Monday, 18 January 2010

the worst album ever?

If anyone says "music was so much better in the 60s" they must have faulty or selective memory. Sure, there's been some classics - Hendrix's Are you Experienced?, Beatles' Revolver, Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Love's Forever Changes, Velvet Underground's White Light White Heat, insert your favourite here. But what about this one? Pete Brown's Battered Ornaments LP "A meal you can shake hands with in the dark". My vinyl collection has been slimmed down several times over the last thirty years, but I've never managed to clear this one out. I've always saved it, just in case I ever slip into a nostalgic coma, and witter on about some imaginary golden age of music that was the sixties. With a flower in my (almost non-existant) hair. Play this album to me if I ever utter the phrase "modern music is rubbish".

This album features Pete Brown, the self-styled fourth member of Cream, but I don't think Jack, Ginger or Eric would say that. His band The Battered Ornaments are game enough, but Brown's singing and Bongos are terrible. On the eve of a big gig at Hyde Park to support the Rolling Stones, Brown got sacked by his own band. Unpeturbed, he came back in the early seventies with another band, Pete Brown and Piblokto. A few years after they broke up I saw Pete at my college in London, playing in a three-piece. I couldn't believe that my hero Pete Brown, who had written the lyrics for some of my favourite Cream tracks, had come to play at my SU. About fifty people turned up, and Pete was still trying to sing and beat the bongos, spiced up with interludes of his poetry. The boozy audience appeared to be ignorant of Brown's rock status, and heckled him mercilessly, and, let's be honest, he was an easy target.

This album was Frank's random selection for today, and very enjoyable it was too, for J, S and F, who had never before heard anything like it, and never want to hear it again, not even his version of "Politician". So, what are your favourite worst albums of all time?


  1. Battered Ornaments vs Wishbone Ash?

  2. Estrada - fair point. I found the Wishbone Ash unlistenable, though I liked it as a schoolboy. Luckily I found some old hippy to pass it on to.



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