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4 Artists Who Wrote Songs They Secretly Hate

epic records
epic records

It’s one thing for a singer/songwriter to come up with a song that they love and then have to play it day in and day out on the road, but what happens when they write a song that they hate from the beginning.

Believe it or not, there are some famous singers who have written songs that they will forever be tied to and cringe every time they play or hear their song on the radio.

Here’s a look at four iconic songs that the performers feel that way about. You may be surprised by at least three of them.


Cheap Trick – The Flame

By the time 1988 rolled around Cheap Trick had not really generated any recent hits on the radio. Their record company was threatening not to renew their contract, unless they recorded a song called, ‘The Flame.’ This was a very sugary pop ballad that was a huge departure from the groups’ previous songs (Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me, Surrender), but fearing they would be without a contract, Cheap Trick reluctantly agreed.

It would become the groups only #1 hit, but refused to play it live until 2001.


Bob Seger – Old Time Rock & Roll

It was the scene that made Tom Cruise a star in ‘Ricky Business’ and is one of the staples of classic rock radio. Bob Seger co-wrote this song but, his back up band, the Silver Bullet Band hated it. They felt the lyrics were too cheesy and it didn’t fit into their rock and roll mode (Night Moves, Hollywood Nights, Katmandu). Seger suggested that they try it out live on a couple of shows and they crowd went nuts. Because of the audience reation, Seger and the Bullet Band ended up recording it. After it became their biggest hit at that time, Seger claims the band ‘started getting quieter about it.’


USA For Africa – We Are the World

It was 1985 when the biggest superstars in the music biz all got together to sing a song written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. They called themselves ‘USA For Africa.’ The song ‘We Are The World’ was released with all the proceeds going to help relieve the Ethiopian famine. Even though Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper lent their voices they both felt the song wasn’t that great. During the recording session, Lauper leaned over to Joel saying, ‘It sounds like a Pepsi commercial.’


R.E.M – Shiny Happy People

During the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square, a propaganda leaflet was handed out claiming the protesters were alone in their dissent and the rest of China was “shiny happy people.” That phrase inspired Michael Stipe of R.E.M. to write a song using those words. Normally, R.E.M. is straightforward with socially conscious music, but Stipe wrote it more as a satire, a parody of a catchy pop song. The audience didn’t get the joke about it being a parody. Later Stipe made a public apology about the song and stopped playing it live in 1991.

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