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"I wonder if that music was what killed this grass?"
Hank Hill, King of the Hill

No, we're not making fun of the songs you sing while you're in the shower. However, if you sang any of these songs in the shower, then the shower would make fun of you. Just remember that the difference between music and noise is often purely subjective (even moreso here). Besides, calling music like this noise is an insult to all noises.

Important Notes:

  1. Merely being offensive in its subject matter is not enough to justify a work as So Bad It's Horrible. Hard as it is to imagine at times, there is a market for all types of deviancy (no matter how small a niche it is). It has to fail to appeal even to that niche to qualify as this.
  2. When judging sales, keep certain facts in mind — for one, even a gold record can be considered a commercial failure if the previous record by the artist sold triple platinum.
  3. When considering music for this list, do some research and see if the album/band has had an important role in the development of something else. For example, Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music, despite being critically panned, helped form Noise Rock and Shoegazing, along with being considered the Ur Example of Noise Music. John Lennon and Yoko Ono are also spared, as they are a major influence on the avant-garde.
  4. If you heard it on the radio, however briefly, the odds are very good that it is not horrible.
  5. It isn't horrible music just because Todd in the Shadows and/or any other Caustic Critic reviewed it. There needs to be independent evidence, such as actual critics (emphasis on plural) for example, to list it. (Though once it is listed, they can provide the detailed review.)
Examples (more-or-less in alphabetical order):


Albums

  • Not even the most hardcore Canadian fans of Alanis Morissette will defend her two early albums, Alanis and Now is the Time, which were released only in Canada and may very well be the real-life inspiration for Robin Sparkles. The former is an album of trite Debbie Gibson/Tiffany knockoffs that would have even Kesha rolling her eyes, with her vocals sounding like a very bad Sean Connery impression. The latter is a hilariously lame attempt at Adult Contemporary, with lyrics so contrived and cheesy that Michael Bolton would laugh just reading them, and which flopped badly and deservedly. Both albums are out of print and have never been rereleased, and Alanis herself regards this phase of her career as an Old Shame, often making fun of it at concerts. Have a listen, if you dare.
    • "Too Hot" is the one song off of either album that gets any respect whatsoever, mainly because it sounds very loosely like something that could've come off of Jagged Little Pill. That said, even that song still has its share of people who absolutely hate its guts.
  • Boston were unfortunately never able to recapture the success of their self titled debut, however "Don't Look Back", "Third Stage" and "Walk On" have their fans. The majority, on the other hand, didn't like the darker style those albums took, so they released "Corporate America" in 2002, an attempt to mix the first album's style with some new elements, which is considered by even hardcore fans of the previous three albums to be a major disaster. All the songs are rushed, there are no inspiring riffs or solos or vocal melodies, the vocals are annoying and the lyrics are foolish propaganda. However, the album utterly tops itself when one reads the little "message" in the liner notes where Tom embarrasses himself (and the band) with his political agenda, providing links to environmental organizations and PETA. The album flopped and marked the downfall of the band, who haven't released another album since then, and since has ran out of print.
  • Even the few fans of Crunkcore outfit Broke NCYDE have practically no love for 2007's The Broken, which attempted to paint the group as serious artists. The album was filled with Brokencyde trying to rap and layered with acoustic guitars, with no hint of partying or fun in the music. The album is now out of print (natch), but it has a lot of Unfortunate Implications — namely, that the band is now a Parody Retcon.
  • Discharge are one of the most critically acclaimed Hardcore Punk bands from The Eighties, but Grave New World, their last album before their first breakup is considered to be a total disaster. The band had been leaning towards Heavy Metal for a while, but they went fully metal on this album (even incorporating Hair Metal elements), and they just couldn't master it. The instrumentation was messy, lead singer Cal Morris' newer high-pitched vocal style sounded stupid, the lyrics were uninspired, and the production quality was too squeaky-clean for a band of their type. They regained their brilliance with their return in 1991, but this album is often brought up in conversation between Discharge fans as a disgrace.
  • Having Fun With Elvis On Stage is often considered one of the worst albums of all time. "But," you say, "Elvis Presley was a great singer and conversationalist, plus he cracked some good jokes! How can an Elvis album be here?!" Imagine an Elvis concert without said music, interesting monologues, and all the jokes that make sense. What remains is this album, a solid 35 minutes of Elvis just.....talking, with all context removed so you have no clue what he's talking about. It was a ploy by his manager to make money off him by releasing an album RCA had no rights to. Elvis was infuriated and humiliated by the album's release. One of the only positive things that can be said about it is that the album has an interesting history behind it.
  • Emerson Lake and Palmer is seen as a joke in the modern age, which is sad if you're a Progressive Rock fan; but the album Love Beach is hated even by fans of the band. The album was recorded after the band had crossed the Despair Event Horizon because of their Hatedom — they were legally required to record one more album to finish their record contract. The album itself is based on disco music, the only genre hated by punks more than Progressive Rock. The album is seen by punks as an example of the corrupt studio system and by prog fans for helping to wreck the popularity of progressive rock, since it came out near when Deader Than Disco started to apply to disco. Even the band has expressed their hatred of the album.
  • Waking The Cadaver's Perverse Recollections of a Necromangler. Beyond Cops. Beyond God was So Okay It's Average, but this was both their lowest point and a horrendous first impression. Everyone was overly repetitive, obnoxious, or both, except for the bass, who opted to play below the threshold of human hearing. The singer sounded like a pig in mid-castration, which worsened the immature, appalling lyrics by making them incomprehensible. The opening samples were clichéd, The band could not keep time, channeled all their focus into pointless brutality, and padded the album by recording themselves get stoned.
  • Kevin Federline, aka K-Fed, second husband of pop diva Britney Spears, released an album called Playing With Fire. The album was critically panned and currently holds the lowest score in the history of Metacritic with 15 out of 100.
    • Entertainment Weekly, since about 2006, usually lists a recommended song or two from an album when doing a review, since these days you can buy any song separately. They had "None" listed for this one.
  • What happens when you try to make a Beach Boys album without Brian Wilson? You get Summer in Paradise, in which Mike Love embarrasses himself and the rest of the band for 12 excruciating tracks. The album's atrocities include "Summer of Love", in which Mike Love comes across like a creepy old man lecherously pining after teenage girls, and a horrible version of the classic Dennis Wilson ballad "Forever" sung by John Stamos. Yes, that John Stamos. This is one of only two Beach Boys albums that has never been reissued (the other album being Still Cruisin). It sold fewer than 10,000 copies, and it is rumored to have sold less than a hundred copies on its release date. The album's US distributor, Navarre, went bankrupt not long after this album's release.
  • After the Shoegazing fad folded in the mid 90s, many bands made a failed attempt to adapt to Britpop. Perhaps no other attempt is more pathetic than Ride. After the release of two acclaimed and popular Shoegazing albums, the band attempted a Genre Shift with Carnival Of Light which is average and has its fans, but their fourth album, Tarantula, proved the band had just lost interest in trying to adapt altogether. Two of the members were feuding for control over songwriting, causing the already stressful conditions of recording the album to become unbearable. And it shows, as the album has boring songs padded with the band's sad attempts to make "popular" music. Had the band attempted to stick with Shoegazing they may not have sold well, but they definitely would have kept their dignity.
  • Cryptopsy's 2008 album The Unspoken King. Within a month of its release, there were 15 reviews on Metal Archives with an average rating of eight percent. A botched Genre Adultery (Technical Death Metal to Deathcore) got them accused of Jumping the Shark, but if it had other problems: the production was bad, the songwriting trite, Lord Worm was replaced, and the clean sections were damningly off-key.
    • When confronted about the album and its quality, the band totally handled it in the worst way possible. They threw fits, telling other people they weren't "getting" the message behind it, and tried to avoid people who wanted to ask them about the album.
  • Joe Pesci's Vincent La Guardia Gambini Sings Just for You is often considered the worst comedy album ever released. After the success of My Cousin Vinny, he tried to cash in by writing an album based off of the titular character. First off, it shows him trying to sing in genres that are REALLY out of his league (including gangsta rap), making it hard to incite laughter out of its badness. Then, the jokes fall flat. The character was funny when the lines were written by someone else, but in the hands of Pesci they come off as just plain vulgar and immature.
    • Keep in mind that the gangsta rap attempt is probably So Bad It's Good, but that's the only song on the album that's listenable, albeit in a goofy sort of way. It's weird that he started out as a bar singer before he started acting and this is what he gives us.

Covers

  • Apple and iTunes have been releasing covers of popular anime songs in conjunction with Anisong. There are 45 albums so far, and only three of them have gotten higher than 3 stars on iTunes.
  • Most of the cover songs from Guitar Hero range from okay to good, but there are two covers from Guitar Hero 2 that are Horrible — Lamb of God's "Laid to Rest" and Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name ".
    • In "Laid to Rest", the singer couldn't do Randy Blythe's strange growl/scream vocals, but he tried his best; this ended up making the cover unlistenable.
    • In "Killing in the Name", the singer sounds nothing like Zack de la Rocha, and sounds like he's really bored. And because of censorship to avoid the dreaded M rating, the Cluster F-Bomb at the end of the song was replaced by "You're under con, trol I won't do what you tell me!" (the typo is deliberate) and "UNDER CONTROOOLLLLL!!!!".
    • The cover of Avenged Sevenfold's "Beast and the Harlot." The vocals are somewhat off-beat, and whoever sang this cover was obviously bored while making it, so he fails to sound anything like M. Shadows. The instrumentation sucks too; the awesome feel of the original is gone.
    • Luckily, the originals of all three songs are present in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, which kind of remedied the horror of the cover versions.
    • The cover of "Police Truck" by Dead Kennedys in Rocks the '80s is censored so much that it ruins the song, destroys its original meaning, and gives it more painful rhymes than the original. For instance, the word "ass" is changed to "butt" in the line "Pull down your dress/It's a kick in the ass".
    • The cover of Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild" from Rocks the 80s is worth a mention too. The singer sounds like nasal and lhe has asphalt in his voice box in a lame attempt at emulating Di'Anno's rasp, the bass line is messed up, and the solo is almost entirely wrong.
      • On the topic of bad Iron Maiden covers from video games, GH 2 has the cover of The Trooper, where the guitars are in severe miscommunication with each other and all the fun feel of the Maiden tune has been sucked out, making it sound almost depressing. And the singer sounds like he has a severe vowel pronouncing problem in addition to sounding like he has peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth. The Rock Band cover of Number of the Beast has almost the same result, except the drums sound like cardboard boxes in addition. At least it sounds a bit livelier, though.
    • The cover of "Turning Japanese" on that game, which is so off-tune that it makes the song harder to play.
    • The cover of "Heart Shaped Box", in which the singer attempts to mimic Kurt Cobain's grungy voice, which, you guessed it, makes it unlistenable. To its credit, the solo is extended, and it sounds cool. Shame it wasn't in the original.
    • Rock Band, which was made by Harmonix, who made the first three main games and Rocks The 80s, has some covers in its setlist. Some of them sound just like the real thing, but there some awful covers too. The cover of Rush's songs "Tom Sawyer" (in the first game), "Limelight", and "Working Man" (both of which are downloadable) all sound like they were sung by a woman with peanut butter stuck to the roof of her mouth. The cover of YYZ in the Guitar Hero 2 is listenable since it's an instrumental. Thankfully, all of these songs were replaced with original versions ("Working Man" with a Vault Version with a different solo).
    • Speaking of Rock Band, sometimes Harmonix can't find the master tracks of the songs, so they have to get a re-recording. Some of these are okay, but many of them suck, due to the age of the members. We present to you, the re-recording of Nazareth's "Hair Of The Dog". (I'm putting it here since they're essentially covering themselves.)
    • Speaking of rhythm games, 99% of Rock Revolution's setlist is comprised of covers. Most of these qualify for this trope. For one example, the cover of System of a Down's "Chop Suey". The guitar is messed up, and vocals sound NOTHING like Serj's distinctively Armenian voice.
  • Duran Duran's horrendous cover of Public Enemy's "911 Is A Joke". Their rapping lacks soul.
  • Barnyard Beatles is an album of The Beatles' greatest hits with the vocals barked by dogs (yes, like in those Christmas albums) and the instrumentals done through samplings of cats, sheep, and chickens. The only thing that can make "I Am The Walrus" suck is hearing it sound like a gang of serial animal rapists invading the county fair.
  • The Countdown Singers, an anonymous band of musicians from Quebec who perform sound-alike covers of popular tunes. They exist only as Schmuck Bait for people who think they're getting a good deal by getting 20 different songs on the same disc. These cover artists are basically personality-free jingle singers trying to sound like the original artist against a backing of drum machines and keyboards. Allmusic has given this series 1-2 stars with remarkable consistency, and the ones that have text reviews give an even better taste of how sucky the covers are:

  "Consumers need to check the fine print on the back of these cheap-o compilations or undergo disappointment when they play it. Since all of these tracks can easily be found in their original form on other compilations, steer clear of this!"

  • This "remix" of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's "Equestria Girls". It's identical to the actual song, but with an instrumental of the Cutie Mark Crusaders theme playing under it - little to no attempt is made to ensure the two harmonize or even have the same tempo.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers did a cover of I Found Out by John Lennon for the tribute album Working Class Hero in 1996. The whole band sound completely bored on it and the production is much worse than their usual output. It is the only song they have contributed to a compilation that was not released elsewhere, and the band quickly disowned it.
  • Jump5's woeful attempt to cover "I've Got the Music in Me", popularized by Kiki Dee et al. — Here's Kiki's version (the good one)... and here's Jump5's awful abortion.
  • The Worst Metal Cover Band In Existence. They cover very short snippets of a variety of famous metal songs, very badly; almost unwatchable due to its cringeworthiness.
  • The Nightmare Revisited album contains some kickass remixes of the movie's original soundtrack.... except for Jack's Obsession, which was covered by Sparklehorse (by no means a bad band... usually). Not only does it not match the mood of the album AT ALL, but the singer sounds tone deaf as well. Listen at your own risk.
  • Ex-gay porn actor Colton Ford did a shamelessly awful cover of Lithium by Nirvana in 2009. He transformed a tongue in cheek humorous tune into an emotionless, almost borderline depressing dance tune. He strains his vocals to the point where one would get alcohol poisoning from a drinking game that involved taking a shot every time he strains his vocals, and the electric guitar in the chorus can barely keep up with the already butchered tempo. Approach with caution.
  • William Shatner's cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", voted the worst Beatles cover of all time. Asked what one song he would choose to bring with him if marooned on a deserted island, George Clooney picked this, saying "If you listen to [this song], you will hollow out your own leg and make a canoe out of it to get off this island."
  • Deathcore band Dr. Acula's cover of Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep." It takes everything that was fun about the original and kills it. Listen to the abomination here.
  • Bob McGrath, best known for his role on Sesame Street, once covered Lionel Richie's "All Night Long." Mr. McGrath is a good, solid singer, and certainly not painful to hear, generally speaking, but "All Night Long" as a slow ballad is just plain wrong.
  • Kelly Osbourne's cover of Madonna's Papa Don't Preach. The synth and strings that made the song so iconic are replaced with a pop punk backing with drums that sound like garbage cans, which are also tuned way too high. Furthermore, Kelly's voice is so nasal and cracks every time she hits a high note, throwing in a dash of Narm. It almost makes you wonder if Madonna herself wrote a response song called "Daughter Don't Sing".
  • ConicTeamTV's cover of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal," which speaks for itself. On another level of embarrassment, the "background singers" are supposed to be Sonic and company.
  • Guns N' Roses "Sweet Child O' Mine" as covered by an unnamed Brazilian band.
  • Suicide Silence's cover of "Them Bones" by Alice in Chains. Guitars can't follow the time signature change from the original, while the solo is butchered and out-of-tune. And as for the eerie vocal harmonies the original song was built around, they're ruined by what sounds like Donald Duck being sodomized by a wolverine.
  • Nelly Furtado, who is by no means a bad musician, managed to record in 2010 a wholly unredeemable cover of the Rush classic Time Stand Still. The prog-rock instrumentals of the original are replaced with a synth track that sounds like it's coming out of a Super Nintendo, and her vocals are auto-tuned to the point where she sounds like a chipmunk. She sounds like she's trying harder to be René la Taupe than Rush.
  • Blog27's version of Alexia's 1997 hit, Uh la la la sounds like an entire bag of cats being strangled. Seemingly underage dancers in their miniskirts baring their midriffs is also hard to watch.
  • Katie Price and Peter Andre's shameless butchering of "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. Though the entire album this was released on was critically panned, it has an occasional fan here and there. This particular cover, however is loathed by even fans of the album. The keyboards almost fail to keep up with the original's tempo, Peter oversings worse than you can imagine, and Price can't pronounce her words right. Enjoy!
  • If there ever was a fast way to take a classic hard rock song and ruin it forever, letting a diva famous for her soothing ballads perform a cover version of it would be one of the most efficient methods to do so. Case in point: Celine Dion covered ACDC's "You Shook Me All Night Long". With Anastacia, to boot. Just the thought, let alone sight, of Celine trying to act like she's in any way credible as a rock singer should already be shameful enough.
    • And once you've seen that, wash it down with the Shania Twain version.
    • This is an example of artists being trolls. They cover the song, knowing full well it's WAAAY out of their style, just for laughs, just to troll a paying audience.
  • Rasputins Vision, a band who gained some notoriety on YouTube for their godawful covers of various professional wrestling themes, most of which can be seen on this channel. Their non-wrestling song covers aren't much better, either.

Musicians

  • Lisa Gail Allred, a country "singer" from Texas who hilariously boasts that she sounds like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, and not like a frog with strep throat. If you're brave enough, listen to Allred slaughter her way through Patsy Cline's "Blue" and another song called "Your Easy On The Eyes".[1]
  • Black Out Band was a band of preteens who didn't seem to understand how to make music. They don't seem to care about the sound or the quality. They have expensive guitars and equipment most garage bands would love to own (courtesy of their loaded parents, all blatant Stage Moms), but can't play. The singer is off-key and sounds completely wasted despite being around twelve years old.
    • "Video Games," their most infamous work and one of the few that is not a cover, has awe-inspiring lyrics about how video games are awesome and "everything else is really lame".
    • The band also did an awful cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop", which used to be on YouTube along with numerous other covers before their official channel took down all their videos due to negative comments. Their version replaced the guitar riffs during the chorus with the kids going "yeah yeah".
    • According to their website, they've covered "Louie Louie".
    • Their MySpace page has their entire catalog (six songs) available for listening, and they prove that "Video Games" was not intentionally sung poorly.
  • The Cherry Sisters were a vaudeville act with three lovely singing sisters, a somewhat more homely one who "kept time" on a drum, and absolutely zero talent. People watched them for catharsis during the Gay Nineties; whenever they performed, they had to be surrounded by chicken wire to keep from being hit with projectiles. When they launched a libel case against a newspaper that had published an extremely negative review of their act, the judge ordered them to sing...and then dismissed the case.
    • They were hardly the only ones. In vaudeville theaters, a person expected to be allowed to sit through as many acts as they liked, meaning that periodic room-clearing acts had to be used to keep ticket sales up. These acts were some of the cushiest in vaudeville. George Burns felt he was cursed throughout his vaudeville career because he could never come up with anything bad enough to be a room clearer and wasn't famous enough to be a real draw.
  • The music of Christian and the Hedgehog Boys[2] - terrible lyrics too atrocious to incite laughter, shouted off-key over pop songs. And he "sings" over actual songs with actual lyrics instead of the instrumental versions of the songs.
  • David Tanny is a notoriously unfunny novelty musician who has spent more than ten years "rapping" monotonously to bad midi tunes in an effort to get his music on the Dr. Demento show, which he is a major fan of. The man was so desperate to get people to like his music, he took one of his earliest albums from ten years ago and re-released it with a Laugh Track.
  • The heavy metal band D.O.A. ("Dead on Arrival"), judging from their only album Alive and Kickin. Frustrating stuff — they could've been good if only they had shown a hint of originality or invention instead of brainlessly (and badly) reproducing hard rock tricks that were used up long before. It's as if they were assembling elements from the same stock over and over. The same goes for their lyrics. The only piece of music from the record that is audible is "Borderline Obsession".
  • Enmity, an American Death Metal / Grindcore band that sought to push the already extreme genres to their logical extreme. They sacrifice all genuine musicianship for brutality and speed. To most, it sounds like the aural equivalent of shitting out a chainsaw, To the rest, it just sounds like a broken lawnmower, but to everyone, less than five of their tracks don't sound exactly like this.

  "It took me 30 seconds to realize that blender noise was the vocals."

  • Franchi$e dBaby. At best, he every negative cliche about white rappers plus every negative cliche about party rappers, and at worst, he comes off as a less talented (and infinitely less likeable) version of Wesley Willis.
  • Girls With Attitude. Preteen girls who sound like they're on the verge of dying singing/talking about preteen life, backed by a bored-sounding synth so off-key and off-tempo that it sounds like it's from an entirely different song. They could be a modern version of The Shaggs if they had any of the charm.
  • Jan Terri. Her music will make you want to run screaming into traffic. She's tonedeaf as hell, her lyrics are like that of a 12-year-old girl, her music videos are boring as hell, and she just doesn't realize just how untalented she is. The best thing to happen to her was Marilyn Manson feeling sorry for her and letting her open for one of his gigs. Besides that, she's usually forgotten... well, except the occasional person on the internet that makes fun of her videos.
  • Black Metal artist Luc Mertz, aka Zarach "Baal" Tharagh. He's got an assload of releases, but on none of them does he properly produce, sing, play, tune, or program (he uses a drum machine). He clearly knows how to do it, just not all that well.
  • Melbourne-based "Rapper" R.A.E.D. has drawn scorn from an enormous amount of people, many of whom argue that his output doesn't even qualify as music. Why? Because it consists of cheap, pre-programmed beats that often seem to change direction abruptly and for no reason, over which R.A.E.D. spouts a nearly incoherent mess of lyrics that seem to be improvised on the spot and stumbled over to catch up to the background music, and display no consistent rhyme scheme, if there's any at all. This, combined with his occasional rebuttals of critical comments, in posts consisting of a virtually indecipherable medley of expletives and bizarre colloquialisms, has led some to believe he may be insane, and the worst part of all is that they're not even the only reasons—in 2001 he called in a bomb threat to a casino.
  • Savage, a solo artist who tries to display himself as a "band", is probably the worst thing to ever come out of 80s Hair Metal. He hires session musicians to record the boring background music and then sings incredibly off-key, making the music even more unbearable. To make matters worse, his "band" pictures are literally pictures of famous bands where he photoshopped his own face onto another band member's head. He often reviews his own self-produced albums and puts names of famous musicians down in place of the name.
  • In 2004, a young lad known only as "Shadow of Death" sought to shake the metal world through his music as Apocalypse. He is regarded by metalheads everywhere as one of the worst. How bad is he? His most famous demo, Upon the Crimson Rivers, has 11 reviews on Metal Archives, with an average rating of 5%. The production is non-existent, the instrumentation is bungled escalation, and he doesn't as much sing as whisper hoarsely. If you're still interested, then go over here and remember — curiosity killed the cat.
  • Daniel Smith is to bassoonists what Florence Foster Jenkins is to singers... Only minus the So Bad It's Good quality. His own website contains rave review quotes, but don't let that fool you. Many think they're fake or they're for projects that he only played a minor role in. He's notorious for his lack of real tone. He may play the correct notes, but he lacks so much rhythm and articulation that he's very likely to send even the most energetic person to sleep. He also has at least one positive review on his Amazon.com albums that give a suspicious 5-star rating in the comparison of 1 or 2 star reviews of everyone else. Here's a nice little sample of his Jazz work. His classical work is somehow even worse.
  • Thrash Queen, easily the worst possible start for all-girl thrash with one of the most god-awful heavy metal albums under their belt. Strangely, their label still attempted to cash in on their name with a bunch of session musicians; the quality's better.

Performances

  • Amateur garage bands are almost always terrible until proven otherwise, but there are a select few that manage to rupture the space-time continuum with their awfulness.
  • "The Star-Spangled Banner" is widely considered one of the most difficult national anthems to sing. There are two reasons why: the song's tune was adapted from that of a drinking song and the lyrics came from a poem that wasn't meant to be sung. It's often a miracle when the singer doesn't find a way to mangle it. However, there are some that have utterly failed in their performances of it:
    • The National Anthem performance by Carl Lewis. This one actually got the crowd booing, something that even other horrendous renditions of the anthem don't tend to elicit.
    • Roseanne Barr at a San Diego Padres game in 1990. The only explanation is that she was trolling the audience, going by her spitting at the end and the fact that she seemed to be laughing her way through it. By the end, the booing drowns her out.
    • Christina Aguilera has proven, twice, that the US National Anthem just isn't her bag:
      • The first during the 2004 NBA All-Star game had quite a disrespectful version to a large crowd which had, at its forefront, multiple visibly displeased Army officials. She used the song as an excuse to show off. This is made worse by her slurred speech and her turning the American National Anthem into a pop R&B tune. Watch at your own risk, especially if you're American.
      • She did more of the same during Super Bowl XLV. This time, she changed the melody to show off her pipes and botched some of the lyrics. It gets worse; through the whole thing, she sounded either gratingly off-key or borderline asthmatic. Watch the trainwreck of a performance here.
    • John Michael Montgomery's 2005 performance at the Golden Corral 500 NASCAR race. He was off-key, stumbled over the words (he can even be seen looking at the words on the back of his security pass), and froze during an Air Force flyover at the last stanza. He also spent most of the performance staggering and swaying, and even stumbled off the stage at the end, causing many to assume that he was drunk. The performance was so poorly received that the following week, Montgomery posted an apology on his website, stating that he was suffering from acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous tumor on the nerve between his right ear and brain which affected his hearing and balance.
  • At the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, The Tenors performed "O Canada", with Remigio Pereira changing the line "With glowing hearts, we see thee rise, the true north strong and free" to "We're all brothers and sisters, All lives matter to the brave."[3] The audience can be heard booing Pereira in said clip, and the other three Tenors have priceless reactions. Pereira was sacked from the group following this incident; he has since attempted damage control by claiming he "wasn't changing the lyrics" but rather the "French" lyrics... despite the fact that it was the English version they were singing. The French lyrics at that section, by the way, translates to "For your arm knows how to wield the sword, Your arm knows how to carry the cross;" which means Pereira was still way off.
  • After Harry Caray passed away, the Cubs started using guest celebrities to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the Seventh-Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field. Quite a few have been extremely bad — Mike Ditka's version was probably the first to gain infamy for its awfulness; Jeff Gordon, Tony Romo, and Denise Richards have also turned in horrendous renditions. Even being a professional musician doesn't guarantee you'll do a good version — Ozzy Osbourne's performance is one of the worst of the lot.
  • The Altamont Free Concert, dubbed "Woodstock West", was headlined and organized by The Rolling Stones and featured many of the big rock bands of '60s counterculture America, but, well... let's just cut to the chase and say that four people died, one of whom had to be stabbed by security[4] to keep him from shooting Mick Jagger. Said security also knocked out Marty Balin during his band's set. The Grateful Dead, who co-organized the concert and appointed the security, fled the concert out of fear. In contrast to the "peace and love" atmosphere of Woodstock, Altamont came to symbolize the death of The Sixties.
  • Amanda Brunker's performance at Oxegen 2011. Listen and shudder as she murders U2's With Or Without You. It isn't helped by the fact that she's not a singer trying to sing at a music festival.
  • Ashlee Simpson's performances on Saturday Night Live on the season 30 episode hosted by Jude Law [5] and at the Orange Bowl in 2004, revealed the ugly truth about her lip-synching. It's painful to listen to those performances. They're the most notoriously terrible live performances of the decade, especially the SNL one. On SNL, she starts doing an awkward hoe-down and then leaves the stage while the band plays and the show cuts to commercial.
  • The 1952 Broadway musical revue Two's Company starred Bette Davis, who made her entrance singing "just turn me loose on Broadway as a musical comedy star" despite her demonstrated lack of singing and dancing skills. Though the show was a flop it left behind an original cast album, and the tracks featuring Bette Davis are often painful to listen to.
  • Britney Spears' performance at the 2007 MTV Music Video Awards. She's lip-synching (she always did that), and this time it's obvious. Her dancing is terribly choreographed — she moves as if she has crippling arthritis. It might have been better if she had foregone the dancing and sung for real. Her costume was absolutely unflattering, and even worse, it led to anyone giving a shit who Chris Crocker was...criticism of the performance led to his infamous "LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!!" rant.
  • Creed's December '02 concert in Chicago. Scott Stapp had downed a bottle of whiskey beforehand. It reacted strongly with the medication he was already taking for a throat infection, dooming the show to failure. He mumbled along to five or so songs, then decided to take a nap. When he realized he hadn't performed a full set, he showed up again, and continued singing—completely independent of the band—before passing out onstage. Unsurprisingly, it was a key contributor to their 2003 break-up and got the band in a lot of legal trouble.
  • Former Real Housewife and current fame whore Danielle Staub, along with three Jersey Shore-esque meathead dancers, perform (in the loosest sense possible) the song "Real Close" live in front of a trapped morning show audience.
  • Usually, Emma Amelia Pearl Czikai is a very good musician. She has been known to move people to tears. But she also has hearing problems as the result of nerve degeneration. With proper audio feedback, she can correct for this; but in one case, on Britains Got Talent, she was not provided with such. This was the result. Czikai would later file a discrimination complaint over the absence of said feedback, but it was dropped, on the grounds that they only apply to job conditions.
  • Heidi Montag's hilariously awful Britney Spears rip-off performance at the 2009 Miss Universe Pageant. Try not to laugh as she misses dance steps. Judging from her sloppy lip-syncing, she doesn't even know the lyrics to her own song. Whatever those backup dancers were paid, it wasn't enough.
  • Hole's June 2010 show at Washington DC's 9:30 Club. It cemented the reformation's status as a vanity project for Courtney Love, the only original member. Let's forget for a moment that it started nearly an hour late and that Courtney's voice certainly wasn't at its best; the three-hour train wreck had a godawful setlist interspersed with roughly an hour's worth of aimless gasbagging. Multiple covers were played, all of them butchered. The songs that were theirs were only faintly remembered—verses and choruses were skipped on a regular basis. Hell, the encore took forever to start because Love was shagging somebody backstage. And on top of all this, she had an assistant stand on stage and record the whole thing with an iPhone. She put much more thought into performing to it than the audience, even cussing out somebody who said the assistant was distracting. By the end, well over half the audience (and most of the band) had left, the crowd swearing and clutching their tickets in disgust. Here's the Washington Post with a detailed assaulting of it.
  • Julio Preciado's performance of the Mexican National Anthem in the 2009 Caribbean Series baseball tournament. He sang the whole thing while being (apparently) drunk, since he forgot the lyrics of the anthem in the middle of the whole performance, mixed the rhythm with "The Star-Spangled Banner" at some point, and made up a few lines that are not in the anthem. Needless to say, people got really mad at him to the point that they booed him off the field, and he also earned himself a fine from the Mexican government for the perceived mockery on his performance.
  • Another horrible Saturday Night Live performance: lip-synching would have been much preferable to Kanye West's performance of "Love Lockdown" (without Auto-Tune) on the season 34 Christmas episode hosted by Hugh Laurie.
  • While a lovely studio singer, Lana Del Rey has proven that she is definitely not a good live singer. She performed her viral hit tune "Video Games" on the SNL episode (hosted by Daniel Radcliffe), and it was painful to watch. She seemed to mumble most of the words and was constantly out of breath, and at times it almost sounded like she didn't even know the words to her own song. The performance has gotten her a bad rap and despite being talented, she recently has become more known for her bad SNL performance. On the next live episode (hosted by Channing Tatum, with musical guest Bon Iver), Kristen Wiig appeared as Lana Del Rey on Weekend Update to speak out against people criticizing her terrible performance by admitting that, as a singer, she's stiff, distant, and weird (but also points out that the criticisms of her changing her name to be more marketable and not being experienced enough for SNL are hypocritical, considering that SNL has had worse musicians than her and a lot of musicians who have changed their names to appear more marketable).
  • The notorious Metallica bootleg Acoustic Metal. Deemed by the fanbase to be worse than even St. Anger, it was taken from a radio broadcast that none of them had chosen to take seriously. Inappropriate bits of spoken word pretty much ruin "Low Man's Lyric" (which would otherwise be much less hated), songs drag on far too long (don't solo on an acoustic guitar, guys), the tracklisting is miserable (The Four Horsemen is the only notable one) and poorly sequenced (Track 8: Last Caress/Fade To Black. Track 9: Fade To Black (continued)). Not even its guest performers (Les Claypool, John Popper, Pepper Keenan, Jerry Cantrell) could save it.
  • William Shatner covering Harry Chapin's "Taxi" on The Dinah Shore Show circa 1973 (yes, that's a timecode). Even by his standards, it's awful.
  • Woodstock '99 ranks next to the Altamont disaster (see above) as one of the most notorious mass live events in America, and disgraced its namesake by going completely against its spirit. One can't fault the lineup for what happened—the event featured most of the popular rock artists and singer-songwriters of The Nineties, and their sets ranged from good to great. However, it was horrendously planned—it was staged in an outdoor venue with over 100-degree heat; outside food and drink was forbidden (made worse by the blatant price gouging); toilet facilities were insufficient and broke in little time; environmental issues plagued the show (it was held at a closed-down Air Force base which was officially determined to contain hazardous materials), and through debated means (some blame Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, noting his angry speech to the crowd and his band's performance of "Break Stuff", while others blame Kid Rock's set), the crowd grew violent and spun out of control. By the end, there was mass arson, bonfires, burglary, looting, ATM and property destruction, and allegations of gang-rape. Anthony Kiedis compared it to Apocalypse Now. MTV evacuated its entire crew from the premises for fear of their safety, and the New York State Police had to be called in to clean up the mess. The parties involved wound up learning the hard way what they're most likely never doing again.
  • There have been some truly memorable impromptu live performances, such as the Beatles' 1969 rooftop concert and U2's mimicry of it for their "Where the Streets Have No Name" video. However, LA small-time band Imperial Stars' 2010 performance of "Traffic Jam 101" was not one of them. These idiots thought they would win fame and fortune (and draw attention to homeless children) by setting up and performing right on Los Angeles' busy 101 freeway. Instead they "won" the wrath of the city's drivers as well as jail time.
  • Every year, the Super Bowl halftime show serves as a platform for some of America's biggest pop musicians. Some artists have used the occasion to knock it out of the park... but others have sent their careers into a tailspin.
    • In the early years of the Super Bowl, halftime was mainly a showcase for university marching bands and drill teams. That changed when Up With People, a '60s collective that formed to counter the anti-establishment views of the counterculture[6], performed four halftime shows in 1976, 1980, 1982 and 1986. As noted by Deadspin, they pretty much invented the modern Super Bowl halftime show that truly came into its own in The '90s... but they also brought with them their hyper-saccharine sensibilities, which by The '80s were seen as embarrassing. These days, their performances are still a punchline that often get named as being among the worst Super Bowl halftime shows in history.[7]
    • The 2004 performance by Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl XXXVIII went down in history for all the wrong reasons, with Timberlake accidentally ripping off a piece of Jackson's top and exposing her bare breast (albeit adorned with a nipple shield) for half a second. The concert ended immediately at that moment, with Jackson's two-decade-spanning career destroyed by the incident (though Timberlake's soon recovered), and it sparked both a backlash over indecency in the media and a counter-backlash over censorship and prudishness in American culture. The NFL played it safe after the incident, blacklisting MTV (which had previously produced the well-received Super Bowl XXXV halftime show in 2001) from producing the show again, implementing a five-second delay for the show in later years, and enlisting classic rock musicians to perform from 2005 through 2010[8]; only in 2011 did they bring another modern pop act to perform. And speaking of...
    • ...we have the Black Eyed Peas' performance at the Super Bowl XLV halftime show in 2011. Their reliance on Auto-Tune translated terribly to a live concert event, as they delivered horribly off-key renditions of some of their most recent hits and performed stiff dance moves. The performance is often cited as a Creator Killer for the band, which saw airplay and sales fall off dramatically in the weeks and months after before going on hiatus the following year.
    • Eight years later, Maroon 5's performance at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show would end up one-upping the Black Eyed Peas in terms of dullness. The show consisted of nothing more than a rundown of the band's top hits, with uninteresting pyrotechnics and a performance that is almost indistinguishable from what you'd expect from a typical Maroon 5 concert, despite the halftime show being billed as the biggest concert event of the year. To add insult to injury, Adam Levine decided to take off his tank top and perform shirtless during the final act, appropriately a performance of "Moves Like Jagger", leaving some to see it as a tasteless nod to the aforementioned "Nipplegate" incident 15 years prior (and on the same network to boot). Perhaps the biggest, most irritating part about the show? Following the death of SpongeBob SquarePants creator Stephen Hillenburg, fans were pushing for the NFL to add the song "Sweet Victory", which is famously played in the end of the episode "Band Geeks", to the setlist, with a Change.org petition getting over one million signatures a month before the game. At first, the NFL and related parties did acknowledge the campaign, and there was hope that the song would be performed in some capacity... then it turned out to be just a ten-second cameo of Squidward and the gang introducing special guest Travis Scott, using footage from said episode. Oh, and Scott only performed "Sicko Mode" throughout the act before being quickly shoved aside for the rest of the show (fellow special guest Big Boi of OutKast was slightly luckier, being able to perform two of his songs before being shoved aside as well). Fans were pissed and accused the NFL of exploiting Hillenburg's legacy for a piss-poor tribute, with the YouTube video of the performance being littered with dislikes and SpongeBob memes in the comments, and users going off on the terrible ten-second cameo and the lack of "Sweet Victory" on the setlist. Add this terrible halftime show to what was seen as one of the worst Super Bowl games ever, and you've got yourself the lowest-rated Super Bowl broadcast since 2008. What an accomplishment!
      • Even worse for Maroon 5, they weren't even the top choice to perform at the halftime show. The NFL and Pepsi wanted Rihanna and Pink to perform in the show, but both declined for reasons we would much rather not elaborate on as well as the two unwilling to pay for some of the expenses for the concert, with various other acts refusing to appear for the same reason. By that point, Maroon 5 was the only band willing to perform, and they got heat from their fans because of it. To Scott's credit, he agreed to appear in the show if the NFL agreed to help him donate half a million dollars to a social justice group, while Maroon 5 and their label joined the NFL in donating the same amount to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America club, so at least some good came from it.

Songs

  • The decision about whether to build a new Islamic center near what was once the World Trade Center ("Ground Zero") is one of heated debate, and inspired some god-awful songs from either side of the issue.
  • A general rule: Youtube will usually have the worst of the bunch:
  • Regardless of how you feel about Soulja Boy, it's hard to deny how utterly terrible his song "Anime" is. He discusses the subject with all the thought (and research) of a pothead pacing through a comics store, it closes with the audio equivalent of Leave the Camera Running, and it sounds like it was recorded in his bathroom. But hey, don't take our word for it — ask Y Ruler of Time about it (with guest cameos by Michael S. and Todd in the Shadows).
  • "This song is bad. Not So Bad It's Good, and not Michael Jackson 'Bad'. Just plain bad." That's Doctor Who Magazine regarding the ill-conceived 1985 charity single "Doctor In Distress". You can practically hear the show's last remaining scrap of dignity being wrenched away.
  • Heidi Montag strikes again, this time with her single "Higher". This is what happens when The Agony Booth gets exposed to it.
  • This Italian song titled "I'm Horny". The female singer's English is appalling. When she sings "I'm horny horny" it sounds like "I'm Ernie Ernie" instead, adding a pinch of Narm to wash down all the suck. (get it?) According to several translations, the Italian lyrics are just as bad:

  I'm not a baker but I got a lot of cream here

  • Kim Kardashian's single Jam (Turn It Up), which was badly received by both critics and the public. It's monotonous and lifeless to the point of sounding almost depressing, and unfortunately not even auto-tune can save Kim's voice. At times she still sounds slightly off-key.
  • "The Kersal Massive" — the song begins "Got on the bus wi' ma' daysavah / smoked a reefa in da cornah", before decaying into a rhythmless Cluster F-Bomb and a caustic (or not) Take That against the town of Levenshulme, not to mention the rather pointless Garfunkel "Ginger Joe", whose only contribution to the song is "yeah man, yeah man".
    • In 2010, a few brave Englishmen doing a televised countdown of the Top 50 Viral Videos tracked down the aforementioned "Ginger Joe" and asked him a few questions about the video. Turns out it was an entry for a competition of some kind and they were all as high as a kite while making it.
  • In the 1990s, Komar, Melamid and Dave Soldier carried out a set of polls of the American public: One concerning what people generally liked the most in music, one concerning what they generally hated. From this, they composed two songs. "The Most Unwanted Song" was the better of the two by a long shot.(Details can be found here) "The Most Wanted Song," however, was a simpering, pandering, vomitously saccharine, miserably written, glacial, insipid, and overly repetitive train wreck bearing cliche after cliche after cliche and an off-key guitar solo.
  • Jenna Rose's "My Jeans". She sings about this pair of jeans she wants and that apparently every celebrity wears, throwing in anecdotes about her "swag" and how Celebrities "wore those jeans just like me". Her voice is so Auto-Tuned that it's enough to make you wonder if she even sang on it, with the beat often overpowering her voice. In addition, there's the token rap in the middle.
  • While Headphoneboy's mashups can range anywhere from simply mediocre to kind of decent, he's got stuff which would make DJ Broken Window ashamed. One example: the breathtakingly awful, beyond just lazy "People Run In Circles."
  • Brian Wilson's (yes, the one from The Beach Boys) song "Smart Girls", released only as a radio promo, in which Brian raps over samples from many of his earlier hits. The results are...sad.
  • Ex-Cheetah Girl Kiely Williams tried to reinvent herself as Darker and Edgier in an apparent attempt to cash in on Rated R-era Rihanna, but instead comes off as the most vapid female on Earth. Here it is: "Spectacular." A touching tribute to binge drinking, unprotected sex with strangers, and date rape. Sample lyrics:

 "Last I remember I was face down, ass up, clothes off".[9]

Soundtracks

  • The "score" to the So Bad It's Good slasher flick Don't Go in The Woods was evidently supposed to sound creepy and atonal, but the composer seemingly had no idea how to mix it properly. The results sound like a bunch of random electronic noises horribly mushed together, and it gets quite grating really quickly. Considering that the same composer also did the infamously awkward (albeit catchy) Captain Novolin soundtrack, this is not at all surprising. The sole bright spot may as well be the credits song, with its goofy lyrics sung to the tune of "The Teddy Bear's Picnic".
  • When Netflix bought the rights to stream the American version of Queer as Folk, Showtime had already lost the rights to the majority of the soundtrack, which resulted in Netflix having to replace them with either mockbuster versions of the songs or different songs altogether, to an extremely mixed effect. A good deal were So Okay It's Average at worst and a few instances had fans even claiming some were even better than the original, but a great number of them were downright irredeemable. A few examples include (but are not limited to):
    • The Dyke Nite scene in 1x16, where Geri Halliwell's cover of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" was replaced with an absolutely pathetic mockbuster tune with a singer completely off-singing the line "You got caught red-handed/reaching into someone else's little cookie jar". Pain ensued.
    • The gay pride dance scene in season 2, which even defenders of Netflix can't defend.
    • 3x12 originally had Muse's cover of "Feeling Good". In its place came an absolutely pathetic knockoff with the same riffs and some guy trying and failing hilariously to sound like Matt Bellamy while whining some angsty lyrics.
  • The Looney Tunes short See Ya Later, Gladiator, already regarded as arguably the worst Looney Tunes cartoon ever made, opens with a harsh off-key version of the already oddball re-arrangement that was done to the theme earlier in the 1960s. It's almost like the composer saw how poor the cartoon was, and discreetly tried to warn audiences not to watch it.

Video Games

 Youtube commenter: The best music, in my opinion, gives you this wonderful soaring feeling in your chest. This, however, manages to provoke the exact opposite effect. I now feel is if I have no soul. This music has made me feel like a simple meat-bag stuffed haphazardly with organs, incapable of turning off the horrid un-sound being pumped into his ears.

Anime Theme Songs

Other

Music Magazines and Books

  • AOL Radio's "100 Worst Songs Ever" list somehow manages to be worse than the list by Blender. To wit:
  • Blender Magazine is generally regarded by music fans as the worst magazine ever published. It's filled with hypocritical statements, poor writing, slamming good music and praising poor artists for nonsensical reasons, and inconsistency in critical views. Many of their reviews offer only a paragraph or two describing the album and never bother to express an opinion or explain how they arrived at the score they gave. Despite attempting to save face by hiring legendary rock critic Robert Christgau, in 2009 their parent company finally figured out what a failure they were and canned the print version, later getting rid of the utterly broken website. It also has what's generally regarded as the worst music lists of all time:
    • Their "50 Worst Songs" list included songs like The Sound of Silence, We Didn't Start The Fire, and most egregiously, I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) on the grounds that it "doesn't make sense".
    • What they like makes little sense, also. They called Wichita Lineman the best song ever, which most of Jimmy Webb's fans wouldn't exactly call his best, and listed Baby One More Time in the top 10 of The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born.
    • Even when they recruited VH-1 to help out with their lists, it still didn't help matters much: Their "50 Most Awesomely Bad Metal Songs" list included Three Little Pigs by Green Jelly (a parody that states it's a parody at the end) and Tilt-A-Whirl, which isn't even in the right genre of music.
      • To make matters worse, every televised "Awesomely Bad" list was adapted for a visual medium by having its entries retooled to focus on the songs' respective music videos.
    • Their Worst Artists of All Time list not only includes artists like The Doors, Japan and Primus, it also shows their bias against progressive rock artists: Rick Wakeman is also listed, and Emerson Lake and Palmer, Kansas, and Asia are all in the Top 10 of the list.
    • Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was named one of the 50 Worst Things To Happen To Music (because it influenced progressive rock and concept albums), along with "non-fake lesbians". Way to play it classy, guys.
    • A Something Awful review of music magazines picked up an indie magazine just to avoid reviewing Blender. Make of that what you want.
  • The Encyclopedia of Indie Rock is an insult to anyone who has ever written an archive based on artists. It's filled with grammatical errors and awkward wording. Also, it's not uncommon for authors to sometimes get their facts wrong every now and then, but this one has so many glaringly obvious factual errors that it makes you wonder if the book is a parody on encyclopedia books in general. Of the many errors include:
    • Confusing which members of At The Drive-In formed the bands Sparta and The Mars Volta.
    • Including entries on James Blunt and Flyleaf, neither of which could be considered indie rock at all (the book's introduction tries - and fails - to convince readers that these artists are indie rock).
    • A passing mention that an associate of the band Camper Van Beethoven had recorded an acoustic version of "Pink Floyd's classic "Stairway to Heaven". Aside from the misattribution, this may be a mangled reference to Camper Van Beethoven's "Stairway To Heavan (Sic)", an instrumental that's completely unrelated to the Led Zeppelin song of almost the same name.
      • In the same entry, there is a reference to a "new" Camper Van Beethoven song called "Tusk" which "might be an allusion to the Fleetwood Mac album of the same name". This was apparently a mangled reference to the band's affinity of performing that entire album live during their shows, which they've been doing for several years.
    • Claiming that J Mascis left Dinosaur Jr. in 1988 (Lou Barlow was the member of the band to leave, and he was fired...by Mascis, who by 1994 was in fact the only original member remaining in the band until the original lineup reunited in 2005).
    • There was a mention that Dischord Records was founded in 1970 (ten years before it actually was) that can be attributed as a typo, but listing Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over The Sea as being released in 2003 rather than 1998 has no excuse.
    • Chris Funk of The Decemberists appeared on The Colbert Report... OK, so far so good... "hosted by Stephen Colbert, star of the NBC dramedy The Office"... Uh, guys... wrong "Steve". They were on The Daily Show at the same time at one point which, without fact checking, might have been the problem.
      • Also... dramedy? The Office has no more dramatic moments than any other sitcom.
    • In the Sonic Youth entry, it's mentioned that Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore divorced in the early 2000s (Gordon and Moore split in 2011, but when the book was published, they had been married for over 20 years. The indie rock couple that divorced in the early 2000s was Robert Schneider and Hilarie Sidney of The Apples in Stereo)
    • The sentence "The Nine Inch Nails won a Grammy for their cover of Johnny Cash's classic song 'Hurt'". It was their song to begin with, Cash's version was the cover. Of course, since the release of Cash's cover in 2002, this has been an astonishingly common mistake by media types. Nine Inch Nails never received a Grammy for the song either.

Music Videos

  • The stars of Miami Vice both bombed horribly when they attempted solo music careers, and their music videos were no exception:
    • Don Johnson's "Heartbeat" was originally part of an hour-long HBO special. Focusing on a cameraman (Johnson) who goes to South America to document civil warfare, the special still doesn't make much sense, as each segment of the special was backed by a song from Johnson's album. Taken by itself, "Heartbeat" is a confusing mess of random images and scenes, along with Johnson painfully overacting every lyric. There's a reason why this special has never been released, and "Heartbeat" is the triggerpoint. When MTV did a "worst videos ever" special ("25 Lame") in 1999, this was the video that "topped" the list.
    • "Just The Way I Planned It" by Philip Michael Thomas premiered on the VHS release of his seminal film "Death Drug", and by all accounts it's still hard to decide which one's worse. "Just The Way I Planned It" featured an inexplicable concept (PMT stands on top of a pyramid and dances like a robot while getting groped by backup dancers), cheap special effects (even for the 80's) and lyrics that didn't match the video in any way, shape or form. It should be noted that Thomas' CD (of the same name) was released at the zenith of Vice's popularity, and it still flopped.
  • Jenna Rose's "O.M.G" was a considerable step up from "My Jeans." The video, however, is utterly reprehensible, given her age. From the opening crawl "Starring Jenna Rose as the Teen Boom-Boom Doll," you know what it's going to be from the start—three lengthy, unsettling minutes of 12-year-old Jenna being portrayed as sex symbol. On top of that is the apathetic acting (the lipsync hardly tries to be convincing, and the backup dancers appear at points to really not want to be there) and a lighting technician who has no idea what he's doing.
  • Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson's 1993 collaboration "Whatzupwitu" made its way to the number three position on the MTV "25 Lame" list. Jackson had not yet been tainted by career-destroying scandal when this arrived, and Murphy had managed a pop hit with "Party All the Time" in The Eighties, yet this still wasn't a hit. It's been compared to David Bowie and Mick Jagger's "Dancing in the Street" video due to its copious amounts of Homoerotic Subtext, but while that was So Bad It's Good (at worst), this just pairs a bland song with visuals that aren't even unintentionally amusing or warped.

Notes

  1. Note the misspelled "Your"
  2. yes, the same Christian who made Sonichu
  3. Whilst holding up an "All Lives Matter" sign, no less...
  4. All of whom were Hell's Angels
  5. Ashlee would later perform on the season 31 episode hosted by Jon Heder, AKA Napoleon Dynamite, without incident
  6. The group was formed by Moral Re-Armament, a severely conservative Christian cult; it may be worth noting that Alcoholics Anonymous also sprang from MR (back when it was known as the Oxford Group)
  7. Fun Fact: Glenn Close used to be a member of Up with People. Reporters are told not to ask her about that.
  8. Paul McCartney performed in 2005, The Rolling Stones in 2006, Prince in 2007, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in 2008, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in 2009, and The Who in 2010
  9. (Brings a lump to your throat, doesn't it?)


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