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Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album

Updated November 6, 2017 1.9k votes 652 voters 26.2k 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?
  • Bruce Springsteen: Working On  is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album
    Video: YouTube
    Blue-collar hero Bruce Springsteen abandoned his usual material - the problems of the American everyman - for 2009's Working On A Dream. The uncharacteristically upbeat collection of songs received mixed reactions, from 5-star ratings to "exhilaratingly bad" reviews. Although it did debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, Dream is definitely Springsteen's least "Springsteen"-y album to date.
    • Age: 71
    • Birthplace: Long Branch, New Jersey, USA
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  • Liz Phair: Liz Phair (2003) is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album
    Video: YouTube
    Indie's little darling Liz Phair shocked the underground rock community when she released her self-titled album in 2003. It was full of poppy-beyond-belief hits and a far cry from her raw, gritty, feminist offerings of the '90s. Liz Phair pushed Phair into mainstream fame for the first time, but critical reception was nothing if not harsh - The New York Times' review said Phair had "committed an embarrassing form of career suicide."
    • Age: 53
    • Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America
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  • Prince had a pop/funk/soul/psychedelic/rock sound all his own, and for the most part wasn’t one to compromise his artistic integrity. His single attempt at radio-friendly tunes resulted in Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, which was a disappointment to those who’d come to love Prince’s unique offerings. Even Rolling Stone said the collection of songs “suggests his crap detector is still at least partially on the fritz.” Ouch. 
    • Age: Dec. at 57 (1958-2016)
    • Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America
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  • Neil Young: Everybody's Ro is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album
    Video: YouTube
    The early eighties was a tough time for Neil Young - at least, that's what his music from the time indicates. Young's go-to genre was the acoustic folk-rock he's come to be known for, but he experimented with synth sounds for 1982's Trans. Apparently, his label wasn't into it: they asked for more rock on the next album. "I almost vindictively gave Geffen Everybody’s Rockin," Young said. The 1983 compilation of rockabilly covers and originals was way out of left field for Young; he ended up going back to folk-country tunes for his next album for a total of three genre switches in five years.
    • Age: 74
    • Birthplace: Toronto, Canada
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