Top 10 Most Hated British Bands and Artists

Credits: Richard Bush Sean Harris
Written by Marc Turner You might need your ear plugs out for this one... Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most hated British bands and artists. For this list, we’re looking at British performers who most get under people’s skin, whether that’s because of the ubiquity of their music, the perceived quality of their output, or their off-stage conduct. Today’s entries aren’t necessarily bad bands - in fact, some of them are extremely popular - but they often split public opinion based on polls, online commentary and press reviews. And we’re sticking to serious artists only, so there’s no room for novelty acts. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Most Hated British Bands and Artists


You might need your ear plugs out for this one... Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 most hated British bands and artists.

For this list, we’re looking at British performers who most get under people’s skin, whether that’s because of the ubiquity of their music, the perceived quality of their output, or their off-stage conduct. Today’s entries aren’t necessarily bad bands - in fact, some of them are extremely popular - but they often split public opinion based on polls, online commentary and press reviews. And we’re sticking to serious artists only, so there’s no room for novelty acts.

#10: Oasis

A definitive band throughout the ’90s, but Oasis didn’t impress everyone. Some complained about Liam Gallagher’s nasal vocals, while others alleged that the Manchester group had a magpie-like tendency to “borrow” riffs from other artists. But most controversy surrounded the Gallagher brothers themselves, with Liam in particular picking more fights than a heavyweight boxer. Nor were the Gallaghers slow to sing their own praises, openly courting comparison to The Beatles.

#9: Scouting For Girls

The eponymous debut album for this English pop trio went double platinum. To thousands of fans, Scouting for Girls were refreshing, youthful and catchy. But to thousands of others, they were bland and repetitive. With lyrics to bring a tear to the eye, and not in a good way, their best-known single, “She’s So Lovely”, stands as a room-splitting shout-out to thirty-year-old “fitties”. That said, frontman Roy Stride once revealed the band had received hate mail, but for an unusual reason: because they didn’t tour Scotland often enough.

#8: Spice Girls

With the release of “Wannabe” in 1996, the Spice Girls briefly became the biggest group on the planet.But things soon turned sour, with the five-piece crowned Worst Group at the Smash Hits Awards in 1999. A common charge levelled their way was that they were unashamedly manufactured and contrived – having formed via a magazine advert. Worse, the group admitted to miming on stage during concerts, leading critics to blame them for a deluge of dubious girl bands which followed in their wake.

#7: Busted

Unlike a lot of boy bands, Busted write their own songs and play their own instruments. So, let’s give them a bit of credit. But the three-piece have always drawn scorn for their prickly insistence that they’re more than a boy band - claims Charlie Simpson couldn’t really back-up when he split to form Fightstar. Mostly, though, it’s Busted’s cheesy songs and shallow lyrics which really rile. Like this nauseating take on the jet-set life. And just when we thought we’d heard enough, they dropped a cash cow comeback record in 2016.

#6: Phil Collins

Collins’ commercial success was unprecedented throughout the ‘80s. So why did the Daily Telegraph once headline him as “the most hated man in rock”? His critics consider Collins as the embodiment of bad pop music, pedalling bland, soft-rock ballads. Plus, there are plenty of Genesis fans who staunchly favour Peter Gabriel as frontman. And in 1997, Collins faced a political backlash, too. A Tory supporter, he promised to leave the country if Labour won the election – and relocated to Switzerland when they did.

#5: Snow Patrol

Nicky Wire from the Manic Street Preachers once told NME that Snow Patrol were Britain’s “most hated band”, calling their music “desperate” and “drab” - he really didn’t hold back! But does he have a point? Frontman Gary Lightbody claims Snow Patrol’s music appeals to average blokes… But critics argue that their songs are middle-of-the-road, easily forgettable and the polar opposite to cutting edge. The same could be said of some of Snow Patrol’s peers, but this group has gathered more haters than most. Mainstream success is a very fickle thing.

#4: Cheryl Cole

Warm, relatable pop diva, or smug, self-obsessed charlatan? There’s a wide spectrum of opinion on Cheryl Cole. She rose to prominence on “Popstars: The Rivals”, but critics claim she’s only famous thanks to her looks and personal relationships, rather than musical talent. Naysayers also recall Cheryl’s supposed lack of remorse, following a drunken assault on a toilet attendant in her Girls Aloud days... Of course, she’s forever linked with “The X Factor”, having starred as a particularly popular judge. Maybe she’ll mount a comeback alongside Simon Cowell soon.

#3: The Smiths

A band held in highest esteem within indie and alternative circles, The Smiths made their name with diverse melodies and witty, affecting lyrics. But some say it’s just mopey self-indulgence passed off as emotional depth, and unnecessarily depressing. Lead singer, Morrissey, is also a contentious figure, whose occasional outbursts have at best been described as provocative, at worst, racist. Amongst other things, he once said he wished that Prince Charles had been shot, and he also called the Chinese people a “subspecies”, in relation to their treatment of animals.

#2: Coldplay

In terms of records sold, they’re one of the most popular British groups ever. Yet the New York Times once labelled Coldplay as “the most insufferable band of the decade” and a former record label boss described their output as “bedwetters’ music”. Harsh words, indeed. Perhaps victims of their own success, Coldplay have critics in all quarters thanks to the ubiquity of their music. That, and famously grumpy frontman Chris Martin has routinely shot himself in the foot, once walking out of a BBC radio interview because he was “not really enjoying” himself.

#1: One Direction

Before their hiatus in 2016, One Direction were the world’s biggest boy band. But regardless of that – or perhaps because of it – the group has as many detractors as it has fans. And even their own followers don’t always like them, with Niall Horan pleading on Twitter in 2016 for fans to stop sending him abusive messages. What about their records, though? After Zayn Malik left the group in 2015, even he said how much he hated the band’s music, calling it ‘boring’ and ‘generic’. And he should know.
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