10 More Songs That Are Huge Outliers On Rock Albums

These classic tracks are very different to the albums they call home.

Dream On Aerosmith

It is conventional wisdom in music that albums sound have a sense of cohesion about them. It's not that every single song should sound exactly the same, but there should ideally be at least one common thread running through all of the tracks.

In reality, there have been so many examples of songs sticking out on albums, that there's enough for a whole second list on the topic. The first one can be found here, by the way.

There are many reasons why a particular song might not fit with everything else around it on an album. Whether it's studio interference, a song being repurposed from another project, or the artist just going a bit crazy, outliers on albums are commonplace, especially in the world of rock.

It is important to note that these songs are not all bad, they're just different to the albums they call home. Some of them do kinda ruin the flow of the rest of the record, but that's not their fault. If you're looking for someone to blame, then blame the artists who decided to put them there in the first place.

10. Tears - Rush (2112)

Dream On Aerosmith

You might think it would be impossible to have an outlier on an album with only six songs on it, but in 1976, prog rock legends Rush found a way. 

The band’s fourth album, 2112, is under 40 minutes long, but over half of that is taken up by the gigantic title track, which is split up into several different movements as if it were a classical suite. 

Of the other five numbers, four of them are upbeat, fast-paced hard rockers, with a bit of sci-fi trickery thrown in for good measure.

And then there’s Tears.

A romantic ballad written by Geddy Lee to give the album some more depth, Tears is completely different to everything else on 2112, slowing its rapid pace down to a crawl. It’s hard to believe that a band as high concept as Rush would write something so simplistic and mushy, and the song is still a topic of furious debate within the fandom. 

Some people like it - Alice in Chains released a cover version in 2016 - but regardless of how you feel about the song itself, there’s no denying that it sticks out.

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Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.