There are subjectives, and then there are these. While you may believe a work fits here, and you might be right, people tend to have rather vocal, differing opinions about this subject. Please keep these off of the work's page.
No, we're not making fun of the songs you sing while you're in the shower. However, if you sang any of these songs in the shower, then the showerwould make fun of you. Just remember that the difference between music and noise is often purely subjective (even moreso here). Besides, calling music like this noise is an insult to all noises.Important Notes:
Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.
When considering music for this list, do some research and see if the album/band has had an important role in the development of something else. For example, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, despite being critically panned, helped form Noise Rock and Shoegazing, along with being considered the Ur Example of Noise Music. The more experimental works of John Lennon and Yoko Ono are also spared, as they were a major influence on the avant-garde genre.
If you heard it on the radio, however briefly, the odds are very good that it is not horrible.
It isn't horrible music just because Todd in the Shadows, the Rap Critic, and/or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. Nor is it horrible just because it has a flood of negative reviews on Amazon.com. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual critics (emphasis on plural) for example, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review.)
Try to find a sample on YouTube if possible for a song or work in question. It really helps get some perspective to see if a work qualifies for this trope or not. Many artists may remove their original post if they find the overwhelmingly negative feedback coming from a song, so if the song is deleted try to help out by finding an alternate link (if possible).
Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):
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Not even the most hardcore Canadian fans of Alanis Morissette will defend her two early albums, Alanis and Now is the Time, which were released only in Canada. The former is an album of Debbie Gibson/Tiffany knockoffs that were trite even by the standards of early '90s teen pop, with vocals sounding like a very bad Sean Conneryimpression. The latter is a hilariously lame attempt to transition into adult contemporary, with contrived and cheesy lyrics that Michael Bolton would laugh at just reading them, and which flopped badly and deservedly. Both albums are out of print and have never been rereleased, and Alanis herself regards this phase of her career as an Old Shame, often making fun of itat concerts. Have a listen,if you dare.
Only two redeeming factors can be mined from these albums:
"Too Hot" is the one song off of either album that gets any respect whatsoever, mainly because it sounds very loosely like something that could've come off of JaggedLittlePill. That said, even that song still has its share of people who absolutely hate its guts.
Alanis' early career also served as the inspiration for Robin Sparkles, the uber-Canadian Teen Idol from How I Met Your Mother who grew up into the dark, snarky tomboy Robin Scherbatsky, but not before providing the show with several of its most hilarious moments. The writers originally wanted to bring Alanis herself in for the Robin Sparkles episodes and have her and Robin be a former pop duo in-universe, but it never worked out.
Celtic Frost are credited by many to be one of the founding bands of Black Metal, however Cold Lake is considered by even hardcore fans to be unforgivably awful. Much like the Discharge example below, the album features a band considered to be many to be legendary trying their attempt at Hair Metal, and failing hilariously. The riffs are simple hair metal pap, the song titles and lyrics are foolishly stupid, the vocal work is hard not to laugh at and the production is too clean for a band like them. Furthermore, the band themselves will furthermore have a hysterical crying fit should you bring it up around any of them, as they purposefully did not remaster the album when releasing their discography later in their tenure.
Boston were unfortunately never able to recapture the success of their self titled debut, however "Don't Look Back", "Third Stage" and "Walk On" have their fans. The majority, on the other hand, didn't like the darker style those albums took, so they released "Corporate America" in 2002, an attempt to mix the first album's style with some new elements, which is considered by even hardcore fans of the previous three albums to be a major disaster. All the songs are rushed, there are no inspiring riffs or solos or vocal melodies, the vocals are annoying and the lyrics are foolishpropaganda. The album flopped and marked the downfall of the band, who haven't released another album since then.
Discharge are one of the most critically acclaimed Hardcore Punk bands from The Eighties, but Grave New World, their last album before their first breakup is considered to be a total disaster. The band had been leaning towards Heavy Metal for a while, but they went fully metal on this album (even incorporating Hair Metal elements), and they just couldn't master it. The instrumentation was messy, lead singer Cal Morris' newer high-pitched vocal style sounded stupid, the lyrics were uninspired, and the production quality was too squeaky-clean for a band of their type. They regained their brilliance with their return in 1991, but this album is often brought up in conversation between Discharge fans as a disgrace.
Having Fun With Elvis On Stage is often considered one of the worst albums of all time. "But," you say, "Elvis Presley was a great singer and conversationalist, plus he cracked some good jokes! How can an Elvis album be here?!" Imagine an Elvis concert without said music, interesting monologues, and all the jokes that make sense. What remains is this album, a solid 35 minutes of Elvis just.....talking, with all context removed so you have no clue what he's talking about. It was a ploy by his manager to make money off him by releasing an album RCA had no rights to. Elvis was infuriated and humiliated by the album's release. One of the only positive things that can be said about it is that the album has an interesting history behind it.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer is seen as a joke in the modern age, which is sad if you're a Progressive Rock fan; but the album Love Beach is hated even by fans of the band. The album was recorded after the band had crossed the Despair Event Horizon because of their Hatedom — they were legally required to record one more album to finish their record contract. The album itself is based on disco music, the only genre hated by punks more than Progressive Rock. The album is seen by punks as an example of the corrupt studio system and hated by prog fans for helping to wreck the popularity of progressive rock, since it came out around the time Disco itself was becoming Deader than Disco. Even the band has expressed their hatred of the album.
Waking The Cadaver's Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler. Beyond Cops. Beyond God was So Okay, It's Average, but this was both their lowest point and a horrendous first impression. Everyone was overly repetitive, obnoxious, or both, except for the bass, who opted to play below the threshold of human hearing. The singer sounded like a pig in mid-castration, which worsened the immature, appalling lyrics by making them incomprehensible. The opening samples were clichéd, The band could not keep time, channeled all their focus into pointless brutality, and padded the album by recording themselves get stoned.
Entertainment Weekly, since about 2006, usually lists a recommended song or two from an album when doing a review, since these days you can buy any song separately. They had "None" listed for this one.
What happens when you try to make a Beach Boys album without Brian Wilson? You get Summer in Paradise, in which Mike Love embarrasses himself and the rest of the band for 12 excruciating tracks. The album's atrocities include "Summer of Love", in which Mike Love comes across like a creepy old man lecherously pining after teenage girls, and a horrible version of the classic Dennis Wilson ballad "Forever" sung by John Stamos. Yes, that John Stamos. This is one of only two Beach Boys albums that has never been reissued (the other album being Still Cruisin'). It sold fewer than 10,000 copies, and it is rumored to have sold less than a hundred copies on its release date. The album's US distributor, Navarre, went bankrupt not long after this album's release.
After the Shoegazing fad folded in the mid 90s, many bands made a failed attempt to adapt to Brit Pop. Perhaps no other attempt is more pathetic than Ride. After the release of two acclaimed and popular Shoegazing albums, the band attempted a Genre Shift with Carnival Of Light which is average and has its fans, but their fourth album, Tarantula, proved the band had just lost interest in trying to adapt altogether. Two of the members were feuding for control over songwriting, causing the already stressful conditions of recording the album to become unbearable. And it shows, as the album has boring songs padded with the band's sad attempts to make "popular" music. Had the band attempted to stick with Shoegazing they may not have sold well, but they definitely would have kept their dignity.
Cryptopsy's 2008 album The Unspoken King. Within a month of its release, there were 15 reviews on Metal Archives with an average rating of eight percent. A botched Genre Adultery (Technical Death Metal to Deathcore) got them accused of Jumping the Shark, but if it had other problems: the production was bad, the songwriting trite, Lord Worm was replaced, and the clean sections were damningly off-key.
When confronted about the album and its quality, the band totally handled it in the worst way possible. They threw fits, telling other people they weren't "getting" the message behind it, and tried to avoid people who wanted to ask them about the album.
Apple and iTunes have been releasing covers of popular anime songs in conjunction with Anisong. There are 45 albums so far, and only three of them have gotten higher than 3 stars on iTunes.
Most of the cover songs from Guitar Hero range from okay to good, but there are a few that are Horrible.
In their version of Lamb Of God's "Laid to Rest", the singer couldn't do Randy Blythe's strange growl/scream vocals, but he tried his best; this ended up making the cover unlistenable.
Their cover of Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" features a singer who sounds nothing like Zack de la Rocha, and sounds like he's really bored. And because of censorship to avoid the dreaded M rating, the Cluster F-Bomb at the end of the song was replaced by "You're under con, trol I won't do what you tell me!" (the typo is deliberate) and "UNDER CONTROOOLLLLL!!!!".
The cover of Avenged Sevenfold's "Beast and the Harlot." The vocals are somewhat off-beat, and whoever sang this cover was obviously bored while making it, so he fails to sound anything like M. Shadows. The instrumentation sucks too; the awesome feel of the original is gone.
Luckily, the originals of all three songs are present in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, which kind of remedied the horror of the cover versions.
The cover of "Police Truck" by Dead Kennedys in Rocks the '80s is censored so much that it ruins the song, destroys its original meaning, and gives it more painful rhymes than the original. For instance, the word "ass" is changed to "butt" in the line "Pull down your dress/It's a kick in the ass".
The cover of Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild" from Rocks the 80s is worth a mention too. The singer sounds nasal and appears to have asphalt in his voice box in a lame attempt at emulating Di'Anno's rasp, the bass line is messed up, and the solo is almost entirely wrong.
On the topic of bad Iron Maiden covers from video games, GH 2 has the cover of "The Trooper", where the guitars are in severe miscommunication with each other and all the fun feel of the Maiden tune has been sucked out, making it sound almost depressing. And the singer sounds like he has a severe vowel pronouncing problem in addition to sounding like he has peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth.
The cover of "Turning Japanese" on that game, which is so off-tune that it makes the song harder to play.
Rock Band, which was made by Harmonix, who made the first two main games and Rocks The 80s, has some covers in its setlist. Some of them sound just like the real thing, but there some awful covers too. The cover of Rush's songs "Tom Sawyer" (in the first game), "Limelight", and "Working Man" (both of which are downloadable) all sound like they were sung by a woman with peanut butter stuck to the roof of her mouth. The cover of YYZ in the Guitar Hero 2 is listenable since it's an instrumental. Thankfully, all of these songs were replaced with original versions ("Working Man" with a Vault Version with a different solo).
Speaking of Rock Band, sometimes Harmonix can't find the master tracks of the songs, so they have to get a re-recording. Some of these are okay, but many of them suck, due to the age of the members. We present to you, the re-recording of Nazareth's "Hair Of The Dog".
On the subject of rhythm games, 99% of Rock Revolution's setlist is composed of covers. Most of these qualify for this trope. For one example, the cover of System of a Down's "Chop Suey". The guitar is messed up, and vocals sound NOTHING like Serj's distinctively Armenian voice.
Barnyard Beatles is an album of The Beatles' greatest hits with the vocals barked by dogs (yes, like in those Christmas albums) and the instrumentals done through samplings of cats, sheep, and chickens. The only thing that can make "I Am The Walrus" suck is hearing it sound like a gang of serial animal rapists invading the county fair.
The Countdown Singers, an anonymous band of musicians from Quebec who perform sound-alike covers of popular tunes. They exist only as Schmuck Bait for people who think they're getting a good deal by getting 20 different songs on the same disc. These cover artists are basically personality-free jingle singers trying to sound like the original artist against a backing of drum machines and keyboards. Allmusic has given this series 1-2 stars with remarkable consistency, and the ones that have text reviews give an even better taste of how sucky the covers are:
"Consumers need to check the fine print on the back of these cheap-o compilations or undergo disappointment when they play it. Since all of these tracks can easily be found in their original form on other compilations, steer clear of this!"
Red Hot Chili Peppers did a cover of "I Found Out" by John Lennon for the tribute album Working Class Hero in 1996. The whole band sound completely bored on it and the production is much worse than their usual output. It is the only song they have contributed to a compilation that was not released elsewhere, and the band quickly disowned it.
The Nightmare Revisited album contains some kickass remixes of the movie's original soundtrack.... except for Jack's Obsession, which was covered by Sparklehorse (by no means a bad band... usually). Not only does it not match the mood of the album AT ALL, but the singer sounds tone deaf as well. Listen at your own risk.
Kelly Osbourne's cover of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach. The synth and strings that made the song so iconic are replaced with a pop punk backing with drums that sound like garbage cans, which are also tuned way too high. Furthermore, Kelly's voice is so nasal and cracks every time she hits a high note, throwing in a dash of Narm. It almost makes you wonder if Madonna herself wrote a response song called "Daughter Don't Sing".
Ex-gay porn actor Colton Ford did a shamelessly awful cover of Lithium by Nirvana in 2009. He transformed a tongue in cheek humorous tune into an emotionless, almost borderline depressing dance tune. He strains his vocals to the point where one would get alcohol poisoning from a drinking game that involved taking a shot every time he strains his vocals, and the electric guitar in the chorus can barely keep up with the already butchered tempo. Approach with caution.
Suicide Silence's cover of "Them Bones" by Alice in Chains. Guitars can't follow the time signature change from the original, while the solo is butchered and out-of-tune. And as for the eerie vocal harmonies the original song was built around, they're ruined by what sounds like Donald Duck being sodomized by a wolverine.
Nelly Furtado, who is by no means a bad musician, managed to record in 2010 a fairly weak cover of the Rush classic Time Stand Still. The prog-rock instrumentals of the original are replaced with an ill-advised synth track, but it was still reasonably listenable. Then some moron on Youtube completely mutilated what was still redeemable by throwing it out of tune to avoid the copyright bots. Pain ensued.
Blog27's version of Alexia's 1997 hit, Uh la la la sounds like an entire bag of cats being strangled. Seemingly underage dancers in their miniskirts baring their midriffs is also hard to watch.
Katie Price and Peter Andre's shameless butchering of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Though the entire album this was released on was critically panned, it has an occasional fan here and there. This particular cover, however, is loathed by even fans of the album. The keyboards almost fail to keep up with the original's tempo, Peter oversings worse than you can imagine, and Price can't pronounce her words right. Enjoy!
If there ever was a fast way to take a classic hard rock song and ruin it forever, letting a diva famous for her soothing ballads perform a cover version of it would be one of the most efficient methods to do so. Case in point: Celine Dion covered AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long". With Anastacia, to boot. Just the thought, let alone sight, of Celine trying to act like she's in any way credible as a rock singer should already be shameful enough.
And once you've seen that, wash it down with the Shania Twain version.
This is an example of artists being trolls. They cover the song, knowing full well it's WAAAY out of their style, just for laughs, just to troll a paying audience.
Rasputins Vision, a band who gained some notoriety on YouTube for their godawful covers of various professional wrestling themes, most of which can be seen on this channel. Their non-wrestling song covers aren't much better, either. Their guitar work is sloppy, their vocals are lazy, every member struggles to stay on the beat and often goes out of sync with the rest of the band, and they frequently screw up the lyrics to the songs they're covering. Their cover of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song exemplifies all of this perfectly.
Nichole337 is a YouTube star who is best known for doing tone-deaf covers of pop songs. She does have a genuine fandom, but most reactions to her on the site are negative, and the one video Nichole's detractors will bring up the most is her cover of Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA". In most of Nichole's videos she is intelligible and can sing the words at the same speed as the original, but in this video she can't even do those.
Though for a long while Billy Idol's Cyberpunk was listed here, it was removed due to a group of strong supporters. Said strong supporters and haters of the album both agree on one thing, however, his butchering of Velvet Underground's "Heroin" is absolutely horrid. He takes a song that was originally supposed to be a touching, emotional song about the dangers of drug addiction and makes it sound almost like an anthem glorifying the drug. He also adds in Patti Smith lyrics that are completely unrelated to the song. Many think that it is the worst cover of a Velvet Underground song ever recorded.
Ryan Bane. His singing voice is horrible, off-tuned, poorly timed and is often auto-tuned. His songs often contain horrible lyrics, often about him being homosexual.
Black Out Band was a band of preteens who didn't seem to understand how to make music. They don't seem to care about the sound or the quality. They have expensive guitars and equipment most garage bands would love to own (courtesy of their loaded parents, all blatant Stage Moms), but can't play. The singer is off-key and sounds completely wasted despite being around twelve years old.
The band also did an awful cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop", which used to be on YouTube along with numerous other covers before their official channel took down all their videos due to negative comments. Their version replaced the guitar riffs during the chorus with the kids going "yeah yeah".
According to their website, they've covered "Louie Louie".
Their MySpace page has their entire catalog (six songs) available for listening, and they prove that "Video Games" was not intentionally sung poorly.
The Cherry Sisters were a vaudeville act with three lovely singing sisters, a somewhat more homely one who "kept time" on a drum, and absolutely zero talent. People watched them for catharsis during the Gay Nineties; whenever they performed, they had to be surrounded by chicken wire to keep from being hit with projectiles. When they launched a libel case against a newspaper that had published an extremely negative review of their act, the judge ordered them to sing...and then dismissed the case.
They were hardly the only ones. In vaudeville theaters, a person expected to be allowed to sit through as many acts as they liked, meaning that periodic room-clearing acts had to be used to keep ticket sales up. These acts were some of the cushiest in vaudeville. George Burns felt he was cursed throughout his vaudeville career because he could never come up with anything bad enough to be a room clearer and wasn't famous enough to be a real draw.
The music of Christian and the Hedgehog Boysnote yes, the same Christian who made Sonichu — terrible lyrics too atrocious to incite laughter, shouted off-key over pop songs. And most of the time he "sings" over actual songs with actual lyrics instead of the instrumental versions of the songs.
His most incomprehensible song was "Sonichu's Zip", which has him screaming over the lyrics of Sonic X's "SONIC DRIVE". The song is so fast-paced that you hear more of the original song than the "new" song.
David Tanny is a notoriously unfunny novelty musician who has spent more than ten years "rapping" monotonously to bad midi tunes in an effort to get his music on the Dr. Demento show, which he is a major fan of. The man was so desperate to get people to like his music, he took one of his earliest albums from ten years ago and re-released it with a Laugh Track.
The heavy metal band D.O.A. ("Dead on Arrival"), judging from their only album Alive and Kickin'. Frustrating stuff — they could've been good if only they had shown a hint of originality or invention instead of brainlessly (and badly) reproducing hard rock tricks that were used up long before. It's as if they were assembling elements from the same stock over and over. The same goes for their lyrics. The only piece of music from the record that is audible is "Borderline Obsession".
Enmity, an American Death Metal / Grindcore band that sought to push the already extreme genres to their logical extreme. They sacrifice all genuine musicianship for brutality and speed. To most, it sounds like the aural equivalent of shitting out a chainsaw, To the rest, it just sounds like a broken lawnmower, but to everyone, less than five of their tracks don't sound exactly like this.
"It took me 30 seconds to realize that blender noise was the vocals."
Franchi$e dBaby. At best, he encompasses every negative cliche about white rappers plus every negative cliche about party rappers. At worst, he comes off as a less talented (and infinitely less likeable) version of Wesley Willis. His beats are at least competent (likely because they were made by someone else), but he clearly doesn't care at all about his rapping (he even says so in a couple of songs). At several points, he stops singing entirely and just pants heavily into the microphone.
If you dare, check out his only released album. Highlights include "Spencer Mayo Swag", "Bomb Ass Pussy", and the almost so-bad-it's-good "Boat"
Jan Terri. Her music will make you want to run screaming into traffic. She's tonedeaf as hell, her lyrics are like that of a 12-year-old girl, her music videos are boring as hell, and she just doesn't realize just how untalented she is. The best thing to happen to her was Marilyn Manson feeling sorry for her and letting her open for one of his gigs. Besides that, she's usually forgotten... well, except the occasional person on the internet that makes fun of her videos.
Black Metal artist Luc Mertz, aka Zarach "Baal" Tharagh. He's got an assload of releases, but on none of them does he properly produce, sing, play, tune, or program (he uses a drum machine). He clearly knows how to do it, just not all that well.
Melbourne-based "Rapper" R.A.E.D. has drawn scorn from an enormous amount of people, many of whom argue that his output doesn't even qualify as music. Why? Because it consists of cheap, pre-programmed beats that often seem to change direction abruptly and for no reason, over which R.A.E.D. spouts a nearly incoherent mess of lyrics that seem to be improvised on the spot and stumbled over to catch up to the background music, and display no consistent rhyme scheme, if there's any at all. This, combined with his occasional rebuttals of critical comments, in posts consisting of a virtually indecipherable medley of expletives and bizarre colloquialisms, has led some to believe he may be insane, and the worst part of all is that they're not even the only reasons—in 2001 he called in a bomb threat to a casino.
Savageis allegedly an 80s-style Hair Metal band. In reality, it's just the soloist and a bunch of session musicians. The background music is boring, which wouldn't be so bad if he himself weren't incredibly off-key and his lyrics weren't absolutely horrid. He produces and mixes the recordings himself, bungling everything from the mic placement to the sound quality to the post-production. Also of note, his promotion—"band" photos are just photographs of famous bands with his picture photoshopped onto one of them, and he attributes his own reviews of his own albums to famous musicians as well.
In 2004, a young lad known only as "Shadow of Death" sought to shake the metal world through his music as Apocalypse. He is regarded by metalheads everywhere as one of the worst. How bad is he? His most famous demo, Upon the Crimson Rivers, has 11 reviews on Metal Archives, with an average rating of 5%. The production is non-existent, the instrumentation is screwed up in ways previously unimaginable, and he doesn't as much sing as whisper hoarsely. If you're still interested, then go over here and remember — curiosity killed the cat.
Thrash Queen, easily the worst possible start for all-girl thrash with one of the most god-awful heavy metal albums under their belt. Strangely, their label still attempted to cash in on their name with a bunch of session musicians; the quality's slightly better.
Garage bands are always terrible until proven otherwise, but there are few who manage to rupture the space-time continuum with their awfulness. This band is one of the few. Watch at your own risk.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is widely considered one of the most difficult national anthems to sing. There are two reasons why: the song's tune was adapted from that of a drinking song and the lyrics came from a poem that wasn't meant to be sung. It's often a miracle when the singer doesn't find a way to mangle it, and it's perhaps notable that one of the most famous covers of it, Jimi Hendrix's version, omits the lyrics altogether. However, there are some that have utterly failed in their performances of it:
The National Anthem performance by Carl Lewis. This one got the crowd booing, something that even other horrendous renditions of the anthem don't tend to elicit.
Roseanne Barr at a San Diego Padres game in 1990. The only explanation is that she was trolling the audience, going by her spitting at the end and the fact that she seemed to be laughing her way through it. By the end, the booing drowns her out.
The first during the 2004 NBA All-Star game had quite a disrespectful version to a large crowd which had, at its forefront, multiple visibly displeased Army officials. She used the song as an excuse to show off. This is made worse by her slurred speech and her turning the American National Anthem into a pop R&B tune. Watch at your own risk, especially if you're American.
She did more of the same during Super Bowl XLV. This time, she changed the melody to show off her pipes and botched some of the lyrics.It gets worse; through the whole thing, she sounded either gratingly off-key or borderline asthmatic. Here, have a listen.
John Michael Montgomery's 2005 Atlanta NASCAR Nextel Cup race performance. He was suffering from acoustic neuroma (an inner-ear nerve condition) at the time, which meant that not only was he off-key, he was perpetually off-balance. He didn't even remove his hat. Many fans thought that he was drunk.
After Harry Caray passed away, the Cubs started using guest celebrities to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the Seventh-Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field. Quite a few have been extremely bad — Mike Ditka's version was probably the first to gain infamy for its awfulness; Jeff Gordon, Tony Romo, and Denise Richards have also turned in horrendous renditions. Even being a professional musician doesn't guarantee you'll do a good version — Ozzy Osbourne's performance is one of the worst of the lot.
The Altamont Free Concert, dubbed "Woodstock West", was headlined and organized by The Rolling Stones and featured many of the big rock bands of '60s counterculture America, but, well... let's just cut to the chase and say that four people died — one of whom had to be stabbed by security (all of whom were Hell's Angels; they were allegedly paid with $500 worth of beer, an anecdote that is denied by all) to keep him from shooting Mick Jagger. Said security also knocked out Marty Balin during his band's set. The Grateful Dead, who co-organized the concert and appointed the security, fled the concert out of fear. In contrast to the "peace and love" atmosphere of Woodstock, Altamont came to symbolize the death of The Sixties.
Ashlee Simpson's utterly dreadful performance at the Orange Bowl in 2005. Her vocals are so hideously off-key that it's not clear that she's even trying to sing as opposed to just shouting. When she's done, everybody is booing, and a shout of "you suck!" can be heard from the crowd. It stood in sharp contrast to Kelly Clarkson's performance just before her, which earned plaudits despite being plagued by technical problems.
The 1952 Broadway musical revue Two's Company starred Bette Davis, who made her entrance singing "just turn me loose on Broadway as a musical comedy star" despite her demonstrated lack of singing and dancing skills. Though the show was a flop it left behind an original cast album, and the tracks featuring Bette Davis are often painful to listen to.
Britney Spears' performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. She's lip-synching (she always did that), and this time it's obvious. Her dancing is terribly choreographed-—she moves as if she has crippling arthritis—and her expression of Dull Surprise makes her look positively robotic. It might have been better if she had foregone the dancing and sung for real. To top it off, Britney completely ignored the advice of her stylists, opting to wear an ugly and obvious hair weave and an unflattering stage costume.
Creed's December '02 concert in Chicago. Scott Stapp had downed a bottle of whiskey beforehand. It reacted strongly with the medication he was already taking for a throat infection, dooming the show to failure. He mumbled along to five or so songs, then decided to take a nap. When he realized he hadn't performed a full set, he showed up again, and continued singing—completely independent of the band—before passing out onstage. Unsurprisingly, it was a key contributor to their 2003 break-up and got the band in a lot of legal trouble.
Usually, Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai is a very good musician. She has been known to move people to tears. But she also has hearing problems as the result of nerve degeneration. With proper audio feedback, she can correct for this; but in one case, on Britain's Got Talent, she was not provided with such. This was the result. Czikai would later file a discrimination complaint over the absence of said feedback, but it was dropped, on the grounds that they only apply to job conditions.
Hole's June 2010 show at Washington DC's 9:30 Club. Let's forget for a moment that it started nearly an hour late and that Courtney's voice certainly wasn't at its best; the three-hour train wreck had a godawful setlist interspersed with roughly an hour's worth of aimless gasbagging. Multiple covers were played, all of them butchered. The songs that were theirs were only faintly remembered—verses and choruses were skipped on a regular basis. The intervals between numbers were longer than they should have been, and she had an assistant who was recording the set via iPhone. She put much more thought into performing to it than the audience, to the point where she rudely lashed out at a crowd member who found the assistant distracting. By the end, well over half the audience (and most of the band) had left, the crowd swearing and clutching their tickets in disgust. Here's the Washington Post with a detailed assaulting of it.
Julio Preciado's performance of the Mexican National Anthem in the 2009 Carribean Series baseball tournament. He sang the whole thing while being (apparently) drunk, since he forgot the lyrics of the anthem in the middle of the whole performance, mixed the rhythm with "The Star-Spangled Banner" at some point, and made up a few lines that are not in the anthem. Needless to say, people got really mad at him to the point that they booed him off the field, and he also earned himself a fine from the Mexican government for the perceived mockery on his performance.
Saturday Night Live is known for its musical guests. Some of them have delivered legendary performances on the show, others... have been legendarily bad.
Ashlee Simpson strikes again, this time with her performance on the season 30 episode hosted by Jude Law that first revealed the ugly truth about her lip-synching. It's among the most notorious live performances of the decade, ending with the humiliating sight of Ashlee doing an awkward "hoe-down" before leaving the stage while the band plays and the show cuts to commercial. Between this and the aforementioned Orange Bowl performance, her once-promising pop music career came crashing down.
Lip-synching would have been much preferable to Kanye West's performance of "Love Lockdown" (withoutAuto Tune) on the season 34 Christmas episode hosted by Hugh Laurie. The booing starts almost immediately.
While a lovely studio singer, Lana Del Rey has proven that she is definitely not a good live singer. She performed her viral hit tune "Video Games" on the season 37 episode hosted by Daniel Radcliffe, and it was painful to watch. She seemed to mumble most of the words and was constantly out of breath, and at times it almost sounded like she didn't even know the words to her own song. The performance has gotten her a bad rap and despite being talented, she recently has become more known for her bad SNL performance.
Woodstock 1999 ranks next to the Altamont disaster (see above) as one of the most notorious mass live events in America, and disgraced its namesake by going completely against its spirit. One can't fault the lineup for what happened — the event featured most of the popular rock artists and singer-songwriters of The Nineties, and their sets ranged from good to great. However, it was horrendously planned — it was staged in an outdoor venue with over 100-degree heat; outside food and drink was forbidden (made worse by the blatant price gouging); toilet facilities were insufficient and broke in little time; environmental issues plagued the show (it was held at a closed-down Air Force base which was officially determined to contain hazardous materials), and through debated means (some blame Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, noting his angry speech to the crowd and his band's performance of "Break Stuff", while others blame Kid Rock's set), the crowd grew violent and spun out of control.
By the end, there was mass arson, bonfires, burglary, looting, ATM and property destruction, and allegations of gang-rape. Anthony Kiedis compared it to Apocalypse Now. MTV evacuated its entire crew from the premises for fear of their safety, and the New York State Police had to be called in to clean up the mess. The parties involved wound up learning the hard way what they're most likely never doing again.
There have been some truly memorable impromptu live performances, such as the Beatles' 1969 rooftop concert and U2's mimicry of it for their "Where the Streets Have No Name" video. However, LA small-time band Imperial Stars' 2010 performance of "Traffic Jam 101" was not one of them. These idiots thought they would win fame and fortune (and draw attention to homeless children) by setting up and performing right on Los Angeles' busy 101 freeway. Instead they "won" the wrath of the city's drivers as well as jail time.
"United We Stand: What More Can I Give" in Washington, D.C. stands as concrete proof that yes, benefit concerts can go wrong, even those dedicated to 9/11. Even after delaying the concert for longer than three hours, technical difficulties still pervaded every set, thanks to an inept sound crew—mics gave off feedback on a regular basis, the visual presentation was loaded with bugs, and in one case, a performer's backing track just plain stopped mid-performance. Several of the sets had to be cut for time last-minute, some outright omitted, and in several cases, the performer in question never actually showed up. Many performers carelessly used the US flag as a stage prop, often desecrating it as a result (which flew in the face of the show's rather patriotic tone). Particularly bad was Mariah Carey's set, which, despite her public breakdown and the failure that was Glitter, still tried to promote the film. Michael Jackson, who got top billing, was the organizer, and was meant to end the concert — he only performed one song, and he lip-synched. To top it all off, this was being filmed for TV (rather than broadcast live), which meant the show was padded out even further by the recording of intros and outros for all the sets. Much of the crowd, including several performers, left well before the grand finale featuring Jackson and the remaining stars. Salon and MTV provide the details.
The decision about whether to build a new Islamic center near what was once the World Trade Center ("Ground Zero") is one of heated debate (which, of course, is best left to another website). However, it did inspire some god-awful songs from eitherside of the issue.
A general rule: Youtube will usually have the worst of the bunch:
"Accidental Racist" by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J is the ultimate example of how not to do a song about racism. The intended meaning of the song was an attempt to find common ground between Good Ol Boys and inner-city black folk, but instead it makes both white Southerners and African-Americans look bad. Paisley comes off as whiny, defensive, and ignorant of the loaded history that the Confederate flag holds with a large segment of the population, while LL Cool J comes off as a walking "hood rat" stereotype with his lyrics about sagging pants and gold chains. Here's Todd in the Shadows and the Rap Critic tearing the song apart.
Regardless of how you feel about Soulja Boy, it's hard to deny how utterly terrible his song "Anime" is. He discusses the subject with all the thought (and research) of a pothead pacing through a comics store, it closes with the audio equivalent of Leave the Camera Running, and it sounds like it was recorded in his bathroom. But hey, don't take our word for it — ask Y Ruler of Time about it (with guest cameos by Michael "Skitch" Schiciano and Todd in the Shadows).
"This song is bad. Not So Bad, It's Good, and not Michael Jackson 'Bad'. Just plain bad." That's Doctor Who Magazine regarding the ill-conceived 1985 charity single "Doctor In Distress". You can practically hear the show's last remaining scrap of dignity being wrenched away. Colin Baker reportedly described his participation as "one of the worst decisions [he] ever made".
Just how bad was it? The BBC refused to air the song on any of its television or radio stations, despite the fact that it was performed almost entirely by network celebrities. The single sold less than a thousand copies, and came nowhere close to recouping production costs, leaving no money to donate to charity. In 2005, former series advisor Ian Levine (who wrote and co-produced the song) actually apologized for the entire thing, calling it "a balls-up fiasco".
"I'm Horny" by Gionny Scandal and Maite. Maite's English is appalling. When she sings "I'm horny horny" it sounds like "I'm Ernie Ernie" instead, adding a pinch of Narm to wash down all the suck. According to several translations, the Italian lyrics are just as bad:
I'm not a baker but I got a lot of cream here
Kim Kardashian's single Jam (Turn It Up), which was badly received by both critics and the public. It's monotonous and lifeless to the point of sounding almost depressing, and unfortunately not even auto-tune can save Kim's voice. At times she still sounds slightly off-key.
"The Kersal Massive" — the song begins "Got on the bus wi' ma' daysavah / smoked a reefa in da cornah", before decaying into a rhythmless Cluster F-Bomb and a caustic (or not) Take That against the town of Levenshulme, not to mention the rather pointless Garfunkel "Ginger Joe", whose only contribution to the song is "yeah man, yeah man".
In 2010, a few brave Englishmen doing a televised countdown of the Top 50 Viral Videos tracked down the aforementioned "Ginger Joe" and asked him a few questions about the video. Turns out it was an entry for a competition of some kind and they were all as high as a kite while making it.
In the 1990s, Komar, Melamid and Dave Soldier carried out a set of polls of the American public: One concerning what people generally liked the most in music, one concerning what they generally hated. From this, they composed two songs. "The Most Unwanted Song" was the better of the two by a long shot.(Details can be found here) "The Most Wanted Song," however, was a simpering, pandering, vomitously saccharine, miserably written, glacial, insipid, and overly repetitive train wreck bearing cliche after cliche after cliche and an off-key guitar solo.
Jenna Rose's "My Jeans". She sings about this pair of jeans she wants and that apparently every celebrity wears, throwing in anecdotes about her "swag" and how Celebrities "wore those jeans just like me". Her voice is so Autotuned that it's enough to make you wonder if she even sang on it, with the beat often overpowering her voice. In addition, there's the token rap in the middle. The cover of the single doesn't even have Jenna wearing jeans.
Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki released a charity song called "Oxygen". As a YouTube commenter put it, she sounds like a "retarded robot" in the song. The lyrics are awful as well.
While Headphoneboy's mashups can range anywhere from simply mediocre to kind of decent, he's got stuff which would make DJ Broken Window ashamed. One example: the breathtakingly awful, beyond just lazy "People Run In Circles."
Brian Wilson's (yes, the one from The Beach Boys) song "Smart Girls", released only as a radio promo from the unreleased album Sweet Insanity, in which Brian raps over samples from many of his earlier hits. The results are...sad.
Speaking of Beach Boys, the band did their soundtrack contributions from time to time; "Kokomo" from the film Cocktail is perhaps the well-known example. However, they also did a self-titled theme to Problem Child in 1990 that makes one question the band whenever Brian is not involved. Not only that, the music video features Michael Oliver (Junior from first two films) and Gilbert Gottfried causing mayhem in the band's recording sessions. Although, it's funny that a news segment had "honorary member" John Stamos being the only one in the group seeing the movie at the time and enjoyed it.
Ex-Cheetah Girl Kiely Williams tried to reinvent herself as Darker and Edgier in an apparent attempt to cash in on Rated R-era Rihanna, but instead comes off as the most vapid female on Earth. Here it is: "Spectacular." A touching tribute to binge drinking, unprotected sex with strangers, and date rape. Sample lyrics:
"Last I remember I was face down, ass up, clothes off".
Brings a lump to your throat, doesn't it?
The Ex-Girlfriends' "We Are The Party" tries to reach for Black Eyed Peas or LMFAO-level catchiness but fails horribly. Both the beat and lyrics are just awful.
Youtube commenter: The best music, in my opinion, gives you this wonderful soaring feeling in your chest. This, however, manages to provoke the exact opposite effect. I now feel is if I have no soul. This music has made me feel like a simple meat-bag stuffed haphazardly with organs, incapable of turning off the horrid un-sound being pumped into his ears.
The title music for the ZX Spectrum game Automania is probably one of the most cacophonous video game soundtracks ever made. Listen to ithere (by the way, it's the improved 128K version, in the 48K version only the tune you hear in the title screen was played, incessantly, for the entire game).
"Do It!! Do It!!" by Ryutaro Nakahara (known for speedy happy hardcore) under the pseudonym Kraken. Definitely one of the worst songs ever to come to Beatmania IIDX. Fortunately, the album version is much better.
''Bram Stoker's Dracula'' for the NES had a soundtrack composed mostly of crap. At best they're tolerable (when they're not lazily repeated with a higher pitch and tempo), at worst they're just composed of entirely random notes.
The DJMAX series brings us "Para Q", universally loathed by fans. To add insult to injury, on DJMAX Technika's Core Sound course, it's one of the three songs you have to pick if you want an optimal score. Thankfully, the song was one of a few to be cut from Technika 2.
The pathetic Suspiciously Similar Song version of the "Raiders March" in the NES version of Hydlide. It actually first appeared in the otherwise Japan-onlyHydlide II, and is unfortunately indicative of the quality of music on the PC 88 before later models gave it a sound chip and improved game soundtracks by leaps and bounds.
The music in Mario Teaches Typing can get much worse. The link above is what you got if you had a compatible sound card. If your sound card wasn't compatible with the game, however, then it would play its music through the PC speaker, creating sounds that ScrewAttack.com likened to "a retarded R2-D2."
Daniel Smith is widely regarded as an impressive composer, a good musician, and a great writer where music theory is concerned. He's been trying to make just as big a name for himself with his works as a bassoonist—Sadly, he's also completely incompetent as one. He's been laughed out of every orchestra he's auditioned for thanks to poor rhythm and articulation, his inability to find the right notes or tune his instrument properly, and his poor improvisation. His ratings on Amazon.com are consistent 1 or 2 star ratings, most of which have only been slightly boosted by fake reviews. What's tragic is that he seems to be quite a knowledgeable composer and teacher, but he's just not a very good instrumentalist. Take a listen for yourself.
In general, almost every record company and/or radio DJ has to wade through mountains of amateur musicians looking for their big break. While they do, occasionally, find some genuinely good (or, at least, potentially good) candidates, most of these submissions are ear-bleeding crap with embarrassingly incompetent musicianship and horrid songwriting. In fact, actor Paul Rudd, when recounting his days as a radio DJ during an interview about his movie This Is 40, briefly described what he found to be foolproof signs of disposable music submissions. For example, if the band described themselves as being "a lot like Pearl Jam," their submission was immediately tossed in the garbage (and not just because Paul Rudd doesn't like Pearl Jam).
Each song's passage about it is completely uninformative and nondescriptive (For example, the whole piece on "This Is Why I'm Hot" by MIMS is, "First off, he repeats 'This is why I'm hot' too much. Second, he repeats 'This is why I'm hot' too much.");
The list is larded with several songs that are totally questionable ("U Can't Touch This"? "Walk The Dinosaur"? "Everybody (Backstreet's Back!)"?) and ridiculous novelty songs ("The Fast Food Song", "Disco Duck", "Convoy", "The Macarena") culled just for the sake of padding;
The song at the top of the list is DJ Pauly D's "(It's Time To) Beat Dat Beat", a clear indication that the list was sloppily and cynically assembled with a single, lousy purpose in mind.
The Encyclopedia of Indie Rock is an insult to anyone who has ever written an archive based on artists. It's filled with grammatical errors and awkward wording. Also, it's not uncommon for authors to get their facts wrong every now and then, but this one has so many glaringly obvious factual errors that it makes you wonder if the book is a parody of encyclopedia books in general. The many errors include:
Confusing which members of At The Drive-In formed the bands Sparta and The Mars Volta.
Including entries on James Blunt and Flyleaf, neither of which could be considered indie rock at all (the book's introduction tries - and fails - to convince readers that these artists are indie rock).
A passing mention that an associate of the band Camper Van Beethoven had recorded an acoustic version of "Pink Floyd's classic "Stairway to Heaven". Aside from the misattribution, it appears that the book managed to conflate Camper Van Beethoven's "Stairway To Heavan (Sic)"—an instrumental that's completely unrelated to the Led Zeppelin song of almost the same name—with their cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive".
In the same entry, there is a reference to a "new" Camper Van Beethoven song called "Tusk" which "might be an allusion to the Fleetwood Mac album of the same name". This was apparently a mangled reference to the band's affinity of performing that entire album live during their shows, which they've been doing for several years.
Claiming that J Mascis left Dinosaur Jr. in 1988 (Lou Barlow was the member of the band to leave, and he was fired...by Mascis, who by 1994 was in fact the only original member remaining in the band until the original lineup reunited in 2005).
There was a mention that Dischord Records was founded in 1970 (ten years before it actually was) that can be attributed as a typo, but listing Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as being released in 2003 rather than 1998 has no excuse.
Also...dramedy? The Office has no more dramatic moments than any other sitcom.
In the Sonic Youth entry, it's mentioned that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore divorced in the early 2000s (Gordon and Moore split in 2011, but when the book was published, they had been married for over 20 years. The indie rock couple that divorced in the early 2000s was Robert Schneider and Hilarie Sidney of The Apples in Stereo).
The stars of Miami Vice both bombed horribly when they attempted solo music careers, and their music videos were no exception:
Don Johnson's "Heartbeat" was originally part of an hour-long HBO special. Focusing on a cameraman (Johnson) who goes to South America to document civil warfare, the special still doesn't make much sense, as each segment of the special was backed by a song from Johnson's album. Taken by itself, "Heartbeat" is a confusing mess of random images and scenes, along with Johnson painfully overacting every lyric. There's a reason why this special has never been released, and "Heartbeat" is the triggerpoint. When MTV did a "worst videos ever" special ("25 Lame") in 1999, this was the video that "topped" the list.
"Just The Way I Planned It" by Philip Michael Thomas premiered on the VHS release of his seminal film "Death Drug", and by all accounts it's still hard to decide which one's worse. "Just The Way I Planned It" featured an inexplicable concept (PMT stands on top of a pyramid and dances like a robot while getting groped by backup dancers), cheap special effects (even for the 80's) and lyrics that didn't match the video in any way, shape or form. It should be noted that Thomas' CD (of the same name) was released at the zenith of Vice's popularity, and it still flopped.
Jenna Rose's "O.M.G" was a considerable step up from "My Jeans." The video, however, is utterly reprehensible, given her age. From the opening crawl "Starring Jenna Rose as the Teen Boom-Boom Doll," you know what it's going to be from the start—three lengthy, unsettling minutes of 12-year-old Jenna being portrayed as sex symbol. On top of that is the apathetic acting (the lipsync hardly tries to be convincing, and the backup dancers appear at points to really not want to be there) and a lighting technician who has no idea what he's doing.
While the musical output of Lime, a French-Canadian synth-pop/Hi-NRG group from the early '80s, was popular and critically well recieved, their music videos were something else entirely. Something awful. The editing for "Guilty" has been compared to an episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job, almost as if the director couldn't stick with a single theme and decided to showcase every filter and technique in their repitoire.
Kid Rock's video for his 2008 song "Warrior" fails not only as a music video, but also at its intended purpose, a recruitment ad for the National Guard (who financed it). Much of the video consists of a grossly inaccurate deception of the military intercut with Rock singing, and in a Big Lipped Alligator Moment, features Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a NASCAR race for no reason other than his sponsor is the National Guard (said moment is never referenced again). The video was universally panned by both critics and members of the military, who reportedly booed the video at screenings and picked apart the inaccuracies of its depiction of the National Guard, and it was only screened due to the Guard's deal with Screenvision (a company that specializes in pre-shows for movie theatres).