One-off albums (i.e. not all good songs)

This is a pre-spinoff of the thread : Albums with all good songs

If you haven’t guessed by the subject, these are albums that almost had every song perfect, but there’s just one that’s really bad; if you have it on CD, you might program it out. Often these are tracks tacked on the end that one can tell were somehow forced on to satisfy someone’s ego.

Here’s my list, with the artist - album - most offending song :

Jane’s Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking - Pigs In Zen.
You almost get to the end of the album, then “Thank You Boys” comes on and leads into this disappointment.

Offspring - Smash - Killboy Powerhead
In some moods, I can tolerate it; most of the time I can’t.

U2 - The B-Sides - Smash, Trash, and Party Girl
Although a compilation, it’s sort of a specialized one, and this track did not deserve to be snuck in.

The Cars - The Cars - Don’t Cha Stop
There’re only three songs on this album that wouldn’t be considered classic Cars; this is the worst one of those.

Guns N’ Roses - Use Your Illusion II - My World
The most obvious and worst example of ego abusing an album. I actually erased this on the cassette tape I bought.

Jam & Spoon - tripomatic fairytales 2001
The best non-compilation techno album I’ve ever heard. It gets a little weak in the middle though; I tend to tune out so I can never remember if it’s track 10 or 11 that sucks.

Simon & Garfunkel seem to have had a contractual obligation to produce one crappy, elevator music song on an otherwise great album. On Bridge Over Troubled Water it was “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.” On Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme it was “Cloudy”.

Bob Seger (& the SBB) - Fire Inside - Which Way
A bad song lost on a really good album.

Chris Isaak - Heart Shaped World - Diddley Daddy
Yet another end-of-the-album disappointment.

Tom Petty (& the Heartbreakers) - Into The Great Wide Open - All or Nothin’
The album’s still excellent, I just can’t listen to lyrics like “Your daddy was/ a sergeant major/You didn’t wanna/but he made ya/wipe his brass…”

Tom Petty - “wildflowers” - tie between “Honey Bee” and “Cabin Down Below”
still my favorite Tom Petty album, though.
I think I find this topic more interesting - so close to perfection, yet a step towards failure anyway. Other examples, anyone?

Toad the Wet Sprocket - Fear - Butterflies

That song just makes me want to throw the cd player across the room. I can’t stand hearing those girls talk through it. Ugh. Love every other track.

Can’t think of any more right now.


I really hate “Stairway to Heaven,” so I gotta vote for Zoso here. The rest of the album rocks, and the other songs are totally underrated.
“The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner”–Ben Folds
“Ziggy Stardust”–David Bowie (who else?)–“It Ain’t Easy” What the hell is a cover doing on a concept album anyway?

Well, let’s see:

  1. Led Zeppelin’s “Physical Grafitti” is brilliant, except for the incredibly bad track “Down By the Seaside.”

  2. “Beatles for Sale” was a great album, but it contains the WORST track the BEatles ever recorded (yes, worse even that Revolution #9): “Mr. Moonlight.”

  3. Cream’s “Disraeli Gears” is magnificent, except for the stupid “Mother’s Lament.” That track was SUPPOSED to be silly, lighthearted fun, to show that the band wasn’t pompous, and had a silly sense of humor. But it wasn’t funny, just annoying and stupid.

  4. The Moody Blues’ “In Search of the Lost Chord” is wonderful, except for the hilariously dated track “Om” (must’ve been in their obligatory Indian TM phase).

  5. Bob Dylan’s “Desire” is a masterpiece, except for the really bad (and really long) song “Hurricane,” about boxer Rubin Carter. Just because Carter was innocent, it doesn’t follow that the song was good.

The Matrix soundtrack, that Marilyn Manson song. When I ripped it to mp3s, I didn’t rip that one.

Jim Croce’s Photographs and Memories…great until you hit the very last song…

Fleetwood Mac–Rumours–“Oh Daddy”–song is way too creepy even for me.

I’ll second “Oh Daddy” from Rumours… I always push the little >| button when that one comes on. Other than that, every song on that album is a classic.

Counting Crows album * August and Everything After * would be complete if it weren’t for “Ghost Train” I dunno, there’s nothing specifically wrong with it, it’s just a cruddy song.

Most Phish albums include a requisite one song written by bassist Mike Gordon (just like the Beatles always had to throw George Harrison a bone) and while they’re not bad songs, often they seem to upset the “mood” of the album. He’s a country singer in a fusion-jazz band, and his songs, while neat by themselves, always seem a bit misplaced. “Weigh” from * Rift * is a classic example. Nifty (if weird) song, totally out of character from the rest of the album.

Speaking of bad songs on good Beatles albums, it is my contention that everyone would call Rubber Soul their best album if it weren’t for “What Goes On.” God, that song is just painful. I feel sorry for people who, before CDs, had to go and lift the needle and move it manually to skip this piece of tripe.

The artist: Sarah McLachlan
The album: Fumbling Toward Ecstacy
The song: “Ice Cream”


Unlike everyone else here, I actually don’t listen to songs I don’t like enough to remember what they are. these are just the albums that I like, but don’t like EVERYTHING on them.

Sarah McLachlan- Surfacing. Wait! I was wrong! “Adia” makes me GAG!

Gin Blossoms- New Miserable Experience.

Slight Hijack- What about albums that only HAVE one good song, but sold well anyway? My nomination for this category is Jennifer Lopez and “On The 6” I’ve never felt so ripped off in my life. The only good song is “Feelin’ So Good”, and that song is carried by Big Pun and Fat Joes’ raps.

“Wish you were Here” by Floyd comes SO CLOSE to being their second perfect album… save for the fact that half their album is a pointless big ol’ waste of time. (th ealbum starts with 20 minutes of crap… goes on to some of the best Pink Floyd…) Then ends with the same 20 minutes of crap from the same song!! So be gone "Shine On… "Parts I-XVI.


You mean no one has mentioned Sgt. Pepper yet? “Within You Without You” is one of the few tracks that makes me get up and hit the “forward” button.

Another perfect example is the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense”. That damn Tom Tom Club song couldn’t have even been a good idea at the time.

Dr. J

Re: Phish and Mike (since I just got back from the Deer Creek -> Columbus run)

I’ll give you that “Weigh” doesn’t really work on Rift. Other than that, though, I think the Mike songs tend to work fairly well–“Scent of a Mule” on Hoist, “Ficus” on Story of the Ghost, “Train Song” on Billy Breathes.

Phish does, however, try to make one of their great live tunes into an album track each time, and fails miserably. “Guyute”, on Ghost, could have been a great track if they hadn’t sliced a few key passages out of it (to trim it to a slim nine minutes from eleven or twelve). “Piper” on the new album is not bad, unless you’ve heard just about any live “Piper”. At least it’s down to only one track per album–the whole of Lawn Boy and the majority of A Picture Of Nectar had the same problem.

Dr. J

The first Jerry Garcia/David Grisman album (I think it’s just called Garcia/Grisman) is an almost perfect album except for the song “Rocking Chair.” It’s long and dull.

Also, the Grateful Dead studio album American Beauty is great except for “Attics of my Life”

And I almost always skip the George Harrison offering on any Beatles album. Even if the song is okay, it doesn’t seem to fit with the album.

Rush 2112, “Tears”.
Pink Floyd The Wall, “Vera”.
Styx Pieces of Eight, “Aku Aku”.
Yes Fragile “Cans and Brahms”.

“Pigs in Zen” from Nothing’s Shocking sucked because, while the version on Jane’s Addiction’s indie release had the line “I just wanna fuck!”, they had to change that for the major label release and Perry Farrell couldn’t really think of anything, so he just yelled a bunch of stuff.

Interesting. I was going to mention 2112 in the good songs, bad lyrics thread, but then I decided I didn’t quite like the title track (yes, I used that song as my “bathroom run” during the Test for Echo tour – while most people waited until Tom Sawyer, I waited until after the “Temples of Syrinx”). Anyway, if/when I listen to 2112 these days, I always prefer side II to the epic, and I particularly like “Tears.”

Now, “Cans and Brahms.” Do you honestly like “Five Per Cent For Nothing” more than that? Wow. Or, even, “We Have Heaven?” Personally, I’m sick to death of “The Fish.” But, that’s from live overkill.

Springsteen “Born to Run”-Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Springsteen “Darkenss on the Edge of Town”-Adam Raised a Cain"

In both cases, the songs aren’t so bad in themselves but they just don’t fit in with the rest of the album. Both are the #2 track, and after the gloriousness of “Thunder Road” and “Badlands” they are a letdown. And they are too reminiscent of the first two albums and don’t fit in with the sound of these two.

Don Henley - The End of Innocence - “If Dirt Were Dollars” was classic Henley overdrive.

I disagree here. “Prince Caspian,” which has been a live standard for some time, come off quite well on Billy Breathes and makes a perfect epilogue to that great album. Same with “Tweezer” on A Picture of Nectar. Now, I will agree that Lawn Boy is their most flawed album, and suffers from poor cohesion and flat production quality.
Still, I never said I didn’t LIKE Mike’s work, I just feel that it often is misplaced. “Scent of a Mule” is an odd addition to Hoist; It’s like putting a “Weird Al” song in the middle of a Greatful Dead album. I always thought that Phish could release an entire album out of Mike’s compositions, and it would work really well.

Thankfully, Phish has avoided doing studio versions of most of their lyrically minimalist works, such as “Harry Hood” or “Suzie Greenberg.” Early on they did studio versions of songs like these (“David Bowie/UB40” and “Run Like an Antelope/Roll Like a Cantelope”) and they never come off that great on tape. Much of their work is ONLY meant to be performed live.

The Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead turned up on the “perfect album” thread, but I’ve always hated “New Speedway Boogie.” I agree with the other guy’s estimation of “Attics of my Life” fucking up American Beauty, though. And “Operator” spoils Aoxomoxoa.