Bad Albums

Revisiting records considered classic failures.

Two Sides of the Moon, the 1975 solo outing from legendary Who percussionist Keith Moon, includes contributions from no less than John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Dick Dale, Ricky Nelson, Joe Walsh, and Flo & Eddie. How astounding it is, in light of this information, that the record is 30 minutes of runny dreck that makes Lenny & The Squigtones look like The Blues Brothers.

In 1974, utensil-cramping fraud Uri Geller cashed in on his position as the world’s most popular question mark by releasing Uri Geller, a masturbatory collaboration between himself, orchestral arranger Del Newman, soul singer Maxine Nightingale, and — the lynchpin — classical pianist Byron Janis.

If Technical Ecstasy had been Black Sabbath’s debut offering it might today be considered an underrated missing link fusing traditional hard rock, glam, and punk. Unfortunately this isn’t the first Sabbath from 1970, it’s their seventh from 1976, coming after numerous monolithic entries that continue to define heavy metal.

It’s easy to frame a conversation about the California Raisins advertising campaign with the phrase “in retrospect,” but plenty of Americans during that era recognized the issues surrounding darkly colored soul-singing raisins in white gloves and matching spats performing for larger and mostly caucasian onlookers.

June 28, 2018 | by James Greene, Jr.

T.S.O.L. may have put a graveyard on the cover of their first full-length to help sell material about necrophilia and Bram Stoker, but their “death rock” shroud couldn’t wash away the surfy influence of merely existing in Long Beach. Breathe deep into 1981’s Dance with Me and you’ll taste as much salty sea air and Sex Wax as formaldehyde. Maybe this is why the group had so much difficulty go...

Like David Hasselhoff, Heineken, and lederhosen before him, ALF experienced some of his greatest popularity in Germany when the sitcom began airing there in 1988. Germans were so thirsty for ALF right off the bat they spun him and the Tanners into a 43 episode radio show the year the series debuted. Even more incredible: ALF’s German voice actor Tommi Piper released two whole albums where he sings in character as ALF. The firs...

Charo — tv’s perennial guest star, now going on a staggering six decades. Beginning with an appearance on her native Spain’s variety program Sábado 64 in 1965, this vivacious bundle of energy has delivered her “cuchi-cuchi” across a galaxy of broadcasting institutions.

Please enjoy this narrative journey covering the unexpected conception, strange execution, and ultimate legacy of "Ishtar," the hardcore punk album that isn’t hardcore punk, the last stand at the A.O.D. corral (the group did indeed break up shortly after Ishtar’s release), the record that almost ended up a foot fetishist’s delight.

Oasis' legacy as one of the best guitar rock bands of the '90s is more or less set in stone. But the verdict is still very much out on "Be Here Now." Depending on who you ask, Oasis' third record is either an adventurous step forward for the band or a messy, drug-induced failure. It's a record that both basked in waves of praise upon its release and retroactively became the subject of derision.

Gumby: The Album kicks off with the Zappa progeny — specifically, Moon Unit and Dweezil — who team up for a hunk of pop-metal nougat they should have ridden to chart glory. Alas, in 1989, the world was not ready to accept the love (lust?) one far out young woman may have had for an unflappable piece of (genderless?) green clay.

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