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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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6 Times There Were Ties at the Oscars
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getty images (March and Beery)/ istock (oscar)

Only six ties have ever occurred during the Academy Awards' near-90-year history. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) members vote for nominees in their corresponding categories; here are the six times they have come to a split decision.

1. BEST ACTOR // 1932

Back in 1932, at the fifth annual Oscars ceremony, the voting rules were different than they are today. If a nominee received an achievement that came within three votes of the winner, then that achievement (or person) would also receive an award. Actor Fredric March had one more vote than competitor Wallace Beery, but because the votes were so close, the Academy honored both of them. (They beat the category’s only other nominee, Alfred Lunt.) March won for his performance in horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (female writer Frances Marion won Best Screenplay for the film), and Beery won for The Champ, which was remade in 1979 with Ricky Schroder and Jon Voight. Both Beery and March were previous nominees: Beery was nominated for The Big House and March for The Royal Family of Broadway. March won another Oscar in 1947 for The Best Years of Our Lives, also a Best Picture winner. Fun fact: March was the first actor to win an Oscar for a horror film.

2. BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT // 1950

By 1950, the above rule had been changed, but there was still a tie at that year's Oscars. A Chance to Live, an 18-minute movie directed by James L. Shute, tied with animated film So Much for So Little. Shute’s film was a part of Time Inc.’s "The March of Time" newsreel series and chronicles Monsignor John Patrick Carroll-Abbing putting together a Boys’ Home in Italy. Directed by Bugs Bunny’s Chuck Jones, So Much for So Little was a 10-minute animated film about America’s troubling healthcare situation. The films were up against two other movies: a French film named 1848—about the French Revolution of 1848—and a Canadian film entitled The Rising Tide.

3. BEST ACTRESS // 1969

Probably the best-known Oscars tie, this was the second and last time an acting award was split. When presenter Ingrid Bergman opened up the envelope, she discovered a tie between newcomer Barbra Streisand and two-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn—both received 3030 votes. Streisand, who was 26 years old, tied with the 61-year-old The Lion in Winter star, who had already been nominated 10 times in her lengthy career, and won the Best Actress Oscar the previous year for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Hepburn was not in attendance, so all eyes fell on Funny Girl winner Streisand, who wore a revealing, sequined bell-bottomed-pantsuit and gave an inspired speech. “Hello, gorgeous,” she famously said to the statuette, echoing her first line in Funny Girl.

A few years earlier, Babs had received a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Fanny Brice in the Broadway musical Funny Girl, but didn’t win. At this point in her career, she was a Grammy-winning singer, but Funny Girl was her movie debut (and what a debut it was). In 1974, Streisand was nominated again for The Way We Were, and won again in 1977 for her and Paul Williams’s song “Evergreen,” from A Star is Born. Four-time Oscar winner Hepburn won her final Oscar in 1982 for On Golden Pond.

4. BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE // 1987

The March 30, 1987 telecast made history with yet another documentary tie, this time for Documentary Feature. Oprah presented the awards to Brigitte Berman’s film about clarinetist Artie Shaw, Artie Shaw: Time is All You’ve Got, and to Down and Out in America, a film about widespread American poverty in the ‘80s. Former Oscar winner Lee Grant (who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1976 for Shampoo) directed Down and Out and won the award for producers Joseph Feury and Milton Justice. “This is for the people who are still down and out in America,” Grant said in her acceptance speech.

5. BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) // 1995

More than 20 years ago—the same year Tom Hanks won for Forrest Gump—the Short Film (Live Action) category saw a tie between two disparate films: the 23-minute British comedy Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and the LGBTQ youth film Trevor. Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi wrote and directed the former, which stars Richard E. Grant (Girls, Withnail & I) as Kafka. The BBC Scotland film envisions Kafka stumbling through writing The Metamorphosis.

Trevor is a dramatic film about a gay 13-year-old boy who attempts suicide. Written by James Lecesne and directed by Peggy Rajski, the film inspired the creation of The Trevor Project to help gay youths in crisis. “We made our film for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider,” Rajski said in her acceptance speech, which came after Capaldi's. “It celebrates all those who make it through difficult times and mourns those who didn’t.” It was yet another short film ahead of its time.

6. BEST SOUND EDITING // 2013

The latest Oscar tie happened only three years ago, when Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall beat Argo, Django Unchained, and Life of Pi in sound editing. Mark Wahlberg and his animated co-star Ted presented the award to Zero Dark Thirty’s Paul N.J. Ottosson and Skyfall’s Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers. “No B.S., we have a tie,” Wahlberg said to the crowd, assuring them he wasn’t kidding. Ottosson was announced first and gave his speech before Hallberg and Baker Landers found out that they were the other victors.

It wasn’t any of the winners' first trip to the rodeo: Ottosson won two in 2010 for his previous collaboration with Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker (Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Sound Mixing); Hallberg previously won an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing for Braveheart in 1996, and in 2008 both Hallberg and Baker Landers won Best Achievement in Sound Editing for The Bourne Ultimatum.

Ottosson told The Hollywood Reporter he possibly predicted his win: “Just before our category came up another fellow nominee sat next to me and I said, ‘What if there’s a tie, what would they do?’ and then we got a tie,” Ottosson said. Hallberg also commented to the Reporter on his win. “Any time that you get involved in some kind of history making, that would be good.”

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11 Haunting Facts About Beloved

Toni Morrison—who was born on February 18, 1931—made a name for herself with The Bluest Eye, Sula and Song of Solomon, but it wasn’t until 1987’s Beloved, about a runaway slave haunted by the death of her infant daughter, that her legacy was secured. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and was a key factor in the decision to award Morrison the Nobel Prize in 1993. All the awards aside, Beloved is a testament to the horrors of slavery, with its narrative of suffering and repressed memory and its dedication to the more than 60 million who died in bondage. Here are some notable facts about Morrison’s process and the novel’s legacy.

1. IT’S BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

While compiling research for 1974's The Black Book, Morrison came across the story of Margaret Garner, a runaway slave from Kentucky who escaped with her husband and four children to Ohio in 1856. A posse caught up with Garner, who killed her youngest daughter and attempted to do the same to her other children rather than let them return to bondage. Once apprehended, her trial transfixed the nation. "She was very calm; she said, 'I’d do it again,'" Morrison told The Paris Review. "That was more than enough to fire my imagination."

2. MORRISON CAME UP WITH THE CHARACTER BELOVED AFTER SHE STARTED WRITING.

The book was originally going to be about the haunting of Sethe by her infant daughter, who she killed (just as Garner did) rather than allow her to return to slavery. A third of the way through writing, though, Morrison realized she needed a flesh-and-blood character who could judge Sethe’s decision. She needed the daughter to come back to life in another form (some interpret it as a grief-driven case of mistaken identity). As she told the National Endowment for the Arts’ NEA Magazine: "I thought the only person who was legitimate, who could decide whether [the killing] was a good thing or not, was the dead girl."

3. SHE WROTE THE ENDING EARLY IN THE WRITING PROCESS.

Morrison has said she likes to know the ending of her books early on, and to write them down once she does. With Beloved, she wrote the ending about a quarter of the way in. "You are forced into having a certain kind of language that will keep the reader asking questions," she told author Carolyn Denard in Toni Morrison: Conversations.

4. MORRISON BECAME FASCINATED WITH SMALL HISTORICAL DETAILS.

To help readers understand the particulars of slavery, Morrison carefully researched historical documents and artifacts. One particular item she became fascinated with: the "bit" that masters would put in slaves' mouths as punishment. She couldn’t find much in the way of pictures or descriptions, but she found enough to imagine the shame slaves would feel. In Beloved, Paul D. tells Sethe that a rooster smiled at him while he wore the bit, indicating that he felt lower than a barnyard animal.

5. SHE ONLY RECENTLY READ THE BOOK HERSELF.

In an appearance on The Colbert Report last year, Morrison said she finally got around to reading Beloved after almost 30 years. Her verdict: "It’s really good!"

6. THE BOOK INSPIRED READERS TO BUILD BENCHES.

When accepting an award from the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1988, Morrison observed that there is no suitable memorial to slavery, "no small bench by the road." Inspired by this line, the Toni Morrison Society started the Bench by the Road Project to remedy the issue. Since 2006, the project has placed 15 benches in locations significant to the history of slavery and the Civil Rights movement, including Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, which served as the point of entry for 40% of slaves brought to America.

7. WHEN BELOVED DIDN’T WIN THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN 1987, FELLOW WRITERS PROTESTED.

After the snub, 48 African-American writers, including Maya Angelou, John Edgar Wideman and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., signed a letter that appeared in the New York Times Book Review. "For all of America, for all of American letters," the letter addressing Morrison read, "you have advanced the moral and artistic standards by which we must measure the daring and the love of our national imagination and our collective intelligence as a people."

8. IT’S ONE OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY CHALLENGED BOOKS.

Between 2000 and 2009, Beloved ranked 26th on the American Library Association’s list of most banned/challenged books. A recent challenge in Fairfax County, Virginia, cited the novel as too intense for teenage readers, while another challenge in Michigan said the book was, incredibly, overly simplistic and pornographic. Thankfully, both challenges were denied.

9. MORRISON ALSO WROTE AN OPERA BASED ON GARNER’S LIFE.

Ten years ago, Morrison collaborated with Grammy-winning composer Richard Danielpour on Margaret Garner, an opera about the real-life inspiration behind Beloved. It opened in Detroit in 2005, and played in Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York before closing in 2008.

10. MORRISON DID NOT WANT IT MADE INTO A MOVIE.

Although she publicly claims otherwise, according to a New York magazine story, Morrison told friends she didn’t want Beloved made into a movie. And she didn’t want Oprah Winfrey (who bought the film rights in 1988) to be in it. Nevertheless, the film came out in 1998 and was a total flop.

11. THERE'S AN ILLUSTRATED VERSION.

The Folio Society, a London-based company that creates fancy special editions of classic books, released the first-ever illustrated Beloved in 2015. Artist Joe Morse had to be personally approved by Morrison for the project. Check out a few of his hauntingly beautiful illustrations here.

This article originally appeared in 2015.

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