Part 56: Top Five Flops

This isn’t some definitive list or anything like that.  Just five memories that stand out among the others:  my Top Five Flops.

#5. The Rolling Stones – Bridges to Babylon.  I know this album didn’t sit well for a few people, but we just flat out ordered too many.  They started coming in used within days and before too long, we had so many used copies that they were starting to show up in bargain bins.  Never a good sign when you’re the so-called greatest rock and roll band on Earth.

#4. Van Halen – III.  Same deal.  We ordered 50 copies.  I don’t know why.  This one was going to be a flop even before it was released.  Gary Cherone had no marquee value whatsoever in 1998.  We ordered 50, we ended up selling (probably) 5.

#3.  Hole – Live Through This.  Yes, it was huge in 199x, but by the late 90’s, you would have been a fool to pay more than $5.99 for this stinker, such was the frequency of the trade-ins.

#2. Titanic – Soundtrack.  Yeah, yeah, I know.  One of the biggest soundtracks of all time.  Well, as soon as Celine put out her own album with “My Life Will Go On” on it, the trade-ins began.  At one point we were bundling it with DVDs and VHS tapes just to get it out of the store.

#1.  Spin Doctors – Turn It Upside Down.   I recall at one point we had something like 20 copies, used, in stock.  We couldn’t give it away even for $3.99.  I wouldn’t know from listening to it, but I am pretty sure that it sucks.   It sold so infrequently, that I would be willing to bet that there are still copies in the 10-15 year-old-range, sitting there unsold today.

9 comments

  1. OK, I’ll give you the other 4, more or less, but I liked Bridges To Babylon! The Stones ARE the greatest rock and roll band in the world. And they occasionally still record NEW music, which is incredible, after 50 years. The problem is that people ignore the new stuff, or only give it a cursory listen, and only want to hear the familiar hits everyone knows backwards and forwards. Me, I’ve always liked their later albums. Strong songs, excellent ideas, and that indelible Stones sound. Go ahead and disagree. I still think this is a vital band. And there’s nothing wrong with BTB. The problem is with the listeners not paying enough attention to realize the brilliance that’s there.

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    1. I actually like about 75% of the album myself. But I do remember the reaction from…shall we say…”older” fans was that it was not really their cup of tea. We had a lot of leftover copies that year.

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  2. That Rolling Stones album, if I remember, features production from The Dust Brothers, architects/producers of so many great albums of The Alternative Explosion of the late 80s-early 90s. Obviously, the old guard of Stones fans could have cared less who was twiddling the knobs. If I recall, Keith Richards has kind of ripped The Dust Brothers for their production technique on the album.

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    1. Yes I believe your memories are correct. I’ve listened to the album recently, it’s certainly not terrible, but not my thing. As for the Dust Brothers, I know they also did a Vince Neil album a couple years before, and according to Vince completely messed that one up.

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  3. Bridges to Babylon isn’t bad at all. The cover art is ugly though.
    Spin Doctors…now that one I definitely agree with, with a runner up being their album before it…and LMAO at Titanic. I love the movie, but would never consider buying the soundtrack.

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    1. A lot of people bought that soundtrack hoping all the music they liked would be on there, including that Irish jib from below-decks. But that’s not on there. You have to buy “MORE Music From…” in order to get it!

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  4. HA! Spin Doctors! Yeah, I really liked Pocket Full of Kryptonite when it came out, but when I heard Turn It Upside Down and realised that they’d started believing their own hype and had disappeared up their own arses, it was clear that it was over.
    Saw them on the PFoK tour and they were great, but saw them at the bigger local venue on the TiUD tour and they were really dull. Met them after and they seemed to be so stoned that the new guitar player signed my tour book over the old guitar player’s photo… Actually, he could just have been so sick of being interchangeable with the old guy, he did it out of spite!

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    1. Hhaha that’s great. The original guy was Canadian I believe.

      PFOK was a pretty decent album. I remember hearing it a lot, and I generally liked it better than what was going on in grunge.

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      1. Yes, they were a welcome relief to all the shoe-gazing that was going on. I seem to remember that PFoK got played a lot along with the Coverdale/Page thing and Hardline’s Double Eclipse back at that point.

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