Buzzfeed put out a list of 16 behind-the-scenes facts about pop songs that’ll change the way you listen to them. Some highlights:
1. Harry Styles wrote “Falling“ in just 20 minutes, while wearing just a shower towel, with a songwriter named Thomas Hull. He said, “As I came out of the shower, he was playing. I went and stood next to him at the piano, just in a towel, and we just wrote the whole thing.”
2. Stevie Nicks wrote “Landslide“ about her difficult breakup with Lindsey Buckingham in 1974 – just before they joined Fleetwood Mac. She said, quote, “Fear never helps relationships, and when you’re scared about where your next money is coming from, it’s really nerve-racking.”
3. When John Lennon divorced his first wife in the late ’60s, Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude“ for John’s son, Julian, to make him feel better. It was initially “Hey Jules”, but he changed it to “Hey Jude” because “Jules” was a mouthful to sing.
4. Dolly Parton used her acrylic nails as a sound effect while recording “9 to 5“. She said, “They make noise, and it kind of sounded like a typewriter to me. And I played it on the actual record – it actually says ‘Nails by Dolly’ on the album.”
5. Alicia Keys wrote “If I Ain’t Got You“ on a plane – immediately after she found out that Aaliyah had died in a plane crash.
6. Jimi Hendrix made up “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)“ on the spot while someone was filming the Jimi Hendrix Experience recording in the studio. He’d said, “They wanted to ﬁlm us in the studio, to make it look like [we’re] recording . . . one of them scenes, you know.”
7. “Ms. Jackson“ by Outkast was André 3000’s apology to Erykah Badu’s mother for their breakup – and she loved it! Erykah said, “She bought herself a ‘Ms. Jackson’ license plate, she had the mug, she had the ink pen, she had the headband . . . everything.”