Saturday 7 December 2019

Top six 'what on earth were they thinking?' albums

Robbie Williams - Swings Both Ways
Robbie Williams - Swings Both Ways
John Meagher

John Meagher

Boyzone, in an effort to kick-start a flagging career, are set to release a Motown album.

From Dublin to Detroit is likely to make the purists shudder but it’s worth remembering that their debut hit, ‘Working My Way Back to You’, was a cover of the version released by Motown survivors the Detroit Spinners back in 1979.

Quite how the Boyz of 2014 will fare outside their comfort zone is anyone’s guess – although if their unremittingly awful last album is anything to go by, they will have their work cut out for them.

Sometimes, it’s best for boybands – and even those of a more serious hue – to stick with what they know as this sorry collection just goes to prove…

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Robbie Williams - Swings Both Ways

Robbie Williams – Swings Both Ways (2013)

Having had a hit with the Swing When You’re Winning album in the height of his solo career in 2001, the Williams offered more of the same last year although it was clear he’s heart wasn’t in it. An album of standards so insipid and pedestrian, he manages to tarnish both the songs he covering and his own reputation.

 

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The Cranberries: To the Faithful Departed

Cranberries – To The Faithful Departed (1996)

Hard as it might be for younger readers to countenance, Dolores O’Riordan and friends were once quite good. Unfortunately, when they ditched their Sundays-inspired jangle-pop in favour of harder rock they came badly unstuck. And Dolores’s frail grasp of lyric-writing was shown up quite horribly.

 

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Chris de Burgh: Moonfleet and Other Stories

Chris de Burgh – Moonfleet and Other Stories (2010)

His Royal Shortness is at his best when crooning songs of undying love, red dresses and Connemara coasts, not when attempting a concept album inspired by an English pirate. The album disappeared without trace in this country – and it’s no loss.

 

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Ryan Adams: Rock N Roll

Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll (2003)

Anybody who heard Adams’ old band Whiskeytown knows that the man is capable of writing hard-edged songs that burrow their way into your heart and stay there. But this ghastly collection of sub-Oasis sludge is a lengthy one-finger salute to the listener. And it’s certainly not Gold – his wonderful solo debut.

 

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Bob Dylan: Empire Burlesque

Bob Dylan – Empire Burlesque (1985)

Even the great man of American song is not immune the whims of an era and some of his work in the 1980s is badly served by synthesizers and all manner of studio trickery. Even the most ardent aficionado would struggle to argue the merits of this pitiful collection whose production kills even the better songs stone dead.

 

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David Bowie: Never Let Me Go

David Bowie – Never Let Me Down (1987)

Bowie may be one of rock’s most iconic names – his work in the entire 1970s remains jaw-droppingly special – but he suffered a lean streak in the mid-1980s. This album epitomises his creative free-fall: no longer was he at the forefront of change, this is the work of a man desperately trying to piggyback onto prevailing trends – and failing.

 

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