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13 Musicians Who Hated Their Own Albums

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Whether it was due to creative differences or illicit substance use, sometimes popular bands and recording artists just hate their own albums. Here are 13 of them.

1. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN // BORN TO RUN (1975)

While recording Born To Run in 1975, Bruce Springsteen became so increasingly frustrated with writing and mixing the songs that he grew to hate the album. He hated it so much that he threatened to give up and not release it at all.

“After it was finished? I hated it! I couldn't stand to listen to it,” Springsteen admitted. “I thought it was the worst piece of garbage I'd ever heard. I told Columbia I wouldn’t release it. I told ‘em I’d just go down to the Bottom Line gig and do all the new songs and make it a live album.”

2. JAY-Z // IN MY LIFETIME, VOL. 1 (1997)

Jay-Z believes his second album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, suffered from writing songs for radio play instead of making music he loved.

“I don't listen to that album because I think I messed it up,” Jay-Z said in 2009. “There's so many incredible records on there that I think I missed having two classics in a row by trying to get on the radio ... I can’t listen to it. When that record comes on it just irks me.” He later called the album “the one that got away.”

3. FOO FIGHTERS // ONE BY ONE (2002)

Foo Fighters' fourth studio album, One by One, was a commercial and critical success in 2002, even winning the band a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album of the Year. Despite its success, frontman Dave Grohl grew to hate the album because he felt that it was rushed and poorly made.

"I was kinda pissed at myself for the last record," Dave Grohl told Rolling Stone in 2005. "Four of the songs were good, and the other seven I never played again in my life. We rushed into it, and we rushed out of it."

4. EMINEM // ENCORE (2004)

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Eminem had a pretty serious prescription drug problem throughout the 2000s. The albums he released between 2003 and 2008 before he got clean weren’t indicative of his best work, particularly 2004's Encore.

“Looking back on it now, there was some pretty mediocre things that I was putting out,” Eminem admitted to Vibe. “When I was making Encore, my addiction took on a life of its own. I remember going to L.A., recording with Dre and being in the studio high, taking too many pills, getting in this slap-happy mood and making songs like 'Big Weenie' and 'Rain Man' and 'A** Like That.'”

5. WEEZER // PINKERTON (1996)

While Weezer didn’t find commercial or critical success with Pinkerton (Rolling Stone readers considered it one of the worst albums of the year), the sophomore effort from the Los Angeles-based rock band found a cult following over the years. However, when Weezer followed it up after a five-year hiatus with the long-awaited "Green Album" in 2001, frontman Rivers Cuomo grew to resent Pinkerton because fans and critics kept comparing the two albums.

“The most painful thing in my life these days is the cult around Pinkerton,” Cuomo told Entertainment Weekly in 2001. “It's just a sick album, sick in a diseased sort of way. It's such a source of anxiety because all the fans we have right now have stuck around because of that album. But, honestly, I never want to play those songs again; I never want to hear them again.”

6. MORRISSEY // KILL UNCLE (1991)

Steven Patrick Morrissey is very dismissive of his second solo album, Kill Uncle. He believed that he ran against his limits while writing and recording the 1991 record, which he described as “pale and pasty” and "session-musician embalming fluid” in his 2014 autobiography.

7. OASIS // BE HERE NOW (1997)

Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher considers Be Here Now the band's worst album. He described it as “The sound of a bunch of guys, on coke, in the studio, not giving a f*ck. All the songs are really long and all the lyrics are sh*t and for every millisecond Liam is not saying a word, there's a f*cking guitar riff in there in a Wayne's World style.”

8. DRAKE // THANK ME LATER (2010)

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Although Drake’s debut album, Thank Me Later, was a mainstream hit in 2010, the Canadian rapper believes it wasn’t his best work because it felt incomplete and rushed. He tried to make a better album with his sophomore effort, 2011's Take Care.

"To be 100 percent honest,” Drake told the Los Angeles Times. “I wasn't necessarily happy with Thank Me Later. People loved it [but] I just knew what I was capable of with a little more time.”

9. R.E.M. // AROUND THE SUN (2004)

In 2004, R.E.M. released their thirteenth studio album, Around The Sun. It was the band’s first record that failed to reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200 since 1988, and received mixed reviews from music critics. R.E.M. was so ashamed of the album that its songs are usually excluded from live shows.

“It seemed like we'd turned into one of those bands that just book like a million months in the studio and just beat it to death,” said R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. “The last record, for me, just wasn't really listenable, because it sounds like what it is, a bunch of people that are so bored with the material that they can't stand it anymore.”

10. THE STROKES // ANGLES (2011)

After The Strokes released their third studio album, First Impressions of Earth, in early 2006, the New York City-based band took an extensive five-year break from recording and touring. They came back together with their long-awaited fourth album, Angles, in 2011. While it was a commercial hit, the record received mixed reviews from music critics.

In an interview with Pitchfork for The Strokes’ 10-year anniversary, frontman and singer Julian Casablancas admitted, “I was going to let things go so there's a bunch of stuff [on the record] I wouldn't have done." Guitarist Nick Valensi mirrored Casablancas’s remarks, saying, "I won't do the next album we make like this. No way. It was awful—just awful."

11. LYKKE LI // YOUTH NOVELS (2008)

Swedish singer Lykke Li admitted that she hates her first record, Youth Novels, because it felt so raw and unrefined. In an interview with The Telegraph in 2014, the singer was quite candid with her feelings about her debut. “I cannot stand my first album,” she said bluntly. “It is so bad. I sucked.”

12. THE CLASH // CUT THE CRAP (1985)

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In 1985, The Clash released their sixth and final record, Cut The Crap. At the time, Clash vocalist Joe Strummer was pretty jaded about his band, and was also grieving the death of his parents.

"CBS had paid an advance for it so they had to put it out,” Strummer later explained in 2000. "I just went, 'Well f*ck this', and f*cked off to the mountains of Spain to sit sobbing under a palm tree, while Bernie [Rhodes, the band’s manager] had to deliver a record."

13. AT THE DRIVE-IN // RELATIONSHIP OF COMMAND (2000)

In the year 2000, At The Drive-In released their third and final album, Relationship of Command. Although the hit record brought the El Paso, Texas-based band mainstream success, At The Drive-In broke up shortly after its release due to their growing popularity.

Despite its success, guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López openly bashed At The Drive-In’s final release, telling Alternative Press, "One of my only regrets out of everything I've ever done is the way that record was mixed. People think that was a raw and energetic record, but what they're hearing is nothing compared to what it truly was before it was glossed over and sent through the mixing mill.” He added, “I just find it the most passive, plastic ... It’s the one record I still to this day cannot listen to. The mix ruined it for me."

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Fake It Until You Make It: 10 Artificial Ruins
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Ramones Karaoke, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The love of ruins, sometimes called ruinophilia, has for centuries inspired the creation of clever fakes—a host of sham facades and hollowed-out castle shells found on grand English, European, and even American estates. The popularity of constructing artificial ruins was at its peak during the 18th and 19th centuries, but architects occasionally still incorporate them today.

Why build a structure that is already crumbling? Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the popularity of counterfeit ruins was influenced by two factors—a classical education that enforced the ideals of ancient Greece and Rome, and the extended tour of Europe (known as The Grand Tour) that well-to-do young men and women took after completing their education. Travelers might start in London or France and roam as far as the Middle East, but the trip almost always included Italy and a chance to admire Roman ruins. More than a few wealthy travelers returned home longing to duplicate those ruins, either to complement a romantic landscape, to demonstrate wealth, or to provide a pretense of family history for the newly rich.

Here are a few romantic ruins constructed between the 18th and 21st centuries.

1. SHAM CASTLE // BATHAMPTON, ENGLAND

Sham Castle (shown above) is aptly named—it’s only a façade. The "castle," overlooking the English city of Bath, was created in 1762 to improve the view for Ralph Allen, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as to provide jobs for local stonemasons. From a distance it looks like a castle ruin, but it's merely a wall that has two three-story circular turrets and a two-story square tower at either end. The castle is not the only folly (as such purely decorative architecture is often called) that Allen built. He also constructed a sham bridge on Serpentine Lake in what is now Prior Park Landscape Garden—the bridge can't be crossed, but provides a nice focal point for the lake. Today, Sham Castle is part of a private golf course.

2. WIMPOLE FOLLY // CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND

Building a structure that looks as if it's crumbling does not preclude having to perform regular maintenance. The four-story Gothic tower known as Wimpole Folly in Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, England, was built 1768-72 for Philip Yorke, first Earl of Hardwicke and owner of the Wimpole Estate. Owned by Britain’s National Trust, the ruin threatened to truly crumble a few years ago, so restoration efforts were needed. The last restoration was so well done it won the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage. The Wimpole Estate is now open to the public for walks and hikes.

3. CAPEL MANOR FOLLY // ENFIELD, ENGLAND

Capel Manor at Bulls Cross, Enfield, England has been the site of several grand homes since the estate’s first recorded mention in the 13th century, so visitors might be tempted to believe that the manor house's ruins date back at least a few centuries. But that sense of history is an illusion: The faux 15th-century house was built in 2010 to add visual appeal to the manor gardens, which have been open to the public since the 1920s.

4. ROMAN RUIN // SCHONBRUNN PALACE, VIENNA, AUSTRIA

The Roman Ruin was built as a garden ornament for the 1441-room Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, one of the most important monuments in Austria. The ruin was once called The Ruins of Carthage, after the ancient North African city defeated by Roman military force. But despite the illusion of antiquity, the ruins were created almost 2000 years after Carthage fell in 146 B.C.E. The ruin’s rectangular pool, framed by an intricate semi-circle arch, was designed in 1778 by the architect Johann Ferdinand Hetzendorf von Hohenberg, who modeled it on the Ancient Roman temple of Vespasian and Titus, which he had seen an engraving of.

5. THE RUINEBERG // POTSDAM, GERMANY

One of the earliest examples of artificial ruins in Germany was the complex of structures known as The Ruinenberg. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, had a summer palace in Potsdam, near Berlin, that was said to rival Versailles. In 1748 Frederick commissioned a large fountain for the palace complete with artificial ruins. The waterworks part of his plan proved too difficult and was soon abandoned, but not before designer Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff constructed the ruins. The complex includes Roman pillars, a round temple, and the wall of a Roman theatre. Since 1927 the site has belonged to the Prussian Gardens and Palaces Foundation, Berlin-Brandenburg.

6. PARC MONCEAU // PARIS, FRANCE

Elegant Parc Monceau is located in the fashionable 8th arrondissement of Paris near the Champs-Elysees and Palais de l’Elysée. In 1778, the Duke of Chartres decided to build a mansion on land previously used for hunting. He loved English architecture and gardens, including the notion of nostalgic ruins, so he hired the architect Louis Carrogis Carmontelle to create an extravagant park complete with a Roman temple, antique statues, a Chinese bridge, a farmhouse, a Dutch windmill, a minaret, a small Egyptian pyramid, and some fake gravestones. The most notable feature of the park is a pond surrounded by Corinthian columns, now known as Colonnade de Carmontelle.

7. HAGLEY PARK CASTLE // WORCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND

The ruins of the medieval castle at Hagley Park in Worcestershire are definitely fake, but they were built with debris from the real ruin of a neighboring abbey. The folly was commissioned by Sir George Lyttelton in 1747 and designed by Sanderson Miller, an English pioneer of Gothic revival architecture. The castle has a round tower at each corner, but by design only one is complete and decorated inside with a coat of arms. The grounds, which also feature a temple portico inspired by an ancient Greek temple, some urns, and obelisks, are now privately owned and not open to the public.

8. TATA CASTLE RUINS // TATA, HUNGARY

French architect Charles de Moreau (1758-1841) was a scholar of classical Roman architecture known for his ability to counterfeit impressive ruins. Nicholas I, Prince Esterhazy of Hungary, hired him to work on Tata Castle and to create the ruins of a Romanesque church for the palace’s English Garden. Even though the ruin Moreau created was fake, he built it with the stones of a real ruin, the remnants of the early-12th-century Benedictine and later Dominican abbey of Vértesszőlős. A third-century ancient Roman tombstone and relief were placed nearby.

9. BELVEDERE CASTLE // MANHATTAN, NEW YORK

Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park in the mid-1800s, and their plan for creating romantic vistas included the construction of a folly known as Belvedere Castle. The Gothic-Romanesque style hybrid, overlooking Central Park’s Great Lawn, was completed in 1869. Although the folly was designed as a hollow shell and meant to be a ruin, it eventually served a practical purpose, housing a weather bureau and exhibit space. The castle also provides a beautiful backdrop for Shakespeare in the Park productions, evoking the royal homes that play prominent roles in the Bard’s works.

10. FOLLY WALL IN BARKING TOWN SQUARE // LONDON

In a borough known for its real historic buildings, the ancient wall found in London’s Barking Town Square might look centuries old. It’s not, and ironically, the wall is part of the square’s renovation efforts. The wall was built by bricklaying students at Barking College using old bricks and crumbling stone items found at salvage yards. Known as the "Secret Garden," named after the children’s book about a walled garden, the wall was designed to screen a nearby supermarket and was unveiled in 2007.

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11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger
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Paramount Pictures

It takes just 14 words—“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—to make a ‘90s kid swoon with nostalgia. Good Burger, the beloved Nickelodeon comedy about a couple of daft teens who try to save their fast food joint from corporate greed, was born out of a Kenan Thompson/Kel Mitchell sketch on All That in the mid-'90s. A year later, due to its popularity, it found itself being turned into its own live-action movie, with Brian Robbins at the helm. Today—20 years after its original release—it’s a silly cult hit that’s indelibly a part of Generation Y. Revisit the classic with these facts about Good Burger.

1. KEL MITCHELL AUDITIONED FOR ALL THAT WITH HIS CHARACTER FROM GOOD BURGER.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Kel Mitchell explained how he came up with Ed. “I did a ‘dude’ voice, and that’s where Ed [from Good Burger] was kind of born,” he said. “I did that there at the audition. They were just cracking up.”

2. ED’S FIRST APPEARANCE WAS IN THE JOSH SERVER SKETCH, “DREAM REMOTE.”

Essentially, Good Burger was born out of a random character decision made during one little sketch. “It was where [Josh] could have a remote control that could control his entire life,” Mitchell told The A.V. Club. “So, he could fast-forward through his sister nagging, he could make pizza come really quickly. I was the pizza guy. I came to the door, and the pizza guy didn’t really have a voice, so I was like, ‘Mleh, here’s your pizza! That was the first time we saw Ed, and so they created Good Burger.”

3. ED’S LOOK WAS INSPIRED BY MILLI VANILLI.

When prepping for Ed’s debut on All That, Kel Mitchell spotted what would become the character’s signature look. “I remember I went to the hair room, and I saw these braids. It was like these early Brandy ’90s Milli Vanilli braids. I put those on, and it came to life,” he told The A.V. Club.

4. THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF MEAT STUNK UP THE SET.

Nickelodeon

For a movie all about burgers, you better believe the production had a ton of them sitting around on set. "At one point, there was over 1750 pounds of meat on the set," Kenan Thompson told The Morning Call. "Some of it was old meat. It was so nasty. Some of the burgers would stay out there for a long time. I felt sorry for the extras who had to eat them with cold, clammy fries. But on screen, those burgers look good."

5. ELMER’S GLUE WAS USED TO KEEP THE FOOD LOOKING FRESH.

In order to keep the food looking good on screen, the production resorted to old, albeit inedible, tricks. "It was so gross, because when I scoop out ice cream in the movie, it was really vegetable shortening with food coloring,” Mitchell told The Morning Call. “When I poured milk on cereal, we used Elmer's Glue so the flakes wouldn't get soggy."

6. KENAN AND KEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD BURGER SOUNDTRACK.

Good Burger was their baby, so of course Kenan and Kel took the reins on more than just the creation of the characters, according to a 1997 interview with The Morning Call. Specifically, Kel partnered up with Less Than Jake on the hit song, “We’re All Dudes.” Because of this, the soundtrack actually charted at 101 on the Billboard 200.

7. GOOD BURGER WAS LINDA CARDELLINI’S FEATURE FILM DEBUT.

YouTube

In an interview with The A.V. Club, the Freaks and Geeks star reminisced about her breakout role in the Nickelodeon movie. “That’s my sister’s favorite role that I’ve ever played! It was so much fun. It was my first film, and it was a fantastic part,” Cardellini said. “I got to play crazy! Nobody knew who I was, and I got the part from the table read.”

8. WRITER DAN SCHNEIDER INTENDED TO GIVE UP ACTING WHEN HE WROTE GOOD BURGER, BUT HE PLAYED MR. BAILY IN THE FILM.

On creating Good Burger, writer/producer/actor Dan Schneider explained to The A.V. Club: “I’ve always wanted to write, and after I was doing All That and Kenan & Kel, I got the opportunity to do another TV show—I was still going on auditions. I realized that if I took that show, I was going to have to give up All That and Kenan & Kel. I really didn’t want to do [that] ... I passed on the acting role, and that was really the turning point, I guess, in 1996, when I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put my acting career on the back burner, and I’m going to be a writer-producer.’ Then I wrote the movie Good Burger.” However, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice Schneider starring as Mr. Baily.

9. THE ORIGINAL TRAILER FEATURED A SCENE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE.

For reasons that remain a mystery, a scene where a Good Burger customer orders “a good shake” from Ed (Mitchell), only to receive an actual bodily shaking from the Good Burger employee, didn’t make the final cut. It did, however, feature for a few seconds in the theatrical trailer.

10. KENAN AND KEL REUNITED FOR A GOOD BURGER SKETCH ON THE TONIGHT SHOW.

In 2015, Kenan and Kel reunited for a Good Burger sketch with Jimmy Fallon. This time, however, Fallon played Ed’s co-worker, while Kenan came in as a construction worker as a surprise. "We've been wanting to get back together," Mitchell told E! News. "It was just about the right project ... it felt like home."

11. THE FIRST LINE IN THE FILM IS THE SAME AS THE LAST LINE.

Appropriately, the line is, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—just watch the movie.

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