Ben’s 10 Volume LXVII: Gambling Commercially and Artistically on Albums

Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music (1975)

A double album of layered guitar feedback and noise which came out at the height of The Velvet Underground leader’s commercial success.

Stevie Wonder – Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants (1979)

Arguably the greatest two-disc concept album about photosynthesis.

Neil Young – Trans (1983)

Young thoroughly pissed off his new label by releasing a vocoder-heavy, synth-rock album.

Bob Dylan – Saved (1980)

One of Dylan’s infamous Christian releases, Saved featured mellow, keyboard-laden church-like hymns of praise.

The Flaming Lips – Zaireeka (1997)

Oklahoma’s beloved weirdos release a four-disc album where each CD was meant to play simultaneously.

The Fireman – Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest (1994)

No, I’m serious. Paul McCartney anonymously released an ambient techno album.

Devo – E-Z Listening Disc (1987)

The synth-pop pioneers release an album of their hits, redone as muzak.

KISS – Music From the Elder (1981)

A musically misguided, pompous attempt at a concept album based on a story by lead jackass Gene Simmons.

Garth Brooks – In the Life of Chris Gaines (1999)

“Chris Gaines” was a character created by Brooks in order to reinvent himself as a rocker. Basically, Brooks recorded an album of terrible music and wore a shitty wig on the cover.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968)

Known most famously for the nude cover photo, Two Virgins is the product of a single night of musical experimentation.

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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