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The 50 Worst Artists in Music History


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this is probably very controversial... :P

but I'll post it anyway (or because of that? :grin:)

but just so you know, it wasn't ME who compiled it... ;)

Here's the Link

50 IRON BUTTERFLY

Everything bad about the ’60s, in one easy-to-avoid package

Legend has it that this Los Angeles acid-rock quintet had consumed such massive amounts of marijuana during the 1968 sessions for “In the Garden of Eden†that keyboardist-singer Doug Ingle could only mumble the title. Hence, “In-a-Gadda-da-Vida†was born, and its unexpurgated 17-minute version (including a two-and-a- half-minute drum solo) inaugurated the dubious era of free-form FM radio.

Appalling fact In-a-Gadda-da-Vida was the first LP ever to be certified platinum.

Worst CD Sun and Steel (MCA, 1975)

49 TOAD THE WET SPROCKET

Very poor name. Even poorer band

“We were together longer than we ever thought we’d be,†said Toad the Wet Sprocket singer Glenn Phillips when the band gave up in 1998. Longer than the rest of us had hoped, too. But the California four-piece defied the odds for 12 years, even piercing the Top 40 with their R.E.M. readymades.

Appalling fact Toad decided to have another go this year, playing dates with Counting Crows. Run.

Worst CD Pale (Columbia, 1990)

48 MASTER P

The dumbest of the Dirty South

In the late ’90s, rapper and label head Percy Miller copycatted G-funk, simplified it and launched a fleet of indistinguishable MCs wrapped in cheap-looking, jewel-riddled artwork. P’s worst offense was his solo work (his obnoxious breakout single, “Make Em Say Ugh,†consisted of little more than a repeated groan). Like a crawfish-suckin’ P. Diddy, he has, shockingly, earned millions from his No Limit imprint, which includes a clothing line, a publishing house — and even a phone company.

Appalling fact Master P had a Ferrari custom-painted in a Gucci-logo pattern.

Worst CD Only God Can Judge Me (No Limit, 1999)

47 GOO GOO DOLLS

Mediocre band, woeful balladeers

Buffalo, New York’s Goo Goo Dolls are former garage-rockers who, since their 1995 acoustic hit “Name,†have successfully flogged a pallid brand of Bon Jovi–lite “rock.†“Iris,†their smash 1998 weepie, gives power ballads a bad name.

Worst CD Gutterflower (Warner Bros., 2002)

46 THE SPIN DOCTORS

Beards. Extended “jams.†Oh dear, oh dear

For a brief time (between 1992 and 1996), it seemed that any workaday bar band, if it was willing to gamely trek around the country for at least three years, had a chance at superstardom (cf. Hootie and the Blowfish, Blues Traveler). Blame the Spin Doctors, hairy New Yorkers who — thanks to the supremely annoying “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong†and “Two Princes†— momentarily opened a route between dive bars and the Billboard charts.

Appalling fact The Doctors got together while they were students at New York’s New School of Jazz.

Worst CD Homebelly Groove Live (Epic, 1992)

45 GIPSY KINGS

The curse of many a late-’80s dinner party

Having grown up on the French-Spanish border, the six cousins who formed Gipsy Kings craftily aspired to sell their mixture of flamenco, Eurotrash pop and questionable hairdos to a world desperate for something seemingly exotic. They seduced the über-rich at St. Tropez before hitching their wagon to the then-huge world-music boom, diluting the flamenco with drums, bass and even synthesizers. Soon, they became the Muzak in every bistro in the free world.

Appalling fact Well-known groover George H.W. Bush was so fond of the Gipsy Kings that he asked them to perform at his inaugural presidential ball. For some reason, they declined.

Worst CD Este Mundo (Elektra, 1991)

44 MANOWAR

None more metal. None more gay

An American answer to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, Rochester, New York’s Manowar embody every conceivable heavy-metal cliché: Bodybuilders all, the four wear leather and animal pelts onstage; singer Eric Adams shrieks only of death, warfare and the glory of metal; Joey DeMaio performs solo bass renditions of “The Flight of the Bumblebee.†They’re quite possibly the most ludicrous people in rock & roll history.

Appalling fact In 1993, Russian youth voted Manowar above the Beatles and Michael Jackson as the act they would most like to see perform live.

Worst CD Sign of the Hammer (EMI, 1985)

43 MIKE & THE MECHANICS

“Every generation blames the one before,†they sang. So we will

While Phil Collins was torturing the world with his archetypal ’80s soft-rock, his Genesis colleague Mike Rutherford unwisely decided to join in. Ergo the Mechanics, a trio built around Rutherford, former Squeeze vocalist-keyboardist Paul Carrack and the late Paul Young. As shown by the 1989 number 1 hit “The Living Years,†an unbearably sentimental ode to Rutherford’s deceased father, they made Collins sound like the MC5.

Appalling fact Against significant odds, there is a U.K.-based Mike & the Mechanics tribute band, the Living Years.

Worst CD Beggar on a Beach of Gold (Virgin, 1995)

42 RICK WAKEMAN

Can play two synthesizers at once — but nothing that people want to hear

Keyboard “wizard†and professional cape wearer Wakeman’s diabolical taste revealed itself early, when he elected to join prog-rockers Yes instead of David Bowie’s backing band, the Spiders From Mars. Not content with contributing to Yes’s inexcusably pompous albums, he also spent the mid-’70s releasing a series of baroquely awful solo theme records, including The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. For reasons that are still unclear, he opted to perform that one on ice.

Appalling fact While playing Yes songs live, Wakeman would wolf down curry during sections in which he had little to do.

Worst CD Lisztomania (A&M, 1975)

41 WHITESNAKE

Dumb and dumberer

Led by ex–Deep Purple frontman David Coverdale, Whitesnake’s ’80s success with their karaoke Led Zeppelin routine can be explained only by the public’s enduring love for the double entendre, as exemplified on such songs as “Slide It In,†“Slow Poke Music†and “Spit It Out.â€

Worst CD Slip of the Tongue (Geffen, 1989)

40 BLIND MELON

A video made them; heroin undid them

Led by Axl Rose’s mewling, drug-plagued pal Shannon Hoon, Blind Melon’s lightweight rock would have been forgotten completely were it not for the boundless charm of “Bee Girl†Heather DeLoach, whose hoofing in the video for “No Rain†made the tune the band’s lone hit.

Worst CD Soup (Capitol, 1995)

39 BOB GELDOF

Should have stuck to saving the planet

He organized the Live Aid concerts, but “Saint†Bob Geldof is a less-than-godlike musical talent. In 1989, he released The Vegetarians of Love, a terrible quasi-Cajun album that was recorded in five days — and sounded like it. Thirteen years later came Sex, Age & Death, effectively a midlife crisis — replete with achingly embarrassing claims of undiminished sexual potency — set to music. Like most of his solo work, it stiffed.

Appalling fact One recent Geldof song, “10:15,†features the line “She told me I was beautiful/And I made her come a lot.â€

Worst CD Sex, Age & Death (Koch, 2002)

37 THE DOORS

He was the Lizard King. No, really…

While in college, many young men still choose to immerse themselves in such ill-advised subjects as Nietzsche, black magic and Native American folklore. Most get over it; Jim Morrison, unfortunately, inflicted his terminally adolescent views on the wider world. The consequences included overblown screeds of nonsense such as “The End†and “The Crystal Ship,†plus, effectively, the invention of goth. Then he got fat and died.

Appalling fact Morrison is widely believed to have suffered his fatal heart attack while masturbating in the bathtub.

Worst CD The Soft Parade (Elektra, 1969)

36 98 DEGREES

Well, their mothers must love them

“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll make an exception,†quipped Groucho Marx. He’d have been hard-pressed to remember this utterly unremarkable Ohio boy band, though he would have loved to have forgotten their music. Harmonies, schmaltzy urban soul and even more saccharine life philosophy (“Persevere, work hard, have faith and eventually you’ll reach your goalâ€) paid dividends in the late ’90s, as third-rate cheese such as “I Do (Cherish You)†and “Because of You†somehow became big hits.

Appalling fact Buy the 98 Degrees official board game — and find out which band member once autographed a diaper!

Worst CD This Christmas (Uptown/ Universal, 1999)

35 PAUL OAKENFOLD

Hey, Mr. DJ: Keep your day job!

As a remixer of note, “Oakey†is lauded for turning the guitar-loving masses into Ecstasy-aware, sodden-shirted neophytes of ’90s dance music. But 2002’s Bunkka, the Englishman’s first album of original material, was an abject exercise in marketing, not music. Ham-fisted and clichéd, lacking direction and sparkle, nothing Oakenfold created himself would have inspired any DJs worth a lick. Dreadful.

Appalling fact Perry Farrell, Tricky, Ice Cube and Nelly Furtado all lined up to contribute to Bunkka. Presumably without hearing the music first.

Worst CD Bunkka (Maverick/Warner Bros., 2002)

34 LIVE

These U2 sound-alikes never did find what they were looking for

Blessed with the same spiritual longing as U2 — but, sadly, none of the musical cunning — this Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, quartet made a brief but insignificant splash in the early ’90s as purveyors of grandiose, vaguely uplifting alt-rock. Although their hold on the mainstream had evaporated by the end of the decade, their blend of loud guitars and portentous lyrics helped pave the way for crypto-Christian rockers Creed. Nice one, Live.

Appalling fact The album title Secret Samadhi derives from a form of Hindu meditation.

Worst CD Secret Samadhi (MCA, 1997)

33 JAPAN

An uncontestable argument against the ’80s

Japan formed in 1974 and soon discovered that their mixture of washed-out glam-rock, vaguely literary pretensions and bucketloads of makeup prompted little more than cruel laughter. The dawn of the ’80s, however, found things moving their way, and by 1981, plenty of easily distracted teens were wobbling enigmatically to “Voices Raised in Welcome, Hands Held in Prayer,†“The Art of Parties†and “Still Life in Mobile Homes†(the titles say it all).

Appalling fact Their version of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “I Second That Emotion†might be the worst Motown cover of all time.

Worst CD Gentlemen Take Polaroids (Virgin, 1980)

32 THE HOOTERS

The great folk-rock scare

Philadelphians Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian assembled a quintet that specialized in a vile blend of folk-rock and New Wave, in the process proving that the mandolin is more irritating than the synthesizer.

Worst CD Zig Zag (Columbia, 1989)

31 ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Too positive for their own good

Their 1992 debut, 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of…, sold 5 million copies despite containing some of the preachiest, most contrived “wisdom†ever laid down. Their studio follow-up, Zingalamundi, sank without a trace.

Worst CD Unplugged (Chrysalis, 1993)

30 RICHARD MARX

The devil-king of MOR

When it comes to the dreaded genre of adult contemporary, few were as archetypal as Winnetka, Illinois–born Richard Marx. The unbearably syrupy “Right Here Waiting,†from 1989, remains his most far-reaching hit, but it shows the extent to which America fell for his combination of mullet, Wedding Singer apparel and softer-than-soft rock that it was his third consecutive number 1 single.

Appalling fact Before his brief burst of stardom, Marx honed his painfully bland art as a backing singer for Lionel Richie.

Worst CD Repeat Offender (Capitol, 1989)

29 SKINNY PUPPY

The audience rarely sang along to “Dogshitâ€

And so it came to pass in the 1980s that two Canadian Kevins changed their names to cEvin and Nivek in order to make themselves more interesting, hired a singer named Dwayne (who would die of a heroin overdose) and spent almost a decade making ear-torturing industrial music. The sound of whiny students on drugs sampling Timothy Leary — as scary as Mannheim Steamroller.

Appalling fact On the Head Trauma tour, cEvin sliced open his stomach with broken glass and performed a vivisection. Relax, everyone — he was only pretending.

Worst CD Too Dark Park (Nettwerk, 1990)

28 CRASH TEST DUMMIES

They said Brad Roberts’s voice was so deep it could be heard only by whales. Not true, sadly

If you want to be recognized as serious recording artists with a whimsical, folksy bent, it’s probably best not to notch your only hit with a daft novelty song based around the world’s silliest lead vocal and title it “Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm.†The remainder of God Shuffled His Feet, this Canadian band’s second album, was much worse. They released I Don’t Care That You Don’t Mind in 2001. No one cared.

Appalling fact They’re Canadian.

Worst CD A Worm’s Life (Arista, 1996)

27 COLOR ME BADD

These Oklahomans sang about sex. But they couldn’t keep it up

Oklahoma City’s gain was New York’s loss when these four high-school friends left their hometown and headed east in search of fame. They found it in 1991 with the double-platinum single “I Wanna Sex You Up,†a literally unbelievable slice of lasciviousness from such inoffensive boys. Diluted hit followed diluted hit, but three watery albums later, CMB suddenly found themselves all washed up.

Appalling fact As kids, CMB regularly buttonholed such touring acts as Huey Lewis & the News and Bon Jovi for impromptu a cappella auditions.

Worst CD Now & Forever (Giant, 1996)

26 CÉLINE DION

One more reason to hate the French?

Seemingly hellbent from birth on proving that Michael Bolton isn’t the cheesiest balladeer on the face of the planet, the French-Canadian singer first secured a manager at age 12 — creepily, she later married him. But far more terrifying is her endless string of shrieking über-hits, particularly the Titanic theme, “My Heart Will Go On†— which, if it had been played on the ship itself, would surely have made passengers leap to their doom long before the iceberg did its dastardly deed.

Appalling fact You might want to stay clear of Nevada until 2006: Dion recently began a three-year engagement at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.

Worst CD Céline Dion (Epic, 1992)

25 JAMIROQUAI

The white, talentless Stevie Wonder

Where to start — the ludicrous headgear? The atrocious dancing? No, let us start, and finish, with the fact that Stevie Wonder has more talent in his dark glasses than Jay Kay has in his entire body.

Worst CD A Funk Odyssey (Epic, 2001)

24 BAD ENGLISH

With ex-members of Journey!

Suck-cheeked soft-rocker John Waite had scored big in 1984 with the ballad “Missing You.†But with his solo career stalling, and half of Journey toilet-bound without a singer, they forged an unholy late-’80s alliance. Bad English retailed puffed-up power ballads, while Waite cast himself as a doomed romantic hero.

Worst CD Backlash (Epic, 1991)

23 CREED

Whoever said the devil has all the best tunes was probably listening to Creed at the time

It’s doubtful there’s a more irritating sight in videodom than Creed’s Scott Stapp pulling one of his crucifixion poses while a wind machine blows his hair in the appropriate direction. But the Florida group’s real crime is its music, an overblown distillation of grunge’s most obviously commercial elements every inch as vapid as the music Nirvana and company were rebelling against.

Appalling fact This April, a fan sued the band following a show at which, it was alleged, Stapp was so incapacitated he was “unable to sing a single song.â€

Worst CD Weathered (Wind-Up, 2001)

22 PRIMUS

“Care for some prog-rock with cartoon-character vocals on the side?†“No, thanks!â€

Perhaps the most tune-free act ever to chart an album in the Top 10 (Pork Soda hit number 7 in 1993), Oakland, California’s Primus were led by Les Claypool, a bass virtuoso and startlingly nasal vocalist. Musicians and the terminally nerdy gaped in wide wonder at the trio’s prodigious instrumental “chopsâ€; everyone else was repulsed by the band’s combination of the worst aspects of Frank Zappa and Rush.

Appalling fact The rallying cry for Primus’s misguided fans was “Primus sucks!†— intended as sarcasm yet all too true.

Worst CD Pork Soda (Interscope, 1993)

21 THE ALAN PARSONS PROJECT

The sound inside the head of Pink Floyd’s engineer. Zzzzzz…

Having conquered the Dark Side of the Moon, EMI Records’ beardy staff engineer Alan Parsons decided that what the universe really needed was a prog-rock concept album based on the work of nineteenth-century horror novelist Edgar Allan Poe, narrated by Orson Welles. It didn’t, of course, but an undeterred Parsons soldiered on, swapping prog-rock for vapid AOR in the ’80s. Finally bundled off to play guitar in Ringo Starr’s backing band, he was never seen again.

Appalling fact In the ’90s, the world-champion Chicago Bulls took the court to the pretentious swells of Parsons’s “Sirius.â€

Worst CD Pyramid (Arista, 1978)

20 HOWARD JONES

He came from England. Thanks, England

In the mid-’80s, it was difficult to avoid synth-wielding Brits. The sprig-haired, perma-grinning Howard Jones was the most irritating, seemingly convinced that he had something very important to tell the world — his 1984 debut was grandly titled Human’s Lib — but unclear exactly what it was.

Appalling fact Early in his career, Jones was accompanied by “improvisational dance†expert Jed Hoile, who, in keeping with the lyrics to “New Song,†mimed throwing off his “mental chains.â€

Worst CD Live Acoustic America (Plump, 1996)

19 DAN FOGELBERG

Giving male sensitivity a bad name — one song at a time

A graduate of the coffeehouse circuit around the University of Illinois, Fogelberg came to epitomize the most emetic qualities of the ’70s singer-songwriter: the high, quavering voice, the knee-jerk sentimentality, the earnestly strummed acoustic guitar. He was blessed with a gift for vacuously pretty melodies, and his work also anticipated the vapidity of New Age music — although with the added annoyance of bad lyrics.

Appalling fact His 1982 hit “Run for the Roses†smelled of horse manure, and it was in fact about the Kentucky Derby.

Worst CD Twin Sons of Different Mothers (with Tim Weisberg) (Full Moon/Epic, 1978)

18 PAT BOONE

With his clean white bucks, he made rock & roll safe for ’50s nerds

Back before blue-eyed soul, Pat Boone made a career out of watering down ’50s R&B hits. Appealing to an audience who considered “race music†to be almost as bad as interracial dating, he had enormous success in making Fats Domino seem boring and Little Richard straight. After he spent the ’80s as a spokesperson for Christian conservatism, his album In a Metal Mood cursed heavy metal by treating it like big-band schlock.

Appalling fact In 1977, his daughter Debbie topped the charts with “You Light Up My Life.â€

Worst CD In a Metal Mood (Hip-O, 1997)

17 BENZINO

He rapped, he co-owned

As silent co-owner of the hip-hop magazine The Source, Benzino embarrassingly ordered extensive feature coverage of his 2001 debut album, The Benzino Project, in the pages of his periodical. It didn’t work: The album sold fewer than 75,000 copies.

Worst CD The Benzino Project (Motown, 2001)

16 OINGO BOINGO

Artless art-rock

Oingo Boingo singer Danny Elfman went on to become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand soundtrack composers. But during his first go-round, he and his movie-director brother led this ostentatiously orchestrated L.A. New Wave group that began its pretentious career, not surprisingly, as a performance-art troupe.

Worst CD Only a Lad (A&M, 1981)

15 YANNI

Fabio meets Tesh!

As a member of the Greek national swimming team, 14-year-old Yanni Chryssomallis broke his country’s national freestyle record. But instead of bringing further glory to his homeland by going to the Olympics, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1972 and began his 30-year quest to offer wretched New Age twaddle to legions of Midwestern matrons, spa proprietors, insomniacs and his former paramour Linda Evans. Swimming’s loss is music’s loss.

Appalling fact “I avoid words. If instrumental music is done properly, it bypasses logic, programming and society. It becomes primal. I compose by emotion.â€

Worst CD Yanni Live at the Acropolis (Private Music, 1993)

14 YNGWIE MALMSTEEN

Big on solos, short on songs

With his passion for the music of Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore, Swedish guitar show-off Yngwie Malmsteen co-opted his hero’s deadpan demeanor, neoclassical solos and frilly cuffs, garnering kudos from ’80s bedroom guitar onanists for his playing speed. Yet Malmsteen never employed a proper songwriter, and his noodling hard rock — sometimes augmented by a full orchestra — has scored increasingly minuscule returns.

Appalling fact Malmsteen’s 1983 show at London’s Marquee club sold out in minutes because of unsuspecting Bruce Springsteen fans who thought they were attending a secret gig by the Boss.

Worst CD Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra (Ranch Life, 1999)

13 MICK JAGGER

Even Bill Wyman laughs at Mick’s solo records

Given the roll call of A-list rockers who have appeared on the Stones frontman’s four solo ventures, even a tone-deaf 6-year-old could have produced something you’d want to hear twice, or at least once. Alas, it seems, there’s never a tone-deaf 6-year-old around when you need one. Even on 1993’s not-entirely-grim Wandering Spirit, produced by Rick Rubin, Jagger does his damnedest to ruin things by inexplicably singing a sea shanty. That’s right — a sea shanty!

Appalling fact In his native U.K., Jagger’s latest solo release, Goddess in the Doorway, sold just 954 copies on its first day of release.

Worst CD Goddess in the Doorway (Virgin, 2001)

12 TIN MACHINE

David Bowie’s darkest (non-acting) hour

In 1989, having presumably become bored with excelling at pop, glam-rock and funk, chameleon David Bowie decided to demonstrate that he too could be really, really bad. The vehicle for this unlikely ambition was the plodding rock four-piece Tin Machine, whose two critically mauled studio albums and one “hilariously†titled live document (Oy Vey, Baby) found Bowie voluntarily subsuming his genius beneath chorus-free tunes and guitarist Reeves Gabrels’s habit of playing his instrument with a vibrator.

Appalling fact The band’s roadies wore T-shirts that read ******* YOU, I LIKE TIN MACHINE. They were the only ones.

Worst CD Oy Vey, Baby (Victory, 1991)

11 LATOYA JACKSON

The least talented Jackson

Her voice may be thinner than Janet’s and her charisma dimmer than Tito’s, but her eyebrows uncannily resembled Michael’s, and for a short, confusing time in the ’80s, that was enough to earn Latoya Jackson a record deal. Typically, it was her private life rather than her hapless music that gained the most attention, after she accused her father of sexual abuse.

Worst CD From Nashville to You (Mar-Gor, 1994)

10 AIR SUPPLY

The sound of eunuchs sobbing

Disproving the theory that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, Air Supply contained not one but two mewling, lovesick softies whose name was Russell. In the early ’80s, the Australian duo’s gutless ballads — music so remorselessly fey it made Journey sound like Danzig — sent a generation of jilted lovers toppling into depression that was as clinical as the Russells’ music. Mercifully, though, by the end of the decade, the pair had cried themselves to sleep.

Appalling fact Determined to ruin the festive season, Air Supply once recorded a Christmas album.

Worst CD The Christmas Album (Arista, 1987)

9 LEE GREENWOOD

Gives patriotism a bad name

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,†Samuel Johnson said, but in Lee Greenwood’s case, it’s the ultimate meal ticket for a Nashville hack. A bland balladeer with a weakness for overwrought sentimentality, he wrote the 1984 tune “God Bless the U.S.A.†in response to the Soviet downing of a South Korean airliner. It became a campaign theme for George H.W. Bush and was recently excavated in torturous fashion by the American Idol 2 cast during the war in Iraq.

Appalling fact Greenwood performed a duet with Latoya Jackson on her dreadful 1994 album, From Nashville to You.

Worst CD You’ve Got a Good Love Comin’ (MCA, 1985)

8 VANILLA ICE

The white boy to end all white boys

You know that yearbook photograph you won’t let anyone see? The one whose very existence keeps you awake shaking at night? Imagine it was a horribly dated number 1 single from 1990 called “Ice Ice Baby,†and you have an idea what life is like for Robert Van Winkle. It doesn’t stop there: Ice starred in the abysmal 1991 Hollywood vehicle Cool as Ice, and after squandering his quick fortune, mounted an unsuccessful comeback in 1998 as (shudder) a rap-rocker.

Appalling fact Widely denounced by hip-hop fans as a phony, Ice rebuffed his detractors at the 1991 American Music Awards: “Kiss my white ass!â€

Worst CD Hard to Swallow (Republic, 1998)

7 ASIA

Ridiculous album sleeves, virtuoso playing, soulless rock. It can be only one band

Asia’s music turned out to be exactly the sum of its parts: former technicians from King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Yes who got together with an erstwhile Buggle at the start of the ’80s. It promised the most self-important prog-rock melded with the limp-wristed worst of AOR, and it delivered. The band’s self-titled debut sold more than 4 million copies, which only encouraged them.

Appalling fact To this day, keyboardist Geoff Downes is happy to offer Asia’s mission statement: “To play music that is panoramic, symphonic and rock at the same time.â€

Worst CD Astra (Geffen, 1985)

6 KANSAS

Beware all bands named after states or continents!

Their folksy 1977 hit “Dust in the Wind,†a tractor-size fiddle player and a guitarist in bib overalls suggested pioneer-spirited rural rockers. The truth was far more sinister. Bereft of sex and emotion, Kansas’s music was a noxious fusion of Jethro Tull and Yes, appealing only to male sci-fi bores and guaranteed to drive any self-respecting frontiersman headlong into the nearest bear trap.

Appalling fact A feature of their live shows was roadie T. Rat, who would come onstage in a trench coat, top hat and clown mask. Then he would disrobe and dance butt-naked.

Worst CD Point of Know Return (Columbia, 1977)

5 STARSHIP

They built this city on rock & roll. And crap!

In 1985, Starship rose like a phoenix from the ashes of once-mighty psychedelic overlords Jefferson Airplane/Starship — but only if, by phoenix, you mean “ultra-lame, MTV-pandering purveyors of MOR schlock.†Best remembered for “We Built This City,†they were also responsible for unleashing the Diane Warren–penned “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,†a song bad enough to appear on the soundtrack of the diabolical Andrew McCarthy “comedy†Mannequin. And its sequel!

Appalling fact Singer Grace Slick later disavowed “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,†claiming in an interview, “I know damn well how fast a relationship can fall apart.â€

Worst CD Love Among the Cannibals (RCA, 1989)

4 KENNY G

This guy really blows!

Hated equally by jazz and rock fans, Kenny Gorelick’s limpid instrumentals and obsequious cameos helped turn the soprano sax solo into pop music’s most feared cliché. He started his career with fusion hack Jeff Lorber, and his 1986 album, Duotones, established a steady market for anodyne, minimal background music, an aesthetic that reached its zenith in 1997 when “The G†set a world record by holding a single note for 45 minutes.

Appalling fact He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with a degree in accounting.

Worst CD Classics in the Key of G (Arista, 1999)

3 MICHAEL BOLTON

Otis Redding died for this?

With his curly locks and toned abs, Michael Bolton looked like nothing so much as the hero of a cheap bodice-ripper, which was enough to earn him a fervent audience for his over-emoted late-’80s power ballads. Unfortunately, his greatest desire was to sing R&B oldies, which he went through like Sherman through Georgia.

Appalling fact After losing a plagiarism suit to the Isley Brothers, Bolton tried to avoid paying them royalties by buying their publishing house.

Worst CD Timeless: The Classics (Columbia, 1992)

2 EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER

Welcome back, my friends, to the second-worst band in history!

“Boasting†former members of the Nice, King Crimson and — yes! — Atomic Rooster, the less-than-super ’70s supergroup ELP shunned blues-based rock in favor of bombastically reinterpreted classical works — with bewilderingly successful results. A nightmarish enough proposition on record, the Brit trio’s live shows were peppered by interminable solo spots, including a 20-minute drum workout by Carl Palmer that ended with him ringing a cowbell held between his teeth.

Appalling fact Singer-bassist Greg Lake performed on a $10,000 Persian rug that roadies vacuumed before every show.

Worst CD Love Beach (Rhino, 1978)

1 INSANE CLOWN POSSE

They sound even stupider than they look

Two trailer-trash types who wear face paint, pretend to be a street gang and drench cult devotees in cheap soda called Faygo, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are more notorious for their beef with Eminem (who pistol-whipped an ICP homey in 2001) than their ham-fisted rap-rock music. They claim that a “dark carnival†visited them one night, prophesied impending apocalypse and made them its messengers. Between this circus gospel, they find plenty of time to rap about 40-ouncers and venereal disease.

Appalling fact While appearing on The Howard Stern Show in 1999, Shaggy 2 Dope told Sharon Osbourne to “buff my pickle.†She declined.

Worst CD The Wraith: Shangri-La (D3, 2002)

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There are at least 10 to 15 artists on that list that do not belong there. I knew it would be questionable when the first on the list was Iron Butterfly.

Do some drugs and listen to In-a-Gadda-da-Vida then tell me what you think! LOL

The Doors?? How do they get on that list? Obviously this list was composed by someone who never listened to the Doors.

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Once again, it's our differences which make it fun to do this sort of exercise. If I named my list of the 50 Worst Artists, I guarantee that all 50 could be argued by somebody here who likes them.

It's no different with a magazine article. Somebody wrote it based on their opinion or their readers opinion....congrats...they have an article!

Controversy is good too. Put the Doors on the list...stir some people up. Look, we're still talking about it here.

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Hmm. I don't exactly think one could make such a universal list. Maybe for one personally, but somewhere someone's going to disagree, yknow? Like for instance, you have the Doors on there - one of my favorites. However, I agree with Goo Goo Dolls... See there'll always be the differences.

Kind of just like what Ron said above me haha.

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As I think further about this topic (scary to me already) this article is called The 50 Worst Artists in Music History....how do we know we aren't missing some really bad ancient lute player (or is that a lutist?) Maybe the opening act for Mozart in Salzburg really sucked. this is music history they are referring to...I think The Doors can't be on list.

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Some people hate the music I love... in this very moment, I hate Whitesnake cause my husband has been playing Whitesnake songs for a week now... :P and I have to wait till I´m alone to listen to Leonard Cohen, for instance... and I can´t stand many groups or artists most of my friends just love.

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