10 Musicians Who Hate Their Own Songs

8. R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People

When R.E.M. released their 1991 landmark record Out of Time, they reached a level of success and popularity that was previously foreign to them. The alternative rock classic was packed with great songs, and one of the most iconic and recognisable is certainly Shiny Happy People.

Apparently, the track was originally written as a dry satire of the Chinese government's propaganda after the Tiananmen Square protests, but its intended irony completely missed the mark. The song's cheerfulness was taken as genuine by a lot of people, and the message was not coming across.

Frontman Michael Stipe was not happy with how Shiny Happy People turned out, describing it as "a fruity pop song written for children" and flat out refusing to include it on their greatest hits album.

In a 2016 interview with The Sun, he elaborated: "I don't want it to be the song R.E.M. are remembered by in 100 years' time, but it should be recognized as one of our minor hits."

I think it's safe to say that Stipe doesn't consider the song as one of the band's shiniest moments.


Big fan of TV shows, music, and indie films. Gets too emotional when watching football. Secretly thinks he could run a Premier League club based only on his time spent playing Football Manager.