Most Overrated Album on Scaruffi's List of Greatest Albums

The River -- Bruce Springsteen
12% (107 votes)
Trout Mask Replica -- Captain Beefheart
12% (105 votes)
The Doors -- Doors
12% (100 votes)
Twin Infinitives -- Royal Trux
9% (76 votes)
Psychic Powerless -- Butthole Surfers
8% (68 votes)
Slow Deep and Hard -- Type O Negative
7% (64 votes)
Velvet Underground & Nico -- Velvet Underground
6% (54 votes)
Safe As Milk -- Captain Beefheart
6% (53 votes)
Repeater -- Fugazi
5% (45 votes)
Loveless -- My Bloody Valentine
5% (44 votes)
The Good Son -- Nick Cave
5% (41 votes)
Geek the Girl -- Lisa Germano
5% (40 votes)
Blonde on Blonde -- Bob Dylan
4% (39 votes)
Good -- Morphine
4% (37 votes)
Rock Bottom -- Robert Wyatt
4% (34 votes)
Down Colorful Hill -- Red House Painters
4% (34 votes)
Faust -- Faust
4% (31 votes)
Nail -- Foetus
4% (31 votes)
White Light White Heat -- Velvet Underground
3% (27 votes)
Desertshore -- Nico
3% (26 votes)
Lullaby Land -- Vampire Rodents
3% (25 votes)
Modern Dance -- Pere Ubu
3% (25 votes)
Yerself Is Steam -- Mercury Rev
3% (25 votes)
Uncle Meat -- Frank Zappa
3% (23 votes)
Neu! -- self-titled
3% (23 votes)
Fire of Love -- Gun Club
3% (23 votes)
Zen Arcade -- Husker Du
3% (22 votes)
Astral Weeks -- Van Morrison
2% (21 votes)
Well Oiled -- Hash Jar Tempo
2% (20 votes)
Irrlicht -- Klaus Schulze
2% (19 votes)
Y -- Pop Group
2% (19 votes)
Parable of Arable Land -- Red Crayola
2% (18 votes)
Spiderland -- Slint
2% (17 votes)
Double Nickels on the Dime -- Minutemen
2% (17 votes)
Fare Forward Voyagers -- John Fahey
2% (17 votes)
Hosianna Mantra -- Popol Vuh
2% (16 votes)
Flying Teapot -- Gong
2% (16 votes)
Lorca -- Tim Buckley
2% (16 votes)
Third Ear Band -- self-titled
2% (14 votes)
Not Available -- The Residents
1% (12 votes)
Suicide -- self-titled
1% (12 votes)
Third -- Soft Machine
1% (8 votes)
Total voters: 867
Author Comments: 

What is the most overrated, the weakest, or doesn't even belong on the list? Or, if you like all of the picks, what is just not the same caliber as the rest? You may choose more than one album.

NOTE: I updated this poll to take account of the entire list.

Nice, every album has a vote at this point.

Glad to see Soft Machine and Minutemen keeping it real.

How are TMR and VU & Nico more overrated than their bands' alternatives on the list?

SERIOUSLY. I just don't get the Safe As Milk cult. The title is far too apt. And, minus Sister Ray and the title track, WLWH is pretty lackluster. No accounting for odd taste.

Let me just say though I am so glad to see Third surviving. That may not be THE best album of all timez but it is so damn powerful and nearly perfect. Such an epic piece of work. It almost deserves a shrine.

I'd add I Heard Her Call My Name to the best of Wl/WH too.

And I second that on Third. My second fav on here other than Faust.


We have a winner! Suicide's self-titled debut is the least overrated album in Scaruffi's list. Who woulda thunk it?

P.S. Remember, you can always cancel your votes, and this situation could change. I don't mind it, though! That album OWNZ.

I am very glad that no one's voted for Y, Suicide, or Third.

Totally agree as to Suicide and Third. I really admire the brilliance of Y, but I don't listen to it often. I'd probably rate it somewhere in 8-8.5 range these days. Thief of Fire is always welcome on the iPod though.

I have to knock Fugazi's Repeater. It is a really solid album, and "Merchandise" is easily one of the best songs of all possible worlds existing through all eternities, actually feeding upon infinity and giving it meaning, but....

Bye, bye post.

Most of these albums are really good :) However, what about the three greatest musicians in all time? Brian Eno, David Bowie and Kraftwerk are not featured.. Albums i would like on the list:

Brian Eno - Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, Another Green World, No Pussyfooting
David Bowie - Low, Hunky Dory (Ziggy Stardust?)
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europa Express

Just want to say thanks for putting up this list. You sure know a lot about music :)
Please check out my list of the albums I consider the greatest.

Blonde on Blonde overrated! Never thought I'd see the day! And stay away from my cherished Zen Arcade!

The River is too good for you fools!

Just kidding, but come does anyone besides Scaruffi and myself rate it a 9/10.... anyone =/

I rate it that high!

How would you rate the Boss's albums, then? I would like to check out his music, just not terribly impressed yet.

Nebraska - 7/10
The River 8.5/10 - 9/10 ( just depends )
The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle - 7.75/10
Born to Run - 6.5/10

Does the accessibility factor of The Doors make it seem overrated?

I think it does since most of Scaruffi's picks are albums that are shockingly original experiences that break from "tradition" (often sharply). His list is nearly devoid of "socially relevant" albums that work inside of existing boundaries. Personally, I couldn't live without both.

It makes Doors all the more impressive to me that they were able to make such a sophisticated album readily accessible to the masses. No other album on his list has that type of popularity. Power to those guys for TRULY being among the best of all time while being so very popular. Maybe Morrison's sex appeal is to blame.

I couldn't live without both either.

I think his sex appeal had a lot to do with it, but also the fact that their music was very danceable. Not to mention the daemonic power flowing through it.

The dark side of the force is quite strong with that one, isn't it? Are there other groups from the 60's with such a darkness in their music? And, yeah, I dance to Doors -- at least in my head.

My nomination for best dance music ever: Trout Mask Replica...for some crazy tribal dancing. Seriously, it's a blast!

I've grooved to "Moonlight on Vermont" -- in some perfect parallel world, people would be moshing to "When Big Joan Sets Up" instead of Limp Bizkit.

The great thing about dancing to Beefheart is everybody's dancing would be different.

lol, good point! but it would only seem that way initially -- after about 20 minutes of observation, you'd realize the whole thing was rehearsed and planned to be that way

Hahahaha! Okay, you got me there.

Bob Dylan wrote songs with a lot of dark themes, but the way he expressed them was more like cataloging than acting them out. Velvet Underground for sure, especially Venus in Furs & Sister Ray. Honestly, I cannot think of anyone else. The 70's was much better for "darkness".

Lou Reed seems too amused by his own perversity. He even chuckles at one part in Venus. He doesn't identify with it like Morrison does. Sister Ray also seems more like a hedonistic anthem, an attempt to see how debauch one can get (though it's still a contender for the best rock song of all time, don't get me wrong) than an aspiration for the end of the night. You always get the sense with Morrison that he was ready to embrace death, going all the way, never looking back. If you evaluate a rock artist based on reckless, self-destructive abandon then Morrison is one of the greatest of all times.

The death of idealism and the feeling you could change the world, I suppose, naturally brought the darkness of the 70's.

Yes, liberals should be systematically terminated for their excesses. My life's undertaking. That's some great points about Lou Reed, though doesn't the fact that he's shameless make his music all the more darker? But anyways, you're right about Morrison. He's nearly in a league of his own, though Dave Thomas is pretty freaking close. Not in charging towards death, but in his own explosive way.

But if we reign in liberals, don't we reign in what has produced rock's masterpieces (with the notable exception of Zappa, a professed libertarian)?

Are you kidding? I could fill a 700 page book writing only about the masterpieces of Christian Rock. Not to mention you make it painfully obvious that you're fully unaware of the burgeoning underground fascist scene. You really need to check out Social Darwinism. Start with their most famous song Get Out of Our Country, You Dirty Indians

Jack Torrance, is that you?

Is this me?

(No, it's not. But there's something irresistibly primal about far right doctrine. It's deliciously insane.)

About Reed, he's a tough call. He neither identifies with darkness nor despises it. It just amuses him, as though he's above it and can play around with it for fun. In some ways, his ambivalent take on it predicts the ironic musings of alternative rock.

I finally procured a copy of Gun Club's Fire of Love, and I'd definitely vote for Jeffrey Lee Pierce (wow, his total conviction and charisma makes that album). Ever seen this performance of Pere Ubu? You'd think Thomas was really schizo. could I forget the Rolling Stones!

It's just a shot away, just a shot away.

I always thought it would be hilarious to use that song to introduce a golf tournament -- showing the players, the high stakes, the competition, the face of Tiger Woods, winning is just a shot away. I've a weird sense of humor, I know.

Haha. Delicious.

I had to change my vote to the River. Repeater is actually quite good.

LOL. I might just have to change my vote to River, once I've finally heard it.

Is The River that bad? Discuss.

I think it sounds out of place initially on Scaruffi's list. It's probably the most conventional sounding record on there, and the defining feature of Scaruffi's list may be how experimental the albums are. Others have said his albums reflect emotion or innovation, though even by those standards The River seems out of place. In any case, it's a very good album.

Is there a good place to start with Springsteen? I found Born to Run pretty insufferable, one of the few albums I deliberately and permanently removed from my collection. It's not the bombast, though, that made me cringe (I'm a big enough fan of Bat Out of Hell); it was his boneheaded attempts at melody and "show-stopper" posturing. The lyrics were decent and I can see that being the gateway to his music. Heard his first two albums are fairly good.

Scaruffi certainly does have a taste for the more "experimental", I would even say, edgy music. An interesting Scaruffi list would be best conventional-sounding albums.

Try Nebraska

'...Best convenetional sounding albums" would be an interesting list. I've actually thought in the past of making one myself, titled "best mainstream albums" (as if I'm guilty for liking something mainstream, damn Scaruffi). Only Springsteen album I like other than The River is Born in the USA. That's a good one, probably has better lyrics than Born to Run and is better in my opinion.

Scaruffi is overrated on a whole to be honest.

Judging from your content here, I can see that you disagree with his views on the Beatles. Beyond that obvious conflict, why do you think he is overrated? I think there are few critics more knowledgeable about rock music.

The strange thing is there is not an album on this list that I don't think is really good. I like some more than others, but all of these are up there...perhaps all in my top 100 rock. HectorG, a Scaruffist himself, noted that eventually you find a lot of great music outside of Scaruffi's influence, but I admit I haven't made that discovery yet myself. I reckon I'm one of those hopelessly naive Scaruffists.

I certainly hope there's a source beyond Scaruffi for great music. Hey, maybe a Listologist can lead the way! In the meantime, if you go to RYM, there are some users who have rated more than 13,000 records! Can't vouch for any specific user but there you go.

You're probably right that any one of Scaruffi's top albums could be in a rock fan's top 100. Even Flying Teapot is growing on me. The title track is actually an amazing jam. I may have to change my vote. Indeed, I encourage anyone to change their votes whenever they feel like. I intend for this to be an ongoing poll to daily weed out which album is just not fit to be on his list.

certainly there are sources beyond scaruffi, but it is a trust issue. i was burned for awhile when i was buying albums like Disreali Gears, Atom Heart Mother, and Rubber Soul and felt i was ripped off over and over again, and those are only 3 albums that come to mind first. i understand some people think the first and last of those albums are absolute masterpieces, but i DO NOT, and what is at stake is too precious - time, and money to a lesser degree. it would be nice for everyone to listen to 13,000+ albums if they had the means of doing so, but that is not realistic.

for those who love scaruffi should follow his selections, and those who love NME should follow them, do not force yourself to like The Residents because some people do, but certainly give 'em a go if you have the means; and the same goes for The Beatles, or The Libertines (NME), but do not force yourself.

now that i have seen that number i wonder how many albums i have heard. i am going to start rating albums on that site and see how high the number gets!!!! i started a while back but stopped for some reason....

Scaruffi has probably opened the door to more great music than any other source I've known. For one critic, he's phenomenal. Most sources are magazines or websites staffed by a bunch of critics. I was certainly burned by Atom Heart Mother, too, but that was my own impulse purchase thanks to the unreliably intriguing cow on the cover.

Completely agree that music taste should not be forced upon anyone. With that said, you can gradually warm up to certain music. The Residents were originally a curiosity of mine, having read an article on Commercial Album's 25th anniversary in the Onion. I picked up their albums and was thoroughly spooked. I'd never heard such alien and somewhat disturbing material. "Constantinople" sounded like an assault on the listener, but "Bach is Dead" made me laugh. Over four years, I have come to love them. Meet the Residents, Not Available, Duck Stab ... I would list these among my favorite albums. They are startlingly original and resonant. Scaruffi's take on the so-called blank generation of rock music has only added to my appreciation of their vision. They came way before the new wave and it's interesting to link them thematically with Pere Ubu.

The great thing about Scaruffi's list and his body of knowledge is that you can take your time with it. He's done all the hard work for you. You have the rest of your life to pick up the material, listen to it, learn to take or leave it. All said and done, I agree with many of his picks. A few underrated here, a few overrated there, but generally I can see what he sees in the material.

If you're heading back to RYM, I'll be sure to friend you! As for the guy who rated 13K albums, your guess is as good as mine how he found the time.