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1985's Best Of The Worst

January 12, 1986|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

Had enough of Top 10 lists?

It's time for Pop Eye's sixth annual Bottom 10, a collection of 1985's biggest critical flops. We've polled several dozen record execs, deejays, writers, musicians and rank 'n' file fans for their choices for the worst albums.

The real surprise here is that one of the fall's hottest records--the chart-topping Heart album--also won honors as the year's worst record, proving once again that most rock fans don't pay all that much attention to critics or industry experts. Music videos also played a key role, frequently being singled out as partial inspiration for several Bottom 10 picks.

For the first time in years, there were no repeat "winners" from last year's top of the flops, although two artists on this year's bottom 10, Loverboy and Diana Ross, were finalists in 1983's Bottom 10. Special awards also go to Kim Carnes, for worst album title of the year ("Barking at Airplanes"), and Billy Joel, for lifetime achievement--several voters cited his "Billy Joel's Greatest Hits" as a Bottom 10 selection, a choice reluctantly disallowed by the judges.

As always, there was considerable backlash voting, particularly against "slumming" TV and movie stars (Eddie Murphy and Philip Michael Thomas), mega-egotists (Morris Day) and lame super-group ensembles (the Firm and Phantom, Rocker & Slick).

Narrowly missing the list, but getting enough votes to merit honorable mention were albums by Freddie Mercury, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benatar, Men at Work, Eric Carmen, Joe Walsh, Jack Wagner, Yoko Ono and the sound track to "White Knights," as well as a pair of Prince proteges, Sheila E. and the Family.

The winners:

1--"Heart" by Heart.

2--"Color of Success" by Morris Day.

3--"Knee Deep in the Hoopla" by the Starship.

4--"Animotion" by Animotion.

5--"Eddie Murphy" by Eddie Murphy.

6--"Loving Every Minute of It" by Loverboy.

7--"Slave to the Rhythm" by Grace Jones.

8--"Men Without Shame" by Phantom, Rocker & Slick.

9--"Eaten Alive" by Diana Ross.

10--(tie) "Living the Book of My Life" by Philip Michael Thomas and "The Firm" by the Firm.

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