I listened to this really great interview with record producer Tom Werman on the commute this week. It's highly recommended for all my music nerd friends. One secret that he gave up is that he always put the worst song next-to-last on side two of the album. I think you know where this blog post is going.
Tom did a lot of great albums in the 70s (Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, Mother's Finest) but in the interests of keeping this from being 5000 words, I'm going to stick with his 80s metal catalog. It's also the stuff I know best. If you want to take on the 70s let me know and I'll add a link.
Motley Crue: Shout At The Devil / Ten Seconds To Love
I might pick Knock Em Dead Kid as the worst because I like the riff on Ten Seconds better. It's close enough to the worst to be a justifiable decision.
Dokken: Tooth And Nail / Alone Again
I had forgotten that Alone Again was the only power ballad on this record. It's also the only song that George Lynch didn't write or co-write. I'd say it's the right song for worst of this album.
Twisted Sister: Stay Hungry / The Beast
Don't Let Me Down might be worse, but it's another close call. The Beast was probably less commercially viable, which may be why it got the nod.
Motley Crue: Theater of Pain / Raise Your Hands To Rock
Another close one as I could make an argument for Use It Or Lose It. Again, at best it's second worst.
Krokus: Change of Address / Hard Luck Hero
I don't even remember this record, and a quick pass through the song samples makes it clear why. Not Krokus' best effort. If Werman says Hard Luck Hero is the worst, who am I to argue?
Motley Crue: Girls Girls Girls / You're All I Need
Yep. Without a doubt.
Poison: Open Up and Say...Ahh! / Your Mama Don't Dance
It was a hit, but it was a completely unnecessary cover tune and I think putting it next to last was fair.
Kix: Blow My Fuse / Blow My Fuse
Finally. I was starting to wonder if we'd ever catch Werman blowing it. He did on this one. Blow My Fuse is probably the #2 or #3 song on the record.
LA Guns: Cocked and Loaded / Wheels of Fire
Yep, no argument here.
Junkyard: Junkyard / Texas
I missed Junkyard in 1989, so I'm doing this one on the Amazon sound samples. I thought the cover tunes were worse on first pass as both were misses IMO.
Love/Hate: Blackout In The Red Room / Slave Girl
Tom called this record out as one that deserved to sell a lot more. It was released in 89 and I think got caught up in the over saturation of pop metal in 89/90. It's not bad, kind of a early Crue / LA Guns sound, but louder and faster, if that makes sense. He probably called the worst song correctly, although it's hard to tell from the 30 second samples on Amazon.
Stryper: Against The Law / All For One
Pretty sold record all the way through, but I'll agree that All For One is the weakest link. Interestingly, Tom said he thought Stryper made a mistake toning down the overt Christianity in their image and music for this record. It pissed off some hardcore fans, and didn't win them any new ones.
Lita Ford: Dangerous Curves / Tambourine Dream
I was never a big Lita fan. I didn't dislike her, but in the 80s when I had $10 to spend on an album she was never top of the list. So I'm doing this by Amazon samples. I quite like the riff on this tune, far more so than what I heard from about 1/2 of the rest of the record. So if I really knew the album, I'd probably disagree.
So there you go. Tom Werman's 80s metal catalog. Based on his selections of worst song on the record, I think he mostly knew what he was doing :)
As I was getting the link for the podcast I saw that they just posted a part 2 for the Werman interview.