The 50 Worst Albums Ever!
Day 1: criminal concept albums. Plus: have your say!
The new issue of Classic Rock features a rundown of the 50 Worst Albums Ever. From incomprehensibly awful solo records to ill-advised dabblings with gay disco, it’s a litany of disaster that shows exactly what happens when albums go bad.
Inside the issue you’ll find the likes of Kiss’s Gene Simmons, Queen’s Brian May and Keith Emerson of ELP defending – or, in some cases, apologising for – their actions.
Over the next few days we’ll take a closer look at all 50 of these solid-gold stinkers here on the Classic Rock website.
First up are the most criminal concept albums ever unleashed on the world. Fasten your seat belt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
1 Kiss – Music From ‘The Elder’
The Pan-Stik’d rock titans dropped a bollock the size of Jupiter with this bafflingly bad tale of one boy’s standagainst extra-terrestrial invaders. So embarrassing that Ace Frehley left the band soon afterwards. Gene Simmons puts the record straight in the new issue of Classic Rock, but here’s the God Of Thunder’s uber-syrupy ballad A World Without Heroes – closer to Diana Ross than Kiss!
Redeeming Track: Not much to choose from, although at least The Oath kicked something approaching arse.
2 Billy Idol – Cyberpunk
Oh, William, what were you thinking when you recorded this honkingly terrible electro-rock concept album inspired by Neuromancer and ‘the interweb’? If you ever wondered what arena rock would sound like if it was played through an old ZX Spectrum, first single Shock To The System provided the answer: terrible.
Redeeming Track: The Happy Mondays-go-rock cover of the Velvet Underground’s Heroin. If only for comedy value.
3 Jon Anderson – Olias Of Sunhillow
What was the problem with the Yes singer’s 1976 solo album? Was it the hobbits-from-outer space storyline? Was it Anderson’s kettle-whistle voice? Was it the awful cover? Nope, it was the songs. They were shit. Here’s a frankly barmy taster. Warning: contains warbling.
Redeeming Track: Uncharacteristically restrained closer To The Runner.
4 Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, The Bee Gees and more – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: OST
No matter how much you might hate Paul ‘Thumbs Aloft’ McCartney or Ringo ‘Bearded Berk’ Starr, the poor fellas did nothing to deserve this 1977 all-star mugging of The Beatles’ classic album for an equally risible film. Alice Cooper and Peter Frampton lined up alongside the Bee Gees, Paul ‘Just Good Friends’ Nicholas and – oh yes – Frankie Howerd doing When I’m 64.
Redeeming Track: Aerosmith made a decent fist of Come Together, ensuring they emerged from the debacle with their reputation intact.
Now it’s your turn. We want you to tell us the albums you think are worse than the ones on our list. Email your nomination with a few words as to why it’s such a stinker to firstname.lastname@example.org, headed ‘The Real Worst Album Ever’. We’ll print the best suggestions in next month’s issue of Classic Rock.
Come back tomorrow for more on The 50 Worst Albums Ever.