There are some bands out there capable of making universally appreciated, genuinely good music. Then there are others that specialize in crap music, bands that are incapable of making anything remotely worthwhile and enjoyable. And then, there are the bands that somehow manage to do both: bands that make great music while also being terrible. Here is my list of the top 5 great bands that also suck:
Coldplay's music can occasionally get me to start humming along involuntarily, even though I know deep down that it sucks. Chris Martin's whiny vocals and overuse of falsetto grates on the ears, and the lyrics are complete shit (see video for evidence) but for some reason you can't help but tap your foot and nod your head when Viva La Vida or Clocks comes on.
Gorillaz are a strange group in that they don't really perform live and they are represented primarily by cartoons. Where do I begin hating on Gorillaz? Perhaps with the vocals sounding half-assed on every song? The lack of any real instrumentation aside from synths? Still, it's really hard to beat the catchiness and undeniable funkiness of Feel Good, Inc.
3. The Smashing Pumpkins
Smashing Pumpkins' frontman Billy Corgan has made a career out of being a dick to his fans and making music that is inconsistent at best, and total shit at worst. Their 1995 double-album Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was ambitious and powerful, and was named Album of the Year by Time Magazine. "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" is a classic and heavy rock song that was a huge part of my early appreciation of rock music. Contrast that with the crap that came later, like 2007's Zeitgeist, and you'll see why The Smashing Pumpkins know how to rock with the best and suck with the worst.
2. The Eagles
This one was a no-brainer. This group started out as a backup band for Linda Ronstadt, and somehow grew to become one of the most popular classic rock acts of all time. Their greatest hits album is a great example of how a band can both make deep, powerful, and talented performances on one track and totally mail it in on another. "Seven Bridges Road," on Disc 1, showcases the group's mastery of vocal harmony and is a joy to experience, while "James Dean," on Disc 2 is a hokey-as-hell tribute to the 50s actor that falls flat in every way a song can fall flat. Mostly the band is just boring, but tracks like Desperado and Hotel California demonstrate that The Eagles are certainly capable of making good music when they feel like it.
If you think about it, U2 doesn't do any one thing better than any other band. They play really standard rock, and their late 80s period sounded a lot like everything else that was coming out in the late 80s. That being said, they continue to sell out stadiums because they have some downright amazing and powerful songs like "Where the Streets Have No Name," "Pride" (In the Name of Love), and "Sunday Bloody Sunday." They also have some half-assed pieces of shit to go along with them: songs like the horrible "Get On Your Boots" that pretty much rips off Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" and my God, this pile of garbage titled "Trash, Trampoline, and the Party Girl" that you have to hear to believe:
Sorry you had to hear that, but it sets up this excellent song pretty well, and the video is pretty awesome too:
There you have it, objective proof that U2 is a great band, but also sucks.
Hope you enjoyed the list. Think I'm full of shit? Discuss it in the comments!