10 Most Divisive Hard Rock Albums

Splitting the Fanbase Down the Middle.

Linkin Park
Warner Bros

It's virtually impossible to make it in the music industry and not piss someone off along the way. Hell, it's practically the nature of the beast that you have to end up making some people upset if you even have a chance at reaching a million fans. Then again, it gets a little bit more complicated when the grievances are coming from the fans themselves.

Across every single facet of hard rock music, bands have tried to toy around with their sound, only to suffer severe clapback from their core audience who preferred their more familiar sound. Although these situations have a 50/50 chance of succeeding, there are those occasional albums that rise above their naysayers and become cult classics in their own right. Other times though, we're forced to deal with a bold new vision that had no business being pressed to vinyl in the first place.

Still, it's not like these records don't have their fans. From the millions of fans around the world to the tiniest of niche audiences, there are just as many people willing to call these records masterpieces as there are people getting ready to burn these artists at the stake for such atrocities. While these albums may have caused a stir in the music community, you can't say they weren't at least interesting to see play out.

10. Fair Warning - Van Halen

As Van Halen were making their huge pillage across the US in the late '70s, their management company really burrowed them into the ground. For all of the great material coming from records like Women and Children First and Van Halen 1, these guys were bound to burn out really quick if they kept going on the rollercoaster of album and tour for much longer. Sometimes things got so hectic that even great albums like Fair Warning got lost in the shuffle.

Then again, this is probably a case of mismanaged expectations on the part of the promotion team, with none of the songs really cut out to be singles. Although this is a Van Halen record from skin to core, it's also an album that feels like it's primarily for guitar nerds, with Eddie taking center stage and leaving the rest of the band in the background.

Hell, even when talking about the amazing streak that Van Halen had at the time, only Unchained found its way into the band's setlist until the very end. Even the band aren't all that happy with this record, thinking that it was held back a little too much and less indicative of their fun-loving personality. Sure, it might not be the most free spirited attitude, but it might just the album that you play if you really want to rattle some heads.

 
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