No one can really be asked to make some of the most classic records ever made every time they walk into a studio. Every musician is still human at the end of the day, and it takes a lot to make an album, and some records just end up missing the mark. You might have to live with that record on your conscience, but even the performers can’t really stand by these albums.
Even though there might be something salvageable on every one of these projects, the musicians who made them have never been able to return to them, either thinking that they are too terrible to even address anymore or because it came from some huge mistake. That’s not to say that all of these projects are terrible from top to bottom. Across a handful of cuts on these projects, you can still hear bits and pieces of what these were meant to be, trying to wrap the album up in certain themes or taking the listener down some different roads.
Then again, the majority of what we have here are some of the greatest musicians of their generation being extremely confused about what they were going for and not really having an idea of how to turn these songs into a proper album. The public opinion shouldn’t come between you and your passion project, but sometimes that angry mob is right to be angry, and these artists have heard more than an earful.
10. Human Touch/Lucky Town - Bruce Springsteen
Some of Bruce Springsteen's greatest work has come from the underdog stories. No matter how much success might be out of the grasp of the people who live the story of Born to Run, it's enough to at least imagine a place where they end up happy, even if they don't reach their dreams. When Bruce actually writes happy endings to his stories though, that's when he starts to get a little bit hard to stomach.
Coming off of his massive divorce album Tunnel of Love, the '90s saw Bruce occupying a different skin for both Human Touch and Lucky Town, both of which were released on the exact same day. Though not all of these songs are bad by traditional rock star standards, it's definitely an odd look for the Boss, trading in the sounds of The E Street Band for something that was a lot more streamlined and seemed to be chasing a more pop friendly sound with the subject matter.
Without the signature push of the E Street Band, both of these albums almost feel neutered in a strange way, as if we're seeing Springsteen being pushed into what he thinks that his label wanted him to make at the time. And it didn't take long after this record for Bruce to see how big of a mistake he made either, going on to mention less than a decade later at his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony that these records were pretty much bombs. Bruce doesn't necessarily have to make depressing music, but you have to have both sides of the coin most of the time.