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do you feel like i do: overrated albums poll [updated]

So an offhand remark in this post about Framptom Comes Alive sparked a flurry of emails from people either begging me to do a "most overrated album" poll or people wanting to lynch me for calling the album a piece of overrated crap.

I'll write tomorrow about why I think FCA did not hold up well over the years. For now, I'll take your nominations for Most Overrated ROCK Album Ever poll. I'll put up a poll type thing tomorrow, and add some of my choices - with some downloads - later on this evening.

Update: Here's two songs from albums I think are overrated:

Radiohead - Optimistic
Led Zeppelin - The Ocean


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» Overrates Albums: Part I A Series from Blogcritics
First in a series on the most overrated albums ever. [Read More]



I assume you will accept sub-genres of rock, becaus that's kind of an amorphous term, so here goes.

"Never Mind the Bollocks," Sex Pistols. A darling of the critics, picked Numero Uno by Rolling Stone in their Top Albums of the last 25 yrs a while back. Here's a little suggestion: If you're going to record an album, you should at least be able to PLAY YOUR FUCKING INSTRUMENTS!

"Sgt Pepper." This is always picked as the greatest Beatle album ever, and it's maybe 8th or 9th.

I'll think of more later.

AC/DC - Back in Black

Led Zeppelin IV.

The first one that comes to mind is Nirvana's "Nevermind." The critics love it and worship Kurt Cobain for it. But while being a breath of fresh air at the time has only one or two songs I can still listen to.

The actual true list will break the internet. I think I can safely say that every single rock and pop album released over the last forty years was overrated crap.

Still, there is sometimes this thrill.

The Clash - (throw a dart at their discography)
The Ramones - (throw another dart)

I never understood the big woo about either of those bands, unless crappy out-of-tune vocals, 2nd-year guitar proficiency, and that cringe-inducing retro-50's/rockabilly vibe does it for you. It's like "Deliverance" meets "Grease".

/was not a big 70's/80's punk fan.

Born In The USA - Bruce Springsteen

Pink Floyd-The Wall

The Police-Synchronicity

It's a tossup between the Sex Pistols' album, and the Eagle's "Hotel California".

And I LIKE the Eagles!!

Anything by the Flaming Lips

I'll have to save Lauren Hill for another time, I guess.

Overrated Rock: Any KISS album. I've always had that WTF reaction to KISS. Good stage show, but really mediocre songs. Just plain boring.

London Calling by The Clash. I don't get it. Bores me to tears.

I also listen to people go all freaky over Master of Puppets and the like, and it just mystifies me. Metallica's early albums just sound like an endless grinding noise, the musical equivalent of a truckload of gravel being fed into a crusher. I want something other than that.

Tull. Thick As A Brick.

The Who. Tommy.

Floyd. The Wall.

Real stinkers. Connect the dots.

And yes, Frampton Comes Alive.

Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", and anything by Rush.

2112, Rush.

Used to love that album, and all my pals did too.

It's the lyrics rather than the music - just too embarassing twenty-five years on.

Master of Puppets AND Dark Side of the Moon overrated? I think that to be overrated they shouldn't have any impact on music as a whole whatsoever, and both of those albums definitely did.

I agree with Shawn -- Back in Black by AC/DC...

The way I see it, one awesome song "Hells Bells"

One good song "Back in Black"

And one song that will force me to beat the offender to death with a meat mallet if they feel the need to subject me to it just one more time "You Shook Me All Night Long"

The Doors - All
U2 - All

While I'm here, I'll put in an early vote for the inevitable "Most Underrated Album"...

Motley Crue "Theater of Pain"

Yes, I know, even Crue hated it. I just thought it was solid all the way through. The best albums are the ones I don't have to hit the skip button for, and that is one of them.

"Generation Swine"? Well, let's just say Crue is lucky to live in a country where you can't be put to death for certain crimes against humanity.

Thriller by MJ

Whoa...Zep over-rated? Well, ok, maybe 'In through the out door'...but jeez

There are some folks out there that saying Zep is overrated to is tantamount to greeting a Southern Baptist on Easter with something along the lines of 'happy dead guy on a stick day!'

just sayin...

Meatloaf, "Bat Out Of Hell."

The only place it still goes over is in Karaoke bars.

Ed hit the big one. That and The Wall are definitely on the list.

The Clash - (throw a dart at their discography)
The Ramones - (throw another dart)

You know, of course, this means war.

"Bollocks" was sloppy-as-hell fun, but way over-rated. The best song the Pistols had anything to do with was Sid mangling "My Way."

Guns 'n' Roses - "Appetite for Destruction"

go ahead. Flame away.

I'm with TC and I'll go one further:

The Stones are the Greatest Rock Band Ever
The Clash are the only band That Matters
REM is the only band That Mutters.

I prefer the cover of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner for the Pistols.

As far as overrated:

REO Speedwagon - all
Duran Duran - all (just listen to the lyrics of The Reflex

Is it really possible for REO Speedwagon to be over rated?

The Clash London Calling

Rolling Stone rated it the #1 album of the 1980s (even though it came out in 1979... it's supposedly THAT good). I can't listen to more than 3 songs from it with out being totally bored. Inventive in the context of class of '77 punk, completely derivative in the grand sweep of rock history.

Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick - and I know every.single.word. on both sides of that album-long song.

I disagree about "The Wall" being over-rated, it's overblown and self-indulgent, but who the hell wants to get stoned and watch a Dylan laser show at a planetarium?

Over-rated Pink Floyd? I'd vote for 'Ummagumma' instead. Underrated Floyd-related album?
'Blue Light' - by David Gilmour.

Asia - Asia : Overrated at the time. Art Rocks last harrumph, and I owned ELP's AquaTarkus at one point.

I don't think anyone will agree with me, but this weekend I made a drunk purchase of How The West Was Won (metacritic score of 97), and to me it doesn't live up to the hype. There are some very good reworked live versions of songs I couldn't previously imagine sounding fresh again, but there are several 20-minute songs where I imagine the band sitting around distracted, drinking tea at about the ten-minute mark. Not bad, just boring, which is about the worst thing you could say about a band like Led Zeppelin.

I dunno, maybe it will grow on me.

My suggestions:

Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
Radiohead - Kid A & Amnesiac
Outkast - Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie...

In my defense, I like Outkast and Smashing Pumpkins, a lot even, but there's just way too much filler on those records. Double-albums tend to do that; why more bands don't resist the temptation I'll never know. Radiohead had the same problem, with Amnesiac being leftovers from Kid A.

No way, no WAY are either "Back in Black" or "Appetite for Destruction" overrated. You can't overrate perfect things.

Bonk, notice the song from Kid A on the post.

I almost put a song from Mellon Collie up. I love the Pumpkins, bless Corgan's shiny little head, but most double albums are five good songs and lots of pretentious crap. As is Melon Collie.

I'm a die-hard Clashophile, and yeah, London Calling is a shade overrated. Which is not to say it's bad.

Give 'em Enough Rope is criminally underrated, however, and Sandinista also gets short shrift IMO, wanky dubs and all.


I realize music is subjective, and I certainly can't expect everybody to agree with my take on Back in Black.

I even relooked at the album and said "OK, there are a couple more good tunes, maybe I was too harsh". You just have to understand -- I have such a visceral hatred for "You Shook Me All Night Long" that I could never say it is perfect.

"She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean..."


(Sound of sledgehammer impacting stereo)

Oh, heck. I don't know about 1/3 of these that have been mentioned so far. I'm getting way too old for this.

The most overrated album? Anything by Bob Dylan. His best album almost qualified as OK. No "great" albums. Heck, his songs are barely passable.

Alternate choice? Anything by The Rolling Stones. Their best album was good. Not great. No such thing as a "great" Rolling Stones album.

OK, slagging The Clash and The Ramones means WAR. Total war, no prisoners, no mercy, just piles of rotting corpses.

As for my pick, I'd have to go with:

Pink Floyd, "The Wall". Criminally overrated self-indulgent crap. I doubt there has ever been a larger monument to pomposity and overinflated egos.

With the possible exception of Alicia Keys' "The Diary of Alicia Keys".

As for the Most Underrated:

The Replacements' "Don't Tell a Soul"

or maybe:

Paul Westerberg: "Fourteen Songs"

Or, so I DO subscribe to the Paul Westerberg is God fan club...

Underrated 'Mats: Stink

Overrated 'Mats -- probably Pleased to Meet Me at this point. IMO Don't Tell A Soul is appropriately rated as a low point.

First off, one addition:

Pavement - Slanted and Enchanted

Ugh. Maybe you had to be there rather than listening to it a few years later. Also, I may be the only one to defend The Wall, but dammit I will: great album; not a fav, but IMO far and away the best of Pink Floyd (though I usually hate them, for what it's worth).


Right on, though I couple it with Amnesiac because my understanding is that the two were recorded pretty much at the same time, and that the tracks that didn't get used for Kid A were slightly augmented and turned into Amnesiac. Between the two (as with most double albums), IMO there are enough great songs for an amazing album. As it is, you end up skipping as much as you listen to.


Hehe. Fair enough; I adore Back in Black, but even I slip into a temporary coma during that song so that my conscious mind can avoid it. Barring unconsciousness, I find the best way around it is to rip the CD, delete the Mp3 That Shall Not Be Named, and move right on to Have a Drink on Me, which fucking rules. What happened over the years with the song in question isn't AC/DC's fault, and should in no way reflect poorly on the rest of that fabulous, wonderful record.

REM "Murmur"

I spent most of my high school years convinced that Michael Stipe had a speech impediment.

I'm picking a fight with her over in "The Wall" post's comments. I'm calling out her punk rock chops.

I feel soo INDCent!

The Beatles' YELLOW SUBMARINE, album and movie.

I would say Love's "Forever Changes" as a starter.

This album never sold much outside the UK, sound really soppy - almost like what they call "elevator music" at least on first hearing - and yet many rock critics appear to think that it is even OVERLOOKED when the best albums of all time were being considered. In fact, it seems tame and Artur Lee's voice has absolutely no emotion by any standards.

Modern bands who use strings on their albums do so with a level of emotion that "Forever Changes" can never thought of attaining at any point, so claims of its influence really are false.