What is the worst album of all time?

<I>Stereophile</> Staff's picture
We're on a roll here, folks. Last week you told us about the worst singles of all time. Now let's up the ante: what about the worst albums?
What is the worst album of all time?
The winner is . . .
60% (49 votes)
So many choices . . .
40% (33 votes)
Total votes: 82
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Steve Williams's picture

Anything by Frank Zappa. Greatest modern-day composer, my ass.

Mark Bryston's picture

Actually, last week's poll had me shocked. I happened to really like most of the songs listed ("Seasons in the Sun," "Afternoon Delight," etc.). So I can only feel that most will continue to trash the albums that these songs appear on. Too bad, cuz the songs aren't, in my opinion, bad at all, but are really fun to listen to. However, just about every one that I own

Bard-Alan Finlan's picture

Boots by Nancy Sinatra. As a youngster growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s, we spent summers at the Jersey shore; a rather unique trailer/cabin/day beach south of Point Pleasant called Sea Bay Park. The owner of the place sat in a small ticket booth at the entrance all summer. There he had a Bogen PA amp hooked up to several giant Atlas horn speakers (tubes driving horns, hum?) on the boardwalk and parking lot. This was useful for announcing such things as "Everyone out of the water (sharks)" or "Hector the garbage collector, come to the snack bar," or "Don't park there!" (which prompted my mother, who once lived under Nazi occupation, to refer to the place as "Buchenwald-by-the-Sea"). Anyway, this fellow had a Garrard turntable in the booth, and from 9am to 6pm every day (and I mean EVERY day), all summer long, he played albums. We came to tolerate the endless Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass but Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are Made for Walking" drove us nuts and made us want to walk out forever. "Ready, boots? Start walkin' . . . Ta, da da dah ta, Ta da dah da ta . . ."

Al Marcy's picture

White Christmas by Bing Crosby

Mike Healey's picture

James Taylor's Greatest Hits

Christian Dallaire's picture

Red Hot Chili Pepper Californication This is not a bad album but the sound is very bad. You can hear distortion on every songs. This is a recording that can be remasterised by DCC Compact Classics.

Tom Fox's picture

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles. When you think of the skill and ability displayed on their earlier albums, you wonder what happened to the Beatles.

KJ's picture

There are too many to name just one. But thankfully, if the 80/20 rule holds true (ie 80 pst. of all musik ever made is junk), and there has ben made some 100 million albums, i have still some albums left to go.

Jen Woods's picture

The Eagles' Greatest Hits

Greg Roe's picture

The Bay City Rollers' Greatest Hits

Robin Banks's picture

Unfortunately, there are so many choices in this category that it would be virtually impossible to name just one, so, I'll give you a few of the all-time "terrible albums," in my opinion: 1) Bobby Brown's last CD was the absolute pits! I can't even remember the name of it, it's so bad! 2) Anything made by a heavy-metal band! 3) Madonna! Need I say more?! 4) Britney Spare-us! 5) MC Hammer's entire collection! And, last but certainly not least, the all-time worst albums in the history of music were from Vanilla Ice! His stuff was so bad, even Milli Vanilli sounded better! And they were terrible!

I.M.  Outthere's picture

Any one of Kiss's solo projects from the late '70s. The Starland Vocal Band. Van Halen III. Anything from Leo Sayer. The William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy albums. The latest Shooting Star release. Anything by Aerosmith after Toys in the Attic. Anything by Britney Spears, Christine Aguilerra, the Backstreet Boys, or any of that crap my daughter listens to. All of the Beastie Boys' stuff. How much space can you devote to this? Anything by U2 after the first album. Lips Inc. Got to go, here comes my boss.

Neil Price's picture

Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music

Anonymous's picture

bad religion

Dexter M.  Price's picture

Here are some contenders: Yanni's Live at the Acropolis, all recordings by Madonna, all four Mary J. Blige albums, everything by Cher, all Brian McKnight recordings, all "off-key" Boyz II Men albums, all Puff Daddy and Mase albums (they are probably the same bad albums), all noises recorded by Kenny G. I could go on forever . . .

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

For me, it is Red Octopus by the Jefferson Starship. It signaled that a great band had turned to insipid pop. All copies should be melted down to provide Daewoo interior plastics.

Abigail Adams's picture

Jewel's Spirit. This is the ickiest album I've ever heard, with no feeling whatsoever. Monotone all the way through. More stinkers are the Britney Spears albums. All they are are modern-day, toned-down playboys for young boys. No talent!

James R.  Garvin's picture

Anything by Leif Garrett or the Bay City Rollers. At least with Britney Spears you can look at the cover and wonder: did she or didn't she?

Paul A.  Basinski's picture

Cannonball Adderley presents, Love, Sex, and the Zodiac, written and narrated by Rick Holmes. 'Nuff said!

Denis Powell's picture

But the winner is Black Sabbath's "Live At Last"

Bill O'Connell's picture

Anything by Steely Dan. I don't even care if I spelled their name incorrectly.

Nunyo Biznes's picture

Any thing from 98 Degrees or Mariah Carey

Mike Molinaro's picture

Thriller by The Gloved One. "Critics" loved it, teenyboppers bought it, so of course more of the same drivel was produced.

Charles Purvis Kelly, Jr.'s picture

And the winner is . . . [drumroll, please] Prince's Under the Cherry Moon. The only reason I got this album back in 1986 was that, at the time, they did not make singles in the CD format, and I wanted this one specific cut ("Kiss" . . . remember that one? I think it was first recorded by Tom Jones or someone else back in the 1960s or so, and Prince re-did it in 1986), and the only way I was going to get it was to buy the whole CD, and being that I was/am anal about sound quality and the only way I was going to get it in a single was to buy the prerecorded cassette (and that, of course, was a no-no). So I wasted $15 and bought the whole CD. If you want to know how it was, let me advise all of you, save your money and don't buy it. With the exception of "Kiss," the whole CD sucks. Good thing I am thinking about getting either an MD player or an MP3 recorder/player. If that comes to fruition, then I think I am going to rip the hit song off of the CD and then give the whole CD to my dog so he can play with it (or put it in the trash heap, which is where it belongs anyway). After all, I don't believe in keeping things around that I don't need, can't stand, or don't use. Space around the house is scarce enough as it is. Well, that's my "worst album."

Brad's picture

This question is like How big is the universe or How many grains of sand are on the beach? Everything by the Rolling Stones, all rap (do they stick that stuff on albums?), and probably most of the drivel recorded after 1980.

Ed Strand's picture

The Vanilla Fudge album.

WO's picture

Anything by Backstreet Boys. Or anything by Britney Spears. How about New Kids on the Block??? Well, just take most of the modern pop.

Brian's picture

Anything by the Backstreet Boys or Nsync.

Rob Damm's picture

Hands down, "Ugly as they want to be" by Ugly Kid Joe. Oh, what was I thinking back in those pimpled days of yore? I actually own this on CD and tape. Of course, I'd never part with either of them. This is legendary lousiness.

Nicole & Geordy Duncan's picture

Any album by Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Britny Spears, Mariah Carey, Cristina Ag-you-lare-a, Fiona Apple, Green Day, Matchbox Twenty, Dixie Chicks (pretty much every country album available today), Dr. Dre (also every rap album can burn in the garbage), Puff Daddy . . . Man, I'm going to need a software upgrade to compile all of the commercialized crap that there is out there. You get the idea.

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