The All-'Time' best albums?

I know, Time magazine’s list of the "All-TIME" 100 Albums has been out since Monday, but I’ve been dreading writing about it. The whole point of these lists, of course, is to generate arguments (and pageviews), but this list is just too depressing. It’s not even a bad list; most of what should be there is there, but the omissions are so forehead-smacking stupid and obvious that I won’t even mention them. (Instead, PopWatchers, I’ll let you look at the list and discuss amongst yourselves).

Fortunately, there’s an antidote, in Blender‘s list of The Most Disastrous Albums of All Time (which I found via Stereogum), a set recounting the career-killing discs that felled such former megastars as Peter Frampton, MC Hammer, and Chris Gaines Garth Brooks. The list is far from comprehensive, and I’m not sure it’s even accurate (to call Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk a disaster because it didn’t sell quite as well as the group’s landmark Rumours is like saying Michael Jackson’s Bad was a catastrophe because it didn’t sell as well as Thriller). Still, it’s a refreshing reminder that sometimes its as much fun to snicker at mediocrity and poor judgment as it is to argue over merit.


Comments (38 total) Add your comment
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  • dan

    There is no excuse for leaving ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ off the list.

  • Ed

    Did Blender include K-Fed’s?

  • mike

    Ed, why would they include K-Fed when he never had a career to actually kill?

  • Stephanie

    Dan is right but there are some that are missing on the list:
    Hot Fuss- Killers
    The Cosmic Game- Thievery Corporation
    90’s- Morning View- Incubus
    Odelay- Beck
    Metalica (Black Album)-Metalica
    Version 2.0- Garbage
    Appetite for Distruction- GNR
    Learning to Crawl- The Pretenders
    Tim- The Replacements
    Double Fantasy- John Lennon
    All Things Must Pass- George Harrison
    Wings Over Amercia- Paul McCartney and Wings
    Band On the Run- P.M. and Wings
    Live in Budokan- Cheap Trick
    Frampton Comes Alive- Peter Frampton
    The Joker- Steve Miller and the Steve Miller Band
    Aja- Steely Dan

  • Idolatry

    No Smiths? tsk tsk
    And David Bowie’s “Hunky Dory” makes the cut, but not “Low,” “Lodger,” or “Scary Monsters?”

  • Stephanie

    Idol is right, Low should have been there, and Duran Duran’s Rio too.

  • nessa

    Why does “Free To Be You & Me” never make any of these lists….?

  • Phil

    Coldplay “Parachutes”
    Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill”
    Aerosmith “Pump”
    Bon Jovi “Slippery When Wet”
    And I’m not even a major rock-n-roll fan, but all these albums made a significant impact on me growing up.

  • california

    I’m so glad they recognized the greatness that is Master of Puppets.

  • Liza

    Metalica, The Black Album
    Alanis Morissette,Jagged Little Pill
    System of a Down, Mezmerize
    All of the U2 albums, okay maybe not Pop!

  • Chris

    Where is The Fugees “The Score”? Are you kidding me. Every radio station in the country was playing Killing Me Softly!

  • Celeste

    Not to sound all Kanye, but lists like this that don’t include Queen just completely lose any credibility at all for me.

  • Aron

    Im actually a little dissapointed that Hysteria isnt on there….I mean COME ON!

  • KTS

    5 picks (20% if my math’s correct) are Beatles albums??? Come on…….

  • Ep Sato

    Not even going to touch the 100 best, don’t have TIME for it. On the other hand, the disastrous album list missed a few of my personal favorite disasters:
    Billy Idol’s “Cyberpunk”- Expected to revive Billy’s career, this cd came with a computer viewable video, which was pretty high tech and far fetched in 1991. Despite the rising popularity of “Cyberpunk” themed movies, tv shows and even bands (KMFDM, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy), Billy Idol couldn’t seem to sell a single copy.
    Digable Planets “Blowout Comb”- Their first album spawned the hit “rebirth of the cool” and garnered this Philly quartet (three singers and DJ King Britt) some grammys and millions of fans. Their second album, an anti-pop afrocentric album that delved into the band’s consciousness, failed miserably on commercial and critical fronts. The album was so bad that it broke up the band.
    Pearl Jam’s “Vitalogy”- Their first two albums were mega hits and ruled over the early 90’s grunge scene. However, during the same summer that the band sued ticketmaster (they were upset at the fees charged and wanted to do their own ticketing for their tour), they released this disaster of an album. They won the ticketmaster case but decided to use ticketmaster anyway, then sales of Vitalogy tanked. The band took a hiatus without new albums until 2002, and has not had a major hit since Vs.
    Vanilla Ice’s follow up to his hit 1991 album “to the Extreme” found the white rapper with dread locks and a newfound love of marijuana. Album tracks off “Mind Blowin” had such innuendo laden names as “roll ‘em up” and “blowin’ my mind”. Apparently, stoners don’t buy records because this fella could not find an audience the second time around. Compounding the abysmal failure of this album, Vanilla Ice got sued for “ice Ice baby” and was almost tossed out a hotel window by Suge Knight. By 2000, the guy had tried to kill himself and was busy with his new motorcross career. go whiteboy go whiteboy go!

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