In the operatic song in The Fifth Element, composer Eric Sierra “purposely wrote un-singable things” so she’d sound like an alien. When opera singer Inva Muls came for the part, “she sang 85% of what [Eric] thought was technically impossible”, the rest being assembled in the studio.
CCR’s ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain?’ is about the fact the band wildly exceeded all of their expectations, were rich, famous and hugely successful. Despite all this they were all miserable, angry, depressed and constantly fighting each other for control of the band. They broke up soon after.
Barry Manilow started off writing jingles, including State Farm (“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”) and Band-Aid (“I am stuck on Band-Aid, ’cause Band-Aid’s stuck on me!”)
“Born in the U.S.A” by Bruce Springsteen reached higher on the charts in Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands than it did in the U.S.A.
Roy Orbison wrote the biggest hit of his career after asking his first wife, Claudette, if she needed cash for the market. His writing partner interjected “pretty women don’t need money.” As Orbison watched Claudette go to the market by “walking down the street”, he wrote “Oh, Pretty Woman.”
Kevin Costner is responsible for suggesting that Whitney Houston should sing “I Will Always Love You” for The Bodyguard.
Conway Twitty sang ‘Hello Darlin’ in Russian. On July 19, 1975, the recording was played by the American astronauts on board the Apollo module to Russian cosmonauts flying in Soyuz 19. It was meant to be seen as a gesture of peace and goodwill toward the Russians.
Billy Joel got into an argument with a younger man about what the worst era to be young in was. The younger man told Joel that at least he got to grow up in the 50s when “nothing happened.” Flabbergasted, Joel began listing the events of the 50s, which later became “We Didn’t Start the Fire”.
“Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” by the Spin Doctors was about Chris Barron’s stepmother. When he was a kid, she told him that he would grow up to be a janitor and would play his songs for the rats. The Spin Doctors’ debut album sold 5 million copies with this song as the lead single.
In his own words, John Lennon’s best-selling single “Imagine” was written to represent a ‘Communist manifesto’ where there was ‘no more religion, no more country, no more politics.’ In later interviews, Lennon claimed the song represented ‘one country, one world, one people.’