I had the misfortune of spotting Sarah Vaughan's "Songs of the Beatles" at my local record store and, intrigued, I bought it since it was only $2. I'm still traumatized a few hours after listening to it; who and why would ever release a record that bad? I love Sarah as a jazz singer but her rendition of the Beatles' songs is absolutely atrocious. I just can't believe someone made a decision to actually release it.
I think that when great artists in a given genre attempt musical efforts in another style the results are often a disaster. Examples are, Willie Nelson "Countryman" (reggae), Van Morrison "Pay The Devil" (country), Paul Simon's and Sting's recent "classical" offerings - I have blissfully forgotten the titles. Anything by Edgar Meyer and any jazz outing by Yo Yo Ma, etc. It seems classical artists playing jazz make for the most wooden of all performances, the lack of structure seemingly working against decades of training.
The exception to the whole phenomena is Pat Boones "In A Metal Mood. No More Mr. Nice Guy" in which he covers the heavy metal canon, including a salsa tinged reading of "Stairway To Heaven" and an indescribable interpretation of "Smoke On The Water".
Michael Bolton "My Secret Passion". Michael Bolton with undetectable talent to begin with, attacks and butchers classical pieces. On a trip to Thailand they ran a music video of him eviscerating Italian arias. Difficult to look away from a 12 car pile-up with bodies strewn across four lanes of traffic.
Good work Michael, you make Brittany Spears seem positively cerebral.
How about that last Eagles record..I can't remember the title..something about Eden. They sounded like a bad imitation of the Backstreet Boys. Probably the most disappointing album ever released from one of my all time favorite bands. Glen
kitschy but cool...certainly not sara vaughn's finest moment, but hardly a waist of time...as beatles tributes go, keely smith sings the beatles is way better..as is booker t. and the m.g.'s mclemore avenue.
Even my drug-induced coma that most refer to as the eighties couldn't dampen the blow of Eddie Murphy's album. BTW, my fave Shatner cover is "Rocket Man". Like the movies "Mommie Dearest" and "Can't Stop the Music", it's so bad it's good. Which brings up the lament: How come Bruce Jenner never took a stab at singing? No worries though. Other "actors" like Chuck Norris totally fill the void!
The Shatner/Nimoy things are hilarious - I would add Nimoy's If I Had A Hammer to the others mentioned. They were, of course, done tongue-in-cheek. There is an album out there somewhere called Golden Throats, or something like that, that has I think one hundred tracks of stuff like that. A friend of mine has it, if anyone is curious I can ask him about it.
I once (and only once) heard an FM radio station play a novelty cut that was the tune from Stairway to Heaven and the words from the Gilligan's Island theme song. I seem to remember reading that the station received bomb threats...
Not only is Bo Donaldson's "Billy Don't Be a Hero" NOT the worst record ever, it's not even the worst recording of that song. That honor, IMHO, goes to Paper Lace. It is, however, a close call - so props to you, anyway. Certainly one of the worst songs ever to come down the pike.
"Anything by Loverboy. I had a girlfriend in the early 80s who played them over and over. Now if I hear them it makes me want to climb the clock tower with a rifle."
Biffrythm is it Loverboy or what it reminds you of?
Sarah Vaughn singing the Beatles? Something doesn't jive with that matchup. I can't imagine nor do I want to.
Anyone remember Kenny Rankin's "Because of You" released on Chesky back in the 80's? Great audiophile stuff, good sound little music. I play it to unsuspecting listeners as a goof. This guy is bad. He must have been a good friend of David Chesky but then again a lot of the Chesky original stuff was cut from the same cloth.
Viridian tell me you're kidding about Pat Boone, you are kidding, right?
Ha! Ry Cooder is really serious about how his guitar sounds. When he heard about a new way of recording (digital), he wanted at it, and as Geoff said did the first digitally recorded Pop album, Bop ’Til You Drop. When he heard the playback his reaction was WTF?! He HATED it!
Years later he heard one of the Lily Water LP’s, and said "Why can’t my albums sound this good?" He then recorded "A Meeting By The River" on Water Lily, one of the best sounding albums ever recorded.
Amongst Rock 'n' Roll historians there is an album considered the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" of albums: "Philosophy Of The World" by The Shaggs. Recorded by the three Wiggins sisters of New Hampshire in 1968, it is a real trip. Two of the guys in NRBQ, having a perverse sense of humor, talked their label Rounder Records into re-releasing it.
Did I mention current Yes ? The mightiest of Prog Bands ? Remember "Astral Traveller", stunning cover of Beatles´ "Every Little Thing", "In the Heart of Sunrise", incredibly beautiful cover of Paul Simon´s "America", "Roundabout", "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" ?? They finally are a karaoke outfit lead by a non original member. None of them is original. And people praise those. There can´t be anything worse in the business really. I´ll take lady Gaga any day instead. Because she´s honest doing her crap.
i recently heard "my favorite underwear" by liz phair, whose "exile in guyville" was a revered classic. it is unquestionably the most pandering execrable record ever made and is actually physically painful to listen to.
"Indiana Wants Me, Lord I Can't Go Back There" by an artist whose name I cannot remember. Absolutely the worst. "Seasons in the Sun" by Terry Jacks was also pretty bad. Both are Top 40 hits, circa 1971.
I remember Ry's "Bop Till You Drop"--the only LP I remember giving away. What a disappointment.