The Top 40 Most Depressing Albums

by Kevin Orton
Comments (8)

These are oft cited as the most depressing and dark albums of all time. That's not necessarily a bad thing in my book. There's something to be said for an artist laying it on the line and going to places where angels fear to tread. I don't find them depressing. I find them inspiring and beautiful. Click an album below to read a review

Comments (8)

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Good list. I'd put Elliot Smith a little bit higher, as that guy was pretty sad. Here's some more recent omissions that I'd include:

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
The Antlers - Hospice
Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights
Kanye West - 808s &...

Good list. I'd put Elliot Smith a little bit higher, as that guy was pretty sad. Here's some more recent omissions that I'd include:

Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked at Me
The Antlers - Hospice
Julien Baker - Turn Out the Lights
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
Nirvana - Unplugged in NY
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
David Bowie - Blackstar
These New Puritans - Field of Reeds

Just to name a few.

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Some more

Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Adrianne Lenker - abysskiss
Ka - Honor Killed the Samurai
Cindy Lee - Act of Tenderness
Beach House - Depression Cherry

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Good choices. I'm old and I suppose if I was into any of those bands, they'd be on here. Hehehehe. Well, Wilco I know and they're okay but never been all that excited by them. But there's others here I don't know and will def check them out. ...

Good choices. I'm old and I suppose if I was into any of those bands, they'd be on here. Hehehehe. Well, Wilco I know and they're okay but never been all that excited by them. But there's others here I don't know and will def check them out. Thanks!

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I'll be honest, I never found Elliott sad. Melodic, yes. Intimate, yes. I actually don't find his work depressing at all. The opposite. Same with all of these albums. That's just what has been superficially attributed to them because they deal...

I'll be honest, I never found Elliott sad. Melodic, yes. Intimate, yes. I actually don't find his work depressing at all. The opposite. Same with all of these albums. That's just what has been superficially attributed to them because they deal with some dark, raw emotions. They're all very honest records.

I don't find Skeleton Tree or Blackstar depressing in the slightest. I find them absolutely uplifting and inspiring. The're albums that rise up above their tragedy. Those are albums about Life and living. Terribly misunderstood I think, owing to the circumstances of their release. Cave wrote most of Skeleton Tree before his son died. And Bowie did not embark on Blackstar thinking it was his last. Anything but.

Kanye IS depressing to because he's such an obnoxious narcissist and a complete clown of an asshole.

Nirvana, well it may be sacrilege to say, but I've never liked them. Teen Spirit and other songs stole signature riffs from other bands like Killing Joke verbatim. While I have some compassion for how ill Cobain was, as a person and an artist, he was never anyone I wanted to spend time with.

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Comment was last edited about 3 weeks ago by Kevin Orton Kevin Orton
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I don't really find any album depressing. I mean Ian Curtis topped himself while listening to The Idiot so maybe there's something in there but I love that album and just don't see it. As mentioned in the other list, Lou Reed's Berlin is pretty...

I don't really find any album depressing. I mean Ian Curtis topped himself while listening to The Idiot so maybe there's something in there but I love that album and just don't see it. As mentioned in the other list, Lou Reed's Berlin is pretty grim but only three tracks near the end. While we're on the subject, what was on Kurt Cobain's turntable when they found his body? I'll give you a clue, it's not on this list.

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I agree, I don't find any of these albums depressing. And yes, I think Berlin is beautiful and heartbreaking. A masterpiece in my book. Its simply one of my favorite albums. I find all of these albums very life affirming frankly. And I'm thinking...

I agree, I don't find any of these albums depressing. And yes, I think Berlin is beautiful and heartbreaking. A masterpiece in my book. Its simply one of my favorite albums. I find all of these albums very life affirming frankly. And I'm thinking Ian Curtis' meds and medical condition had more to do with his demise than the Idiot. Another album, I just love.

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Great list. Parts of Lou Reed's Blue Mask go somewhere beyond depressing for me - brutally confessional I guess. Not sure the album itself is depressing, but Pink Moon always makes me feel sad (or at least needing another scotch). I couldn't...

Great list. Parts of Lou Reed's Blue Mask go somewhere beyond depressing for me - brutally confessional I guess. Not sure the album itself is depressing, but Pink Moon always makes me feel sad (or at least needing another scotch). I couldn't even listen to the Mount Eerie album Tim mentioned - I tried.

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Blue Mask is def a runner up! Bob Quine is just majestic on that. Miss that guy. He was brilliant.

I never, ever found Pink Moon sad. Beautiful and intimate would be the words to describe. That last track is actually quite optimistic. Its a very...

Blue Mask is def a runner up! Bob Quine is just majestic on that. Miss that guy. He was brilliant.

I never, ever found Pink Moon sad. Beautiful and intimate would be the words to describe. That last track is actually quite optimistic. Its a very misunderstood record and I think a lot of people attribute romantic notions of tragedy to it. Nick Drake was actually in quite a good mood when he made it and it was a ballsy move for him reject the labels attempts to over orchestrate as they did on his prior releases.

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