Rockstars Who Shockingly Hated Their Own Albums
By Jack Ripley | October 5, 2023
The Rolling Stones, 'Their Satanic Majesties Request'
Not every hit album is revered by the artists who recorded them. Some of the most popular and important albums of the '70s, '80s, and '90s are downright hated by the bands who made them happen. Many of us remember these albums from their release, and they became part of our musical identity. However, unbeknownst to many fans, some of these albums were not held in high esteem by the very artists who created them.
From David Bowie to Metallica, these albums range in genre and era, but all share the commonality of being loved by fans and loathed by their creators. Join us as we take a closer look at these iconic albums and the reasons behind the artists' disdain. Don't miss out on this inside look into the music industry's most controversial albums.
The Rolling Stones ventured into a new musical territory with Satanic Majesties Request, an album that featured a psychedelic sound with unconventional elements like Mellotron, African rhythms, and sound effects. The band self-produced the album as their manager/producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, had left the group. Recording was complicated by drug use, legal issues, and jail sentences of band members. The group members were rarely present in the studio together, leading to a prolonged and disjointed recording process. Additionally, members often showed up with guests, further hindering productivity in the studio.
Even though the album includes two absolute bangers in "She's A Rainbow," and "2000 Light Years Away," members of the band tend to distance themselves from the record as a whole whenever it comes up. In 1995, Mick Jagger said of Satanic Majesties Request:
It's not very good. It had interesting things on it, but I don't think any of the songs are very good. There's two good songs on it. The rest of them are nonsense.
Billy Joel - 'The Bridge'
Billy Joel had a solid decade of hits and success after the release of his 1977 album "The Stranger". However, when it came time to create "The Bridge" in 1986, Joel was feeling burnt out. In a 2013 interview with Rolling Stone, he admitted, "I wasn't all that focused on writing again and recording again. I just was a new dad, I just had a baby girl, and I kinda just wanted to be at home with my family at that time, but it was time to get back in the studio."
Despite this lack of enthusiasm, Joel worked with longtime producer Phil Ramone to create a few genuinely great songs, such as "A Matter of Trust" and his Ray Charles duet "Baby Grand." However, the majority of the album is filled with lifeless tracks like "Code of Silence" and "Getting Closer." "The band that I had worked with for so long had become somewhat disenfranchised from the whole process," Joel said. "They really weren't part of the creative process anymore. It was sort of becoming like a business." Despite its shortcomings, "The Bridge" did achieve moderate commercial success, but Joel has since acknowledged that it's not one of his best works.
Prince – 'The Black Album'
Prince was known for his innovative and boundary-pushing music, but his 1987 album, The Black Album, was a bridge too far for the legendary musician. Convinced that the album was evil and the product of a malevolent force known as Spooky Electric, Prince refused to release it despite its intended audience, the black community.
Originally intended as a follow-up to his masterpiece, Sign O' The Times, The Black Album was marketed as The Funk Bible in press releases, but Prince's spiritual awakening caused him to reconsider. Though bootlegs of the album began to circulate and sell for large amounts of money, Prince refused to budge. It wasn't until 1994, when his label Warner Bros. released a limited edition version of the album, that it saw the light of day.
However, even with its limited release, Prince maintained a distance from the "haunted" record, leaving it to languish in relative obscurity compared to his other works. Despite Prince's reservations, The Black Album has become a sought-after artifact for his fans and a testament to the musician's uncompromising artistic vision.
The Clash – 'Cut The Crap'
The Clash's final album, Cut The Crap, not only marked the end of their career, but also nearly destroyed their legacy. By the time the band entered the studio, drummer Topper Headon and guitarist and co-vocalist Mick Jones had been fired. Frontman Joe Strummer reunited with the band's original manager Bernie Rhodes, a partnership that had previously caused chaos within the band. This time, Rhodes wanted to co-write the songs and produce the album, leading to disagreements with Strummer and bass player Paul Simonon over the direction of the record.
Cut The Crap was a disaster, with Rhodes' lack of production experience resulting in cluttered tracks, excessive guitar parts, and overbearing football-terrace vocals. The album was so poorly received that the band refused to tour in support of it. Strummer was so dismayed by the negative press that he moved to Spain. Cut The Crap has never been re-released, and its songs are rarely included on Clash compilations. It's a sad finale for one of the most influential punk bands of all time.
Bruce Springsteen, 'Born to Run'
Bruce Springsteen spent years crafting what he hoped would be the ultimate rock and roll album, Born to Run, and dedicated months to perfecting the title track alone. Despite his best efforts, Springsteen initially believed that the album still fell short of his vision, going so far as to describe "Born to Run" as the "worst piece of garbage" he had ever heard. However, producer Jon Landau was convinced otherwise, and urged Springsteen to release the album.
Metallica - 'Load' & 'ReLoad'
For many Metallica fans the Load/ReLoad era of this all-time metal band is a nadir for the group. It turns out that frontman James Hetfield agrees with all the old heads out there. In the documentary Some Kind of Monster, while the other band members underwent therapy, Hetfield revealed that he didn't want to include a song on the record just because it was average. During their work on St. Anger, Hetfield admitted that "we've already been able to whip pretty much anything into decent enough shape, and we've proved that on Load and Reload."
Specifically regarding the Load/Reload era of the band, Hetfield has always been open about these two albums, telling Clash Music:
As far as doing something that doesn’t feel right, I’m sure there’s been a few times that it’s happened – the Load and Reload era, for me, was one of those; the way that was looking, I wasn’t 100 percent on with it, but I would say that that was a compromise. I said, ‘I’m going with Lars’ and Kirk’s vision on this. You guys are extremely passionate about this, so I’ll jump on board, because if the four of us are into it, it’s going to be better.’
Hetfield says that the back to back albums "didn’t pan out as good," but continued, stating "there’s no regrets, because at the time it felt like the right thing to do."
The Who, 'It's Hard'
In the early 1980s, Pete Townshend was a busy man. Between his solo career, the Who's tumultuous post-Keith Moon period, and a heroin addiction, he had a lot on his plate. Despite all this, he still managed to release two excellent solo albums, Empty Glass in 1980 and All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes in 1982, as well as the Who's 1981 LP Face Dances. However, when it came time to record It's Hard in 1982, Townshend found himself with very few songs, having saved his best material for his solo projects.
Despite this setback, the album's leadoff track "Athena" became a hit on the radio, and "Eminence Front" is now considered a masterpiece, having been a staple of the Who's live shows for the past four decades. However, the remainder of It's Hard is widely regarded as the lowest point in the band's career. Tracks like "One Life's Enough," "I've Known No War," "Why Did I Fall for That," and "Cooks County" are a product of exhaustion, drug addiction, and a contractual obligation to Warner Bros. Records. Townshend himself probably barely remembers making the album, and many fans of the band have made a concerted effort to forget that it ever existed. Roger Daltrey said:
'It's Hard' should never have been released. I had huge rows with Pete [Townshend]. I said, ‘Pete, this is just a complete piece of s*** and it should never come out!'
In the early 1990s, U2's sound was evolving. The band moved away from their signature cowboy boots and widescreen stadium-friendly Americana to a more experimental and introspective sound. After taking cues from bands like the Pixies and Ride, U2 was riding high on a wave of commercial and critical success. However, that experimentation hit a snag with the release of their album, Pop.
The album that spawned the Popmart world tour struggled to emerge out of the studio. Drummer Larry Mullen's back surgery at the beginning of the sessions put the band behind schedule. U2 then spent three months trying to piece together a mass of musical fragments into a coherent album with producers Flood, Howie B, and Nellee Hooper. Songs were constantly reworked, and U2 had already booked stadium dates for their new tour from April 1997, despite the album not being finished yet.
The rushed production meant U2 was less than happy with the album's songs. Bono recorded only the chorus to one song, Last Night On Earth, on the final day of mixing and recording, and further changes were made even after the "finished" record had been sent to New York to be mastered. U2 reworked the album during the tour, and they were still tweaking singles when a few of them made it onto the compilation The Best Of 1990-2000, five years after the album's release. Bono later said:
Pop never had the chance to be properly finished. It is really the most expensive demo session in the history of music.
While Edge admitted:
A compromise project by the end. It was a crazy period trying to mix everything and finish recording and having production meetings about the upcoming tour. If you can't mix something, it generally means there's something wrong with it.
The Velvet Underground, 'Loaded'
The Velvet Underground's fourth studio album, Loaded, was released in 1970 and marked their final collaboration with frontman Lou Reed. The record was a commercial effort, with Atlantic Records requesting that the band create an album "loaded with hits." The album's title is a nod to this request.
However, Reed reportedly grew disenchanted with the project before its release, stating that he had "just given up on it." He later claimed that changes were made to the album without his consent, including reordering and editing of songs. Late-period member Doug Yule ended up taking on a more prominent role in the album's production. Reed expressed dissatisfaction with the final product, stating that while it was still considered a Velvet Underground record, "what it really is is something else."
Black Sabbath, 'Never Say Die'
Black Sabbath's eighth studio album, Never Say Die!, marked the end of an era for the band's original lineup and original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, until their reunion on the 2013 album 13. However, the recording process was fraught with tension and drug and alcohol abuse among the band members. In fact, prior to recording, Osbourne had briefly quit the band, leading to the temporary replacement of former Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. When Osbourne returned, he refused to sing any songs written during his absence, adding to the tension during the recording of the album. Osbourne later said of the album:
With Never Say Die!, we were down on our luck. We were just a bunch of guys drowning in the ocean. We weren't getting along with each other and we were all [messed-up] with drugs and alcohol. And I got fired. It was just a bad thing. You try to lift your head up above water, but eventually the tide sucks you under.
Radiohead - 'Pablo Honey'
Radiohead is a band that has become synonymous with art rock. Though they were initially known as one of the biggest stars of alternative rock, it was their work from Kid A to A Moon Shaped Pool in 2016 that truly cemented their status as sonic trailblazers. However, what many forget is that this band was almost labeled a one-album wonder.
Their third album, OK Computer, is an outright classic. However, the band's first outing with Pablo Honey is a release that the band doesn't enjoy revisiting. While most of the album consists of the standard angsty alternative rock of the day, much of the band's frustration comes down to the lead single, "Creep."
Even in the studio, the band hated this song. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood intentionally tried to sabotage it in between takes. As Radiohead has continued to produce music, "Creep" remains a classic of the '90s, but the band has almost completely excluded it from their touring setlists for years now. While it's one thing to dislike an album, Pablo Honey (and "Creep" specifically) is the one thing that Radiohead pretends doesn't exist.
The Beatles - 'Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band'
The Beatles' catalog is a testament to their unmatched musical prowess. From the early fun-filled A Hard Day's Night to the masterpiece that is Abbey Road, each of the band's releases has set the foundation for how a rock band's career should go. But if there's one record that showcases each member at the height of their powers, it has to be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
More than just an album, Sgt. Pepper's was a gamechanger in the world of pop music, with its wild sounds emanating from the perspective of an imaginary band on the cover. Despite the acclaim it received, John Lennon was its harshest critic, expressing his dislike for the actual concept of the record. In interviews, Lennon even revealed that he wrote the song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" just so he could be represented on the album, which he felt was dominated by Paul McCartney.
Although the band members may not have seen eye to eye on the conceptual work, the songs on the album are still a great time capsule of the '60s and a distinct movement towards newer sonic ideas in the world of rock. Despite Lennon's cynicism, the album continues to be lauded as a masterpiece.
As many musicians will attest, it can sometimes be the work you think is your worst that makes the biggest waves for you. Though The Beatles had long been household names by the time Sgt. Pepper's was released, some fans mark it as their most impressive work. However, the band members themselves disagreed. Lennon described the album as "not going anywhere," while George Harrison admitted in the Beatles Anthology documentary that he "didn't really like that album much."
Warrant, "Cherry Pie"
Warrant, one of the glam rock bands that dominated the Sunset Strip in the late 1980s, was under pressure to deliver a hit for their second album. Despite lacking indie cred, the band was frustrated with their label's insistence on commercial success. In response, lead singer Jani Lane quickly wrote a potential hit song on the back of a pizza box in just 15 minutes. However, bassist Jerry Dixon and guitarist Allen, who believed the album was finished, were called back to Los Angeles from a charity golf tournament in Denver to record the track and complete the album. Lane later said of the hit song:
I hate that song. I had no intention of writing that song. And my legacy is 'Cherry Pie,' everything about me is 'Cherry Pie,' I'm the 'Cherry Pie' guy. I could shoot myself in the head for writing that song.
Foo Fighters, 'One by One'
The Foo Fighters' fourth studio album, One by One, was recorded twice: first at Dave Grohl's Studio 606 in Alexandria, Virginia, and later at Los Angeles' Conway Studio. The band then returned to Virginia to re-record drums and some guitar, while the rest of the band finished the songs in Los Angeles. By the time One by One was ready for release, the band had spent over one million dollars on its recording. Although it was a hit worldwide, the Foo Fighters don't view it as a particularly enjoyable experience. Grohl has since said of the album:
We had already spent three months and a million dollars on something that we threw away. The difference between "All My Life" and "All My Life" was that this one cost a million dollars and sounded like crap, [while] this one we did in my basement for half an hour and became the biggest song the band ever had.
The Beatles, 'Let It Be'
The Beatles may have been the biggest band in the world, but they were not immune to criticism. Their final album, Let It Be, was released in 1970, after a series of disappointing recording sessions. The band united with Phil Spector, known for his “Wall of Sound” production technique, for what would be their swansong. However, the album was met with mixed reviews at best. Critics called it a “cardboard tombstone” and questioned Spector’s suitability as a producer.
The recording of Let It Be was a tumultuous time for the band, leading to tensions that would eventually prove irreparable. John Lennon spoke candidly about the experience in a Rolling Stone interview after the band’s breakup, calling it “miserable” and citing it as a contributing factor to the band’s dissolution. He even went so far as to say that he and George Harrison were fed up with being “side-men” for Paul McCartney.
The cracks created by Let It Be persisted long after the band’s breakup. The surviving Beatles remained unhappy with the orchestral extras that Spector had added to the album. In 2003, McCartney spearheaded a remixed version of the album, known as Let It Be… Naked, which removed the controversial strings. McCartney’s revisionist approach to the album demonstrated that even decades later, the Beatles were not immune to a bit of revisionism themselves.
The impact of Nirvana's second album, Nevermind, cannot be understated. Upon its release, it launched the band into a level of fame that would cement them as the poster children of grunge, while also defining a generation of disaffected youth. But despite its undeniable status as a classic, frontman Kurt Cobain always maintained a complicated relationship with the record.
Cobain's vision for Nirvana was rooted in punk rock, with little concern for commercial success. And yet, Nevermind propelled the band to dizzying heights of fame, much to Cobain's chagrin. But for all his misgivings, Nevermind's earthy, raw sound proved to be the perfect vehicle for Cobain's anguished lyrics, and it quickly became an anthem for a generation.
Years later, as Nirvana's legacy continued to grow, surviving band members would release a 20th anniversary edition of Nevermind, which included a remastered version of the album as well as previously unreleased demos and live recordings. It's a testament to the album's enduring power, and a reminder that sometimes the greatest art is born from a complicated relationship between creator and creation.Kurt Cobain favored a roughed-up production style much different from the approach Butch Vig took with Nirvana's breakthrough album. In the 1993 documentary Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, Cobain says:
I'm embarrassed by it now. It's closer to a Motley Crue record than it is a punk rock record.
Weezer – ‘Pinkerton’
Weezer's "Pinkerton" has become a beloved album of the '90s, despite initially being met with critical backlash. This emotionally charged record captures the sound of Rivers Cuomo's disillusionment with rock stardom after achieving his dreams. However, the initial negative reception led Cuomo to retract his true feelings about the album and even go so far as to call it hideous.
Though Cuomo has since softened his stance, he still regards Pinkerton as one of the most embarrassing things he's ever released. This hesitance has prevented Weezer from fully exploring the sound that made Pinkerton so groundbreaking. While the band has remained consistent, they've never quite been able to match the genius of their early work.
Despite the setbacks, Pinkerton remains a staple of the alternative rock genre and a testament to the raw emotion and vulnerability that can be found in rock music.
Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo doens't hate "Pinkerton" because it's not a good record, but because of the way he was so open about his personal life in the lyrics. He said:
The most painful thing in my life these days is the cult around ‘Pinkerton.’ It’s just a sick album, sick in a diseased sort of way.
Oasis – ‘Be Here Now’
Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis never shied away from expressing their opinions about music. Whether it was about other bands or their own work, they always had something to say. However, over time, Noel Gallagher has come to accept the utter failure of their album "Be Here Now."
Despite being considered a classic by some fans, Be Here Now is widely considered the most misguided effort in Oasis's catalog, with questionable song lengths and epic tracks that go absolutely nowhere. After the band regrouped in the early 2000s, Gallagher has admitted that the album is the sonic encapsulation of rock stars drunk on their own egos.
Gallagher has revealed that most of the songs are the product of him being high on cocaine in the studio, leading to complete burnout. He has also acknowledged that the Be Here Now tracks were leftovers from his more inspired period of songwriting for Definitely Maybe and Morning Glory. Although Be Here Now might not be considered a fan favorite, it's no secret that the harshest criticism has come from the one man who was present in the studio. Oasis maestro has this to say about the album:
The sound of a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a f***. All the songs are really long and all the lyrics are s*** and for every millisecond Liam is not saying a word, there’s a guitar riff in there in a Wayne’s World stylie.
Ozzy Osbourne – 'The Ultimate Sin'
Ozzy Osbourne's The Ultimate Sin was a hit among fans of hair metal upon its release, thanks to its shredding guitar tone and anthemic title-track. The album's cover art and delicious riffs quickly gained popularity, becoming the highest-charting solo record of Osbourne's career. However, according to the Prince of Darkness himself, the album was spoiled by the mixing done by producer Ron Nevison.
Despite its commercial success, Osbourne has been vocal about his disappointment with the final product. He has even gone so far as to suggest that Nevison's mixing ruined the album's potential, leading to a less-than-stellar reception among some music critics. While The Ultimate Sin may have been a hit at the time of its release, it seems that Osbourne's feelings towards the album have soured over time. He explained:
If there was ever an album I'd like to remix and do better, it would be The Ultimate Sin. [Ron Nevison] didn't really do a great production job. The songs weren't bad, they were just put down weird. Everything felt and sounded the same. There was no imagination.
Van Halen – 'Van Halen III'
Van Halen, the iconic hair-metal band of the 80s, was famously fronted by the larger-than-life persona of David Lee Roth. However, in the mid-80s, Roth left the band for a solo career, leaving Sammy Hagar to take over vocal duties. This arrangement lasted until 1996 when Roth briefly returned for a short-lived reunion. After that, the band enlisted Gary Cherone, formerly of Extreme, as the new lead singer.
Unfortunately, the resulting album, Van Halen III, produced by Mike Post, the composer of iconic TV show themes such as Hill Street Blues and The Greatest American Hero, failed to hit the mark. The album's songs were characterized by bloated lengths, reminiscent of those found on Oasis' Be Here Now. In particular, the six-minute piano ballad "How Many Say I" drew criticism from fans and critics alike.
The album sold poorly, and a follow-up never materialized, leading to Cherone's departure from the band. When Van Halen released a best-of album in 2004 titled The Best Of Both Worlds, not a single track from Van Halen III appeared on it. This omission made it clear that the band had essentially disowned the album.
The Grateful Dead - 'Built To Last'
The Grateful Dead's accidental hit, "Touch of Grey" in 1987, propelled the band to a new, younger audience and even stadiums. But while the band's popularity soared, their frontman Jerry Garcia was grappling with drug addiction and the consequences of a diabetic coma in 1986 that nearly ended his life. Nonetheless, Arista Records pressed the band to record a new album in early 1989, titled Built To Last, with an album cover depicting a house of cards on the brink of collapse, a fitting metaphor for the band's state.
Unfortunately, the album failed to measure up to their previous works. New compositions by Garcia and Robert Hunter, like "Foolish Heart" and "Standing on the Moon," lacked the impact of their previous work. The four songs that featured keyboardist Brent Mydland on lead vocals also failed to make a lasting impression. The album was an expression of a band exhausted from continuous touring and drug use. Tragically, Mydland died of a drug overdose less than a year after the album's release. Built to Last remains the band's final album, and its title now carries a sense of irony.
The Beach Boys, 'MIU Album'
By 1978, the Beach Boys were far removed from their glory days as southern California's premiere kings of the beach. No longer the contemporaries of The Beatles, the group was in a period that's best described as a lull. When the band released their MIU album, named in honor of Iowa's Maharishi International University, they were at a breaking point. Recorded to fulfill contractual obligations to Reprise Records after the group decided to shelve their previously recorded album Adult/Child, the band holed up at the University where they stayed in dorms and attended classes on meditation when they weren't recording. It was miserable. Brian Wilson's personal bodyguard, Stan Love, remembers:
[The sessions were] Agony. Like being put right in the middle of nowhere, frozen and cold and small, with only one decent restaurant in town. Brian was putting in his time, but he wasn't too happy. He was depressed and on medication. We passed the time playing Ping-Pong.
The group's drummer, Dennis Wilson, had this to say of the album:
It's an embarrassment to my life. It should self-destruct. I hope that the karma will f***up Mike Love's meditation forever.
The Faces, 'Ooh La La'
Rod Stewart's solo success had created distance between him and some of his bandmates in Faces by the end of 1972. The band was frustrated by the perception that they were nothing more than Stewart's backup group for live performances. Meanwhile, Stewart was allegedly distracted by his newfound fame and missed the first two weeks of "Ooh La La" recording sessions.
The title track featured the only solo lead vocal by Ronnie Wood in the studio, recorded after neither Stewart nor Ronnie Lane were satisfied with their attempts. Although Stewart later covered the song on his 1998 album, "When We Were the New Boys," he reportedly claimed at the time that it was in the wrong key for him. Following the album's release in March 1973, Stewart described it as a "stinking rotten album" to the New Musical Express. But the hate didn't stop there, Stewart then spoke with Melody Maker, saying:
A bloody mess. But I shouldn't say that, should I? Well, I should say it in a few weeks' time. Not now. I mean, the public ain't gonna like me saying it's a bloody mess. It was a disgrace. Maybe I'm too critical. But look, I don't like it ... All that [messing] about taking nine months [sic] to do an album like 'Ooh La La' doesn't prove anything. But I'm not going to say anything more about it.
Bob Geldof, "Do They Know It’s Christmas?"
While not a full album, Geldof's ire for this inspiring holiday tune has to be recognized. Even though the song raised awareness of the famine in Ethiopia while raising £8 million for charitable causes that doesn't mean that Geldof is happy with his work. He said:
I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing – every f***ing Christmas... I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history, One is 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are the World.'
Kiss, 'Music From "The Elder"'
Hoo Boy, has anyone outside of a small group of Kiss diehards and obsessives ever listened all the way through "Music From 'The Elder'," the glam rock band's concept album that's essentially tells the story of a boy who grows into a great hero thanks to the guidance of a mysterious old sage and a group called "The Order of the Rose." The album is a major break from the band's sultry rock tracks about hard living and fast women.
Lead guitarist Ace Frehley already had one foot out the door while recording this album and refused to enter the studio with the rest of the band, instead deciding to mail in his contributions from his home in Connecticut. Paul Stanley later admitted that he found the album to be, "pompous, contrived, self-important and fat... it was mediocre."
Joy Division – ‘Unknown Pleasures’
Today, music fans across the world see that Joy Division’s debut albums as a seminal post-punk classic that not only created a type of cold, danceable form of aggressive music, but that put Manchester on the musical map forever, but at the time of its release there were two very big detractors of the album: Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook, Joy Division's guitarist and bassist. Neither of the young men were keen on producer Martin Hannett’s work. Hook said:
It definitely didn't turn out sounding the way I wanted it... But now I can see that Martin did a good job on it... There's no two ways about it, Martin Hannett created the Joy Division sound.
The Smiths – ‘The Smiths’
The shockwaves of the debut album by The Smiths are still being felt in indie rock to this day, but that doesn't mean that the band is happy with the way that it sounds. First recorded with Troy Tate during a London heatwave, the band re-recorded the album with John Porter in London, Manchester and Stockport whenever they had days off during their 1983 UK tour. Guitarist Johnny Marr said of the decision:
I could hear myself that the mixes sounded underproduced and were not the finished article that we needed as our introduction to the world. Why it was deemed necessary to scrap the album entirely rather than just mix it again I didn't know, but I wasn't going to make too much of it...it was a document of how the band really were at that point though...
Even after the band re-recorded their debut with Porter they were unsatisfied with its sound. Morrissey later said that the album "wasn't good enough," but admitted that they had no choice but to release the debut because their label, Rough Trade, had already sunk £6,000 into the cost of recording and wouldn't spend a penny more. The album peaked at Number 2 on the UK albums chart.
R.E.M. - 'Around The Sun'
R.E.M's music suffered after drummer Bill Berry left the band, and this decline was particularly evident in their 2004 release, Around the Sun. The album received harsh criticism from music critics, and the band themselves seemed to agree with the negative reviews. In 2008, Guitarist Peter Buck said:
[Around the Sun] just wasn't really listenable, because it sounds like what it is: a bunch of people that are so bored with the material that they can't stand it anymore.
Singer Michael Stipe offered a slightly less acerbic take on the album:
The songs on Around the Sun are great. But, in the process of recording, we lost our focus as a band.
David Bowie - 'Never Let Me Down'
David Bowie's seventeenth studio album, Never Let Me Down, was released in 1987. However, despite initial feelings of pride towards the finished product, Bowie's opinion of the album soured over time. He lamented that he had taken a back seat during production and allowed others to take control of the arrangements, feeling like a session musician in his own work. By 1993, he was vocal about his disappointment, calling the album a "bitter disappointment." After so many albums, it's understandable how an artist could feel rundown. In 1995, Bowie commented:
It was such an awful album. I've gotten to a place now where I'm not very judgmental about myself. I put out what I do, whether it's in visual arts or in music because I know that everything I do is really heartfelt. Even if it's a failure artistically, it doesn't bother me in the same way that Never Let Me Down bothers me. I really shouldn't have even bothered going into the studio to record it. In fact, when I play it, I wonder if I did sometimes.
Pearl Jam - 'Ten'
Pearl Jam, one of the most iconic grunge bands, never intended to become the biggest band in the world. However, as their popularity grew, they began to reflect on their debut album, Ten. The album's production contributed to its success and propelled Pearl Jam to stardom, filling stadiums around the world. Despite its grandiose moments, the album served as a landmark for grunge music. Bassist Stone Gossard said of the record:
The way we inhabit the songs and what they mean to us now is incredible. But from a musical standpoint, it still seems kind of unrealized. But that just shows you that I can’t hear it.