Worst Record Reviews Ever

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chief, Feb 21, 2006.

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  1. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served Thread Starter

    I get always get a kick out of reading terrible record reviews. Its a real opportunity for record critics to use their creative writing skills. I thought it would be fun if people could think of the worst quotes, or even find the actual reviews, and post them here for our amusement. Please, just post bad reviews, but try not to debate the merits of the bad reviews. My favorite bad review is for the McCartney album many (including me) claim as their favorite.

     
  2. Phlo

    Phlo Formerly dave-o

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    It's funny...when I saw the title of your thread I immediately thought of this review! One for the ages. Thanks for posting it.
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Believe it or not, that review is what most people thought of RAM at the time including me and everyone in my group.

    Time has been kinder to RAM than most albums of the early 1970's.
     
  4. Phlo

    Phlo Formerly dave-o

    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    It took me a couple of days to get past the embarrassing artwork. Had Ram come wrapped in a sophisticated cover perhaps some perceptions of it might have changed for McCartney fans.
     
  5. Paul K

    Paul K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    My favourite panning review of all time....

    and I believe it was in The New Musical Express....

    The Clash - Cut the Crap

    ...pull the plug...
     
  6. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I, too, thought of the Ram review, and also the Rolling Stone review of Dylan's *Self Portrait* by Greil Marcus that begins,

    "What is this sh**?"

    The entire review is reprinted in *Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader,* which was published last year by Norton. It's long, and it's blistering.
     
  7. DaveN

    DaveN Music Glutton

    Location:
    Apex, NC
    Dan Fogelberg's 'Windows and Walls' took some pretty serious beatings. The music critic for the Springfield, MO newspaper called DF a seventies rock retread and spent nearly a paragraph dissing his guitar playing. Then the critic piled on when describing the rhyming.

    FWIW, I am of the opinion that rock lyrics are generally not meant to be read but to be heard.

    David
     
  8. Todd E

    Todd E Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood
    (1) By "bad" do you mean "unfavorable," or "poorly written"?

    (2) Was the Ram review anonymous, or do you simply believe that people needn't be credited for their work?

    (3) Can we get the "GTR/SHT" review out of the way and move on?
     
  9. clairehuxtable

    clairehuxtable Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Robert Christgau's review of Carly Simon's "No Secrets" album comes to mind...(although he gives it a B-)

    No Secrets [Elektra, 1972]
    If a horse could sing in a monotone, the horse would sound like Carly Simon, only a horse wouldn't rhyme "yacht," "apricot," and "gavotte." Is that some kind of joke? Why did Mick Jagger want her? Why does James Taylor want her? Come to think of it, why does she want either of them? B-
     
  10. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    I saw a review for GTR in Rolling Stone that said Ttl Sht. I thought that was pretty funny. :laugh:
     
  11. Stateless

    Stateless New Member

    Location:
    USA
    You beat me to it! :laugh:
     
  12. ZappaSG

    ZappaSG New Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Why is it "bad"? Just because it speaks ill of a Beatle?

    I have never heard Ram but as far as the article goes, its quite well written.
     
  13. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    The critic in question is Jon Landau. But I don't think that TheChief omitted it for any sinister reasons.
     
  14. mrdiscman

    mrdiscman Forum Resident

    Here's a quote from the GTR reviewer (the quote below wrongly says 1982): (http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/jd_considine.htm) !!!

    Interview with Pop Critic J.D. Considine

    8/16/99

    J.D. Considine, 42 years of age, is a well known music critic. On staff at the Baltimore Sun since 1986, he also writes regularly for Entertainment Weekly and Guitar World. From 1979 to 1996, he wrote for Rolling Stone. He appeared regularly on the VH1 show "Four on the Floor," which was a sort of rock critic equivalent to "The McLaughlin Group." It aired from '94-'96, and earned a Cable Ace nomination ("Politically Incorrect" took the award).

    JD: "I've interviewed most of the major stars. I did an interview in 1984 with Eric Clapton that was well thought of... I've interviewed Madonna... I wrote a book about Van Halen. I wrote a quarter of the Rolling Stone album guide. Probably the most famous thing I've ever written was a 1982 review of group GTR, led by Steve Howe from YES and Steve Hackett who used to be in Genesis. The title of the album was GTR and my review read "SHT." People still talk about it."
     
  15. Horace Wimp

    Horace Wimp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    When "Ram" came out I was 11 years old. I guess I didn't know how I was "supposed" to feel about the record, so I just purely loved it. Still do.
     
  16. jpmosu

    jpmosu a.k.a. Mr. Jones

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    Here's another Robert Christgau review that will anger some (I have to admit that I enjoyed Christgau's writing a lot more when I was 14). Today, he usually annoys me with his thesaurus abuse.

    Shout at the Devil [Elektra, 1984]
    It's hardly news that this platinum product is utter dog**** even by heavy metal standards; under direct orders from editors who don't know Iron Maiden from Wynton Marsalis, my beleaguered colleagues on the dailies have been saying so all year, and every insult goes into the press kit. Still, I must mention Mick Mars's dork-fingered guitar before getting to the one truly remarkable thing about this record: a track called "Ten Seconds To Love" in which Vince Neil actually seems to boast about how fast he can ejaculate (or as the lyric sheet puts it, "cum"). And therein, I believe, lies the secret of their commercial appeal--if you don't got it, flaunt it. Follow-up: "Pinkie Prick." D
     
  17. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned - RS on Uriah Heep's first album:

    If this group makes it I'll have to commit suicide. From the first note you know you don't want to hear any more. Uriah is watered down, tenth-rate Jethro Tull, only even more boring and inane. UH is composed of five members: vocals, organ, guitar, bass, and drums. They fail to create a distinctive sound tonally; the other factor in their uninteresting style is that everything they play is based on repetitive chord riffs.

    According to the enclosed promo information, Uriah Heep spent the past year in the studio, rehearsing and writing songs. No doubt their lack of performing experience contributed to the quality of the record; if they had played live in clubs they would have been thrown off the stage and we'd have been saved the waste of time, money, and vinyl. (RS 67)



    MELISSA MILLS


    (Posted: Oct, 1 1970)
     
  18. Pseudonym

    Pseudonym Forum Resident

    Location:
    Detroit, MI
    I nominate Shark Sandwich for the BEST review ever.
     
  19. Graham Start

    Graham Start New Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I recally RS summing up one of Larry Fast's Synergy releases as "Typical anti-rock BS".
     
  20. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ringwood, NJ
    CREEM magazine reviewing Bon Jovi's 7800 Fahrenheit: "This one's from the heartland of IQ's low-rent district."




    Dan
     
  21. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Vancouver
    Christgau doesn't write as many negative reviews as he used to... some time ago he decided it was a waste of his time writing about bad albums and now he just lists them under "Duds." He still does a "Dud of the Month" review though, and he's not afraid to take on critical favourites; here's his review of Antony and the Johnsons:

    ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS: I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian) Whose voice touches who is personal, but that doesn't mean Antony will ever reach as many humans as Aretha Franklin or Billie Holiday, and up against the archer Bryan Ferry, the artier Rufus Wainwright, and the grander Nina Simone, objective physical differences manifest themselves: he's thinner, drier, more strained. Not only is his willingness to express emotion commoner than indie denizens imagine, his failure to undercut that emotion with irony or humor is a spiritual weakness. Right, he suffers. But billions of humans have it worse, and while we who are luckier are morally obliged to remember that, we're not obliged to empathize with any of them. Those convinced of the metaphoric-political centrality of transgender issues and the AIDS epidemic will feel Antony's songs. Those who don't should find a record they enjoy. B MINUS

    and from a whole column devoted to duds (his Thanksgiving "Turkey Shoot") here's a nasty review of the Beta Band:

    THE BETA BAND: Music: The Best of the Beta Band (Astralwerks) Rock-ambient Brits, you remember. Four albums, 1998-2004. First one actually three EPs. Can't remember how I was convinced to enjoy the second--has some tunes, my notes say, and I try to be kind. Young alt fans do get weary, so their third and fourth suffered disregard, and the Betas broke up in despair, dismay, or a snit. Where those tunes might be hiding on this prematurely useless 16-song best-of I don't have the heart to figure out. Why nine of the 16 are repeated on the 13-song farewell concert that inflates the package's price only their accountant knows for sure. Kindness can be such a waste of time. C PLUS
     
  22. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served Thread Starter

    Here is another classic - Rolling Stone's review of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's American Dream.

    To answer ZappaSG's question, the review is "bad" because it tears the album apart. Its ruthlessly critical. The merits aren't even that important. I just get a kick out of record reviews that are really negative. They're fun. Plus, as irony would have it, they are also usually the most creative things that record critics write.
     
  23. wolf66

    wolf66 New Member

    Location:
    Austria

    That is not a bad review, that hits the nail on the head IMHO :winkgrin:
     
  24. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served Thread Starter

    1) I'm thinking more about "unfavorable" - awesomely unfavorable. I should have titled the thread "Favorite Bad Record Reviews". When the writing is good, its even more delicious.

    2) Jesus, just an honest omission. I copied it from another site that also didn't list the author.
     
  25. ZappaSG

    ZappaSG New Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia

    They do seem to try harder to write harsher words. Like it ignites a fire or something!


    ;)
     
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