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10 Artists Who Hate Their Biggest Hit

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Sinead O'Connor announced earlier this year that she'll no longer sing "Nothing Compares 2 U" because she doesn't emotionally identify with the song. O'Connor was hardly the first artist to grow tired of a signature hit.

1. Radiohead, “Creep”

Thom Yorke nicknamed Radiohead’s first swing at the Top 40 “crap” and steadfastly refuses to trot the song into their regular live performance rotation. Guitarist Jonny Greenwood confessed his dislike for the song during recording; he tried to sabotage the song by hitting “the guitar hard—really hard.”

The volatile Yorke actively and belligerently loathes the band’s first foray into the mainstream—at one concert in Montreal, he quashed a fan request to play “Creep” by lambasting his audience with a, “f*** off, we’re tired of it.”

2. Bob Geldof, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and “We Are the World”

It’s tough to imagine hating a song that united Michael Jackson, Sting, and Phil Collins, but at least one season a year, Irish singer Bob Geldof apologizes profusely for co-penning “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” “I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter, and it will be playing,” he told the Daily Mail. “Every f***ing Christmas.”

Geldof is busy paying double penance for his hand in a second star-studded charity singlet too: “I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history,” he admits. “One is ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ and the other one is ‘We Are The World.’”

3. Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven”

In 2002, Robert Plant pledged a donation to a Portland, Oregon radio station that announced its refusal to play Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” a song Plant dubs “that bloody wedding song.” Plant's disdain for the song put the kibosh on reunion talks for decades, simply because the singer had it up to here with singing the hit.

Plant put up with the song for at least 17 years after he wrote it, before finally telling the Los Angeles Times, “I’d break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show” in 1988. When the band played a one-off concert in London two decades later, Plant demanded the song not be played as a finale, and for guitarist Jimmy Page to “restrain himself from turning the song into an even more epic solo-filled noodle.”

4. Madonna, “Like a Virgin”

It would take deep, deep pockets to convince Madonna to burst into one “Like a Virgin.” In a 2008 interview with New York’s Z100 FM radio station, Madonna admitted, “I'm not sure I can sing 'Holiday' or 'Like a Virgin' ever again. I just can't, unless somebody paid me, like, $30 million or something.”

In 2009, Madonna told reporters that just hearing “Like a Virgin” out on the town miffs the pop star. “For some reason people think that when you go to a restaurant or you are going shopping that you want to hear one of your own songs. It's usually 'Like a Virgin' and that is the one I don't want to hear."

5. Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”

The Brooklyn rappers come right out and say the song “sucks” in the liner notes of their 1999 greatest hits album, The Sounds of Science. But the dislike stems more from a lost sense of irony and parody than the song itself. Some fans took the song—and its outlandish pro-partying music video—totally straight.

Beastie Boy Mike D only had one qualm about the song that put the group on the map: “The only thing that upsets me is that we may have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different.”

6. The Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket”

Frontwoman Chrissie Hynde thought the 1979 hit—a song she “hated with a vengeance”—was anything but special, so special. Her bandmates, manager, producer, and record label smelled a smash hit with “Brass in Pocket,” and so did Hynde; that’s precisely why she hated it. She dismissed the tune as “so obvious.”

The song pushed the band’s self-titled album to platinum sales, but Hynde told the Observer in 2004 that she released the song very reluctantly. “I wasn’t very happy with it and told my producer that he could release it over my dead body,” she said.

7. Flock of Seagulls, “I Ran (So Far Away)”

The ‘80s one-hit wonders get remembered for two things, and Flock frontman Mike Score dislikes both of them: “I Ran (So Far Away)” and Score’s eccentric hairdo. In VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the ‘80s, Score acknowledged his loathing for the song, saying that he only performs it live for fans: “Every time I perform live, everyone just wants to hear ‘I Ran.’ I’m sick of it.”

The ‘do wore out its welcome quicker: Score got tired of reporters asking more questions about the haircut than the band’s music. Score, a former hairdresser, told the Daily Record that he basically shaves his head to shirk questions of whether he’ll ever bring back the signature look (and probably also because he doesn't have much hair left). “I think that haircut owns me,” he says. “I don’t own it.”

8. John Mellencamp, “Jack and Diane”

John Cougar can’t name two people in rock ‘n’ roll more popular than his titular pairing (at least according to a 2008 interview with The Sun), but as life goes on, even the Americana singer’s gotten tired of the duo long after the thrill of writing about them was gone. In the same interview, he said, “I am a little weary of those two.”

“Jack and Diane” notched the only #1 in Mellencamp’s career, so the singer begrudgingly owes the fictional high school sweethearts for a sizable chunk of his 35-year career. “I’ve been able to live on my whims, that’s what Jack and Diane gave me,” he says. “So I can’t hate them too much.”

9. Oasis, “Wonderwall”

Liam, half of the brothers Gallagher in English alt rock band Oasis, wouldn’t mind clocking fans who only know the singer as the brains behind the ‘90s most inescapable ballad, “Wonderwall.” He praised Oasis’ final album, Dig Out Your Soul, for lacking any “Wonderwall”-esque tunes, telling MTV, “I can’t f***ing stand that f***ing song! Every time I have to sing it I want to gag,” before rounding out his interview with a knock against fair-weather fans across the pond: "You go to America, and they’re like: 'Are you Mr. Wonderwall?' You want to chin someone."

10. REM, “Shiny Happy People”

Lead singer Michael Stipe isn't too fond of his group's 1991 hit—in fact, he appeared on a 1995 episode of Space Ghost and announced “I hate that song.” Today he tempers his dislike a bit, saying that he prefers not to say anything bad about songs he doesn’t like because there might be a fan out there to whom that song is very important and has a particular meaning. Instead he now says that “Shiny Happy People” has “limited appeal” for him, and adds that it was the one song that the entire group agreed should not be included on their Greatest Hits compilation.

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Flurry Road: 5 Tips for Safe Driving on Winter Roads
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For drivers in the Upper Midwest, traveling during the winter can range from slightly unsettling to deadly. Between 2011 and 2015, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Auto Insurance Center, an average of 800 fatalities occurred annually as a result of weather-related accidents. Icy roads, poor visibility, and other factors can make cold-weather commuting a dicey proposition.

While we can’t control the weather (yet), we can increase our odds of navigating slush-filled roadways successfully. Mental Floss spoke with American Automobile Association (AAA) driving education expert William Van Tassel, Ph.D., for some key tips on how to get your winter driving in gear.

1. GATHER SUPPLIES.

Before you even start your car up for a trip through inclement weather, Van Tassel recommends you pack a worst-case scenario trunk full of supplies. “In case of emergency, you want things on board like water, a blanket, a flashlight, gloves, and kitty litter,” he says. (That last one is for traction in case you get stuck in a snowbank.) You should also have road flares, a shovel, an ice scraper, and a fully-charged cell phone to call for assistance if needed.

2. SLOW DOWN.

Posted speed limit signs assume you’re driving on clear and clean roadways. If snow or ice has accumulated, you need to adjust your speed accordingly. “In slick conditions, tires lose a lot of traction,” Van Tassel says. “You should be cutting your speed down by half or more.” Unfortunately, a lot of people learn this the hard way. “After a snowstorm, we’ll see more crashes on day one than days two or three.”

Van Tassel also cautions to avoid becoming overconfident on snow tires. While they provide better traction in bad weather, it’s not license to speed up.

3. MAINTAIN A SAFE DISTANCE FROM OTHER CARS.

You should be doing this regardless, but bad weather makes it even more crucial. Keep your vehicle at a safe distance from cars behind, in front, and off to the sides, as well as away from pedestrians or cyclists. If you need to brake suddenly, you need time—and space—to avoid a collision. “You really want more space in front,” Van Tassel says. Try to stay between seven and 10 seconds behind the vehicle ahead. That means seeing a landmark and then counting down until you pass the same marker. If you’re only a few seconds behind, you’re too close.

4. DON’T STEER INTO SKIDS.

“That was an old rule of thumb,” Van Tassel says. “The problem is, by the time I remember to steer into a skid, I’m already in a ditch.” If you feel your vehicle sliding, it’s better to steer in the direction you want to go. “You’ll drive where you look, so don’t look at a telephone pole.”

To help maintain control of the car, you want to focus on doing one thing at a time. “If you’re going through a turn, brake, finish braking, then turn. Don’t brake and turn at the same time.”

5. KEEP YOUR HEADLIGHTS ON.

Yep, even in broad daylight. Bad weather limits visibility, and headlights allow both you and your fellow drivers to orient a vehicle. “You’re twice as visible to other drivers that way,” Van Tassel says. “When people can see you, they can avoid you.”

Van Tassel also recommends that drivers avoid relying on fancy car technology to keep them safe. While blind spot monitoring and lane changing sensors are useful, they’re not there so you can zone out. “The tech is there to back you up if you need it. Drive the car, but don’t rely on those things,” he says.

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25 Polite Compliments You Can Pay a Coworker
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January 24 is National Compliment Day, and a great way to celebrate is by making a concerted effort to praise the people you work with. Be sure to consider when an appropriate time and place for a compliment would be (for instance, shy people would rather be commended on their stellar presentation in private rather than in front of a crowd), but know that whether a coworker is a longtime friend or more of an acquaintance, lauding their work performance and letting them know you appreciate their skills could really make their day.

1. "YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR."

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Every office has one person who knows how to ease tensions at work by cracking a quick joke or sharing a funny link. If this person's sense of humor makes your job a little more enjoyable, make sure to let them know.

2. "NICE JOB ON THAT PRESENTATION."

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Public speaking is intimidating, especially to someone who's new to their job and not used to giving presentations. Notice your coworker is nervous before a big meeting? Seek them out afterwards. Letting them know you enjoyed and learned from what they said will hopefully make them feel more confident next time.

3. "YOU ALWAYS KNOW WHEN TO LEND A HAND."

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You probably know someone who's always willing to help out with a project when you need it most, and odds are they rarely receive the recognition they deserve. Next time a coworker offers some relief when you're feeling overwhelmed, don't let it go unnoticed. Set aside time to tell them you see the great work they're doing and you appreciate it.

4. "YOU'RE A SAVVY PROBLEM-SOLVER."

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Being able to see problems differently is a valuable skill in the workplace. It can open up a team to new ideas and save precious time and resources. Sometimes you may be the person to spot the way out of a problem, and other times it's a coworker who points out the solution that was right in front of your face. If you're grateful for their point of view, they deserve to hear it.

5. "YOU'RE A GREAT COMMUNICATOR."

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Without communication, collaborating with the people in your workplace would be impossible. A great communicator knows how to understand other people's perspectives, explain their own, and make sure they're never keeping anyone in the dark. They're also not above receiving a compliment every now and then.

6. "I LOVE YOUR ENTHUSIASM."

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For some people, getting up and going to work each day is easy: They're personally invested in the company they work for and enjoy helping it succeed. Maybe you're not there yet, but you might see this level of passion and enthusiasm in at least one person you work with. Don't let that inspiring attitude go unrecognized.

7. "I APPRECIATE YOUR TRUST."

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Effective management is just as much about offering guidance and support as knowing when to back off. Sometimes leaving employees room to breathe is the best thing managers can do to encourage growth and creativity. It's also a thankless move that often goes unrewarded. Expressing your appreciation to your manager can make a big difference in their day.

8. "WHAT A FUN PARTY (LUNCH/HAPPY HOUR/ETC.)."

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People take certain work events for granted without stopping to consider the employees who make them possible. Birthday cakes don't magically appear and after-work happy hours don't plan themselves. Behind every fun break you get from your day-to-day duties, there's a coworker who took the initiative to make it happen, and they would like to hear that you enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

9. "YOU'VE GOT A KILLER WORK ETHIC."

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We all wish we could be the employee who blows through projects without breaking a sweat. If you're not that person, the least you can do is pay the tireless person in your workplace a compliment—especially after a big project that had them tackling most of the work.

10. "YOUR POSITIVE ATTITUDE IS INFECTIOUS."

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Just like one pessimistic employee can bring down the whole office, a positive person can have the opposite effect. It's hard to feel grumpy about starting a new week when the colleague sitting next to you does everything with a smile on their face.

11. "YOU ASK GREAT QUESTIONS."

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Asking about something you're not familiar with at work can be intimidating, whether it's about a new policy or procedure or perhaps about the ins and outs of a department you don't usually work with. But asking for help or clarification is also the only way to learn and grow. Complimenting a coworker who asks a lot of questions lets them know that not only is that OK, it's valued.

12. "I LOVE YOUR IDEAS."

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When someone introduces a great idea at work, people often respond in one of two ways: They get upset that they didn't think of it themselves, or they admire the person for their brilliance. If you want to strengthen work relationships and feel better in the long run, we suggest expressing the latter.

13. "YOU'RE GREAT AT TAKING INITIATIVE."

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Employees who take initiative help businesses run smoothly. Managers don't have to worry about babysitting them, and their coworkers never end up picking up their slack. Next time you go into work, find the person you know who always takes initiative and compliment them for their efforts.

14. "YOU'RE VERY CREATIVE."

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Even if your job isn't particularly inspiring, you may have coworkers who find everyday opportunities to be creative. Their creativity might shine through in the form of a sharply designed flyer, a well-written memo, or an innovative solution to the problem at hand. Sometimes people who don't work in a traditionally artistic field are rarely complimented for their creativity—you can change that.

15. "I APPRECIATE YOU TAKING RESPONSIBILITY."

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Do you know someone at work who's taken responsibility—whether for a botched performance, a failed pitch, or a missed deadline—even when they could have gotten away with keeping quiet? That's not easy to do. Recognize their actions, and they may be inclined to do it more often.

16. "YOU'RE SO FLEXIBLE."

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Sure, you can promise your coworker this is the absolute last time you'll ask them to push a meeting back a couple of days or move up a deadline by a week. Or, you can compliment them on being so flexible and thank them for working around the changes so efficiently.

17. "I LOVE YOUR CONFIDENCE."

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Confidence in the workplace is hard to ignore. It radiates from everything a person does, and when you're working on a project with such a person, it can make you feel more confident as well. Let this employee know that you appreciate their poise and self-assuredness.

18. "I APPRECIATE HOW TECH-SAVVY YOU ARE."

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Who do you turn to when your screen freezes, or when the long email you spent the last 15 minutes crafting suddenly disappears? Likely, instead of running to I.T. every time, you ask a nearby coworker who always seems to have the answers. Even if they don't share their know-how for the praise, they deserve a compliment and gratitude.

19. "YOU'RE A GREAT BAKER."

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People who bake for their coworkers are a special breed. By sharing what they made with the office, it means that they not only took the time to cook with you in mind, but also that they're sharing a bit of their personal likes or hobbies with you. What better time to compliment the chef than when they bring platter of fresh cookies to the morning meeting?

20. "I ADMIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP."

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A good leader is many things, including fair, compassionate, and hard-working. But whatever qualities your manager exhibits that make you appreciate working for him or her, find a chance to let them know you commend their leadership, and that you're a better employee because of it.

21. "YOU HAVE A MIND FOR DETAIL."

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Details make a big difference at work, whether you're writing a big report or a thank you email. Sometimes the details that make the biggest impact on a project are hard to notice on their own. See if you can spot the smart, subtle details the next time you're evaluating your coworker's work, and tell them if you're impressed by what you find.

22. "YOU'RE ON MY WAVELENGTH."

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It may not always top lists of most valuable skills to take into the workplace, but empathy can do wonders for office culture. When team members practice empathy and really make an effort to understand the people they work with, they make everyone's job easier. This is one skill that definitely deserves recognition.

23. "THANKS FOR BEING SO RELIABLE."

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No matter what you do for work, it's impossible to do your job entirely on your own. Reliable coworkers you can depend on for support, guidance, and inspiration are a priceless resource. If they make the effort to show up and work hard consistently, the least you can do is show them you appreciate it.

24. "YOU'RE A REAL TEAM PLAYER."

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In order to succeed as a team, your colleagues need to have the right attitude. Maybe there's one person on your team who sets a good example for the rest of you: They know exactly when to step back and listen to other people's ideas and when to come forward with their own. Sometimes being a good team player means swallowing your pride to do what's best for the group, and that's behavior worth celebrating.

25. "YOU GIVE GREAT ADVICE."

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At some point in your career, you've likely relied on a more experienced coworker for advice. Without mentors, many of the world's most successful people wouldn't be where they are today. Never be ashamed to ask for guidance, and once you receive it, make sure to show your gratitude.

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