Volume one (of many)
©2022 By Chris Zappa
As an artist, it must be stressful coming up with album titles.
It’s a bit like naming a baby, if that baby’s name was a determining factor in its commercial success or lack thereof.
More often than not, artists strive for interesting names, names that make you think, inspiring one to wonder what’s the story behind the title.
Oftentimes however, throughout the history of modern music there have been plenty of instances where the band or artist clearly phoned it in, choosing a name so odd — in many cases, so dumb or gross — that no matter how great the songs contained therein may be, there’s no redeeming it.
In no particular order, here are a few particularly stinky stinkers that really stink.
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: Trout Mask Replica
There’s never been anyone else quite like Captain Beefheart, and while this album is a classic, containing what can only be described as wildly eccentric music, the title and accompanying artwork are nothing short of smelly. I’m loath to include it here because I am a Beefheart fan, but it is what it is.
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician
Almost anything with clowns gets a big “no” from me. I suppose with a band name like Butthole Surfers, it would be silly to expect their album titles to be anything but clownish. In this regard, with this album — and many of their others — they do not disappoint. Coming in a close second is their fourth studio album, Hairway to Steven
Limp Bizkit: Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavored Water
Stupid bands have stupid band names, and stupid bands with stupid band names come up with stupid album titles. One should not expect much more than this from such a band. In this particular case: expectations met. Enough said.
Kid Rock: Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp
I’m ashamed of myself for including this sentient turd’s name in anything I publish, but not only is he disgusting and ridiculous, so is this album title. Fitting, I suppose. After all, stupid is as stupid does. Cringy scumbag releases cringy album with cringy title full of cringe. Shocking no one. I suddenly feel the urge to shower.
Fiona Apple: When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king / What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight / And he’ll win the whole thing ‘fore he enters the ring / There’s nobody to batter when your mind is your might / So when you go solo, you hold your own hand / And remember that depth is the greatest of heights / And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land / And if you fall it won’t matter, cause you’ll know that you’re right
I’m a big fan of Fiona Apple, and I hate to include her on this list, but people have long given her shit for this one. If you want to release an album, release an album. If you want to write a book, then just do that. This one might be a good example of “just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”
It takes some cojones to choose this name for your album, especially when it’s your debut release, but whether the words run together (as they do here, on purpose) or whether you separate them out, this would still make no sense whatsoever. While we’re at it, what exactly is a sparklehorse? It’s a rhetorical question. I don’t know, and I don’t want to know.
Type O Negative: Origin Of The Feces
I’ve certainly heard of this band, but I’ve never actually heard this band, and with an album title like this one, I’m good keeping it that way. No sleep lost over this one. What a stinker.
George Clinton: Hey Man Smell My Finger
You don’t get more funky than George Clinton, and while the funkmaster himself is a legend among legends, this album title is legendarily bad. With all due respect, George, if it’s all the same to you, I’d really rather not.
Gary Glitter: Touch Me
Two words: hard pass. Two more words: restraining order. One last word: ew.
Mariah Carey: Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse
Somebody is a little full of herself. Okay, a lot full of herself. But what else do you expect from a self-proclaimed “high maintenance diva” who bathes in milk and sleeps with 20 humidifiers in her bedroom?
This list could go on, but readers should only be exposed to so much awful at once.
Rest assured, the albums to make a list such as this are innumerable, so look for future installments in this series.
Want to contribute a stinker or two? Leave a response with your suggestions for worst album titles of all time. Your suggestions might make it into future lists.
©2022 by Chris Zappa