THE TEN MOST OVERRATED ALBUMS IN POP HISTORY

Bored as I’m sure you are with lists of ‘impactful’ records in peoples’ lives minded to instead look at those sacred cows of the cannon that could do with negative reappraisal. Unifying factor? They’re all fucking BORING as shit.

BTW — the inevitable come back to this is ‘but when I was a kid that album meant . . . ‘ zzzzz IRRELEVANT. Kids can be twats. Listen to these appalling records with fresh ears and realise how rancidly past their sell-by they are . . . all of them still exert far too much influence.

If I find out that people like these it goes in the dossier.

Under ‘fundamental misunderstanding of music’.

10. Primal Scream: Screamadelica

Besides the fuckawful half baked pastiche of music that this record is isn’t it just the shittest laziest NAME for an album ever? Take last word of band name — add ‘delica’ fucking brilliant. One of those bands with immaculate taste and a hole where their reason-to-be should be. Gillespie is a good magpie which is a skill in itself. I mean I kind of want to tip my hat to him simply for sustaining his bullshit for so long. But he shouldn’t kid himself he’s an important artist or a musician. He’s an aggregator unable to inject any persona/anything unique into these endless displays of his immaculate taste because he genuinely only exists in the spaces between the things he owns.

I hear defenders of this (a Venn diagram of defenders of this and ‘The Stone Roses’ would be a single circle) mewl “But they introduced dance music to indie kids who . . .” yadayada shut the fuck up. I’ve never felt the need to have what’s happening in music neutered/simplified/reappropriated by a big white rock n roll band. Why the fuck would I listen to a rock band exploiting the underground when I could just listen to the uncut stuff from the underground? Never figured that out. S’like trip-hop. Umm yeah — hip hop IS already a trip, why do I need these soulless dilettantes reimaginings of it? Especially when, to my ears, they add nothing and only dilute dilute dilute. This is what Primal Scream do. Bore me shitless, always.

This never has anything to do with ‘originality’. I like plenty of totally derivative music but if I feel I’m getting nothing beyond an accumulation of good source material it leaves me bored and cold. And that’s how PS make me feel. Record-collection rock at its grisliest nadir. Shamefully influential.

9. DJ Shadow: Endtroducing

When the best you can claim for an album is that it’s better than UNKLE’s ball-achingly tedious insomnia-cure ‘Psyence Fiction’ you’re clutching at some pretty shitty straws. Commonly seen as a high point of ‘trip hop’ this is a coma-inducing crock bar ‘Organ Doner’. Shadow was always one of the least interesting artists on the mainly dull Mo’Wax (even on those first ‘Headz’ comps his stuff was routinely eclipsed by the far superior DJ Krush and RPM and off the top of my head Output/NinjaTune/Ultimate Dilemma were ALL better t***-h** labels than Mo’Wax — now the name of a beard-grooming product tellingly), and the way this soporific set is often held up as some kind of instrumental hip hop masterpiece of the 90s is just more proof that music critics would rather not dig for hip hop, just accept whatever ‘iconic’ cliches can best make the whole genre something they can tick off and otherwise forget about. I call bullshit on this snooze fest.

8 and 7 — Oasis: Definitely Maybe, The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses

Okay no surprises here so let’s bunch them together like the twin-dogseggs that they are. Just a couple of points.

1. Re: those racist homophobe dickheads Oasis- To quote myself: ‘those 90s where apologetics became the internal bloodstream, and arrogance thus became the blaring facade, of what was served up as alternative/independent. When simply saying you were rock and roll often & drearily enough was enough to make you iconic . . . that half-witted (yet convinced it’s witty as fuck) self-awareness that instantaneously stalls joy, the tacit admission that alright, best we can do is slightly crapper versions of what’s come before, but hey, if we all close our eyes and pretend, who cares eh? And if that’s admitted then any kind of pastiche is ok, will pass, so many moments from Oasis where you think not only ‘are they just going to steal that then?’ but ‘my god, how withered does your soul have to be to be willing to put your name to such flabby, lazy larceny?’ Take that admission of general abitshitness, that pride in ‘getting away with it’, in precisely avoiding the big statement either musically or lyrically in preference of making some facsimile of feel, attitude scruffed like factory-damaged jeans, a simulacra of ‘importance’, take that sanctification of the half-witted & slow-moving . . .’

Oasis are the Chris Evans of music. If you like them you must despise pop. They are the single artist that most sums up all I most detest in rock and pop music over its entire history. I know it’s common to say ‘yeah but those early singles’ — no sorry, that band have always made the most revoltingly lumpen, conservative sound in music. Yes they absolutely are ‘iconic’ and ‘legendary’ and if you like them, you and their fucking rubbish music and those kinds of adjectives deserve each other. You cunt x

2. Just wanted to clarify something re the Roses debut. In my Quietus review I think I compared it to NWA’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’. I don’t wanna retract that — they are both a few good tracks surrounded by a ton of filler BUT there is one crucial difference. Would be GUTTED to never hear the good tracks off ‘SOC’ again. If I was told I would never ever hear a single note by the fucking Stone Roses again I really wouldn’t care one iota.

Two of the most damaging, regressive, records of all time.

6. The Who: Who’s Next

Seriously is there an unlovelier sound in all Classic Rock than the Who? The definitive singles band who should have called it a day in 67.

Always hated Moon’s drumming, Townsend’s earnestness and Roger Daltrey has been the most repellent frontman in rock for nigh on half a century now. Because I guess they hadn’t been emetic enough with the baked beans here we are asked to chuckle at four streaks of piss leaving four streaks of piss behind — the perfect summation of their grubby be-denimmed pomposity and sanctimoniousness. A band that have always left me cold. Shit then. Shit now.

5 Fugees: The Score

Come on now — ‘Blunted By Reality’ = half decent. This? A quarter decent, if that, and the hits all awful. (‘Miseducation’ is another kettle of fish — loved the singles massively underwhelmed by the album)

Have no idea why this appears in so many lists. Oh yeah, tokenism.

4. Cream: Disraeli Gears

I don’t mind overrated albums so long as they don’t prove influential. Is there a more worthless discography in all of rock than that racist cunt Clapton? (also found Baker dull bar his work with Fela and Masters Of Reality).

Like most teenagers in the dire mid80s I spent most of my time in 60s/70s reconnaissance but Cream was the band that firmly told me ‘okay you’ve gone too far thissaway- nothing to see here’. Dreadful hippy shit.

3. The Beatles: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Another uncontroversial one.

I really like/admire the Beatles and suspect those who say they sucked etc are just being childishly anti-canonical. Their songs raised several generations including mine. They’re the national songbook. They explored all the possibilities of what pop could do.

It’s not the Beatles fault that one of their weakest records is routinely rotated as a classic — mention or an image of SP is a handy shortcut for many to summarise the late 60s. But honest- from this, only one I love is the last track. All other Beatles albums are better than this.

Friggin’ Satanic Majesties is better.

2. Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP

Again uncontroversial. I dug the first EP, thought the first LP was already showing signs of filler, didn’t much like the hits off this OR the rest of this cash cow. Twice as long as it should be. The fucking filler is deep here.

Em was always a good writer and rapper but that’s not enough to make a great album and I’d argue he’s never made one, including this horribly dated hugely over-praised slab of self pity and shouty nihilism. There always seemed to be this variance between his fans loudly acclaiming him as The Greatest Of All Time and what actually proved influential — Em’s topics were only ‘new’ or shocking to hip hop ‘fans’ who clearly had never been listening before someone who looked like them came and made rap music.

Who bar the retrograde ended up ‘influenced’ by Eminem? Badly dated and utterly irrelevant to where rap was going, this LP now seems of a piece with nu-metal — tormented testosterone in aural form from a fantastically wealthy white guy. Absolutely a classic for those that were young at the time, were easily ‘shocked’, and who really hadn’t heard much music. For the rest of us . . . Remind me what the fuck all the fuss was about? Emo rap. As ghastly as that sounds.

1. The Entire Recorded Works Of Frank Zappa

Do I forgive him for his sterling work with Beefheart, Shaggs, and against the PMRC? Fuck no, Zappa’s discography is one of the most worthless in music and his smart-arsed cynicism, sneering snobbish hatred of pop and contempt for seemingly anyone apart from himself and the similarly revoltingly virtuosic acolytes in his bands makes him an artist I have never been able to stomach. I’ve tried multiple entry points but I can’t get past that hateful snark. What happens when music is dominated by fucking musicians. All of the live footage I’m earnestly pushed towards by Zappa fans always emerges as the most contemptible plank-wankery, devoid of joy, dedicated only to an endlessly egotistic proof of technical ability. It’s not just that I hate him , I like plenty of pop smart-arses — the clever-clever nauseatingly over-egged SOUND of most Zappa is utterly emetic to me, and should be to any pop fan. Flush this shit. Forget this cunt.

Moonbear, Pop Critic, teacher.