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Song Stories

“At Home He's a Tourist”

Gang of Four | 1979

The socially conscious post-punk group generated what the members referred to as "the perfect existential squall." "No assemblage, pro-tools confection, just the strings being hit and screaming in pain as they're bashed and cajoled into a beautiful anti-solo that is all about the now and not about the maybe," the band's singer Jon King said in 2009. "We thought this song was a mutant disco thing, at a time when it was not down to like dance music, when funk and rock had to be kept in separate rooms for fear of miscegenation." In the decades to follow, the Gang of Four influenced countless bands with their prescient political dance-rock sound.

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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