Bedhead Bangers: An Anthology of Songs About Sleep
WARNING: This is a playlist about sleep, not a playlist for sleep. We can guarantee that the soothing sounds of Beastie Boys and Metallica aren’t the most conducive for catching some ZZZs. If you’re looking for a playlist to help you enter into a deep stage of NREM, check out our meditation playlist here, instead!
Now, let’s go back in time and walk you through some of the classics that touch on all things related to sleep, like dreams, beds, nightmares, etc. Throw on a pair of headphones, sprawl across your pillowy OkiOki (don’t forget your OkiPillow), and pretend like you’re in Almost Famous, listening to an expertly curated vinyl selection handed down by your painfully cool older sibling.
Enjoy, as we walk you through some of music’s finest odes to our favorite pastime: hanging out in bed.
Aerosmith’s 1973 power ballad was inspired by a chord that frontman Steven Tyler heard from his Juilliard-trained father. Steven’s soprano voice reached soaring heights, culminating in a melodic scream during the song’s climax. Decades later, “Dream On” was sampled by another boundary-pushing frontman, Eminem, in “Sing for the Moment.”
Metallica commands the listener to “sleep with one eye open, gripping your pillow tight,” warning the audience they need to watch out. Despite the dark message, the catchy guitar riff and badass lyrics launched the song to the top of the charts, selling over 22 million copies worldwide. Metallica later warned Sean Parker, the O.G. Mark Zuckerberg and founder of Napster, to sleep with one eye open, when the band successfully sued Parker’s music-sharing platform for piracy.
Bob Dylan invites his lady to lay across his big brass bed on the album, The Nashville Skyline. Apparently, he must have fallen fast asleep on this brass bed, as he missed the deadline to submit the song to be featured in the classic movie, Midnight Cowboy, for which he originally wrote it. Could this be where the phrase, “don’t sleep on it” comes from?
The sixth single off of their debut album, Listened to Ill, was a testament to Beastie Boys’ wild and grueling tour schedule. “No Sleep till Brooklyn” referenced the trio’s hard-working and hard-partying ways. It was a can’t stop, won’t stop proclamation that they wouldn’t rest until they finished their tour and returned to their home borough of Brooklyn, New York.
The ‘90s anthem from angsty crooner Fiona Apple didn’t do too hot on the charts (barely reaching number 28 at its peak), but remains a favorite amongst fans and critics alike. In 1997, Fiona won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, where she famously lamented, "This world is bullshit. And you shouldn't model your life about what you think we think is cool...”
This synth-laced, racy tune was recorded in a studio housed in a former church! Lead singers Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart wrote the song after they broke up with their former band, The Tourists. Don’t feel too bad for them, though. This song went on to become one of the biggest hits of the ‘80s and is a karaoke standby to this very day.
For more classic bops about sleep, check out the full playlist here!
Written by Brianna Ziegler
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