Wednesday Question: Bad Albums From Otherwise Great Bands

Name the stinkers.

Ultimate Guitar
Wednesday Question: Bad Albums From Otherwise Great Bands

For this week's traditional Wednesday Question, we'd like to kindly ask you folks to think about some of your all-time favorite artists and answer this little thing right here:

What's the worst album released by an otherwise amazing band?


  • Post only one suggestion per comment after checking that your favorite wasn't already nominated (Ctrl+F and all).
  • Multiple nominations of one album create heavy confusion, since on one hand it's unfair to the given effort to take into consideration only the most upvoted nomination, but seeing that multiple nominations allow one user to give two or more votes to the same record, it's also unfair to other nominees not to discard it.
  • Vote up the ideas you support and vote down the ones you dislike.

We'll sum up your votes by Friday and bring you another traditional UG top list. Show us what you got now!

459 comments sorted by best / new / date

    William Sitnin
    Buckethead - well, one of them has to be bad, right?
    Weybl Himself
    Trouble here is that the man himself is probably the only person who's ever had the time to listen to them all.
    When the hell do you think he's able to find enough time to listen to his own stuff ? There's not so much hours in a day to produce AND listen to them all !
    Weybl Himself
    I just assume he has a time machine. Only way I can explain significant parts of his career.
    Other hypothesis is that he produce them a long time ago, when he wasn't releasing so much material, and use them now to create this "what the hell is this man ?" impression Don't forget he release ONLY 40 albums during the first twenty years of his career !
    Chris Cornell - Scream
    A pool of shame in an otherwise perfect career… 
    Jesus Christ, that production is so fucking shitty. I had forgotten about that monstrosity....
    I'm the only one who thinks carry on is pretty great? I mean is not euphoria mourning but it kicks ass
    Some of it is really great. There are some stinkers on it. The live performances of a lot of it outshine the recording. Pun partially intended.
    Am I the only person on Earth that doesn't hate this album? It's not great by any means, but I think it has some pretty good songs such as Long Gone, Scream, Never Far Away and Climbing Up the Walls.
    It's just hard to hear him doing pop. Like, Timbaland honestly does produce most of the best pop around, but it's just hard to hear it from somebody who's like a pioneer
    Metal magic: Pantera
    all of their albums before cowboys from hell were pretty hairy and flairy and not good
    The new linkin park record.
    If you ask most fans, it would seem any album that's not their first two could fall into this category.
    That's true, but the other albums are still decent if you go into it without a biased opinion. I also thought Chinese Democracy wasn't that bad of an album if you look at it in a different light without looking at the work with Slash. But the Linkin Park record is even bad if you look at it as a pop album. It's not bad because it looks nothing like the work that they made before. It's just not a good album.
    Yeah but to be fair LP only had one genuinely bad album.
    I dunno about that. I mean, before One More Light, many people would have said A Thousand Suns was genuinely bad. Before that, it was Minutes To Midnight. 
    Is it just the loud minority though? That's what I often wonder. I genuinely liked a lot of tracks on M2M and ATS, sometimes it's good to experiment. But this latest stuff is just...well put it this way I never thought I'd end up NOT defending a Linkin Park album. It's abysmal. 
    I love A Thousand Suns, so I'm probably reading hate for it a bit more of a biased way than most people, but I feel like the hate for that album goes beyond just a few loudmouthed people. It seems a bit loathed by the fanbase.
    Oh well you're in good company I love a lot of that album too, When They Come For Me is one of the weirdest sounding songs in the world...and it's awesome. Yeah, we all notice criticism or hate towards our favourite albums/bands, just our nature. A bit like me with Nickelback if you have't noticed recently :')  (I'm sure a few people have seen my army of comments)
    Van Halen III anyone?  My favorite group but only a couple of good nuggets on this one. 
    My uncle still talks about when he bought that CD, gave it one listen, then returned it to Blockbuster Music.  The guy originally wasn't going to let him since it was opened, but the manager came over and was like "yeah, he can have his money back."
    Megadeth - Super Collider
    What about risk? Risk wasnt great either
    I'd say Rust in Peace, that was a sub-par effort from them. Risk and Super Collider are instant classics though. (now, how do you guys put those "sarcasm" tags in there?)
    R.E.M. - Around The Sun If you want to have an idea just how bad this album was, R.E.M. had originally planned to retire around the time of its release (2001), but were so embarrased by it that they decided to continue for another decade, simply because they didn't want to end their career on such a low note.
    I actually love it Man I love everything they did and I still miss REM, it's sad they are not around anymore.
    That's completely fair - I personally can't listen to the album at all, mostly because the only two songs I like on it, "Leaving New York" and "Electron Blue" are right at the beginning, which makes the rest just one long snoozefest in my eyes, but music is subjective, so if you like it that's cool! And yeah, I miss them as well, though it's perfectly understandable why they retired - They were always a class-act band, and by ending their run on not just one, but two great albums, they went out with a bang rather than a whimper. Personally, I believe they could've continued and still released great music together, but when you've been waiting for the right moment to call it quits for more than a decade, and find youself on top of your game both critically, commercially, and musically, I really can't blame them at all. Still crossing fingers for a one-off reunion concert sometime though...
    You have my vote. Actually, it's not that bad, but it sounds like a completely different band; guess I was expecting something different and it certainly dissappointed me.
    Suicide silence
    St anger : Metallica 
    There it is.  Yep, my vote has to go to this.  There are many other example, but this one takes the cake/is probably one of the most famous (infamous?).
    Seriously?..."I am table" and you went for St. Anger?
    Lulu isn't a Metallica album. It's a Lou Reed album with Metallica as a backing band.
    No it's a collaboration between the two artists. Both Lou and Metallica wrote the songs, they worked on it together as a collaboration they were not simply just the "backing band". Therefore it's a Metallica and Lou Reed album.
    I still think it's up for debate on whether it's a Metallica album or not; correct, it was not solely written by Metallica, it was a collaborative album, but you're reducing their involvement to a footnote on the album leaf saying "Backing music supplied by the band Metallica", it was "All music written by Lou Reed and Metallica", hence Metallica took part ownership of that album. Let me repeat: Lou Reed AND Metallica, not Lou Reed ft. Metallica, Lou Reed Vs Metallica, Lou Reed & friends, or Lou Reed & Co.. Also, Metallica being a well established band across the globe, and Lou Reed being...Lou Reed, it's not really that comparable to say Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, Bob Dylan and The Band, etc.. There is much more weight in Metallica's involvement in a project like that than "Metallica were his backing band". Therefore, I feel it is still debatable. 
    Lulu is a Lou Reed record with Metallica as his backing band. Much like Bob Dylan having The Band on the Basement Tapes. It is not a Metallica album.
    Black Sabbath - Forbidden
    Even as a diehard fan of the Martin era I have to agree that album is dogshit
    Iommi stated that he plans to remix it. Who knows, might even become listenable
    How about he remixes an actual good version of "Born Again" that record is fucking criminally underrated
    Great album with a very bad sound. On the fansite, it says that Tony was looking for the original multitrack master tapes to remix Born Again for the deluxe edition of the album, but he couldn't find them anywhere. Eventually they just did a remastered the album, but allegedly they will remix it if the tapes turn up somehow.
    Aw balls, that's a bummer, didn't really know that.
    Check out the live recordings on the deluxe edition of Born Again, they sound pretty good. They even played Smoke on the Water
    Yeah I did but there's still like a touch missing there. The closest of what I like are the recordings of the demos, have you checked those out?
    Yes, I have. That's the first place I heard "The Fallen" too. They included it on the deluxe as well.
    I was born the same day as the album, June 8th 1995. It's the only one I know of that I share the date with, and all I've heard is that it's terrible. I hope it's not a jinx on my music career.
    In Flames - anything post A Sense of Purpose I'd say, but I'll go with Siren Charms
    Siren Charms for sure, and I've liked every In Flames album except that one. 
    I haven't been able to get into any of their albums since Jesper left; but maybe that's me being jaded.
     Think they lost their "Sense Of Purpose" after it... Never really disliked Sounds Of A Playground Fading though.
    Siren Charms is probably their worst but I'd be ok naming anything after Clayman.
    David Bowie - Never Let Me Down. The man himself even agreed it was problematic. "Never Let Me Down had good songs that I mistreated. I didn't really apply myself. I wasn't quite sure what I was supposed to be doing. I wish there had been someone around who could have told me."
    Totally forgot about this album. It has one or two songs that are not that bad, but in general it makes Bowie sound sloppy, which he wasn't. Although I believe 'Tonight' was worse. Welp, never thought of it, but Bowie has two bad albums. Still, I adore the man.
    It's always arguable between which was worse: this or Tonight? Classic debate with no correct answer from an otherwise musical master.
    2 questionable studio albums amongst 26 of them. That is less than the 10%! The man was almost flawless.
    Motley Crue - Generation Swine
    Generation Swine was alright. New Tattoo was worse. Plus Generation Swine had red haired Vince Neil!
    tough call! But there are 2 or 3 tracks from new tattoo on my Itunes and 0 from Generation Swine.. 
    Korn - The Path of Totality You can say what you want, but for me this dubstep/brostep bandwagon was a total fail
    I give kudos for that album for being a bit risky at the time. The backlash was huge but there are a few nice songs. It's still a meh album overall
    damn i never knew this existed, lol, yes its pretty fuckin bad, but were really any of their albums that "Great"?
    I agree, almost all of their later albums are not really good, but "The Path of Totality" is a total fail
    It isnt their best, but it has some great songs in It. Get up is better than anything from their last two albuns.
    You could have nominated any of the 5 or so albums where they decided to 'go back to their roots' but you chose the one where they actually tried something new. Cool.
    Morbid Angel - Illud Divinum Insanus
    Killswitch Engage - Killswitch Engage(2009)
    Yea, that album was weak as fuck. Lots of internal strife with recording the album and HoJo going through his shit made that album DOA
    Gorillaz - Humanz Comparing to their previous records it was pretty weak for me - only few good songs while other are sound more like fillers
    Wow, I really really love this album It grew información me as with every Gorillaz récord.
    I agree, for me, it was almost like a disc of B-sides that should have been on a bonus disc alongside the actual album
    Dream Theater - The Astonishing
    I actually love that record... in 10 years it will be regarded as a masterpiece, believe you me...
    I've tried listening to it 4 times and barely managed to get through it once. I'm a huge DT fan, but this album was a dud in my opinion.
    You are absolutely right. There are a few songs that stands out and have som nice vocal lines, but they are few and not on par with other good DT songs. It does work pretty amazing in a live setting as a full album, though.
    I found it to be a great conceptual album, but I can agree that it doesn't quite fit into their other albums.
    Virtual X1 : iron maiden 
    IMO that album has many nice songs (Lightning Strikes Twice, The Clansman, The Educated Fool, Como Estais Amigos to name a few; basically the only weak point is The Angel and the Gambler), I find it better than both of their 90s albums with  Bruce.
    Boston - Love, Life, and Hope I was even willing to put up with some of the worse moments on "Walk On" and "Corporate America" because those records still had some incredibly solid tunes, but "Love, Life, and Hope" was just too much to bear. So insipid and uninspired.
    Life, Love and Hope* And Walk On is really awesome
    It definitely has its moments, like the title track sequence and a few really good songs, but there are a few kinda "meh" songs on it, too, especially close to the end of the record.
    California - Blink 182 Say what you want about them, at least I can enjoy all their other albums on some level. This one I just find absolutely awful.
    Completely agree, I wish they'd kept on with the same vibe that Dogs Eating Dogs had, that EP was probably the best stuff they'd done since coming back. 
    Muse - The 2nd Law
    William Sitnin
    Not a very strong album but still beter than Resistance I'd say.
    The Resistance did have many weak tunes, but also very strong ones (United States, Exogenesis, Unnatural, Uprising) imo
    Yeah, resistance is an awesome album front to back. Even when they're experimenting with pop a bit with Undiscosed Desires, it's pretty cool. Pretty ballsy to just throw some slap bass in like that.
    They both suck, but IMO Resistance was better executed in some way. The songs made more sense and were actually better produced compared to T2L. But yeah, they're pretty close.
    William Sitnin
    That's where our opinions differ - I hated both the songs and the production on Resistance, only Uprising sounded passable to me. The 2nd Law improved on both fronts, in my opinion. Panic Station is a fun song.
    Panic Station is actually an epic song, but all the rest in that album... not so much.
    I'm literally the opposite, I loved all the songs and the production of Resistance (with the exception of Guiding Light) but found the songs and production of the 2nd Law severly underwhelming.
    That was actually the album that really got me into muse, and before I get yelled at, let me explain. It was the title track alone that really pulled me in, and it was entirely because Matt's falsetto that I went out and listened to the rest of Muse's catalog.
    Hail to the King - A7X
    I think the fact that this album is so hotly debated, while the rest of their discography is almost universally loved, should give a hint that it might not be so good (but if you like it that's your opinion). 
    This is what I came to nominate. Some of the other albums have some stuff that's hit and miss.... but song for song that's undoubtedly the weakest album they've put out.
    I'd nominate Nightmare instead. Sounded far too rushed and incomplete. I'm not surprised, and I don't blame them, it being the first album since the Rev died, but you compare it to everything they did prior and everything they've done since and it just falls short. Hail to the King was IMO a pretty ballsy move on their part, and I did actually enjoy it far more than I did Nightmare. 
    I personally think Nightmare is their best album overall. Or maybe The Stage now, but it's one of their better full albums in my opinion.
    City of Evil for me, extremely versatile with some greatly written tracks. Showed a really impressive progression from them as a metalcore band. 
    What? Nightmare is amazing! To me HttK was in insult to themselves, the rest of their work is so inspiring and HttK was bland AF. To me they were trying to be the Black album and flew way to close to the sun (exact same in some instances), and the lyrics made me feel nothing (the whole album invoked no feeling). It was akin to a scientist going into a study with a preconceived notion of what they want the outcome to be, so they ignored the truth in lieu of the result that was desired. 
    I'm just saying the rev actually contributed to a decent amount of writing on that album. Like fiction, for example, was entirely written by him. But I dont think it was that bad, but the only songs that are very memorable off that one are title track, buried alive, god hates us, and save me
    I like 80% of the songs in that album Why everybody hates it? Because it sounded like metal and not avant-garde?
    or Sounding the Seventh Trumpet. Atrocious album. Worse than HTTK to be honest. Tank god Synyster Gates joined for the next much better album.
    Sounding the seventh trumpet isn't all that bad. For being an actual screaming album it's got some good tracks. Where I feel like httk doesn't have an identity. They listed a bunch of bands that inspired the album, and that's all I can hear, is a bunch of ripped off sounds.
     I disagree. It's a decent album. You can't deny its heavy influences, but music itself is really good. 
    Planets is amazing, but I can't listen to a single other song on that album. 
    As much as I adore them, I just couldn't take to Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist. There's a couple good tracks, but the album's mixed so weirdly and doesn't compare to the rest of their discography. 
    yeah that came to my mind too. i liked tarantula a lot when i first heard it then when i heard the rest the album it was a let down.
    Velvet Underground, Squeeze (1973). Lou Reed, John Cale, Maureen Tucker and Sterling Morrison were all gone, and so was the Velvet Underground spirit.
    Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
    I wouldn't say it's actually a bad album, it's just not them at their best. There's still some fantastic songs on there.
    Chinese democracy
    Can't understand the down votes. That album was trash
    No it wasn't, it just wasn't classic GNR. On it's own or released as a solo album it would've been considered a great album. 
    It didnt sound like classic GNR, because it was Axl Rose and a bunch of session musicians masquerading as Guns N R
    I love the album, but I'm surprised that he got down voted.  Most people hate it.  Maybe folks are coming around?
    Axl Rose had no right releasing that nu-metal garbage under the GNR name. What a colossal slap in the face to the real band.
    Radiohead - Pablo honey
    I would actually go for The King of Limbs. Pablo Honey is an ok listen and pretty simple album. TKOL simply isn't enjoyable wether it would be your first or 20th listen
    I'm with you - rhcp such a boring record without any remarkable song 
    Look Around Even You Brutus Raindance Maggy I really enjoy those
    Got me there, i was actually thinking to write "boring record except for Even You Brutus" which really is a good song. but all the other tracks don't do anything for me since i found the melodies rather forgettable and the arrangements not special (compared to their high standards on the previous records). It might not be a bad album but in contrast to their other works i never feel like "I'd like to listen to I'm with you again."  But hey, that's just my opinion good for you if you can get more out of it.
    Guns 'N Roses - "The Spaghetti Incident?"
    I reaaaaally liked Buick Makane, probably because it was basically Soundgarden's Big Dumb Sex
    Also, Dream Theater - Falling Into Infinity. "Bad" album might be a bit of an overstatement, because there is some classic material on it, but it's overwhelmingly clear that this is an album that sticks out in the DT canon for having a ton of executive meddling on it, and it's kind of the most "anti-DT" album in the band's discography. For an idea of how bad it was for the band, at the time, it almost made Mike Portnoy quit during the recording process, and the band's concept album "Scenes from a Memory" was completed as a direct reaction to the label's attempt at pressuring DT for a hit with FII.
    So true Portnoy often states the reason Falling Into Infinity turned out so poorly is because of the record company pressuring them to make another Pull Me Under... But just like how Rush made 2112 as a "screw it were gunna make what we want now" record, Scenes from a Memory was made almost purely to spite the record company... And just like 2112, came out great
    Octane Twisted
    It's pretty hit or miss IMO. When it's bad, it's really bad. But when it's good it's also REALLY good. New Millenium, Hell's Kitchen, Lines In The Sand, Peruvian Skies, Trial Of Tears are really good songs. BTW : if you haven't, check out the B-sides, there's pretty cool stuff like this one
    Oh man, I definitely should have mentioned the FII demos somewhere. There are tracks on that which should have gone on the album, like "Raise The Knife" (which the band played in lieu of a proper track from the album when they did the career retrospective "Score" DVD, only deepening the band's rift with the album), and the original version of "Burning My Soul" that features "Hell's Kitchen" as its instrumental middle section (which I VASTLY prefer to the album version).  Plus there's the rough rehearsal demo of "Metropolis Pt. 2" as a single 25-minute song rather than an album, which has some interesting early versions of riffs from that record and some totally unique music that didn't make the cut.
    I don't know. I think they made their best music when there was some struggle for commercial viability. I really like this album. I also really like SFAM too, but after that they lost me.
    I think I'm looking at it in terms of the attitude of how the music was approached. After SFAM, the band may not have been as captivating, but they still did exactly what they wanted to do and nothing less. To this day, FII is the only DT record that features outside songwriters, and a general feeling that this wasn't the direction they wanted to go in. While, let's be honest, I can't find much to adore about "The Astonishing", it doesn't sound like an album made as if they were recording it at gunpoint, as FII does.
    I'm really struggling with this one. Best I can do is Eminem - Relapse
    To me Relapse is the only post-hiatus Eminem album that captured the crazed nihlism of his early albums.
    Pink Floyd  - The Final Cut
    Water's whining at it's finest. I find that album wholly unlistenable aside from the few tracks he let Gilmour play on. This should be stripped from their Discography and be relabeled as a Waters solo piece.
    What ever the new album by Tool will be...
    Definitly worried. Maynard said years ago that he wasn't an angry kid anymore. I'm not sure what Jones will be able to coax out of him. 
    Beatles for Sale - The Beatles
    I'll agree with this in a sense but every thing the Beatles did was good. But.. the album was rushed and they had to make a new album under contract and they were touring so much they only had time to write less than half the album. But it is an album I do skip over!