'They're Like Cream, but Worse': Harsh Early Reviews of Classic Albums

When Rolling Stone panned the Rolling Stones, and other great moments in misguided music criticism

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Capitol

It's a guilty secret that's not especially secret: Everybody likes reading a really nasty review every now and then. And equally, as a critic, there's a perverse pleasure in writing such a review, in being able to sink the boot into an album that you truly despise. The thing is, though, sometimes critics get it wrong. All critics have penned pastings that they've subsequently regretted. Others take pride in spinning out opinions contrary to conventional, consensus wisdom. So in keeping with the tradition of last month's feature on scathing early reviews of classic novels, here's a similar look at some gloriously misguided—or at least, gloriously out-of-step with the rest of society—reviews of albums that'd go on to be acclaimed as classics.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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Tom Hawking is an editor at Flavorpill.

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