One of the most defining country-western musicians ever created one of his biggest hits with “I Walk the Line” shortly after his marriage to Vivian Liberto, his first wife. He meant it as a declaration of fidelity since she was his first wife. While we can’t speak about fidelity, Cash would eventually divorce Liberto in order to marry June Carter.
In the 2005 biopic about the man in black, the song was used as a ballad to help Cash woo Carter, a slight manipulation of events, one has to admit. It’s still one of the most famous country songs ever.
“Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones
Despite having a name that is anything but gentle, this delicate love song has gone down as a sweet staple of this legendary British rock band. While the band the Flying Burrito Brothers released a version first, it all came from the Stones. Mick Jagger was hanging out with Gram Parsons, who was part of the FBB, and just came up with some music.
Keith Richards had just had a son and hated spending time away, but eventually, it became a little more of a love song for Marianne Faithfull, who was in a relationship with Jagger at the time.
“Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac
From their eleventh studio album, Fleetwood Mac delivered one of their greatest tunes. If you're a classic rock fan, you've certainly heard this famous song, and you probably know the backstory, too. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were in a public relationship for some time, but it eventually hit rocky ground.
Problem is, the two were still in a band together, and they were the two biggest names as well. Just like the rest of the songs on the album “Rumors,” none of the instruments were recorded live together. Nicks and Buckingham managed to record the song despite their breakup.
“In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
Thundering drums and a memorable echo to the vocals make this solo track from Collins a standout to many. There's an urban legend that the song came from a drowning incident – a man fell into a body of water, and someone who was close enough to help did not. Collins, too far to help the man, saw the event.
However, Collins has declared that false. He was getting divorced from his wife at the time of writing it, and he let a little bit of the anger out. It isn't necessarily about the divorce, just him working through some floating emotions.
“Don't Stop Believin'” by Journey
This song is a staple on any classic rock radio station or karaoke bar, but where did it come from? Well, it came from a near-failure that one of the band members experienced. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music dreams but was running into constant discouragement. He called his father for a chat, and his father told him some good advice: “don't stop believing, or you're done.”
Perseverance is vital to reaching your goals, no matter how lofty they might seem. Cain eventually turned those words into one of Journey's most famous and popular songs.