The 50 Weirdest Albums Ever

An incredible journey into a far-out world of dream jazz, skronk rock and sonic insanity.

Trout Mask Replica

IN ORDER TO TRULY blow one’s mind, one must travel to the far reaches of the music cosmos – to a place where Throbbing Gristle, Barbra Streisand, Captain Beefheart, Bongwater, Tim Buckley and Boredoms reign supreme and sonic adventures into the unknown are an essential part of daily life.

A dimension where flipped-out acid rock rubs shoulders with records that reconfigured our conception of what music could be while manifestations of further-out lunacy – some barely recognisable as music at all – hover while laughing maniacally.

Welcome, then, to our list of the 50 Most “Out There” Albums Of All Time. Dig in, hold on tight and when you’ve emerged from the mayhem, let us know what we’ve missed by voting for your own ultimate weird record. We’ll compile a readers’ list as soon as our wigs have unflipped.

50. Paddy McAloon I Trawl The MegahertzEMI | 2003

50. Paddy McAloon I Trawl The MegahertzEMI | 2003

MOJO SAYS: Steve McQueen, we hardly knew you.

49. Basil Kirchin QuantumTRUNK | 2003

49. Basil Kirchin QuantumTRUNK | 2003

MOJO SAYS: Music and sound manipulated into something entirely other.

48. Ottilie Patterson Spring SongPOLYDOR | 1973

48. Ottilie Patterson Spring SongPOLYDOR | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Insane/inspired romp through period poetry and more.

47. Bongwater Double BummerSHIMMY DISC | 1988

47. Bongwater Double BummerSHIMMY DISC | 1988

MOJO SAYS: Sprawling 2-LP debut from New York art couple who made Kim and Thurston look like Margot and Jerry Leadbetter.

46. Ennio Morricone EscalationCAM | 1968

46. Ennio Morricone EscalationCAM | 1968

MOJO SAYS: Wildly psychedelic opus to peculiar painted lady film.

45. John Zorn Naked CityELEKTRA/NONESUCH | 1990

45. John Zorn Naked CityELEKTRA/NONESUCH | 1990

MOJO SAYS: Genre-slashing "compositional workshop" led by NYC jazz heretic Zorn.

44. AR & Machines EchoPOLYDOR | 1972

44. AR & Machines EchoPOLYDOR | 1972

MOJO SAYS: German guitar guru's crazed journey to the centre of the instrument.

43. William S Fischer CirclesEMBRYO | 1970

43. William S Fischer CirclesEMBRYO | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Mutant R&B from New York City's answer to David Axelrod.

42. Wild Man Fischer An Evening With Wild Man FischerBIZARRE | 1968

42. Wild Man Fischer An Evening With Wild Man FischerBIZARRE | 1968

MOJO SAYS: Frank Zappa unleashes the outsider artist's outsider artist on an unsuspecting world.

41. Throbbing Gristle Second Annual ReportINDUSTRIAL | 1977

41. Throbbing Gristle Second Annual ReportINDUSTRIAL | 1977

MOJO SAYS: Punk preached chaos and anarchy, but only TG truly achieved it.

40. Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of DawnCOLUMBIA | 1967

40. Pink Floyd The Piper At The Gates Of DawnCOLUMBIA | 1967

MOJO SAYS: Underground goes overground in womb-spaceship to the stars.

39. Mercury Rev BocesBEGGARS BANQUET | 1993

39. Mercury Rev BocesBEGGARS BANQUET | 1993

MOJO SAYS: Kosmic Katskills kombo unlearn the rules of rock music. Flutes are involved.

38. Tim Buckley StarsailorSTRAIGHT | 1970

38. Tim Buckley StarsailorSTRAIGHT | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Folk singer as screaming mood instrument. Starsailor fans need not apply.

37. Dreamies Auralgraphic EntertainmentSTONE THEATER PRODUCTIONS DELAWARE | 1973

37. Dreamies Auralgraphic EntertainmentSTONE THEATER PRODUCTIONS DELAWARE | 1973

MOJO SAYS: 52 minute psychedelic odyssey: the '60s aren’t over yet.

36. Cybotron Cyber GhettoFANTASY | 1995

36. Cybotron Cyber GhettoFANTASY | 1995

MOJO SAYS: Grim vision of technoid future ruled "by the dark overlords of conformity".

35. C.A. Quintet Trip Thru HellCANDY FLOSS | 1969

35. C.A. Quintet Trip Thru HellCANDY FLOSS | 1969

MOJO SAYS: A tribal re-enactment of the apocalypse by the ghosts of The Count Five.

34. Barbra Streisand ...And Other Musical InstrumentsCBS | 1970

34. Barbra Streisand ...And Other Musical InstrumentsCBS | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Not your usual Barbra LP. Oh no.

33. The Stark Reality ...Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music ShopAJP | 1970

33. The Stark Reality ...Discovers Hoagy Carmichael’s Music ShopAJP | 1970

MOJO SAYS: Boston funkateers’ dizzying one-off atonal psych-jazz junket.

32. Steven Jesse Bernstein PrisonSUB POP | 1992

32. Steven Jesse Bernstein PrisonSUB POP | 1992

MOJO SAYS: A suicidal Seattle writer records his last testament with the help of half of Pigeonhed.

31. Scott Walker TiltFONTANA | 1995

31. Scott Walker TiltFONTANA | 1995

MOJO SAYS: A "torture chamber music" entree into one man’s private hell.

30. Esquivel! Four Corners Of The WorldRCA Victor US | 1958

30. Esquivel! Four Corners Of The WorldRCA Victor US | 1958

MOJO SAYS: Speed thrills by Mexican avatar of bachelor pad pyrotechnics.

29. Alexander 'Skip' Spence OarCBS | 1969

29. Alexander 'Skip' Spence OarCBS | 1969

MOJO SAYS: Post-breakdown psychedelia from former Moby Grape and Jefferson Airplane man.

28. Joe Meek And The Blue Men I Hear A New World (An Outer Space Music Fantasy)TRIUMPH | 1960

28. Joe Meek And The Blue Men I Hear A New World (An Outer Space Music Fantasy)TRIUMPH | 1960

MOJO SAYS: The Clangers co-directed by Brian Eno and Liberace.

27. Comets On Fire Field Recordings From The SunBA DA BING! | 2002

27. Comets On Fire Field Recordings From The SunBA DA BING! | 2002

MOJO SAYS: Santa Cruz shamen dyno-blast psych-rock into the 21st century.

26. Diamanda Galas Plague MassMUTE | 1991

26. Diamanda Galas Plague MassMUTE | 1991

MOJO SAYS: Apocalyptic anti-liturgy. Not for the faint-hearted.

25. The Monks Black Monk TimePOLYDOR INTERNATIONAL | 1966

25. The Monks Black Monk TimePOLYDOR INTERNATIONAL | 1966

MOJO SAYS: GIs In Deutschland go AWOL, get tonsures, write punk rulebook.

24. Gordon Jenkins Seven DreamsDECCA US | 1954

24. Gordon Jenkins Seven DreamsDECCA US | 1954

MOJO SAYS: Because they thought "nightmares" in the title wouldn’t sell?

23. Frank Zappa Lumpy GravyVERVE | 1967

23. Frank Zappa Lumpy GravyVERVE | 1967

MOJO SAYS: A mind-blowing mélange of modernist classical ambition and basement-level hippy blather.

22. Perrey & Kingsley Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight On The MoogVANGUARD | 1967

22. Perrey & Kingsley Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Spotlight On The MoogVANGUARD | 1967

MOJO SAYS: The world remade as ferocious cartoon, via Moog-electrodes to the testicles.

21. Patty Waters College TourESP | 1966

21. Patty Waters College TourESP | 1966

MOJO SAYS: The woman who influenced Diamanda Galas and Yoko Ono.

20. Boredoms Super AeBIRDMAN | 1988

20. Boredoms Super AeBIRDMAN | 1988

MOJO SAYS: Osaka’s noise terrorists find infinite groove on the surface of the sun.

19. Hawkwind Space RitualUNITED ARTISTS | 1973

19. Hawkwind Space RitualUNITED ARTISTS | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Space barbarians set the controls for the heart of the brain.

18. My Bloody Valentine LovelessCREATION | 1991

18. My Bloody Valentine LovelessCREATION | 1991

MOJO SAYS: Indie navel-gazers push amps, pedals and record label to melting point.

17. Lightning Bolt Wonderful RainbowLOAD | 2003

17. Lightning Bolt Wonderful RainbowLOAD | 2003

MOJO SAYS: Breakthrough tumult from elemental experimental duo: riffs, noise, chaos.

16. The Residents Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special!RALPH | 1980

16. The Residents Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special!RALPH | 1980

MOJO SAYS: The Residents drive one half of Penn and Teller insane...

15. The Holy Modal Rounders The Moray Eels Eat...ELEKTRA | 1968

15. The Holy Modal Rounders The Moray Eels Eat...ELEKTRA | 1968

MOJO SAYS: Acid-folk opus from Rounders’ spin-off, featuring Sam Shepard.

14. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandEMI | 1967

14. The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandEMI | 1967

MOJO SAYS: How to blow the finest minds of your generation without even trying.

13. The Velvet Underground White Light/White HeatVERVE | 1968

13. The Velvet Underground White Light/White HeatVERVE | 1968

MOJO SAYS: Speed, sex, and drugs. Rock'n'roll? Barely.

12. Os Mutantes Os MutantesPOLYDOR | 1968

12. Os Mutantes Os MutantesPOLYDOR | 1968

MOJO SAYS: Brazilian LSD teens dismantle Beatles, put them back together wrong.

11. The Flaming Lips ZaireekaWARNER BROS | 1997

11. The Flaming Lips ZaireekaWARNER BROS | 1997

MOJO SAYS: Four psychedelic masterpieces. Play simultaneously.

10. White Noise An Electric StormISLAND | 1969

10. White Noise An Electric StormISLAND | 1969

MOJO SAYS: Directions to the next century by a million short cuts.

9. The United States Of America The United States Of AmericaCOLUMBIA | 1968

9. The United States Of America The United States Of AmericaCOLUMBIA | 1968

MOJO SAYS: "The price is right – the cost of one admission is your mind."

8. John Coltrane AscensionIMPULSE | 1966

8. John Coltrane AscensionIMPULSE | 1966

MOJO SAYS: “A guaranteed soul rinsing,” promised the original sleeve-notes...

7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold As LovePOLYDOR | 1967

7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience Axis: Bold As LovePOLYDOR | 1967

MOJO SAYS: Three go mad on 4-track. Rock guitar takes a vacation in Wonderland.

6. Faust The Faust TapesVIRGIN | 1973

6. Faust The Faust TapesVIRGIN | 1973

MOJO SAYS: Freewheeling, jump-cutting Krautrock in excelsis.

5. Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion TechnicianBLAST FIRST | 1987

5. Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion TechnicianBLAST FIRST | 1987

MOJO SAYS: LSD, slaughterhouses, AM radio, scary clowns and Ozzy Osbourne conspire on one of the most unsettling records of all time.

4. Funkadelic Maggot BrainWESTBOUND | 1971

4. Funkadelic Maggot BrainWESTBOUND | 1971

MOJO SAYS: "Play like your mother just died," George Clinton ordered Eddie Hazel. So he did.

3. Miles Davis AghartaCOLUMBIA | 1975

3. Miles Davis AghartaCOLUMBIA | 1975

MOJO SAYS: Uncompromising jazz/rock/funk thing, knocked out in an afternoon.

2. Sun Ra Space Is The PlaceBLUE THUMB | 1973

2. Sun Ra Space Is The PlaceBLUE THUMB | 1973

MOJO SAYS: The man from Saturn wants to take you back there.

1. Captain Beefheart Trout Mask ReplicaSTRAIGHT | 1969

1. Captain Beefheart Trout Mask ReplicaSTRAIGHT | 1969

MOJO SAYS: The claustrophobic inside-outsider art-blues of the Magic Band’s wildest hour.

Now it’s your turn…

Let us know the name of the artist and album that’s always guaranteed to melt your mind.