Horrible: Music

"I wonder if this music killed this grass?"
Hank Hill, King of the Hill

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 shower would make fun of you. Just remember that the difference between music and noise is often purely subjective (even more so here). Besides, calling music like this noise is an insult to the very concept of sound itself.

Important Notes:
  1. 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.
  2. When judging sales, keep certain facts in mind — for one, even a gold record can be considered a commercial failure if the previous record by the artist sold triple platinum.
  3. 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; Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions and Wedding Album, are also spared, as they were a major influence on the Avant-garde Music genre.
  4. If you heard it on the radio, however briefly, the odds are very good that it is not horrible.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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 Connery impression. 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 it at 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 Jagged Little Pill. 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.
  • If you're ever around Billy Joel, try bringing up his old project Attila note  and see how he reacts. Described by the man himself as "psychedelic bullshit", the music of Attila consisted of a white noise of organ keys hooked up to a mishmash of effect pedals, without a thought given to basic music theory such as melody or proper instrumentation. Attila's notoriety is so strong that even Wikipedia has mentioned that their one album is considered to be one of the worst in the history of rock. Mike takes a look at it on Aural Report.
  • Even the most hardcore fans of Crunkcore outfit Brokencyde have practically no love for their 2007 release The Broken, wherein the band attempted to paint themselves up as serious artists. The album was filled with them trying to rap and layered with acoustic guitars, with no hint of partying or fun in the music. The album is now out of print and the band members themselves even regard it as an Old Shame, to the point of doing a complete 180 on their later musical material.
  • 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. That it was not included among the remastered reissues the band put out later in their career seems to indicate that not even the band itself stands behind it.
  • Switchfoot's massive fanbase has spent years trying to track down early releases made by members of the band. In the late 2000s, a teenage Jon Foreman demo was found titled ETC. While definitely not high-art it's considered to be charming in its oddity. After relentless research from the fanbase, it was revealed that Switchfoot was first known as Chin Up and were apparently awful. A demo was released that almost stopped the band's career right in its early days. The very few fans that have heard the tracks recall a band that can barely keep in synch with itself, flat vocals that make the ETC demo sound like opera, and production that is horrible even for a basic demo. The record company that did eventually sign them only did so on the basis of Foreman's creative lyrics. Other than that, the executives involved call it one of the worst demos they ever had to sit through. Luckily Switchfoot evolved into the band as they are loved today. While the demo remains lost (likely due to the band making sure it never again sees the light of day), it's become a holy grail for the morbidly curious fans.
  • Boston were unfortunately never able to recapture the success of their self titled debut. While 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, in 2002, they released Corporate America, 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 foolish propaganda. The album flopped hard, and to this day, the band's reputation has yet to improve.
  • 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.
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer is seen as a joke in the modern age, which is sad if you're a Progressive Rock fan. Regardless, 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 and album-oriented rock, and is 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.
  • Farrah Abraham's album My Teenage Dream Ended. The lyrics and dubstep-esque beats are insanely generic, and her auto-tune voice does nothing but harm the songs. Upon the release of the album closer "Finally Getting Up from Rock Bottom", pretty much every popular news source that wrote about the song called it "the worst song ever". The album was a massive flop and has a 1.5 (out of 5) rating on iTunes.
  • Waking The Cadaver's Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler. The band's steadily improved since, to the point of even gaining something of a devout fanbase, but this was both their lowest point and a horrendous first impression. Everyone was overly repetitive, obnoxious, or both, except for the bass, who could not even be heard. The singer sounded like a pig in mid-castration, which worsened the immature, trite, 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.
  • Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed, second husband of pop diva Britney Spears, released a rap album called Playing with Fire in 2006. The album was critically panned and currently holds the lowest score in the history of Metacritic with 15 out of 100. So what makes it such a disaster? Well, people had hopes leading up to the release thanks to "Popozao", which was actually closer to So Bad, It's Good and wasn't taken seriously by anyone. Unfortunately, America's Most Hated did want to be taken seriously, and the album is filled with dull, uncharismatic rhymes about his fame, his marriage to Britney, cannabis and gangsta cliches, and the music was way too generic to really put any of his posturing over. One review said it best: "Perhaps we were too harsh on Vanilla Ice." As a footnote, Britney left him within a couple of weeks of the album's release, and Mr. Federline has since fallen into obscurity.
    • 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. The Music Video Show attacked his one and only music video here.
  • 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.
    • The next album in line, 1996's Stars and Stripes Vol. 1, fared no better. It was released on the obscure River North Records label, featuring them (with a recently-rejoined Brian Wilson, also serving as producer) doing remakes of their hits with various Country Music artists (and oddly, CCM singer Cathy Troccoli and Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles). The album was thrashed by critics as having lifeless production and weak singing from nearly all involved. The Rough Guide to Rock wrote that it was an "awful legacy" and "tired". Allmusic gave it 1.5 stars out of 5, saying the production had a "canned" feel and that the album was "an unmitigated disaster and an outright embarrassment for all involved", Entertainment Weekly gave it a "D", and People said that it was "hard to imagine a worse idea". It has a 1.67 out of 5 on Rate Your Music. Interestingly, a version of "In My Room" with Tammy Wynette — her last recording ever — was recorded for a second volume, which never saw the light of day due to the first volume bombing. The recording later appeared on the 1998 compilation Tammy Wynette Remembered. Also, the rendition of "Little Deuce Coupe" from the album was the last chart entry to date for James House, and his last recording overall until 2009. As with Summer in Paradise, the label (River North) closed not long after the album's release, but unlike that album, it was at least re-issued in 2008.
  • 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, GH2 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" by The Vapors 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. note  Thankfully, all of these songs were replaced with original versions ("Working Man" with a Vault Version with a different solo).
    • 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.
  • The Worst Metal Cover Band In Existence. They cover very short snippets of a variety of famous metal songs, very badly; almost unwatchable due to its horrendous quality.

Specific Examples
  • 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!"
  • Katy Perry's music is generally Love It or Hate It for most people, but almost nobody will defend this monotone, gimmicky performance of Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
  • Whether you love Billy Idol's Cyberpunk or hate it, there's no contesting: the cover of The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" is absolutely horrid. All the qualities that made the original beloved, from its heartfelt, intense instrumentation to its soulful delivery, have been stripped away completely, leaving a techno Cliché Storm, with obnoxious samples and a chorus yanked from a Patti Smith song, neither of which make sense in context or even exist to any end beyond existing.
  • Duran Duran's horrendous cover of Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke". This song came off of a critically panned album titled Thank You which featured covers of varying quality. This was the one that made even most Duran Duran fans feel embarrassed. The tone and delivery of the vocals don't seem to even try to match the tone of the original (a Protest Song of the highest order), and they come off as cheesy as a result. To say nothing of the horrendously dated beat, done on an acoustic guitar.
  • 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.
  • Jump5's woeful attempt to cover "I've Got the Music in Me", popularized by Kiki Dee et al. — Here's Kiki's version (the good one)... and here's Jump5's awful abortion.
  • Jesse Mc Cartney covered Panic! at the Disco's "I Write Sins, Not Tragedies" as part of a radio program...that didn't ask him to cover the song. The cover was so bad that the radio station called Brendon Urie to hear it and could only play the beginning of the song due to its complete lack of melody as well as incorrect lyrics and Wangst.
  • 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). 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.
  • Courtney Love's off-key, emotionless version of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy".
  • 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. If you took a shot every time he strains his vocals, you'd die from alcohol poisoning, and the electric guitar in the chorus can barely keep up with the already butchered tempo. Approach with caution.
  • William Shatner's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", voted the worst Beatles cover of all time. Asked what one song he would choose to bring with him if marooned on a deserted island, George Clooney picked this, saying "If you listen to [this song], you will hollow out your own leg and make a canoe out of it to get off this island."
    • The problem with this song are that the instrumentals sound more like 60s stock music; the over-reliance of sound effects; the lyrics aren't even sung, they are spoken in an over dramatic tone; and this cover fails to recapture the Beatles charm the original song had.
  • Deathcore band Dr. Acula's cover of Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep." It takes everything that was fun about the original and kills it. Listen to the abomination here.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • From the 1920s or so we have this version of the old standard "The Sidewalks of New York." Notice how the instruments are all very, very out of tune...
  • ConicTeamTV's cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," which speaks for itself. On another level of embarrassment, the "background singers" are supposed to be Sonic and company, which is especially sad for those that know that Michael Jackson had huge connections with Sega and that he is rumored to have composed a few songs from Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
  • 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!
  • The Shaggs of course are famous for being a horribly uncoordinated, Giftedly Bad Girl Group who struggled with their instruments and made this strangely fascinating cacophony of sound. But what happens when they cover someone else? You get this very, very, very uncomfortable cover of the Carpenters' "Yesterday Once More." The Shaggs are maybe the only group in the history of music that sound better when they're not keeping together.
  • 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.
  • RuPaul has released multiple albums with several catchy Ear Worm hits ... however, she had the bright idea of letting the drag queens from Rupauls Drag Race cover her music for Seasons 6 and 7, with abums named The CoverGurlz and The CoverGurlz 2. While there is the rare, decently covered song (by queens who can actually sing like Adore Delano and Courtney Act), the rest are usually auto-tuned so much, with the queens giving such a half-assed performance, that most of the tracks are almost too painful to even sit through.

  • Lisa Gail Allred, a country "singer" from Texas who hilariously boasts that she sounds like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, and not like Kim Kelly's mom on Freaks and Geeks. If you're brave enough, listen to Allred slaughter her way through LeAnn Rimes's "Blue", Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing"note , and Terri Clark's "You're Easy on the Eyes" — or as it's misspelled here, "Your Easy on the Eyes".
  • 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.
    • "God" (NSFW) is just an example. Not only does the song contain everything listed above (in addition to lyrics that attempt to portray church-related pedophilia as sexy), it's also topped off with a truly horrible music video, depicting Ryan Bane's pasty white body in what can only be described as awful porn, from Ryan licking pubic hair off a bible, to Ryan dipping a crucifix in his urine and drooling all over a rosary to the ending where he ejaculates on a children's bible.
    • "Prince Charming is thankfully much less Squicky, but it's no less horrible. The whole song is littered with extremely painful rhymes in the lyrics and an extremely repetitive beat and vocal melody that could easily drive one to insanity, and the video is boring with just nothing but shots of him naked and licking things. At least he doesn't jizz on anything.
  • 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.
    • "Video Games," their most infamous work and one of the few that is not a cover, has awe-inspiring lyrics about how video games are awesome and "everything else is really lame". Video satirizing how horrible it is. (Even YouTube seems to agree, since the link for the song just happens to end in "No".)
    • The Music Video Show looked at the video for Video Games. It may have been the reason why the world went to crap at the end of the video.
    • 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 four (later 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 1890s; 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  — terrible lyrics too atrocious to incite laughter, shouted off-key over random pop songs. And most of the time he "sings" over actual songs with actual lyrics instead of the instrumental versions of the songs.
    • For one example, here is "So Need a Cute Girl", with lyrics about being "stuck as a virgin with rage" (not) sung to the tune of "I Want It That Way". "So Need a Better Voice" is more like it.
    • To wit, he turned Meat Loaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" into seven and a half minutes of pure, unrelenting fail. The fact that he doesn't realize he isn't differentiating between the male and female voices makes it even worse.note 
    • His most incomprehensible song was "Sonichu 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.
    • Spanish speakers, you are not safe either. Not only does this song have the most idiotic lyrics imaginable (over half of it consists of "OLE, OLE, OLE!"), but it also is based on a fundamental Critical Research Failure (Casanova was Italian), and the lyrics, when translated, vary from the stupidly simplistic to the downright incomprehensible.
  • 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.
  • 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 likable) 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"
  • Girls With Attitude. Preteen girls who sound like they're on the verge of dying singing/talking about preteen life, backed by a bored-sounding synth so off-key and off-tempo that it sounds like it's from an entirely different song. They could be a modern version of The Shaggs if they had any of the charm.
  • 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.
    • The truTV program World's Dumbest had lots and lots of fun with her song and music video for "Excuse My Christmas", on an episode of "World's Dumbest Performers". One comment (about a trio of amateurishly-drawn animated "Mexicans" with moustaches and wearing sombreros) stated that said piece of "animation" was too crude to be offensive.
  • 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.
  • Rasputin's 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.
  • Savage is 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.

  • Amateur garage cover bands can often be terrible, but there are few who manage to rupture the space-time continuum with their awfulness.
    • This band horribly butchers "The Final Countdown". The keyboardist has the completely wrong sound on his synth and misses several notes, completely ruining the song's most iconic part, and the singer has absolutely no energy or passion.
    • These guys try to cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The guitarist plays the Epic Riff at the wrong rhythm, and the singer just screams the lyrics during the chorus.
    • These musicians fail horribly to cover "Comfortably Numb".
    • This cover of "Sweet Child O'Mine" by three shirtless Brazilian boys. Each member seems to be playing a different song, the instruments' tuning is off, the singing even worse...
    • You know you're bad when the lead singer of the band you're covering criticises you!
  • "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 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. It's worth noting that he seemed fully aware of his sub-par performance however, briefly interrupting with "I'll make up for it now!" and seemed to win back a few members of the crowd by belting out the last note successfully.
    • 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.
    • Christina Aguilera has proven, twice, that the US National Anthem just isn't her bag:
      • 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.
    • Queen Latifah also performed an R&B rendition of the National Anthem on the first NFL game of the 2012 season, adding "spiritual" flavor and repeating the final line over and over. Doesn't help that while performing, she wore a Giants jersey with Peyton Manning's number instead of Eli's.
    • John Michael Montgomery's 2005 Atlanta NASCAR Nextel Cup race performance. To be fair, 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 had the reasonable assumption that he was drunk.
    • None of any of these can hold a candle to Scott Stapp's insulting performance from 2006. Sorry, Scott, but Yarling was probably not the right direction.
    • Oh god, Alexis Normand's performance at the 2013 Memorial Cup. She forgot the anthem's lyrics after the third line, after which she just started making up noises that sound like words. Her bungling of the lyrics got so embarrassing that the Canadian crowd had to step in and finish the song for her. This is made even worse given that the side from Portland, Oregon that had over ten Americans in their lineup. Normand eventually apologized on Twitter, saying that she wished she spent more time learning the lyrics.
    • How about Madison Rising, "America's Most Patriotic Rock Band", at the 2014 DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona? It has a Naval vet wrapping himself in an American flag, and you could see the drivers had "What the fuck I am listening to?" looks written on their faces.
  • After Harry Caray passed away, the Chicago 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, a man by the name of Meredith Hunter, 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.
  • Amanda Brunker's performance at Oxegen 2011. Listen and shudder as she murders U2's With Or Without You. It isn't helped by the fact that she's a non-singer trying to sing at a music festival. When interviewed after and asked how she got the gig (She was a standin for Jessie J, who had broken her leg), she answered that she had put in around twenty years of groundwork.
  • In 2010, the government of Manitoba somehow thought it would be a good idea to ask Iron Maiden to drop their opening band Dream Theater for their Winnipeg gig. In their place came local band Automan.ca, a southern rock band known by virtually nobody. In the past, unknowns have been known to win the crowd over (Voodoo Six, Parikrama), but the only thing Automan.ca "won" was the wrath of the crowd, who booed them off the stage barely a quarter of the way through their fourth song, and for good reasons: not only did they not fit, but their performance wouldn't even sound good in a small club; the guitars were horribly off key, the drums constantly lost beat and the singer seemed to have no idea how to match up with the music. According to several sources, the loudest cheer of the night came from when their banner was taken down. There are clips on Youtube of their performance, which not even the band can stand behind anymore.
  • 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.
  • MTV's Video Music Awards can have some great performances, but there are a few that are just atrocious:
    • Paula Abdul's performance at the 1991 edition. During the post Milli Vanilli scandal years, certain other big Pop stars tried to make it known that they weren't lipsynching either. Abdul, who was accused of the same thing at the time after reportedly having a lawsuit thrown at her by a former backup singer of hers, tried to show everyone that she could sing and never lipsynched to anyone else's voice. Unfortunately, her live shaky vocals (due to the heavy dancing) failed to impress, as well as her unflattering outfit.
    • Britney Spears' performance at the 2007 edition. She's lip-synching, and this time it's obvious. Her weight, while not terribly overweight, is no longer in the shape that it was years eariler, made even noticable by an unflattering two piece outift. 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.
      • An episode of Series/iCarly, entitled "iFix a Pop Star", parodied said performance. Carly, Sam and Freddie were invited to direct fictional singer Ginger Fox's comeback performance, but find it hard to do so, what with Ginger Fox acting like a spoiled brat and failing to try during rehearsals. At the end, the gang has her lip-sync in her performance and try to cover up the obvious syncing fails with tons of smoke, but not before Ginger Fox marches "around the stage like an idiot" and flaunts her unshaven armpits.
    • Miley Cyrus' performance at the 2013 edition. She sounded hideously off-key, like she was either high or out of breath, while going over the top with sexual imagery in a transparent attempt to shock. Almost immediately, the performance was criticized and condemned from all quarters, with Rihanna and One Direction's unimpressed reaction in the audience going viral.note 
  • 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.
    • Speaking of post-grunge, there was Puddle of Mudd's 2004 performance in Toledo, Ohio, where a very inebriated Wes Scantlin admitted only four songs in that he was too drunk to continue. As a result, his thoroughly pissed-off bandmates walked off the stage, leaving him to fend for himself. Too drunk to know to follow them, he remained on stage for another thirty minutes, where he drunkenly warbled random ad-libbed songs and insulted the crowd while throwing back bottles and other assorted projectiles that they had lobbed at him before finally staggering away, where he was arrested by the Toledo police for disorderly conduct. Additional charges were later filed after he repeatedly spat on the back windows of the cruiser that was transporting him to be booked. After being released on a $150 cash bond, he vowed to never play in Toledo again because he was "arrested for nothing", but it's likely that the incident probably made him a Persona Non Grata in the Toledo metro area anyways.
  • Former Real Housewife and current fame whore Danielle Staub, along with three Jersey Shore-esque meathead dancers, perform (in the loosest sense possible) the song "Real Close" live in front of a trapped morning show audience.
  • 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, with several bars worth of lines frequently skipped. 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.
  • Milli Vanilli's MTV performance at Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT. There was already suspicion that neither Robert Pilatus nor Fabrice Morvan made any of the band's music, but this triggered the events that confirmed it. The track they were lip-syncing to skipped mid-chorus. They spent a while trying to pass it off as deliberate before giving up and fleeing the stage. Worse, the whole concert was televised! It was the beginning of the end for Rob and Fab's careers, and it really didn't help that their producer fessed up soon afterwards. Nearly thirty separate lawsuits for fraud were aimed at them and their company. Milli Vanilli became the only act in history to have a Grammy withdrawn, their label dropped them and deleted the master of their first album, and their attempts to carry on without Morvan and Pilatus required a total rebranding in order to so much as get an international release.
    • And as for Rob & Fab themselves? Well, they attempted to redeem themselves by putting out music with their actual vocals on it, and went on The Arsenio Hall Show to prove their integrity. And sadly, this performance, of "We Can Get It On" (warning: low quality), was also not good: Fab was game but singing out of his range, while Rob looked - and very much sounded - way too nervous to give any kind of good performance here.
  • Nicki Minaj's performance of Roman Holiday at the 2012 Grammys was, putting it kindly, a disaster. The performance began with a horribly off-key rendition of "I Feel Pretty", and an overlong video of her alter-ego Roman possessed by a demon. Then, the song started, and Minaj seemed both unsure of what her dance moves were supposed to be and out of breath constantly, the offensive religious imagery notwithstanding. The performance then ended with her "levitating" and singing an off-key rendition of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" while trying to seem evil (and, predictably, failing). The performance was poorly received by the public, was labeled classless and outraged not only religious groups and parents, but fans of Nicki themselves.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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" (without Auto-Tune) on the season 34 Christmas episode hosted by Hugh Laurie.
    • 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. In fact, SNL itself made fun of it on the next new episode (hosted by Channing Tatum with musical guest Bon Iver) by having Kristen Wiig as Lana Del Rey interrupt Weekend Update to talk about her horrible performance.
  • William Shatner covering Harry Chapin's "Taxi" on The Dinah Shore Show circa 1973 (yes, that's a timecode). Even by his standards, it's awful.
  • In a strange meta-example, there's the case of Spinal Tap, a parody "band" created for the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap. A few years after the movie was released, "Spinal Tap" did a live stage tour. The Folksmen (i.e., actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer) "opened" for Spinal Tap (i.e., actors Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer). A significant portion of the audience completely missed the joke, apparently thinking Spinal Tap was a real heavy metal band, and didn't understand why the opening act for the concert was a trio singing folk songs. In one memorable instance in New York the audience actually attempted to boo the Folksmen off the stage in favor of... the exact same people.
  • 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 people thought they would win fame and fortune (and draw attention to homeless children) by setting up and performing right on three lanes of Los Angeles' busy 101 freeway. Instead they "won" the wrath of the city's drivers as well as jail time. Cracked has more on the subject here.
  • "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). 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.
  • 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 even ranged from good to great. However, it was horrendously planned.
    • To start with, environmental issues plagued the show. It was staged at the closed-down Griffiss Air Force Base, which had been declared a Superfund site (i.e. contaminated with toxic waste) in 1987. Furthermore, it lacked any natural shade to protect guests from the triple-digit mid-July heat.
    • Outside food and drink was forbidden, which was only made worse by the blatant price gouging (bottles of water were being sold for $4, pizzas for $12). This led guests to tear apart the water fountains to access free water, creating mud pits around them. Supermarkets in nearby Rome, New York saw long lines and shortages of stock as guests who didn't want to pay concert prices for food and drink picked them apart.
    • Toilet facilities were insufficient, and broke in little time.
    • Through debated means, the crowd grew violent and out of control. Some blame Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, noting his angry speech to the crowd and his band's performance of "Break Stuff". Others blame the sets by Kid Rock and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the latter of whom performed a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire" (reportedly at the request of Hendrix's sister in his honor) and had handed out free candles for the purpose of a candlelight vigil during "Under the Bridge".
    • By the end, there was mass arson, bonfires, burglary, looting, ATM and property destruction, and allegations of gang-rape. While there were no recorded deaths, six people were injured, and a dozen trailers, a small bus, and an audio tower had been destroyed. Anthony Kiedis compared it to Apocalypse Now, and The San Francisco Gate referred to it as "the day the music died". 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.

  • This claims to be a dubstep remix of Pearl Jam's "Jeremy", when in reality it's a generic techno loop with the lyrics to "Jeremy" played completely out of sync with the rest of the song, with a pitch shift, reverb, and slower tempo added for good measure.
  • This "remix" of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's "Equestria Girls". It's identical to the actual song, but with an instrumental of the Cutie Mark Crusaders theme playing under it - little to no attempt is made to ensure the two harmonize or even have the same tempo.
  • 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", a mashup of John Lennon's "Imagine", and Gary Jules' version of "Mad World". It sounds like he simply took both tracks and played them at the same time, without any attempt to harmonize them.
  • This "mashup" of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" sounds like nothing more than the instrumental and acapella put on fast-forward and slapped together with no effort to harmonize them whatsoever.

  • 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 either side of the issue.
  • A general rule: Youtube will usually have the worst of the bunch:
    • This guy.
    • This girl. That is, unless the video is a joke.
    • These two kids who attempt to do their own rap song and fail... miserably. Now, it's not even something that if watched by people, they'd ignore the quality and go "D'awww, that's so cute!" No, not at all. They're two 10 year olds attempting to do a Boastful Rap, but with the mentality of, well, ten year olds.
    • This guy did three songs, all of which are off-key and dull.
  • "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 while debating over which artist has the worst parts of the song in general.
  • 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".
  • Heidi Montag strikes again, this time with her single "Higher". This is what happens when The Agony Booth gets exposed to it.
  • "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 Music Video Show bashes the song and video here
  • "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.
  • What happens when Lea Michele is possessed by Nicki Minaj, who in turn is possessed by a drug addict? You get Shira's "Pound On My Muffin", an amazing trainwreck of a song that is about as sexy as your grandma's autopsy.
  • 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. Is it surprising to add that Brian at this point was dominated by his svengali-like, highly unethical "therapist" Eugene Landynote  and Sire Records point-blank rejected the album once they heard it? The only good thing that can be said about the Sweet Insanity fiasco is that it resulted in a lawsuit that allowed Brian to disentangle himself from Landy and later undergo a Career Resurrection, while Landy himself was hit with more legal action and lost his medical license due to the gross malpractice and abuses that he had indulged in towards Brian.
  • Speaking of The 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.
  • X-tReMe PoWeR is a band composed of children trying to be cool, and their only song, "Respect and Obey Authority", reflects this. On a technical level, the vocals switch between monotone and sing-songy, the instrumental is repetitive and bland, and the rhymes lack in variety or creativity. It's also a spectacular example of a Clueless Aesop: the lyrics sound like something a dictator would say to their people ("Do what [we] say, and everything will be okay!"). Naturally, Youtube commenters assume this is propaganda.
  • 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.
  • Gnesa's ''Wilder'' suffers from terrible, off-key singing; downright ear-screeching instrumentals; and horrible visuals. The director must have realized this since he obviously attempted to hide her voice using extremely loud background music. And it doesn't help that whoever posted the video hired a bunch of people to post fake positive comments. Ratings are disabled, and any negative comment would get deleted.
    • But as it turns out, the song itself (lyrics, that is) turn out all right when done by a person who can actually sing. This guy made a pretty good cover.



Video Games
  • Many pirated video games are keen on having horrible music.
  • Action 52 has several. "Crazy Shuf(f)le" is one of the most prominent, but also notable are "And They Came/Beeps N' Blips" and "Operation Moon".
    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 music from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle for the NES is horrendous to begin with, but this tune (which is awful on it's own) stands out in the actual game. The sound effects are accidently coded to interfere with the sound channels, making the song even worse.
    The Angry Video Game Nerd: Oh my God! I didn't know the NES was capable of producing such an ear-piercing sound! That's awful!
  • The title music for the ZX Spectrum game Automania is probably one of the most cacophonous video game soundtracks ever made. Listen to it here (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).
  • Bebe's Kids for SNES is already an infamously awful game with terrible music, but the final boss theme is the icing of shit. The same annoying words are repeated constantly to horrible rapping; it is played during an already crappy boss; and worst of all, good luck trying to get it out of your head.
  • From Dian Shi Ma Li (Mario Lottery) — PUSH START TO RICH.
  • The music for the Sega 32X port of Doom is without a doubt evidence on how a single bad port can ruin one of the most awesome songs to ever be included in a video game. Here's the original MS-DOS version of the Level 1 theme... and here's the 32X version of that same song. The raw electric guitar sounds of the original tune were butchered completely into what sounds like a very bad case of flatulence.
  • The soundtrack for the horrible webgame Dontrel Dolphin in its entirety just defies description, other than possibly saying it sounds like the work of someone on a combination of acid and crack trying to play a horror movie score while wearing oven mitts. Listen to The title theme in all its... glory, and if that isn't enough for you, this full playthrough shows off the rest of the game's soundtrack.
  • Farmyard Fun for the Atari 2600. Poor ears of listener.
  • Fire Fly for the Atari 2600 is a really bad game that got a quick mention on the other page, and the music is rubbing salt in the wounds. It was meant to mimic the sound of the titular bug flying around, instead it sounded like a drunk synthesizer on the toilet. Listen to it here.
  • The pathetic Suspiciously Similar Song version of the "Raiders March" in the NES version of Hydlide. It actually first appeared in the otherwise Japan-only Hydlide 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. Here's the two tracks of these songs.
  • The Super Mario World Game Mod Hammer Bro Demo 3 (which is horrible in its own right) has some of this whenever the creator ported music from other games himself. Take the brilliant music from Mega Man (Classic), make it sound like a cat being tortured and someone banging the keys in succession and you've got some of the 'songs' used in this game. If you like the original music, hearing them in this will probably break you. Just compare them here, it's absolutely appalling how bad these renditions are (they're the first ones shown in the comparisons).
    • The music from said hack can stoop even lower than this. One of the songs (which is supposed to be Cascade Capers from Donkey Kong Country 3) did not utilize the correct samples, making the music pure ear rape. It even managed to change the pitch of the sound effects into the level!
  • Too many themes from educational Mario games fall straight into this. Seriously, listen to the music from Mario Teaches Typing or Mario's Early Years. It's torture on the ears. "Mario Teaches Typing" music (with extremely annoying typing sounds) and "Mario's Early Years" music. The latter should also be under So Bad Its Horrible voice acting...
    • 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 the music and sound effects through the PC speaker, creating sounds that ScrewAttack.com likened to "a retarded R2-D2."
  • The NES port of 1942 has an extremely beepy and irritating rendition of the March of Midway, as demonstrated here. It plays throughout EVERY. SINGLE. STAGE.
  • The soundtrack to the R-Type III GBA Porting Disaster has to be heard to be believed. Here's the original Force Select music, and here's the GBA version. If you haven't started crying yet, compare the theme for the first stage: SNES and GBA. Hell, compare it to the C64 version from R-Type, made in 1988!
  • The Director's Cut version of Resident Evil features what sounds like somebody randomly banging the white keys on a cheap Casio (or midi controller) set to "horn." When it was revealed in 2013 that the game's credited composer had secretly paid someone else to write the soundtrack due to his deafness, it predictably resulted in jokes that this particular song was the only one he had written himself.
  • While the NES version of Rygar is well known for its distinctly atmospheric soundtrack, the theme for the Palace of Dorago stands out (in a bad way) for being a 4-note loop. Considering how disproportionately short it is to the length of the dungeon its featured in, it gets repetitive very quickly.
  • Sherlock Holmes: Hakushaku Reijou Yuukai Jiken took the music to the extreme by trying to make it as high-pitched as possible. Painful!
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog Game Mod "Hyper X" is notable for being one of the first Sonic hacks to have its entire soundtrack revamped. However, this isn't necessarily a good thing, as all of the new songs sound like they're either missing audio channels, using inappropriate instruments, or are simply off-key.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis for GBA was a rushed-out-the-door Porting Disaster in all respects. This includes the BGM. Rather than try to synthesize it from scratch, they threw in MIDI files of the original melodies, with ear-grating, tinny samples which are incredibly low-fidelity, even by GBA standards.
  • The intro theme to Japan-only game The Black Bass for the original Famicom has to heard to be believed. One of the leads sounds corrupted to the point where it's grating. Not to be confused with the game that was released in the US by the same name. That was the improved sequel to the original which is known as The Black Bass II in Japan.
  • The Great Waldo Search for the NES may be an improvement over its predecessor, Where's Waldo, but its background music is atrocious. Where's Waldo, as terrible as it was in its own right, at least had the benefit of having Julian LeFay as its composer.
    • The SNES version doesn't fare much better. Aside from a terrible rendition of the Where's Waldo theme song — the NES version by contrast had a digitized version of the theme, a rarity for an 8-bit console — the soundtrack features a grand total of four songs. The ones used for the first, second and fourth levels are mediocre, but the one featured in the third level is absolutely awful.
  • An example that likely would've gone unheard of in this day and age had it not been for The Angry Video Game Nerd, the Speed Skating "music" from the NES port of Winter Games.
  • Wizards And Warriors III — "Thief's Guild". David Wise, what happened? The track starts out fine but, 50 seconds in, devolves into random notes. It's pretty jarring, considering how good the rest of the game's soundtrack is.

Anime Theme Songs
  • Master of Martial Hearts is already a bad show. What makes it even worse is its opening theme song that was sung by someone who can't sing for the life of her. She sounds like a really bored person trying to sing a fast paced song. And that last note she holds is a huge Brown Note. If your ears can take it, here's a link for it here.

  • 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).
  • “Greatest Songs of the Pop-Rock-Alternative-Garage Era” is one of the absolute WORST lists of the 'best' music you'll ever see, and their worst list is even worse than that. The lists seems to be written by the most xenophobic European person ever, as they constantly sing the praises of any artist from the U.K. while bashing any artist from North America they come across, including but not limited to Aerosmith, the Beastie Boys, Eminem, the Eagles, the Jackson 5, Billy Joel, Huey Lewis, Madonna, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Tom Petty (they also list songs usually considered the artists best on this worst list). Meanwhile, on the 'best' list, songs like "I'm Too Sexy" and "I Eat Cannibals" are apparently some of the greatest songs ever, as are 125 Beatles songs (they aren't even listed, so they could literally be ANY Beatles songs, even some of the ones even fans can't stand) and 33 songs by the Cure, both of which are great bands but certainly don't deserve THAT many spots on a best-of list; there also seems to be some Critical Research Failure here as he says every song by the Cure was banned on American airwaves, yet you can hear most of those songs on any station that plays 80s music. In fact, a lot of claims the author makes on which songs are banned are incredibly misinformed and only add to the sneaking suspicion that this person just has an incredible hatred of North American music. The worst part may very well be the fat joke the author makes about the girls of Heart while bashing their music, or maybe the fact that it calls itself the DEFINITIVE 'best music' list.

Music Magazines and Books

Music Videos
  • 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 '80s), 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.
  • On a musical level, Jenna Rose's "O.M.G" was a considerable step up from "My Jeans". The video, however, is utterly reprehensible, given that she was only twelve years old when she filmed it. From the opening crawl of "Jenna Rose as the Teen Boom-Boom Doll," you know what it's going to be from the start — three lengthy, unsettling minutes of an adolescent girl being portrayed as a 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.
  • The utterly contemptuous video for Alison Gold's Shush Up, attempts to portray her as a sexualised criminal who is put to death in the electric chair. This would all be well and good if it wasn't for the fact that Alison Gold was only 12 when this video was made, and attempts to portray her as being Ms. Fanservice whilst dancing in Stripperific costume with an assortment of similarly scantily clad females. Alison Gold's music and videos had always attracted negative attention, but this made even fans of "Chinese Food" cringe hard. The backlash was swift and brutal and resulted in the official video being taken down from Alison Gold's YouTube after only several days. It was so bad that it may even have killed her career before it even began, as she has not released anything since.
  • Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonite" video was the machine gun that shot his stardom down. The video showed Squier doing some not very manly dance moves, some of which include stripteases on his bed and he remains in rather femme-looking clothes for the duration of it, getting dressed and putting on a pink tank top. The video, directed by Kenny Ortega, may have been considered So Bad, It's Good if it were made today... but back in 1984, many TV stations refused to air it, and he lost a huge portion of his fanbase because of the video, making the song his last ever "hit" (the fact that it was a hit may be questionable too, as it was dropped from several radio stations not long after). It frequently appears in "Worst Music Videos Ever" list and Squier himself refuses to even talk about it.
  • Eddie Murphy's "Whatzupwitu", featuring an appearance by Michael Jackson, made its way to the number three position on the MTV "25 Lame" list. Jackson had not yet been tainted by career-destroying scandal when this arrived in mid-1993, and Murphy had managed a pop hit with "Party All the Time" in The Eighties, yet this still wasn't a hit. The clip's been compared to David Bowie and Mick Jagger's notorious "Dancing in the Street" video due to its copious amounts of Homoerotic Subtext. But while that was So Bad, It's Good (at worst), this just pairs a bland song with lazy greenscreen visuals. Todd in the Shadows took a quick look at it in his One Hit Wonderland video about Murphy's recording career, and thought that it might be a reason why both performers had such a rough go of it in The Nineties. The Music Video Show also looks at the music video here, saying that it is the strangest thing Michael Jackson has ever been involved with.