Three albums from the 1980s that did not age well

These three excellent bands from the 1980s produced a ton of great music but also made three albums most people forget about.

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ABC - Beauty Stab

I am not sure what fans of ABC thought they might be getting with the follow-up to the band's excellent debut album, Lexicon of Love, but it certainly wasn't Beauty Stab. Most groups don't make their statement album - "We only did the first two albums to please our record company!" - until album three. ABC went all in on album two. And Godspeed to them for doing so!

Beauty Stab might actually end up on many "worst-of" lists, but that would be a mistake. I loved "Look of Love" as much as the next bloke still trying to grasp with entering teenage-hood, but I also appreciated Beauty Stab as well. To be honest, at the time I lacked nearly as much self-awareness as I do now and wasn't aware of just how much my friends thought the album was crap.

Beauty Stab took the humorous irony of Lexicon of Love and simply turned it into irony and without the laughs. Instead of strings, there were guitars. I could see what the band was trying to do, but I don't think they could fully grasp how to do it. The guitar sound has a pre-post-punk issue of sounding too crisp and without the real angst.

Songs like "That Was Then but This Is Now" are much-maligned but there is something glam-catchy about it all. But Beaty Stab wouldn't end the group as far as hit-makers. "Be Near Me" from 1985 and "When Smokey Sings" from 1987 were both charted in the top ten in the United States. The albums Alphabet City (1987) and The Lexicon of Love II (2016) were both top ten albums in the UK.