Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Milli Vanilli Top Our Five Worst Comeback Albums
6/21/2010 By Keith Carman
There are bad albums, and then there those so monumentally crappy, they've redefined the terms by which we consider something terrible. Generally speaking, they tend to fall under one of three categories: the follow-up to an inconceivably glorious effort that shook the world, the final nail in the coffin after a series of bombs and “returns to form,” and something that was hyped up so much for so long that the actual album could never possibly match expectation.
So, while there are endless amounts of utter tripe clogging up the airwaves, used bins and storage units known collectively as “major labels,” here are five of our selections for some of the worst “comeback” albums of the past quarter century. Sure, some weren't slaughtered at first, but with time, the sheen falls off and we're left with... you get the idea.
So without further ado, here are Exclaim!’s Five Worst Comeback Albums:
5. The Spice Girls
Not only did these girls — the epitome of sensationalized, pre-packaged crap — overstay their welcome the first time around, but they actually had the gall to think that anyone even cared after the fact. Apparently, despite having a questionable four brains — Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell being the only one keen enough to opt out of the debacle — amongst them, nobody taught the girls the meaning of the word “disposable,” which they clearly were. As for the album itself, it didn't sell. Proponents claim it was due to lack of label support but it was the fucking Spice Girls. Who didn't know they were getting back together? Either way, it was predictable, bland and dated pop/R&B. Still, the quintet made enough of a dent that if they sweep Forever under the carpet, they can pack 'em in on the nostalgia trip.
St. Anger (2003)
To paraphrase a great movie, St. Anger deserves a two word review: “shit sandwich.” Many should recall that after years of country songs, glorified pop music set to distortion and other overtly non-metal tendencies from the “biggest metal band in the world,” St. Anger was lauded as Metallica's back-to-metal album. The question was: metal by who's definition? Apparently not that of the general populace. Really, it was an “album” pieced together by ProTools, meaning that not only did the band never actually write or play one of the songs, they had to go back and learn them after the fact. Add in the sad state of affairs they faced internally (released as documentary Some Kind Of Monster) and we see how this collection of bad riffs and lack of execution isn't just Metallica's albatross — it's the world's. People say that at least they admitted it was a piece of shit after the fact. As if they had a choice.
3. Guns N' Roses
Chinese Democracy (2008)
You knew this one was coming but it's still not the best of the worst. Hype can be a good thing, but when it goes too far, the only thing to suffer is the music itself. Witness how before its release, this album was highly anticipated. Now that it's out, well, more press was given to speculation than the dated piece of crap it actually is for good reason. Years into its “tentative” release date, people grew weary that it even existed. That was, until Rose released a song. Not a good one but it left people wondering: maybe this taste wasn't so sweet but could the other stuff live up to the band's past brilliance? Well, now that we have the answer: nope.
2. Vanilla Ice
Mind Blowin' (1994)
Does anyone recall this stellar piece of shit? We thought not. At least the other albums on this list still have clout but Mind Blowin' disappeared faster a box of Smarties at a fat kid convention. Basically, within the few short years between his 1990 debut To The Extreme and this joint, Robert Van Winkle got called out for being the bullshitting white boy he really was, thereby destroying his credibility. The answer? He tried to be a rap-metaller just like all other other bullshitting white boys. A jewel in the crown of crappy comeback albums, we don't even think Ice himself actually believed this would work.
1. Milli Vanilli
The Moment of Truth (1991)
The album released after the fallout of their secret revealed: Rob and Fab were bullshitters in their own right, lip-synching to someone else's voice. What's hilarious is that these guys couldn't sing to begin with and were hired 'cause they looked good. What on god's green earth made them think that after being outed, anyone even A) gave a rat's ass about what their real voices sounded like or B) supported them? Those who did hear the record instantly realized why they needed someone behind the curtain, though. They sucked harder than a whore with Teflon lips. As a side note, why hasn't anyone acknowledged that because this counterfeit album actually won a Grammy Award, it proves how that system of recognition is just as bogus, bloated and pointless as the recording it celebrated?