The Six Worst Songs On Great Albums

Categories: Nitpick Six

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Even on a quote-unquote perfect album, one song has to be inferior to the others, just as one song has to rule the roost. Such is the yin and yang of nature. Here are the six worst songs on the best albums.

6. Wilco - "Heavy Metal Drummer" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco on Grooveshark

Jeff Tweedy brings up his Belleville roots by namedropping the Landing in "Heavy Metal Drummer", and it's easy for us locals to overlook the track's cheese because of its St. Louis cred. The lyrics are nostalgic enough for phrases like "I miss the innocence I've known" to squeak by inoffensively. "Drummer" is the only tune on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to suffer from its production. The electronic drum backbone - which, chronology aside, sounds an awful lot like a Garage Band loop - is reminiscent of fellow Chicagoans the Sea And Cake, but something doesn't hit right. The synth blurps and sunscreen funk end up coming off like some adult contemporary beach bash. In fairness, the track only makes this list because it is surrounded by such great company on its parent record.

5. Beck - "Novacane" from Odelay
Novacane by Beck on Grooveshark

Beck valiantly handled the sketchy intersection of rock and hip-hop on Odelay, and "Novacane" is the only moment where the mixture spilled into nu-metal territory. The verses sound like Beastie Boys (R.I.P, MCA, btw) rapping through a CB radio over a Rage Against The Machine b-side. The Dust Brothers guru production team keeps the track above water here and there with well-placed samples; that James Brown horn stab and bass slide break is pretty classic. But a polished, or remixed, turd is a turd nonetheless.

4. The Beach Boys - "Sloop John B" from Pet Sounds
Sloop John B by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark

Brian Wilson was writing innovative songs on Pet Sounds amidst internal turmoil and in-band tensions. The group's version of "Sloop John B" is out of place because it feels like pandering -- to the other Beach Boys, to an audience who wanted surfing jams. The harmonies are nice (it's the effing Beach Boys, what do you expect) but otherwise, meh.

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15 comments
Terrycart
Terrycart

This list is useless, makes no sense. Try to search some lightness.

Fuck-suburbs
Fuck-suburbs

Can anyone tell me why this dickhead felt he had the authority to judge any of these songs? Stupid fucking list from what sounds like a tool with shit taste in music. Fail.

vaultovinyl
vaultovinyl

The writer of this list is obviously smoking crack and jackin' it in the corner. To even put The Beach Boys, The Beatles and Wilco on a "worst" list is insane.

justaguy
justaguy

Thank you, Ryan Wasoba, for not having to read past your byline in the future.

bryan baba
bryan baba

Yeah, definitely the worst list of all time. I really dislike this. I wonder what's the worst concert event? Is there a list for this one?

GS
GS

"Heavy Metal Drummer": THANK YOU.

Jjohne
Jjohne

What will we be subjected to next? Crazy hats on cool music people's heads? Silly guitar colors on great guitarist's guitars? Or how about unforgiving matte photography adorning otherwise graphically creative album covers (and/or record sleeves)?

This is lamer than those music equations back in the day.....

Mike Appelstein
Mike Appelstein

Dude, picking "Conduit for Sale" as the worst anything is just asking for it.  And "Heavy Metal Drummer?"  On the bright side, it's hard to argue with "The Girl is Mine."

Gavin Harrison296
Gavin Harrison296

Sloop John B is one of The Beach Boys' best. There are several songs on Pet Sounds worse than this catchy, expansive singalong.

Sam Baiamonte
Sam Baiamonte

This is the worst list in the history of bad lists

Cory Spence
Cory Spence

Sloop John B is one of seven Beach Boys tunes to rank in RS's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (No. 276).  One of the only one or two tracks from Pet Sounds to have made the list.   "To an audience who wanted surfing jams," yet became the fastest, and biggest selling single for the Beach Boys at that point in their recording career.........their Avengers, if you will.

Bace Monk
Bace Monk

Geez. I like all these songs.  Your thoughts on the Pavement and Beck songs are particularly perplexing.  Novacane is, and always has been, my favorite song on Odelay.

Additionally, the DUST Brothers produced Odelay, not the Chemical Brothers.

Guest
Guest

The fact that Sloop John B made this list is completely ridiculous. That song is phenomenal.

Brian Stitt
Brian Stitt

I nominate this for worst list on an otherwise great website. Suggest re-titling it Six Relatively Popular Songs I Don't Like for Different Reasons.

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