Music

Great Bands That Really Jumped the Shark with That One Album 

Jessica L. Yarbrough
Updated November 6, 2017 669 votes 344 voters 10.2k views 13 items

List Rules Vote 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?
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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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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: 41

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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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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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: 51

Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

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