7 massive albums that artists don't want you to hear

Just imagine it: you spend months carefully crafting songs, painstakingly recording them in the studio, obsessing over the artwork and packaging before finally releasing an album into the world… only to belatedly realise you're actually sick and tired of your own songs already. Or, worse still, you already knew while making it that it's nowhere near as good as you thought it might be.

For every thousandth artist who desperately tries to convince you that their latest record is their best, there's a handful who are eager to distance themselves from the turkeys in their back catalogue as quickly as possible.

Here are seven embarrassed bands and artists who wish they could turn back time.

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1. The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967)

[LISTEN] BBC Radio 6 Music - Keith Richards on Their Satanic Majesties Request

The Rolling Stones have released 30 studio albums in the course of their long career, but none have arguably been as divisive as the ill-fated experiment of 1967's Their Satanic Majesties Request. Even by their chaotic standards, recording the LP had been messy: sessions had to be fitted into whenever Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones weren't defending themselves from high-profile drug charges, and when they did manage to turn up at the studio, the large entourages of liggers and hangers-on that each member brought with them stymied the flow of creative juices.

Worse still, the album was released just after The Beatles' classic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, with critics drawing unfavourable comparisons between the two. But nobody was as stinging in their criticism as the Stones themselves. Richards dismissed the record as "crap", while Jagger described it as a "lot of rubbish". Thankfully, the Stones realised the only option was to go back to doing what they did best: the stripped-back rock 'n' roll of the masterful Beggars Banquet, released in 1968, was the perfect riposte.

2. Wiley - See Clear Now (2008)

[LISTEN] BBC Radio 1 - 10 Moments That Made Wiley (available until 8 December)

I got forced - no, not forced - told to make it

In 2009, Grime pioneer Wiley was seemingly on the cusp of sustained mainstream success thanks to the popularity of his track Wearin' My Rolex, which peaked at No.2 in the UK Chart. Behind the scenes, though, things weren't quite as rosy: the MC was unhappy with his label Asylum and appeared to be trapped between his underground roots and a more commercial pop sound (he was particularly unhappy with the production of another single, Summertime, which was overseen by Mark Ronson).

He was equally unimpressed with the resulting album See Clear Now, eventually resorting to criticising the LP, its production and Asylum online before leaving the label. "It's an album I didn't want to make. I got forced - no, not forced - told to make it," Wiley told the Guardian a year later. "Really, there was a lot I didn't like about it. The tracks were all thrown together - I was just told to vocal this beat, vocal that beat. I never really had much musical input in it, which burnt me inside."

I got forced - no, not forced - told to make it

3. Tori Amos - Y Kant Tori Read (1988)

BBC Radio 2 - Tori Amos in session for Sir Terry Wogan

In 1994, a journalist for the New Haven Advocate asked Tori Amos about Y Kant Tori Read, the poorly received self-titled album of the long-defunct rock band she briefly fronted in the 1980s. "The only good thing about that album is my ankle high boots," she joked, dismissively. At the time, though, Amos had been stung by criticism of the album, which she felt had been marred by record label interference and didn't truly represent her as an artist. As a child, she had studied classical piano at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Music, but now found herself being ridiculed as a "bimbo" by US publication Billboard.

"I cried constantly; I was on my knees," she told Rolling Stone. "From child prodigy to musical joke in 20 years - how do you reconcile that?" Yet, the demise of Y Kant Tori Read allowed Amos to return to composing on the piano and to find her voice: 1992's Little Earthquake was a mainstream breakthrough while albums such as 1996's startling Boys For Pele established her as one of the era's finest talents.

4. Oasis - Be Here Now (1997)

[WATCH] BBC Radio 6 Music - Oasis Live At Knebworth, 1996

Seldom few albums have garnered the same pre-release hype as Oasis's Be Here Now: excitement for the record was so rabid that it shifted just shy of 700,000 copies in its first week, and TV news cameras were dispatched to interview excited customers as they prepared to hand over their cash (one of whom included a fresh-faced, pre-Libertines Pete Doherty waxing lyrical about the genius of the Gallaghers).

Nearly 20 years later, and it's not held in quite the same esteem: some critics have suggested, post-Knebworth, it marks the beginning of the end of Oasis as a creative force, mocking its bloated track-length and blustery guitars. Chief among its detractors is Noel Gallagher himself, who, in the documentary Live Forever, dismissed it as "the sound of five men in the studio, not giving a f***… all the songs are really long and the lyrics are s***". It does still have one fan eager to defend its legacy, though - in 2006, Liam scoffed at his brother's criticisms and insisted: "It's a top record, man, and I'm proud of it - it's just a little bit long."

5. Eminem - Encore (2004)

[LISTEN] BBC Radio 1 - Zane Lowe interviews Eminem, 2013

When I was making Encore, my addiction took on a life of its own

"Nobody understood what was going on with me or why I was acting so f***** goofy," said Eminem in 2010, reflecting on his lacklustre 2004 album Encore. Despite its impressive sales figures - it sold over 1.5 million copies in a fortnight in the US, and a staggering 11 million copies worldwide in less than a year - fans felt he had slipped lyrically, a perception not helped by the jokey, throwaway nature of some of its songs.

Speaking to Vibe six years after its release, the rapper claimed he felt he'd "let some people down" with both Encore and its successor, Relapse, but explained that his drug problems had been partly responsible: "When I was making Encore, my addiction took on a life of its own."

When I was making Encore, my addiction took on a life of its own

6. R.E.M. - Around the Sun (2004)

According to R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, he and his bandmates were so disappointed with their 2004 album Around The Sun that they were forced to do some soul-searching about their future, to the extent that another duff record could have finished the group altogether. "I personally hated it," he later told Q magazine, adding: "Even Michael [Stipe] was going, 'Y'know, if we make another bad record, it's over.'"

It proved to be something of a commercial nadir, too - it failed to make the Top 10 in the band's native US, a plight that no album of theirs had suffered since 1988's Green - arguably because, as the impressively honest Buck conceded, "It 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." Fortunately, R.E.M. righted their course with 2008's Accelerate and were able to sign off with style on their 15th album, 2011's Collapse Into Now, before finally calling time on their three decade-long career.

7. Nico - Chelsea Girl (1967)

The flute! The first time I heard the album, I cried and it was all because of the flute

It's impossible to imagine The Velvet Underground's 1967 debut album without the cool, clipped voice of German model and actor-turned-singer Nico. When she released her own solo debut six months later, the fingerprints of her old collaborators could be spotted everywhere - Velvet members Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrisson all performed on the LP, while its title suggested a relationship with Andy Warhol's 1966 film Chelsea Girls (which she had also starred in).

Jackson Browne also contributed guitar to the LP and Bob Dylan donated a song, I'll Keep It With Mine, but Nico has gone on record distancing herself from the finished product. "I still cannot listen to it, because everything I wanted for that record, they took it away," she said in the liner notes for a reissue of the LP. "I asked for drums, they said no. I asked for more guitars, they said no. And I asked for simplicity, and they covered it in flutes! They added strings and - I didn't like them, but I could live with them. But the flute! The first time I heard the album, I cried and it was all because of the flute."

The flute! The first time I heard the album, I cried and it was all because of the flute

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