Rockstars Who Shockingly Hated Their Own Albums

By Jack Ripley | December 16, 2023

U2, 'Pop' 

test article image
(pinterest)

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.

Bob Geldof, "Do They Know It’s Christmas?"

test article image
(getty images)

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 [explative] 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.'