We all have songs that we can't stand anymore: we've overplayed them, they're too sad, or you thought they were rubbish to begin with. But what songs can't famous artists listen to? Billy Bragg can't hear 'Layla' by Derek And The Dominos ever again. "It’s so over the top! It has a three-minute outro. When I hear it now I think, ‘Just get on with it.’"
John Cooper Clarke – 'Imagine' by John Lennon “I regret ever hearing it in the first place. It’s nausea-inducing. The shallow sentimentality of it is ghastly. When I heard that, I thought, ‘Maybe he’s just never been any good.’ John is one of the great voices, so it’s tragic that he should put his name to such drivel. The fact that it’s Britain’s Number One song is suicide-inducing.”
Joe Mount – ‘Nightcall’ by Kavinsky
“It’s a brilliant song but I’ve heard it too much. We need to leave it fallow for a few years. I guarantee it’s going to be a big wedding party moment in years to come, but let’s just rein it in until then. Every time I hear it, all I see are Ryan Gosling’s dead eyes.”
Danny Brown – ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke
“I thought it was kind of funky and cool, but I’m over it now. I never really listened to the song very deep, so I don’t know about the lyrics, but I did hear it all the time. Pharell’s cool but some people are super fanboyed out by him. I’m not like that.”
Kevin Parker – ‘Hey Ya!’ by Outkast
“You can never really wear a song out by listening to it too much – just give it a year or so, then when you go back to it, it feels fresh again. But ‘Hey Ya!’ is probably the closest I’ve come to listening out a song. If there was an iTunes play-count of my life that would maybe be in the 500s.”
Emily Kokal - 'Empire State Of Mind' by Alicia Keys and Jay Z
“There are songs that my whole band will get into and they get played in the van over and over but you just can’t connect with them. I’ve heard this song plenty more times than I ever need to.”
Ice T - 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams
“I don’t ever want to hear it again. And Pharrell’s my friend – I just heard that record a little too much. When it first came out, I would turn it up, like, ‘Yo, this is the jam.’ Then they just drove it through the back of my fucking brain!”
Alexis Taylor - 'Don’t Look Back In Anger' by Oasis
“I heard a lot of Britpop in my early teenage years and mostly hated it, but it was very popular, so you couldn’t escape it. I used to like Oasis a bit, but I don’t think I could listen to ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ again – the drum fill just fills me with dread.”
Brett Anderson - 'The 2 Of Us' by Suede
“Although I’m very proud of it, ‘Dog Man Star’ was a hard album for me to listen to. My relationship with Bernard [Butler, ex-Suede guitarist] was disintegrating and he left the band. I’ll always remember watching Bernard play this song’s beautiful piano part from the control room and feeling this strange mixture of pride and trepidation.”
Miles Kane - 'Lego House' by Ed Sheeran
“Is this the same as a song you hate? Because that Ed Sheeran song, ‘Lego House’ it just kills me, that shit, I can see why kids like it, but when that comes on, it just makes me squeal. I’ve never met him and I’m sure he’s lovely, but it’s not my bag.”
Jono Ma – ‘Push It’ by Salt-N-Pepa
“Where I grew up in Sydney, there are loads of trashy bars and there’d always be some dickhead DJ playing the Top 40. I used to think it was an amazing track, but for about five consectutive years of my life, I heard it everywhere. Now I just associate it with sleazy, drunk Aussies. It’s not the track itself – it’s the people that ruined it!”
Anton Newcombe - 'Hey Jude'by The Beatles
“I don’t really get burnt out on songs because I’m so protective with my mind and music, but one song I really can’t listen to is ‘Hey Jude’. Good on Paul anyways, I’m happy for his success. But I just can’t…”
Marky Ramone - 'I Luv U' by The Ordinary Boys
“A few years ago, I heard that song everywhere I went and I just hated it. I appreciate love, romance, friendship, anything that makes the world a better place, but c’mon, it’s so squeaky and nice. It makes me shudder.”
Brandon Flowers - 'Low-Life' by New Order
“I heard something from it in a department store a few months ago while I was checking out a jacket or something and I started tearing up. I guess it brought me back to being 18 or 19 years old and being so obsessed with music and in love with it. I was so innocent. That was the last time that happened!”
“I honestly can’t think of an answer to this. I like them all!”
Example - 'Come On Eileen' by Dexys Midnight Runners
“I think I had a bit of a love affair with this song when I was about 10, and used to play it constantly. And now, whenever I hear it, it makes me want to leave the room. I think it’s a bloody brilliant pop song, but I overplayed it. It’s like fingernails on a blackboard for me.”
Anna Calvi - 'Something' by The Beatles
“I watched their Anthology TV series every day over breakfast as a teenager until it became too much. I can’t engage with ‘Something’ any more, which I’m annoyed at myself for. George Harrison was my favourite – McCartney is too twee and Lennon seemed mean. George is the Beatle you’d have wanted to hang out with.”
Jamie Reynolds - 'Steve 1' by Klaxons
“It’s an unfinished Klaxons demo. The ones that have names are called things like ‘Steve 1’, ‘Steve 2’. Anything of that ilk I have to turn off.”
Temples' James Bagshaw – 'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson. "Our sound engineer tests the PA system with it. He's been doing it for the last six months, so I can't listen to it anymore. It's a classic and it's now practically in the bin."
Ian McCulloch - 'Reward' by The Teardrop Explodes
“Anything by The Teardrop Explodes, but I don’t want to waste two words mentioning their name. Three if you count ‘The’. [McCulloch quit an early version of the band in 1978]. A song I can listen to that I couldn’t before is ‘I Want To Know What Love is’ by Foreigner. It’s got about nine choruses, each better than the last.”
St Vincent – ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke
“I don’t like ‘Blurred Lines’ – it’s sleazy and not in a good way. It’s gross and sexist and icky. I’d rather listen to Marvin Gaye. I heard it first in a drugstore CVS and I thought, ‘What is this song?’ There aren’t any layers, it’s not interesting or subversive.”
Courtney Barnett – ‘Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)’ by Greenday
“It’s another song I learnt to play on guitar at high school. It’s not like it’s a bad song or anything, but I’ve listened to it a lot! I was a ‘Dookie’ fan too, we had that album when I was growing up – it was great.”
Finn Jones – ‘Same Things Change’ by Saint Saviour
“Quite literally, some things change. I’m not gonna go into much detail, but you know the story: love is there for a brief, passionate, all-consuming moment and then it changes. This song sums up that process all too painfully.”
Annie Mac – 'Ebony And Ivory' by Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder. "When I was 11, I decided to sing this a capella in front of my entire school. As I was about to start, a kid yelled 'You're flying low!' – my trouser zip was down. I started an octave too high and ended up singing in a register only dogs could hear. Since then, I've never been able to hear it without reliving that trauma."
Damian Abraham – 'I Break Horses' by Smog. "I'd always put the version with Jim O'Rourke playing piano on mixtapes. I put it on one for a girl who I was madly in love with and then we broke up. I couldn't listen to it for a long time. I've been married for 10 years now, so I've moved past it."
Gary Numan – 'I Will Survive' by Gloria Gaynor. What do I hate about it? Every fucking thing. It’s the most horrible song ever. ‘I Will Survive’. Really? I wish you hadn’t. Mostly it’s because of the melody: the sentiment behind the song is quite rousing. I can see it helping people get through a difficult break-up, but even if I was breaking up with Gemma [wife], I'd never listen to it.
Steve Lamacq – 'I Love America' by Patrick Juvet. "Oh God, this is a hideous disco record which I bought on a school trip to impress a girl in our class. I'd be quite happy to never hear it again."
Nile Rodgers – 'A House Is Not A Home' by Luther Vandross. "Every time I saw Luther Vandross live I would say to myself 'I'm not going to cry', but I did. I cry every time I see Breakfast At Tiffany's when they go and get the cat. I cry every time I see West Side Story when they sing somewhere. All those songs tell powerful stories of love and loss."
Danger Mouse – 'The King Of Carrot Flowers Pt One' by Neutral Milk Hotel. "After I broke up with someone, there was a period of about three years when I couldn't listen to any of 'The Aeroplane Over The Sea'. Truth is, i'm over it now and there really isn't any song I find unbearable. I'm a lucky guy, as there are none of my own songs I'm sick of either."
Matt Berry – 'Push The Feeling On' by Nightcrawlers. "It's too painful, as it reminds me of my shoes sticking to the floor of a random club, circa 1995, after surfacing at 1.50am, surrounded by strangers, to slowly discover that everyone I know has facked off. It's an anthem of desolation and despair."
Mac DeMarco – 'She Looks Like You' by Sean Nicholas Savage. "I'm tempted to say 'Mother' by John Lennon because it's gnarly, but I'd still listen to it. Right now, my friends' songs really get me as I know what they're talking about. When you see Sean do this song live, he gets pissed and it gets you."