Category Archives: Top 25 Greatest “Worst” Albums of All Time

Hey, Here at Pierce’s Press I take a look at an album unfairly (or fairly) dismissed, overlooked or underrated – with the benefit of hindsight. Whether it has been ignored, unfairly lauded, or misunderstood in some fundamental way, I am to count down the 25 Greatest Worst Albums of All Time and provide a fresh look at albums that need it.

#1: Bob Dylan – Self Portrait (1970)

Coming in at number 1 on our Top 25 Greatest “Worst” Albums Of All Time is none other than the sprawling double album released by the legendary Bob Dylan in 1970: Self Portrait. Fleshed out expansively on the recently released … Continue reading

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#2: Lindsey Buckingham – Law and Order (1981)

After the relative commercial failure of Tusk in 1979 (reaching number 4 in the US), and the large world tour that followed, Lindsey Buckingham recorded the stop-gap solo outing Law and Order which saw the Fleetwood Mac guitarist taking his … Continue reading

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#3: Queen – Hot Space (1982)

Queen began life as a progressive heavy rock band releasing two influential self-titled albums (1973’s Queen and 1974’s Queen II; chapter-one in the band’s history), however it wasn’t until the release of their breakthrough hit “Killer Queen” that the band … Continue reading

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#4: Ian Hunter – You’re Never Alone With a Schizophrenic (1979)

Mott the Hoople should’ve come to a grinding halt the moment Ian Hunter walked out on them in December 1974, unfortunately they carried on under the Mott banner for two more godawful albums in the mid-70s (that’s another story). Hunter … Continue reading

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#5: Bob Dylan – Down in the Groove (1988)

Never before has a Bob Dylan album been quite so difficult to classify. The general consensus among Dylanophiles conjures up a very grim assessment indeed. In fact, complete disownership is usually the treatment for 1988’s obscure, much-despised Down in the … Continue reading

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#6: Tom Waits – Heartattack and Vine (1980)

By 1980 Tom Waits had come a long way from the nightclub ballads of his initial recordings Closing Time (1973) and The Heart of Saturday Night (1974). Having backed himself into a hobo-hipster corner from the derelict poet-saint jazz of … Continue reading

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#7: Neil Young – Trans (1982)

Trans is the most maligned record in Neil Young’s canon. Its only competition, 1983’s inexplicable genre exercise Everybody’s Rockin’, is erratic enough to warrant the occasional rediscovery or fleeting interest; the baffling Trans and its peculiar vocoder pop, is comparatively straightforward than that of its … Continue reading

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#8: Joe Walsh – So What (1975)

Nothing charms this music geek more than a classic rock guitar album does. You can pour over Clapton, Hendrix, Page like a rock ‘n’ roll scholar studying the Dead Sea scrolls and keep coming up with the same clichéd answers … Continue reading

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#9: John Lennon – Mind Games (1973)

Ultimately, I think, the true test of an artist’s body of work is time. In retrospect, John Lennon’s solo materiel, for some, carries far greater weight than his Beatles bandmates output ever did. Not just the passing of time (although … Continue reading

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#10: Simple Minds – Street Fighting Years (1989)

There is a case to be made for Simple Mind’s highbrow credibility found on their most arty LP Street Fighting Years. Big melodramatic anthems, impassioned Gothic vocals both stirring and bombastic, sit alongside subtle moving ballads and icy melodrama. While never reaching … Continue reading

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#11: The Beta Band – The Beta Band (1999)

Following the release of three, now out of print, critically acclaimed EPs in 1997/98 (eventually compiled and released as the album length The Three EPs), this Scottish four-piece released their much anticipated and ambitious first full-length album in 1999. There is … Continue reading

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#12: Roxy Music – Manifesto (1979)

Following a four year hiatus which included Bryan Ferry’s underrated In Your Mind (1977) and the astonishing Bride Stripped Bare (1978), Roxy Music’s Manifesto is often considered a failed attempt to exploit the dance/pop market prevalent in 1979. While it … Continue reading

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#13: Paul McCartney – McCartney II (1980)

McCartney II, number 13 in our 25 Greatest Worst Albums of All Time, is one of the more roundly ignored of all McCartney solo albums and certainly one of the most bizarre. It’s no surprise to note that around the … Continue reading

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#14: T.Rex – Tanx (1973)

With his band’s popularity dwindling and drug intake rampant, it seemed by 1973 at the age of 26, oversexed and iconic, Marc Bolan’s watch was ticking. Ostensibly the last great T.Rex album, the undervalued Tanx receives high marks for explosive rockers … Continue reading

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#15: Lou Reed – The Bells (1979)

And so with The Bells we come to the end of a phase of Lou Reed’s career; the end of his sustained acerbic drug-addled persona for much of the 70’s (at least from Transformer to Street Hassle), the last album to … Continue reading

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#16: Rolling Stones – Dirty Work (1986)

After Exile on Main Street (1972) everyone started to compare the group with what they had previously done, and not what was in front of them. Stones’ albums released in the mid-1970s: Goats Head Soup, It’s Only Rock and Roll … Continue reading

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#17: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Mirror Traffic (2011)

Alt-rock lifer Stephen Malkmus’ album Mirror Traffic was recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood with the Jicks and was already in the can prior to the triumphant Pavement reunion world tour of 2010. Having spent a solo career eagerly trying … Continue reading

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#18: Eric Clapton – Another Ticket (1981)

His work from 1963 to 1970 with the Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes was already enough to declare Eric Clapton a star by 1970, not to mention the well-publicised graffiti that deified him with the … Continue reading

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#19: Teenage Fanclub – Thirteen (1993)

In the early 90s Glasgow’s Teenage Fanclub would briefly conquer the world. Signed to Creation records (along with equally important label-mates Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and Ride) their unabashed take on classic American 60s and 70s rock – sparkling melodies, … Continue reading

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#20: David Bowie – Lodger (1979)

In 1979, David Bowie released the often overlooked album Lodger, something of a transitional album between the innovative grandeur of the Brian Eno-collaborated Low and “Heroes” (both 1977), and the strong creative footing of Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) released the following year. Just about to take on the … Continue reading

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#21: Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987)

Pink Floyd internally fractured somewhere around 1973’s Dark Side of the Moon if not well before. Bassist Roger Waters’ pinpoint accuracy with a lyric and his conceptual genius, accompanied with Gilmour’s vocal and unmistakable guitar style, was executed magnificently on … Continue reading

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#22: The Doors – Waiting for the Sun (1968)

The Doors first number 1 hit album offers a diversity of sound established on their self-titled debut and its follow-up Strange Days (both 1967). Difficult third album Waiting for the Sun displays a refreshing musical growth, applying experimental arrangements, varied instrumentation … Continue reading

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#23: Eagles – The Long Run (1979)

Released after two of the biggest selling albums in music history Their Greatest Hits (1975) and the glassy, critically acclaimed Hotel California (1976), the highly anticipated The Long Run was confirmed something of a disappointment upon release despite being a … Continue reading

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#24: Iggy Pop – Soldier (1980)

When the Stooges were dropped by their record label for the last time after the final rock and roll apocalypse of Raw Power, Iggy Pop – drug-addled and homeless in LA – reconvened with guitarist James Williamson to record a blistering yet largely … Continue reading

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#25: Miles Davis – Get Up With It (1974)

Get Up With It, like Big Fun (1974) before it, is a double album of mega-jazz funk-rock fusion, consisting of material lifted from sessions between 1970 and 1974, and while not quite of the calibre of other landmark albums at … Continue reading

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