"Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" by AC/DC
The tenth and final song on "Back in Black," the first album following the untimely death of lead singer Bon Scott, "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" wasn't even originally part of the record despite eventually becoming the fourth single. The song was added last minute when the band turned in only nine songs. Their label wanted ten, however, so they threw this one in to round things out. Solid move.
"Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
While we've all heard "Don't Stop Believin'" so many times that we could puke, you probably never realized there is a huge factual flaw in the lyrics. Unless you are from Michigan, of course. Back in 2012, Vulture got to the bottom of the issue by going to the source: Steve Perry. According to the former frontman, "I ran the phonetics of 'east,' 'west' and 'north,' but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit. The syntax just sounded right. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter.” Tell that to Windsor, Canada.
"Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams
If something has never seemed quite right to you about "Summer of '69," especially considering this magical summer Bryan Adams sings of took place when he was just 9 years old, then you were actually onto something. According to an interviews with Adams, "the title comes from the idea of '69 as a metaphor for sex. Most people thought it was about the year 1969." Welp, good luck listening to the lyric "me and my baby 69!" the same way ever again.
"Hey Jude" by The Beatles
Although "Hey Jude" has been interpreted by many people in Paul McCartney's life to be about them (including fellow bandmate John Lennon), it was actually composed as a gesture of comfort to Lennon's son Julian during the time of his parents' divorce. The song was even originally composed as "Hey Jules," but McCartney changed it so it would be easier to sing. The real kicker is that Julian didn't even realize the song was for him until almost 20 years later.
"Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen
The Kingsmen's rendition of the song "Louie, Louie" caused quite the stir when it was released back in 1963. If you want the specifics, you can check them out here, but the gist of it involves an FBI investigation into the tune for obscene material. At the time, such material was prohibited by federal law. While nothing came of the investigation in the end, many believe that drummer Lynn Easton got away with yelling a subtle "fuck" around the 56-second mark.
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by Iron Butterfly
There's not a The Simpsons fan among us who doesn't immediately think "'In the Garden of Eden' by I. Ron Butterfly" when they hear the name "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." But little do most of us know that this is exactly how the tune originated. Or so the legend goes. Slightly different versions of the story have gone around for years, but apparently lead singer Doug Ingle was so drunk/high during one recording session that his original lyrics "In the Garden of Eden" sounded like the title we know today. Drummer Ron Bushy simply wrote what he heard on the demo, and it stuck.
"Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple
To get the historically accurate origin behind "Smoke on the Water," all you have to do is listen to the lyrics. They chronicle the events of a Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention concert in Switzerland back in 1971 where an audience member shot off a flare, igniting the entire Montreux Casino. So how does Deep Purple know all the details? Duh, they were there. In fact, they were scheduled to record their album "Machine Head" in the Rolling Stones' Mobile Studio there the very next day, but the fire laid waste to that plan as smoke rolled over Lake Geneva. Luckily, the whole situation served as the inspiration for their most beloved tune to date, so it's hard to call it a total loss.
"Every Breath You Take" by The Police
Considered one of the best love ballads of its time, "Every Breath You Take" couldn't actually be further from it. In fact, the song was written by Sting as he went through a messy divorce with his first wife Frances Tomelty, and basically doesn't even try to hide its obsessive creepiness. Sting admits this to be the case, too, but never expected the song to blow up as an international romance song the way it did. Now if only someone would expose Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" for this very same offense, we'd be set.
"I Shot the Sheriff" by Bob Marley
Raise your hand if you figured "I Shot the Sheriff" was actually a veiled commentary on Bob Marley's thoughts on birth control. Now go buy yourself a Kudos bar, because you were right on the money. While Marley himself never actually admitted to this, it was revealed by his ex-girlfriend Esther Anderson in 2012 that the titular Sheriff John Brown was actually a metaphor for the doctor prescribing her meds and preventing Marley from planting his seed ... OK, you can put your hand down now. We can't see you, anyway.
"Jump" by Van Halen
After hearing the origin of this song, you'll probably find it better suited to a Jason Biggs tweet than the actual story behind a beloved rock classic. Basically, inspiration for the tune struck frontman David Lee Roth after watching concerned citizens on the news trying to talk down a man from the top of the Arco Towers in Los Angeles in 1984. Roth's take: "Jump." But if it helps you sleep better at night, it was also a leap year around the time it was written.