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Pop Eye

The Worst of '88. . . From the Bottom Up

January 08, 1989|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

Had enough of Top Ten lists?

Sorry. . . . it's time for Pop Eye's ninth annual Bottom 10, a collection of 1988's biggest critical flops. We've polled 40 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 year's biggest stink bomb? By a wide margin, the winner was ex-Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page's much-maligned solo album, "Outrider." As one voter complained: "It sounded like the kind of bad Zep imitation you'd hear from a Holiday Inn lounge act." It's Page's second swing through the Bottom 10--he made 1985's all-worst list as a member of the Firm.

It was a year for big-star belly flops. Page was joined on the Bottom 10 by David Lee Roth (who one voter blasted as "almost as tacky as Geraldo Rivera"), Huey Lewis & the News and aging veterans Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

This year's voters also nailed Zep-imitators Kingdom Come, boorish headbangers Poison, all-gal metal group Vixen ("What a concept--Lita Ford quintuplets") and shock-comic Sam Kinison, who cracked the Bottom 5 thanks to widespread outrage over his "Wild Thing" video (which one voter claimed "is so sexist, it makes Motley Crue's clips look like Snow White cartoons").

There were no other repeat offenders from past years, though the Bottom 10 had its first sound-track entry--"More Dirty Dancing"--since the 1984 poll, which featured "Metropolis."

As usual, voters suggested all sorts of oddity choices, including Glenn Frey ("Worst haircut in rock 'n roll"), Robert Palmer ("I hope he drowns in Pomade!") the "Cocktail" sound track (for spotlighting the Beach Boys' drippy "Kokomo" single) and Duran Duran ("Their videos do to women what the Brazilians are doing to tropical rain forests").

Narrowly missing the final cut, but getting enough votes to merit honorable mention were albums by: Rick Astley, George Michael, Glenn Frey, Taylor Dayne, White Lion, Hall & Oates, Bon Jovi, Robert Palmer, the Fat Boys, Robert Plant, Kenny Loggins, Olivia Newton-John, Breathe, Duran Duran, Boz Scaggs and Steve Miller.

The Winners:

1. "Outrider," Jimmy Page.

2. "Skyscraper," David Lee Roth.

3. "Out of This World," Europe.

4. "More Dirty Dancing," sound track by various artists.

5. "Have You Seen Me Lately?" Sam Kinison.

6. "American Dream," Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

7. "Kingdom Come," Kingdom Come.

8. "Small World," Huey Lewis & the News.

9. "Vixen," Vixen.

10. (Tie) "Open Up and Say . . . Aaahh," Poison.

10. (Tie) "Britney Fox," Britney Fox.

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