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SAN BERNANDINO, CA - AUGUST 20: Singer Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden performs at Ozzfest 2005 at the Hyundai Pavilion on August 20, 2005 in San Bernandino, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast was released 37 years ago today (March 22), and from that iconic album came one of the most iconic metal tracks that’s become a staple of rock radio.

Of course, “Run To The Hills” famously portrays the relationship of European settlers and Native Americans, and often gets tastefully brought up online around Thanksgiving.  (Seriously, look that up on Twitter.)  In honor of this, we gathered some other famous rock tracks and the events that inspired them.

Iron Maiden – “Run To The Hills”

Relationship between European settlers and Native Americans.

U2 – “Sunday Bloody Sunday”

Written about a January 30, 1972 shooting in Derry, Northern Ireland during a protest against Operation Demetrius, which jailed people without trial.  26 unarmed people were shot by British soldiers which resulted in 13 deaths.

Motley Crue – “Kickstart My Heart”

Written by Nikki Sixx about being brought back to life after an overdose by receiving two shots of adrenaline to his chest.

Filter – “Hey Man Nice Shot”

Written about the Robert Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania state treasurer who shot himself dead at a press conference on January 22, 1987 after being convicted of bribery charges in December 1986.

Artists United Against Apartheid – “Sun City”

Written by Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, “Sun City” truly doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  The protest song was about the Sun City casino resort located in the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana, which was an independent state created by the then apartheid government of South Africa. The casino would lure big-name acts with large amounts of money to play the casino despite a boycott from the United Nations, who were against apartheid. Plus, it had one of the best rosters ever with Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and George Clinton all appearing on the track.

Artists United Against Apartheid - Sun City

Not long after Band Aid and We Are The World focused musical attention on poverty and famine, a collection of artists took a similar approach in the struggle against apartheid. The initiator was Steven van Zandt - erstwhile guitarist in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band - who whipped up dozens of musicians to work on the project.

 

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger who once did a presentation in a college public speaking course about why The Rolling Stones were better than The Beatles.  (She received an A.)

Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.