The 15 Worst ...and Friends! Albums Of All-Time
Besides just the Rob Thomas collab "Smooth," which we've spent the past decade trying to erase from our memories, the album received a lot of attention at the time for being one of those records that featured a different collaboration with a big name artist on every track--attention which even won Santana awards and single-handedly revived his career.
For lack of a better term we've begun referring to these as ...and Friends! albums.
But it is not like Santana was the first artist to dream up the ...and Friends! album concept; artists had been employing the shallow technique to revive their dwindling careers for years by the time Santana got around to it. The thought process? That by aligning themselves with artists who are still significant, they too will be relevant by association.
So when we saw that The Roots were coming out with one of these albums--called How I Got Over, the disc is scheduled for a June 22 release--it struck us a bit confusing. As a general rule, artists don't resort to ...and Friends! territory until they've fallen well off the map of relevancy--and The Roots seem to have a pretty choice high profile late night gig.
Unfortunately, their odd career move not only inspired this list of the 15 worst ...and Friends! albums of all-time, but it also earned them a place on it. See the rest of the list after the jump.
1. The Roots - How I Got Over
Featured guests: John Legend, Joanna Newsome, Jim James
The Roots have been slowly chipping away at this album while simultaneously holding down their jobs as the house band on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, but the tracks that have leaked so far don't seem all that original. For instance, recently leaked "Dear God 2.0" is just a glorified cover of Monster of Folk's version with a couple of obligatory rap verses by Black Thought thrown in for good measure.
2. Santana - Supernatural
Featured guests: Rob Thomas, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews
Even the Rob Thomas collab, "Smooth" may have won a pair of Grammys wasn't enough to convince me that Santana didn't just persuade 15 of his friends from various genres into donating tracks to his album and then just adding his little guitar doodles all over the place.
3. Slash - Slash
Featured guests: Ozzy, Lemmy Kilmister, Fergie, Chris Cornell
Despite the huge list of rock vocalists, the end results are very hit or miss--Chris Cornell's "Promise Me" really hit, but Fergie's genre-blending "Beautiful Dangerous" couldn't have been more off the mark, confounding most metal purists. Hands down the project's most egregious transgression lies with the decision to release an updated remake of GnR's "Paradise City" that featured Cypress Hill rapping the verses and Fergie's oversinging on the choruses.
4. Frank Sinatra - Duets
Featured guests: Barbara Steisand, Bono, Aretha Franklin
Such a joke of an album it was parodied on an episode of SNL with Phil Hartman playing the impetuous Sinatra. The albums was so slapped together, in fact, that none of the featured guests were even in the same room as Sinatra during the recording process, having to instead sing to his prerecorded vocal cuts via telecommunications link--although even that didn't stop them from making the follow-up album, Duets II.
5. Timbaland - Shock Value
Featured guests: Justin Timberlake, Elton John, The Hives, 50 Cent
Despite Timbaland's so-called renown as a rapper and producer, he's rarely been able to release a track in his career that didn't feature at least one guest artist. Shock Value took the dependency on others to a whole new level, calling in favors from some of the biggest names in the game.