They were recorded by some of the biggest bands in the world, and behind each one of these songs is a story. Here are a few facts about some of the most famous tunes to ever hit the airwaves.
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin—After the song was written, Jimmy Page considered it to contain Robert Plant’s best lyrics so from then on, Page had him write all of Zeppelin’s lyrics. Plant is not a fan of the epic tune and has referred to it as a “wedding song,” insisting his favorite Led Zeppelin song is “Kashmir.”
Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan—The title of the song is not a reference to The Rolling Stones but is taken from the phrase, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” Dylan came up with the idea after hearing the line, “I’m a rolling stone, all alone and lost” in Hank William’s song “Lost Highway.”
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles—Upon release, many people thought the song was referencing drugs because the initials of the title are “LSD.” It’s actually about a classmate of John’s son Julian named Lucy O’Donnell. Lennon got the idea after Julian brought home a picture he had drawn of his friend in a backdrop of stars that he called “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana—The idea for the song title came from Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band, Bikini Kill. She spray painted “kurt smells like teen spirit” on his wall and Cobain thought the phrase was revolutionary. Hanna, however, was referencing the fact that Cobain smelled like Teen Spirit deodorant, a brand worn by her band mate, and Cobain’s ex, Tobi Vail.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen—The band made a music video to promote the song on a British music show because it was too complex to perform live. It was only after the success of the song that it became regular practice for record companies to produce promotional videos for artists’ single releases.