14 Classic Albums That Flopped When They Were Released

'Pet Sounds' and more iconic slow burners

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The Monkees, 'Head' (1968)
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The Monkees, 'Head' (1968)

Claiming to have been the unwitting pawns of director Bob Rafelson and screenwriter Jack Nicholson, the Monkees parodied their own popular TV parody in Head, a fun, trippy art film that recouped approximately 2 percent of its cost. Head's artsy and edgy soundtrack also met with commercial obscurity. While The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees, released earlier in '68, peaked at Number Three, Head topped out at 45. The album intersperses six of the band's best performances (Carol King and Gerry Goffin's "Porpoise Song" and Michael Nesmith's "Circle Sky" are especially great) with snippets of dialogue and sound effects from the film. Leon Russell, Neil Young and Ry Cooder helped out in the studio, but it was all too much for Peter Tork, who quit the band before the album's release.

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