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Record Shopping With Florence and the Machine

April 27, 2010 4:37 PM ET

When she dropped into New York in early April, singer Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine invited Rolling Stone to tag along for an epic record-shopping excursion. On her killer debut album Lungs, Welch delivers piano-pop anthems with an arty, avant-garde bent, so it made sense to head over to Other Music, the independently owned shop that specializes in more obscure, left-of-center records.

Welch managed to find plenty to purchase, including new records from her favorite acts Goldfrapp, Holly Miranda and Liars. Her grand total? Fifty-five bucks. Welch also revisited some of her old favorites and told RS about the impact those records had on her life and work. While eyeing a deluxe edition box set of the Beatles' Abbey Road, Welch said, "This is the first Beatles album I ever heard. And I loved it! For some strange reason I was really anti-Beatles. My step-dad was into the Beatles and my dad was into the Stones. So I was always in the Stones camp, until someone gave me [Abbey Road] for Christmas." Watch the full clip above.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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