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List of Music Considered the Worst
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This list consists of albums or songs that have been considered the worst music ever made by various combinations of music critics, television broadcasters (such as MTV and VH1), radio stations, composers and public polls.
The Shaggs were composed of four sisters who recorded this divisive album at the behest of their father despite only a rudimentary understanding of popular music. The album received wider release in 1980 when it gained attention (much of it ironically positive) for being "so bad, it's good". Chris Connelly wrote for Rolling Stone: "Without exaggeration, [Philosophy of the World] may stand as the worst album ever recorded."The New York Times dubbed it "the worst rock album ever made." The Shaggs themselves were appalled at the record. Among those who liked the album in spite of, or even because of, its flaws, Debra Rae Cohen in Rolling Stone referred to it as "the sickest, most stunningly awful wonderful record I've heard in ages."AllMusic gave the album 4.5 out of 5 stars.Blender placed it 100th on a 2007 list of the "100 Greatest Indie-Rock Albums Ever", and it was cited as influential by musicians including Kurt Cobain, Frank Zappa, Kimya Dawson and Deerhoof.
This supergroup was led by Sutch, a pioneer in the horror rock genre. It included some of Britain's best known-rock musicians, such as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page (who also produced the album) and John Bonham, guitarist Jeff Beck, session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience's bassist, Noel Redding. Many of these players disowned the record when it was released. It was mentioned as the worst record ever released in a 1998 BBC poll.Rolling Stone called Sutch "absolutely terrible" and lamented that the collection of talented musicians on hand were made to sound "like a fouled parody of themselves."
Attila is the only album by psychedelic rock duo Attila, notable for featuring a young Billy Joel. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote, "Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll--hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila." Joel has described it as "psychedelic bullshit."
The album is a compilation of excerpts from Presley's concerts, containing almost no actual music and instead consisting mainly of banter and jokes between numbers. Many of the jokes refer to specific songs not included on the album. It ranked atop Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell's list of the worst rock and roll albums in the 1991 book The Worst Rock and Roll Records of All Time, bemoaning the lack of music on the album.
An album consisting entirely of guitar feedback loops, Metal Machine Music ranked No. 2 in the 1991 book The Worst Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O'Donnell. In 2005, Q magazine included the album in a list of "Ten Terrible Records by Great Artists" and ranked it #4 in its list of the 50 worst albums of all time.
This is a glam rock and disco Beatles cover album that was named the "worst ever" on Maxim's April 2000 list of pop albums from the 1970s to 1990s. The Sgt. Pepper's movie soundtrack was the first album in history to achieve "return platinum" status as stores took over four million copies of it off their shelves to ship back to their distributors. RSO Records destroyed hundreds of thousands of copies, crippling the company with a large financial loss. The Bee Gees, prominently featured on the soundtrack and in the film, were tarnished by the album's failure. However, they would recover with their next album Spirits Having Flown, the success of which led to this soundtrack being largely forgotten.
A posthumous bootleg compilation album consisting largely of outtakes and a selection of Presley's movie soundtrack songs of the 1960s that was made to deliberately highlight the worst of his career. Critics largely agreed that the compiler of the record succeeded in picking Presley's worst work.
Thank You is a cover album named the worst-ever album by Q magazine in March 2006.Q's deputy editor Gareth Grundy said: "Duran Duran was the one that united everyone in agreement. We put it on in the office to remind ourselves how bad it was. Sometimes these things are redeemed by some sort of kitsch or novelty value, but it didn't even have that. It's not funny for even a split second and not even the sort of thing that you would put on for a laugh if you were drunk." Ken Scott, the engineer of the album, also thought "it turned out pretty badly" and the band considered it commercial suicide. Chris Gerard of Metro Weekly ranked it as Duran Duran's worst album.
The only album recorded by Kevin Federline, ex-husband of Britney Spears, Playing with Fire is review aggregator Metacritic's lowest-scoring album with a rating of 15. It was also a commercial failure, with first-week sales of only 6,000 in the U.S.
This album was mired in development hell for eight years, and it received widely polarized responses ranging from very positive to scathing. Popular music historian Stephen Davis named it "the worst album ever." Music editor Ayre Dworken wrote: "Chinese Democracy is the worst album I have heard in years, if not in all my life of listening to music." It was included in Wired magazine's unranked list of the "5 Audio Atrocities to Throw Down a Sonic Black Hole" and placed first on Guitar Players "10 Awful Albums by 10 Amazing Bands" list.Chinese Democracy was ranked as the worst record of 2008 by several publications, including Time Out New York, Asbury Park Press and IGN. The Chicago Tribune noted the record in its end-of-year appraisal of 2008's worst in arts and entertainment. However, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Spin, ABC News and Ultimate Classic Rock all included the album on best-of year-end lists.
Quigg's only album met with derision and has been described by numerous reviewers as the worst record ever made. One such writer was Peter Robinson of The Guardian, who called it an "album so bad that it would count as a new low for popular culture were it possible to class as either culture... or popular." Another critic said that "decades into the future, Eoghan Quigg's album Eoghan Quigg will be the one that scoops the accolade" of worst record of all time.Gigwise placed the album at number one on its 20 Worst Albums of 2009 list.
Pitchfork Media's Stuart Berman awarded the album a score of 1/10 and wrote that Lulu disappoints even in its "worst of all time" status. "For all the hilarity that ought to ensue here, Lulu is a frustratingly noble failure."NME also noted that the album was "one of the worst reviewed albums ever" and "one of the most critically panned albums of recent years." In response to massive backlash from Metallica fans, Lou Reed stated: "I don't have any fans left. After Metal Machine Music (1975), they all fled. Who cares? I'm in this for the fun of it."
Daily Record writer Rick Fulton reported that several of his readers considered Streets in the Sky to be "among the very worst releases of the year , and indeed, all time." Critics were similarly harsh; the album is the second-lowest-rated ever at review aggregator site AnyDecentMusic?, and was the worst-reviewed of 2012 at fellow aggregator Album of the Year. John Calvert of Drowned in Sound awarded the record an unprecedented 0/10 and described it as "the un-music"; Neil Kulkarni in The Quietus agreed that the album is not "actually music" and is akin to "shite, in the noonday sun, attracting flies." Both critics wished for no further recordings from the band.
The following songs have been named by critics, broadcasters, composers, and listeners as the "worst ever." Examples of sources include VH1's "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever" and Blender magazine's "Run for Your Life! It's the 50 Worst Songs Ever!".
The mock-Japanese novelty record (a cover of a 1925 hit) was one of many released by dialect comicHarry Stewart under an alias (most of his others were under the name Yogi Yorgesson). While Stewart's records routinely got bad reviews in the press, a brief but particularly scathing review in Billboard may have earned the record enough publicity to chart on the magazine's own charts and prompted radio stations to play it. One radio disc jockey disparaged the record on-air as "the worst record (he had) ever heard" when playing it, and the record's poor quality inspired those in the music industry to record intentionally bad songs under the logic that if Stewart's record could be a hit, so could theirs (one example being "There's a New Sound" which purports to popularize the sounds made by worms).
"!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT oT gnimoC er'yehT", Napoleon XIV (1966)
This record consists solely of "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!," a novelty hit for Jerry Samuels under the Napoleon XIV stage name, played in reverse. In Dave Marsh's 1981 book The Book of Rock Lists, Marsh describes the song as the most obnoxious song to have ever been placed in a jukebox, noting it once caused a diner with 40 customers to be evacuated in the time it took to play the record in its entirety (shortly over two minutes).
This record features T Bone Burnett on drums and consists of one-chord strums, random and mostly unintelligible screaming, and an abrupt bugle solo. It was identified in the 1994 book The New Book of Rock Lists as the worst song ever released by a major label. Rhino Records also included it on The World's Worst Records. The Legendary Stardust Cowboy developed a cult following and is an outsider music icon who has received praise for his unorthodox work.
In 1992, Miami Herald journalist Dave Barry conducted a poll among his readers, who selected the Harris original as the worst track ever recorded, both in terms of "Worst Lyrics" and "Worst Overall Song". This is despite the fact that it topped the music charts in Europe and Australia, won the 1969 Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, and would again become a number-one hit during the disco era in the form of a 1978 cover by Donna Summer; it would also be spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic in 1993 as "Jurassic Park".
A disco song with lyrics narrated in the style of a British newscast. Bosanquet had recently resigned as a news anchor for Independent Television News. It was voted number one in the Bottom 30 by listeners of British DJ Kenny Everett in 1980.
This duet used the materials that constitute the black and white keys on musical keyboards as a metaphor for racial harmony. It ranked number one in a BBC 6 Music poll of the worst duets in history and number 10 in Blenders poll of worst songs ever, and it has repeatedly been described as "saccharine" for its heavy-handed approach to its subject.
"True" was noted as the worst song ever by St. Petersburg Times music columnist Sean Daly and The Guardian journalist Luke Williams; Williams's colleague Michael Hann described the track as "dreadful wine-barsoul."Seattle Post-Intelligencer critic Robert Jamieson called it the worst love song of all time. The track also appeared in the Houston Press "10 Songs We Never, Ever Want to Hear Again, Ever" while the line "I bought a ticket to the world but now I've come back again" was included in NMEs "50 Worst Pop Lyrics of All Time."
The song was voted worst song of all time by a panel of professional music writers and industry experts published in a 2003 Q magazine poll. It was also banned from being played on BBC Radio 1 for a period because it was not viewed as a "credible" song.
Critic Michael Saunders in the Sun-Sentinel named "Sussudio" as the worst song of the rock era, describing it as "insipid" and "indefensibly stupid".Guardian journalist Tom Service wrote: "'Sussudio' brings me out in a cold sweat... there's no colder or more superficial sound in popular music."Michael Musto in The Village Voice listed it as the second worst song ever and said that it "could have been the theme song for the Third Reich, it was that insidious and evil".Creative Loafing Charlotte writer Matt Brunson called it the worst song of the 1980s. The track has also been criticized for sounding too similar to Prince's "1999"; Mark Caro in the Chicago Tribune labelled it a "ripoff".
This single from the group's album Knee Deep in the Hoopla is often cited as the worst song of all time. It was ranked number one on Blender magazine's list of the worst songs of all time and "The 10 Worst Songs of the 1980s" in Rolling Stone. It was called the worst song of all time by GQ and The A.V. Club, and named one of the worst songs of all time in a readers' poll in New York Post. It has been disowned by the group's co-lead singer Grace Slick.
This song was named by Village Voice critic Michael Musto as the worst of all time, and it topped Q100 DJ Bert Weiss's list of tracks he would forever ban from radio. In the "50 Worst Songs Ever", Blender said that "it's difficult to think of a song more likely to plunge you into suicidal despondency than this" and also lambasted its "appalling" lyrics.
Spinner editors ranked this the second-worst track in history, while Blender staff placed it fifth. A Houston Press critic named it as the worst song ever to emanate from the state of Texas, and said that it "set back the cause of white people in hip-hop a decade."
The song has appeared on multiple "worst songs ever" lists. It was named the worst of all time in The Independent on Saturday, and was ranked second in Blender's "50 Worst Songs Ever." It also placed first in a Sydney Morning Herald reader poll to determine the worst track of the 1990s, and was voted by Chicago Tribune readers as the worst song of 1992.
This cover of the 1975 Barry Manilow track was voted the worst song in history in a 2004 public poll organized by Diesel. NMEs Anthony Thornton said of the result, "Thank God that 'Could It Be Magic?' has finally been recognized as the worst song in the world. It is the kind of track that makes you wake up screaming."
Composers Carl Barât and Stuart Braithwaite named this track the worst ever.Dean Ween said: "It's as bad as music gets.... Everything about the song is so awful that if I sat down and tried to write the worst song ever, I couldn't even make it 10 percent of the reality of how awful that song is." Tara Dublin in The Huffington Post wrote that it is "without question, the worst song of the 1990s."
Blobby's self-titled Christmas release is regarded by many as the worst single of all time. It has been ranked near the top of various "worst songs" lists compiled by journalists and those created from public-opinion surveys.
Despite its success, with UK sales of 1.83 million as of 2016, the novelty dance track has been included on some worst songs lists, including #1 on Rolling Stone's "Worst Songs of the Nineties" by a reader poll and in NME's unranked list "32 of the Very Worst UK Number One Singles of All Time." The song was voted number one in the 1998 NME award for Worst Single.
"Life" was Des'ree's biggest hit in Europe, whereas "You Gotta Be" was a bigger hit in America, but it was widely mocked for its lyrics. One verse has been voted as having the worst lyrics ever in polls by the BBC,The Independent, and the Herald Sun: "I don't want to see a ghost/It's the sight that I fear most/I'd rather have a piece of toast/Watch the evening news."
A cover of the 1970 Joni Mitchell song, Big Yellow Taxi was featured in the film Two Weeks Notice. The Village Voice named this cover the worst song of the 2000s.NME also included it on its list of the worst songs of the 2000s and Ultimate Classic Rock highlighted the song in its Terrible Classic Rock Covers series.The Village Voice's scathing review of the cover is archived and displayed on Joni Mitchell's website.
"You're Beautiful" was voted by music fans as the most irritating track ever recorded in a OnePoll survey. Spike writer D. Sussman called it "the worst song in the history of mankind", and Gigwise editors placed it first in "The 20 Worst Love Songs of All Time." It also ranked first in Heavy.com's recounting of the worst tracks of the 2000s.
According to Robert Christgau of The Village Voice in 2006, "a Black Eyed Peas sex trifle some consider the worst record of all time."Oakland Tribune music columnist Oliver Wang reported that the track is "considered by most critics as either the worst song of this decade or in all of recorded music history." Writers who named it as the worst track ever include Nathan Rabin in The A.V. Club,Laura Barton in The Guardian, Joseph Kugelmass in PopMatters and Shaun Bruce in The Stranger; Bruce stated that it "may actually represent the nadir of human achievement." It gained first place in a Rolling Stone reader poll of the all-time "20 Most Annoying Songs" and its lyrics were voted the worst in the history of dance music in a Global Gathering survey.
Some critics have named this the worst song of all time.The Guardians Peter Robinson said: "this song makes literally no sense and is the worst thing of all time." It was listed at number 2 in Buzzfeed's list of the 30 worst songs ever written. Buzzfeed contributor Ryan Broderick said that "'Rockstar' is the most unequivocally terrible [song] of their catalog. If aliens came to Earth and asked why everyone hates Nickelback so much, this song would be a perfect explanation." A 2008 Popjustice poll voted "Rockstar" as the worst single of the year.
CraveOnline deemed this the worst rap song of all time and the most embarrassing rap moment of all time.The Phoenix deemed it the worst song ever recorded. The lyrics have been called the worst of all time, most notably: "Fucking magnets, how do they work? And I don't wanna talk to a scientist / Y'all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed."
This is a remake of the 1985 hit song "We Are the World," which was written by American musicians Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by various prominent singers to benefit famine relief in Africa. The cover version was released on February 12, 2010 during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics as a CD single and music download. The song was panned by contemporary music reviewers, with criticism focused on the song's new musical additions as well as the choice of artists who appear on the track. However, the song was commercially successful worldwide, charting within the top 20 in multiple countries.
"Friday" has been widely described as the worst song ever recorded, attracting derision for its weak lyrical content and its vocals that were excessively processed by Auto-Tune. It became an Internet sensation, making it the subject of multiple parodies and ridicule.
An independent song produced by Patrice Wilson, who also produced Rebecca Black's "Friday," "Chinese Food" has been criticized as the worst song ever created and the worst song of the year by Time magazine. The song and especially the video have also been criticized as racist for the heavy Chinese stereotyping present in both.
Billboard ranked the song first on in its "The 10 Worst Songs of the 2010s (So Far)" list.Music Weekly named it the worst song of 2014. Several media outlets considered the song to be misogynistic soon after its release.
Uproxx ranked the song first on its "The Worst Songs of 2017" list. "It's Everyday Bro" was also No. 1 on Consequence of Sound's "The Absolute Worst Pop Lyrics of 2017" list. A diss track, the song was criticized for its ridiculous lyrics, notably "I just dropped some new merch and it's selling like a god church" and "England is my city." It became the fourth-most-disliked YouTube video as well as the second-most-disliked YouTube music video (behind "Baby" by Justin Bieber) of 2017. The song ignited a wave of feuds and disses directed toward Paul.
In 1953, following the success of Harry Kari's "Yes Sir...," Tony Burrello and Tom Murray, bitter that their more serious music was struggling to find an audience without success, decided to launch Horrible Records to intentionally record the worst music possible. The label recorded one single, "There's a New Sound" by Burrello, backed by "Fish" by former silent film actress Leona Anderson.
Classical music media has run fewer "worst-ever" lists than have been produced for pop music, either for composers or individual pieces. There have been articles on the worst recorded versions and the worst classical album covers.
Some publications have compiled lists of the "worst" music videos ever. Album cover artwork has also been subject to "all-time worst" lists. Individual tastes can vary widely such that very little consensus can be achieved. For example, the winning song in a CNN email poll received less than five percent of the total votes cast.
^Walker, Gail (21 April 2009). "Don't you worry Eoghan, it hasn't all gone pop just yet". Belfast Telegraph. Independent News & Media. His eponymous debut album, released a couple of weeks ago, has been met with universal hoots of derision.... Indeed, it is widely described as the worst album ever.
^Robinson, Peter (27 May 2013). "Factored out". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2009.
^Barry, Dave (2000). Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 18-19. ISBN978-0-7407-0600-4. The worst song in modern history, at least in the opinion of the people who responded to the Bad Song Survey is... "MacArthur Park," the 1968 hit written by Jimmy Webb and sung hyperdramatically by Richard Harris.