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BLOG: Viva La Vida… and the worst album titles ever
Coldplay are hard to avoid right now, whether it's walking out of BBC interviews or being cheekily accused of stealing from Brooklyn indie band Creaky Boards. And, of course, for the small matter that they have sold 302,000 albums in three days, which for 2008 is quite astonishing.
But there's one thing that's bothering me more, right now. It's that album title, the full title that is: Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends.
It seems Chris Martin couldn't decide whether his band's album was happy (Long Live Life!) or reflective on mortality (death is horrible, etc) so he decided to call it both. Kind of. The result is a decent album with a title so awkward it makes me want to chew my arm. Perhaps it no wonder Martin's detractors see him as overwrought and pretentious?
However, Chris Martin has a way to go before he reaches the depths of these following album titles.
Whether they're more pretentious than Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends or just plain dumb, MusicRadar presents in no particular order…
The worst album titles ever
Badfinger - Ass
Badfinger wrote decent songs and were signed to The Beatles' Apple label, but this 1973 album did not chart. Can't think why.
Coheed And Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume 1: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness
Hmm, let's guess. Is it prog rock?
Madonna - Music
Does a respected author call their latest novel Words? They do not.
Public Enemy - Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age
Spike Lee called Chuck D a "lyrical terrorist". Chuck certainly knows how to terrorise the English language.
The Mars Volta – Amputechture
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez says, "I don't know exactly what it does mean, but the sound of the word makes us feel good." We're not playing Scrabble with The Mars Volta. They will cheat.
The Butthole Surfers - Hairway To Steven
If The Butthole Surfers wasn't a bad enough name, the band then went for this dyslexia-indebted 'joke'. For meaninglessness, it's run close by their other albums Locust Abortion Technician and Rembrandt Pussyhorse.
Sum 41 - All Killer No Filler
More than just a cliché, this title is an issue for trading standards authorities. Egotism gone wild.
John Oates – Phunk Shui
Yes, he out of Hall And Oates is coming to reorder all our living rooms by the power of his Philly 'phunk'. Funking silly.
Fiona Apple - When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You'll Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You Know That You're Right
By the time you'd asked for this one at the Virgin Megastore, the shop assistant had starved to death. Not that you'd ever ask for it in the first place, of course.
Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish And The Hotdog Flavoured Water
Scat-obsessed garbage as imagined by a five-year-old. And as for the album's title…
Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
What does this mean? That there's a terminally unhappy dog that resembles a misspelt fruit? It means absolutely nothing, that's what it means.
Leonard Cohen – Ten New Songs
The songs are not new now though, are they Len? Think it through, man…
Michael Jackson - HIStory: Past, Present And Future: Book I
Yes, Jackson can rewrite history. Literally. Without a hint of ego, of course.
Jefferson Airplane - The Worst Of Jefferson Airplane
An in-joke by the band, for a Greatest Hits collection, that should have stayed an in-joke. Let's hope the label's marketing department were all fired.
Kingdom Come - In Your Face
Ignore the fact that this is lifeless Zep-by-numbers. It's the imagery derived from the album title - say it right after the band's name - that is beyond redemption.
Kiss - You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best
Yes, I did want "the best." Now, how do you explain the music on this album?
Blink 182 -Enema Of The State
What was it about the early noughties and bum jokes?
REO Speedwagon - The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog And A Chicken
Is this the punchline to some in-joke? Or is the album the joke? We have no idea and we're not going to find out.
Blink 182 - Take Off Your Pants And Jacket
No thanks. We'll just take off the CD.
Beyoncé - B-Day
We can only assume Beyonce nor anyone at her record company understands French? Crappy title. Literally.
Peter Gabriel – all solo albums
The seven albums being: Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel, So, Us and Up. Thirty years to think of four letters? Gabriel must be rubbish at crosswords.
Aerosmith - Just Push Play
We know how a CD player works. Guys, you forgot to include the preface saying "earn money, go to shop, buy CD player, buy CD, remove CD from case" etc…
Incubus - Fungus Amongus
There's room for improvement on this awful title. But not mushroom, etc…
Filter - Title Of Record
So why wasn't this album credited to Name Of Artist? Filter – you are simply lazy and you cannot complete any task.
GG Allin And The Scumfucs - Eat My Fuc
One for Mothers' Day? Maybe not.
That's probably the worst. Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends doesn't seem so bad now. Even if it still makes me think of Ricky Martin.