21 Terrible Songs By Great Musicians

  • The Beatles’ 1970-swan song “Let It Be” includes many phoned-in clunkers, including the depressingly bad “Dig It.” (Photo: Archive)

  • Prince’s forgettable “Te Amo Corazon” goes down for worst-titled single ever, translating to “Juan is near the library” in English. (Photo: Flickr/Reproduction)

  • Led Zeppelin’s onion “Darlene” never should have been released. (Photo: Archive)

  • Taylor Swift’s celebrity-breakup confession “Dear John” amounts to a lot of whining. (Photo: Flickr/Reproduction)

  • Bob Dylan’s “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” has around a hundred verses, all poorly sung and ponderous. (Photo: Archive)

  • Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer left behind many gems. The 80s-era pander-anthem “Touch and Go” is not one of them. (Photo: Wikimedia/Reproduction)

  • With 1987′s stilted and sold-out single/album “Big Generator,” legendary arena band Yes coined a new critical term – Loboto-Rock. (Photo: Archive)

  • Europe has been a well-respected rock band for 30 years, but their early hit “The Final Countdown” has become synonymous with cheese. (Photo: Wikipedia/Reproduction)

  • Pearl Jam’s hit crooner “Better Man” was fine on its own, but helped spawn boring bro-ballad acts across the USA. (Photo: Flickr/Reproduction)

  • Daft Punk has created indelible dance hits, but makes our list with the entire “TRON: Legacy” soundtrack, a cliched insult to original TRON composer Wendy Carlos. (Photo: Twitter/Reproduction)

  • Metallica’s 2003 “St. Anger” album was a thinly-veiled attempt to win street cred, with the pointless teen angst of “My World” drawing the worst reviews of all. (Photo: Twitter/Reproduction)

  • Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” is far too sleazy a cultural reference for the elegant pop icon. (Photo: Wikipedia/Reproduction)

  • Lady Gaga’s “Highway Unicorn” has been called chaotic and unlistenable. (Photo: Wikimedia/Reproduction)

  • The Beach Boys earn dubious honors with blatantly-ripped off hit “Surfin USA,” joyless compared to the original Chuck Berry groove. (Photo: Archive)

  • Stevie Wonder’s over-produced hit “I Just Called to Say I Love You” could only have inspired an audience in 1984, the year it was released. (Photo: Archive)

  • Whitney Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” is every adult-contemporary cliche wrapped in a short few minutes. (Photo: Twitter/Reproduction)

  • Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys makes the list twice, this time for god-awful rap effort “Smart Girls.” (Photo: Twitter/Reproduction)

  • “I guess it wasn’t very good” – Dee Dee Ramone on his 1987 rap single “Funky Man.” (Photo: Wikimedia/Reproduction)

  • Tom Petty ventured unprepared into reggae with 2010′s awkward “Don’t Pull Me Over.” (Photo: Wikimedia/Reproduction)

  • “Dancing in the Streets,” an early-MTV video and single by Mick Jagger and David Bowie, has been described as “a Super Bowl commercial without a product.” (Photo: YouTube/Reproduction)

  • Jay-Z used a sappy sample from the 80s for his annoying “Young Forever” track in 2009. (Photo: Wikimedia/Reproduction)

The Beatles’ 1970-swan song “Let It Be” includes many phoned-in clunkers, including the depressingly bad “Dig It.” (Photo: Archive)

Great songwriters often rival world-renowned artists and photographers in consistently moving the public with each new work. But then again, even Van Gogh painted a few stinkers. And if Vincent were alive today, hearing the songs on this list might make him stab his other ear.

Scroll the gallery for lumps of coal recorded by otherwise-beloved performers.


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