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  • Fred

10 Poor Musical Decisions

Now I know better than to download the latest single by Train. No, I know better than to steal anything by Train. No, I know better than to even acknowledge that the band Train exists.

On the other hand, there are bands out there that I feel have tricked me into giving me their money throughout my lifetime. This is my story of musical regret...

Records by Foreigner (1982): Technically Foreigner tricked my parents into giving them their money. But I really, really wanted that Foreigner Greatest Hits Album, so I bugged my parents until they caved in. Every song that they played on the radio was awesome. But something strange happened, about the fifth time I listened to the album all the way through, I realized that Foreigner sucked. It was the first time that I had outgrown music. Foreigner never outgrew releasing the same dozen or so songs, they have repackaged their greatest hits for the TWENTIETH time this year with a Greatest Hits album called 40. I'm glad I gave up on Foreigner before their second greatest hits album.

Out of the Cellar by Ratt (1984): Even today, if I hear Round and Round, I'll turn up the radio. I was such a sucker for Round and Round that I bought Out of the Cellar by Ratt. Horrible, even by Hair Metal standards, somehow, someway, they made it work for one song. Ratt wouldn't trick me again, despite releasing another 100 songs and having 10 singles chart on Billboard (yeah, I couldn't believe it either,) I avoided Ratt like the plague. Surprisingly, they kept tricking wannabes to be in Ratt, with over 20 former musicians with big hair strewn across the garbage piles of Los Angeles.

Thrash Zone by D.R.I. (1989): Supposedly one of their BEST albums, I bought Thrash Zone based on the promise "If you like Anthrax, you'll love D.R.I." I didn't. A music reviewer had tricked me. Thankfully most music critics from the 80's are dead.

Gimme Danger by Bullet LaVolta (1990): One of the greatest musical gems of the 90's was an overlooked album called Swandive by the Boston band Bullet LaVolta. Top to bottom, every song was a keeper, not a clunker in the bunch. Almost immediately after Swandive was released, the band broke up. Looking for more great music, I went into the band's short back catalog and found Gimme Danger, the album that got a major label to give them a chance. I don't know how in the world a record executive heard anything in Gimme Danger that would predict the future. (Oh wait, except for me, Swandive did bomb. Released on the same day as an album called Nevermind, I like to think Swandive's fate was more due to timing than to content. But technically Gimme Danger did predict the future.)

Bigger, Better, Faster, More! by 4 Non Blondes (1992): The very definition of a one-hit wonder band, 4 Non Blondes' What's Up was a number one hit across the world. I bought the album assuming the rest of the music would be just as good. It wasn't. All the way back in 1992, I realized that Linda Perry was a great writer....and not a good performer.

Born Dead by Body Count (1994): As I've stated before, when the self-titled Body Count album came out, I went right out and bought it and was pleased. Very solid musical effort, controversy aside. So when Born Dead came out 2 years later, I went right to the record store and bought the new album immediately, again. Terrible. Listened to the album, 3 times, tops, and threw it in the trash. I would be mad at Ice-T, but I'm afraid of him...

Institutionalized by Body Count

Never Mind the Methadone by Sheep on Drugs (1997): I had heard rumors that the band Stormtroopers of Death were thinking about doing another album and when I was at the record store I saw an album by S.O.D. and bought it. Got home and it was the techno band Sheep on Drugs. Oh well, I gave it a chance. Not only was it abysmal, but I was too embarrassed to return to the record store and get my money back. I didn't want to be that guy who bought the Sheep on Drugs album that the employees laughed at the next day.

Pump Up the Valuum by NOFX (2000): There's a song called Drugs Are Good by NOFX which I thought was one of the most clever punk songs ever. Released in 1995, I came across the song on a punk sampler. In 2000, I took a chance and bought PUTV and was stunned at how overrated NOFX was. RockSoundTV said it was one of the top 51 pop-punk albums of all-time. That list was populated with other bands that I had the good sense to avoid.

We've Come for You All by Anthrax (2003): You can only truly hate what you once loved. Anthrax was one of my favorite bands of the 80's and I stuck with them through the John Bush years. Volume 8: The Threat is Real was released in 1998 and Anthrax was still on their game 8 albums in. That ninth album though, what's the analogy I'm looking for? We've Come for You All was a heart attack, wrapped in a stroke, covered in seizures. No, I'm not exaggerating.

Monoliths & Dimensions by Sunn O)))) (2009): So when you buy music on iTunes, you can sample 90 second clips of songs. When I listened to the clips from Monoliths & Dimensions, I was sure that with all the great reviews, that the songs went somewhere. Guess what? They went nowhere. They went nowhere! Feedback and droning for nearly an hour. 4 songs of feedback and droning. FEEDBACK AND DRONING!



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