced to do Marty Friedman's solos. The drums also are not close to top notch, yet Jimmy DeGrasso tries to make up for this with his drum solo in She Wolf. I'm not going to say they suck or are bad musicians because filling in the shoes of Friendman and Menza is very hard work considering how well received their work is with Megadeth.
For a Megadeth album, this could have been better. For a live album, it's OK, just don't like hearing my favorite songs butchered the way they are.
72 7.815. The Great Southern Trendkill - Pantera_II
I used to like Pantera growing up as a teenager. They were one of the hardest and most aggressive bands I listened to. All their albums seemed to grow to a peak, you had Cowboys From Hell, then Vulgar Display of Power, and then Far Beyond Driven, which all had their differences yet sounded like Pantera albums, and didn't over kill things.
My problem with Great Southern Trendkill was this just came off sounding like someone obviously didn't put much time into operating with the band; and I am talking about Phil Anselmo.
Later on I found out that Phil didn't even enter the studio with the band. He decided to record all the vocals elsewhere in another studio while the band did all the hard work without the singer. So then it made sense, all the senseless screaming over kill in certain songs. The title track alone, would be better without the screaming at the intro and then another scream after the first verse. Then the only thing from making Drag The Waters a 5 star song, was hearing those pointless screams again, and last but not least, Suicide Note Pt.2 builds up so momentum to be ruined with Phil's annoying screaming after a solo or verse. Floods is a really good tune I must say, the solo work is tremendous, but one song can't stick a bandaid on all the disappointments such as Sand Blasted Skin, the title track, War Nerve, and so on.
Dimebag Darrell still to this day is one of the few guitar players I really loved in Metal, and he puts a lot of work into these songs and the solos especially, but buying this album after all the height of power form Far Beyond Driven, I was very disappointed.
It comes down to this album and Reinventing the Steel, which were my least favorite Pantera albums, but with Reinventing the Steel, I didn't have high expectations. Not like I did when this album first came out and I saved all my money up for it and came back disappointed in it's rushed sound.
I got to see Pantera live back in 2000 in New Orleans, and my hate for Phil reached sky high. While the music was pretty good, and being just 10 feet away from Dimebag Darrell was incredible, I will remember this concert the most of Phil yelling for the audience to start moshing and start beating one another up, to the point he threatened to walk off stage if he didn't see any head bashing going on. Easily the most violent show I ever attended, some very bad memories at that show.
122 7.116. Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden
I find it hard to believe this is claimed as one of Maiden's "Best albums" cause musically, this was just as bad as No Prayer For the Dying.
Going into the 90's Maiden was already on a decline. Ignore the title track for this album, and does it really have anything memorable?
The title track, Fear of the Dark is a great tune, and the best song they did from the period of when Adrian was not in the band (Not counting the first Iron Maiden album, that is pure classic)
But what was really good on this album other than that?
Be Quick Or Be Dead is an average, 3/5 song, not very memorable...
From Here To Eternity, could actually be worse than Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter. The rest of the album is just straight filler of songs that didn't really fit the mold of classic Maiden.
I actually like No Prayer For the Dying more than I do this album, but my biggest issue is how it seems to be critically acclaimed as a "great" album when it's average at best.
Fear of the Dark is really the perfect example of one great song, and the rest of the album being total filler. You have the song, Fear Of the Dark, classic, good song, but the rest of the album certainly don't live up to it.
262 7.817. 10,000 Days - Tool
When I seen this album, I just had to buy it. Much like other Tool records, you are just hynpotized by the creative packaging of the album, similar to Ænima. I really am not going to say anything bad about that at all. The glasses, and artwork itself was very cool in the 3D lenses. A very creative way to pack a cd, and it wins a vote there for artwork.
But the music, was the major let down. There's a thing with buying an album with a really cool cover, and wondering if you just bought artwork or did you buy an album with music in it too. That was never case with buying Iron Maiden albums. They had the coolest artwork, yet the music was still worth it.
Musically, this was a major let down, cause it all sounds the same. I'm not a big fan of Tool I must admit, yet I don't like complaining about their lengths of songs. Ænima had some long songs on it too, but it was still a great record for the 90's, and it made you think. With songs like "Jambi" and "Wings for Marry" I just felt bored listening to this. It didn't have that push in it like other Tool records. Even the up beat songs like "Vicarious" just sound like something from the past.
44 7.718. Contraband - Velvet Revolver
Love them or hate them, Guns and Roses and Stone Temple Pilots were loved in the 90's, and both shared their hands of good albums.
When you have Slash, and Duff, and then bringing in Scott Wieland, it's hard to think of what was going wrong. Wieland had just cleaned himself up from drugs (again) and it looked like a great project.
When I seen the video for Slither, I had to go out and buy the album. It didn't sound nothing like GNR or STP, which was a breathe of fresh air.
The album itself didn't live up to Slither...Other than Slither, and Fall to Pieces, I only found a handful of songs worth the money I paid for it.
Superhuman is very nice, with a riff that just reeks classic GNR. Sucker Train Blues, also a good song, most of all I loved the unplugged song, You Got No Right
But with those handful of good songs, it just felt Slash could do better than this. Everyone knows him from his slamming guitar riffs in GNR. Slash is one of the best out there, he can make his guitar scream and don't need a lot of effects to do it. So why does everything sound so bland tuned down in Drop D? It just don't sound a lot like Slash when he's using dropped down tunings and not a lot of melodic riffs. Lyrically, there is some great lyrics here, like Superhuman and Sucker Train Blues, but songs like Big Machine, and Do It For the Kids could have been better. Most the lyrics around drugs all around the same out come of "you gotta quit, you gotta quit."
I feel bad to hate on this record, cause songs like Fall to Pieces and Superhuman rock out, but still could have been a bit better, for a super group like this, and of all these albums on this, this is the one I liked the most.
2 019. Machine + Soul - Gary Numan
I like to consider myself a "loyal" Numan fan. Even when the critics first started to write him off with the album Dance, I was still loyal. Most of what other bands were doing in the 80's were straight up rip offs of what he did in the late 70's, and so I had every album, even the ones that people laugh about such as The Fury and Strange Charm (Great underrated albums) but all that changed with Machine/Soul.
When this album came out, it was immediately the "worst album ever" by Gary Numan. That's believable, even Numan himself years later admits it was a disaster. But this album practically started his decline, making Metal Rhythm his last good album. Surely I think his worst album is probably Pure or Jagged, but Machine + Soul was when he finally ran out of fuel in his long tank.
The title track itself Machine/Soul is god awful, and going through, Poison and The Skin Game just reek of horror. If you really sit down and look at Gary Numan's career, he could have actually survived the mid 80's, if he wasn't so worried about what critics thought of him. His whole "Oh no, they don't like this, they don't like my new album" is what has driven him to become the very thing he is today, trying to sound just like people he influenced 30 years ago.
I feel bad even putting this album on here, cause it's so awful and disappointing, yet his whole "come back" with Pure and Jagged were an even bigger disaster when they sound like something straight out of Trent Reznor's closet, despite the fact without Gary Numan, there would no Trent Reznor.
23 6.520. Black and Blue - The Rolling Stones
Probably not a rather shock, as the Stones already were starting to decline when Mick Taylor left the band. This was their first album with Ronnie Wood in the lineup (It's Only Rock and Roll had solos written by Taylor) and here is just a prime example of what would later come in the future from almost every album (with the exception of Some Girls).
This is basically how the Stones sound now. All flat without that tone giving them the electric vibe. They try out some reggae sounds here on a few songs and it does not work out well. Interesting enough is that they were still rehearsing guitar players on this album, so Ronnie Wood wasn't even much of a member it seemed, they should might as well admit that Mick Taylor was really the bread and butter that made Sticky Fingers, Exile, and Goat Head Soup.
This is an album I have forgotten about, but it's not a shock. Their next album Some Girls is considered a classic, and I did like it, I call it their "last good album" cause it was what it was, and it's good despite the flat sound on some songs. Since Some Girls, the Stones only had one more good record, and that was from old songs re-done (Tattoo You)
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