Hit Songs That the Artists Now Regret
By Just Jared
June 5, 2021
Everyone has their special fuzzy memories of their favorite smashes over the years – but now and then, the artists themselves don’t exactly feel the same way about their own music.
Over time, plenty of different pop stars and singer-songwriters have spoken out following the smash success of their songs to reveal that, for one reason or another, they feel awkward, embarrassed or even ashamed about certain songs.
In some cases, it comes down to the lyrical content. And in others, it’s all due to the song’s complete over-saturation of the market. Regardless, these stars have enough distance between the song’s release and now to reflect on the choices they made.
We’ve gathered together some of the biggest hits from the likes of everyone from Bette Midler to Radiohead, and how the artists really feel about the songs. Some of these are bound to surprise you!
Be sure to check out the most controversial and banned music videos of all time as well.
Songs The Artist May Despise, But You, May Surprise
Demi Lovato, Demi (2013) & Confident (2015)
Demi Lovato doesn’t necessarily regret recording her 2013 and 2015 studio albums, but in a recent interview, she revealed that actively avoids revisiting those albums.
“I don’t know if it’s because it reminds me of the people that were in my life during those times or if it just doesn’t feel that authentic to myself. I had really believed in myself after putting ‘Skyscraper’ out, for the Grammys. I was like, I might have a shot now! And then I put out another album — nothing,” she said.
“So I dove into, all right, what is the formula for a pop star that’s top of the charts?” She counted off the criteria on her right hand: ‘She shows her skin, she’s a lot fitter, and you know, she wears leotards onstage.’ So I played that role for a minute. And that didn’t fulfill me at all…it’s weird to think that I had more sense of identity as a 15, 16-year-old than I did as a 23-year-old.”
Bette Midler: “Please, God, shoot me now!”
Bette Midler, “Married Men” & “My Knight In Black Leather“
During an interview with Parade, Bette Midler reflected on her career and recognized that there are “some stinkers” in her discography. One of those was her song “Married Men,” to which she joked: “Please, God, shoot me now!”
She called out “My Knight in Black Leather,” saying “Save me! That was the label saying, ‘You have to record this.’” Both songs are from her disco-inspired fifth studio album Thighs and Whispers. (Mister D: Actually, a great album, great cover,, great orchestrations, and one cut, “Cradle Days” which I thought is probably her greatest vocals on an album. She also said this in an interview at one time. But she could have changed her mind since then. However, she has said consistently the two songs up above were her least favorite. I might pick differently. however.
James Blunt Became Synonymous With “Annoying”
James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”
The English singer-songwriter revealed that his massively popular 2005 song annoyed him after it became so oversaturated. “[It] was force-fed down people’s throats, and it became annoying, and then people start to associate the artist with the same word,” he explained to Hello! of the track’s over-popularity, adding that it wrongly painted him as an “insanely serious person.
Katy Perry Thinks Things Have Changed Conversationally Since. Really?
Katy Perry, “I Kissed a Girl”
Katy Perry had big success with “I Kissed a Girl,” but looking back, she might have worded things a little differently with what she knows now.
“That was in 2008 when it came out. I think we’ve really changed, conversationally, in the past 10 years. We’ve come a long way. Bisexuality wasn’t as talked about back then, or any type of fluidity,” she said while reacting to a cover for Glamour.
“If I had to write that song again, I probably would make an edit on it. Lyrically, it has a couple of stereotypes in it. Your mind changes so much in 10 years, and you grow so much. What’s true for you can evolve.”
Kurt Cobain Smelled Capitalism Driven By Repetition And It Bored Him
Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
The late Kurt Cobain eventually grew to resent the band’s big hit, and often refused to play it at live shows.
“Everyone has focused on that song so much. The reason it gets a big reaction is people have seen it on MTV a million times. It’s been pounded into their brains. But I think there are so many other songs that I’ve written that are as good, if not better, than that song, like ‘Drain You.’ That’s definitely as good as ‘Teen Spirit’. I love the lyrics, and I never get tired of playing it. Maybe if it was as big as ‘Teen Spirit’, I wouldn’t like it as much,” he told Rolling Stone.
Radiohead: When an audience leaves after your one good song
The massive song also started to annoy the band, resulting in their refusal to play it live at shows.
“We seemed to be living out the same four and a half minutes of our lives over and over again. It was incredibly stultifying,” Johnny Greenwood said, recalling that audience members would leave after it was played. Thom Yorke also yelled “F–k off, we’re tired of it” at an audience at one point.
Lady Gaga Hates The Telephone
“Telephone” might be a massive smash, but Lady Gaga didn’t have very loving feelings towards the song when she spoke to PopJustice in an interview a year later.
“I hate ‘Telephone’. Is that terrible to say? It’s the song I have the most difficult time listening to,” she said.
“Ultimately the mix and the process of getting the production finished was very stressful for me. So when I say it’s my worst song it has nothing to do with the song, just my emotional connection to it,” she clarified – although she did say she’d skip over her The Fame song, “Money Honey,” in the same interview.
For more, check out Just Jared, and see which songs they recorded bother Pharrell, Drake, Charli XCX, Paramour, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Ray, Kanye West, R.E.M., Oasis, Frank Sinatra, Beastie Boys, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, TLC, Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Becky G, Lorde, Mandy Moore, Heart, Britney Spears, The Beatles, and more…