It’s pretty easy for most listeners to put a halo effect over their favorite albums. While critics like to endlessly nitpick on what an album could have been, there are always those records that seem to be absolutely perfect from top to bottom. Then again, no one is without flaws.
Even on some of the greatest albums ever made, you can typically find some unplanned mistakes that found their way into the final mix. From an out of tune note to an accidental clipping of the mic, there are always a few rough edges even around the best stuff.
Unless your band is designed to have been polished to near perfection (Def Leppard, Queen, etc.), you’re always going to find little imperfections even in your best material.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. While musicians may drive themselves to insanity trying to get the perfect take of a song, there are also fans who absolutely love the rough edges of their favorite albums. Rather than detract from the album experience, these mistakes end up giving these albums a certain character beyond just a handful of great tunes.
These records have withstood the test of time, but that hasn’t changed the flubs these artists have made along the way.
10. Hunky Dory - David Bowie
Hunky Dory is an album that marks a certain transitionary period in David Bowie’s discography. Though albums like the Man Who Sold the World and Space Oddity were looked at as genuinely strange takes on rock and roll, this was the album that showed Bowie coming into his own as a songwriter with beautiful ballads and songs that foreshadowed the glam rock movement.
The songs do still hold up, but the actual quality of the sound is much dirtier than people probably remember.
When talking about glam rock music, most of the sounds people think of seem to have just the right amount of crunch with a healthy sonic sheen over everything...but Bowie was not running with the rest of the crowd. Across songs like “Queen B*tch” or “Quicksand,” the whole album feels like a romp that could be taking place somewhere between a lush recording studio or a dumpy dive bar.
Even on songs like “Andy Warhol,” Bowie has a few experimental moments where he is just messing around the studio before the song starts. Hunky Dory may have its more blemished moments, but this was one of the greatest musical minds in rock just getting his momentum going.