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POP EYE

Bruno Meets the Fat Boys: Picking Best of the Worst

January 10, 1988|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

Had enough of Top 10 lists?

It's time for Pop Eye's eighth annual Bottom 10, a collection of 1987's biggest critical flops. We've polled several dozen writers, deejays, record execs, managers, musicians and rank 'n' file music fans for their picks for this coveted Dean's List of Decrepit Discs.

The clear-cut winner was a TV star who spent part of his year moonlighting (groan!) as a white-soul crooner. Following in the clumsy footsteps of such TV star/pop disappointments as Philip Michael Thomas and Eddie Murphy, our worst record was "The Return of Bruno" by Bruce Willis. As one voter succinctly put it: "That guy couldn't carry a tune if he had a wheelbarrow."

After Willis, it was a year for big-star flops, with such once-beloved pop darlings as Mick Jagger and David Bowie also turning up on the Bottom 10. Also high on the list were corporate rockers Starship, pop comeback starlet Cher, pop pin-up Samantha Fox, chunky-rappers the Fat Boys and perennial whipping boy Billy Joel, who in 1985 was awarded a Bottom 10 Lifetime Achievement trophy after several voters picked his "Greatest Hits" collection as a worst record selection.

Joel wasn't the only repeat offender. Starship made the 1985 Bottom 10 with "Knee Deep in the Hoopla," while several runners-up (Heart and Loverboy) were also Bottom 10 winners two years ago. As usual, voters campaigned for several oddity choices, including "Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II" by Various Wrestlers, the "California Raisins" album and Carly Simon's "Coming Around Again," which was cited several times solely for her overblown remake of "As Tears Go By."

Narrowly missing the final cut, but also getting enough votes to merit honorable mention, were albums by the Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, Mr. Mister, Tiffany, Motley Crue, Bananarama, Yes, Wendy & Lisa and Sammy Hagar.

The winners:

1--"The Return of Bruno," Bruce Willis.

2--"No Protection," Starship.

3--"Samantha Fox," Samantha Fox.

4--"Cher," Cher.

5--"Heaven on Earth," Belinda Carlisle.

6--"Door to Door," the Cars.

7--"Kohuept (Live in Leningrad)," Billy Joel.

8--"Never Let Me Down," David Bowie.

9--"Primitive Cool," Mick Jagger.

10--"Crushin'," the Fat Boys.

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