Monday, 17 February 2020

5 Songs with Bizarre Background Stories

What makes one write songs? Or, What makes one write some amazing lyrics? For example, when Clapton wrote "Would you know my name, If I saw you in heaven?" you must have been absolutely touched. Also, you must wonder what made him write such a line, unfortunately for Clapton, he wrote Tears in Heaven for his four year old son who tragically died falling from a window of a 53rd floor apartment. Here are some of the true and bizarre background stories behind some of the famous songs you must have heard and loved.

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit, by Nirvana

Believe it or not, the inspiration behind “Smells like teen spirit” is a deodorant. A friend of Kurt Cobain had written a phrase on his wall “Kurt smells like teen spirit” referring to him smelling like woman’s deodorant which his then-girlfriend wore. However, Kurt did state that the phrase teen spirit sounded like it had a deeper and a revolutionary meaning, so he wrote that song. Well, always look on the brighter side.

2. Layla, by Eric Clapton

Another Clapton classic which he wrote during his time with the band ‘Derek and the Dominoes’. Although the inspiration was from a 7th century story of unrequited love it also had another hidden meaning. He wrote the song with Pattie Boyd in mind with whom he had fallen deeply in love but at the time was married to The Beatles musician George Harrison. The couple ended up splitting and in the end, Clapton married Boyd. What a  tragic and yet happy ending.



3. Sweet Child of Mine, by GnR

You will be surprised to learn that this song started as a joke. Yes, you read it right, as a joke. The drummer and the guitarist were warming up for a jam session and began playing a circus melody. Axl Rose, however liked the sound so much that he decided to turn it into a full song with chords and lyrics. Slash even said once on record that he hated what the song stood for. Now, it might be one of the most famous rock song till date. Want to make a hit, just goof around with your instrument and then you never know.

4. Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey

This song was the best selling digital track of the entire 20th century. It was well known for the line “born and raised in South Detroit” which left Detroit residents scratching their heads because there was no such place. In fact, the are south of Detroit is Canada. Steve perry, the lead singer confessed “I tried east and west and it didn’t sing, but south Detroit sounded so beautiful. I loved the way it sounded, only to find later it’s actually Canada”. 

5. Smoke on The Water, by Deep Purple

This was inspired by actual smoke on the water. The inspiration came from a fire at a casino in Montreux where they were due to record an album. An audience member fired a flare gun during Frank Zappa’s performance and the building caught fire. A thick layer of smoke covered Lake Geneva and they just made one of the most iconic riff from it. However, the band were reluctant about the name of the song because they thought that the reference to smoke made the sound like a drug song but thank heavens they decided to stay with the title.

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