Ten incredibly disappointing albums from the 1990s

Ever listened to an album and wished it hadn't been released?

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Prince - Chaos And Disorder

This 1996 release from Prince sits uncomfortably in his back catalogue. Chaos and Disorder is one of those ‘fulfilling contractual obligations’ records, a phrase that rarely bodes well. Prince wanted to move away from Warner Bros Music and one more album had to be made to get that exit. 

The signs were all there. Prince refused to promote the album. Interviewed later about Chaos And Disorder and wanting to leave Warner Bros Music he talked of being happy to be able to be free and move on now. A note added to the sleeve says “Originally intended 4 private use only, this compilation serves as the last original material recorded by (The Symbol) 4 Warner Brothers Records.”  

Perhaps not surprisingly it was one of Prince’s least successful releases commercially. Musically, it seemed better in retrospect after his death than at the time of release, but was nowhere near his best work and one he was unhappy with himself. 

Fleetwood Mac - Time

Another album where ‘the writing was on the wall’. Once you know that this Fleetwood Mac album was without Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks you can get a feel for the problem. New replacements came on board, including Bekka Bramlett on vocals and Dave Mason on guitar. Time was released in October 1995, and made it only to number 47 in the UK charts, but missed in the US entirely.

It suffered from that significant change of line up and even though Christine McVie, husband John, and Mick Fleetwood remained, it was a quite different sound from the band without Nicks and Buckingham. Christine McVie and Mason fell out, and Bramlett didn't get on with Mason either. There just seems to be too much going on to create a decent album. So a bunch of poor critical reviews was no great shock and the album flopped badly. Fleetwood’s biography later reflected that the album and line-up changes were probably a step too far.