Childish Gambino has mentioned being embarrassed by his pre-Culdesac work, in which he was essentially trying to be an even more nasalLil Wayne. It wasn't until EP that he began tackling the style he's popular for today, and it wasn't until Because the Internet that he started being taken seriously for it.
When asked about her role in the 2003 musical From Justin to Kelly (widely considered one of the worst films of the 2000s), Kelly Clarkson famously responded, "Two words: Contractually obligated!" Clarkson had zero acting or dancing experience prior to the film, but her contract with American Idol stipulated that she would have to star in a musical if she won the contest. She recognized the movie as the shallow cash-in attempt that it was, and now prefers to forget that she was ever in it (and she's never really pursued acting since, with all her subsequent appearances being cameos as herself - with the exceptions of her appearances on American Dreams as Brenda Lee and her guest role on Reba. As a young woman called Kelly).
Surprisingly, despite mostly containing the pop fluff she (pun not intended) broke away from on her sophomore album, Clarkson doesn't seem embarrassed about her debut album Thankful and actively plays several of its songs live to this day.
If you run into Cyndi Lauper, don't mention your favorite song is "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough." She refused to include it in any of her albums until 2003, by which time she had caved to fans and (gradually) began singing the first verse and the chorus (but no more) at concerts. Even the music video is considered by Lauper to be an Old Shame experience, as she butted heads with perfectionist Richard Donner (who also directed the movie).
She provided vocals for the closing-credits song "Taffy Butt," a parody of "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough," from a Season 2 episode of Bob's Burgers which parodied the movie.
Marilyn Manson would like everything not included on his official albums to be forgotten (about 30 songs). He lost the rights to 21 of these in a lawsuit (that's why you pay your bandmates, no matter how much of an ass they are, and how uncooperative they are), and he could do nothing when eleven of them were "remastered" and re-released. It flopped, killing the second set of songs remastering. However, you can find some of them, intentionally leaked, and all of the other songs on YouTube (from old cassettes). He said in his autobiography that the song "She Isn't My Girlfriend" was the worst song he ever wrote. With songs like "Dune Buggy", "Magic Eight Ball" and "Suicide Snowman", that's saying a lot. However, a few good songs were lost, like "Choklit Factory" (it's about Jeffrey Dahmer and has Wonka references) and "Negative Three" were tossed to the side. Oh, and one song is about child molestation and uses The Cat in the Hat quotes. It's called "Red (In My) Head", and due to Bile Fascination, you're going to look it up.
The Goo Goo Dolls used to be a punk band. John Rzeznik said in the band's Behind The Music episode that the band's third album, Hold Me Up, was their first "real" album, effectively disowning their self-titled debut and its follow-up, Jed. Taking this further, the band rarely (or never) plays anything that came before their fifth album, A Boy Named Goo (which brought the band its first taste of commercial success, despite being in roughly the same Punk Rock style as their earlier releases), in concert anymore.
Actually, several songs from Superstar Car Wash (which was released two years before A Boy Named Goo), namely "We Are the Normal", "Cuz You're Gone" and "Another Second Time Around" are still commonly played live, and even the title track to Hold Me Up gets an occasional live play.
Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley had a band before KISS called Wicked Lester. They recorded a self-titled debut album, but before it could be released internal strife in the company and Wicked Lester dissolving blocked it. Once KISS began to take off, Gene and Paul purchased the rights to the Wicked Lester recordings to prevent the album from being released as a cash-in. According to them, it was out of embarrassment about how bad they were. In one interview Stanley shows a picture of them in bad glam make up and says "This is when Lily Tomlin was in the group!"
The 1981 Kiss Rock OperaMusic From The Elder is often dismissed as an embarrassment and a misstep by Simmons and Stanley, as well as guitarist Ace Frehley, who departed the band after the album's release and commercial failure, and producer Bob Ezrin. In spite of this, the Simmons ballad "A World Without Heroes" was performed at the band's MTV Unplugged appearance.
There is also the case of Carnival of Souls, released with no serious promotion in the middle of the band's successful reunion tour with original members Frehley and Criss in 1997. The album is hardly ever spoken of by band members and holds the distinction of being the only full-length release in the KISS catalog to have never had any of its songs played live. Being considered the band's "grunge" album probably explains this, especially since it was released three years after Kurt Cobain's death.
Even though it's their biggest hit ever, Kiss has only performed the ballad "Beth" on tours when Criss has been in the band, and even less so in recent years (which is just fine with most of the fans).
Steve Harris of Iron Maiden is apparently not too fond of the first two albums, Killers and Iron Maiden, the latter moreso due to shitty production.
Judas Priest had stated that they would like to forget their debut album, 1974's Rocka Rolla, ever happened, mostly because they were still unsure of how they wanted to sound, and additionally, the production was god-awful. They still play the title track live on occasion, however, and they re-recorded "Diamonds and Rust" for a future album.
There's also everything they've released between Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller, with Halford even admitting to being absolutely embarrassed by Turbo and Ram it Down.
Mentioning Jugulator and Demolition would also be a bad idea.
Halford and John 5 would both like to never speak of their hilariously bad Industrial Metal collaboration project 2wo, who released a single album in 1998 named Voyeurs. Halford was so embarrassed by it that in 2002, he made the whole album available free for download so people wouldn't have to pay for it.
Also, Amy Lee of Evanescence will break down and cry if you bring up their debut album, Origin or their self-titled EP, which is embarrassingly bad Christian pop rock. In fact, the only song they play live off of it nowadays is "Lies". Although there are some die hards who enjoy the record.
In a case of the music not being the Old Shame, but rather the cover art, Vanishing Vision by X Japan. The cover "art" is a vile (though thankfully drawn and Photoshopped) depiction of a rape. Despite the album having some of the best sound from the band's speed/thrash days, being the band's first album, having a Black Sheep Hit for the fandom in the extremely histrionic ballad "Alive" (which many fans have asked them to perform live), and featuring the first English version of "Kurenai" and one of Taiji's songs, it has not been rereleased as most of their other albums have been. Unfortunately, this has done nothing to discourage its spread (and the spread of said album cover), occasionally giving people a very bad image of the band. While their music (especially their earliest stuff) does have sexual and violent themes, those themes never overlap into endorsing rape, and said work was actually Fair for Its Day and in some ways very progressive in not being misogynistic (e.g. most of their songs are nongendered), but just try telling that to someone whose first exposure to them is that cover, or worse, a fanboy defending it.
Toshimitsu Deyama's entire catalog of solo work from 1997 until 2010, specifically anything to do with "healing music" or iyashi-kei. The reason being he created it for the purposes of recruiting people into a Scam Religion that he has now left and disavowed - and that said group makes money off of it as well as still uses it in recruiting. He has even gone so far as to plead with his fans not to buy anything related to the Home of Heart or Healing World labels.
The 2000 single "Most Girls" seems to be this for P!nk, perhaps due to its more cookie-cutter, pop/R&B crossover sound. It seems to be entirely omitted from Greatest Hits collections despite being a top five hit.
Oasis retrospectively disown large chunks of their output. In the commentary for the playthrough of all of their hit music videos on the Greatest Hits DVD, Noel Gallagher spends much of his time mocking singles from the late 1990s, despite at the time defending them heavily in the press, going as far to ask why somebody didn't take him to one and side and tell him to "just stop". Could also be seen as a slight Dork Age.
Depeche Mode's 1981 debut album "Speak and Spell" is full of frothy, lightweight synthesizer-pop tunes, mostly the handiwork of Vince Clarke (who left the band after the first album to form Yazoo and later Erasure). By the late 1980s, the band - whose sound had by then long since matured into the dark shadings they would become known for - was rarely performing anything from that first album live, to the point that when they played "Speak and Spell"'s best-known song, "Just Can't Get Enough," at the concert filmed for their live concert movie "101", it was a VERY big deal.
Songwriter Martin Gore would also later distance himself from "People Are People" - which was the band's first hit single in North America - saying it was too simplistic. By the '90s, it too was largely gone from the band's concert set list. Ironically "People Are People" and "Just Can't Get Enough" still receive a fair amount of radio airplay, even in the U.S.
Speaking of Martin Gore, there was also that period circa 1984-1985 when he enjoyed dressing up in women's clothing (including black lace slips). He still finds that difficult to live down to this day.
David Bowie's not too proud of most of his pre-Space Oddity work, but by far the most infamous example of that bunch is the So Bad, It's Good 1967 novelty single "The Laughing Gnome", which was successfully re-released by his old label after he hit it big in The Seventies. When he was prepping his Sound+Vision tour, New Musical Express spoofed it by encouraging those participating in the decide-the-setlist phone polling to get "The Laughing Gnome" in. Bowie canceled the phone polling. In his "canon" career, the song "Too Dizzy" has been left off of all reissues of 1987's Never Let Me Down — which is generally regarded as his worst album anyway — and he regards that album and its predecessor Tonight as mistakes (albeit with a few good songs, particularly "Loving the Alien" and "Time Will Crawl"), the result of trying to please the new mainstream pop-rock fans he'd gained via Let's Dance rather than himself.
Lena Meyer-Landrut appeared topless in the German docusoap Bitte Helfen Sie Mir before winning the Eurovision Song Contest.
American songwriter Irving Berlin, known for classics such as "God Bless America," wrote an antiwar song called "Stay Down Here Where You Belong." However, a few years later, the United States entered what was then known as "The Great War" and Berlin wrote his more well-known, patriotic songs. As a result, Berlin was so openly ashamed of his earlier song that Groucho Marx repeatedly antagonized Berlin by performing "Stay Down Here Where You Belong" in his presence. Tiny Tim also recorded it on his 1968 debut album.
Pink Floyd aren't particularly fond of their albums from the period after Syd Barrett left and before their classic era. Roger Waters in particular said that the album Atom Heart Mother was a good case "for being thrown into the dustbin and never listened to by anyone ever again!" A 1992 Box Set, called Shine On, had every album between A Saucerful of Secrets and Meddle (and also The Final Cut) left out (The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was missing too - not because the band doesn't like it, but because was given a re-release earlier in the year that the label didn't want the box set to compete with). Fortunately for fans that still like these albums, the 2007 set, Oh, by the Way, retains all of these and even gives The Final Cut a bonus track.
Rapper Sir-Mix-A-Lot has openly expressed hatred and regret of his one-hit wonder "Baby Got Back".
There are The Beatles' repeated efforts to keep "The Star Club Tapes" off the market. Now, those tapes were homemade, low-quality, and possibly violating EMI's copyright. This is noted here because it wasn't EMI trying to stop the Star Club Tapes...
John Lennon felt "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" was the worst thing he'd ever written, because he just put some lines from an old carnival poster to music.
In 1970, before launching his solo career as a singer-songwriter, Billy Joel formed an acid rock keyboard-and-drums duo, Attila, with former Hassles bandmate John Small. They released only one self-titled album before breaking up. All Music Guide critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine has described it as "the worst album released in the history of rock & roll — hell, the history of recorded music itself." Joel himself later called it "psychedelic bullshit." Joel fans who have heard the album (who aren't many; it's quite a rarity) tend to consider it So Bad, It's Good.
Joel is similarly embarassed by the two albums the Hassles recorded in the late 1960s, and has blocked attempts to re-release them.
For his solo career, Joel hated Cold Spring Harbor, which was the only album released before he was signed to Columbia Records. The mixing on the album was notoriously terrible, most notably the fact that it was mixed at the wrong speed, making Joel sound like a chipmunk. Nevertheless, this album had the popular love ballad "She's Got a Way."
For what it's worth, Attila is generally well-liked among fans of heavy psych and has become something of a Cult Classic in recent years thanks to renewed interest in the genre caused by a minor heavy psych revival.
Within his established body of work, Joel feels this way about "Captain Jack", even though a bootleg live version from a Philadelphia concert was his breakout hit before "Piano Man." To him it represents a amateurish period of his songwriting, and he's kind of embarrassed it became a hit. By 1980 he was barely performing it live, except in Philadelphia. In more recent years when he's done it, he's usually just played it and told the audience to sing it for him, which they still do quite readily.
Pantera's first four albums, recorded during their eighties "hair metal" phase, have been kept out of print since their initial vinyl release. The band's website does not even acknowledge them, starting the discography with 1990's Cowboys From Hell. This policy is also followed by most of the fanbase. They did license a song from this era, "Proud To Be Loud", for use in Donnie Darko. However, to avoid having their name attached to it, it was credited to The Dead Green Mummies.
Some of the material, especially in recent years, has received appreciation from fans and casual listeners, Projects In The JungleI am the Night and Power Metal, which have many songs that hold more in common with traditional Judas Priest-style Heavy Metal (as opposed to the Thrash sound in the 1990s) than the Lighter and Softer debut album, Metal Magic ('70s-style Glam Rock in the vein of Foreigner, Eddie Money and KISS)). Drummer Vinnie Paul has even stated in interviews that while the band is long past that stage of their career, he still has a fondness for the material and greatly enjoyed recording and performing it.
Job for a Cowboy's demo and first EP more or less served as the Trope Codifier for modern Deathcore; once the band realized what they had created, they decided that they wanted no part of it and changed their sound to death metal at least partially because they wanted to distance themselves from their early days as much as possible. In spite of that, they have re-released Doom and still play songs from it live, but that's more due to fan expectations than anything, and they've also expressed a desire to drop everything from that era from their live setlists.
In a rare case of a musician actually disowning his entire musical career, acclaimed actor Mark Wahlberg has no interest whatsoever revisiting his career as white rapper Marky Mark. In an interview, he described coming across a VH-1 retro-'90s special in which he appeared, and apparently he didn't find it as funny as the VH-1 commentators did.
Mark Wahlberg: Oh my God, how am I going to explain this to my kids?
Though he did some self-lampooning in Rock Star. During the credits, his character says he'll leave rock and attempt to do rap. While "Good Vibrations", by Marky Mark, is playing in the background.
Piano-rock chanteuse Tori Amos fronted a synth-pop band called Y Kant Tori Read that released a single self-titled record in 1988. The record label stopped promoting it after two months, Tori had fired the entire band except one member by the time the first video was shot, and Tori had, for a long time, acted like it never existed, with good reason. She seems to have reconciled herself with the album, to the extent that she occasionally plays songs from the album live (particularly "Etienne" and "Cool on Your Island"). This may be an example of an artist reconciling with Old Shame.
Making matters much worse, the booklet of the album doesn't credit Amos with her full name, but just "Tori". Which led many to believe her name was "Tori Read".
There's also the 1987 TV commercial for Kellogg's Just Right cereal that she did because She Was Young And Needed The Money, and the cheesy but catchy "Baltimore", a song that she wrote and recorded (as Ellen Amos) at age 16 for a Baltimore Orioles theme song contest (she won).
Michael Longcor's "Privateer" is the only thing that survived from a bad space opera novel he wrote in college. The song itself is rather good. He'd prefer not to talk about the rest of the novel...
In 1967, rock/soul icon Van Morrison's debut album with Bang Records was a Mood Whiplash mixture of uptempo rave-ups and brooding, lyrically adventurous songs. Morrison and producer/label owner Bert Berns had major artistic disagreements. Berns wanted Morrison to be some sort of cross between Mick Jagger and Neil Diamond. Morrison was moving into a more poetic, jazz-influenced direction. To make matters worse, without Morrison's permission they tried to jump on the 1967 psychedelic bandwagon by calling the album Blowin' Your Mind and releasing it with an ugly, would be-"trippy" cover. When Berns, who had chronic cardiac issues, died suddenly, Morrison wanted out of his contract. The label said he owed them about three dozen songs, so he recorded a bunch of of deliberately, unreleaseably awful songs ("The Big Royalty Check," "Ringworm," "Want a Danish," "Here Comes Dumb George"). This ended up backfiring on him in the early '90s, when the cash-strapped rightsholders began licensing them out...on "Greatest Hits" compilations, no less.
Alanis Morissette once was a bubblegum-pop idol singer of sorts, releasing two albums named Alanis and Now It's The Time. Later, when she became famous with Jagged Little Pill, she wasn't amused to see her other works were still around.
She has somewhat reclaimed one of her old pop songs, "Too Hot", playing it in a reworked version that sounds more like her normal sound. She has said of it (before playing), "This song deserves no introduction."
Dr. Dre, of N.W.A. fame, helped found the gangsta rap genre. But that didn't erase his earlier work with the "World Class Wrekin' Cru," where he was pictured on the album insert in mascara and lipstick. Eazy-E was kind enough to remind everyone about it on a diss track.
Peter Furler of the Newsboys has said that when he first listened to the finished Boyz Will Be Boyz album, he actually cried because it was, in his words, "crap". These days, any mention of the band's songs before the (appropriately titled) Not Ashamed era will generally be met with embarrassment.
Japanese pop star Momoe Yamaguchi debuted on the scene in 1973 with a series of hits with suggestive lyrics like "You can do whatever you want with me; it's okay if rumors start that I'm a bad girl." In later years, her early hits embarrassed her so much that she stopped performing them live.
Most members of dc Talk choose to ignore their first two albums, which were mostly rap-driven and quite a contrast to their later pop/rock work (especially the first album, which is not so much "cheesy" or "dated" as it is... bewildering.)
Shock rocker Alice Cooper's early psychedelic period of 1969-70 and his bizarre experimental years of 1977-83, as well as his "hair metal" years of 1986-91 (except for "Poison", his biggest post-seventies hit) are largely ignored by the man himself as well as most fans.
My Bloody Valentine do not think much of their non-shoegazing period (everything they released before the Strawberry Wine EP).
Common has renounced his older songs with anti-gay lyrics.
Most of "Weird Al" Yankovic's early stuff is not considered particularly shameful by him, so much as "not fit for release as it was recorded in [his] dorm's bathroom". Still, he has expressed displeasure with his parodies "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" and "Girls Just Want To Have Lunch". "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" was considered way too much of a Take That against Joel's music for the band to even consider asking him for permission, and "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch" is a result of Executive Meddling and not something Al wanted to record in the first place. Cyndi Lauper was huge at the time, and Scotti Bros., his record company at the time, demanded he do a parody of that song or the album would be shelved. Not hard to believe just by listening to the quality of the song in which, compared to other parodies (of female artists), Al seems to be mocking it as he sings it. Also telling is the fact that though it's technically a food-related song, it was left off his Food Album compilation in the early-'90s (which, along with his similar TV Album and two Greatest Hits albums, also falls under this category, as Al has stated he's not fond of compilation albums).
Juan Luis Guerra and his group 4:40 released their first album around 1984, which was very experimental and quite different from the poetic merengue and bachata songs they would be known for later. Said album didn't sell well, and they also didn't like to mention it, beginning their official discography with the one where they first get their characteristic sound, released in '86.
Genesis's first album, From Genesis to Revelation, was an attempt to appeal to their producer, Jonathan King, by mimicking the Bee Gees. As the next three albums were released (Trespass, Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot) a line was rapidly drawn under that part of their career. The songs from it were rarely, if ever, performed. Most of the fans agree with this policy and many disregard the album altogether. It's one of the easier Old Shames to find, though, because King, not Genesis, owned the rights to it, and kept publishing it over and over as the band actually produced records that sold. The bandmembers have also been uniformly negative about And Then There Were Three, which was written in the wake of Steve Hackett's departure and Phil Collins' first divorce.
White nationalist band Prussian Blue's members have renounced their former views. Four years after the band's breakup, member Lamb Gaede was quoted saying, "I’m not a white nationalist anymore. My sister and I are pretty liberal now."
Mike Oldfield's 1975 recording of "Don Alfonso", an early 20th century comedy novelty song, falls into this trope. The single was pulled worldwide before many copies were sold, and the accompanying video was rarely seen until it appeared on a 2004 DVD. Apart from that, and the early Virgin Records compilation V, the track has never appeared on any other compilation. This is especially notable considering some of the musical skeletons-in-closets that were dusted off and presented in Boxed (e.g. Mike Oldfield and David Bedford's attempt at a duet in "Speak Tho' You Only Say Farewell").
Alice in Chains began as a hair metal act (seeing a pattern here?). After Facelift was released, they began to deny this and avoided answering questions about it in interviews. While they were never officially published during that period, there are a few demos floating around the internet.
After releasing their first EP and breaking into the early '80s hardcore scene, Bad Religion then went on to make Into the Unknown... a prog-rock album. Everyone in the band widely regards it as one of the worst mistakes they've ever made. It has never had a second printing, two of the members walked out during the recording of the first song, and they followed it up with an EP titled Back To The Known. Curiously, Allmusic gives it four and a half stars.
Cee-Lo Green was originally in a rap group called Goodie Mob, who were in league with Outkast and had a similar style. However, he hated the group's overly-pop third album, World Party. He left the group as a result, and went on to record two solo albums before forming Gnarls Barkley with Danger Mouse.
Most of Country Music band Sawyer Brown's material for Capitol Records in The Eighties and early '90s has gone out of print. This may be because they started out as a very lightweight bubblegum country-pop band who dressed in pink and emphasized their dance moves, and didn't take on their more mature, polished image until around 1991, shortly before moving from Capitol Records to Curb Records. Outside a few tracks, such as their 1989 cover of George Jones' "The Race Is On" and the three singles from their last Capitol album — which was a commercial comeback after a slump for most of 1989-91 — their Capitol-era releases are particularly hard to come by nowadays.
Bob Seger refuses to allow his early albums to be reissued on CD. Oddly, many fans regard titles like Mongrel, Back in '72 or Seven to be as good as, if not better than, Seger's more commonly-available later stuff.
However, Seger's Live Bullet album has been kept in print, and it includes versions of some of those early songs - such as "Turn the Page" and "Katmandu" - which went on to become staples of classic rock radio.
Similarly to Bob Seger above, Neil Diamond won't allow most of his Bang Records recordings from the 1960s to be reissued, even though many people believe that's the best stuff he ever did.
Before the band Hurt released their first album "Vol. 1," they released two other albums prior to that: their self-titled album and "The Consummation". The latter was eventually released in 2008 under the name "The Re-Consummation", while the former will most likely never see the light of day again because as J. Loren (the band's singer) put it, it was "poorly done and actually diminishes from the intentions behind the songs." Some of the songs from said album were released between Vol. 1 and Vol. II, however, they've confirmed that the songs from both albums are drastically different from the early songs (an interview with the singer states that the self titled album's Summers Lost and Abuse of SID is different from Vol. II versions).
Perhaps some of the most infamous examples are the "racist" freestyles that a teenaged Eminem recorded, after being dumped by a black girlfriend. To this day, he hates the fact that those tapes ever saw the light of day, and even made a song to officially apologize for ever creating them. Eminem himself has confirmed Infinite as his personal Old Shame, citing that he had not found his style yet (and it shows, notably, his SlimShady persona is nowhere to be found on the album) and that he sounded too much like Nas. Em also seems to be disappointed with his "comeback" CD, Relapse. On "Not Afraid", he actually apologizes for it.
In 2014's "Headlights", he took this trope In-Universe. Having begun to try to reconcile with his mother, he put his 2000 classic "Cleanin' Out My Closet" into this category. He cringes to hear it, and will never perform it again.
Sergei Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp minor, written early in his career, became his most famous piece. He detested it, and often would refuse to play it when he performed.
Industrial artist Al Jourgensen — frontman of Ministry, and member of Revolting Cocks (aka RevCo) and Lard — has been known to physically destroy any copies of Ministry's With Sympathy and Twitch albums that he encounters at clubs or signings. Both albums are considered by fans and critics to be decent, if not exceptional, synthpop/darkwave albums (much closer to Kraftwerk and Front242 than to his later work); and Twitch in particular has a strong following. However, he's developed a substantial hatred for them; particularly With Sympathy, which he refers to as "an abortion", and claims it was the result of the record label forcing him to go for a more commercial synth-pop sound.
Older Than Radio: Richard Wagner insisted that the first three operas he wrote didn't count as his work. The third, Rienzi, is still played today, but the first two are generally considered to be pretty bad.
Megadeth and their 1999 release, Risk. It emerged after the commercial success of Cryptic Writings, when Dave Mustaine decided that they would go further in the direction of radio-friendly metal and away from the thrash-heavy sound of Rust In Peace. Mustaine admits that it didn't do that well and wasn't particularly good. Part of the problem with Risk is that Dave had little control on how it was handled. Not helping was the fact that both Cryptic Writings and Risk were produced by Dann Huff, an ex-member of a Christian rock band who at that point was mainly (and still is) a country producer.
Mustaine admits that the last sentence is not true, and that he is as much to blame for Risk as anyone else. Basically, when Cryptic Writings was released to commercial success, he got a little bit too happy with the reception that he decided to continue let outside songwriters do his work.
Amusingly, the title of the album came from a comment Lars Ulrich made in an interview where he said that Mustaine didn't take enough risks with his music.
This might apply to country music singer Joe Nichols' 1996 debut album. While 2005's III was his third album for Universal South Records (now known as Show Dog-Universal), it was his fourth overall, and by naming it III he effectively disowned the 1996 album, which he recorded at age 20 — either out of shame or out of the fact that it was on a small indie label and produced no chart singles whatsoever.
It should be noted, the album has been re-released at least twice since Joe became famous. The only reason the first album is forgotten is because the label it was originally released on never actually promoted it, and they closed down shortly after.
And it strikes again: for some reason, "If Nobody Believed in You" is missing from his Greatest Hits Album, even though it was a bigger hit than the two songs released before it (which are on the album).
Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus seem to regard most of their early songwriting efforts this way. Mostly the Hep Stars and Hootenanny Singers efforts, as well as the ABBA songs written before they knew what kind of band they were going to be. Benny seems especially embarrassed, though, going so far as joking about making a "Worst of" album for ABBA.
The duo feel that strongly about Ring Ring's Swedish B Side "Ah Vilka Tider" that it is the only song from the period they left off the Ring Ring Deluxe Edition. Regarding the album Ring Ring, they did not release it in the UK until it was released on CD, not even at the height of their popularity in the late 70s. The 'hit single' Ring Ring was available as a bonus track on the UK version of Waterloo and several other tracks were on Greatest Hits.
The duo have displayed dislike of Santa Rosa, Ah Vilka Tider, I Saw It In The Mirror, Dum Dum Diddle, Summer Night City, You Owe Me One. Some of their unreleased songs that appeared as part of the ABBA Undeleted medley - notably Here Comes Ruby Jamie and Just Like That - had sections cut out because they were too embarrassed to release them.
The French composer Maurice Duruflé was such a perfectionist that he only managed to publish 14 works in a career spanning 60 years, and still felt enough Old Shame about the first one that he withdrew it from publication.
Duruflé's mentor, Paul Dukas (most well-known for the tone poem "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), was similar in this respect. His surviving work only constitutes around half of his total output; he abandoned and/or destroyed the other half for not meeting his personal standards.
Composer Hector Berlioz had taken to "burning" compositions of his that he disliked, though often the manuscripts were not actually destroyed but filed away. One of these works, the Messe Solennelle, was not rediscovered until 1991.
Comedic singer Tony Goldmark, as a young teen, put together an album of kids' songs, You Bug Me!: Songs Guaranteed to Annoy Your Parents. Fast forward a decade-plus, and with two more albums and numerous hits on "The Dr. Demento Show", he does not recommend You Bug Me! as part of his body of work, even having an audience member reference it near the end of his "second" full-length comedy music album - just so he can shoot the guy for bringing it up!
Sandie Shaw was like that for the longest time with her Eurovision song, "Puppet on a String". Similarly, there's Lulu with her Eurovision entries ("Boom Bang A Bang" and "I'm a Tiger").
Musician in a Comedian's Body Stephen Lynch shows endless remorse over an early song called "The Bowling Song", so the audience inevitably asks for it whenever he plays.
Before he was in Ace of Base, Ulf Ekberg was in an 80s punk band called Commit Suiside, who wrote extremely-racist lyrics and got him in trouble when Ace of Base started to achieve fame in the 90s. Yeah, he doesn't like talking about that band anymore.
Fall Out Boy's first EP releases (their split EP with Project Rocket and Evening Out With Your Girlfriend) are disowned by the band, having been released prior to Andy Hurley taking the reins as the drummer, Patrick Stump taking up rhythm guitar from the other guys that quit, and Pete Wentz becoming the primary lyricist. They've shown more favor to the song "Growing Up" (only due to it being the first song they ever did as a band), which showed up on their greatest hits album.
For a Take This To Your Grave example, due to Pete and Chris "Hey Chris" Gutierrez's falling out around the time the band went mainstream, the song "Grenade Jumper" is rarely performed during their live shows, even though their relationship has improved since then.
Jason Martin of Starflyer 59 has said that he can't stand to listen to his first album, Silver, any more. Fans of the band tend to disagree with him—fortunately for them, Jason doesn't hate Silver enough to do anything to prevent it from being reissued (twice!). On the other hand, there's the pre-Silver, six-song demo tape that convinced Tooth & Nail Records to sign Sf59. Some die-hard fans have occasionally asked Jason about releasing that, and he has answered that the demos were terrible and should never see the light of day.
The Beastie Boys don't seem too fond of their debut, Licensed To Ill, in retrospect. (Much in contrast to the rest of the world; it's still probably their most well-known album.) They've mentioned in interviews that they're embarrassed about some of the misogynistic lyrics (joking or otherwise), and it's the only older album in their catalog that they chose not to remaster in 2009. In fact, they've explicitly refused to ever play "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" again.
Cage hates his debut album, Movies for the Blind, and considers it too random and fragmented, and says that it glorified drugs. Despite his distaste for the album, it was appraised by critics and is considered a Cult Classic.
Ralf Hutter has dismissed his work on the first three Kraftwerk albums (ditto Tone Float by Organisation, the band he and Florian Schneider were in prior to Kraftwerk) and refuses to licence them for any official reissues. Thus, any CDs of these albums to date have been "gray market" releases.
Hutter was also so embarrassed by the band's "hippie" appearance on the cover of Autobahn that the "rearview mirror" was airbrushed out of reissues of the album, and the band image on the back replaced by a later band photo (from the band's "robotic" phase; incidentally, a different lineup of the band that is featured on said album!). It seems he's no longer embarrassed by the image anymore as the 2009 remastering of Autobahn restores the original picture.
He's also may have warmed up to the original albums, stating that he's dug up additional artwork for each of those albums and is probably readying a box set for them.
Wu-Tang Clan members RZA and GZA had solo careers prior to the groups formation as Prince Rakeem and The Genius respectively. Both have expressed disdain over the image they were given and honestly, you can't blame them.
Judging by interviews it seems that former Panic! at the Disco guitarist/main songwriter Ryan Ross is pretty embarrassed over Panic!'s 2005 emo-heavy debut A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, which he wrote when he was still a teenager. Probably due to Ross completely rejecting emo in favor of classic rock.
Charlie Simpson of emo band Fightstar is well known for having been in the pop-punk boyband Busted. Whilst he doesn't regret it, many of Fightstar's fans do.
Japan's first album Adolescent Sex is an old shame for David Sylvian, who has long past moved from its camp synth glam rock to sophisticated ambient music. He wishes the album hadn't been released, mainly because they didn't have much control over the way it was handled.
Sylvian seems to dislike the way he's so associated with Japan, referring to this period as 'childish things'. The reason people like Japan so much has to do with the fact that he wrote songs back then, as opposed to sprawling ambient pieces.
Muse's early demo tapes especially This Is A Muse Demo, which they've had people outbid the fans for on two occasions so no one can hear it.
Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers seems to have a contempt for The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, Freaky Styley, Mother's Milk and One Hot Minute albums and rarely plays anything from them live. He has allowed the band to tease the songs but never sings them. In one case in the late 2000s, the rest of the band were really up for playing their 1989 single "Knock Me Down," until Anthony adamantly refused to sing it.
He has also stated outright that he regrets "The Greeting Song" (from Blood Sugar Sex Magik), saying that the only reason why it exists is because producer Rick Rubin pressured the band to include a love song on the album.
John Frusciante also somewhat regrets the Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik periods because of his guitar style, loud personality, and discomfort with the massive fame it pushed them into. He doesn't regret the heroin period as it caused him to become more introspective and put his life into perspective. However, he has only a passing interest in re-releasing the solo album he released for drug money, Smile From The Streets You Hold, which remains out of print as of 2013.
Jay-Z has admitted that the lyrics in "Big Pimpin" strike a nerve with him nowadays, considering that his views on relationships have changed drastically since then.
Randy Travis recorded an album called Wind in the Wire for a TV series of the same name. The label didn't promote the album well, and its singles both tanked miserably at radio (although one went to #10 in Canada). This album is widely considered one of Travis's worst. Even Warner Bros. Nashville's then-senior VP of marketing agreed, saying that it was an "angst" period for the label.
Buffalo hardcore band Every Time I Die hate their debut EP Burial Plot Bidding War so much when asked to give his favorite song, lead singer Keith Buckley said "Having a favorite song means you like something on it...and i dont."
Long before she joined the Black Eyed Peas, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson was part of an all-female group called Wild Orchid, which formed in 1990 and had some modest success with the hit single "Talk To Me" in 1997. Due to a change in the group's sound, faltering sales and a bad breakup, Ferguson went into a spiral of drug use and depression that eventually ended when her bandmates staged an intervention, and then ended with her leaving the group. She has only come out to talk about this once, in a 2006 Entertainment Weekly interview, explaining that it was a very bad time for her, professionally and personally.
Mandy Moore's first two albums, So Realnote I Wanna Be With You doesn't count, given that it's, literally, So Real with the songs rearranged and new cover art. Yes, the label actually pulled that stunt and expected people to fall for it. and her self-titled album, are manufactured studio pop made from the same mold as Jessica Simpson and countless other late '90s/early '00s pop princesses trying to capitalize on the popularity of Britney Spears. Nowadays, Moore is a folksy indie pop singer who actually writes her own music, and has completely disowned her days as a Teen Idol. She went so far as to offer refunds to everybody who bought her first two albums, starting with the hosts of the radio show where she made that announcement.
Jeremy Dawson and Chad Petree, the producers of Shiny Toy Guns, seem to have disowned their old trance productions as Cloud 2 Ground, Slyder, RRDS, etc., some of which appeared in Grand Theft Auto III on the Rise FM station.
Door, Door, the lone album by The Boys Next Door is apparently this to Nick Cave and the rest of the band (who would later become The Birthday Party). This is most likely because it's more commercial-sounding and New Wave-esque than The Birthday Party were, with Nick Cave employing smoother vocals. In one interview, Cave himself called it "one of the worst records ever recorded", and also said "I think my singing style at that particular period was totally repulsive. It was really disgusting".
Although the album cover is one of the most iconic logos in the history of rock music, the Grateful Dead album Steal Your Face is considered the worst live album by the band. The two main criticisms were its poor sound quality, which required studio overdubs, and its emphasis on songs rather than the band's signature improvisational jamming. It's frequently referred to as Steal Your Money by fans, critics, and the band themselves. When Rhino Records released two box-sets containing their main studio and live albums, they opted to exclude this album and instead release the separate five-disk Grateful Dead Movie Soundtrack to represent that time in the band's history.
Originally, country music duo Bomshel consisted of Kristy Osmunson and Buffy Lawson. This lineup released a three-song EP and a cut from the Evan Almighty soundtrack, with all four songs charting. After Lawson left over Creative Differences, Kelley Shepard took her place and the Shepard/Osmunson lineup went on to release a full album. As soon as Shepard took over, the duo promptly disowned three of the four Lawson-era songs, keeping only "Bomshel Stomp". (They ultimately broke up in 2013, with Osmunson forming a new duo called American Young.)
The pilot for Stargate SG-1 blended Joel Goldsmith's original score with tracked-in David Arnold cues from the original movie. When this mixture was replicated for the soundtrack album, both composers had their names taken off the disc (although the small print for the copyright notice still mentions each composer's name for the musical masters, that's the only place they're mentioned).
Long before he launched himself to stardom on British television, Ricky Gervais was a 22-year old performing in an 80'sNew Wave/electropop duo called Seona Dancing. The group had a pair of (extremely) minor hits, and featured Gervais dressing like David Bowie while sporting massive hair. The duo's music video for the second track, "Bitter Heart", was filmed for 300 quid in a scummy parking garage near the BBC offices. Predictably, TV interviewers mentioned it in every interview he did soon after the video was discovered. Gervais is reportedly still embarassed by it, and many note that for a guy who seemed oddly resistant to being famous when he first debuted in The Office (UK), he sure tried his best to become a superstar as a young man.
The first album by The Divine Comedy, Fanfare for the Comic Muse. Neil Hannon had the album removed from the label's catalog and says the title of their 2006 album Victory for the Comic Muse is a coincidence.
Martina McBride and producer Paul Worley both criticize her 1993 single "Life #9" in the liner notes to her Greatest Hits Album. Worley referred to it as a "country disco phase", and Martina thought that it didn't fit her style.
Worley was also embarrassed by his slide guitar solos on "My Baby Loves Me", Martina's Breakthrough Hit.
Michael Bolton would prefer it if people forgot he was ever a hard rock singer, but 1985's Everybody's Crazy is still regarded as a classic of its type.
Britney Spears generally isn't all that ashamed of her past as a bubblegum pop Teen Idol, but she does regret the red outfit she wore in the video for "Oops, I Did It Again".
For Guster, they're a bit ashamed of their first single, "Happy Frappy," from their first album, finding it extremely trite. While plenty of other material from their early albums still get play, they all but refuse to acknowledge "Happy Frappy" at all; There are only two known times they've played the song live since 1998.
Rodney Atkins' first single, the 1997 flop "In a Heartbeat", had him singing in a Roy Orbison-esque voice while wearing a cowboy hat and mustache. Dissatisfied with his material at the time, Atkins asked the head of his label for a change in producers. After a long hiatus, Atkins did one album (2003's Honesty) as basically a hatless, mustache-less Tim McGraw clone. Another hiatus followed, after which he found his niche in 2006 as a baseball cap-wearing purveyor of positive, life-affirming uptempos (e.g. "If You're Going Through Hell") and easily relatable songs about fatherhood and family (e.g. "Watching You", "Cleaning This Gun"). Even though the title track to Honesty was a Top 5 hit, Atkins has disowned everything from before "If You're Going Through Hell".
Coldplay have straight-up called their first album, Parachutes, "terrible music". A case where most people (fans, critics, even nonfans) disagree.
Chris Martin has also admitted in an interview that "Speed of Sound" is one of his least favorite songs, due to how the recording went. The band does not play it live, specifically for that reason.
Boards of Canada have refused to acknowledge any of their releases prior to Twoism. They consist of a mix of good-quality tracks and some that...probably justify the band's attitude towards them. They're still highly sought-after by fans, though.
Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson seems to feel this way about the band's 1973 Concept Album, A Passion Play (feeling it was over-arranged and lacked humor), and to 1975's Minstrel In The Gallery (considering it well-recorded and produced, but too dark lyrically). His use of soprano and sopranino saxophones in general on the 1972-74 material come under fire, too, as he decided he didn't really like the sound or feel comfortable playing the instrument, and only tried them to see if he could develop a love for it or find a way to make it a pleasant experience for himself.
The last verse of "I'm Not A Loser" by Descendents gives us several blatantly homophobic lines such as "you fucking homo" and "you suck, Mr. Buttfuck." The band has since apologized for those lyrics, claiming they were just ignorant kids at the time (in their defense, societal attitudes and information related to homosexuals have changed a lot since the The Eighties, when the song was written).
That didn't stop Sublime from covering "I'm Not a Loser" a decade later with unaltered lyrics.
Completely averted by George Strait, whose setlist still includes his 1981 debut single "Unwound" more than 30 years later.
Although he completely disowns his second single "Down and Out" and adamantly refused to put it on his (at the time) career-spanning box set.
Christian artist Randy Stonehill released his first album in 1971. In 1994, when asked by interviewer if the mostly live album would ever see re-release, Stonehill responded:
"Only when someone makes a serious error in judgment."
James Newton Howard isn't too fond of his work when he first began scoring films in the mid-1980s, so anyone expecting albums for the likes of Head Office, 8 Million Ways to Die, Nobody's Fool and Campus Man will be in for a long wait (1987's Five Corners and Russkies are his oldest scores to get album release).
Carter Burwell and Thomas Newman have these with Wayne's World 2 and Revenge of the Nerds respectively; Burwell because he a) had to write a Kenny G soundalike and b) then had to rewrite the piece "because (it) could be interpreted as making fun of Mr. G", and Newman because he had to arrange "Daisy, Daisy" in a Japanese style for a bicycle race.
Ask Girls Aloud which music video they hate the most, and they'll answer with "No Good Advice", as it was their second video and they were basically dancing around in tinfoil around a car and phone booth with very bizarre flashing effects.
The members and former members of Duran Duran don't agree on everything these days, but they, too, do agree on their worst video: "New Moon on Monday". They had to cut their Christmas holidays short, and spend all of a cold day in some castle in northern France making the video which would be the only remnant of the album's original concept. By the end of the day John Taylor says the whole band was pretty much in the bag, even Nick Rhodes.note That's why he dances slightly at the end, one of the few times he ever did in public. He says all of them will walk out of the room if the video's on.
Dir En Grey would prefer you forget that they were La:Sadie's, an unsuccessful Visual Kei band. They would also prefer you forget about former bassist and bandleader Kisaki, as they would have never achieved success with him around.
Hayden Panettiere has admitted to being embarrassed about her pop single "Wake Up Call," not least when she realised how close it was to Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind" ("At that point I was a puppet, basically. It wasn't me").
Robert Plant hated his rendition of "Innuendo" at the 1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert so much that it's since been omitted on video releases, instead skipping ahead to his rendition of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".
Led Zeppelin in general felt their reunion appearance at the Philadelphia leg of 1985's historic Live Aid concerts was an unmitigated disaster, to the extent that they forbade it from appearing on the official DVD release in 2004. (It should be noted, by the way, that the band themselves are by no means the only ones to express this opinion.)
For some reason, Travis Tritt's 1995 Greatest Hits Album is lacking "Nothing Short of Dying" and "Lord Have Mercy on the Working Man", even though both were Top 5 hits. Even more jarring when "Put Some Drive in Your Country", which was a far lesser hit, is on said album.
In his autobiography, he also said that he was never a big fan of his debut single "Country Club" because he didn't think it fit his style.
Tay Zonday of "Chocolate Rain" fame made the songs "Roll Your Dice" and "Traffic Machine" private on his YouTube channel because he doesn't like them anymore.
Moya Griffiths, the singing voice of Terrahawks's Kate Kestrel, wasn't fond of the experience. Especially when "SOS" was released as a single.
Gary Harrison, co-writer of Trisha Yearwood's 1992 single "Wrong Side of Memphis", said in an interview that he didn't like the song because "it just sort of drones, there's really no chorus to it[…]I never really thought there was a song there to begin with."
Richard Young, rhythm guitarist of The Kentucky Headhunters, said that he was not happy with the band's third album, 1993's Rave On!!, their first album after brothers Ricky Lee and Doug Phelps (then the lead singer and bassist, respectively) quit to form a new duo. He said that Orr never seemed to fit in stylistically, due to his voice being more suited for blues and R&B than their Southern rock-influenced country. Once it became obvious that Orr didn't want to be in the group anymore, he persuaded the Phelps brothers to break up their new duo and come back. Ricky Lee declined, but Doug happily returned to the group in 1995, taking his brother's former role as lead singer.
Tony Wakeford of neofolk band Sol Invictus has stated his previous band Above the Ruins was "shite and a product of a really bad period in my life", as he was involved with the National Front at the time (a political affiliation which he has since disowned) and this was reflected in the lyrics.
Pharrell Williams stated in his March 2014 interview with GQ that he is not proud of his 2006 solo debut album In My Mind, saying that all the songs about the rich and famous lifestyle served no long-term purpose and that he was living in the wrong state of mind.
Nonetheless, this Tweet from OFWGKTA frontman Tyler, The Creator (who considers Pharrell one of his primary hip-hop influences) shows that at least one person's life was better off for that album.
Frank Zappa wanted to forget producing Wild Man Fischer's first album "An Evening with Wild Man Fischer" (1968) ever since Fischer threw a bottle at Zappa's baby daughter and missed. Zappa quickly threw Fischer out and broke all contact with him. He never re-released the album and to this day it can only be found on vinyl. This was particularly awful for Fischer because it was the best-selling album in his entire low sales career.
Captain Beefheart: Beefheart felt particularly embarrassed by the albums "Unconditionally Guaranteed" and "Bluejeans and Moonbeams". These two records were an attempt to sound more "commercial" than his usual avantgarde output, but failed miserably, even among his fans. Beefheart even said people should bring them back to the store and demand their money back.
The Sex Pistols: The comedic Holocaust song "Belsen Was A Gas" has been scorned by both Johnny Rotten (who wrote the lyrics) and Ronnie Biggs (who sang it) for being in "extremely bad taste."
REM in general and Michael Stipe in particular have hated "Shiny Happy People" since the day they created it, it seems, largely because it Tastes Like Diabetes. For the longest time it was never to be found on any compilation albums, and they rarely — if ever — played it live. The only compilation album it's appeared on since its initial release is the retrospective Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011... which was released after the band broke up.
Guitarist Peter Buck summed up their 2004 album Around the Sun thusly: "...[it] 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." Stipe also reportedly said "If we make another record like [Around the Sun], it's over" during the process of making their next record, Accelerate.
Ernest Hogan, a black musician and vaudeville performer, and one of the founding fathers of ragtime music, wrote a song called "All Coons Look Alike to Me". It became one of his biggest hits - and also his biggest shame, as much of its popularity was owed to white racists who failed to understand what the song was about. Adding to his shame, the song singlehandedly inspired an entire genre of music called "coon songs", which were basically songs by racist whites that defamed blacks.
Ira Gershwin named the title song of the 1933 Broadway flop Pardon My English as the worst lyric he ever wrote. (The 1993 studio recording tastefully omits it.) Ironically, the lyrics were missing until a copy was discovered in his personal papers after his death.
Bryan Adams does not like his 1978 debut release "Let Me Take You Dancing" because, to remix the song for disco, his vocal track was sped up so he sounded like a chipmunk.
Trace Adkins zig-zagged this with his single "Brown Chicken Brown Cow", an innuendo-laden novelty. He didn't apologize for the songper se, but he said that he was ashamed of asking that more conservative stations play it.
Taylor Swift has distanced herself from her first album, which was her most country-sounding, and written when she was only 16. In particular, she singled out "Picture to Burn" as containing emotions that she would handle differently now as an adult.
Emilie Autumn reconned her Enchant album from her About Me in 2014. Now if you look for it on her website it is hard to find and she refuses to perform any of the songs like, explained as her Opheliac/Asylum/Fight Like A Girl sound and image is what made her popular on a grand scale.
Rush is on record as saying they'd love to forget their first live album, All The World's a Stage.
Actress Glenn Close has never said anything that suggests she sees any of her movies as falling into this trope. However, before any reporters get to talk to her during media junkets, they are warned by publicists not to ask her about her time with the traveling choral group Up With People.
Ozzy Osbourne made no bones about disliking Speak of the Devil, a double live album of (mostly) Black Sabbath covers he was contractually obligated to do, when it was released in 1982.note Even if it was notably superior to Live Evil, his former band's version of the same, released around the same time Since it went out of print 20 years later, he's done everything possible to pretend it never happened, including not even mentioning it on his website.