Friday, December 04, 2009

Top 5 Worst Beatles Solo Albums

It's true that the Beatles, especially after they broke up, are not immortal. They made some serious mistakes after they separated, so this list is to celebrate their worst of the worst!
  1. BAD BOY - Ringo Starr, 1978 - Of course, Ringo was going to get the top spot. There is nothing rewarding about listening to this album. From the terror of his "Where Did Our Love Go?" to the freak-show "Monkey See - Monkey Do". Maybe "Old Time Relovin'" is good, but one song does not make an album good.
  2. PIPES OF PEACE - Paul McCartney, 1982 - At some point of your career, you have to make a truly unlistenable album. Paul came close throughout the 1970's with Wings, but at least Wild Life came with a few rewards. Pipes Of Peace has nothing rewarding. The songs might seem enjoyable on the surface, but that's all they are. There's nothing here that goes beyond the surface. Sure, Paul isn't the Beatle we expect to be introspective, but things like "Sweetest Little Show" or "The Other Me" don't help fix Paul's reputation.
  3. SOME TIME IN NEW YORK CITY/LIVE JAM - John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band, 1972 - The year 1972 was the worst year for the Beatles in the 1970s. Aside from Paul's three bizarre singles and Ringo's "Back Off Boogaloo", Some Time In New York City was the only Beatles release of the year. This is truly a terrible record from start to finish. The fact that John only has three solo lead vocal jobs doesn't help. On top of that, none of them are his best. "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World" is easily the worst protest song he ever wrote. "John Sinclair" is good, only because of his steel guitar playing. "New York City" is a rambling, pointless sequel to "The Ballad Of John & Yoko". As for Yoko's songs....well, at least "Sisters O Sisters" has a good rhythm.
  4. RINGO THE 4TH - Ringo Starr, 1977 - When I first got this, I thought this was the worst Beatles solo record...then I heard the above and figured out that it could get worse. Anyway, the thing abouth Ringo The 4th, aside from the fact that it's numerically incorrect, is that Ringo's voice is totally shot. The songs themselves are actually half-way decent ("Sneaking Sally Through The Alley" and "Can She Do It Like She Dances?" are actually two of my favorite Ringo songs), but Ringo just sounds drunk out of his mind for the majority of the record.
  5. DRIVING RAIN - Paul McCartney, 2001 - The trouble with Driving Rain is that it's just too god-damned long. There's some fantastic material on it ("About You", "Lonely Road", "She's Given Up Talking", "Your Way" and "From A Lover To A Friend"), but there's so much crap hanging around it ("Riding To Jaipur", "Back In The Sunshine", "Driving Rain" and "Spinning On An Axis"). On top of that, Paul's voice, like Ringo's on Ringo The 4th, is shot. He strains it to the point where you can feel it hurt.
Wow, that was actually harder than I thought it was going to be. Why no George? Well, I honestly don't think he ever made a truly bad record. Dark Horse and EXTRA TEXTURE have some pretty bad moments, but overall, I find them enjoyable records. Also, the avant garde John & Yoko albums don't count, simply because I don't have them. Because of that, I think it would have been unfair to consider George's Electronic Sound. Archival releases also had to be thrown out (which really just means that I couldn't consider John's Anthology, since that's the only real 'archival' release by any of them). Finally, Give My Regards To Broad Street could have been thrown in, but that's a soundtrack with only three new songs and the majority of those re-recorded were Beatles songs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Driving Rain IS a great one, I think one of Paul's Top 5-Albums. Underrated. The real stinker on it is that FREEDOM crap. He should have let this off...