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Song Stories

“All My Friends”

LCD Soundsystem | 2007

James Murphy defined an era of hipster angst with his breakthrough opus, "All My Friends," which is purportedly about aging and coming to terms with friends fading away. "That song is about being on tour and not seeing all the people that I wrote 'Losing My Edge' about," Murphy said. Murphy was pushing 40 when he wrote the song, something he found to be advantageous: "And rock has become an older person's game -- in 1967, if you were over 21, you weren't starting a band," he said.

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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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