Real Stinkers

There was a recent thread about consecutive great albums by your favorite artists. How about turning it on it's head? What is the WORST album by your FAVORITE artist. The one where they REALLY stunk up the joint? The one that it pained you to listen to? The one where everybody went "What were they thinking?"

I'll start off, at the risk of picking a fight - Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboys by Elton John. Except for "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", I never really cared for the rest of the album.
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones "Left of Cool". Terrible lite jazz!
Diana Krall "the look of love"
Dawn Explosion by Captain Beyond. They hit the wall pretty hard there.
"Picnic" by Robert Earl Keen. In addition to the embarassment of losing one's muse so publicly, the engineers lent the album an unbelievably screechy sound, perhaps to distract one from the banal lyrics.
Seems much harder to pick the worst than the best due to the very painful amout of time required for a proper comparison. At the very beginning of time spent with an old girlfriend, she touted Henry Gross like he was the second coming. Oh, I just hadda hear "Show Me to the Stage". Maybe not the worst LP, but surely the most disappointing.
Chris Rea "Watersign" the first and probably the WORST one.
Santana's "Supernatural" -- Welcome to pop and commercial, Carlos!
Paul Simon - You're The One

Sappy and dull. Sounds like he was forced to write songs under a time crunch. Poor attempts at humor. I listened several times (hoping it would grow on me) and then threw it away.
I'd disagree with Left of Cool and substitute Outbound. Left of Cool was the first disc without Howard and represents fundamentally a different band. Outbound had too many guests and lacked focus. The new double disc is going to be great though, the new stuff came off great live.
Anything by King Crimson after the "Discipline" band's trio of recordings. Fripp needs a new direction with a new group. Get a sax player at least, Bob.
Anything by Sting.
Neil young Road rock DVDA.......not so much the music...but the sound quality...sounds like a tin can....worse than average redbook cd quality sound....Don't know what the producer was thinking about.
Ivanj, I could say "Anything by Eagles" but they're not my FAVOURITE artists as the author mentioned.
Up by Peter Gabriel
Anything by Genesis or Phil Collins
I've always enjoyed the music of the Talking Heads and David Byrnes's solo efforts. However, I was very disappointed in his lastest release after 4 years: Look into the Eyeball.

I find, Look into the Eyeball lacks the creative energy, passion, and rhythm of David Byrne's previous releases.
Great question...I'll have to give it some thought...but in a little broader overall thought:.. It seems, to me, that many artists that I have enjoyed through the years turn out 2 or 3 great albums...then downhill from there.
Cowboy Junkies "Open" was a big disappointment to me and I'm a big Junkies fan. I love all the rest of their albums. No Cheers on this one. Craig
I kinda gave up on picking up any new Bela albums after Left of Cool so I've never heard Outbound. I know the band changed composition, but that didn't necessarily mean they had to change musical direction as well. Anyway I stand by Left of Cool out of ignorance of later releases I guess.
Bela Fleck "Live Art" -- heard them live and loved them then I bought the cd and it had no live feel and was just kind of boring.
Also, Chick Corea "Childrens Songs" -- I just never connected with the music.
Fun topic. Happy New Year Everyone!
Love Beach-ELP.
Live Art is my absolute favorite cd....different strokes I suppose.
Vapor Trails by rush would be my vote. Has to be the poorest recording I've heard among bands that usually submit stellar recordings.
I also think "Love Art" is fabulous. One of my favorites.
Folks, I'll give it another shot. I listened to it the next day after the concert and the live feel simply wasn't there -- the cd sounded stuffy so the music sounded boring. I'll try cleaning it with some of the cd fluid I got from Music Direct and will submit my report tomorrow. Again, I love Bela Fleck and loved the concert -- that's why this cd was very disappointing.
Everyday by the Dave Matthews Band!
I nominate Rickie Lee Jones 'Ghostyhead'
Rickie Lee Jones, Live At Red Rock -- inexplicably crappy sound from someone whose records have always seemed to be made with care. I don't even know if the interpretations are any good... the sonics are so annoying.
Mdoughty & Jond, thanks for your comments. I listened to Live Art again (I only listened to it once, it sounded so bad). Since my initial listen, I replaced my amps, preamp, speakers, I2S cable, listening room (much more alive), outlets -- and added dedicated lines -- and had my cd player cleaned/repaired. Maybe that's it, because Live Art sounds great now! Who knows, maybe I just had wax in my ears before ;-) Of course, I'll tell myself that all those new purchases were worth every penny!
In any case, it pays to listen more than once. Thanks -- I just added to my music collection by removing something from my junk bin. Hmmm ... I wonder how many others ...?
Jackson Browne, Lawers In Love
Dirt Band, American Dream
Seems like a true blue audiophile response. If the CD sounds bad change the system.
What a crack up! Captain Beyond! Haven't heard that name in quite a few years. That first one was an indispensible 70's longhair stoner record, the critics hated it, but it was one that you hung onto. They could have made it different, but better? The feel you pick up from certain records isn't quantifiable... Man if I could find one of those old green army coats, maybe there'd be a roach in one of the pockets.
Anyway, the first one worked, IMHO the rest of their stuff was different, but fell way short of being better or even good.

The first two B.O.C. records had a certain atmosphere and power nothing else came close to (maybe Mahavishnu Orch. Inner Mounting Flame), but their records after that had some real duds on em' and the image went down the toilet when I saw Buck Dharma in a gold and white Elvis jumpsuit on the Merv Griffin show (around the time of their Agents of Fortune album). He could have subbed for the guitar player in Slade. Hey they're not bad live though, and they're smart enough to mostly do stuff from the 1st two records.
Anything after Eliminator by ZZ Top. They used to get funky, but MTV popularity killed them.
I will second Picnic by Robert Earl Keen, Walking Distance is a wonderful album surrounded by two of his mediocre CDs.

I will also throw in All You Cant Leave Behind by U2.
Zooropa by U2. I love U2 but I sure wish they'd have kept anything from that album off of the Zoo TV concert video. I saw the pre-Zooropa version of Zoo TV in Anaheim and it was one of the best concerts ever.
Mirror Ball by Neil Young w/ Pearl Jam. Could have been great with a little more time and Crazy Horse.
Second Coming by the Stone Roses...after what many consider the greatest debut of all time to this royal lemon of an album...has to be the worst follow up ever....
In my opinion the first 2 King Crimson albums are spectacular in their ability to lay lush soundscapes that take you away. The others I cannot decipher. KC is one of my favorite groups and I have The MFSL album In the Court plus my 2nd or 3rd CD. Last one is 24 bit. There was an SACD coming out in 2003-4 but it was scrapped. Their new 5CD boxed set focusing on their first album is on my wish list! It contains 4 different versions of their first release plus one 5.1 DVD with some live material!. I think that may qualify as a record. A long lost master tape was found recently. It was misplaced from the beginning and when it was mixed on a tape machine with misaligned heads the sound was forever flawed. In the wake of Poseidon off their 2nd album is one of the most beautiful songs. I just relistened to my 4 CD best of box set last week and just could not get into it.
Might be hard to top Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" which -IMHO- is truly unlistenable. Reed has done some great stuff, some not-so- great stuff, some really shaky stuff, and MMM.


PS I was a bit suprised to see RE Keen's Picnic listed by Viridian, (with whom I agree more often than not) and seconded by Jposs. It was more pop/rock inflected than most of Keen's other records, but I thought it was very good in its own way. IIRC, it got very strong reviews and sold well, too. OTOH, I would acknowledge that popularity doesn't equal quality and that the SQ definetly leaves something to be desired. Different strokes, I guess.
"Heavy Metal Music" was reputed to be Reed's attempt at a non-listenable, non-commercial recording done only to complete his contractual obligation to RCA. Don't think of it as a Lou Reed album. It's an album by The Artist Formerly Known As Lou Reed.
bob dylan desire cd is the worst sounding music i have. love the songs just not the sound
How can you not forget Doo-bop by Miles?

You might be right about the contract thing, but you might not be. No one seems to be certain what Reed was thinking (per the original post). AFAIK, Reed has never acknowledged that the record was a joke, (although the lingering risk of potential liability associated with doing so could explain that). As of last spring, so many years later when retribution by his label would seem unlikely, he defended the record in an interview I saw (can't recall where). In that piece, he maintained that the record was a breakthrough in "post metal". Was he just joking? Maybe, but a quick web search turns up a number of folks out there who, incredibly enough, agree with that assessment and take the record seriously.

Since the OP asked for a really bad release by a favorite artist that made you wonder "What was he thinking?", I'll stick with my assertion that MMM is the about the purest answer to that question that I know of.

Draw the Line by Aerosmith-they were awesome up til then. Also Undercover by the Stones
Martykl, I heard that story about "Metal Machine Music" back when it was originally released. A manager at Sam Goody's told me and he also said nearly every copy sold was returned. Personally I think Lou Reed was serious about the music, it's his intent that is the unknown.
St. Anger by Metallica. As if the music wasn't bad enough, the sound quality is so much worse. Hard to believe it got a few very positive reviews when it came out. It's a great drink coaster for me now.

Load and ReLoad weren't very good either, but both had a few very good songs IMO. It should have been released as a single album without the garbage tracks.
Any thing by the rolling groans.
Really? "Beggars Banquet"?, "Let It Bleed"?, "Sticky Fingers", "Exile On Main Street"? Come on now!
Jagger can not sing-only real musician in the band is roy wood.Any amatuer high school band can learn to play a stones song in one afternoon.And none of the band members have a personality.
Roy Wood - are you sure? :)

You underestimate the skill necessary in playing Blues. Charlie Watts is a good drummer. It is Ron not Roy. Keith Richards is also regarded as one of the great guitarists.

However in a way I agree about Mick but Mick has penned many good tunes and has kept the band together all these years. They wouldn't be the Stones with Mick.