OK, here's 25 really lame "pop" albums, a sorta companion-piece 2 that last list I posted. There R likely 2 B some repeats from that "Worst!" list of Strange Music albums I posted awhile back, but I've tried 2 think a little farther out than that -- some of these actually date back 2 my record store daze when I was hearing more lame music than I can even remember.
These R listed in more-or-less descending order of ... er ... "quality."
I know you've all been waiting patiently -- on with the show!
- Bangles: EVERYTHING -- 4 decent songs outta 13, & that's counting the nursery-rhyme-simple "Eternal Flame," a song Barry Manilow woulda been thrilled 2 sing. My picks R the dreamy "I'll Set You Free," the gutsy "Be With You," & "Glitter Years." The rest is sludge. The rousing outtake "Everything I Wanted" sure woulda helped. This superb pop band shouldn't have let the songwriting pressures get 2 them....
- Billy Joel: GLASS HOUSES -- His "New Wave" album, worth it all 4 the great "All for Leyna," which I couldn't get any radio stations 2 play, back in my record store daze. Mosta the rest died from overplay, if it wasn't already DOA. "You May Be Right" is at least funny, "Sometimes a Fantasy" isn't COMPLETELY terrible....
- Little River Band: FIRST UNDER THE WIRE, TIME EXPOSURE -- The definition of "average." There's a handful of good songs here: "Lonesome Loser," "Cool Change," "Take it Easy on Me." But the rest is so smooth & mainstream it's completely boring & forgettable. & producer George Martin's smoothing-out is about the last thing they needed....
- Spooky Tooth: SPOOKY TWO -- "Feelin' Bad" is classic late-'60s British rock with great group-vocal choruses, & "Hangman, Hang My Shell on a Tree" isn't bad. But the rest is flat & dull -- Xcept 4 "Evil Woman," a mean-woman blooze which is SO over-the-top you gotta hear it 2 believe it. Led Zeppelin was listening....
- Gentle Giant: GIANT FOR A DAY -- Well, they were TRYING 2 go pop, here. This actually isn't terrible, 30 years later. But it IS lame compared 2 their earlier, classic stuff. & the New Wave-influenced herky-jerky title song is REALLY annoying.
- Styx: PARADISE THEATER -- Heavy-handed & obvious concept album about The Good Old Days, with none of the flash or enthusiasm that made "Lorelei" such an infectious hit. There's no "Fooling Yourself" here, or even a "Why Me?" But "Too Much Time on My Hands" & "Snowblind" R almost camp classics.
- Journey: DEPARTURE -- "People and Places" is a great lost prog-rock track. But the rest is cliched & obvious, & it was a big hit of course.
- Rare Bird: EPIC FOREST -- 2 best songs R the artiest, "Birdman" & the title track, which shoulda Bcome prog-rock classics. The rest is absolutely flat, uninspired British pop-rock of the least noticeable kind. Not BAD, just BORING. Now available at Goodwills everywhere 4 99 cents....
- Heart: BEBE LE STRANGE -- Their albums have ALWAYS been uneven, but this 1 was all over the place, from the brilliant "Rocking Heaven Down" (worth putting on a best-of) 2 Ann Wilson's annoying screaming on "Break," & the lame "Even it Up." They were lucky they got another chance....
- Blondie: AUTOAMERICAN -- I keep this 4 the gorgeous ghost story "Angels on the Balcony" ... & maybe 4 "Rapture," in my more perverse moments. But the rest is so arty & twisted.... There R nice group vocals on "T-Birds" & OK moments in "Go Through It" & "Do the Dark," but the rest is numbing. What happened 2 this fun, punchy pop band? & was THE HUNTER even worse...?
- The Who: IT'S HARD -- Apart from the dull "Eminence Front" & the silly "Athena," there's nothing memorable here. No future TV-show themes.
- Beach Boys: FRIENDS -- Best is the wordless roller-rink music of "Passing By." Dennis Wilson's "Be Still" & "Little Bird" R OK, but they're fragments. As is the pleasant 30-second opener "Meant for You." Mosta the rest is lighter than the lighter-than-air "Anna Lee the Healer." Brian's "Busy Doing Nothing" is Xcruciatingly boring. "Diamond Head" & "Transcendental Meditation" R just awful. Avoid.
- Steely Dan: GAUCHO -- The title song is a CLASSIC worthy of their BEST OF, & "Third World Man" is a nice moody sleeper, but the rest is lethargic & spineless, & I don't care how SMOOTH it is. Some talent consumed by drugging & drinking.
- Genesis: DUKE -- They were trying 2 go pop, but "Turn it on Again" is as good as it gets, & the rest is even slower than the sludgy "Misunderstanding." Most of the music is murky & tuneless, & I got lost well B4 the end of Side 2. Suprising that they came back with the mostly clear & straight4ward ABACAB a year later....
- Asia: (1ST) -- Speaking of obvious.... "Heat of the Moment" & "Only Time Will Tell" sound better now, but. Can't believe I actually BOUGHT this when it came out. I was fooled by the idea of a prog-rock supergroup, 2. This ain't prog. & I thot John Wetton was GREAT when he was with King Crimson....
- Fleetwood Mac: BEHIND THE MASK -- I hoped that the pop lift from this would help me get thru my 2 years in Turkey, but without Lindsey Buckingham's off-the-wall weirdness it was unbelievably dull & flat. Only the hypnotic "In the Back of My Mind" made NE kind of impression. & was their later TIME actually worse? Don't know -- never heard a note of it.
- Coldplay: A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD -- The worst album by any "major" Grammy-award-winning musical act ever? 1 great song, "Clocks." The rest yields not even 1 decent musical hook or phrase worth hearing again. What's all the fuss about?
- Keane: UNDER THE IRON SEA -- A great little punchy sweet-pop trio adds guitar & Gets Arty. & other than the too-brief opener "Is it Any Wonder?," the result is murky boredom. Did they ever do a 3rd album?
- Moody Blues: SUR LA MER, KEYS OF THE KINGDOM, STRANGE TIMES -- 3 decent songs over 3 albums? They shoulda retired after THE PRESENT. KEYS has NO memorable songs at all....
- Boston: WALK ON -- Not a single memorable song. What happened? & did NE1 ever hear CORPORATE AMERICA?
- The Knack: GET and BUT THE LITTLE GIRLS UNDERSTAND -- "Power Pop" should never have been this slimy & smarmy. But Capitol Records pushed it & millions of people bought in. There might have been maybe 1 or 2 songs on GET THE KNACK that I could stand -- can't even remember titles, now. 1 of the slow, insincere ballads, maybe? Definitely NOT "My Sharona" or "Good Girls Don't." & LITTLE GIRLS was even worse....
(Christopher Cross's (1ST) album would normally B Xpected 2 appear in a list like this, but I actually liked at least 3 songs on that album -- "I Really Don't Know Anymore," "Poor Shirley" & "Minstrel Gigolo." & tho I haven't played it much since 1980, the rest of the album -- tho definitely mainstream MOR -- at least seemed a little livelier than the Little River Band albums listed above....)
OTHER DISHONORABLE MENTIONS (added 24 Jan 13, 12:30 pm -- hey, it's a work in progress....):
Eagles -- THE LONG RUN, LIVE.
Doobie Brothers -- ONE STEP CLOSER.
Little River Band -- BACKSTAGE PASS/LIVE.
Foreigner -- 4, HEAD GAMES.
Cars -- PANORAMA.
Joe Walsh -- THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD.
Police -- ZENYATTA MONDATTA.
Styx -- PIECES OF EIGHT.
Journey -- EVOLUTION.
Recent Xcellent late-nite listening:
Fleetwood Mac -- Hypnotized.
Icehouse -- Great Southern Land.