10 Worst Rolling Stone Albums

Even though their discography contains some of the greatest rock and roll ever committed to vinyl, it is fairly easy to make a list of the 10 worst Rolling Stone albums. Had the Stones quit after their masterpiece "Exile on Main Street" the consistency of their output would rival that of their most obvious counterparts, the Beatles. Instead, the Rolling Stones continued to make albums for decades and are still officially an active band releasing new recordings. Many of those latter-day albums make up the list of the ten worst Rolling Stone albums.

  1. "Dirty Work" – Viewed by many as the worst Rolling Stone album, "Dirty Work" is plagued by a lack of memorable songs and slick, synthesized production that easily dates it to the mid-'80s. 
  2. "Still Life" – This latter-day live album takes familiar hits and covers them with way too much showbiz sheen. A definite lock as one of the ten worst Rolling Stone albums.
  3. "Steel Wheels" – One of many "reunion" albums the Stones released throughout the '80s and into the 2000's, "Steel Wheels" feels like just what it is—a calculated cash grab meant to precede a moneymaking blockbuster tour. Surely the songs from this album signaled time for a bathroom break between classic hits at those record-breaking concerts.
  4. "A Bigger Bang" – Unlike many other platters on the ten worst Rolling Stone albums list, this one actually sounds like vintage Stones—raw, rootsy, and rockin'. The problem here is that it's all been done before, and better, and that this album's best stuff can't compare to the lesser tracks on classics like "Exile" and "Sticky Fingers," the albums it most closely resembles.
  5. "Bridges to Babylon" – The Stones' attempt to latch onto '90s trends involved hiring trendy producers of the time, including the Dust Brothers. The result was an album that sounded neither like the Stones, nor the contemporary acts of the time.
  6. "Love You Live" – Another lackluster live album, this was where the Stones began to show signs of age, making it a perfect inclusion on the list of the ten worst Rolling Stone albums.
  7. "Black and Blue" – Recorded in a period of transition, this album is long on jams and grooves but very short on songs.
  8. "Voodoo Lounge" – Another "reunion" album, this is the best of the latter-day Stones efforts, but still cannot match the power of their early output.
  9. "Emotional Rescue"  – After the successful genre-bending exercises of "Some Girls" came this effort, mostly composed of cast-offs from the same sessions. While it contained some good songs, it did not measure up as an album.
  10. "Their Satanic Majesties Request"  – No list of the ten worst Rolling Stone albums would be complete without the Stones' attempt at a psychedelic masterpiece, which met with little success upon its release, though it did provide the classic songs "2000 Light Years from Home" and "She's a Rainbow."
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