Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The worst album ever made?

Think about this for a second: What is the worst album ever made?  For years–and for years to come–the answer (for me, anyway) has to be Metal Machine Music, the double album released by Lou Reed in July 1975. 

Lou wanted to, er, cleanse his fan base a little–plus he wanted to get out of his contract with RCA Records.  To make that happen, he submitted a 64-minute and 11-second album that featured nothing but guitar feedback recorded at different speeds.  No beat, no lyrics, no melody, no structure.  Just 64-plus minutes of squalling feedback. 

And when–if–you got to the end of side 4, the final groove was locked, which meant that the torture just kept going.  Despite the un-listenability of this record, it sold 100,000 copies.

It has also been “covered” by several bands, made available on streaming, and re-released on vinyl. Go figure.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: The worst album ever made?

  • “Lulu” – Metallica and Lou Reed


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