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Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album

Updated November 6, 2017 1.9k votes 664 voters 26.6k views13 items

List RulesVote up the most awful album by a band you usually love

If you think about it, the most prolific bands have the highest chance of putting out at least one album that's total sh*t - but one bad album does not a bad band make. In fact, plenty of bad albums by great bands exist. Sometimes the artists bounce back (David Bowie took six years off after Never Let Me Down flopped to work on a comeback album), and sometimes they can't recover (RIP classic Weezer). We rounded up the 13 worst albums by good bands to prove that even the best in the biz have low moments. Do you agree?
  • Metallica: St. Anger (2003)
    Video: YouTube
    Metallica is a band that broke barriers when they first came on the music scene in the eighties. They brought heavy metal/thrash rock to the masses, and the masses loved it - especially 1991's The Black Album, which debuted at No. 1 in ten countries. Following a legal dispute with Napster and some unfavorable press in the early aughts, Metallica released St. Anger, meant to go back to their garage-rocking roots. The attempt didn't quite work out. The album got mixed reviews but most critics agreed that the lo-fi production was more noisy than raw and real, and Metallica took a lot of shit for abandoning their signature sound. 
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    • Robin Thicke: Paula (2014)
      Video: YouTube
      Pop and R&B star Robin Thicke's rise to fame was a slow burn. He spent the beginning of his career writing for other artists before his own single, "Lost Without You," was released in 2006 and Thicke became known for his sultry, white-boy R&B sound. His 2013 single with Pharrell, "Blurred Lines," catapulted him to superstardom. After a highly-publicized cheating scandal and subsequent separation from his wife, Paula Patton, Thicke released Paula as an attempt to win her back. The whole album was sappy, semi-creepy, and slightly stalkerish - a total turn-off for fans. 
      • Age: 43
      • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
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    • Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto (2011)
      Video: YouTube

      The members of Coldplay are soft rockers and we love them for it. They saw a lot of commercial, Top 40 success, but their music still felt authentic. That is, until 2009’s Mylo Xyloto. A concept album, Xyloto attempted to merge electronic sounds with pop sensibilities and fell flat. Frontman Chris Martin explained, “We have Justin Bieber and Adele to compete with and they're much younger than us.” Coldplay should’ve let Bieber be Bieber and stayed true to their piano-ballad roots.

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      • U2: Pop (1997)
        Video: YouTube
        U2 is a rock band that's always striving to reinvent itself, which has, for the most part, worked for them. That wasn't exactly the case with 1997's Pop, which was a complete departure from the type of alt-rock that fans expected (and wanted). Instead of soaring vocals and clear guitars, Pop delivered electronic dance music bordering on techno that critics just couldn't agree on. The music was good, but it just wasn't U2.
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