Top Ten Albums that Were Recorded in the Midst of Internal Struggle

This list is about albums that were recorded in the midst of internal chaos within a group. These are stories of band members fighting against each other over a variety of factors, such as royalty disputes, personal relationships, differences in artistic direction, and creative burnout. Some of these albums were huge successes; others were failures and ended up breaking the band. Feel free to add to this list; if you do, tell me more about the back story behind the album.

The Top Ten

1 The Wall - Pink Floyd

Roger Waters and David Gilmour clashed over the album's direction, Richard Wright was fired from the group, and producer Bob Ezrin had difficulty maintaining focus during the album sessions due to his drug addictions. The album was a huge success, but it also drained the band. - Gg2000

Thankfully it was the best Floyd album - iliekpiez

2 Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

Band members underwent divorces and also had affairs with in their own circle, everyone was using copious amounts of cocaine during the whole process, and they spent a lot of time achieving a perfectly polished sound. Miraculously for them, it paid off, as Rumours is one of the biggest selling albums of all time. - Gg2000

3 St. Anger - Metallica

James Hetfield spent a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction, Jason Newsted was finally out of the band, and the band members were constantly at each other's throats. It's no surprise, then, that this is considered by most people to be the worst album in the Metallica discography by far. - Gg2000

4 Let It Be - The Beatles

Paul McCartney took over the group's Direction, John Lennon was more interested in being with his new wife Yoko, George Harrison was unhappy with both of them, and all of the sessions were marred by uninspired playing and weak musicianship. The album was finally released after their manager, Allen Klein, brought in Phil Spector to remix the tracks, much to McCartney's disapproval and anger. - Gg2000

5 Who Do We Think We Are - Deep Purple

The band started recording the album straight off the heels of an exhausting tour. They also disagreed on the songs themselves, and a lot of the parts were recorded separately. Most critics and fans consider it to be the worst album from the Mark II line up, and it also led to Ian Gillan and Roger Glover leaving the band. - Gg2000

6 The Notorious Byrd Brothers - The Byrds

Drummer Michael Clarke quit the band, Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman fired David Crosby over several arguments related to the band's direction, Gene Clark temporarily rejoined the band, and Michael Clarke rejoined the group towards the end only to be fired after the album was finished. A lot of the extra parts on the album were played by session musicians. Nonetheless, many people consider it to be the highlight of the Byrds catalogue because of its experimental sound. - Gg2000

7 Mardi Gras - Creedence Clearwater Revival

By this time, Tom Fogerty was out of the band after falling out with John Fogerty over artistic control. John told the bassist and drummer (Stu Cook and Doug Clifford),that they would have to contribute two-thirds of the album's material by themselves. They would write, sing, produce, and record their own material, and the only thing that John would contribute to their songs was guitar. It became their lowest selling and least respected album, and the band broke up soon afterward. - Gg2000

8 Be Here Now - Oasis

When they recorded this album, everyone, including the producer, used ridiculous amounts of cocaine. Noel and Liam Gallagher were snapping at each other's throats, and they were constant figures in the tabloid press. In addition, they also had difficulty staying at a specific place to record the album because they kept getting thrown out of the studios they were recording in. Initially a strong seller, the sales eventually petered out, and critics and fans ended up turning on the album. The glory days of Oasis were over. - Gg2000

To be fair, all Oasis albums were recorded in the midst of Internal struggle. The Gallagher rivalry were prominent all throught their discography, the tabloids were constantly behind Oasis, Liam was always drunk & high, while Noel was too busy triggering the media with his unpopular opinions. But still, I actually liked this album unlike 99% of their fans & the critics. - Joeljohns249

True. The main reason I mentioned Be Here Now is because I remember a quote from Owen Morris (the producer), who said that Morning Glory felt happy because they were happier; with Be Here Now, however, there wasn't anything to look forward to. Noel also said at one point, he and Liam started going into the studio at different times to do their parts. That's not "happy". - Gg2000

9 Presence - Led Zeppelin

Prior to the recording of this album, Robert Plant had been in a car accident and was wheelchair-bound. Jimmy Page was also in the early stages of his heroin addiction, and the album was rush-recorded in the span of a couple weeks because the studio had already been booked for the Rolling Stones. This is the album where Led Zeppelin begin to show their slow decline in quality. - Gg2000

10 Never Say Die! - Black Sabbath

Before the album recording sessions began, Ozzy quit and was replaced by vocalist Dave Walker. Ozzy eventually rejoined the band, but he refused to work on any of the stuff they'd already worked on with Dave. The band were steeped in drug and alcohol abuse at this time. In addition, they had been booked to record at a Sound Interchange Studios in Toronto, and it was the only studio that ended up being available. The acoustics were so terrible that they tore up the soundproofing in the studio itself to get a better live sound. After this album was released, the original Ozzy Osbourne run of Black Sabbath was finally over. - Gg2000

The Contenders

11 Iowa - Slipknot
12 Skylarking - XTC

Thanks to whoever added this album. I love it; it's a great example of a success story (as opposed to a failure). - Gg2000

13 Synchronicity - The Police

Stewart Copeland played in the dining room, Sting played in the contro room, and Andy played in the studio, in good part for "social reasons". Stewart Copeland and Sting still managed to come to blows. That's how much tension there was. Plus apparently the dining room was so hot that Stewat Copeland's drumsticks kept slipping off. Lot of tension. - JoLeKosovo

14 The Great Southern Trendkill - Pantera
15 Pleasant Dreams - The Ramones

Even though Joey and Johnny never got along, during this album things really got heated between them. This was their first album recorded after Johnny stole Joey's girlfriend Linda who Johnny ended up marrying. The song The KKK Took My Baby Away, written by Joey, is rumored to be about Johnny (a conservative Republican, who often teased Joey about being liberal and Jewish, hence the KKK part) stealing Linda from Joey. - THC13

16 Relapse - Eminem
17 Draw the Line - Aerosmith
18 Dirty Work - The Rolling Stones
19 The Long Run - Eagles
20 Daylight Again - Crosby, Stills & Nash
21 Straight Up - Badfinger
22 Caravanserai - Santana
23 Gaucho - Steely Dan
24 Hysteria - Def Leppard
25 Yes Please! - The Happy Mondays
26 The Spaghetti Incident - Guns N' Roses
27 The White Album - The Beatles

I know Let it Be is already on here, but The White Album comes close. It was when Yoko started attending the band's recording secessions, which threw the band off, and it's lack of a constant genre as well as it being a double LP, meant a long recording process too. And the Beatles stopped getting along well once this album came along. Ringo Starr even left the Band for awhile during it's recording process too.

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