It's always been a pretty big deal for a record to sell over a 1,000,000 units and hit platinum status. But going platinum is by no means an indicator of a musician's talent. There have been a lot of artists over the years that have found success in the record sales department, but that doesn’t mean that the albums were actually any good in the first place.
Source: Brenda Chase/Getty Images
10. ...Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
There is no question that Britney Spears helped change the face of pop music with the release of 1999’s ...Baby One More Time, but the album also helped water down pop to new lows with some of the worst songs ever produced.
I still have problems processing that the album has sold more than 30 million copies. Mega-hit songs like "From the Bottom of My Broken Heart" and "Sometimes" aren’t even catchy. I mean there is literally a song on this record called "E-Mail My Heart." E-Mail my f***ing heart?! You gotta be kidding me. At least bubblegum pop hits from the ‘80s had some addictive elements that were respectable in their own weird way.
With …Baby One More Time, Britney helped unleash vile, audio junk food that seemed to be some kind of sick practical joke on the music world. The only positive outcome of this record is that it made clean-cut white girls want to unleash their inner slut. Thanks, Brit.
9. Back to Bedlam - James Blunt
Source: Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Back to Bedlam has sold over 11 million albums worldwide since its release back in 2004. Blunt’s hit "You're Beautiful" dropped in early 2005 and achieved widespread success in North America, even reaching #1 on the charts for four consecutive weeks. After this ridiculous pop accomplishment, we were forced to watch on as Blunt received endless accolades from the pop mainstream as well as lonely housewives across the planet. Why do we love to torture ourselves with things so dreadful and give people like Blunt the idea that he is a respectable singer-songwriter legitimate skill? This guy even gets to have sex with supermodels. Now that s*** just ain’t right.
8. Human Clay – Creed
Source: LUCY NICHOLSON/Getty Images
Creed, one of the worst bands of our time, released the abomination that is Human Clay in late 1999. Since that time, it has sold over 11,000,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Thanks, douchebags.
I will say that “What If” is the only track on this entire record that I can let off the hook without tearing it a new one. It’s the band’s best attempt to show off their love for Pearl Jam/Alice In Chains and nowhere near as horrible as everything else on Human Clay.
I still remember when this band broke into the mainstream and it really bums me out that young kids watching MTV at the time thought that this was what a real rock bad was supposed to be. This record is the one of the classic examples of how mainstream rock ‘n’ roll has been dumbed down in past decade. Scott Stapp is easily one of the worst lead singers rock has ever seen and his band’s aptitude for creating epic sentimental trash should've been buried the second it first emerged.
7. To the Extreme - Vanilla Ice
Source: Paul Natkin/Getty Images
If I had to take a guess what the most returned album of all time was, the answer would have to be To The Extreme. The backlash of this record was one of the harshest ever seen and it seemed that listeners realized after they made Vanilla a millionaire overnight that he had no business being in the spotlight in the first place. Now I don’t think that Robert Matthew Van Winkle was as bad as people like Arsenio Hall made him out to be, but the fact that To The Extreme spent 16 weeks on the Billboard 200 and sold over 11 million copies worldwide is really quite insane. "Ice Ice Baby" is great as a one-hit-wonder, but the album that it lived on should never have hit the heights that it did.
6. Breathless – Kenny G
Source: David Redfern/Getty Images
Surprisingly enough, this is not the only record that has gone platinum for everyone’s favorite soprano saxophone–playing dweeb. Kenny has actually seen seven of his studio albums sell a million copies or more, with his other cheesy holiday LPs and live shows have also done extremely well in the mainstream music world. Either way, Breathless is Kenny’s crowning achievement.
First off, this guy straight up makes elevator music. With this said, it’s quite obvious that all of his music should not be allowed to be purchased and should only be checked out from the public library and no place else. How dare record companies make the public pay for something this dry and soulless? Instead, they unleashed this trash like it was free samples mall of Chinese food and watched on as smooth jazz-lovers from all over helped Mr. G sell over 75 million albums worldwide. 75 million! It boggles the mind to think that Kenny has sold 25 million more albums than Nirvana.
5. Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water - Limp Bizkit
Source: Vaughn Youtz/Getty Images
A lot of people are aware of how bad of a band Limp Bizkit was in their heyday, but most people tend to forget how popular/successful they actually became on paper.
After hitting it big on MTV with numerous singles off of the multi-platinum Significant Other LP, Fred Durst and his Jacksonville homeboys somehow put together the even more monumental epic fail Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. The album’s classic rap-rock douche anthems for their frat boy demographic helped shoot the LP to the top of the charts in no time, with a staggering 12 million copies sold worldwide. Tracks like "My Way” and "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)" could not be avoided in the early 2000s, and it’s seriously unbelievable to think that a band this bad was able to conquer the music world in such asinine fashion.
4. Autobiography - Ashlee Simpson
Source: Lester Cohen/Getty Images
There’s really not much I need to say about Ashlee to convince people that she's a lip-syncing hack who never should've been allowed to put out an album to begin with. Saying that this girl has no talent is one of the biggest understatements in human history and trying to compute how her freshman LP sold five million copies back in 2004 is utterly impossible. Even her second release "I Am Me" sold over 3 million copies. How can parents let their kids buy albums with titles like "I Am Me"?! Unreal.
After her now-legendary botched SNL performance, Simpson attempted to redeem herself by doing a legit live version of the autobiography track "La La" at the halftime show for the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. This was not a very good idea and basically gave proof to the world that her vocal chops were never in attendance. Too bad she was a millionaire by then.
3. Joey Lawrence - Joey Lawrence
Source: Ron Galella, Ltd./Getty Images
With Color Me Badd-inspired bubblegum pop tunes like "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix," Blossom lady-killer Joey Lawrence was able to hit it big with his 1993 self-titled album and sell over two million copies worldwide. This, of course, had nothing to do with talent or groundbreaking material. The success of this record was purely fueled by Joey’s hunky good looks and the mindless devotion of pre-prepubescent girls with nothing better to do. Whoa, indeed.
2. Who Let the Dogs Out - Baha Men
Source: MATT CAMPBELL/Getty Images
These fools keep popping up on numerous lists that I’ve written, but their lack of talent and perplexing rise to fame made them an obvious target in a number of music’s "worst of" categories. The album Who Let the Dogs Out is the group's only best-selling release and has moved more than 1.7 million copies to date. WTF?! How does this even happen? I can’t believe that there are real bands/musicians out there getting no airplay while assclowns like this get major label record deals and tour the world over. Not. Cool.
And if you thought that “Who Let the Dogs?” was bad, imagine what the rest of the songs on the record sound like.
1. Some Gave All - Billy Ray Cyrus
Source: VINCE BUCCI/Getty Images
Not only did Billy Ray unleash his devil incarnate daughter Miley on the pop world in recent years, he pretty much ruined 1992 with the best-selling record of the year and easily the most successful epic fail the music world has ever laid eyes on.
The insane popularity of Billy’s country crossover hit "Achy Breaky Heart" carried his soulful opus Some Gave All to more than 20 million records sold and even helped it to become the best selling debut album of all time for a solo male artist. I wish I could come up with some clever Bill Hicks-like joke to describe my vile contempt for Cyrus and his mullet-filled music, but I really can’t. All I can say is that it’s albums like this that have helped destroy popular music over the past two decades. Also, the next time we see a record like Some Gave All gaining steam on the charts, we should immediately deport anyone seen buying a copy. Seriously.