Sunday, March 20, 2011

5 Horrible Songs that Mar Great Albums

1. "Mother" from SynchronicityAndy Summers' Mother was a bomb dropped right into the heart of The Police's Synchronicity. Small wonder that it was the last album the blond boys did together.

2. Mind Gardens for Younger Than YesterdayDavid Crosby must have been inspired by The Incredible String Band for this foray into psychedelic folk. Roger McGuinn hated including the song on the poppy Younger Than Yesterday, claiming the tune had no "rhythm, meter, or rhyme." Crosby was fired during the recording of the next album.

3. Phenomenal Cat from Village Green Preservation SocietyWere The Kinks smoking helium? "Phenomenal Cat" is kitty litter compared to the rest of Village Green Preservation Society, which has become a fan favorite for good reason.
At least it's better than Bowie's equally helium filled "Laughing Gnome"

4. Fitter, Happier from OK Computer
It's the NOT OK tune on OK Computer. Described by Thom Yorke as a checklist of slogans for the 1990s he considers "Fitter, Happier" "the most upsetting thing I've ever written". Might have been better as liner notes.

5. Student Demonstration Time from Surf's UpThe Beach Boys were always better at offering us breakaways from our troubled times than commenting on them. But good old Mike Love had something to say about student protests--even if it meant swiping the Leiber-Stoller song "Riot in Cell Block #9" to do it. The must skip track off Surf's Up was also released as a single as if it say "Look, we can crank up our guitars too!"

What's your choice for wretched songs that nearly ruin great albums?


  1. Also for your consideration: "Bugs" from Pearl Jam's spectacular third album, Vitalogy. However, it may have been intentionally bad, as evidenced by their joyous one-time-only live performance of the song in Philly...

    Keep rockin' with your most excellent blog, my friend. Bravo!

  2. "Bugs" is brutal.
    Just thought of "Let's Spend the Night Together",the unnecessary and sloppy Rolling Stones cover on David Bowie's Aladdin Sane.

  3. I agree with Mind Gardens and Student Demonstration Time but I'm kind of fond of Phenomenal Cat - maybe I'm just being contrary, it's awful but I like it anyway.

  4. Although it's not my favorite cut on VGPS, Phenomenal Cat is a good song. It is whimsical and like a children's song. Not a good candidate for a great album clunker.