The worst album in the world... ever!

Competition was intense, but Simon Le Bon and co have won pop's least coveted title

It may have sounded like a winning formula at the time: a chart-topping band covering some of the most iconic songs of the past 30 years.

But Duran Duran's 1995 release Thank You, in which they paid tribute to the bands that had inspired them, has been given the dubious honour of being branded the worst album of all time.

With 12 tracks, including Lou Reed's "Perfect Day", Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay", Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives" and The Doors' "Crystal Ship" - none of which was suited to their style of glossy pop - it is 54 minutes and 29 seconds of pure hell, according to music experts at Q magazine.

The track that prompted the most hoots of derision was their decision to tackle Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke" - originally an angry diatribe by militant rappers about the treatment of the black underclass in the US, which lost its power when performed by a group of middle-class white boys from Birmingham.

Other horrors that made Q's hall of shame included every solo Spice Girls album, given equal footing at number two in the chart. Chief among them must have been Victoria Beckham's attempts at pop credibility, one of many attempts at career resurrection.

Another that makes the list is Naomi Campbell's recording debut Baby Woman. The album was created by credible producers, including Youth and Tim Simenon, but even their input didn't get it into the top 75.

The deputy editor of Q, Gareth Grundy, said: "The list is a mixture of the unspeakable and those ridiculous acts of hubris, although we tried not to pick on the obvious soft targets.

"Duran Duran was the one that united everyone in agreement. We put it on in the office to remind ourselves how bad it was. Sometimes these things are redeemed by some sort of kitsch or novelty value, but it didn't even have that. It's not funny for even a split second and not even the sort of thing that you would put on for a laugh if you were drunk.

"It is abysmal on every level, as befits an album where you have Simon Le Bon trying to cover Public Enemy."

Even the studio engineer who worked on the Duran Duran project, Ken Scott, thought the worst-album accolade was a fair assessment. "I think it turned out pretty badly," he admitted.

Afterwards, the band described the album, which went to number 12 and clocked up a pitiful three weeks in the charts, as "commercial suicide".

As a result their next effort did not get an official release in the UK. Cover versions are a common theme in Q's top 10. It also includes Urban Renewal, a collection of Phil Collins songs performed by credible hip-hop acts, and Westlife's attempt to cover some of Frank Sinatra's hits.

TOP 10 WORST

Duran Duran

Thank You "DOWNRIGHT INSULTING"

Spice Girls

Any of their solo albums "WRETCHED"

Various Artists

Urban Renewal "WORSE THAN THE ORIGINAL"

Lou Reed

Metal Machine Music "TOSS"

Billy Idol

Cyberpunk "RISIBLE"

Naomi Campbell

Baby Woman "GOBSMACKING HUBRIS"

Kevin Rowland

My Beauty "HIDEOUSLY MAWKISH"

Mick Jagger

Primitive Cool "SOULLESS FUNK-ROCK"

Westlife

Allow Us to Be Frank "AN UNCALLED-FOR MAULING"

Tin Machine

Tin Machine II "A DISASTER"

AND OTHERS...

DJ MARK RADCLIFFE nominates Metal Machine Music, by Lou Reed: "I would say William Shatner's album, but that's almost so bad it comes out the other side. Metal Machine Music is not one, but two albums of unlistenable noise, so technically it's twice as bad. I think Lou Reed would be quite proud of it being the worst album ever."

TV PRESENTER JUNE SARPONG nominates Aquarium, by Aqua: "When I was growing up I used to think they were really cool and I bought all their albums, in fact. The next one was called Aquarius. But looking back now this must be the worst thing I've heard."

DJ NORMAN COOK nominates The Mash Up Mix 2006, various artists: "Mash-ups or bootlegs [where DJs construct new tracks from samples] used to be something underground, illegal and naughty. But when they start doing K-tel style compilations, things like that kill the whole genre."

Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’

North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama

TV

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before