Rockstars Who Shockingly Hated Their Own Albums

By Jack Ripley | December 9, 2023

The Who, 'It's Hard' 

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.

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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 [trash] and it should never come out!'

Kiss, 'Music From "The Elder"' 

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(getty images)

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."