5 Most Overrated Albums of All Time
Over the years, there’s been some great music albums that have been created. I can think of several that I enjoy listening to in their entirety, but there’s also some that only have a few hits on them.
Recently, when I was thinking back to some of the albums of the past that were extremely popular during their release, I realise that some of the gems that even I loved are overrated albums that did not really deserve the hype that they received. Let’s take a look at the five most overrated albums of all time.
1. Nirvana “Nevermind”
Don’t get me wrong, Nirvana has a special place in my heart, but “Nevermind” is an album that was about 30 percent fluff. Of course, there were some great hits on the album like “In Bloom” and “Lithium,” but even hits that are memorable like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has a suspiciously similar main riff to Boston’s song entitled “More than a Feeling.” When you dig deeper into the tracks that are on this album, you will come across “Lounge Act” and “Territorial Pissings,” which are, simply put, not that great.
2. The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”
When you think of The Beach Boys, what are the most iconic songs of their collection that you think of first? Well, for me it would be songs like “I Get Around,” “Surfin’ USA,” “Good Vibrations,” and “California Girls.” All of these hits are on their album “Endless Summer,” so why did “Pet Sounds” get all the hype from the critics? Songs like “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t it be Nice” are incredible, but most of the other songs on the album just not quite as great. The fact that this album has been described as the high point of Brian Wilson’s artistry in music secures its spot on this list.
3. Michael Jackson “Thriller”
Let’s face it, “Thriller” is an album that helped to define pop, and it had some great hits on it that you can still enjoy like “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’,” “Thriller,” “Beat It,’ and “Billie Jean,” but even though many of the other songs on the album are good, they are not spectacular. This album was played far too much at the time of its release as well as when Michael Jackson passed. Remembering him as the “King of Pop” is perfectly fine, but instead of making this album overrated, we could have remembered that he has some spectacular albums after “Thriller” as well. In fact, with the album “Bad,” which was released after “Thriller,” Michael achieved the feat of having five number one hits on the same album.
4. AC/DC “Back in Black”
AC/DC’s album “Back in Black” was considered one of the most iconic of its time, but if you look back at the track list, only four of the ten songs are ones that you still remember the lyrics to. “Back in Black,” “Hells Bells,’ “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” are classics, but can you really recall the other songs on the album? They are not bad songs, but they were not hits either, which means that over time they could easily be forgotten. Considering that many AC/DC songs sound very similar, this album got a lot of attention; but maybe some of the reason for this fame was that it was released as a tribute to Bon Scott, the vocalist of the band who passed that same year.
5. Radiohead “Kid A”
The final album on this list is Radiohead’s “Kid A.” One of the main reasons that this album got so much hype is because it was vastly different from all of their previous albums. Now, it has some great sound to it, but the band was experimenting with a more electronic sound, which worked in some ways, but it failed in other songs. “Kid A” has been called a masterpiece, but to many, it is an inconsistent release that has some fresh songs that are actually lacking compared to their other albums.
As you can see, these albums all had great hits that will never be forgotten. If you owned these albums, take a moment to think back to when they were part of your daily mix. How often did you actually listen to these albums fully? Most of us probably only listened to two or three songs per album, which is why these albums made it onto this list featuring the most overrated albums of all time. What are some other overrated albums that you can think of?
Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number one online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.