The golden age of rock and roll always had those few bands that seemed to be a cut above the rest. As the genre was just coming into its own, these were the artists that were leading the charge into the next generation, having a bold new sound that no one had ever heard before or taking the basis of what rock and roll was supposed to be and taking it that much further. Their track record might seem spotless, but everyone has those few songs that they don’t want to talk about either.
For every all-time great song that these artists have in their arsenal, these songs give you the exact opposite, taking the sounds of rock and roll and turning them into a parody of itself. There’s more than one way to write a bad song though, and each one of these songs seem to go in the wrong direction in their own unique ways. Sometimes the artists might be doing some sort of zany experiment that just didn’t quite work out the way they wanted to. Other times though, this is where the sound that you know and love starts to turn a corner, either trying to sell out to suit the masses or going down some road that no one was asking them to go down.
And let’s not forget about drug abuse either, with some of these coming from the era when narcotics were running rampant, leading to songs that were written while artists were…let’s say chemically impaired. You can’t appreciate the good without the bad though, and some of the classics that these artists have made feel that much brighter knowing that they have something like this under their belt.
10. Rock and Roll Doctor - Black Sabbath
No one is going to dispute Black Sabbath’s influence on the world of hard rock. Even if they never really identified with metal, the scary edge that they infused into their sound is what turned the genre into the giant everyone knows today, from Ozzy Osbourne’s bellowing voice to Tony Iommi’s terrifying riffs.
That was the early days of Paranoid, and the later Ozzy years get more than a little bit spotty. Although Ozzy usually has a lot of unkind words to say about his final album Never Say Die, Technical Ecstasy is where things really started to go haywire, with Rock and Roll Doctor being a contender for one of Sabbath’s corniest songs.
While the guitar work is still great (I mean, it’s Iommi), the lyrics are nowhere near the menacing stuff we expect from Sabbath, sounding like some parody of old school rock and roll. It also doesn’t help that Ozzy cannot sell this for the life of him, trying to play it straight but coming off like he doesn’t understand what he’s saying half the time. Sabbath might be one of the best hard rock bands in the world, but if Spinal Tap played this song, no one would have batted an eye.