Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven

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When it comes to iconic classic rock songs, it just doesn’t get more famous than Stairway to Heaven. The timeless riff is instantly recognisable to anyone who hears it and it’s considered by many to be one of the most perfect songs in history, but that’s not an opinion shared by the track’s creator.

Robert Plant’s feelings cooled on the song almost immediately, with him referring to it as just a “wedding song” and avoiding performing it throughout the 1980s and beyond. Not only that, but the success of the track might be the reason that Plant is so reluctant to reunite with his band – since he even donated one thousand dollars to a radio host once on the condition that he never played the song again.

Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA

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Nothing is worse for a musician than having their music and image strictly controlled and monitored, and that’s exactly what Miley Cyrus had to go through for the first decade of her music career and beyond. She was so frustrated by this that she even collaborated on a Black Mirror episode about the experience, and that same frustration was epitomised by one particular song for her.

Party in the USA was Cyrus’ biggest hit ever, but the pop princess has said that she’d be happy never hearing it again. Not only that, but once at a club night she requested that the DJ play some of her songs but insisted that he could play any song of hers except Party in the USA.

Beastie Boys – Fight for Your Right

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(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party) is one of those rare songs that is loved by everybody – rock fans, hip-hop fans and pop fans alike. However, one group of people who don’t share this love is the band itself, and that’s mostly because of the listeners.

The Beastie Boys made the song to parody bro culture, guys who were addicted to partying and hated taking responsibility for their own extreme behaviour or the damage they caused. The problem was that the band’s fans missed the point entirely, not realising it was satire because the song was just too catchy.

Lorde – Royals

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Lorde has a lot to thank the song Royals for. She was an underground artist before the track catapulted her into the spotlight and the charts, and it’s unlikely that she’d be as successful as she is now without that early viral success. With that said, despite co-writing the song and performing it, she’s since changed her mind on whether it’s any good.

When asked about the song now in interviews, she’s not afraid to say that none of the melodies work for her and has even gone so far as to call it “just horrible”. The only way she can stomach the track is through performances by other artists, since their interpretations are more original than her own.

Liam Gallagher – Wonderwall

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Some artists grow to hate their own songs because they’ve grown up as artists, while others hate them because of the conditions they were made to make the track under. However, neither of these reasons apply to Liam Gallagher, whose hatred of Wonderwall literally stems from sibling rivalry.

The simple truth is that even though Wonderwall was one of Oasis’ biggest successes, Liam claimed he gagged every time he had to perform it, since it was written by his brother Noel and he didn’t think it was any good. That hasn’t stopped him from performing it at charity events post-Oasis break-up though, even if he never seems happy about it.

Ariana Grade – Put Your Heart Up

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Ariana Grande is another musician who got famous very young, and had her music and image mediated by Disney for over a decade of her life. Even once she transitioned out of acting in shows for Disney, her early pop career was dominated by a bubblegum pop image, which led her to create music she wasn’t exactly proud of.

Put Your Heart Out was geared towards kids, and Grande has since said that she hated how inauthentic and fake it felt. She even went so far as to say that filming the music video for the track was one of the worst days of her life, since she was forced to put on a persona that just didn’t match up to who she really was.

Radiohead – Creep

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You’d think that for any musician, a huge hit would be something to strive for. However, when Radiohead had a huge spike in popularity following the release of their song Creep, the success of the track nearly tore the band apart.

Vocalist Thom Yorke has said that the hit left them feeling trapped and unable to make new kinds of music due to new fan’s expectations. They now refuse to play it live except in very specific contexts and referring to it by a not-so clever pun, “Cr*p”.

John Lennon – Let It Be

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The Beatles are one of the most successful bands in all of British history, and that success is at least partly down to memorable and sentimental songs such as Let It Be and Hello Goodbye. However, just because those tracks helped bolster the Beatles’ already substantial success, doesn’t mean the whole band were happy about them.

John Lennon famously disagreed with both tracks, which were written by Paul McCartney and had little input from the rest of the band. Lennon famously said that Hello Goodbye was “McCartney’s attempt to write a single” and that it “wasn’t very good”, while saying about Let It Be “I don’t know what he was thinking… it didn’t have anything to do with the Beatles.”

The Who – Pinball Wizard

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The tragedy of being in a band is that you can spend days crafting the perfect tune, only to have fans feel lukewarm about it, while you could dash off any old thing in just a few minutes and have it become the biggest success of your career. That’s kind of what happened with The Who’s Pinball Wizard.

Guitarist Pete Townshend has insisted that the song is one of the clumsiest he’s ever written and has called it awful on a number of occasions. Despite this, the band have embraced it as their signature track, even opening their Super Bowl half time show with it.

Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

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A lot of the stories on this list involve artists being angry or disappointed in certain songs becoming successful, whether they’re angry at their own laziness while writing it, or disappointed and confused at the fans for reacting to the song the way they did. That’s not what happened with Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, as the real reason for the dislike is much sadder.

Essentially, Brian May has admitted that the song was a lot of fun to write and record, and even to perform at first when the band were all together. However, after vocalist and frontman Freddy Mercury passed away, May said the lyrics were a reminder of the hedonistic lifestyle and hectic pace that helped to deteriorate his health, making it sad to think about or perform live.

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Kurt Cobain, the tragic frontman of Nirvana, ended up hating the band’s most famous song. Cobain was inspired to write Smells Like Teen Spirit after Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer of Bikini Kill, wrote the phrase on the wall of his apartment (Cobain’s girlfriend at the time wore Teen Spirit deodorant). Cobain later said he was “trying to write the ultimate pop song.”

He succeeded, and Smells Like Teen Spirit wound up easily the best-known Nirvana record. Cobain ended up despising the song because of its popularity, which he felt was antithetical to the band’s artistic intentions. He later stated that he struggled performing the song live, and that it made him want to throw his guitar down and walk away.

Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine

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Sweet Child O’ Mine boasts one of the most instantly recognisable guitar licks of all time and is a sing-along classic. However, Slash, the bands top-hat-sporting guitarist, wasn’t a fan of the song for a long time. His hatred stemmed from the fact that the band had invested a lot of hard work into developing a “dangerous” aura, and he felt that the record clashed with this image.

However, the song caused such a reaction that Slash was eventually won over, stating in an interview that he has come to appreciate it in recent years. Sweet Child O’ Mine was incredibly commercially successful and remains Gun N’ Roses only number one single.

Elton John – Crocodile Rock

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Elton John wrote Crocodile Rock as a joke, riffing on Australian band Daddy Cool’s song Eagle Rock. Unfortunately for him, the record became an instant hit with his fans, who take great joy in singing along to it at shows. Despite the fact that Elton doesn’t hold the song in particularly high esteem, he acknowledges that his primary purpose is to entertain his fans.

Accordingly, Crocodile Rock is still a mainstay in his sets. However, John has stated that after his 2023 Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour concludes he will never play it again. He has even claimed that after his last live performance of the song he will throw a party to celebrate.

Metallica – Escape

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Metallica have one of the strongest discographies in metal, with some absolutely iconic records including Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets. However, one song that is loathed by all members of the band is Escape, which was on their 1984 album Ride the Lightning. The song has a much more mainstream feel than most of Metallica’s works, and frontman James Hetfield also hated the lyrics.

The band refused to play the song live for years, which didn’t cause any problems since it has never been particularly loved by fans. Eventually they were forced to play it when they performed the entire Ride the Lightning album at Orion Fest, an experience which Hetfield described as one of his “worst nightmares”.

Warrant – Cherry Pie

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Cherry Pie is easily Warrant’s most famous song. According to singer Jani Lane, when Warrant was recording its album Hysteria, Columbia records boss Don Ienner called up and requested that they write something reminiscent of Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator. Lane wrote Cherry Pie in about 15 minutes (on a pizza box which is now displayed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Destin, Florida), and the song was added to the album as a last-minute addition.

The band felt that the song was the worst track on the album but were pressured into releasing it anyway, and despite it blowing up in popularity and propelling Warant to new levels of fame, Lane (who sadly passed away in 2011) always regretted its inclusion, stating “I could shoot myself in the head for writing that song.”

Lady Gaga – Telephone

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When it comes to pop music honours, it doesn’t get much higher than collaborating with Beyoncé. However, Lady Gage regards Telephone, the song she made with the Lemonade singer, as her least favourite record in her discography. During an interview in 2011, Gaga stated “it’s the song I have the most difficult time listening to.”

However, she did go on to clarify that she didn’t hate the track from a musical perspective, but because of her bad memories associated with the production process, which apparently was highly stressful. Other singers, including Sia, have revealed that working with Beyoncé can be a grueling experience due to her extremely intense work ethic.

Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do with It

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What’s Love Got to Do with It is one of the most iconic R&B/soul records of all time and remains Tina Turner’s best-selling single. However, when the It Takes Two singer first heard the demo version, she despised it and wanted to completely scrap the song.

Fortunately, her manager, Roger Davies, saw the track’s potential and convinced that instead of giving up on it she should instead record a trimmed down version, as the original demo was unnecessarily long. The resulting record ended up topping the Billboard Chart for three weeks in a row, vindicating Davies’ instincts and certifying Turner’s superstar status.

Charlie XCX – Break the Rules

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Charlie XCX has stated that Break the Rules is the only song she regrets making in her entire career. The song, which was produced by Norwegian electronic musician Cashmere Cat, was released on XCX’s 2014 album Sucker. XCX revealed in an interview that the song was written during a writing camp, and that it was never her intention to perform it, let alone record it.

She even stated that whilst writing the song she thought to herself that the musician who ended up singing it was “stupid”, so it isn’t clear why she ended up recording the track and including it on her album.

Dio – Rainbow in the Dark

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James Ronnie Dio was a heavy metal singer who performed in numerous bands throughout his life, including Elf, Rainbow and Black Sabbath, although he is perhaps best known for being the singer of his eponymous band Dio. Dio’s songwriting was heavily influenced by the books he read in his youth, including The Lord of the Rings, and his lyrics often revolved around fantasy stories.

Rainbow in the Dark is a notable exception. The song is one of more upbeat tracks on Dio’s album Holy Diver, and the musician was concerned its happy atmosphere clashed with his artistic intentions for the album. He later stated in an interview that after recording the track he nearly destroyed the master tapes, and only reluctantly released the song.

REM – Shiny Happy People

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Although it was commercially successful, REM singer Michael Stipe has stated that he would hate for Shiny Happy People to be taken as representative of the band’s music. Released on the bands 1991 album Out of Time, the line “shiny happy people” was taken from propaganda released by the Chinese government following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

However, most fans are unaware of this dark aspect to the record, and Stipe felt that the song was too poppy and lacked depth (which to be fair probably explains its mainstream appeal). The band would refuse to include it on a 2003 compilation of REM’s greatest hits.

Britney Spears – Sometimes

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Britney Spears revealed her disdain for Sometimes in an unfortunate hot mic incident. The bubblegum-pop ballad was recorded in 1999 and quickly became a fan favourite, achieving significant commercial success worldwide and topping the charts in a number of countries.

Towards the end of one of Spears’ performances on her Onyx Hotel tour, there was some confusion about whether or not the set was over, leading to a microphone capturing the Toxic singer saying “I have to go? I haven’t sung Sometimes yet,” followed by “I never liked that song anyway.”

Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl

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I Kissed a Girl remains one of Katy Perry’s most recognisable tracks. The song came out in 2008, at the height of Perry’s fame, and ended up taking the number one slot on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the California Gurls singer has expressed that she isn’t happy with some of the song lyrics, on the grounds that they perpetuate stereotypes about lesbians and bisexuals.

In an interview with Glamour, Perry revealed that the songs’ lyrics now make her somewhat uncomfortable, and noted how much views and attitudes have changed in the last ten years before concluding that if she wrote the song today she would alter the lyrics.

James Blunt – You’re Beautiful

Easily James Blunt’s most famous record, the relentlessly melancholy ballad ended up getting so much airtime that it began to annoy everyone, including its creator. The song came out on Blunt’s 2004 album Back to Bedlam and tells the story of a man who is captivated by the beauty of a stranger he sees, as well as his despair at the realisation that he will never get to be with her.

In an interview with Hello! Blunt lamented that the song was “forced down people’s throats so much” that it became irritating, which ultimately led to people viewing him as annoying as well, due to his unshakeable association with the record.

Neil Young – Heart of Gold

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Neil Young’s dislike of Heart of Gold, which was released in 1972, has less to do with the musical content of the track and more to do with the effect that it had on his career. The track became wildly popular and went to reach number one in the charts. Heart Of Gold remains Young’s only ever chart topper, and it altered the course of his career forever.

Known for putting integrity above financial gain, the Canadian singer-songwriter claimed in an interview that Heart of Gold “put me in the middle of the road,” and that “travelling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch.”

Heart – All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You

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Bands often become victims of their own success and end up feeling pressured to make a certain kind of music, at the cost of artistic growth. It seems that this happened to Heart, the rock band formally known as The Army. Following on from their early successes, the band wrote All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You, and it became one of their most commercially successful records.

However, lead-singer Ann Wilson later revealed that the band was pressured into writing the power ballad, and claimed it represented everything they were trying to get away from artistically. She has made her feelings about the record abundantly clear, referring to it in interviews as “hideous.”

Frank Sinatra – Strangers in the Night

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Frank Sinatra was one of the world’s most iconic singers, both for his trademark crooning and for his lifestyle, which included ties to organised crime (Sinatra once gifted Marilyn Monroe a dog, and she named it Maf after his associations with the Mafia). Strangers in the Night is one of Sinatra’s most beloved songs, but it seems he absolutely hated it.

According to people who knew him, Sinatra privately referred to the record as “the worst f***ing song.” Despite his hatred, Sinatra knew that Strangers in the Night was a fan favourite so he continued to perform it live, never betraying the fact that he was seething internally.

Kanye West – Gold Digger

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During a 2015 interview with Zane Lowe that would gain infamy for some incredibly bizarre moments, Kanye West revealed that he isn’t really fan of his 2005 song Gold Digger, and ironically only made it because he knew it would lead to a payday. West claimed that even during the songs creation he wasn’t really feeling it, but he believed it had potential to perform well commercially.

His instincts paid off, and at the time of its release Gold Digger was the fastest-selling digital record of all time, earning West some serious royalties. This record has since been broken by Taylor Swift’s song We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.

Selena Gomez – Come and Get It

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When asked about the song in interviews, Selena Gomez has revealed that she doesn’t particularly like Come and Get It, although she appreciates the track for what it did for her career. The song came out on her debut solo album Stars Dance and was its biggest hit, serving as the album’s lead single and reaching number six on the Billboard Chart.

Gomez has acknowledged that she was chasing a hit when she wrote the song, which caused her to write something outside of her usual comfort range. However, whilst she certainly got her hit, she has stated that she finds the song incredibly difficult to perform live.

Pink – Don’t Let Me Get Me

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Pink released Don’t Let Me Get Me on her second album, Missundaztood, and the track performed well commercially, reaching the number one, number six, and number eight slots in New Zealand, the UK and the USA respectively. Despite this, Pink loathes the track and doesn’t mince her words when talking about it in interviews.

The singer once stated that she wishes she “could burn that track and never sing it again”. Despite her animosity towards the record, Pink recognises that fans love it and hasn’t dropped it from her sets.

Bob Geldof – Do They Know It’s Christmas

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Despite the fact that it was written for charity, Bob Geldof holds a special hatred for Do They Know It’s Christmas, the 1984 song he co-wrote with Midge Ure for one-off supergroup Band Aid. The song peaked at number one on the charts in 14 different countries and raised £8 million for Ethopian charities.

Neither of these facts have softened Geldof’s opinion of the record, which he has called “the worst song in the world” whilst grumbling about how it’s impossible to avoid every December. Naturally he doesn’t regret the good that came from Do They Know It’s Christmas, he just wishes he’d written a better song.

Madonna – Like a Virgin

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You’d think ‘Like a Virgin’ from Madonna’s second studio album ‘Like a Virgin’ would trigger fond memories for the Queen of Pop but it couldn’t harsh her vibe more. Released in 1984, it would become her first number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

In a 2009 interview, Madonna said: “For some reason people think that when you go to a restaurant or you are going shopping that you want to hear one of your own songs. It’s usually Like a Virgin – and that is the one I don’t want to hear.”

Zayn Malik – Every One Direction song

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There comes a time in the life of every boy band that one member decides to shave their head and pursue a more serious solo career. With One Direction, it was Bradford’s finest Zayn Malik, who by all accounts did not like any of the music the group put out.

“There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band,” Malik later said. “If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as f***, so they could use that version.”

Mandy Moore – Candy

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Mandy Moore released ‘Candy’ almost immediately after signing with Epic Records in 1999. The song was a smash for the then-15 year old Moore. Over 20 years later, though? She’s not so keen on Candy and the assorted music she was releasing at the time.

“I think I really apologized for a lot about my early work because I was embarrassed and being a teenager, she said. “Not having creative control and not fully standing behind some of the choices that were made on my behalf.”

Justin Bieber – Beauty and a Beat

Hot off the press of his debut studio album My World 2.0, poor Justin Bieber was encouraged to attach his name to any song and collaboration possible in order to keep the initial burst of fame burning as long as humanly possible. This resulted in some stinkers, including his Nicki Minaj collab Beauty and a Beat, released in 2012.

Bieber confessed in a later interview: “I never really liked Beauty and a Beat. It was music that was popular at that time but I was never really a huge fan of that song.”

Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start the Fire

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We Didn’t Start the Fire details 118 cultural and political events from 1949 to 1989 in chronological order at a rapid pace. Joel was reportedly inspired by a visit from Sean Lennon and his friend, who claimed nothing interesting had happened in the 1950s. Joel, fuming, churned out one of his most famous hits, which he naturally hates.

“When you take the melody by itself, it’s terrible,” Joel later said, comparing it to “a dentist drill.” During a 2014 gig, he botched and trashed a performance of the song, calling it “one of the worst melodies I ever wrote.”

Camila Cabello – OMG

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OMG, though a hit in its own right, was scrapped from Camila Cabello’s debut studio album even though it was originally intended to feature. It was released in August 2017 as a promotional single with Havana and had a guest appearance from Migos member Quavo. Cabello has never directly stated that she hates the song, but one tweet response pretty much clarified the fact.

Replying to a user enthusiastically tweeting her the lyrics to the song, Cabello quote retweeted the message writing: “I’m throwing up.” Yikes.

Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song

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The Lazy Song’s origins are pretty self-explanatory. Stuck in a creative rut one day in the studio, not really wanting to do any work, Mars and a few other writers composed The Lazy Song. It received plenty of hate at the time of its release, with one critic calling it “somewhat of a filler but for the likes of Peter Andre.”

Now it turns out Mars is also a critic. Posting a video of of him shaking his head on Twitter in 2019, the singer-songwriter added the caption: “When someone tells me they actually like The Lazy Song.”

Jonas Brothers – Pizza Girl

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The fact that you’ve probably never heard of this song says a lot. Pizza Girl wasn’t really an official Jonas Brothers song, in that it was written for their short-lived, hated-by-the-band Disney Channel sitcom. In one episode, the boys fall in love and compose a song with a pizza delivery girl called Maria. Sounds terrible? You should hear the song.

Thankfully, the Jonas Brothers are not naïve to the song and its reaction, with Nick joking that it wasn’t “as powerful as the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.”

Willow Smith – Whip My Hair

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Willow Smith has grown up in the spotlight thanks to her parents, Jada Pinkett and Will Smith. Alongside her brother Jaden, she was thrown headfirst into the music industry with the annoyingly catchy song Whip My Hair. She has since spoken about her regrets during that era, detailing why on her mother’s podcast.

“I only had one really terrible experience, which is Whip My Hair,” she said. “Just that the values of the people around me should have been the opposite,” Willow said. “You and Daddy should have been, ‘OK, we value her musical growth and knowledge more than her popularity.'”

Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters – The One

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The late drummer of Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, was known as one of the nicest guys in rock. But he wasn’t afraid to voice his opinions on what he didn’t like. It was just surprising to find out that what he didn’t like was one of Foo Fighters’ very own songs.

Hawkins said of The One, recorded for the 2002 film Orange County: “I’ve always hated this song. I hate the way it sounds, the production of it; it was a total cop out. We got asked by Tom Hanks’ son Colin Hanks to do the song for this movie called Orange County. Dave wrote it, I wasn’t crazy about it. It was straight-up pop – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but we were still trying to figure out how to be the Foo Fighters.”

Halsey – New Americana

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Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, better known as Halsey, has been called the “voice of her generation”. Drawing on childhood influences such Nirvana and The Notorious B.I.G, one of her more polarising songs is New Americana, which paraphrases Biggie’s song Juicy. It’s an ode to America, growing up and trying to make a name for yourself, overcoming any obstacle.

However, when asked on Twitter what she thought her worst record was, Halsey didn’t shy away from name-dropping New Americana. “I guess I just got burnt out on it. It was my first ever single and I wasn’t used to revisiting a song so frequently.”

Ed Sheeran – Shape of You

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Ed Sheeran’s 2017 album Divide enjoyed about as much success as any album ever has, in particular the singles Castle on the Hill and Shape of You. You’d think being a singer-songwriter, Ed would be keen on pretty much everything he writes, otherwise he wouldn’t write it. Wrong!

“Shape Of You was actually the only song that I was like ‘this isn’t me at all'”, Sheeran said at a New York Spotify event. “It took Johnny and Steve, the guys I wrote it with, probably about a month or two to convince me that should even be on the album, and probably took them another month to convince me that it should be a single.”

Hayley Williams of Paramore – Misery Business

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Misery Business put Hayley Williams and Paramore on the map when it was released in 2007. But in recent years, with cultural norms changing, Williams has expressed regret over the content of the song, to the point where she outright refuses to play it.

“I haven’t related to it in a very long time,” Williams has since said. “Those words were written when I was 17… admittedly, from a very narrow-minded perspective. It wasn’t really meant to be this big philosophical statement about anything. It was quite literally a page in my diary about a singular moment I experienced as a high schooler.”

Cher – Believe

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No matter how hard she tries, Cher just cannot get on board with her song Believe. Released in 1998, it introduced a whole new generation of listeners to Cher with its modern and highly auto-tuned sound. As it turns out, the auto-tune wasn’t really an artistic decision.

Cher described making the record as a ‘nightmare’ and that she and producer Mark Taylor quarrelled so much over the vocals of Believe that she stormed out of the studio altogether. Taylor, at a loose end, was forced to add the auto-tune to finish the track.

Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction

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Richards and co have arguably written better songs since 1965’s Satisfaction, but there’s no doubt it’s the Stones’ most famous. Keef, however, never really liked the song to begin with.

“There’s this motel in Clearwater, Fla., and I remember sitting with Keith and writing the song Satisfaction,” Mick Jagger said in the BBC documentary series My Life as a Rolling Stone. “Andrew Oldham said, ‘This is like a No. 1 single – this is great!’ Keith was like, ‘I don’t really like it. It can’t come out as a single.’ And it went to No. 1 like instantly.”

Pat Benatar – Hit Me with Your Best Shot

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot is what Pat Benatar has called one of her “holy 14” – songs she has to play for the sake of the fans. But as of 2022, the singer-songwriter has dropped the 80s classic from her setlist out of respect for the victims of mass shootings in North America.

“Fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it,” Benatar said. “I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. [The title] is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t.”

Jesy Nelson, formerly of Little Mix – Black Magic

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Even by person-leaves-popular-group standards, Jesy Nelson’s dramatic exit from Little Mix was pretty sour. Not only was it abrupt and a bit of a middle finger to the people who had stood by her through personal troubles, Jesy then proceeded to throw shade at the group that made her famous.

The clues had always been there in plain sight. In a 2020 interview where the girls were encouraged to have a glass of wine and spill some insider truths, Jesy revealed she “never really liked” their hit Black Magic.

Eminem – Cleanin’ Out My Closet

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Eminem’s music has always been hyper-personal but perhaps none as much as 2002’s Cleanin’ Out My Closet, in which the rapper says things like: “Now I would never diss my own momma just to get recognition. Take a second to listen for who you think this record is dissing but put yourself in my position. Just try to envision witnessing your momma popping prescription pills in the kitchen.”

In a 2014 song called Headlights, the Detroit rapper backtracked the remarks he’d made on Cleanin’ Out My Closet, singing: “Never thinking about who what I said hurt, in what verse, My mom probably got it the worst, The brunt of it, but as stubborn as we were, Did I take it too far?” In the music video, he is shown hugging his mother.

Jay-Z – Big Pimpin

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Racy lyrics are the bread and butter of any rapper on the make. To make an omelette, you have to crack a few eggs; by ‘omelette’ we mean rap song, and by ‘crack a few eggs’ we mean degrading women. Jay-Z eventually caught up with most of Big Pimpin’s critics when examining the lyrics years later.

“I couldn’t believe I wrote that,” he said. “And continued to claim it. What sort of animal would utter such a thing? It’s very harsh to read.”

Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer

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Livin’ on a Prayer, like Mr Brightside, is bigger than a song. It’s a call to arms, an inescapable fact of life, part of everyone’s DNA. As such, its creator doesn’t really think much of it.

“I remember walking out of the room with Richie,” Bon Jovi once reflected, “and I said, ‘Eh, it’s OK. Maybe we should just put it on a movie soundtrack.’ Richie looked at me and said, ‘You’re an idiot. It’s really good.’ I said, ‘I just don’t know where it’s going.’ But it didn’t have that boom-boom-boom bassline yet, so it sounded more like the Clash.”