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Disowned Albums by Your Favorite Bands

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  • Disowned Albums by Your Favorite Bands

    If an artist or band has been around for a while, chances are they've made an album along the way that they don't look back too fondly on. This could be because it didn't turn out the way they wanted, they were pressured somehow into delivering something they didn't believe in, they were too high/drunk/out of their minds, or maybe it just flopped pretty hard. Some of these may have been unfairly overlooked, and some may really be that bad. Any good band has one of these in their catalogue. Yes has several that they downplay. In fact, most anything not from their glory days of 1971-80 has a short lifespan. Any time they make a new album, by the time they get to the next, for the most part the previous one is history. Here's some other examples:

    ELP: LOVE BEACH (1978) - still the laughingstock of the prog world (though In The Hot Seat is worse), it's actually not that terrible, but it's a far cry from Brain Salad Surgery. It tanked, and there was no tour for the album. In reality, other than Canario and maybe All I Want Is You, I can't see much of this album working out in a live setting. The album cover to this day makes some people shiver with disgust. The band never performed anything from it live and hardly ever acknowledged it.

    GENESIS: CALLING ALL STATIONS (1997) - Phil certainly didn't hobble onstage with a cane to sing 'Shipwrecked' or 'Congo' on the current Last Domino tour, I'm sure. Not only did Genesis disown this album, they disowned the notion of ever writing another song as Genesis ever again. Sad how this one album finished them as a creative entity.

    RUSH: CARESS OF STEEL (1975) - this flopped at the time and wasn't the breakthrough album they were hoping for (that would be their next one, 2112). Only a couple bits from it were played live back in the day, most notably Bastille Day, before eventually being phased out. Not sure if the band hated it, or they just didn't have much time for it as new and more notable things surfaced as they went along their career trajectory. But it remains their 'cult' favorite album.

    JETHRO TULL: UNDER WRAPS (1984) - When one thinks of Tull, they think of a more Earthier sound, not something that sounds like Ultravox. Lyrics like 'Down at the robot factory' are something nobody would ever anticipate coming from the vocal cords of someone usually singing about minstrels or horses. But then again, why not? Doing something so out of character can often result in a train wreck so fascinating that you might even dare to like it. And I do. You don't hear a distinctive voice like Ian Anderson or the sound of a flute over top electronics and Fairlight synthesizers every day, so it was unique. Add the drum machine and its fate was sealed, and the fan base turned their backs on it. By the time Ian and his band of merry men returned after a brief hiatus in the mid 80's, Under Wraps was forgotten and dropped from all collective memory banks.

    MARILLION: FUGAZI (1984) - an album never touched on by the Steve Hogarth-fronted band - other than some rare performances of Cinderella Search, a Fugazi-era B-side. Reason being, H deems the album too dark and Fish-specific to relate to, therefore not feeling able to get behind it. So don't expect them to perform Jigsaw any time soon.

    What other examples can you think of? Albums downplayed, or even hated, by their own creators?

  • #2
    I would like to see Steve Howe's Yes album list.
    Not on Yes' payroll.


    • #3
      Ringo Starr hated one of his albums so much that he sued to keep it from being released, based on the premise he was so high when recording it that it sucked big time.

      The year was 1989.

      NOV. 15, 1989 12 AM PT
      ATLANTA —

      Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr won a permanent injunction today, blocking the release of an album he recorded for a Georgia record producer while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

      Fulton County Superior Court Judge Clarence Cooper issued the injunction shortly before a trial on a suit over the album was to begin.

      Starr was scheduled to be the first witness in the case. Dozens of fans crowded the second floor of the Fulton County Courthouse in the hope of catching a glimpse of the drummer and his wife, actress Barbara Bach.

      There were to have been two questions to be resolved in the trial, one of which was how much money Starr will have to pay to keep the album from being marketed.

      Starr’s attorney, Robert Fleming Jr., said attorneys for producer Chip Moman were asking for $146,000, the amount of money they claim to have spent to prepare the album for release. Fleming said Starr had wanted to pay no more than $80,000 in damages.

      The trial also was to have resolved whether the producer can release two more albums recorded by Starr during sessions in Memphis, Tenn., in February and April, 1987.

      Moman, the head of CRS Records in College Park, Ga., said he has enough material for two more albums, a claim disputed by Starr.

      Starr does not want any material released from the recording sessions because he says the music is of poor quality. In depositions filed earlier, the ex-Beatle said he and Moman drank large quantities of alcohol and smoked marijuana during the recording sessions.

      He said the alcohol and drugs had a negative effect on the quality of the recordings.

      Starr said he spent five weeks at a clinic in Arizona in October, 1988 ...


      Alice Cooper refers to some of his releases as 'blackout albums' consisting of his albums recorded in the early '80s — Flush The Fashion (1980), Special Forces (1981), Zipper Catches Skin (1982) and DaDa (1983) — which he does not remember due to being under the influence of illicit substances during those years.

      I'm not familiar with the last three, but Flush the Fashion was an enjoyable listen.


      • #4
        Steve Howe's Yes album list of disowned albums would include ten or eleven out of 22 Yes albums. Hmmm, kinda limiting himself isn't he.


        • #5
          When it comes to Yes, the closest they came to disowning was Tormato and Union.


          • #6
            It's a funny thing: at some point, (most of the time) you'd thing the artist thought the music was worth releasing, they saw something of value in there enough to write, record, produce, package, and release it, and then dismiss it. As opposed to "flops" or albums that, for any number of reasons — maybe personnel change (I know Hogarth's reaction to Fugazi, too, and but also maybe those songs are just really hard for him to sing in his register?), maybe reception, maybe just age (look, it's great that Journey has kept releasing albums for the last 25 years, but that doesn't mean anyone wants to hear the songs in concert, you know?) — just don't enter the cannon.

            A couple that come to mind:

            King Crimson - Lizard. Fripp I think said it took the Steven Wilson surround sound mix to make the album listenable. Not 100% I'd go that far, or be that harsh… (And noticeably, other than a couple outings of Fracture in the 2014-21 era, nothing else from SABB was resuscitated after the 1972-74 era, unlike Larks Tongues and Red…)

            Styx - Kilroy Was Here. Maybe just the song, "Mr Roboto"?

            R.E.M. - Around the Sun. Even Peter Buck says it "just wasn't really listenable, because it sounds like what it is: a bunch of people that are so bored with the material that they can't stand it anymore". And I'm not disagreeing. Why they went forward with it, then, who knows… Contract?

            Rush - I think they're somewhat more charitable to Caress of Steel, which they also say was written and recorded under a cloud of hash, but they have written off Test for Echo as being a low point in their creativity, although I think they also praised individual songs.

            Springsteen has off-handedly downplayed Human Touch and Lucky Town ("my happy albums which no one liked", or something to that effect), which is both fair and not, and interestingly argues for sometimes respecting an artist's vaults/archives: sometimes you try something, and it doesn't quite work.


            • #7
              Bowie disowned "Never Let Me Down", even going as far as removing the song "Too Dizzy" from subsequent re-releases.


              • #8
                Dammit, how did I forget the Clash’s final LP, Cut the Crap? I think it was even excluded from the most recent “complete” box set or something…?


                • #9
                  Strange, I like Calling All Stations and Fugazi quite a lot more than some other of the ir respective bands releases ! I'm surprised to see them on that list !

                  I can think of two or three Yes should disown...


                  • #10
                    Fugazi was the first Marillion album I had heard, so I have a soft spot for that one too. But H won't sing it, do it's a forgotten album for them. In fact, most of the Fish-era stuff he does sing live is from Clutching At Straws. Calling All Stations - I was totally on board with that one at the time. Still kinda irked by Genesis giving up because continuing with that incarnation would have meant a smaller limo. Think of all the cool Tony Banks keyboard moments that could have been on a potential 2001 Genesis album. They also disowned their first album, never played anything from it since it was new. Wouldn't that have been a shock to hear Phil sing 'Silent Sun'?

                    As for Never Let Me Down - 'Too Dizzy' being removed, can't see why. It was a catchy song, maybe could even have been a hit. If anything should have been removed, maybe the Iggy cover of Bang Bang instead.


                    • #11
                      Here's another:

                      QUEEN: HOT SPACE (1982) - funk-pop/disco leaning album which many see as Queen's nadir. Half the band was keen on it, the other half wasn't so sure. Often looked at as Queen's 'disco' album full of lesser versions of Another One Bites The Dust, that was really not entirely accurate. True, side one has most of the R&B flavored tracks, but then flip the original vinyl over and you have something closer to a regular Queen album with melodic diversity. And live renditions of material like Calling All Girls and Staying Power reveal a stronger showing of potential and power. Of course, bigger albums and tours and Live Aid were still to come, and other than Under Pressure remaining in the live set for a few years afterward, the album was largely forgotten. But even then, Under Pressure was from the 1981 Greatest Hits album the previous year and never truly belonged on Hot Space. I don't mind Hot Space, it's a fun album.

                      TANGERINE DREAM: CYCLONE (1978) - up to this point, the TD trio had been an all-instrumental pioneer of electronic 'new music'. But then they lost their third member who left to go solo. What did they do? Replace him with a vocalist and a regular drummer. Now the group was half closer in sound to, say, Eloy. However, there's still plenty of sounds that would not be out of place on earlier albums like Ricochet. Only the first half of the album featured vocals. Side two boasts the instrumental 'Madrigal Meridian', a sequencer-driven space-out which was business as usual. Unfortunately, the fan base didn't take to it and leader Edgar Froese soon disowned the album. You never see any material from it on any compilations.


                      • #12
                        Alice Cooper's "Blackout" period (1980-83) where his drinking nearly killed him produced four albums. Flush The Fashion (80), Special Forces (81), Zipper Catches Skin (82) and DaDa (83). He has occasionally still plays a track or two from Flush The Fashion and Special Forces live (he did actually tour for these 2 as well) but never played anything from Zipper or DaDa that I am aware of and never toured those albums as he was in no shape to go on the road at that point.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ceasar’s Palace
                          When it comes to Yes, the closest they came to disowning was Tormato and Union.
                          Hang on ... Union is a Yes album!?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PhaseDance

                            Hang on ... Union is a Yes album!?
                            Ha! Officially it was. But like Jon said in the Owner Of A Lonely Heart video: “ Hang on, hang on, hang on! Maybe there’s another way to be Yes...”.