Artists that had few great songs but produced a lot of mediocre music

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DaRick

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And then on top of those classics the run of albums from Exile to Tattoo You are awesome too. That was the era I discovered the Stones as an early teen, so Some Girls, Black And Blue, Goatshead Soup, Emotional Rescue and Tattoo You mean a lot to me. I could select at least a dozen great songs from those records, so a "few" is well and truly covered.

I think some posters need to look elsewhere to satisfy this thread - Queen would be a reasonable start.

There are a few problems here:
1) Queen up until A Day At The Races made albums that were solid at worst, and truly excellent at best.
2) Even on most of their so-so albums (bar maybe Hot Space), there's at least one classic that elevates the rest of the album just by its presence*.
3) The last album with Freddie still alive (Innuendo) is genuinely good in it's own right.

*
1) News of The World: Those two we've all heard a billion times
2) Jazz: Don't Stop Me Know & Fat Bottomed Girls; others quite like Mostapha and Bicycle Race, but the last song IMO is so fey that it should fly away and never be heard from again, whereas the former never grabbed me for some reason.
3) The Game: Two obvious standouts; I guess that Need Your Loving Tonight is an OK pop-rock ballad with Mercury predictably elevating it above the rank with his timing - knowing when to stop, knowing when to go all-out (during the course). Really part of the reason why he's the greatest rock vocalist of all time IMO.
4) Hot Space: Their worst album. Body Language is a guilty pleasure, not a bona-fide classic. If you include Under Pressure, that's the classic.
5) The Works: Radio Ga Ga and arguably I Want to Break Free. Hammer to Fall has a promising opening riff, but the song is appallingly lightweight given that the song's heavy subject matter. Musically, they play it as fairly lightweight hard rock, not the menacing, crunchy hard rock the song initially promise. Because of these lighter arrangements, the song becomes not the musical equivalent of a nuclear holocaust, but as life in everyday Britain with the nuclear menace representing a danger in the background. You could argue that this depicton is true to life, but it doesn't make the song more enjoyable.
6) A Kind of Magic: Has two classics IMO (A Kind of Magic; Who Wants To Live Forever due to Freddy being at his peak vocally); I quite like Friends Will Be Friends, but others consider it disposable.
7) The Miracle: The Miracle is a classic; I Want It All isn't quite, but it's an enjoyable slab of stadium-rock.

TLDR; Queen isn't in the Green Day class of being a singles vs filler band that churned out only one very good album because:
1) Many of their albums are consistently solid, even excellent at best.
2) Even in their singles vs filler phase, the singles often stood out so much that they elevated the entire album, plus they carried momentum through the album which would have made the lesser songs a little more tolerable for many.
3) They ended with a genuinely good album, and Freddie's unfortunate (and horrifying) death sealed Queen's legacy.
 

GhostofJimJess

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There are a few problems here:
1) Queen up until A Day At The Races made albums that were solid at worst, and truly excellent at best.
2) Even on most of their so-so albums (bar maybe Hot Space), there's at least one classic that elevates the rest of the album just by its presence*.
3) The last album with Freddie still alive (Innuendo) is genuinely good in it's own right.

*
1) News of The World: Those two we've all heard a billion times
2) Jazz: Don't Stop Me Know & Fat Bottomed Girls; others quite like Mostapha and Bicycle Race, but the last song IMO is so fey that it should fly away and never be heard from again, whereas the former never grabbed me for some reason.
3) The Game: Two obvious standouts; I guess that Need Your Loving Tonight is an OK pop-rock ballad with Mercury predictably elevating it above the rank with his timing - knowing when to stop, knowing when to go all-out (during the course). Really part of the reason why he's the greatest rock vocalist of all time IMO.
4) Hot Space: Their worst album. Body Language is a guilty pleasure, not a bona-fide classic. If you include Under Pressure, that's the classic.
5) The Works: Radio Ga Ga and arguably I Want to Break Free. Hammer to Fall has a promising opening riff, but the song is appallingly lightweight given that the song's heavy subject matter. Musically, they play it as fairly lightweight hard rock, not the menacing, crunchy hard rock the song initially promise. Because of these lighter arrangements, the song becomes not the musical equivalent of a nuclear holocaust, but as life in everyday Britain with the nuclear menace representing a danger in the background. You could argue that this depicton is true to life, but it doesn't make the song more enjoyable.
6) A Kind of Magic: Has two classics IMO (A Kind of Magic; Who Wants To Live Forever due to Freddy being at his peak vocally); I quite like Friends Will Be Friends, but others consider it disposable.
7) The Miracle: The Miracle is a classic; I Want It All isn't quite, but it's an enjoyable slab of stadium-rock.

TLDR; Queen isn't in the Green Day class of being a singles vs filler band that churned out only one very good album because:
1) Many of their albums are consistently solid, even excellent at best.
2) Even in their singles vs filler phase, the singles often stood out so much that they elevated the entire album, plus they carried momentum through the album which would have made the lesser songs a little more tolerable for many.
3) They ended with a genuinely good album, and Freddie's unfortunate (and horrifying) death sealed Queen's legacy.
Yeah fair enough, as a fan you've obviously found enough in there to fill a decent catalogue of tunes.

For me though, Queen have always epitomised the band who has the largest gap between their best and their worst material. That said, their best is wonderful, as exemplified in NaTO.
 

DaRick

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Yeah fair enough, as a fan you've obviously found enough in there to fill a decent catalogue of tunes.

For me though, Queen have always epitomised the band who has the largest gap between their best and their worst material. That said, their best is wonderful, as exemplified in NaTO.

Bad Queen is admittedly pretty bad, but for me that 'honour' belongs to Guns N' Roses, with David Bowie coming in second.

Both have higher highs than Queen IMO, but Guns N' Roses at their worst sound like a bunch of randoms just putting stuff together while freeballing (My World is one of the worst things I've ever heard). Bad David Bowie sounds so insubstantial and generic (most of Tonight) that afterwards you wonder whether you actually listened to anything.

AC/DC are the opposite. A lot of their discography isn't particularly remarkable, but they've not made many truly bad songs.

(Bear in mind that I actually like all four artists.)
 

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Purple7x08_24

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One Republic have 2 great songs 3 tops. I've been right through their discography and the majority of it is trash.

Kanye West, Drake

Finding a good song is like pulling a needle out of a haystack
 

Purple7x08_24

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Both have higher highs than Queen IMO, but Guns N' Roses at their worst sound like a bunch of randoms just putting stuff together while freeballing (My World is one of the worst things I've ever heard). Bad David Bowie sounds so insubstantial and generic (most of Tonight) that afterwards you wonder whether you actually listened to anything.
I have found Slash's stuff to be reasonably good
Anastassia is one of my favs
 

backtozero

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Pearl Jam.

Apart from the debut album, probably one or two good tracks on each album and then filler galore.
 

Mofra

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Pearl Jam.

Apart from the debut album, probably one or two good tracks on each album and then filler galore.
I really got into everything up to Vitalogy, then it all seemed to move ever so slightly to MoR with each successive release
 

Spearman

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I might add Waterboys to the list, Fisherman's Blues had some great songs, but it was the production and arrangements that made it great. Their earlier albums had songs but the sound wasn't for me. When you hear them play some of them in the FB style live they are much better. Same can be said for the later albums. Just didn't nail the sound.
 

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