Why These 12 Rock Hits Were Hated By Fans
via thebandheart / Youtube
Investing significant emotional energy in someone increases the likelihood of being deeply let down by them. Consider being a devoted Billy Joel fan in 1989 when a local DJ announced the premiere of a new Billy Joel song. The anticipation builds within you, as it has been three long years since his last album release, and you crave new music from him like air, water, and food.
As the DJ plays the record, the first words you hear from your musical idol are a mere recitation of historical figures and events. The disappointment that follows is intense and enduring. Our favorite artists bring us immense joy, but they also possess the ability to cause us the greatest pain.
In this article, we present twelve instances where our beloved musicians have produced songs that we despise. We share the words of ordinary fans who voiced their dissatisfaction online, either to express their discontent or to vent their frustrations.
1. Cheap Trick, “The Flame”
The Zander, Nielsen, Petersson, and Carlos firm was experiencing a major commercial downturn in their career. They had seek external writers for assistance, among them Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham. The two writers presented them with a power ballad that even Elkie Brooks refused to accept.
However, the band decided to record it and it turned out to be the biggest hit of their careers, reaching No. 1 in the United States, Australia, and Canada. The band includes this song in their live performances, along with their energetic youth tracks like “ELO Kiddies” and “Surrender,” as well as their more recent tracks such as “No Direction Home” and “Long Time Coming.”
Fans who prefer the band’s energetic rock songs and did not have teenage crushes in 1988 might opt for the beer vendor when Cheap Trick performs “The Flame” live. This sentiment was shared by others in the early ’90s, as grunge bands like Nirvana cited Cheap Trick as one of their influences.
While some fans do not enjoy the song, referring to it as “overproduced crap,” others believe that it is not the worst ballad and is still a decent song.
2. R.E.M., “Shiny Happy People”
According to Michael Stipe, his bandmates provided him with such bright and bubbly pieces of music that he was challenged to create something even brighter and bubblier when R.E.M., a band known for their occasional oddities, wrote the singalong hit “Shiny Happy People.”
He composed a song about nothing but happiness, drawing influence from his early days of collecting singles by bands such as the Archies and the Monkees. The song was a hit, reaching the bottom of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Though some individuals liked the song, not everyone did, and some loyal fans were outspoken in their criticism.
3. Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
The list, which is set to four chords, was not written by Billy Joel with the goal of producing a hit or serving as a synopsis for the MTV generation. In actuality, as he admitted to Rolling Stone in 1989, he wrote it for himself.
Even so, he did get messages from teachers who thought it was a great teaching resource, which meant a lot to him because he had previously wanted to be a history teacher.
It might not be a good idea to show “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to Oscar the Grouch or schoolchildren, though. In a 1994 speech at Oxford, Joel acknowledged that he did not think it was very good. He compared the music to a dentist’s drill in his description.
Some people agree with him, including Mr. Peanut, who wrote on a Yahoo message board and described the song as “truly miserable.”
4. Heart, “These Dreams”
This band is known for their provocative lyrics and diverse musical style, including covering songs by Aaron Neville, Little Richard, the Righteous Brothers, and Led Zeppelin on the same album.
However, they reached number one on the charts with a synth-heavy, lackluster song co-written by the writer of Starship’s “We Built This City,” featuring the lead vocals of the singer’s sister. Despite their earlier edgy and bold material, some fans find this ’80s-era material cringe-worthy.
One Amazon commenter, Clear Channel Sucks, even gave the band zero stars for their hit song “These Dreams,” calling it tacky and demonstrating a clear disdain for the band’s more mainstream success.
5. Chuck Berry, “My Ding-a-Ling”
The fact that Chuck Berry’s only No.1 hit was a puerile novelty song is evidence of our flawed human taste in music. It’s disheartening to think that even one of the greatest songwriters and performers in rock ‘n’ roll history can make such a bad decision.
What makes it worse is that the song’s double entendre is so obvious, a far cry from Berry’s usual clever wordplay that infused deeper themes. “My Ding-A-Ling” was beneath him. While Dave Bartholomew wrote the song and should get the credit, it’s still painful to listen to.
One Amazon customer called it an embarrassment and wished the people who made it popular would listen to it for eternity.
6. Kiss, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You”
David Leaf and Ken Sharp’s official authorized biography, Kiss: Behind the Mask, reveal that Paul Stanley attempted to write a disco song because he believed it would be easy.
He was correct in this assumption, and along with Desmond Child and producer Vini Poncia, he composed a dance song with Stanley’s seductive lyrics and sound effects at a brisk 120 beats per minute. This led to Kiss’s music being played in nightclubs and roller rinks.
While many of Kiss’s songs have stood the test of time, “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” is firmly rooted in the era in which it was released. Unlike “Rock and Roll All Nite,” or “Heaven’s on Fire,” which can be heard across a range of radio stations, the disco-influenced “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” belongs in a 1979 time capsule along with MEGO Kiss figures and Colorforms sets.
Some listeners have expressed their dislike for the song. For instance, one Amazon user admitted to feeling embarrassed by it and hoping none of their friends would discover it, while an unidentified customer even went so far as to describe 1979 as a “pitiful year for KISS,” wondering what the band was thinking when they released it.
7. The Beach Boys, “Kokomo”
The once-great Boys of Summer are making a desperate attempt to climb the singles chart with their latest song. It’s worth noting that it took four writers to craft lyrics that rhyme “Jamaica” with “wanna take ya” and “Bahama” with “pretty mama”; it’s like saving small amounts of money to eventually accumulate a large sum.
“Kokomo” gained popularity because it was featured in the Tom Cruise film “Cocktail,” where Cruise’s character acted like a jerk but still won the girl in the end. John Stamos appeared in the song’s music video, playing bongos with the Beach Boys, which further exemplifies how any mediocre thing can be made worse with a John Stamos appearance.
On Amazon, a user stated that while they were not impressed with the song, their girlfriend enjoyed it. Interestingly, another unidentified customer wrote that “Kokomo” is a great Beach Boys tune but does feel a bit outdated.
They still love it and think it’s worth downloading, but find the rest of the album, 50 Big Ones: Greatest Hits, to be mediocre. It should be noted that the album includes classic songs such as “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Surfin’ Safari,” “Good Vibrations,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and others.
8. Bob Seger, “Shakedown”
Bob Seger’s love for his only No. 1 single was so strong that he excluded it from his initial Greatest Hits compilation. Instead, he added a Chuck Berry cover and a new song, hoping that fans who already owned his older material would buy it.
Nine years later, “Shakedown,” which featured in Beverly Hills Cop II, was included in his second greatest hits album. According to Fred Bronson’s The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Seger wasn’t the first choice to record the song.
His friend Glenn Frey was initially asked, but he declined because he disliked the lyrics and coincidentally “came down with laryngitis” before the recording session. When Seger was approached, he agreed to record the song but only after rewriting the lyrics. He discarded most of the lyrics about working undercover and retained only the chorus, which he liked.
The song is characterized by a wall of synthesizers that Seger is somewhat overwhelmed by. Few people discuss “Shakedown,” but those who do have mixed opinions about it. One person on YouTube suggested that it was the perfect song to sing before breathing on a stranger’s neck, while another person claimed that it sounded like Seger had made a deal with the devil while drunk.
9. Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
Aerosmith should skip recording Diane Warren songs for Bruce Willis space movies and instead challenge Ted Nugent and Deep Purple to a hard rock jam-fest in any desert, with Black Oak Arkansas, Mahogany Rush, and Sammy Hagar.
However, the current Aerosmith has evolved and now seeks to build their brand and attract a younger crowd who may want to see Steven Tyler’s daughter and Ben Affleck together. Despite this, the last thing we want to hear before an extinction-level event is Joe Perry playing a solo on “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
Some people may argue that the song is great for expressing love, but others hate it, and some have even vowed never to listen to it again.
10. Genesis, “Invisible Touch”
The band responsible for hits such as “The Carpet Crawlers,” “Firth of Fifth,” “Squonk,” and the seven-part epic “Supper’s Ready” had finally achieved immense success, complete with stadium concerts, limousines, and excellent catering.
In 1986, a year that was dominated by Phil Collins, their single “She Seems to have an Invisible Touch-ay!” brought them to even greater heights. Despite the criticism directed at “Invisible Touch” for its slickness and silly chorus, the album sold six million copies in the US and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the only time Genesis would achieve this feat.
However, not everyone appreciated the album’s style. Some Amazon reviewers called it the “absolute nadir” of Phil Collins’ leadership of Genesis, while others labeled it “lame” and “cheesy.”
Additionally, one Kid’s Reviewer expressed disdain for the album, calling it too synthesized and filled with “stupid love-dovey romance songs.” The reviewer even shared an unrelated story about being beaten up by N-SYNC.
11. Metallica, “Nothing Else Matters”
Metallica performs “Nothing Else Matters” in nearly every show they play, with Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield usually playing the arpeggios and diving into what many consider the band’s worst song (excluding St. Anger).
Sometimes, they even close their shows with it, leaving fans wondering why they would do that to them, especially considering the band’s professed love for their audience. The first time we heard the song, we were left doubled over like we had been punched in the stomach, desperate to hit the “next track” button on our CD player to enjoy music again.
While some YouTube commenters have grown to appreciate the song, tens of thousands of people have given it a thumbs-down.
12. Rod Stewart, “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”
Rod Stewart has been criticized for sacrificing his talent and reputation in order to become widely popular in rock ‘n’ roll. However, his first four albums and three records with the Faces showcase his exceptional ability to blend folk and blues influences with a Stones-inspired attitude, resulting in timeless classic rock songs.
On the other hand, his hit song “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” tells the tale of a disastrous one-night stand with a disco beat and lots of synthesized strings, which some people find odd and endearing.
The song, which Duane Hitchings and Stewart co-wrote, was Stewart’s way of ridiculing disco rather than applauding it. The song continues to be discussed among fans, with some focusing on the song’s video and others on the lyrics, despite some people having expressed conflicting views on it.