To all those unbelievably frustrated by this problem since iOS7 added in iCloud songs, as I was, I finally found a solution. Here's what you do:
1. Go to iTunes Store
2. From the Home Page, click on Purchased under the field Quick Links on the right side of the page
3. Your purchase history will appear
4. Filter by Songs instead of Albums
5. Hover over any song you want to delete
6. Click the black x that appears on the right side of the screen
7. This will "hide" the song from appearing on your iPhone
8. Enjoy shuffle without worrying about those random songs playing
Hope this helps!
I have been working on this iTunes/iPhone project for 5 days now trying to understand how all of this nonsense works and I wanted to have every album, song, and artist to have artwork. I come from a BlackBerry background and still have and love my BlackBerry, but the iPhone 5 was free, so I added it to my plan a couple of weeks ago to see what the hoopla is about.
First of all, let me state the problem and frustration that people are having because the solutions here are (no offense to anyone) regergetated 1st level CS answers. And let me be up front by saying I don't have the solution to the problem, I'm only clarifying the actual problem so some Apple Pro can shed some light on the situation.
Stated Problem: Songs/Albums are showing up on my apple device that I don't want.
Actual Problem: You have lingering songs and albums in iCloud that you don't have in local iTunes anymore, so you basically don't have a direct access to the iCloud to delete the song or album from iTunes (ala checking the box to delete the song in the cloud too).
When you turn on itunes match it investigates your entire music library folder in iTunes behind the GUI. If you are like me, I have been transferring old libraries to new libraries for many years and when that happens, it can start to get sloppy. That is what happened to me. I decided to tidy everything up, but my fatal flaw was that I did that post de facto from turning on iTunes Match. If I had cleaned up and organized my iTunes library before hand, I wouldn't of had the problem of having a few albums and songs in my cloud that I didn't want because they were in their proper place now.
Proposed Solution: In a perfect world, we would have a GUI like iTunes that shows us every single song stored in our iCloud and allowed us to manage it. That way we could go in there and delete those anoying songs or albums that are now irrelevant because we have successfully organized our iTunes library. Then when match is turned on, on the device, everything would be ince and neat. But unfortunately this doesn't exist yet from what I have seen.
Proposed Solution 2: Have a way to wipe clean your iTunes match in the iCloud so there is nothing in there and then allow iTunes to start the process over again for those of us that tidy'd up our iTunes library post de facto.
As far as artwork for everything is concerned, I basically had to put in some elbow grease after I organized my iTunes library. There is actually a rhyme and reason for how it works and it works like it's suppsoed to. I had old MP3's from college and bad file names and songs that were the right band but either no album or the wrong album. I just had to take the time to go in and get everything cleaned up.
One thing that I did notice is that there are a lot of times when you select the option to "Get Album Artwork" that it will show up in iTunes but not on your phone. Frustrating, right? Well, to fix that issue, I would "Clear Downloaded Artwork" and then go to Google Images and download the album cover locally and then change the album artwork that way. That worked every single time for me.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when you import a CD, file, or folder from an old library or something, make sure that after you import it that you let it update in the cloud first (for those of you using iTunes Match) before you try to change the album artwork. If you do it before it is done sending it to the cloud, you could have an album where the first 2 songs have artwork, but the rest of the songs on the album don't. A good way to tell if you have jumped the gun is to look in the "Songs" tab on your device and see if (for example) Track 1 of an album has artwork, but Track 9 does not. If this is the case, go in to that particular album and update the album art for the tracks that don't have it.
I hope this was helpful to everyone that has been frustrated by this issue. I still have 3 or 4 that show up on my iPhone that drive me nuts, but I know I can't do anything about it yet. I am a newbie to Apple, but not to iTunes. I'm a BlackBerry fan at heart, but this was really frustrating and going through all of these posts, I can sense the frustration that a lot of you are going through. Hopefully somebody steps up to give us some viable solutions or a work around. And please nobody respond again with "Go to iTunes and right click the song to delete it and click where it says to delete from iCloud too." That's not the problem. The song/album doesn't exist in local iTunes anymore so there is no access to the iCloud file. And you can't swipe left on your device to delete the file because the iCloud will put it right back on there.
Here is what I am running:
Okay everybody, after posting that long post I re-visited what I was doing and I have solved the issue. First of all I turned off iTunes Match on my phone and on my computer. Now, when you have these turned off, you need to go in and really make sure your local iTunes library is up to snuff. You can't have any lingering empty folders or random songs in folders in your iTunes Library. If you do, they will get indexed and show up in the cloud, even if you can't see them in your local iTunes GUI.
For PC users running Windows 8 or newer that's Libraries->Music->iTunes->iTunes Music.
Keep in mind this took me 4 days to bascially complete for a little over 2K songs. Once you have your local iTunes library cleaned up and tidy'd with no stragglers lying around, then go back to the iTunes GUI and click Store->Turn On iTunes Match. What happens now is that it basically re-indexes your iTunes library and and completely overwrites/deletes the old iCloud with new Folder/File structure in your iTunes Music folder.
Once I did this, I turned iTunes Match back on, on the iPhone and viola, it worked and now all of the annoying albums and songs I didn't want are now gone for good because they weren't indexed during the "Gathering Information About Your iTunes Library" phase because they didn't exist anymore.
Further, all of that hard work I did for the album artwork stayed true. Every album and song on the phone eventually re-populated with the artwork that I had added to my local iTunes because it just simply needed to re-download from iCloud.
I'm so glad to get this straightened out and pass along the information to you guys. I only had 2,000 songs to deal with and if it were 10,000 songs, I don't know if I would have taken the time. But the absolute key here is to make sure your local iTunes library is completely tidy'd up or you will have frustrations. Please let me know if you have any questions.
You need to turn off iTunes Match on your computer and your phone. Then, on your computer, go in to the actual iTunes Music folder where everything is stored and delete anything you do not want. Once you have gotten rid of everything you don't want in the actual iTunes Music folder, turn iTunes Match on your computer back on, let it re-index your library and do what it does and then once that has completed, turn the iTunes Match on your phone back on so it can re-index as well.
iTunes, iTunes Match, and your phone is basically just a GUI for your iTunes Music folder. If you have issues with your iTunes Muic folder on your computer, then it's going to relate back to your phone. So you have to fix the source problem to get what you want.