10 Great Classic Rock Artists And Their Albums That Bombed
Well Nobody’s Perfect
The downside to being rock legends is that everyone expects nothing less than stellar. Excellent is always the minimum requirement. Bands like Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Valen – we’ve seen and heard them at their absolute best and so it stands to reason that we generally don’t expect anything less. After all, they showed us just what they’re capable of – musically speaking.
Some of these records were the lame attempts at doing something different, something new and exciting. But that’s always the thing about experimentations, right? It could be flat-out amazing or downright awful.
Here are 10 albums by great rock acts that are…. well, worse than mediocre.
10. Elton John – “Victim of Love” (1979)
Disco isn’t for everyone, just ask Elton John. His foray into uncharted waters was not well-received. Let’s just say it was something that pulled his career to the bottom. John had less-than-perfect records before but this one is simply insufferable.
9. Elvis Presley – “Having Fun with Elvis on Stage” (1974)
There are things that should’ve never seen the light of day. This is one of them. It’s a spoken word concert album – that’s basically a more sophisticated way of saying this includes banter by The King in between songs during his concerts. And the kicker? There are no songs included. Even his most ardent fans found it incredulous.
8. Neil Young – “Storytone” (2014)
This is the sloppiest he’s ever gotten. Not content with using an orchestra to record this, he threw in stripped-down versions of the songs for good measure. Yeah, we’ll pass.
7. KISS – “Music from The Elder” (1981)
They have their share of horrendous albums but this one is truly next level. This album is highly ambitious and way overblown. KISS should’ve left concept albums to prog-rock bands.
6. The Rolling Stones – “Dirty Work” (1986)
After “Exile on Main St.”, we all basically put the Stones on a pedestal. After all, even with their drug-fueled sessions, they came up with a masterpiece so obviously, they can do no wrong. But then, “Dirty Work” came along. It was recorded at a time when Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were at odds and it showed in the album. They just sounded so tired and out of it.
5. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Mardi Gras” (1972)
It’s the band’s final studio album. Writing for the Rolling Stone magazine, Jon Landau called it “Fogerty’s Revenge” because it was made after Tom Fogerty’s departure. It was an absolute mess – an unfortunate end to this legendary group.
4. The Clash – “Cut The Crap” (1985)
It’s every band’s worst nightmare – when whatever worked for them in the past doesn’t work anymore. They wanted to retain that no-nonsense approach to rock. For someone of their caliber, this was a huge letdown. We never imagined them ever churning out something this awful.
3. Van Halen – “Van Halen III” (1998)
Featuring Extreme’s singer Gary Cherone, it was disastrous to say the least. Those who gave them 2 out of 5 stars were simply being generous. No David Lee Roth, No Sammy Hagar – what could go wrong? Everything. It doesn’t even come close to how fiery and aggressive their best albums were. Listening to their debut album and this one – you’d think they weren’t made by the same group – technically, the lineup is different but you know what we mean.
2. Lou Reed and Metallica – “Lulu” (2011)
This ill-fated collaboration that no one asked for was highly perplexing. It was a truly odd musical pairing and that translated to the resulting album. There’s no redeeming quality to be found.
1. Metallica – “St. Anger” (2003)
It’s so bad even their die-hard fans could barely tolerate it. Some say it’s actually okay but we beg to disagree. Metallica basically spit on their hard-earned reputation as one of the finest metal acts with this album.