I can't speak for others but my dislike for that song is really not determined by where it was placed on the album or when it was released as a single. You are perhaps right in saying that something like LOC would have probably been a less bitter pill to swallow but I would still find IT abysmal. I found it bad at that time, I find it even worse today.
IT for me is the 2nd worst song on the album after Anything She Does.
But it is a great Song for radio back then and it's got the energy that made it popular.