I've just heard what might be one of the top ten worst albums ever. A stunning achievement in the so-bad-its-good world. I present Robert Callendar's Musee d' L'Impressionisme.
I've seen this listed as from 1972, but it's gotta be at least a couple years later than that. It's got the stink of '76 all over it. And if you've heard his great Rainbow or his so-so The Way, it's got nothing to do with that psych-lite fake mystical vibe.
No, this is a "concept album" about the birth of expressionist art. Set to music that bounces between the Love Boat theme and A Fifth of Beethoven. Picture a latin/disco groove, with a namby sounding lounge cat singing "he went on holiday/ with Monet." Note to Robert: singing "the impressionist movement" over and over doesn't establish a concept, and it doesn't flow. Fuckin' priceless.
The closest thing to the jaw dropping pretentious awfulness on display here that I'm aware of is "The Beat Goes On" by Vanilla Fudge. Sure, it was a different era, and the sound is miles away, but the intent was the same.
Feel free to cast votes for your favorite awful albums in the comments. Extra credit for good explanations and shares. You can find the Callendar record here (along with lots of other great stuff): http://www.awkwardist.blogspot.com/.