Worst Record Reviews Ever

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

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  1. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    I agree that it was too harshly reviewed, but when you start of with ATMP, there is just no way to go but down. If George was more cynical, he would have saved some of the songs for LITMW. Perhaps the ones he felt might have been "hurt" by the production. I think he definitely should have saved "Let It Down" for the follow-up. He did the right thing by losing the Spector production of ATMP. It's cool once, but becomes a gimmick after that. The only problem is, I think Spector's bombastic production helped some of the weaker ballads on ATMP. I thinks that's the problem with LITMW. Too many slow ballads, especially on side 2, that don't benefit from their subdued production. And not enough uptempo tunes to balance out the album. Cloud Nine might have a ton of catchy tunes, but LITMW was his last great album. If for no other reason than it's ambition to be a great album. After the drubbing, George got shy about making any more of these.
  2. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Since McCartney produced roughly an album's worth of material per year throughout the 60's and 70's, I think a more apt comparison would be to pit all his 1969 material against Ram. And I can't imagine anyone would say Ram is as good as the combined McCartney songs from both Let it Be and Abbey Road.

    The area of biggest decline (and the area for which he was most savaged at the time) is lyrics. His 1969 material had a lot of heavy, philosophical lyrics (Let it Be, Long and Winding Road, Carry that Weight). There is nothing like that on Ram... the album does have some good lyrics (Too Many People, Back Seat of My Car), but nothing on that level. And Ram also features some of the silliest, most trivial lyrics he'd ever written (Smile Away, Monkberry Moon Delight). Ram is in some ways similar to Dylan's Nashville Skyline in this regard... a dramatic change to simpler, less profound lyrics.
  3. mikestar

    mikestar Forum Resident

    South Central MA
    IIRC, Lester Bangs in Creem on the Dead's Steal Your Face:

    "Steal Your Face? Steal your money is more like it."

    Despite being a longtime deadhead, I agreed with this assessment.
  4. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Northwest Illinois
    The long gap between ATMP and Material World sure didn't help matters any. Between December 1970 and May 1973, a two and a half year wait seemed like an eternity back then.
  5. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Well, the lyrics aren't loose, fun, or playful. And that seems to be what they were putting the emphasis on in their negative review.

    I think a lot of people found the religious themes in George's early-70's work to be very off-putting. My Sweet Lord was kind of a novelty, a hit song about God. But I think after that the novelty wore off. Also, ATMP had what, three songs that invoked the Lord, but the ratio of religiously-themed songs increased on Material World and Dark Horse.

    Lyrics were the common thread of why so much of Harrison and McCartney's 70's work was critically savaged.
  6. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    Excellent points. I forgot to take into account the reduced rate of the output. Given his prolific nature, I do think it strange that he couldn't get Ram out in time for Christmas '70. By that logic, though, we should also count the McCartney solo album in tandem with Ram. But, even then, his contribution to the group on both Abbey Road and the Get Back/Let It Be projects of '69 still would have trumped the best of even this hypothetical McCartney/Ram combo project (and that's including the "Another Day" single). Not so much because he was that much more prolific in '69, but because most of what he wrote was, as you said, on a higher level lyrically than anything on Ram bar the exact two songs you mentioned ("People" and "Backseat").
  7. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    I've gotta disagree with you about Dark Horse. I think he toned the religion ratio way down in response to Material World. He had two "jokey" songs on the album. The horrible "Ding Dong" Christmas song, and the "Bye Bye Love" cover song parody. He also used very "groove-oriented"/r&b session players for the album in stark contrast as well. The crappy/rushed production on Dark Horse doesn't put it across well, but the subsequent tour's sound/playing couldn't be any more different than the Bangladesh concert. You would have thought George was doing a complete style/image makeover ala David Bowie.
  8. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    I've always thought that the Bangladesh concert and subsequent legal squabbling over how to spend the proceeds and whether or not they would be taxed really hindered George from getting a follow-up to All Things Must Pass out in '71 or '72. Even though All Things Must Pass was a mega-statement that did a lot to elevate George's stature, it might ultimately have been a better career move to release solid single albums in '70, '71, and '72 instead of a triple album in 1970 and then nothing for two-and-a-half years.
  9. arnett

    arnett Forum Resident

    Indiana, USA
    I’ve seen quite a few terrible reviews in Rolling Stone Magazine over the years.

    I remember the original Rolling Stone review of Nirvana’s Nevermind in fall 1991. They gave it 2 ½ out of 5 stars and basically said the songs all sounded the same. A local IU band called Antenna received a review in the same edition of Rolling Stone. The Antenna album received 3 out of 5 stars. The local joke around Bloomington was that our little band Antenna was ‘better’ than Nirvana. If you go to Rolling Stone.com now, you’ll see that they give Nevermind a perfect 5 and hail it as the great masterpiece it always was.

    More recently, Rolling Stone’s review of Aimee Mann’s Lost in Space was dreadful.
  10. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport New Member

    Seattle, WA, USA
    I wish Rolling Stone would archive both the original and hindsight reviews.
  11. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    The original Rolling Stone review of Mick Jagger's Goddess in the Doorway only gave the album five stars. I think that the new, updated review gives it seven stars. :biglaugh:
  12. Publius

    Publius Active Member

    Austin, TX
    Last year David Cross (of Arrested Development) did a bunch of fake music reviews in a send-up of the Pitchfork review style entitled "Albums to Listen to While Reading Overwraught Pitchfork Reviews". An excerpt:

  13. Mike D'Aversa

    Mike D'Aversa Forum Resident

    I will never forget the day I saw that review. Jann Wenner must have the biggest set of balls on the planet...
  14. My favourite was the '80's Record Magazine J.D. Considine Short Take on Yes - 90125 - The Solos. His whole review was "No."

    Pretty hip for a guy who was then in his early thirties, he's about 50 now.
  15. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    In France, the chief editor of a famous rock and roll magazine and notorious Ramones fan was outed by a fanzine that published the review he wrote in '76 for the Ramones' first: he trashes it.
    As for Daft Punk's Human After All, mentionned in another post, I'm sure lots of reviewers will feel stupid when the "I love rock and I never really liked electronic music" trend will get tired. I read so many reviews of this album that were like "it's all loops, it's all samples, it's repetitive", as if their previous albums were any different.
  16. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    Love (with Blondie)

    When Blondie made her debut with the band Love, the album slammed and said to be nothing more than a rip off of the popular 60's music culture. The commentary went on to say that the album was so bad that the some radio stations actually returned their free copies to the distributor!
    I was given that album a few years ago from a friend of the family who was getting rid of their albums. I dug up the review then promptly unloaded it at my local used record store. He put it up for sale for 35.00 dollars.
  17. Debbie Harry was in a band called Love?

    I'm with the critics who slam Daft Punk. A buddy of mine tried to turn me on to them 2-3 years ago . . .I thought he was out of his mind. The Human League sounds like a sloppy hard rock band compared to those guys.
  18. vinyl diehard

    vinyl diehard Two-Channel Forever

    Yeah, I didn't know it until the album was given to me. It's pretty lame.
    I bought a trivia book on albums some years ago and it's listed in there as well.
    Debbie Harry's debut wasn't exactly stellar.
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