Albums you do not get...a plea for help and understanding

So like most of you (I bet), I listen to tons of music.  But there are just some albums I never learned to appreciate.  I hope this thread can serve as a teaching tool.  I did not get Mingus at first but now he is one of my favorites.

Perhaps ending each post with, "What am I missing?" would be a good idea.

I will start with Graceland by Paul Simon.  Most of my friends call me crazy (still after all these years...OUCH that was bad) but I never desire to listen to this record.  I get the African influence and rhythm but it just does not impress me.  Alternatively when Peter Gabriel did the African influence thing I found it stunningly good. Paul Simon as a musician impresses me in his other works.  What am I missing?


@bancsee Not that I understand the deeper meanings of the songs on "Graceland," are you sure you don't mean Paul Simon's "The Rhythm of the Saints"?  

Anything from Devo, the B-52’s, Boy George, Barry Manilow, the Captain and Tennille, Michael Jackson, Michael Bolton, I think you get the idea....🤮 grody to the max, gag me with a spoon....🤪

I found that my interests expanded with exposure… but some stuff just does not appeal to me. I started with rock in the 60’s and 70’s… then jazz, classical, blues, electronic, world…


There is usually a gateway album… one that bridges the stuff I like with a new type. Then when “I get it”… and slowly a whole new genera opens up.

The biggest gateway for me was Michael Franks. I was mid twenties staying in a cabin on Lake Tahoe doing research (I was a geologist). I went to this tucked away high end cool restaurants hidden in an old growth forest. One of his albums was playing… it completely changed my world… opened it up.

I have run at opera many times… I am just not going to like it. Mozart… not happening… Shostakovich just sends me into a dream. Coltrane… not happening.

There is so much music… some you will just not like… it’s OK. Worth giving a try every once in a while, but life is too short to waste too much time on something that doesn’t appeal to you.

The biggest gateway for me was Michael Franks. I was mid twenties staying in a cabin on Lake Tahoe doing research (I was a geologist). I went to this tucked away high end cool restaurants hidden in an old growth forest. One of his albums was playing… it completely changed my world… opened it up

Sounds like it could have been “The Soule Domain.”
(But I am not sure that building had electricity?)

There's a lot I don't "get".  The most puzzling is The Grateful Dead.  I mean they're  fine and there's a lot of it but I'd rather listen to Crosby Stills Nash and Young.


I felt the same way about Cassandra Wilson New moon daughter but after a while she's growing on me. How could you not like the crickets?

Disco, fast punk and Latin not happening. Dislike religious male country rock like Terry Allen. I used like Alan Parsons Project when I was 18 but it's a bit crap and silly to me now. 

This thread has forced me to dig into my past, as anything I did not like has pretty much disappeared from both my record/cd shelves and my memory. But yeah, anything from "ain't  I cool" hippie bands and acts really tested my patience.  "Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young" did this. Delaney and Bonnie sounded generic and bland. The proverbial pasted-on smile. I loved David Crosby when he was in the Byrds but nowhere else. I truly enjoyed the Grateful Dead the two times I saw them in concert but, not to sound like a broken record(!) their recordings were distressingly lacking in energy and burdened with 'tude.

@DeKay -- Wow!! Maybe the most unintentionally hilarious album cover I've ever seen.

When I first discovered old Pink Floyd, you know, before DSOM and The Wall I thought it was self-gratuitous overindulgence and bizarre. Today I can't get enough of it. With the discovery of streaming, I have been opened up to a lot of things I never would have known about. I'm too old to be "hip" so streaming is opening me up to a lot of new things. I still don't like 99% of rap, don't get it. Don't like thrash metal where the vocals are all screaming. I don't need more reasons to be angry. And perhaps my most unpopular opinion and last but not least... Bruce Springsteen. It behooves me why people are so enthralled.


A few albums I didn't take to for years, but now sometimes listen to/enjoy on Youtube are...

The John Lennon album with a tree and grass on the cover (forget the name and lost our AOL favorites AGAIN) plus Wonderwall Music (sp?) by George Harrison).

Though in the minority on this I cannot stand the sound of Stevie Nicks voice so I do not listen to any later FM with her involved.

This Youtube video depicts how much better the vocals of one particular FM song could have been.




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Graceland was Paul Simon appropriating everything he could. The African artists alone were much better, and if you really want to be upset watch his interview about how just randomly he picked words for those meaningless lyrics.

One that always makes me scratch my head is Norah Jones. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun enough to listen to her, but as a ground breaking, world renown artist that makes Jazz musicians stop what they are doing and take notice? OOooookay, sure.

The big album I’ve tried and tried to get however was Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.

Got the first Kate Bush album as a gift when it first came out. Out of courtesy, I listened to the first side. Put it up. Told my friend I really liked it. Second album was released, and same friend gifted it to me. I listened to it, then the first again. I thought they were OK. Then kept going back to them. Then I started watching for new releases. I have been a fan for decades now.

1. Rap

2. Hip Hop

3. Perhaps 80% of music released after 1980.

What am I missing?

I’ll jump in on an interesting thread. I didn’t get the Grateful Dead, hated the Europe 72 album as my roommate played it again and again. But a year later it was my favorite. Also, I am from New Jersey (don’t hold that against me) originally, and never got into Bruce. Great live shows I will admit, some of his lyrics and rhyming are brilliant, but just can’t enjoy him.

I also have tried “Kind of Blue”, I can understand the brilliance of the musicians, but I have not gotten it yet. I think if I had been into Jazz music when it came out, then I could and would appreciate it. 

I enjoyed Graceland when it came out, played it over and over. At the time there was nothing like it. Just to be clear, I am referring to the US, no one was playing music like that on any of the big/popular, progressive radio stations and most stores did not stock ‘world music’. Now it’s easy to find it; again meaning in the US, and I think that album had a lot to do with it. That said, I haven’t listened to Graceland in 10 years at least. Diamonds on the soles of my shoes was a great song.

I grew up on Led Zeppelin. I love much, but not all, of what they have done.

That being said, I find it impossible to agree with anyone who will list the song "Kashmir" as being one of their best.

I'm sure that many here will not agree with me. That's OK.

When I decide to play some Zeppelin, there are plenty of tracks to choose from that satisfy me infinitely more.

What am I missing?

Music, like almost all of this hobby, is very subjective. I can't stand bands like Gojira due to the "singing" style but some people love it. I also don't care for Wilco, but a lot of people do as well as the critics. 

If music was like the subjectivists, they'd try and explain why you should like a band they like because they (the band) sells more records.


Like what you like and let others like what they like. 

Most of Paul Simon's post-Simon and Garfunkel output doesn't move me. As for Graceland, I never much liked the recording/production either.

I loved Fleetwood Mack before Nicks and Buckingham, can’t stand them now.

I loved the first Journey album ( with Greg Rollie), hated them since.


most of the pop rock played on fm radio from the late 70s and on I won’t listen to.

Bruce Springsteen the Boss?  Nope, I fired him years ago, and he hasn't improved with age.

I read an interview with the leader of the African backup band to Paul Simon wherein he said that Paul Simon stole all the music from them, never sharing the royalties or credits. That interview and the one Simon gave explaining why he jettisoned Art Garfunkel put a bad taste in my mouth so to speak. 

There are many bands where I just don't get it. Thankfully there are many bands that make me feel good :)

Miles Davis. He may be a ground breaker but the album I had just seemed like random notes.

Jersey boy here and I think that Springsteen is a hack.  Went to one concert of his back in the day and I will say they played their butts off.

I'm a firm believer (right or wrong) that most people like the music they heard in their formative years. And carry that forward into adulthood.  I still don't get people who don't listen to any music, I mean not even background crappy FM on a boombox.

My parents loved B'way shows and saw Sinatra a number of times at the Rustic Lodge when he was starting out.  So we had many, many B'way and Sinatra records.  That is what I cut my teeth on as a child. 

I was nine or ten when Beatlemania hit...and yes I still go back to them and find it has turned into a day of listening.

Way to much music to list that I dislike (or just don't get) so I won't bother.  Very rare for me to try and "get" some music because I think I should. 



I never understood what the Deadheads were seeing or hearing, but I never took those heavy drugs .  50's jazz, while I respect, is boring to me.  My jazz started in the 70's with Weather Report and Tom Scott.

This is a great thread.

As for Bruce, his first seven or eight albums have a firm place heart that speaks to by blue collar upbringing and my journey into adulthood, but I understand why people don't connect with him.

Same with the Grateful Dead.  It took me quite a while to get around to them and dive in, but American Beauty and Workingman's Dead were the gateway, followed closely by the Barton Hall '77 bootleg and the live albums that followed American Beauty (Grateful Dead and Europe '72).  I still don't get their second and third albums, though, the ones they supposedly mixed while high on acid.

Dylan is another one of those who took me a while to connect with, and I will say that most of my friends don't understand him, either.

One album that's supposed to be great that I've tried (and failed) to appreciate is Radiohead's OK Computer.

At the top of the "I don't get this" heap would have to be Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask ReplicaSafe as Milk is pretty darn good, but this follow-up is too much like that annoying guy in high school who is genuinely trying to be annoying (and succeeding).  There are many artists and critics I respect who revere this album, but I've tried and been left baffled.  I've been told you have to take it in pieces and let it grow on you, but anything that takes that much work to enjoy can be left by the side of the road for something my heart naturally connects with.

There’s no accounting for taste. One man’s wall hanging is the next they’s door mat.

Rammstein and Hüsker Dü aren’t my cup of barf where as others don’t get the seminal “Kind of Blue”




I will never ever ever ever understand Rush. I don't know what annoys me more, them or black metal.  what is the point of barfing into a microphone and recording it?

Miles Davis and "progressive jazz" in general after Kind of Blue/Sketches of Spain.

Too much rock, blues, classical, folk/acoustic, big band - "proven" and new - to enjoy for me to use too much time trying to "get" music that doesn't resonate.  My candle of time is way shorter than it was when I actively sought new music appreciation experiences. YMMV

I agree on Graceland. Good, but far from mind blowing and hardly worthy of the massive praise it received. If you jump around to different tracks you can hear Simon using identical phrasing on many of them. Gets a bit repetitious.

One genre that I never cared for was the new wave whiny British sound of bands like The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, New Order, Flock of Seagulls, etc. that can best be represented by the album Republic by New Order. Like many of the albums from those bands, there might be a good song or two, like Regret on Republic, but then the rest of the albums are pretty much garbage. Having grown up on The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Queen, etc. that whiny new wave sound never did it for me. But there are a few songs from those bands that I do like, such as Ghost in You and Pretty in Pink by The Psychedelic Furs, Space Age Love Song by Flock, and all of Tears for Fears, which manages to be new wave but not whiny.

@audioguy85 Really???The Captain and Tennille? Greatest band in history!!

OK, laughing can stop. I must say, that in 1964 when my "very cool" fellow-freshman college roommate played the first Bob Dylan album for me I was kind of wondering what the fuss was all about. At the time, I was busy learning to play guitar with a book of Beatles songs, and had been to Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars in Raleigh that summer--The Supremes, The Shirelles, Gene Pitney, The Coasters--you get it. After growing up, things changed, of course, but we all go through periods of growth and we used to say at the huge computer company I worked at, "Change is the only constant in life."

And the B-52’s? Come on, now. "Love Shack" is a new wave classic! Reminds me of this little shack way out in the sticks near Hilton Head that we used to drive to from Savannah in the ’60s (if you could find it!) where the music was LOUD and the dancing was non-stop, along with the beer. GREAT TIMES!


@winnardt you want whiny?  Simon LeBon of Duran Duran, though i still like them, along with every other "whiny" bands you mentioned above. 🤓

There were a few prog rock bands that I used to listen to back in the 70's that I hardly do anymore except for a few (Pink Floyd, Yes, Renaissance).  One band that I particularly don't get and find pretentious is ELP.   I still have a few of their LP's around but they are pretty much spacers in my LP rack.

I'm a Deadhead (among other fave genres) and have every one of their live box sets, but I can't understand why anybody would want to hear the studio versions of Grateful Dead songs.

I once did, until I found out that that is not what that band is about, and how much more I enjoyed the live versions. 

Miles Davis, outside of his Kind of Blue collaboration for which he seems to get most of the credit, when it should be Bill Evans, does nothing for me.

Just one decent track, Springsville, a Gil Evans collaboration off Miles Ahead and that’s it.


As for the notorious Graceland, Paul Simon has consistently been one of the best songwriters in the world for decades, and Graceland was a brilliant return to form back in 1986, no matter the political points scoring nonsense that followed it’s release.

As good as Graceland was his 1990 Rhythm of the Saints might even be a better album, whilst the unjustly maligned Songs from the Capeman (1997) most definitely is.

I’d say it was the standout album of the 1990s.


Agreed, forgot about Duran Duran. My list wasn't meant to be comprehensive, just representative, but Duran Duran would have been a good inclusion. Never much cared for them either.

Anything Paul McCartney did or does after the Beatles. Most of the Beach Boys.

The only rap that I like is Eminem.  He is at the pinnacle of the genre, IMO.

I don't care for much of Country music, though some of it can be good.  Country flavor in rock music is quite good and there is plenty of it that I like a lot.

I'm getting more into jazz these days, too.  

Otherwise, I'm pretty much open to just about anything.  If I like it, I listen to it.  If I don't like it than I don't listen to it.  

I'm glad there is so much to choose from and that we all have our tastes, likes, and dislikes.  Like most anything, variety is the spice of life.

On a final note (no pun intended), if the music was very well recorded and produced and thus can deliver an excellent sonic quality, I am glad to listen to it, no matter the genre.  A great music system with a great SQ album playing through it is a very satisfying part of owning the music system.

I'm truly lovin' this thread. Don't be shy, ladies & gents. Proudly proclaim your preferences! And diss the ones you don't dig!