I’ve been on a sad song kick lately, and I wanted to know what you guys thought was the most depressing album of all time. Most dark albums have at least one or two upbeat or nice-sounding songs to them, but I want one that is, well, essentially, Buffy’s second season finale. Y’know (or you may not), the sort of sublime sadness that you get when everything goes wrong at once? Personally, I would humbly nominate Berlin, by Lou Reed, which is sort of a concept album of, well, being sad and self-destructive. Songs like “The Kids,” “Caroline Says,” and “The Bed” really make this a definite contender for most unflichingly bleak album of all time. What others qualify?
Are you trying to be funny? Ok, here’s me being funny too:
The darkest album ever is Lou Reeds “Metal Machine Music.” Incidentally, it is also the happiest, smartest, and dumbest album ever.
BTW, I found this apostrophe laying around: '. Anyone want to stick it back in my post?
You could try Dusk by The The. Phenomenal album, but it always leaves me with a creepy and lonely feeling by the time I’m done. It ends on a relatively upbeat note; I hope that doesn’t knock it out of the running.
Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate deserves a mention, even if only for the absolute despair and self-loathing expressed in ‘Dress Rehearsal Rag’.
Any of Joy Division’s albums would qualify, especially Closer.
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is pretty despressing. Great album though.
OK, here it is.
The Final Cut by Pink Floyd.
If you’re feeling too happy and need some bumming out, this is the record for you.
Another vote for Joy Division’s Closer.
Ha! I too, came to nominate Pink Floyd, only my choice is Animals.
Wah…? ‘Sheep’ kicks butt, man. It’s not depressing at all…
For ‘Best Selling’ depressing albums, I’d vote for Springsteen’s Nebraska - very dreary music (well, at least to me…)
How about Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” album?
There is the title track with its theme of urban alienation, also “Blessed” and “I Am A Rock” which have a similar theme.
There are two wistful songs of lost love, “Leaves That Are Green” and “April Come She Will.”
Side two kicks off with not one, but two suicide songs! First we have “Richard Cory,” about a rich but ultimately unhappy man who blows his brains out with a gun. Then we have “A Most Peculiar Man,” about an anonymous loner who gasses himself to death.
“We’ve Got a Groovy Thing Goin’” is a relatively upbeat song, but even here the lyrics are at least somewhat sad.
Overall, this is not exactly a fun and happy album. A good one musically and lyrically, but not one that you can get through without a box of tissues.
Shoot Out the Lights by Richard and Linda Thompson. The sound of a marriage disintegrating on vinyl (forgive me, I’m old). One critic said that this album made Springsteen’s Nebraska sound like a party album.
I agree with what’s been posted so far. I’ll also add Travis - The Man Who as a pretty depressing album. Some exerpts, all from different tracks, thanks to this website:
“Everyday I wake up alone”
“Call me a name and I’ll hit you again
You’re a slut, you’re a bitch, you’re a whore
Talked to your daddy in that tone of voice
There’s a belt hanging over the door
So you run to your room
And you hide in your room
Thinking how you could settle the score”
“Drifting over bridges
Never to return
Watching bridges burn
You’re driftwood floating underwater
Breaking into pieces pieces pieces
Just driftwood hollow and of no use”
“The fear is coming clear
The fear is here
All I wanted was the chance to say
I would like to see you in the morning
Rolling over just to have you there
Would make it easy for a little bit longer”
“It’s the last laugh of the laughter
Sur la dernier page du chapitre
On the last day of the year
Tout ma vie
When the spotlight fade away
C’est la vie
When the blue skies turns to grey
Tout ma vie”
“What’s so wrong
Why the face so long
Is it over
And where you going that
You no longer belong here
And distance tells you that
Distance must come between love”
“So now she starts to cry
Without a reason why
She’s so poor
And only now she’s looking back
She sees her story on a paperback
What will become of her
There’s not much left for her”
“Today is the day
For dancing and for singing
The birds in the tree and all
The bells are ringing
The sun in the sky
Is bright as bright as second light
Is bright oh God I hope I’m alright
Cause I’m gonna cry
Hold on hold on
Slow down slow down”
“I want to see what people saw
I want to feel like I felt before
I want to see the kingdom come
I want to feel forever young
I want to sing
To sing my song
I want to live in a world where I belong”
Where have you gone?
I get the strangest feeling you belong
Why does it always rain on me? "
- mods - I hope these exerpts are OK.
The album is actually pretty good, by the way, but it can be a little, um, depressing.
I hate to nominate recent albums, but Beck’s Sea Changes is very depressing.
I’m a big Floyd fan, and I don’t find DSOTM depressing at all, Final Cut, oh yeah, depressing. Even The Wall is depressing IMHO, but not DSOTM.
Sea Change is depressing, but my vote’s with Berlin.
“Time” has to be the most depressing song of all time. Depressing in a good way.
There’s a comedian named Mark Klein who has a theory that Johnny Cash is the “most depressing son of a bitch on the face of the earth.”
So far as contemporary albums, I’ll nominate Recovering the Satellites by Counting Crows. Some of the music’s upbeat, but the lyrics are full of self-loathing, unrequited love, self-doubt. indentity crises, realizing that the one person that you love is horrible for you, and like that.
On a more recent note…
If you are looking for a great depressing album dealing with relationships gone awry, check out Damien Rice’s “O”.