Most bands can end up getting over a bad album. Sometimes the magic just doesn't gel in the studio and you're left with a bunch of decent song ideas that just didn't end up working out in the long run. However, everyone knows that disappointment hurts much more than being bad.
These kind of albums are more cases of wasted potential than actually being outright offensive. For all of the boring things that are going for them, these at least showed some promise in the beginning before taking a nose dive when actually put into motion.
Does that mean that these albums are outright dogs from front to back? No, not necessarily, but the cracks of the foundation really show once you peel back the layers a little bit more. Then again, that might not even be the band’s fault at the end of the day.
Oftentimes, a technical snafu or even the subtlest of changes in the construction of the tunes are enough to separate the outright classics from the more pedestrian sides of rock music.
These are just the albums that weren’t able to make it to the other side. Not at all bad by any stretch, but could have certainly been better.
10. The Who By Numbers - The Who
Not many rock artists can claim to have reshaped the album experience quite like the Who did. Ever since the sounds of My Generation blew the doors wide open for them in the '60s, albums like Tommy and Quadrophenia were landmark achievements that set the standard of what the rock opera would become. When you go back to just your regular album though, it's hard to think of it as anything but a let down.
Whereas the other standalone Who albums like Who's Next still managed to be perfect from back to front, the Who By Numbers is almost exactly what the title implies...a more watered down version of what you've gotten before. That's not to say that there still aren't some standout tracks on here, with Slip Kid kicking everything off pretty nicely and songs like How Many Friends having the same kind of size and scope we got used to on Tommy.
However, the more listens of this record make it feel more and more like a comedown to the massive peak that Pete Townshend hit on his previous works, which would mark the first decline of the band after Keith Moon passed away a few years later. Even though this is still a great rock album, a band like the Who is definitely held at a higher standard than this.