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Even Rockstars Screw up their Own Songs

Sometimes the mistakes are the best parts of the song.

The Beatles: 

“A Day in the Life”

The Beatles have an impressive catalog of hits with only a few recording “misses’ that made it into the final album cut. While recording the closing track for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band A Day in the Life” Ringo shifted slightly, causing his shoe to squeak during a particularly quiet moment. Engineer Geoff Emerick wrote in Here, There and Everywhere. “This happened, of course, just when the sound of a pin dropping could be heard! A cross Paul shot him a sideways glance, and from the look on his face, I could tell Ringo was mortified. If you listen quite closely to the song just as the sound is fading away, you can hear it clearly, especially on the CD version, where there is no surface noise to mask it.”

“Hey Jude”

You can also hear John Lennon say “f**king hell” at about the three-minute mark during “Hey Jude” after starting to sing the wrong chorus. Since you can’t really understand it, radios have been able to play it unedited. Did you ever know it said that?

VAN HALEN: 

“Everybody Wants Some”

David Lee Roth has a lot on his mind, and memorizing song lyrics sometimes gets thrown out the window. This was the case with “Everybody Wants Some” from their album Women and Children First. DLR was supposed to sing: “I’ve seen a lot of people take a ride on a moonbeam,” but instead improvises with “Ya take a moople-ah, wookie pah-a moopie” or something like that.

LED ZEPPELIN:

“Black Country Woman”

An airplane flew close overhead when Zeppelin was recording “Black Country Woman” in a backyard garden. John Paul Jones notes it but Robert Plant laughed it off, saying “Nah, leave it.”

“In My Time of Dying”

John Bonham was caught with a tickle in his throat towards the end of “In My Time of Dying” and Plant liked it so much he added it to the track, saying “Cough” after Bonham let loose. Listen to the end to hear it all!

“The Ocean”

The Ocean features a 2 phone rings that were originally a part of the Led Zeppelin’s composition. Roughly 1:37-1:38 in.

THE WHO:

“Emience Front”

Pete Townshed enters a syllable behind Daltrey at roughly the 2:38 mark, then they appear to sing two different things – both “behind an” and “it’s an” – before “eminence front.” Engineers attempted to fix it for future reissues, but the best-known version of the song remains the one with the quite obvious fluff.

PINK FLOYD: 

“Wish You Were Here”

While recording the delicate intro lines to this song, Gilmour – then a habitual smoker – let out an accidental cough. They decided to leave it in, correctly surmising that it added to the track’s cool ambience, but Gilmour reportedly vowed to quit smoking after hearing the playback.

Wait for it….

LYNYRD SKYNYRD:

“Sweet Home Alabama”

Legend has it that Ronnie Van Zant cries out for lost donuts during the last minute of Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” If you listen closely at roughly the 4:10 mark, it certainly sounds like he’s saying “My donuts! Goddamn.” The reasons for such an outburst, if it happened, remain up for debate. In both principal theories, the boys go for take-out during a late-night session. After that, one of Van Zant’s bandmates either sits on or swipes his sugary treat while he’s doing a vocal take.

THE POLICE: 

“Roxanne”

“Roxanne” didn’t do much upon release in the U.K., but it helped break the Police in America. And it all began with an atonal burst of piano at roughly the 0:04 second mark, then a burst of laughter. Turns out, that’s exactly what it sounds like: a huge mistake. Sting went to sit on a nearby piano at Surrey Sound Studios, unaware that the lid was up. The result was this burst of butt-produced dissonance.