The Most Overhyped Albums Ever!
OVERHYPE BY MASSIVE DELAY
Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy (2008)
Can we say it now? Axl Rose’s Chinese Democracy was a colossal bust. Hardly worth the $9.99 it costs on iTunes or exclusive physical retailer Best Buy, much less the 100-year wait. It’s also one of the biggest flops and most overhyped albums in recent memory. Now Axl is saying a Chinese Democracy sequel and possible companion remix album are on the way. I’m guessing there will be a lot less hype surrounding that one.
OVERHYPE BY SHEER SPENDING POWER
U2, every album since Pop
With a new album eventually forthcoming, we should remember the economic power that U2 possesses. From K-Mart store gigs to performing on a flatbed truck in Manhattan, from Apple commercials to post-9/11 Super Bowl shows wearing American-flag jackets, U2 will pull every rabbit out of every hat to let you know they are here, they are important, and their current album is the best album they have ever made.
THE COMEBACK OVERHYPE MACHINE
Prince, Musicology (2004)
After changing his name from “Slave” to an unpronounceable symbol and making more than a few questionable albums (The Rainbow Children, anyone?), the world was ready for a solid Prince album. So even though he never really went away (the three years between albums was the longest in his career), Musicology was billed as his great return, an album that brought him back to his Purple Rain greatness. An album to make everyone remember that Prince is the greatest musician on the face of the planet. And on and on and on…
My verdict? It’s a heck of a lot better than most of his ’90s output, but it’s no masterpiece.
OVERHYPE THROUGH THE PASSAGE OF TIME
The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks (1977)
There are so many albums that get enshrined in “greatness” overhype, it’s impossible to list them all in a single entry. Seems like most records that make it past 20 years have a shot at overhype legacy.
OVERHYPE BY PULLING EMOTIONAL HEARTSTRINGS
Bruce Springsteen, The Rising (2002)
This was billed as the Boss’s “9/11” album. How can you say anything after that statement? You’re doomed. It HAS to be important, and it HAS to be the best album of the era, right? Look, I’m as big a Springsteen fan as anyone, and after those two “Hollywood” albums (Human Touch and Lucky Town)
OVERHYPE BY TURNING A FLUB INTO “IMPORTANCE”
Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (2006)
The Chicks’ 2006 release perfectly exemplifies the overhype that occurs when a near-fatal public relations accident is turned into a singular, career-changing save. This album’s “importance” is more of a testament to some