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In the Studio: The Vines

March 7, 2008 4:38 PM ET

The Vines caught their break with 2002's platinum Highly Evolved, but singer Craig Nicholls nearly killed their momentum with his freakouts, from trashing dressing rooms to berating fans. Since getting diagnosed in 2005 with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism, Nicholls has been focusing with his band on their fourth disc, helmed by Evolved producer Rob Schnapf. "Nothing can hold us back now," says Nicholls. "Unless I die in a plane crash." The fourteen new cuts include the string-laden "True as the Night" and the heavy-pop tune "Merry Go Round." Says Nicholls of the Vines' return, "We're coming back, and it's gonna be madness."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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