Bad Albums (there just is no excuse) by Lily Murphy

While doing some cleaning out I came across an old shoe box full of CD’s under my bed. I wondered why these CD’s were hidden away but when I opened it I would soon learn the reason why.

When I opened the box I came into contact with my pre-teen self. CD albums such as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the fresh prince greatest hits, Aquarius by Aqua and Boyz II Men the ballad collection, were just some of the albums stored away in that shoe box and I knew that there was a valid reason as to why they were indeed cast away under my bed, they were CD’s I wouldn’t save from a fire.

I did come across some bit of sense when I found a CD of the Stone Roses debut album stuck in between Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake like their unwanted lovechild hidden away from the world but I took it out, dusted it down and placed it with the rest of my socially acceptable collection of albums, then I closed the shoebox and shoved the shit CD’s back under the bed.

When you grow up and start to somewhat mature, it is a rule that some bands and music are meant to be given up after adolescence, it’s a rule some folk find hard to follow but not me thank Christ. I moved on from the pop crap of the 90’s and started building a collection of old classic album’s from Johnny Cash at Folsom prison to Never mind the bollocks here’s the Sex pistols, I boxed up the dishonour of being the owner of bad albums and began compensating for the shame by investing in a back catalogue of musically changing albums. Neil Young’s Harvest and Van Morrison’s Astral Weekshelped me shed the shame of a youth spent listening to cheap pop, music which I now term as the most unfashionable music on the planet, next to disco of course.

Many people harbor a bad album or two like a guilty pleasure, be it cock rock otherwise known as 80s hair metal or even an album by the marmite of the music world, Lionel Richie. While it takes years for some artists to age like fine wine and become musically acceptable it is still not cool to own an album by the likes of Burt Bacharach but I reckon it will only be a matter of time before he joins the likes of Sinatra in the league of coolness, but until that day comes, keep hiding your best of Burt collection.

While my own shameful collection of shit albums are enough to get me sectioned, I have at least some bit of dignity and have never been the owner of what I can only describe as the most horrendous album in the history of music.

In 1974 the world was subjected to a non musical album called Having fun with Elvis on Stage. It was nothing more than over an hour of the kings ramblings and humourless jokes on stage between himself, the audience and his band. This album was the experiment of Col. Parker and was hawked at concerts across the states. The album is cringe worthy, it is something you don’t want to experience in your life, it’s up there with water boarding as a form of torture. The record sleeve indicates that it is ‘a talking album only’ and some highlights include Elvis asking for water and  Elvis describing a number of ways of pronouncing Memphis, it is an album I wouldn’t wish my greatest enemy to have to listen to. Although Having fun with Elvis on stage was such a shit album it managed to reach number nine on the country billboard chart of 1974 and it is something of a rare collectors item these days.

So although I may have some distasteful CD’s in my collection, at least I am not tarnished with the shame of being the owner of Elvis’s worst ever album but then again, it is said to be worth money in the collectors market and ones mans shit Elvis record is another mans pot of gold, sure who knows my Aqua album may be worth something in a few more years!


Lily Murphy is 24 years old and comes from Cork city, Ireland. She graduated last year from University College Cork with a B.A in history and politics. She can be reached at Lilymurphycork@gmail.com