Beat logo

Surprising Songs That Were Written While High

by Ossiana Tepfenhart 4 years ago in list / playlist / fact or fiction

Some of your favorite bands' songs were written while high. Could you guess that these hits were actually created by drug-induced songwriters?

Songwriters have always had a lot of inspiration from the various substances they've enjoyed. Mozart was a huge fan of alcohol as a form of inspiration. 19th century composer Berlioz wrote his Symphonie Fantastique under the influence of opium. Even Beethoven was known to smoke and drink while penning his favorite concertos.

Even though the times may have changed and the music may no longer be focused on symphonies, the fact is that the music writers themselves haven't changed. They still occasionally get high in order to write music. What many people don't realize is that some of the songs written while high aren't that obvious.

According to band members and historians themselves, the following smash hits were written while on drugs. Would you have guessed them?

The 70s and 80s was definitely a time when cocaine reigned supreme, but no rock star seemed to take it as seriously as David Bowie. By the time that his 10th album, Station to Station, was released, Bowie's cocaine addiction had become legendary - and very public.

It was this time that Ziggy Stardust himself dropped a ton of insane quotes that kind of showed he wasn't all there. He had claimed he'd make a "very good Hitler," and that "rock is the devil's music," despite him being a rock star who was very anti-fascism.

According to multiple sources, the bulk of David Bowie's songs were written while high on cocaine during the 70s. That being said, his work is pretty awesome, so we can't argue with his artistic method.

Though you'd never guess it from the lyrics, 90s clubkids might have noticed that the base heavy, jumpy sound of this song is oddly reminiscent of early happy hardcore. This isn't something that should surprise you, though.

Heavynoted that the entire album was tailored to suit people who were rolling on ecstacy - and that actually suggests that the duo in this rap group may have written the entire album on e. Despite the molly, a lot of the album's songs are surprisingly sad and emotional. Who'd have guessed?

Believe it or not, the main man behind animated group Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, openly admits that he relied on heroin to help him get creative enough. He claims that he's "controlled with it," and that he only did it at the studio.

It's hard to believe that songs like Clint Eastwood were written while high, but the fact is that both partners in the animated band were pretty open about it. Both Albarn and his partner in the Gorillaz project say that their first album wouldn't have been possible without them each being "in their own worlds."

Looking back at the album's lyrics, there may have been a hint of his usage hidden in there. It's interesting that some of "Clint Eastwood"'s lyrics included him talking about having "sunshine in a bag." Take that as you will.

Isaac Brock openly admitted that his musical writing talent was often thanks to pills, marijuana, and booze. He also went on the record as saying that LSD and coke weren't good for music writing. (David Bowie might disagree with him, but hey, it seems to be a person to person thing.)

To a point, it's a little bit easy to understand why songs like "Float On" may have been written while high on a chemical cocktail of sorts. Isaac Brock also was pretty open that it has something to do with his creative process.

His entire music writing process involves just feeling a disconnect, playing music, and figuring out what he wrote way later. With that kind of process, you'd expect him to be a mushrooms fan, right?

This smash hit song was actually one of the few that Snow Patrol's written under the influence according to interviews. Gary Lightbody, who wrote this smash hit, said that it was one of 10 different songs written in "a blur of red wine and Percocet."

His producer listened to all the songs he wrote, and said that every single one of them was terrible, with the exception of "Chasing Cars." The song later on became an overplayed Top 40 hit.

Though the longstanding story was that one of the Beatles's kids had shown them a picture of a woman in the sky surrounded by diamonds, the truth is a lot more obvious. This classic song was all about an acid trip that one of the Beatles had.

According to multiple sources, John Lennon, who wrote the song, was a big fan of acid. It would be pretty crazy to think that they didn't even think that "Lucy" didn't party with them while writing that classic 60s hit.

With a chorus that screams "Everybody must get stoned," it comes as no surprise to anyone that Bob Dylan smoked a ton of reefer when he wrote this song. Even the name has a subtle nod to 420, because 12 times 35 equals everyone's favorite marijuana-related number.

But, this actually isn't the only drug he was on when he wrote this song - or a slew of others. Stage managers said that he was on a veritable cocktail of uppers, twisters, downers, and more. His songs weren't just written while high at this point; they were written while he was on another planet.

Crazily enough, Dylan actually got offended when he was outed as having made a very obvious drug song. Perhaps it's just that he got caught being a little less subtle than he'd hoped to be?

Another band that definitely had a lot of fun with drugs was Oasis. Frontmen Noel and Liam Gallagher were known for having major coke binges, including one that had happened on a toilet that was specifically reserved for the queen of England.

Their love of cocaine was legendary, and Noel later admitted that everything that they wrote prior to 1997 was written under the influence of cocaine. That being said, this classic British band's biggest hits were all written while high...and looking back, we all probably should have seen that coming.

listplaylistfact or fiction

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of New Jersey. This is her work account. She loves gifts and tips, so if you like something, tip her!

Receive stories by Ossiana Tepfenhart in your feed
Ossiana Tepfenhart
Read next: Jay Z: From Worst to Best

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links