Dud Tracks On Favourite Albums

Yesterday I was listening to ‘Harvest’, one of my favourite albums by the great Neil Young. There’s one song however that I always skip, and that’s ‘A Man Needs A Maid’, an overwraught, over-orchestrated effort that just gets on my nerves.

Later I got to thinking about how often it’s the case that there’s one dud on a lot of my favourite albums; that one song that’s just inferior due to weak writing, or over-production, or incompatability with the overall mood or ‘feel’ of things.

Take The Beatles’ ‘White Album’, that cornucopia of sounds which is a landmark in their catalogue. Or rather, just take ‘Revolution 9’, all fucking four hours of it. I know that some regard this as a sort of ‘avant garde’ piece, but I regard it as out-of-place snash. Oh and as this is a double album, let’s point the finger at ‘Wild Honey Pie’, a piece of pure McCartney crap which at least has the virtue of being short.

How about ‘Voices of Old People’, that burst of chuntering on the otherwise enduring ‘Bookends’ from Simon and Garfunkel? Okay, I know it could be argued that it helps to establish the album’s theme, but once heard, forever skipped.

The Smiths ‘Meat Is Murder’ would be perfect, were it not for that darned title track, with its abattoir noises and dragging, tub-thumping moralising. Nobody doubts the sincerity of Morrissey’s commitment but honestly, it makes me want to go out and eat a big, juicy steak.

I appreciate that The Police’s ‘Mother’ from ‘Synchronicity’ is a bit of a Marmite track; so love it, some hate it. I wouldn’t say that I hate it so much as find that its inclusion jars and upsets the ‘flow’ of the album. Would have been much better as a quirky ‘b’ side I’d say.

I don’t want wear out my welcome so I’ll conclude with one final example. ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ remains my favourite Dylan album, an almost perfect synthesis of his acoustic and electric styles. Almost.The bad apple in this collection is the oh so pretentious ‘Gates of Eden’. ‘Of war and peace the truth just twists its curfew gull it glides, upon four-legged forest clouds the cowboy angel rides’. I’ve seen it described as Dylan’s most ‘surreal’ song. I suppose that’s one way of putting it.

Of course this is very subjective; one man’s musical meat is another man’s poison.
But I’d bet that when you think about it, there’s that album with THAT track on it that irritates the life out of you. Not a matter of life and death; just a bit of a cunt.

Nominated by Ron Knee.
No Dud tracks on the cover picture album C.A. or are there?

119 thoughts on “Dud Tracks On Favourite Albums

  1. ‘ Slade Alive ‘ Best live album ever.

    No duds and the best version of ‘ Born To Be Wild ‘ you’ll ever hear.

    Good evening.

  2. There are no dud tracks on ‘The very best of Eddy Grant’, mark my words.

  3. Sgt Pepper’s ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Within you,without you’ are fairly crap by Beatle standards.If say…Strawberry fields and Penny Lane had made the album instead of being rushed out as a single double-sider instead,i would say it deserves a best album of all time ranking.?

    I prefer my own compilations rather than eulogize the album as a cultural artefact per se instead of what they generally represent,ie a catchment of tunes ‘good to go’?

    Dark Side,Pet Sounds and maybe Rumours are obvious cultural landmarks.Points deducted though for ‘songbird’ a pleasant enough Chrissie song i guess.but one that somewhat intrudes on the groove of the masterpiece ?

    For my money.’Going For The One’ by YES is topper most of the popper most.Not an ounce of fat on it.

    • I felt Fleetwood Rumors was overrated as fuck due to Stevie Nicks overbearing presence in the group

      Thats a brave stance on Yes’s GFTO lol Its decent album but I can think of 4 Yes albums I like way more before picking that

  4. After thinking about it,
    KLF – Chill out is another favourite,
    Stone roses – Stone Roses.
    Anything by The Smiths.

    Now if I could slightly tweek the nom, I’d like to nominate U2 – The Joshua Tree or anything by Coldplay, manic Street cunts, linkin park, evenescence, jay fucking zee, etc for making these vile talentless cunts famous.

  5. ‘Golden Lights’ from ‘The World Won’t Listen’.

    Morrissey’s obsession with covering kitsch 60s crap like Twinkle and Cilla Black was one of the reasons why Johnny Marr pissed off…

  6. ‘Little Miss Strange’ off Electric Ladyland.
    A crap Noel Redding song on a Hendrix masterpiece.

    ‘And The Gods Made Love’ is pretty bad as well. It sounds like a load of slowed down farting.

  7. The underrated English band Colsseum did some good stuff back in the day .Valentine Suite (1969) and Colosseum Live (1971) well worth a listen.The track, “Elegy” is enough to make a grown man cry.
    Everyone must be familiar with “Lost Angeles”.
    Plenty of Chris Farlow doing vocals and some wonderful sax stuff from Dick Heckstall-Smith.
    What’s not to like?

  8. ‘One Love’ by the Stone Roses was shite. A really weak and cliched chorus. However, the B-Side ‘Something’s Burning’ was genius.

  9. MLK off the Unforgettable Fire.
    Bonio’s syrup drenched tribute to ‘Saint’ Martin Luther King Jnr Who Never Did Nuthin Wrong Nevah.

  10. I’ve currently got 9 tracks in the can for my next album, so the temptation would be to stick in a couple of “fillers” i.e. substandard stuff I’ve done and rejected but tarted up a bit.

    In the old days, record companies set deadlines for issue dates – hence albums were rushed out with a couple of duff tracks. Thankfully I’m under no such pressure and release when it’s ready.

    On the other hand, an ex-friend of mine said you’d never be able to tell because all my stuff is crap!

  11. I’m Late to post Reproduction was a great Human League Album but Travelogue was a bit better

    You can go wrong with either album tho the early lineup of Human League was the best before they split up

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