Sometimes a song comes along and you can no longer conceive of a world without it. So iconic are they that they feel like they have always been a part of popular culture. In reality, their development is usually a lot less magical.
Just as a novelist or screenwriter has to write several drafts of a story, the same is true for musicians. And while it is rare, sometimes we get a glimpse of these early versions of iconic songs as they're being developed.
And in some of the most interesting cases, the things that stand out the most - the likes, the riffs, the choruses - were late additions...
6. “Enter Sandman”
Fans of metal will be the first to tell you it is not the most accessible genre of music. Not everyone can get into songs about Ghangas Khan and Ancient mariners rhyming, but Metallica's Enter Sandman changed all that. It brought metal into the mainstream.
However, if history played out differently Enter Sandman may have not been accessible at all.
The music for Enter Sandman was written shortly after …And Justice For All. Strangely, it was the last song to be recorded for the Black Album because Producer Bob Rock and the rest of the band had some issues with James Hetfield's lyrics.
The lyrics Hetfield originally wrote for "Enter Sandman" were about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and the impact it had on a family ("Off to never never land" originally being "disrupt the perfect family").
According to the band, they voiced their grievances with the lyrics and Hetfield responded reasonably. Hetfield remembers it differently:
I can remember when I wrote the lyrics to “Enter Sandman,” Bob Rock and Lars came to me and said, “These aren’t as good as they could be.” And that pissed me off so much. I was like, “f**k you! I’m the writer here!” That was the first challenge from someone else, and it made me work harder.
In the end, the lyrics were changed, which gave us the iconic track as it is today.