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Song Stories

“A Nickel and a Nail”

O.V. Wright | 1971

Southern soul singer Overton Vertis Wright first sang gospel before switching to secular music in 1964. This is one of several songs Wright did with producer Willie Mitchell and his acclaimed Hi rhythm section, which recorded many of Al Green's biggest hits around the time this track was done. "When you gave O.V. Wright a song, the song belonged to him!" Mitchell would later point out about Wright, who died in 1980 at age 41 from a heart attack after years of drug abuse. "Nobody'd ever do it that way again! In fact, I think O.V. Wright was the greatest blues artist I've ever produced." 

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

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